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On the Case With…

Each month, as part of “The Business Case for Public Relations,” PRSA asks an industry leader to reflect on his or her career and make a “business case” for public relations.

More from “On the Case With…”

On the Case with Alicia Clancy

March 29, 2013

Alicia Clancy is manager, corporate affairs, Renewable Energy Group, in Ames, Iowa. She has managed the company’s PR, marketing communications and legislative grassroots programs since its inception in 2006. She oversees corporate communication and is engaged in biodiesel acceptance and industry progress programs.

Clancy holds a B.A. in journalism/mass communications and public service and administration in agriculture from Iowa State University. She is a member of the Iowa Biodiesel Board and the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, and chairs its biodiesel promotions committee.

“Biodiesel is an American-made, commercially available renewable fuel made from recycled fats, oils and greases that can be used in any diesel engine.  The industry supports more than 64,000 jobs across the country and continues to grow,” Clancy says of the benefits of using alternative fuel. “Working for a green company that delivers energy security, energy diversity and food security for Americans every day is rewarding.”

Name: Alicia Clancy

Childhood ambition:
Growing up on a family farm in Iowa, I wanted to work in public relations for an agriculture company.

Current livelihood:
I am in the corporate affairs department for the nation’s leading biodiesel producer and marketer, Renewable Energy Group.

What changed (i.e. how you became interested in public relations):
The company has grown from 30 employees to 300. Making the transition from a private firm to a publicly traded firm has been like having a new job. The industry has grown from a niche fuel source to a 1 billion gallon-plus partner in the diesel supply chain. We have to continually educate policy makers, petroleum companies, fleets and suppliers about our benefits.

First public relations job:
I’m still at it!

What you know now that you wish you’d known then:
 Business decisions are based on numbers and, in order for a PR professional to be a useful part of the business, they need to understand and be able to talk about those data-based decisions.

Best piece of advice you’ve ever received:
“Get out of your inbox.” In order to think strategically and advance the company, sometimes you have to stop responding to the projects of others in your inbox, look around and create new value.

Greatest professional accomplishment:
Completing my M.B.A while working full-time at a company in the process of growing and going public

If you weren’t in public relations, you would be:
I would run a foundation bringing city kids to farms to learn where their food comes from. Less than 1 percent of Americans live on farms or are involved in food or commodity production. We all need to thank a farmer!

Desired legacy:
I have a long time left in my career to create a legacy, but I hope it includes “an enthusiastic, team-oriented professional.”

Make a “business case” for public relations:
Growing businesses need access to capital in order to grow. A company that can’t tell its story and educate others on its value via public relations will struggle to gain access to that capital and get left behind.


Christine Jensen says:

Liked your thoughtful comments. We need to help make more young professionals aware of the great opportunities in ag-related fields.

April 23, 2013

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