AdPR Alumni Spotlight: Sydney Owens

PR alum Sydney Owens
Sydney Owens is currently a Senior Communications Rep at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas.

What was your major and when did you graduate?
I graduated in 2008 with a PR and Psychology double major.

What activities were you involved while in Grady/UGA?
I was a member of PRSSA where I participated in Creative Consultants and was the PRecedent editor on the executive board. I was also a Grady Ambassador and was on the Bateman PR campaign competition team. Outside of Grady, I was a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority.

What are you doing now and how did you get there?
I am the social media and web communications lead for our Aeronautics business. That basically means that I am the community manager for the F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft social media channels, and I also contribute content to our corporate-level social media properties and strategy.

I joined Lockheed Martin through the Communications Leadership Development Program (CLDP), which consists of two one-year rotations to learn the business and corporate communications functions. After completing CLDP, I moved back to Fort Worth to lead trade show communications. 

A short time later, a position opened up to be the content manager for a new F-35 website, which I accepted in 2011. Since then, I created and launched F-35 social media channels on Twitter and Facebook and took on additional responsibilities as our business area’s social media lead.

What is your day-to-day like at your job? (Any interesting projects that you can share with us?)
Every day is different! I spend a lot of time monitoring social media and planning for upcoming events and campaigns. I occasionally get to travel to media events around the U.S., Canada and even one in South Korea.
One fun project I’ve worked on is the Test Pilot Tuesday video series, where our test pilots answer questions from the public in short YouTube clips. I collected questions through the website and social media, interviewed the pilots and promoted the videos online. I also led the charge for our company’s first Tweet Chat with one of our test pilots earlier this year.

What part of your Grady experience (classes, professors, etc.) has been helpful in your career today? 
Dr. Russell’s courses prepared me very well for my current job – PR Writing, Social Media and campaigns as our Bateman team adviser. I was one of the first communicators to join Lockheed Martin that had received instruction on integrating social media into campaigns, which helped me establish myself as a subject matter expert when I started working in 2008.

What is your favorite Grady memory? 
I studied abroad with Grady at Oxford the summer before my senior year, and I loved every second of it. I also had an excellent team experience working on the Bateman project. We spent a lot of time in the Drewry room, Dr. Sweetser’s kitchen and each other’s apartments planning and executing our campaign. It was as rewarding as it was exhausting. I still remember Dr. Russell’s blunt feedback on our first exec summary for our Bateman submission. She told us it was boring. She was right.

What advice do you have for current AdPR students? 
Take advantage of what Grady has to offer! There are so many opportunities to take unique courses, join clubs, network and get real work experience that will prepare you well for life after graduation.

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