PRSSA Kent had the opportunity to hear from Child Welfare Policy Manager and Kent State alumna, Keri Hope Richmond, in a virtual meeting on Oct. 9, 2023.
She is currently the Child Welfare Policy Manager at the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Executive Director at Unbelievably Resilient,
Keri’s personal experience within the foster care system led her to advocate for foster care reform. Her advocacy has taken her to the halls of Congress and the White House, where she has shared her recommendations for changes to the systems.
Keri explained how she has been able to transform her traumatic childhood into something purposeful and meaningful. Some shy away from traumatic moments in their life, but Keri used it as a driving force in her career.
“I can look at my experience as a child and know that it prepared me for this moment as an advocate,” Keri said. “Policy isn't just policy to me. I’m thinking of it from a personal level.”
Storytelling is important in Public Relations, especially when becoming an advocate for someone or a group of people. Keri explained how storytelling allows you to be the voice for someone who might not otherwise have one.
Podcasts are great for storytelling and relaying information. Podcasts can be used in so many ways and not just for entertainment. Keri uses podcasts to take over the narrative around foster care.
“It’s a free marketing tool and you are controlling the narrative,” Keri said. “That’s the really beautiful piece of it.”
Keri gave valuable advice to the group on networking, working in group dynamics and overall, staying true to you.
In all of these instances, Keri explained the importance of authenticity. Always be authentic in everything you do, whether thats at school, with friends or professionally.
While wrapping up the discussion, Keri gave some final advice.
“If you value something, speak up about it,” Keri said. “Use your voice and be who you are because that is your superpower.”