Jennifer Gutknecht Lynch

Director of Marketing and Physician Recruiting at Parkview Regional Hospital

Jennifer Lynch, BJ '93

Degree(s): BJ '93

Whereabouts: United States, Waco, Texas

What do you do?
I am the director of marketing and physician recruiting for a hospital in central Texas. I’m a one-woman show for all aspects of marketing, including advertising, PR, internal communications, media relations and buying, community relations, social media and the like. I started in this position in 2000, and it’s morphed from a primarily community relations role to include all of the above plus physician recruiting. I have to say that I use what I learned in J-School on a daily basis. Not an understatement.

How did you get your job?
This job was simply “right place, right time.” I had just moved to Texas from Missouri and was freelancing for a medical publisher, writing jacket copy and promotional material for their books. Word of mouth led me to inquire about the position, I interviewed and was offered the job. All of my previous work experience had been in copywriting, so I believe that what appealed to the CEO about me was that my time at J-School had afforded me a robust arsenal of tools, not just copywriting. I knew press releases, I knew media buying, I knew graphics, I knew PR. All thanks to J-School. I want to note that my very first job “in the field” out of college, I got thanks to J-School networking. My boss at that job, as well as her boss, and two or three other copywriters were all MU J-Schoolers. Never underestimate the power of that network. Never!

What is the best professional lesson you learned at the J-School?
How to shake a hand properly. Seriously. I know it sounds goofy, but a handshake tells a lot about a person. I don’t remember which class it was, but we spent literally an entire class period shaking hands and perfecting our shake. Totally worth it. Other than that, preparation. In one of Suzette Heiman‘s classes, I recall practicing repeatedly for a presentation I had to make in front of the class. It was one that the class was going to grade me on, not just her. The day of the presentation, I was so nervous. I was sure everyone could hear my voice shaking and see right through me. I was amazed when almost all of my peer reviews said that I seemed so calm, that I gave a relaxed presentation, etc. Moral of the story for me: practice, practice, practice.

What advice do you have for current students?
First of all, enjoy every moment. Next, when you have the opportunity to do a class project that will take you into the real world, such as present an ad campaign to an actual local vendor, for example, take it seriously and give it your very best effort. They may pick it up, and that’s an awesome feeling. Last, be a member of the MAA when you get a chance. The networking is priceless.

What is your favorite J-School memory?
In Henry Hager’s advanced copywriting class, I had Hoover vaccuums as my product. We had to run our taglines past him, and I will never forget the way he laughed when I told him my tagline was going to be “Hoover sucks (better than the rest)!” He cautioned me, telling me that it was out of the box and might be judged harshly (by those he had reviewing the ads), but followed it up by telling me that oftentimes, the best advertising means taking a risk. I got an A.

Updated: December 19, 2013