Prepare for your first internship or career with these tips for young professionals from PRSA Student Day 2013.
Brooke Foederer's insight:
Graduating college and beginning a new career can be very scary and exciting at the same time. Starting a new career are graduation is an entirely new atmosphere than college. No student truly knows what to expect but in this article Tracy Lewis gives advice for young public relations professionals.
1. Embrace the butterflies
Whether you are beginning an internship or your first job it is important to step out of your comfort zone. This is the best way to jump into your new career and really learn. "It’s through this risk taking, and pushing of oneself into uncharted territory, that we grow as individuals, and professionals."
2. Stay forever curious
One of the only ways to learn more is to ask questions. If you don't know something or maybe you are just curious, ask! There is never a stupid question is what I grew up hearing from my parents and teachers. It turns out that they were right all along, asking can only benefit you.
3. Look beyond the silos
"'You’re not PR people, you’re strategic communicators.' Try not to look at your role at an internship or in your first job in a silo—i.e 'I do social media,' or 'I write press releases,' but rather seek out the big picture."
I think that this tip is very important because I personally do this a lot. It is hard not to specify with one area or public relations.
4. Perfect your writing
Another thing that I have been hearing from my college professors since I started is practice, practice, practice your writing skills. You can always get better at writing no matter how long you have been doing it and no matter how good you may already be.
Now more than ever writing skills are so important in the public relations field. Without good writing skills one may not have to best luck at a career.
This relates to chapter one is our textbook, 'Adventures in Public Relations'. "Public relations professionals perform a wide variety of tasks in an equally varied range of settings. Why? Because everyone needs public relations."
By using this advice recent college grads and young PR professionals can be sure to continue to better their career.
There are many new graduates who want to grow to be an effective and professional business leader. Today it seems as though it is becoming harder to work up your way up the ladder in the business world. This article gives and discusses many great tips for building effective business leadership skills.
Not only do hiring businesses look for professionals and skills but for a strong leader as well. Good leaders are made, not born.
The first step to becoming an effective leader is to value others. Give people praise for the good work that is done and let others know how good of a job he or she is doing.
Secondly, lead by example. By challenging yourself and choosing the hard task shows that you are willing to accept a challenge and excel. Show others what you are capable of and be the motivator for them to work harder.
Third, be strong. There are always other coworkers watching or your boss. Being patient is always a good trait to practice and by doing so one can learn to control anger and frustration.
Fourth, help others do a good job. Train others to do their job the right way, give feedback and corrective criticism. Any positive feedback will anyone to feel good and may motivate them to continue the good work.
Fifth, find your leadership style. Everyone has a leadership style that they are comfortable with. "Some managers work in the trenches alongside their staff. Others watch from a distance, holding off detractors."
The last few tips include, hold reasonable expectations, continue to learn, study the company’s mission, vision, and goals, monitor department progress, and prioritize your work.
In our textbook 'Adventures in Public Relations' by Guth and Marsh, the first chapter discusses the world of public relations. I thought this article related to the public relations process-research, planning, communication, and evalution. The PR process is necessary for all of the skills needed to become and effective business leader.
Afro American Successful Entrepreneurs Offer Advice from Hard-Won Business Lessons Afro American But while others in her field have folded, the African American PR veteran has prospered enough for two decades as a corporate communicator to have...
Does it ever advance your communications mission to get into a public dispute that attacks journalists?
Brooke Foederer's insight:
In this article, written by Brian Kelly, he discusses an incident where a communications professional publicly tweeted at a New York Times journalist in a negative way.
Frank X. Shaw is the head of communications at Microsoft. Shaw along with the rest of the Microsoft company was very displeased when they read a harsh review of their newest Windows 8.1 update. David Pogue, who is a tech writer for the New York Times published a video blog about the update stating that he was not a fan and refering to the update as "lipstick on a pig."
After seeing Pogue's video blog Shaw tweeted, "@nytimes @Pogue Dear David Pogue, what a classic Pogue piece. Funny, inaccurate, opinionated in the skewed way only you can bring.”
It was obvious that Shaw disagreed with Pogue's opinion and his tweet recieved many responses and retweets. But the main question this article asks is, should Shaw have responded to Pogue? Also, did he respond in the correct way and on the right platform?
The article addresses three specific accepted pratices in this type of situation. The first being, "keep up with all comments about your product or service", negative or positive. You should always know what is being said about your brand so that if a response is necessary it will be timely and appropriate.
The second practice is, "respond in your own forum", this way you can let the public know why you believe that the review being discussed is incorrect. It is best to take some time to craft a professional response rather than using a quick response on Twitter.
The third practice is, "call for backup". Offer links to positive reviews of the product, contact favorable journalists or customers and ask them to create a postive reply to your statement.
I believe using these tips relates directly to Media Relations, chapter 6 in our textbook by Guth and Marsh. There are a few key considerations mentioned in the textbook covering media relations and there was one that specifically stood out, be cool. "Reporters sometimes say and do things that promt an emotional response." (Guth, Marsh p.119) In this specific situation I think that this could have been the case. If Shaw would have kept his cool and took the time to think of a more professional response and called for backup he would have saved him and his company more face in the long run.
The author outlines her love affair with the profession. Do you share her passion?
Brooke Foederer's insight:
In this article Lorra Brown discusses 10 things to love about Public Relations. Her list of ten things to love include: stability, opportunities, excitement, impact, results, learning, perks, camaraderie, meaning and anything and everything.
Many people have a hard time understanding what public relations is and putting a specific definition to the job. Public relations is a very fast pace environment with the ability to let PR professionals be creative and share ideas. Also, according to Brown PR careers "continue to rank as top careers in national media polls, government census statistics, industry associations and business analyst reports." This is great news for PR professionals because it means that those in the field are really enjoying what they do and more opportunities in the field are opening up.
Due to the fast pace environment of PR there is always excitement and constant opportunities to learn. Brown said, "Whether conducting research for a new project, trouble shooting a client issue or interacting with a dizzying cast of characters, you become smarter and more aware of the world every day."
PR also has a lot of impact on every day life. PR professionals are able to use marketing skills, advertising skills, and promotional skills within a career and are always improving them.
"Public relations skills apply to virtually every industry and interest area, providing endless opportunities to merge personal and professional interests." The possibilities for PR are endless! Anyone could work as a PR professional for his or her favorite sports team, favorite celebrity or even a favorite non profit organization. The possibilities in PR make it that much more exciting.
Sharing these 10 things to love about public relations within a PR workplace could really get employees more excited about their every day work. According to Guth and Marsh's chapter on Employee Relations "effective employee communication improves morale, enhances employee retention, and increases the financial value of the organization." (36) Communicating with employees all of the positives that their work allows can really boost morale and could eventually lead to a increase of value of an organization!
Guth and Marsh also state, "If employees are to help their companies succeed, that success must mean something to them." (37)
By sharing company goals and positive outcomes and possibilities throughout a company not only will it better the work and outlook that the employees have but will in the end better the entire company and its profit.
Nearly an electronic appendage, we're rarely more than a few feet from our phone or tablet at all times. A few weeks ago, ComeRecommended had a post about apply...
Brooke Foederer's insight:
At this time in my college career, along with my peers it has come time to begin the scary and dreaded job search. Graduation is approaching soon and everyone is telling soon to be college grads to apply now. Looking for the potential jobs is not the only work to be done. To apply one needs to have an up to date resume and/or cover letter that is ready to go at the touch of a button.
Job searching is most accessible online. Today there are so many companies who use websites that allow people to apply right from his or her smartphone.
At the rate of technology, smartphones, and tablets today there is now a way to create a resume that can be viewed on a smartphone or tablet.
"ComeRecommended had a post about applying for jobs from your mobile device. These tips included utilizing job alerts, applying with LinkedIn, and having a mobile resume and cover letter."
Now uploading or viewing a resume really is in the palm of anyone's hand. As convinient as this new technology is, it does come with a view guidelines to be sure that a resume can be viewed properly.
The first being, make sure that it is easy to read. Due to the screen of a smartphone or tablet being much smaller than an average computer screen, making sure that the resume is easily readible is a must. One can do this by first making sure that the resume is in one large column instead of two or more. Also, it is best to stick to standardized fonts and take out any tables, images or colors.
Secondly, be sure that it can be downloaded easily. Not everyone has an iPhone with a 4G network.
Lastly, be sure that it is easy to share. It would be terrible if one went to all the work of creating a mobile resume and it was not easily shared. "A good way to do this is to include a link to the mobile version on your online portfolio in your email signature." It is probably a good idea to create multiple types of a mobile resume just to be safe.
In the textbook, 'Adventures in Public Relations' of Guth and Marsh, Chapter 14 discusses cyber realtions. "The Internet has created a new front door for organizations that is accessible from almost every point in the globe." (Guth & Marsh, 320) This completely relates to what this new technology is all about. The internet and technology today has created so many new ways for people connect directly through smartphones. Not only will a smartphone resume be easy to use but gives others direct access.
"Paul Smith had 20 minutes to sell the CEO of Procter & Gamble, and his team of managers, on new market-research techniques for which Mr. Smith's department wanted funding. As associate director of P&G's PG -0.39% market research, Mr. Smith had spent three weeks assembling a concise pitch with more than 30 PowerPoint slides.
On the day of the meeting, CEO A.G. Lafley entered the room, greeted everybody and turned his back to the screen. He then stared intently at Mr. Smith throughout the entire presentation, not once turning to look at a slide.
"I felt like maybe I hadn't done a very good job because he wasn't looking at my slides like everyone else," says Mr. Smith, who also noticed that the other managers didn't seem very engaged. "It didn't occur to me until later that he did that because he was more interested in what I had to say than in what my slides looked like."
For some time now students and most business professionals prepare for professional presentations by creating a PowerPoint. The PowerPoint is used as a visual aid throughout the presentation and guide for the presenter. PowerPoint’s can be creative and do create a visual. But, is this really the best way to get your message across? Paul Smith, the associate director of Procter & Gamble's market research, had 20 minutes to persuade the CEO and his managers on new marketing research techniques. To do so, Smith created a large PowerPoint presentation with more than 30 slides. He filled the presentation with all of the correct information and visuals. But, on the morning of the presentation, Smith became concerned when the CEO did not look at the PowerPoint screen once. Smith had started to think the CEO was uninterested in his pitch. He soon realized that the CEO was just more interested in what he had to say, rather than follow the PowerPoint slides like the rest of the group. Smith came to the conclusion that the CEO had more interest in what he really wanted to hear him and not see what his slides looked like. Although there are many different types of social media tools available today, it can sometimes be hard to get your message across through a PowerPoint or Prezi. In the article, author Dennis Nishi stated, "That's why companies such as FedEx, Kimberly-Clark and Microsoft are teaching executives to tell relatable stories as a way to improve workplace communication." According to experts, story telling is a tool that is much more useful than PowerPoint presentations. "Storytelling can also be used on a day-to-day basis to sell ideas to one person or a hundred. But being an effective storyteller requires preparation." There are many who think that discussing information numbers may understand means that everyone else will understand too. For example, speaking to a group of individuals from many different sections of a company. By telling a story related to what you are trying to sell and putting into terms that everyone could understand, this will make things much easier for you in the long run. In our book Adventures in Public Relations: Case Studies and Critical Thinking, chapter 10 revolves around cross-cultural and international relations. The way a message is sent and received when two different cultures come together is crucial. Using storytelling when communicating information in international relations can be a lifesaver. By researching the international culture, international stories and values related to those you are trying to sell to, your idea could be much better understood. In the end, I would like to conclude this review with a quote that I think serves great purpose to story telling and intercultural relations. “The way people communicate varies widely between, and even within, cultures.” (Guth & Marsh, 218)
It can be easy to reflexively write headlines about ‘mistakes,’ ‘pitfalls,’ and ‘failures.’ Those words can bring the audience down. Try for something a little cheerier.
Brooke Foederer's insight:
In this article, How to Keep Your Headlines Positive, written by Susan Young, a former news reporter and news director, discusses why it is so much better to create positive headline titles. Young discusses that yes, bad things do happen but that doesn’t mean you need a crisis headline to draw attention to your brand or story. There are ways to spin negative titles into more positive. Susan Young uses some terrific examples:
1. “7 Mistakes Parents Make When Selecting Colleges” can be changed to “7 Tips to Selecting the Best College for Your Child”
2. “Common Missteps that Small Business Owners Make Their First Year” can be flipped to “Tips for Small Business Success.”
3. “10 Pitfalls of Social Media Campaigns” can be reworded to “10 Successful Social Media Strategies.”
Using positive language can be much more attractive to readers. Titles are the first thing that viewers see. Whether it is a blog, news article, or press release. Not only do you want a title that will attract viewers attention, but one that will give off a positive vibe. In the article, Young stated, “Using positive language and an upbeat tone instead of scare tactics and poison will have a subtle but important impact. We need more hope and less pessimism in our world.” Many different aspects of public relations today embrace social media and the Internet. Such as, media relations, investor relations and consumer relations. When your work is published to the World Wide Web anyone has access to it. If a public relations team is looking to get their work and message out there a title can take a large part in that. “The Internet is ideal for timely, short-form messages. It is also a valuable channel for transmission of data, audio, and video files.” (Guth & Marsh, 321).
When using a search engine to find information the title of an article is the first thing that pops up. Using positive undertones is delicate but can go a very long way. Lastly, when spinning headlines one must think about the audience. Who do you want to find your article? Who do you want to read your article? These questions are also very important when writing a headline in general. In the end, it is to your benefit to keep headlines positive, to reach a target audience and attract more readers.
21st Century Technology Skills Are a Core Competency for Today’s Graduates written by, K. Walsh, solely discusses why college graduates today need to have 21st century technology skills and what technology skills are. Over the years technology has increased exponentially. In turn, college graduates are expected to be fully up to speed on 21st technology skills and know how to use them properly. In the article Walsh stated, “Year over year, the requirement for these skills has continued to expand as businesses and the general population increasingly adopt a wide variety of digital technologies.” Walsh discusses some skills that are seen as vital in the work force today. They include: the ability to communicate effectively in person and online, working well in teams, the ability to be creative, and the ability to be organized. These are all common qualities that have been around for quite some time and will continue to be seen as strengths. But what are 21st century skills? According to the article, 21st Century Learning Is Not A Program, by William Washington (Ed.D. Scholar, Walden University) 21st century skills include: creativity, collaboration, critical-thinking, and communication. These 21st century skills are very similar to the common skills that most look for when hiring recent college graduates. But the 21st century skills are more detailed. They also put more emphasis on teaching them to college students by putting them in real life situations and letting the students develop their skills to the best of their ability. By putting them in real life situations and students skills to the test it helps the students learning become much more effective. Relating this particular article back to the textbook I decided to focus on employee relations. In any public relations job one must know how to communicate effectively, but employee relations is constantly using communication, creativity, collaboration and critical-thinking. “Soliciting employee feedback on communications efforts and company policies can be particularly beneficial.” (Guth & Marsh, 35) This quote stood out to me when discussing the 21st century skills because each of the four skills is necessary when it comes to communication between employees and employer. The employer also needs to come up with ways to be creative and get his or her team members motivated and collaborate as a team. Overall, I thought that the 21st century skills are one hundred percent necessary for college students to learn and utilize. Without these skills I do not believe that recent college graduates would be successful.
Walsh discusses some skills that are seen as vital in the work force today. They include: the ability to communicate effectively in person and online, working well in teams, the ability to be creative, and the ability to be organized.
These are all common qualities that have been around for quite some time and will continue to be seen as strengths. But what are 21st century skills? According to the article, 21st Century Learning Is Not A Program, by William Washington (Ed.D. Scholar, Walden University) 21st century skills include: creativity, collaboration, critical-thinking, and communication.
These 21st century skills are very similar to the common skills that most look for when hiring recent college graduates. But the 21st century skills are more detailed. They also put more emphasis on teaching them to college students by putting them in real life situations and letting the students develop their skills to the best of their ability. By putting them in real life situations and students skills to the test it helps the students learning become much more effective.
Relating this particular article back to the textbook I decided to focus on employee relations. In any public relations job one must know how to communicate effectively, but employee relations is constantly using communication, creativity, collaboration and critical-thinking.
“Soliciting employee feedback on communications efforts and company policies can be particularly beneficial.” (Guth & Marsh, 35)
This quote stood out to me when discussing the 21st century skills because each of the four skills is necessary when it comes to communication between employees and employer. The employer also needs to come up with ways to be creative and get his or her team members motivated and collaborate as a team. Overall, I thought that the 21st century skills are one hundred percent necessary for college students to learn and utilize. Without these skills I do not believe that recent college graduates would be successful.
As the gigs start coming, you’ll start to notice that more people around you will start having stronger opinions on your look, style, image, and the direction they believe your brand should go. It’s important to fully understand your brand.
Brooke Foederer's insight:
In this article '5 Tips On Maintaining Your Image' by Garrett O. Thomas, a PR professional, Thomas reviews five tips that can be very beneficial for any PR professional when looking to maintain their own image or their brands.
The first tip to maintaining your image is remember who you are. Thomas descirbes this tip by explaining that each person needs to know who they really are. If you act like something that you're not, it is eventually going to come out and when it does, you will be known for not being true to yourself and your brand. Thomas stated, "Take a look at Miley Cyrus—there are millions of ways to convey your message to the public and convince people you are an 'adult.'"
The second tip is to keep your image simple. Thomas explained that one needs to be able to explain their brand in one sentence. Although it may sound difficult most people don't like the "fluff" and would much prefer something short and to the point. A short sentence is much easier to convey a message to the public compared to an entire paragraph describing a brand and what it is.
The third tip is to be consistent. The first thing that Thomas states is, "Make sure your brand is congruent amongst all your media platforms." I could not agree with Thomas more when it comes to this third step. A brand or company website style should be consistent with the rest of their social media platforms. This is much more professional and will create a certain demographic for the brand.
The fourth tip states that you can always evolve. Thomas said, "Your image is not permanent and understanding that your career will endure growth spurts can help you plan for the next image you are trying to attain." I think that this is very important to remember in the PR empire because it does move at such a quick pace. Just because you are stuck in one spot today, doesn't mean you won't leap ahead tomorrow.
The final tip from Thomas was to use your judgment. There will always be others in the PR industry with more experience who will be telling other PR professionals how to project their image and how to sell their brand. Advice from others should always be appreciated and heard but in the end it is best to stick to your best judgment on what is right for you, the brand, and the company.
In our textbook written by David W. Guth and Charles Marsh, chapter 11 discuss Ethics and Social Responsibility. I think that these five tips directly correlate with ethics and social responsibility in PR. "Ethics are the values that guide the ways we think and act. That definition possesses two parts, each indespensable. Without values, we have no ethics." (Guth, Marsh p.241)
This entire article is about being true to yourself, brand and company. Without ethics and social responsibility in PR it would be difficult to stay true to oneself and use judgment to make the correct decisions for one's brand.
Like food with ingredients just out of the garden, the best PR is fresh and local.
Brooke Foederer's insight:
This article discusses how to tie in seasons and holidays into your work. There are many different places to get great ideas from throughout the year and many ways to improve PR strategies.
In public relations there are constant opporotunities to get creative and move one step ahead of your competition. Tradition is ok but PR companies and professionals still need to make sure that they stand out.
Using Pintrest to get ideas or inspiration is a huge advantage. There are endless boards on Pintrest about the seasons, events and parties that can be used to draw out a creative side. As long as the ideas aren't plagerized, but merely used to pull insight from. "Many businesses will focus on the most popular events and festivals: Labor Day Weekend, Oktoberfest, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and, of course, Black Friday (this year, Nov. 29)." While all of these fall events are going on it is good to be thinking outside the box. What will surprise people?
Local PR strategies and events can make people want to represent your brand. Showing that you aren’t just looking to make a buck but that you actually care about the community and want to offer them something. Showing your audience that you care is a huge plus. “For example, join the apple-palooza in Arendtsville, and share the festival's story with the world to create good will with your local community, while sending a clear message that you care about simple things that make people happy.”
Lastly, be sure that whatever you are doing works well on a mobile device. Today cell phones are the power of accessibility. If you are easily accessible with a smart phone or your event has a bar code to scan to get more information, enter to win a contest or to like your company on Facebook. The mobile world is unlimited and is constantly coming up with new things just like PR. “an app for the fall could be just what you need to step way ahead of the competition. If you are not selling goods, but services, a fun app for the season could spread good will for your brand.”
This article is exactly what the public relations process is all about! According to Guth and Marsh's chapter on The World of Public Relations, the four-step pubic relations process is research, planning, communication and evaluation. This author of this article discusses these almost in that exact order. Research what is new and upcoming for the fall and plan something new and exciting to make a company or organization stand out. Communicate with coworkers and with the community for understanding of the company and brand awareness throughout a community. Also, communicate through the use of cell phones because of the power that they have today. Lastly, evaluate the results of planning and communication to learn what was done well and what can be done better the next time around.