Aleks has more than a decade’s experience in every facet of public relations, including content creation, media relations, internal communications, and experiential marketing. She has written and edited articles, brochures, copy for print and online advertisements, newsletters, new business proposals, press materials, web copy and more. She offers perspective honed as an independent communications consultant and in previous roles at global PR firm Edelman and the Chicago Tribune. Aleks earned a dual degree in communications studies and political science at Northwestern University. For Akrete, she oversees content development, promotion and day-to-day PR activities for clients in consumer real estate, finance, hospitality and technology. To learn more about Aleks check out her Q&A.
Q&A with Aleks Walker
What is your favorite part of working in PR?
I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I’ve always loved turning phrases and working with words. PR allows me to do that and to apply a creative touch to business.
If you could drink with anyone from history who would it be?
Zelda Fitzgerald or Eleanor Roosevelt. Roosevelt managed to make a profound impact at a time when women weren’t really given the agency to do so.
What do you do when you are facing a creative block?
I apply more coffee or take a break and read something else for fun, hoping that inspiration will strike.
One piece of advice you would offer to someone trying to enter the PR industry?
I would say to look for ways that PR influences your daily life, whether that’s a news article about an organization or a person you’ve never heard of, or an event that exposes you to a new idea or product. Try to examine how good PR made that happen.
How long have you been working in PR?
I’ve been working in PR since college, so more than 15 years at this point. I studied communications in college and all of my internships were PR-focused.
How would you describe working for a large PR Firm compared to one like Akrete?
I worked for a large PR firm and I think the biggest difference between that experience and working at Akrete is how much more of the business you get to touch at a small firm. The larger firm roles are much more defined and layered through a chain of command. At a smaller firm, you have more ownership over a campaign.
What is a song to describe your work ethic?
“I Believe in Symmetry,” by Bright Eyes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBWRUrAMLNo
What do you like to do in your spare time? Hobbies? etc…
I love to read and am a freelance book reviewer for Booklist. I read between 50 and 70 books a year for both pleasure and reviewing. I have two small kids and we are a huge sports fans. We attend Cubs games, Northwestern games and travel to see different games.
What is your favorite book?
This is one of the hardest questions for me! One of my all-time favorite books is “The Great Gatsby” and two of my more contemporary favorites are “The Art of Fielding,” by Chad Harbach and “Station Eleven,” by Emily St. John Mandel. I love fiction books that examine society and relationships.
What are three interesting facts about you?
I’m a first generation American. My parents are from Yugoslavia and are fluent in Serbian, and I speak Serbian as well. I’ve been to twenty Major League Baseball stadiums and twelve of fourteen Big Ten stadiums. My favorite place I’ve ever visited is Australia. It was my dream trip. We got to go to Melbourne, Sydney, the Great Barrier Reef, and Kangaroo Island, which is the most natural and unspoiled destination in the world.
Quote you live by and why?
“Work hard and be nice to people.”