By Lauren Garczynski
There is no real substitute for experience.This is what Elizabeth Guyton, communications director for Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker believes. What might sound like a cliché statement is actually something Guyton and her own expansive experience can attest to.
Guyton served as a speaker for the political PR session at National Conference in Boston. Joined by Mike DeFilippis, project manager of Direct Impact which operates as a grassroots communications campaign, the two discussed what goes into a political PR career and the steps to achieve that position.
Guyton originally began her career as an English major, stating that upon entering college there was, “not a political bone in my body.” Although the motions would soon be set for a career in political communications as she searched for her niche, she knew her future would involve writing and a fast-paced environment.
Guyton emphasized that her hard work and passion for doing what she set out to do helped her reach the position she is at right now. Initiating her political experience through working on campaigns, she described how her time working on Kelly Ayotte’s senate campaign as a field representative, drew her into press communications. Guyton keenly soaked in all that was going on around her especially when it came to networking with fellow communication staffers on the campaign. Through this experience, she allowed herself to get her foot in the door and came to the realization that this was what she wanted to do. After Ayotte won the race, Guyton’s hard work paid off too as he later went on to become a staff assistant.
Three political campaigns later, Guyton has a strong appreciation for finding her niche in political communications. For a year now, Guyton has been serving as communications director for Massachusetts Governor, Charlie Baker. As communications director, Guyton oversees and manages communications and relationships with the press. Through her experience she has recognized and shared three important points for those interested in political communications.
Guyton reminded attendees of the session that experience can help pave the way to realizing your potential and provide stepping stones for your first job. In terms of experience and getting your feet wet, she said, “there is a lot of value in getting out into the world and absorbing it.”