Keefa Burke|University of Technology, Jamaica|Friday, April 30, 2021
19 year old, Marriesol Blake, is a 2nd-year student at the University of Technology, Jamaica, the representative for the Faculty of Education and Liberal Studies, and the Director of Public Relations at UTECH’s Future Marketers Association.
The Elizabeth native never intended to be a part of the Future Marketers’ Association; instead, she wanted to become a Jamaica National (JN) ambassador. She was not interested in leading a club; however, things took a turn.
“I wanted to become a JN ambassador, but I couldn’t because I would have to open an account. I couldn’t get to do it since Covid had just hit,” she explained.
She attended St. Elizabeth Technical High School where she did theatre arts, public speaking, peer motivation and always knew that she wanted to do Public Relations. Fear struck her when the time came to apply to FMA, but she applied fear-stricken and all. Before submitting her application, she reached out to the former PR personnel, Tramaine Campbell, and got some nuggets of wisdom that made her more confident in her decision. Marriesol maintained her authenticity, had a successful interview, and officially became a part of the FMA in May of 2019. Blake became Public Relations Director in 2020 and was responsible for bringing guest speakers to the weekly FMA meetings. Even her own expectations were exceeded when she managed to get Nestle’s general manager Garfene Grandison, head of social content and digital brand for Yellow Pages, Joel Nomdarkham, lead marketing strategist, Catherine Goodall and producer, and presenter Debbie Bissoon.
“Working in this field has definitely contributed to the competence of my character and has made me more excited. Even though I have not done any PR courses as yet, I’m glad to have gotten the experience,” she said.
When asked about the challenge that she has faced so far in her field, she expressed that crisis management has been her challenger.
“Crisis management has taught me to always be prepared for a crisis, no matter how small it is. I don’t want to consider it to be much of a challenge, but more of an opportunity for growth. My assistant and I are always challenged to think on our feet.” she expressed.
Public relations personnel are usually blamed when things go wrong such as having a guest speaker make a presentation that does not align with the goals of the association. PR is also responsible for interacting with the members of the club, especially the newbies. Marriesol created new ways to interact that would keep the good energy flowing in the group despite being fully virtual.
“I had to come up with ways to keep the club alive. We use stickers and other emojis to learn more about our members, and sometimes, we end up working outside of our portfolio to do graphics, just to spice things up. I hope to continue on this path.” she exuberantly expressed.
Marriesol hopes to continue to network efficiently and work in an organization as a full-time PR professional.