Know a PR Pro: Immediate Past President, Joe McLeod

Government affairs, corporate public relations, nonprofit community relations… the list of public relations career tracks goes on and on…and on. Ever wonder what someone else does in their PR role? This new series will spotlight our members’ roles to give you a better idea what their “9 to 5” looks like. Interested in sharing about your job? Email us!

Name: Joe McLeod

Job Title: Public Relations Strategist

Company/Organization: McLeod Communications

City: Lakeland

Industry: Consulting/Public Relations

Age: 40

Before we jump into your current role, tell us a little about your PR background. I developed an interest in PR when I was a junior in college. I received my bachelor’s degree in communication from Palm Beach Atlantic University, then earned a master’s from the University of Central Florida. While in grad school, I wrote op-ed columns for the Orlando Sentinel and other publications, which ignited my passion for crafting language and trying to make a difference using the written word. After beginning my career in the nonprofit sector, I helped start a PR firm in 2012 with my brother, Chad. We’ve worked with an array of clients in different industries. We also host the weekly podcast, PR & Politics. Since 2010, I’ve been teaching as a communications instructor at Keiser University’s Lakeland Campus. I also served as a program director and department chair at Keiser.

What’s your morning routine? I begin every day with quiet time and prayer. I read The Ledger and scroll through the headlines of several other publications while having a cup of coffee and eating oat meal with blueberries, honey and cinnamon (my daily breakfast). I take my kids to school and listen to NPR on the way to work.

At 9:00 a.m. I am… usually teaching a speech communications course at Keiser University. I thoroughly enjoy working with students and introducing them to the ways communication affects different aspects of their lives.

At 11:00 a.m. I am… wrapping up class and checking emails. Every day is different. There are meetings, calls with clients, projects and other tasks that are ongoing.

For lunch I… tend to eat something light to keep from getting sleepy later in the day. Sometimes I have a lunch meeting, but I usually take a few minutes to pull away from work by myself and recharge. I might check social media, read or watch something inspirational, or catch up on the news.

At 3:00 p.m. I am… grabbing my afternoon coffee or Caffé Americano. Depending on the nature of the work that day, I try to take on tasks that involve moving around and talking with people instead of staring at a computer screen.

I wrap up my day with… making a list of things I want to accomplish the following day. This keeps me focused and helps me leave work at the office and not bring it home. My drive home is almost always accompanied by a podcast on leadership, faith, or politics. I typically run or hit the gym later in the day, then play outside with my rowdy little boys until they wear me down to the point of complete exhaustion. I love it.

What do you think other PR Pros would find most surprising or interesting about your PR role? Being a practitioner makes a better teacher, and being a teacher makes me a better practitioner. I fully enjoy both roles as a consultant/strategist and college instructor. It’s an exciting time to be in the PR industry, and it’s important to always be observing, learning, and sharpening our skills.

My evening routine is… Getting the kids to bed and spending time with my wife, Rebekah. We might catch an episode of Madam Secretary or she’ll turn on a Hallmark Christmas movie that I’ll deny I ever watched.