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What does being the Princess Kay of the Milky Way have in common with being a PR major? According to University of Northwestern—St. Paul senior PR major Amy Kyllo, everything! 

Being crowned Princess Kay is no small feat. Contestants go through an intense judging process in order to find the most personable, professional and dairy-passionate woman. In 2019, Kyllo came out on top and was crowned Minnesota’s 66th  Princess Kay of the Milky Way. 

Amy Kyllo was crowned MN Princess Kay in 2019. Photo from Midwest Dairy.

At the time, she was pursuing a two year degree in Biblical Studies at Free Lutheran Bible college, planning to later transfer to a four year school to finish out her degree. Before Princess Kay, she was considering being a PR major, but it wasn’t until her experience as Princess Kay that she determined she truly did love the world of PR. 

Princess Kay came with more than just a crown and 90 pound butter head for Kyllo. Kyllo explained that being Princess Kay was essentially its own type of PR position. She was the face of an entire brand, the Minnesota Dairy Industry. She was responsible for taking the messages the industry wanted to give, and relating them to her own experience.

“Nobody wants to hear, ‘you should drink milk; it’s good for you’ because honestly no one cares. But when you start making it personal and about what you care about and your experience, then the message can get across more effectively.”

Amy Kyllo

Through being Princess Kay, Kyllo got thrown straight into the world of PR. Kyllo did the following throughout her reign:

  • had 23 media interviews after the first 2 days of being crowned alone plus many more after that
  • wrote monthly articles for the Dairy Star magazine
  • held 45 in-person appearances

 Unfortunately, the in-person appearances were cut short because of the COVID-19 pandemic that hit in March of 2020, halfway through her reign. 

As Princess, Kyllo had control of all Princess Kay’s socials. Having no personal social media experience of her own, Kyllo had to quickly learn how to not only run a page, but run one effectively. This all proved useful because as the pandemic hit, Kyllo had to amp-up her social media presence and keep her audience connected in strategic ways. One tactic she used was starting her own hashtag campaigns. Some hashtags she used were #aroundthefarm and the #passthemilkplease challenge.

With many of her events being cancelled for the last half of her reign, Kyllo got valuable online experience. Getting thrown straight into the world of Zoom, Kyllo gained first-hand experience into how to be a professional presenter while online. 

Even with a reign cut short, Kyllo loved her time as Princess Kay of the Milky Way and is extremely grateful for all of the different practical skills she was taught. Her experiences pushed her to pursue a PR degree and gave her unique qualifications for her resume that few Minnesota women possess.