PR with purpose
Jackie Jags ’08 supports ‘excellence wrapped in kindness’ at Chick-fil-A
Charlotte Tuggle & Brandon Etheredge
Eat more chicken. “My pleasure.” Above and beyond customer service. Chick-fil-A is known for many things, and Auburn public relations alumna Jackie Jags works every day to share not just the company’s chicken sandwiches, but its culture of care with the public.

y former boss once said that this place is ‘excellence wrapped in kindness,’ and I cannot underscore that enough. I have never worked in a place where care is part of every single thing that I do,” Jags said. “Whether we’re in meetings thinking about care for our customers in the restaurant, care for our local owners who are in the restaurants every day, care for our team members and care for each other here on staff. Care is a part of everything that we do, and I’ve never been somewhere that so truly lives our purpose every day.”

Jags’ title at Chick-fil-A is “Strategic Projects, Marketing,” reporting to the Chief Marketing Officer and performing the duties of Chief of Staff. However, at Chick-fil-A, very few have traditional corporate titles, no one has their own office, and in each marketing meeting room, an empty red chair sits at the head of the table to remind everyone to make decisions with customers in mind.

During her career at Chick-fil-A, Jags has managed national and international restaurant openings, national media relations, brand communications such as new menu item announcements, crisis response and strategic planning.

With each success, Jags leans on the love she holds for connecting customers to Chick-fil-A’s brand and the flexibility of her Auburn degree.

Care is a part of everything that we do, and I’ve never been somewhere that so truly lives into our purpose every single day.
“Every day in my job is different, which I absolutely love,” Jags said. “I use my Auburn degree every day, whether it’s editing executive messaging, which my journalism classes certainly prepared me for, or it’s getting up in front of our department, which my public speaking classes prepared me for, I can honestly say communication and public relations is incredibly transferable.”

When Jags, who was raised in Georgia, started applying for college, she always thought she’d attend an in-state university. But after visiting Auburn with her father, she knew it was where she was meant to be.

Once she enrolled in the public relations program, she began to see a path for herself take shape. Auburn’s PR program requires an internship, so she traveled to New York City and began her career in health care and pharmaceutical communications.

Jags said she wasn’t sure if she could commit to living in New York City, and only a couple of places would inspire her to move back to Atlanta.

“I spent three months up there, and I moved up with one red suitcase, and ended up coming back almost eight years later with a moving van, a husband and a son,” Jags said. “I was always a raving fan of Chick-fil-A, growing up here in Atlanta. I always said if anything got me back to Atlanta, it would be Chick-fil-A or Delta. I never saw the leap from pharma to chicken coming, but yet here I am.”

Jackie Jags in a team meeting
In addition to shaping how Chick-fil-A’s quality and hospitality translates in stores, in service and through digital platforms, Jags also serves on Auburn’s Public Relations Advisory Council.

Jags said it’s important to her to connect with students and support them on their own public relations journeys, just as the Auburn Family supported her.

“I’m still involved with the PR program at Auburn because I was a beneficiary of the alumni that poured into me when I was there,” Jags said. “Getting to hear from them and getting to hear their real-life experiences, how they had applied our degree in the real world, was always so motivational for me. It helped me know the endless opportunities that I could have with my degree. So, I am involved with the program so that I can give back just as they did to me.”