Dietetic Career Spotlight on Jennifer Seyler, FleishmanHillard, Communications Agency
By SARAH KOSZYK, MA RDN on FEBRUARY 18, 2016
Are you branding yourself and communicating correctly? Jennifer E. Seyler, MS, RD, CPT, sure is and she knows how to enhance the dietetic industry through her communication skills. Read on to learn how Jennifer’s inspiring career has helped people through public relations. – Sarah
What attracted you to the field of nutrition and dietetics?
As long as I can remember, I have had an interest in fitness and nutrition. I read many sports nutrition related books and journals, always tried to help others with their meal or workout plans and couldn’t seem to get enough of it. The book that inspired me and heightened my passion of health and fitness was one of the famous Nancy Clark books, which helped me understand the basics of sports nutrition and how it was part of everyday life.
In regard to the field of communications, I came to love it once I realized that it doesn’t matter how good your advice is, if the person you want to benefit from it (your audience) doesn’t understand or relate to it. Once I put two-and-two together, I entered the world of PR agencies and haven’t looked back.
Your Job Title:
Vice President, Brand Communications
Company you are with now:
FleishmanHillard, a communications agency
A typical (or not so typical) day-in-the-work-life for you:
As a vice president, I provide strategic counsel and manage accounts from a consumer and health professional standpoint. This means, my day is a combination of planned activities as well as ‘fire drills,’ which need to be dealt with immediately.
When it comes to the day-to-day items, those vary greatly but in general will consist of:
- Strategic Counsel: Overseeing influencer and consumer activations/recommendations and providing feedback to team
- Point-of-View: Researching relevant areas of interest for different Clients and determining if/what next steps should be taken to stay up-to-speed on the nutrition environment
- Team Management: Ensuring all players on each team are getting what they need/want from a growth standpoint; mentoring
- Project Management: Completing billing, updating staffing allocations, sending invoices to Clients
- New Business Outreach: Keeping up on the pulse of the food and nutrition landscape and proactively reaching out to companies who could benefit from some additional support
How did you get your current job in dietetics?
Each role throughout my career has built upon previous experience and skill sets. I started my profession as a research dietitian and focused on weight loss studies at the University of Illinois. From there, I moved to Chicago to serve as the corporate manager of nutrition services for Bally Total Fitness. There I built and maintained its nutrition and weight loss web site and its phone counseling with registered dietitians program.
The position at Bally allowed me to work with the public relations and marketing teams, where I quickly realized my interest in nutrition communications. With a career change in mind, I transitioned to a public relations agency and began my new journey.
What skills were you born with and what skills have you learned along the way?
I have always had an interest in research and analysis, a love for patterns and numbers. I actually started my career in engineering and business, then shifted toward the health professions.
What I have learned along the way is that everything changes and you need to be able to change with it or you will become obsolete.
What advice do you have for others wanting to be just as successful and fulfilled as you?
It is very important to love what you do. Everyday should be something you look forward to – well, at least most days. I am where I am because I charted out my goals, how I was going to achieve them and what I needed to do to get there. So, keep the goals going!!!
If you could be paid for your job with something other than a paycheck, what would it be?
Smiles of satisfaction from Clients, of growth from teammates and of proudness from leadership.