Lauren Pulte

Pulte moves to do PR at The Onion

Written by Sarah Rogers
CAS Intern
Lauren Pulte

After graduating from Miami in 2009, Lauren Pulte worked at a multi-faceted career in Washington, DC producing programs at C-Span and managing video production at POLITICO before moving into public relations.

This March, she revamped her career direction by moving to Chicago to become a PR and Communications Manager for The Onion.

Pulte was a journalism and political science double major at Miami, who participated in the Inside Washington program during the summer of 2008.

She was selected based on her high academic standing and leadership experiences, which enabled her to work for Voice of America as a Public Affairs Radio Intern. This internship completely changed her life and solidified her desired career path. It helped her to realize her true passions for the journalism and news industries while introducing her to Washington, D.C. in a very unique way.

Throughout the rest of her time at Miami, she worked as an I-Team intern for WCPO-TV, a staff reporter at the Oxford Press, an election reporter for MTV- U and a reporter/anchor for Miami University Television (MUTV). These experiences helped her to hone her journalistic skills and prepare her for her entrance into the workforce.

Pulte graduated at the height of the recession, which made her job search process particularly difficult. She moved out to D.C. in the middle of the summer of 2009 without a job. She lived with her aunt in the area while sending out dozens of applications and interviewing at a variety of companies. She ended up securing three part-time jobs that she balanced at once. She worked at C-Span as a producer, at a WUSA-CBS affiliate as a floor director and a nonprofit organization called the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS) as a press assistant. After five months of very hard work, C-Span ultimately hired her on, full-time, as a producer for C-Span’s Distance Learning Class followed by her position as a producer for the Washington Journal, also at C-Span.

Although she enjoyed her work at C-Span, she wanted to switch gears to another company with more growth potential. POLITICO strongly appealed to her, as so many facets of the industry were changing and the company seemed to be thriving. She began as a media coordinator there in May of 2011. In the role, she booked and pitched reporters. She tackled more responsibility when she became a video manager and producer, also for POLITICO, in May of 2012.

In this position, the election cycle was well underway and she helped her team manage all online video content. She managed clips from different POLITICO shows and made sure they were set up in relevant places, generated original content to put different twists on hot topics and worked with a relatively small team to highlight what was going on in the election.

She often worked on “Top 5 Countdowns” of different topics, like “Republican Presidential Candidates to Watch,” etc. Her hard work was recognized when her team earned the Walter Cronkite award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism for these cross-platform broadcasts. Lauren decided to switch gears, once again, when the Democratic and Republican conventions began in 2012.

Her next endeavor was working as a communications associate at QGA Public Affairs, as communications and public relations appealed to her more and more. She was so drawn to QGA because she believed that any “communications challenge is a public affairs challenge” and was intrigued by the company as a top bipartisan firm.

Pulte’s time in D.C. came to an end in March of 2015, when she followed her slightly revamped career direction by becoming a PR and Communications Manager for The Onion in Chicago.

In this role, she handles all external PR and media relations work and helps with all B2B marketing opportunities. “It's really exciting to be with the company as we evolve from a publisher to a media company,” she said. “Although I absolutely loved my time in D.C., I couldn't be more thrilled to be back in the Midwest.”

Howard Kleiman was Lauren’s most influential professor during her time at Miami. “Without question, Dr. Kleiman continues to be a mentor of mine. He taught my capstone and was the professor who went on the Inside Washington program with me,” she said. “I consider him to be like another Dad or a goofy uncle. He made me the journalist that I am today.”

Pulte has nothing but the utmost respect for him and his passion for both the program and his students. Her capstone, which was an actual television broadcast once a week, in which students would rotate being anchors and producers, greatly influenced her. She still catches up with Kleiman whenever they are in the same area and she catches him up on her most recent endeavors.

Kleiman said he appreciates Pulte for her exceptional performance during the Inside Washington program and her consistent hard work, maturity and growth potential from early on. “During the program, Lauren was extraordinarily personable and collegial; there was a genuineness to it,” Kleiman said. “She truly engaged with speakers and was always getting along well with people.”

Pulte’s career successes come as no surprise to Kleiman. “We saw these attributes in Lauren when she was an undergrad; she was a very hard worker, a very quick study and highly motivated in terms of her career,” he said. “She was always willing to take more on than just what was given to her. For an educator, it’s really great to see students grow and mature over time. Lauren was still a work in progress when I met her and she just absolutely rose to the occasion in the capstone course and even more in Inside Washington.”

Pulte, a Detroit native who is 28, has some helpful advice to pass along to Miami students. She feels strongly about the importance of showing interviewers gratitude. “Always hand write thank you notes, without question,” she said. “When someone knows you’re really thankful for their time, it speaks volumes.”

Additionally, she would like to pass along the importance of hard work and how it pays off, even though it might get really difficult. “You have to be willing to pay your dues. My entrance into the workforce was definitely rough, but I wouldn’t change it for the world because it got me where I wanted to be,” she said. “Be willing to put your nose to the grindstone and know that it’ll be worth it in the long run. Maintain the mindset that nothing is beneath you; just do what needs to be done and you’ll ultimately be rewarded for it.”