Tag Archives: creative tips

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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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

Implementing Social Media into Sport Websites

Being an athlete at GSU, I access the athletic website quite a bit. Mostly so that I can find schedules and meet results, but sometimes in order to learn more about a certain athlete or coach. While there is not a huge audience that follows Georgia Southern sports or many smaller university websites, it is important that the changes in social media and technology are reflected within the websites. At my former university I went to, an athlete was chosen each week to record a podcast that would be posted on the school’s athletic website. I was chosen, and it was a neat experience to have myself recorded and know that other athletes and people would be listening to me. Podcasts, videos, and coach’s blogs are all ways that the Georgia Southern athletic site could be greatly enhanced. Athletes want to interact and see their friends and coaches online, giving them a small sense of fame. I think linking articles and results to Facebook and Twitter are simple ways for fans to stay current with information, and would not cost the school or athletic department any money in doing so. By making the website relevant and fascinating to the audience, many college sports websites would greatly increase hits and popularity.

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Podcasting is for everyone!

Broadcasting information to consumers is everywhere on the Internet, and it is effective because it can reach millions of people instantly and is relatively cheap if not free. But there is so much on the Internet to search for that it can be hard to stay current with a particular website or topic. One way that companies, celebrities, professors, and virtually anyone can broadcast themselves to a public for free is by creating a podcast. The word, which combines “broadcast” and “Ipod” is a term that is several years old and is growing in popularity because of its unique possiblities. Podcasts are beneficial because you can not only listen to them whenever you desire on the Apple website, but you can subscribe to certain ones on topics you enjoy and download them to your Ipod to listen whenever you please. Companies and educators alike can greatly benefit from using podcasts to deliver information to their audiences and students because it is a easy and quick way to stay connected  and doesn’t cost a penny. Like a magazine or newspaper, podcast listeners can develop loyalty to the specific broadcast and possibly help it gain followers by word-of-mouth. You do not have to have an Ipod to listen to a podcast either; all you need to do is download Itunes and you can follow and create as many podcasts as your heart desires. The possiblities are endless for podcasting topics, and everyone from average Joe to a large company executive can benefit from this great source of social media!

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creative cover letter tips for students

When it is time to venture out into the real world and find a job, most students are somewhat overhwhelmed and confused at the idea of creating a resume. Even the word itself has a funny asterisk above it and appears foreign. Creating a strong and relevant resume is one of the single most important parts of getting your name out there and putting your acheivements down on paper.

On the helpful blog at “Quintessential Resumes & Cover Letters,” author Teena Rose offers tips from her book, The 20-Minute Cover Letter Fixer. A coverletter can be seen as a sort of bridge connecting your resume with your future career. Rose states that the cover letter should be an ” introducer, an answerer of questions, and a speaker for your candidacy.” You do not want the cover letter to simply restate everything that you have written in your resume; instead you want it to summarize and highlight the key aspects of it. Here are some of the main uses of a cover letter as explained by Rose:

    Explaining employment gaps or other career blemishes;

   Articulating relocation choice or willingness to travel;

   Stating salary requirement, if requested by company;

   Reflecting work experience in lieu of education requirement;

   Highlighting key points that match the hiring company’s requirements.

Lisa Newman offers some excellent advice for remembering what to include in your cover letter in her blog at Career-resources.com. She compares the cover letter to your “best interview suit,” and suggests using the acronym C-O-V-E-R when writing the different parts of your cover letter.

Connection- In the opening paragraph, establish some sort of connection between you and the employer, explaining how you would fit into their company and the similarities you possess that would be a great addition to their team. People are attracted to people that are like them, and by emphasizing the connections you have with the company, you are starting your cover letter off on the right foot.

Overview- Since the resume is a statement of what you have done, the cover letter should contain an overview or background information on who you are as a person. A company is not only hiring you as a worker, but as a human being as well. By explaining a little about yourself, it shows you are bringing more to the table than just a set of learned skills.

Voice- Now that the employer has a good idea about who you are and what you have accomplished, it is crucial that you voice your interest in starting a career at the desired firm. Clearly state what it is about the company has got you interested. Explain the feelings that you felt when you applied and how you would feel if were hired.

Examples- This is the part of the cover letter where you can state your “experiences and skills” to differentiate yourself from the competitors. Include not only the skills and knowledge you have obtained over the years, but details and examples that will suppliment your acheivements.

Request- After you have explained what you have to offer and how you are an excellent candidate, Newman says the end of the cover letter is where you should “close the deal” and request for a follow-up interview upon reading your resume. Express your interest and include details as to when and where to contact you, and how much you desire an interview.

Possibly the best tip about creating your most effective cover letter comes from Dave Vower on Definition-of-leadership.com: “KEEP  IT REAL!” Your resume should be a direct representation of who you are and what you have to offer. So be honest and put your best you out there. Follow these simple tips and your cover letter will show your true colors!

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

www.resumesandcoverletters.com/tips_blog/

http://careers-resources.com/content/five-steps-dressing-your-naked-resume-perfect-cover-letter

http://definition-of-leadership.com/on-line/keeping-it-real-at-work-will-change-the-way-you-look-at-your-working-hours

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