Monthly Archives: March 2010

Podcast #1 of Lauren’s PR Podcast Station for Beginners

http://ia361309.us.archive.org/22/items/LaurensPrPodcastForBeginners/PODCAST.mp3

Show Notes:

music: “such great heights” by the postal service

show name: Lauren’s PR Podcast for Beginners by Lauren Parr, March 31, 2010

Topic: Internship Advice for PR Students

Discussion (based on blog postcreated for PR Practicum)

 internship is “an advanced student or graduate in a professional field gaining supervised practical experience.” Being an intern is like working with a mentor, where someone with knowledge in public relations or communications can fill you in on what they know and guide you to become better informed and prepared for the future. No matter what kind of career you are going into, it is important to do some sort of internship beforehand in order to understand the kind of environment you are entering. A surgeon does not start operating on a patient the day they graduate from med school; they work as an intern or resident so they are fully prepared for their work. The same goes for public relations professionals. Depending on what kind of company you are working for, there are different skills and knowledge that are required for the particular job.  On the blog “Entry Level Rebel,” Jessica Stillman offers six tips for getting the most out of an internship.

  1.  Consider applying at a start-up
  2. D0 your homework
  3. Be the go-to person at all times
  4. Be innovative- think before you ask
  5. Think like the CEO
  6. Take notes and keep a to-do list

  According to the blog, “Career Advancement- Tips to Maximize an Internship Into Career Success,” it is crucial to stay in connection with the people you work with. By letting the employer you worked under know what you are currently doing, this will “…keep your name in front of the employer.” You never know when you will need someone’s advice or help to get you where you want to be.

 The most important aspect of choosing an internship is making sure it appeals to you! Tory Johnson, CEO of “Women for Hire,” gives this pointer in the blog “Top Tips for Picking an Internship.” Pick something that you feel will give you the kind of experience and work you are looking for to give you the skills you need for your dream job!

 theme music again

Thank you for listening to Lauren’s PR Podcast for Beginners #1 on March 31, 2010.

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Interview with a PR Professional

For my informational interview, I decided to interview a family friend that I have known for many years. Rich Mitchell works for Ernst & Young, one of the “big four” accounting firms. Although he is a CPA and works primarily with specific markets of the company in the Northeast region of the country, he also deals with public relations and other communications areas. He received his bachelor’s degree at the Ohio State University, and has been working for Ernst & Young in Akron, Ohio for the past 20 years. Since Rich lives in Ohio, I conducted the interview on Skype one afternoon to find out about his career. The interview lasted for about 15 minutes, and here is the conversation, broadly condensed so it is not so long.

Working at such a large firm, a typical week for Rich usually starts early and ends late. He prefers to work out of his office, which is about 30 minutes from home, and is constantly talking to clients and receiving emails from the time he gets in his car, around 6 a.m., to the time he leaves work, around 5 p.m. During the day, he attends meetings with various clients of the company, discussing issues dealing with company image, current media and press surrounding the company, and working to “grow certain markets” that are firm clients. When I asked him about one of his most memorable accomplishments or projects he has worked on, he laughed and said he is constantly working on so many projects that he learns from them all in different ways. Although he works in public relations, Rich is not a member of PRSA, although he says he would like to gain more knowledge in the industry by becoming a member soon. He has only been working in PR for the past 2 years, and he is taking time adjusting from his accounting background.

Rich told me that he wishes he had taken a stronger interest in writing and developing organizational skills before he began working in the field of public relations. He says he was aware that working with public relations would entail a lot of writing and typing, but not to the extent that he uses it on a daily basis. He uses his Blackberry primarily for sending emails and such, so he told me his writing skills are not that formal. Since he has been with the company for so long, he has interns and younger employees who write the formal press releases and other documents because he does more of the speaking on the phone and traveling to meet with clients. Rich says he is good with Excel and older computer programs, but the only form of social media that he attends to currently is Facebook. He says his wife and daughter know much more about using Twitter and blogs than he ever will. I asked him if he thinks it is important for new public relations graduates to know how to use social media, and he “definitely thinks it is something that will be common among all areas of the industry.” This made me feel confident about the knowledge I have been obtaining all semester in my social media online class!

The three tips that Rich gave me about going into public relations are:

  1. Be prepared to do a lot of busy work you probably won’t want to do.
  2. Use your creativity and think outside of the box for solutions.
  3. Network!

He could not stress the importance of networking yourself and your name and sending out resumes to any possible employer. He told me “It’s all about who you know,” and I have found this to be true in so many instances in my life. From handing out business cards, sending someone a quick email, or making a phone call, Rich said little actions can make a big difference in the future. After the Skype webchat was over, I felt more confident that working in public relations is something I am passionate about and hope to make my future career. It obviously takes time and experience to move up in a company, but I am willing to do that in order to be successful.

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Delicious Thoughts

I’ve known about Delicious for some time, but wasn’t jumping to create a page because that means one more project to update and visit. I reluctantly created one for this topic of the week, and found it was actually very simple and easy. I thought 20 links sites would be a lot to come up with, but I found I frequent a lot more websites than I thought. I do not have a lot of group work this semester, but Delicious would definitely be a beneficial source when working with others on a project. All you have to do is view someone’s page and you can the websites they would like to share or remember in the future. It is such a simple and smart concept that basically makes the “favorites” application viewable at any computer. I could have used Delicious in some of my public relations classes when I couldn’t meet with group members and needed to find information. Although I think this site is handy, I do not think I will use it that much except for personal use if I am really bored. I know what links I use, and do not need a separate website to remember them all the time. I like to keep things more simplified online. Social media is becoming too overwhelming in my opinion.

http://delicious.com/laurenparr30

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What I Like About PROpenMic

Since I have joined PROpenMic, I have been trying to understand and explore all the functions of the networking site. I usually just log on and tend to search around the main homepage for interesting topics or videos. Today, I came across a video that was both gross and really effective. It was a video made by Greenpeace protesting Nestle and their destruction of the rain forest.

PROpenMic is great because it is a meeting place for public relations topics of all kinds. I enjoy learning about issues that are going on with different companies and organizations, and I was able to find this video and story on site easily. I went to the Jobs/Interns link at the top of website and found tons of posts by future graduates about what they are seeking. I am not sure how many of them hear back from employers, but it is clearly an effective place to get your name out there for those who are looking for interns. Although I am interning in Statesboro through the department, I am most likely going to search for opportunities on the website. Everytime I log on to PROpenMic, I learn a little more and am pleased with what I see!

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Internship Advice for Beginners

An important part of gaining field experience and meeting potential employers, interning can be an overwhelming topic for those who are unsure about what it exactly is and how they go about getting one. According to Webster’s dictionary, an internship is “an advanced student or graduate in a professional field gaining supervised practical experience.” Being an intern is like working with a mentor, where someone with knowledge in public relations or communications can fill you in on what they know and guide you to become better informed and prepared for the future.

No matter what kind of career you are going into, it is important to do some sort of internship beforehand in order to understand the kind of environment you are entering. A surgeon does not start operating on a patient the day they graduate from med school; they work as an intern or resident so they are fully prepared for their work. The same goes for public relations professionals. Depending on what kind of company you are working for, there are different skills and knowledge that are required for the particular job.  On the blog “Entry Level Rebel,” Jessica Stillman offers six tips for getting the most out of an internship.

  1. Consider applying at a start-up– While most people think you have to intern at a company that has been around for years and is well-established, working for a new company can give you more opportunities to perform big tasks and make a difference.
  2. D0 your homework– Make sure you do your research on the company you want to intern with. It will show them you care about what you are doing and you have a strong interest. This will only strengthen your chances of getting an internship and possibly a position with them in the future.
  3. Be the go-to person at all times– Although you may be confused and unsure about the tasks you are handed at first, don’t be afraid to do your research online and talk to others about what you are supposed to do. Be the person that people know they can depend on to get work done.
  4. Be innovative- think before you ask– Instead of assuming you do not know the answer to a potential problem or issue, look deeper into the question and you could be surprised that you have a great solution. Use the resources you are given for help.
  5. Think like the CEO– Is the work you are doing making the company better? This should be the main objective of every task you perform. Go out of your way to do things you are not asked or required to do; it will make you look sufficient and hard-working.
  6. Take notes and always have to-do list– When you are in a meeting with a boss or just receiving tips from an employee, jot down information so that you always have it to refer to. Use your notes to decide what you can do to perform your best work.

Be the best intern you can be!

Sometimes businesses do not have a lot of work to give interns because they are unsure about the kind of skills that interns possess. Brigid Wolf, who attends the University of Akron in Ohio, said she was able to perform more work for the company she interned with after she told them she was fluent with Excel and PowerPoint. “After I told them I was good at working with those programs, the employer was able to give me important projects to complete.”

Jeff Carter, a senior public relations major at Georgia Southern, enjoyed the networking aspect of his internship he completed last year. “It was a great opportunity to make numerous connections with local business owners,” he said. According to the blog, “Career Advancement- Tips to Maximize an Internship Into Career Success,” it is crucial to stay in connection with the people you work with. By letting the employer you worked under know what you are currently doing, this will “…keep your name in front of the employer.” You never know when you will need someone’s advice or help to get you where you want to be.

The most important aspect of choosing an internship is making sure it appeals to you! Tory Johnson, CEO of “Women for Hire,” gives this pointer in the blog “Top Tips for Picking an Internship.” Pick something that you feel will give you the kind of experience and work you are looking for to give you the skills you need for your dream job!

Information used in this blog can be found at the following websites:

http://blogs.bnet.com/entry-level/?p=2016

http://career.pligghanaka.com/career-advancement-tips-to-maximize-an-internship-into-career-success/

http://sbm.temple.edu/blogs/cspd/2010/03/18/top-tips-for-picking-an-internship/

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PROpenMic.. What is it?

When I hear the words “open mic,” I think of comedians and stand-up. I had no idea about PrOpenMic and wasn’t sure if it was something I wanted to belong to because it sounds intimidating. After creating my profile, I was still lost. I had to locate “friends” or send gifts, and I was lost about what this website could do for me. I figured out that it is a social network for students, faculty, and professionals of public relations. The website is helpful because it is a meeting place for anyone just starting out or with lots of experience in PR and other areas of communication. With the opportunity to post blogs, view forums, and look for jobs and internships, PROpenMic has endless chances for networking with people across the world.  Since public relations is everywhere and constantly being implemented in the news, this website is a great place to get informed on what is going on.  I like the latest activity feature that reminded me of the newsfeed application on Facebook. It shows blog posts, videos, conversations, who became friends with who, and other things that make the website more personable. I am not sure about all the possibilities that PROpenMic has to offer, but I plan on learning more about the website so I can take full advantage of it.

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Trade Book Review

Enjoy!

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