Working with NASCAR or agriculture, editing makes a difference
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
With a degree in business management and motor sports management, Haley Steinkuhler finds herself in Lincoln, Nebraska, in writing and public relations.
Steinkuhler is the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources’ media specialist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Originally from small-town Sterling, Nebraska, she attended school on the East Coast at Belmont Abby School in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Every job opportunity in that area dealt with marketing and public relations in NASCAR, which is why she concentrated her business degree in motor sports management.
Upon graduation, her first job was with Daytona Speedway where she organized events. This was around the time that Facebook and Twitter were starting to take off so she was able to learn how marketing worked on social media before they became popular. That sparked her interest and built her skill set in websites and public relations.
Steinkuhler then transferred to Kansas Speedway to be closer to home. There, she worked on the website and social media accounts.
After a few years in the NASCAR business, she decided to move back to Nebraska and work for Cabela’s in Lincoln. She worked as a marketing coordinator. She spent a lot of time traveling, working on the company’s exclusive website for select customers, marketing and social media.
In 2014, she decided she wanted to spend less time traveling and accepted her current job, a brand new position at UNL.
“I never imagined myself in this role,” she said. “It’s the most challenging role that I’ve been in – in the fact that the issues that are reported on are so complex.”
Steinkuhler writes a lot of stories on faculty research studies. Some of the topics are complex, requiring hours of work to acquaint herself with the subject matter. She then has to figure out how she can communicate the information to the public so they can understand and see how the research impacts Nebraska.
Steinkuhler starts each day by reading newspapers and reviewing topics in the news. She also reads daily emails from IANR and UNL. Her job includes scheduling social media posts and writing feature stories, which means interviewing sources, organizing her notes, making outlines and creating the stories.
Steinkuhler also partners with another editor at UNL to write the publication Growing magazine.
Steinkuhler’s biggest advice to journalism students is to be curious.
“Ask a lot of questions until you get a full understanding of what you are talking about,” she said. “And don’t be afraid to follow-up.”
Many times, she has followed up with interview subjects because she didn’t fully understand the point they were making. If she doesn’t understand it, she said, her audience won’t either.
In all aspects of her job, Steinkuhler appreciates the editing process the most.
“It’s important to take the time to edit because it will take you longer to fix a mistake.”