Hillary Kline

As Told By: Hillary Kline from Kline to the Top

Last updated on: 2019

As Told By

Meet Hillary Kline from Kline to the Top

Beauty expert, PR professional, red carpet host, event personality, former TV producer and more — Hillary Kline really can do it all. With a background in Journalism and TV production, you can now find Hillary meeting with reporters, writing news releases and blog posts or emceeing a media event. Keep reading to learn just how Hillary made her “kline” to the top, starting by living life outside her comfort zone.

 1. Tell us a little about yourself. How did you first get your start in the media industry?

I was born and raised in Berlin, Wisconsin, and then moved to Minneapolis where I pursued a degree in Journalism from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities (Go Gophers!) After graduation, I had an amazing internship with General Mills, where I had the opportunity to promote their brand Nature Valley by going to 10 different national parks for the summer. I then moved home to Wisconsin and started a job as a television producer in Green Bay. I held that position for about five years until I realized I wanted to get back to a bigger city. I moved back to Minnesota and started my first public relations role for a travel company. I worked with the company for about four years and most recently moved into the banking/financial world as a Senior Public Relations Specialist.

When I moved to Minnesota almost four and a half years ago, I started to become heavily involved in the beauty and fashion world. I started doing makeup for fashion shows, editorial, commercials, bridal and beyond. From there I started red carpet hosting, where I have had the pleasure of interviewing celebrities, athletes, musicians and more. I also started doing more television work, as a beauty expert on Twin Cities Live and as a guest host on Evine.

2. What does a typical day look like for you?

It sounds cliché, but every day is different, no two days are alike. I typically get up in the morning before I head into work, and either go and work out or dilly-dally around my apartment and try a new makeup look (lately I really love minimal, natural makeup, mostly because I might hit the snooze button a few times). At work, I could be writing a news release, drafting a blog post, interviewing a potential interview subject, meeting reporters out in the field, networking, visiting a branch, attending meetings, etc. There are so many facets to my job in the PR world!

3. You have been featured in Marie Claire, Buzzfeed and Forbes to name a few. Can you tell us more about your experience working with some of these well-known publications?

Absolutely! For as long as I can remember, I have always been a writer. I was editor of my high school newspaper and yearbook, I wrote for my college newspaper at the University of Minnesota and I was a television producer for almost five years in Green Bay, Wisconsin (LOTS of writing). I have also been a beauty guru for as long as I can remember, too. I wanted to mix the two, so I started doing freelance writing and I would respond to media requests looking for beauty experts. By doing this, my tips, tricks and commentary have been placed in well-known publications. I think one of my favorite memories and placement was a piece in The New York Times. I had connected with a journalist who was writing about male YouTube beauty influencers in the industry and what people thought about it. I recall talking to her for almost two hours on the phone. Not only did I provide my thoughts on the topic, but I ended up connecting and bonding with a new friend!

4. What is some advice you have learned in your career that you would give to someone interested in being involved in public relations? 

I have so much advice to give on this! My best piece of advice for someone who is interested in being involved in public relations is to soak up everything like a sponge. Absorb. Learn — it’s the only way you will grow. Find a solid mentor. Network with industry folks. There are so many facets to public relations and a lot of the times, it’s trial and error. Find what works best for you!  

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5. What is one thing you have accomplished in your career that you’re extremely proud of?

There are two things that I am most proud of when it comes to accomplishments in my career. The first one: becoming a television producer straight out of college. I am originally from Wisconsin, so I moved back home after I finished an internship. I was unemployed for a few months before landing my first “big girl” job at WLUK FOX-11 in Green Bay. I was hired on as a weekend half hour producer. I worked my way up the ranks over the years to become the main weekend producer. Let me tell you, that job taught me A LOT. As a producer, I learned how to work under pressure (especially with breaking news), how to be flexible when things change, how to be a leader in the newsroom and how to grow thicker skin. One of my other accomplishments that I am most proud of was winning AdFed Minnesota’s 32 Under 32 Award in 2018. It was such an honor to be recognized for my involvement in the PR world. And as I always say, everything happens for a reason – I was the host of the awards show in 2019. What a great moment and memory that I will always cherish.

6. You have hosted all types of events, from fashion shows to sports games. What are your favorite type of events to cover and why?

I have been blessed with attending and covering a plethora of events over the last several years. I think it is a tie between rocking a red carpet and rocking a stage as an emcee/host. One of my favorite events to date was when I was asked to be the host of NBC’s Days of our Lives Fan Event at the Mall of America two years ago. Someone from NBC loved my work and vibe and asked me to be the emcee. I was a smidge nervous, because I had never emceed before and I knew that this event would draw a huge crowd! I have always said that if something terrifies you or is out of your comfort zone, that *that* is something you should be doing. It was an amazing event with a huge turnout of over 1,500 people. The day was one I will never forget, and I have been hosting various events ever since.

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7. We can’t help but ask you a beauty question! What beauty products could you not live without?

This is SUCH a tough question! I am big product junkie, a lover of all things makeup and skincare. There is one item, however, that I will constantly buy multiples of. I could not live without Mario Badescu Drying Lotion. This lotion is award-winning and is my go-to spot treatment for those pesky pimples. It contains salicylic acid, sulfur and calamine. You can use the product on surface blemishes on the back, chest, neck and face. I am 31-years-old and still get hormonal acne. Of course, I tend to get flare ups before a big event or a television appearance. I dip a cotton swab into the pink sediment at the bottom of the bottle (*do not shake it up*) and let it sit overnight. I’ll wake up in the morning with a visibly reduced pimple! I love this product so much that I buy it in bulk and put it in my travel bag, my gym bag and one (or two) bottles at home.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

Interested in learning more from professionals in the digital marketing and beauty industries? Check out the rest of our As Told By series.

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Ciera is a content creator, social media strategist and world traveler currently exploring Southern California. With more than six years of experience developing content, Ciera combined her love for writing, traveling, photography and creativity into her lifestyle and travel blog, Life with Ciera. In her free time, she loves going to the beach, cooking new vegetarian recipes and playing with puppies. To see more of Ciera, visit her blog at www.lifewithciera.com.