Monthly Archives: April 2010

10 Things I Learned in PR Practicum

Although the semester has gone by so fast, it has also been the longest one of my college education. When I look back, there is so much that I have blogged about and created for this class. From writing resumes, interviewing skills, reading a PR trade book, and using social media sites such as LinkedIn, I have accomplished many different things this semester that have helped me develop and fine-tune my public relations skills and knowledge. For our final exam, I have compiled a list of 10 things that I have learned this semester in PR Practicum:

  1. Conversation is key! -Perhaps the most important feature of having a blog is that provides a place for two-way communication. By communicating with others online and commenting on their blog posts, your blog will have the chance to become interactive among the online community. You never know what kind of connections and people you will meet by conversing with strangers!     
  2. Blog about issues you know and care about. -I will admit, I am not incredibly passionate or interested in every topic we were required to write about. That is only normal. At the same time, I found that if I attempted to make some sort of connection with the blog assignments each week, it would be much more enjoyable to write. When people have a strong interest and are genuinely excited about what they write about, this will engage you to want to read on. No one wants to read an article that is empty at heart.
  3. Do your research. -When you go to buy a car, you normally have some knowledge of the brand you are looking at and the features of the car and its’ history. The same goes for interviewing or working for any business. Do some research about what the company stands for, its’ mission statement, when it was founded, etc. Be prepared to show employers that you are interested in them and want to make a positive contribution to the team.
  4. Impress with a cover letter. -Much like the cover of a book, people can make a strong impression by what they first read or see about you. Create a powerful cover letter that lets a company know who you are, what you have to offer, and why they should give you a chance.
  5. Practice good writing skills! -Whether I like it or not, I learned in my interview with a PR professional that writing is a key element in the everyday job. From press releases, brochures, radio announcements, and simple emails, public relations and communications professionals need to have excellent grammar, punctuation, and writing skills to get the job done right.
  6. Monitor body language on an interview. -Most people have subtle habits such as rubbing their hands together or rolling their eyes, and are unaware of the possible messages they are sending to others when they do this. When you are on an interview, make sure to have good posture, don’t tap your feet, and maintain eye contact to ensure the interviewer they have your full attention.
  7. Sell yourself online! -Not literally, but use websites like LinkedIn and PROpenMic to post your resume and network with others in the field. Marketing yourself and showing others what you have achieved can only put you in better position for landing a job or making a connection that will help you. Sell the image of yourself you want others to see!
  8. Be smart with social media. -It is okay to have a Facebook or Twitter account, but know that it is easy to find information online about anyone. Google yourself and find out what is out there about you, and whether or not you would want an employer to see this. Don’t twitter anything embarassing or work-related, because odds are someone will see it and you will put yourself in an awkward position. If you have to question if something is appropriate, then don’t put it online!
  9. Create a portfolio. -While having an excellent resume is important, it is also relevant to actually show and present employers with examples and pieces of work you have created. Since implementing social media is such a huge part of the way we communicate, create a portfolio with press releases, blogs, campaigns, brochures, and any assignments that you are proud of to present to others.
  10. Think outside the box! -Possibly the most important thing I have learned in practicum is that there is no limit to what you can do, whether it is during an internship or career. Use your creativity to come up with new ideas for improving a business, and know that no idea is necessarily a bad idea. Employers will be impressed to see that you are taking issues in your own hands and doing tasks that you weren’t asked to do.

While creating a blog for both PR Practicum and PR Social Media was a lot of work and effort, I am excited to implement the things and skills I have learned upon graduation!

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Filed under PRCA 3711 Practicum

Career Services Event

My first career services event to attend this year, I went to the Communication Arts Career Fair on April 14th. It was a special career event that was created by several students in a PR event management classs. When I walked in, I was surprised at what a great job they did in organizing such a worthwhile career fair that was specific to communication arts. I have been to a Georgia Southern Career Fair last year, and I found it kind of pointless because although it was a great way to network, there was only a handful of businesses and people that worked in communications.

The Comm. Arts Career Fair was held in the Center for Arts & Theater, and there were about 10 different companies there, working with anything from radio, public relations, and broadcasting. I am not normally a very nervous or shy girl, but this was the first time I was going up to a stranger and giving them my resume. I think the whole concept is kind of nerve-wracking! It is scary to introduce yourself to someone and say “Hi, I’d like to work for you, here you go.” But I found that it wasn’t as big of a deal once I got to talking.

The first person I talked to Kelli Sauers, who is the Senior Event Manager for the Savannah International Trade & Conventional Center. She was extremely nice and talked about working and planning different events such as business and trade shows, weddings, and countless other types of shows. I would love to work in the Savannah area, and I think working for a center where so many different types of events take place would be very interesting and keep you on your feet. I am not quite sure if event planning is for me, but obviously the best way to find out would be through experience! I also briefly talked to Jennifer Abshire Patterson, who is the Founder of Abshire Public Relations & Marketing in Savannah. I always thought I would enjoy working for a PR firm because it is structured and would provide the opportunity to work with various clients and improving their potetial.

The two employers I talked to where the only ones who deal specifically with public relations, and I was greatly interested in what each had to offer. Some things I found were that career fairs are not as formal as I expected. It is important to remember to stay relaxed, and put your best personality forward. Don’t be shy! I think if employers see you are being genuine and have a strong interest to work for them, they will show an equal interest in you as well. There are hundreds of prospects who would like to work for a company at any given time, and you have to make yourself stand out above the rest. I am not sure where I will be working after my internship this summer, but by attending a career fair, I am one step closer to possibly landing a job. Only time will tell!

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Happy 50th Birthday, Barbie!

Playing with Barbies was one of my favorite things to do when I was younger. Not only did I have dozens of normal dolls, but I also collected special-edition Barbies and had all sorts of books and other items about her. I just thought she was so awesome! Created by Mattel co-founder Ruth Handler in 1959, 2009 marked the 50th anniversary of the debut of Barbie on television. Over the past decades, she has had over 100 jobs and reflected the popular trends in society. Not only has the marketing and advertising behind Barbie made her a success in America, but Barbie is a household name in almost every country in the world. She has had her ups and downs, but has been able to maintain a great tan, shiny hair, and perfect figures all these  years. She sure doesn’t look 50 to me! This video discusses the public relations campaign that was created to celebrate the famous doll by Ogilvy PR. From events, store openings, and viral videos, the strategies used to promote Barbie’s 50th birthday have been used globally to reach the many audiences that are interested in the landmark event. I think Barbie deserves a huge piece of plastic cake and a date with Ken for all her achievements!

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Filed under PR Connections, PRCA 3030 Social Media

Be my guest…again!

The following post is by Makenzie Stratton, a fellow blogger in PRCA 3030. I write a post on the topic of PR reality shows, and found her article to be much more interesting! She talks about the show “Kell on Earth” and the effects it could have on the PR world. I loved reading it!

“Is Kell on Earth, bad news for the PR world?”

Bravo’s new show Kell on Earth, shows Public Relations practitioner, Kelly C in the world of fashion public relations. Kelly Cutrone is president and co-owner of People’s Revolution. People’s Revolution is a popular PR company to the world of television as it was seen in MTV’s reality shows “The Hills,” and “The City,” as both Lauren Conrad, and Whitney Port worked for Cutrone’s in the company.

Kelly Cutrone is a high power,  and tough PR executive, who is determined to get the job done, and to please her clients. The show has only aired a few episodes but I am interested to see how the show will continue to portray the field of Public Relations. Many movies nd television shows in the past have shown PR professionals are unethical professionals that lie and twist the truth in order to boost their client’s image.

My hopes for this show is that Kell on Earth will how that the world of Public Relations is not all fun and games. Public Relations majors take several classes on theories, and ethical researching. I take pride in knowing that as a future Public Relations professional I will serve both my client and the public ethically, and practice correctly. This show has shown the Public Relations is not just limited to party planning, and fabulous lunches with clients. Public Relations involving managing tough situations, holding your composure in a crisis, have strong connects with the press, and ensuring things run smoothly.

I hope Kell on Earth will prove to people who watch the show that Public Relations is hard work, and that it is not all fun and games. Where I worry about what the show may do to damage the field of PR I think with shows like this is can also gain awareness and understanding of what the field is as well. I will continue to watch the show and see what types of PR Kelly Cutrone and her company uses, and hopefully gain some knowledge that I can use for myself.

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Filed under PRCA 3030 Social Media, TOW- Topics of the Week

Be my guest..

Below is an article by a fellow blogger in PRCA 3030, Marie Walker. I really enjoy reading her blog because she has such a frank writing style and approach to blogging. This post was about the Etrade commercial that ran during the Superbowl. It is an interesting and fun article that I hope you will enjoy too!

“Milk-a-Whaaaat?”

The E-Trade ad that premiered during the Super Bowl, shown  here, is now the new source of controversy in the great state of California.  Lindsay Lohan has filed a lawsuit against E-Trade claiming that the company has improperly invoked her “likeness, name, characterization, and personality” without permission, thus violating her right of privacy.  The complaint, courtesy of TMZ, seems quite unfounded.

I honestly don’t see any likeness being duplicated between the E-trade baby and Lohan.  The baby only had one line to say which was “milk a what?” which does not characterize nor mimic Lohan’s personality in any way, shape, or form.

“Lohan is suing for $50 million in compensatory damages and an additional $50 million in exemplary damages. She also demanded that E*Trade stop running the ad.” (News Briefs)

“They used the name Lindsay,” said Stefanie Ovadia, Lohan’s lawyer. “They’re using her name as a parody of her life. Why didn’t they use the name Susan? This is a subliminal message. Everybody’s talking about it and saying it’s Lindsay Lohan.” (NY Post)

“Lindsay” was in 2008 the 380th most popular name for newborn American girls, according to the U.S. Social Security Administration. That was down from 241th in 2004, when Lohan’s popular film “Mean Girls” was released. (Reuters)

I think this is another sad attempt by Lohan and her handlers to gain publicity for the fallen starlet.  Lohan, who has yet to produce any reputable work since 2004, has a career that is in serious need of resuscitation.  She would be better served if her publicist took her out of the spotlight, cleaned her up, and sent her back out with some new found talent in tow.  This seems like a new low for the star.  I don’t know of anyone who thought of her when this ad was released, myself included.

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Filed under PRCA 3030 Social Media, TOW- Topics of the Week

Kotex’s new advertising campaign

Television commercials about tampons and feminine issues are generally not ones I pay much attention to. Having your period is not glamorous or fun, and normally the commercials make it seem like it is something enjoyable and exciting. Which is not the case, at all. I have noticed the recent ads by Kotex, however, and I think they are genius. They are so appealing because they poke fun at the typical tampon commercials and are just straightforward.

The new campaign that Kotex launched is refreshing and different from its competitors, with a frank approach to dealing with an issue that every young female deals with. According to an article in the New York Times,

“We’re really out there and we’re trying to touch women and say we care about this conversation,” said Mr. Meurer, of Kotex.

I think the campaign and the public relations strategies that are being used to promote the product are brilliant. We live in a society where certain matters are supposed to be kept secret and presented in a happy light, but who says you are supposed to embrace your period? Real girls do not like dealing with it, so it is great to see a company taking notice that the typical ads are so unrealistic. Hopefully Kotex receives a lot of praise for their bold tactics and new commercials!

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Tips for Blogging & Tweeting on the Job

I recently came across this article by Andrew Worob at “PR at Sunrise” that gave some excellent tips for using social media for corporate purposes. I enjoyed reading them because they were simple and made sense!

1) Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was any social media community. If you invest and start your own blog, Twitter handle, etc. you are kidding yourself if you expect instant ROI. Be patient, give it time, and you’ll see the rewards in the long run.

2) How often should you blog/tweet? Whenever you have content that provides value to your readers. But more than anything, be consistent.

3) You don’t need to have a crisis communications meeting whenever you see a negative comment about your company. Respond to those comments with honest thoughts and never delete them from your page (if applicable). That person may not like your company, but they’ll respect you even more when they see that you didn’t  ignore their comment.

4) Gaining admirers on these networks is not rocket science. Engage with people and be transparent. That’s how you gain and maintain an audience.

5) Do not put someone in charge of your blog/Twitter handle, etc. that does not want to be there in the first place. You need someone that WANTS to be involved. Take it from me, writing a blog is hard work … but it’s a lot of fun if you enjoy it!

It will definitely help to keep these in mind when you are entering the world of public relations or any career where implementing social media is an every day duty. Best blogging wishes!

Information used on this blog post can be found at the following website:

http://worob.com/2010/04/19/five-social-media-tips-for-corporate-bloggers-and-tweeters/

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Filed under PR Connections, PRCA 3030 Social Media