On Tuesday, Dec. 5, Marx Layne graciously allowed Wayne State PRSSA members to tour their facilities. David Stoyka, Account Supervisor at Marx Layne, started off the session by giving us his personal history at the company. He is a veteran in the field with over 18 years of experience under his belt. He shared his future career plans along with how he got his start in the PR world. David also shared with us how Marx Layne came to be. To our surprise, it was started by Michael Layne and the late Fred Marx in a basement back in 1987, where they grew their company into the success it is today.
We had the pleasure of meeting Michael Layne personally and had the opportunity to pick his brain. He spoke to us about how much the PR world has changed since he started in the field. He painted a visual picture of how his office used to look like a scene out of the series, “Mad Men.” He described people working on type writers and smoking at their desks. Michael then asked each of us or name, year and plans for the future. Genuinely interested, he gave honest feedback and discussed his own personal involvement with our interests. It was truly a rare experience.
Lynn Haliburton, Social Media, PR and Marketing specialist, discussed what she does within her position at Marx Layne. Besides specializing in social media at the company, she has clients that she works with and helps them manage their social media accounts. Lynn talked about how she scans key words about her clients company on social media, whether it is a complaint, a question or general talk. She told us how she takes the content she finds online made by customers and helps resolves any potential issue that may arise. On top of that, she also plans and executes social media campaigns for her clients when needed.
We then met with Leslie Pardo, who is a Senior Vice President with the company. She spoke to us about several accounts she has worked on involving crisis communication. Leslie has an interesting advantage in her position. Leslie went to school to become a lawyer and has actually taken and passed her bar exam. She decided to take a different route and began working at Marx Layne over 18 years ago. Leslie explained to us that when she is dealing with the a crisis for her client, she always looks at the situation form a legal stand point and makes decisions based off of her knowledge from law school.
We then met with the Account Assistant, Ashley Veenstra, who happened to be an alumna of Wayne State. Ashley started with Marx Layne as an intern and got hired within the company after graduation. She described the ins and outs of their intern program and explained how demanding it is. She told us that even though the internship is difficult, it was very rewarding. When interning at Marx Layne, they treat their interns like actual employees, giving them work, depending on them. Ashley stated that she learned a great deal from her internship with them.
It was very clear that the team at Marx Layne made sure we had a very versatile experience. The overall tour was very educational with a lot of information to take with us and to apply to our future careers.
Joelle Kruczek is a public relations senior at Wayne State University graduating May 2018. She is the Assistant Professional Programming Director for WSU’s James Measell chapter of PRSSA. She has dreams of holding communication leadership roles on Capitol Hill and in her free time she enjoys cooking, traveling and plays piano.