Have you ever wanted to ask one of your co-workers a bunch of questions, have them type out those questions, then post those questions on your company’s blog? No? Well if you company doesn’t have a blog, you should convince them to get one, and If you don’t talk to anyone at work, today is a great day to start.
I (Adam) electronically, through email, sat down with Christy Wong (one of the contributors to this very blog) and asked her to answer a few questions. We at the Tyndale Blog, wanted you in the blogosphere to get a chance to learn more about one of the people that bring you info about Tyndale and the publishing world.
Here we go…
Christy, how long have you worked at Tyndale, and what exactly do you do?
I’ve been at Tyndale for a little over 2 and a half years. I started as the publicity assistant, but currently I’m a publicist. I work with authors and media to get reviews (on blogs and in publications) and interviews (radio, TV, print, etc.) to help spread the word about their books and message. This requires creating press materials, targeted media lists, and contacting the media about new products and authors. I also manage the Tyndale Blog Network and the Tyndale Media Center site, along with the corporate Twitter account (which Adam also posts from occasionally).
What did you do before you worked at Tyndale?
A few months after graduating from college, I worked for six months at the Chicago Tribune as a freelance communications specialist doing corporate communications. Some of the things I did were write press releases and media alerts for TribLocal, Metromix, RedEye, Chicago Magazine, and Chicago Tribune. I also had to pitch some Chicago Magazine cover stories to local media. That was nerve-wracking because I’d never done it before and I only took one intro PR class in college! I did, however, secure some placements on CBS 2 Chicago’s weekend show and Chicago Tonight. I also helped create and distribute the internal company newsletter. I even ghost-wrote some columns for the president of Tribune Company. This was a temporary job though that was only supposed to last three months, but God continued to show me how He provides by giving me an awesome boss who kept extending my job until I found a full-time position (which happened to be at Tyndale!).
You went to Taylor University? Isn’t that in the middle of a cornfield somewhere?
Yes…Taylor’s in Upland, Indiana, which is a small town with only main road, one restaurant and one traffic light. I’ll admit I thought I’d enjoy being in the country when I first decided to go to Taylor after living the suburban life. But after a few weeks, the cornfields didn’t seem all that exciting anymore (especially because I didn’t have a car yet and couldn’t go anywhere). Despite the landscape, the fact that Taylor continues to draw so many students (including myself) back each year proves that it’s not the location that makes the school great—it’s definitely the community of believers. I knew Taylor was where I wanted to go when I visited the campus and experienced the welcoming hospitality of the students, professors, and staff (plus they have an equestrian team). It’s a great Christian community.
Are you involved in other ministries outside of Tyndale?
I’ve been a youth counselor at my church for the past three years, serving and leading a bunch of 6th through 12th graders every Friday night. It’s a lot of work, but definitely rewarding. I look forward to spending time with these teens every week.
I heard you recently participated in a triathlon, are you crazy?
Yep. I don’t know how I got into this (which is crazy because I hated running and didn’t start working out regularly until college), but I did my second triathlon with a bunch of friends the last weekend in August. It was a SuperSprint, which means it’s half of a Sprint distance triathlon (375 m swim/6.2 mi bike/1.55 mi run). I actually wasn’t as diligent in my training this summer with all the other stuff going on, but I still achieved my goal and beat my time from last year by 2 minutes! Next year my goal is to complete a Sprint distance triathlon (1/2 mi swim/12 mi bike/3.1 mi run), which will be challenging, but I’m looking forward to it. Triathlons can be addicting!
What’s your favorite thing about working at Tyndale?
I like being able to read great books that I probably otherwise wouldn’t have the chance to read. We get a lot of free books! I enjoy reading, but I just never seem to have time to read for pleasure anymore. Tyndale gives me that opportunity even if it is considered “work” at times. I also love meeting and interacting with our authors. Marilyn Hontz, author of Shame Lifter, was one of the first authors I worked with to do PR for her book. I loved working with Marilyn, and one of the best moments was when she emailed me months after her book released and told me that Thursdays were still her day to pray for me and asked if I had any prayer updates or new requests. I’m so encouraged and blessed to be able to work with such amazing people.
I’ve noticed you often can be seen with a cup from Starbucks, what’s your usual drink?
My drink choices have shifted slightly, but I rotate my favorites. I used to always drink toffee nut lattes, but lately I’ve been getting soy caramel macchiatos (iced, hot, or as frappuccinos).
What if I want to learn more about you, do you have a blog or Twitter account?
You can follow me on Twitter, @christywong. I post frequently there. You can also visit my blog, which I’m getting better at updating: http://christinemwong.blogspot.com. My posts consist mostly of things related to publishing, pugs, youth ministry, triathlons, and running—or just things I’m learning in life.
Thanks for sharing with us, any last words you’d like to leave us with?
I know some people wanted to know more about how to get into publicity or public relations, so feel free to leave any questions in the comments and I’ll answer them for you. Since I work with social media a lot at Tyndale too, know that we love to hear from you and to get your feedback so we can better serve you. So feel free to contact us on the Tyndale Twitter and Facebook accounts—we respond!
One theme from my life that’s probably not fully shown in this brief interview is a reminder to us all that God’s plan for our lives usually doesn’t look the way we would like, but I’ve found that His plan is always better. And I think I’d rather have my future in God’s hands over my own.
Have a question for Christy? Feel free to leave a comment or find her on Twitter.