Tag Archives: PR

When is too much?

A little known fact about me: I like to do it all. Have every experience, relish every opportunity, squeeze every ounce of possibility out of life. In some ways it’s a great way to live life- Carpe Diem! However, in my past it’s been a downfall.

In high school I was the kid who was in band, choir, mock trial, editor and chief of the newspaper, competed in tennis and swimming, and had AP classes. I was a great student, a good athlete, and was mildly successful at the rest of it, but never exceptional. It was mid-way through my senior year when my AP history teacher pulled me aside, noticing how frantic I always seemed, and asked me a question that would stick with me to this day, “do you want to be good at a bunch of things, or exceptional at a couple?”

I’m sure at the time, I got all defensive and assured him I would be fine with my current way of living, but as I reflected, I saw the wisdom behind his words. I tried to adapt and learn to say no when I got to college, but it too was an all-you-can-eat buffet of opportunities. My history teacher’s words haunted me throughout my college career, especially in those moments of stress. I really became a glutton for punishment- I couldn’t say no to something I thought would propel me to the next level.

My current mindset leads me to believe that once I’m employed it will resolve itself, right? I mean if you work a full-time job, there’s no time for much else; you have to be dedicated to it in order to succeed. Even though I’m not fully employed at the moment, my self-destructive tendency has reared its ugly head. I currently have an unpaid internship that I’ve mentioned, three times a week, a paid virtual internship that takes up 20 hrs per week, a volunteer PR job with a non-profit and I blog for an online venture. I just struck me today, how I’m going to be great at all of these things?

I’d like to think of myself as perfectionist, which is something I’m not sure exist. The truth is however, while all of these great experience are contributing to my craft, I feel like I’m doing them for the wrong reasons- to get a job. I want to learn, and I am for the most part. But I’m (YoPRo’s) the byproduct of a system designed to sacrifice quality for quantity. “The more internships the better,” seems to be our motto.

Hopefully, sooner rather than later, I’ll be able to say that as a full-time employed PRofessional that I’ve found a nice well-rounded system, but for the time being wish me luck!

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How to pitch

So much of a public relations practitioner’s life revolves around pitching to the media. Some may argue that it’s the main reason it as a profession exists- to bridge the gap between a product, service, company, etc., and the public through the most viable channel: media.

In this video, David Pogue, New York Times technology columnist, explains the most effective way to pitch him and in most cases other journalists. His thought is that so much of the time us in PR feel like we have to wow a journalist with buzz words and long detailed paragraphs. Instead, a couple of sentences with the basics of what you’re coming to them with and why it’s appropriate for that journalist’s audience will suffice.

But enough paraphrasing from me. I’ll let David Pogue speak for himself.

http://www.ragan.com/Main/Video/1495.aspx


Put Twitter to the test

Happy New Year! 2011 has already been an exciting year for me. As I mentioned earlier I got recruited by internships.com to be one of its Eye of the Intern blogger. Every month, along with eight other bloggers, we’ll provide our insight into todays intern market. Also, if you’re looking for an internship, create a profile and check out the different opportunities.

Twitter is a great and revolutionary social media tool. It has completely altered the way that consumers and businesses engage, and that’s barely scratching the surface of it’s use or potential. For those of you who are looking to add some meat to your network I would strongly encourage you to check out the different chats that take place on it.

Here are just a few of the ones that happen on a weekly basis.

#journchat- Monday at 7-10 p.m. CST

#pr20chat- Tuesday at 8 p.m. EST

#prstudchat

#happo chat

These are the ones I usually take part in, as it works with my schedule. It’s a great place to observe, but an every better place to participate in the latest trends and who know… you may even land an internship, job or connection that could benefit you in the future.


Manic Monday

Yesterday was crazy and wonderful all in one. I was blessed to have three interviews in three different PR sectors: corporate, boutique agency and non profit, back-to-back-to-back.

My first interview was with Turner PR, as I mentioned I would interviewing with. I must say I was bit nervous walking in, comparable to meeting a celebrity. I’m not even sure why, I don’t get nervous usually, plus being that it was an unpaid internship that I was being interviewed for, there shouldn’t have been much pressure. Don’t get me wrong, it would be wonderful to get employed there, but somehow when it’s full-time paid position the stakes are higher, especially as a recent graduate.

It was a good interview as interviews go. Oddly enough though, the questions they asked me weren’t experience focus. It was more of a description of the internship program and what I would be doing. Either way, whatever comes from this, I hope that I’ve made some contacts that I can add to my network.

(HELPFUL TIP) Should you not get the job/ decide for whatever reason it’s not meant for you, follow up with an email, asking them if it would ok to keep in touch and follow up with them at a later date. Assuming they agree (99% success rate) add them to you LinkedIn network.

My second interview was the Big Kahuna! Weber Shandwick, which is a company whose results speak from itself. This interview was for AE position in their technology and healthcare sector. The woman who I interviewed with was just as nice as you can be. She’s been with the company for 16 years and her zeal for her clients and Weber Shandwick in general was evident.

The interview went well. Usually most out-of-college YoPRo’s aren’t slated for AE positions, but she was impressed with what I had accomplished in during my time in college and the fact that I was teachable and willing to work hard.

(HELPFUL TIP) Sometimes you can be the most qualified person in the world, but if you aren’t willing to learn and be teachable, you often won’t make the cut. Sure, most supervisors don’t want to hold your hand, and expect you to learn quick, but especially with a new working environment, there are things to learn. Next time you’re in an interview make sure to mention that you may lack experience in a certain area i.e., media pitching, but you learn quick and are very teachable. Employers eat that up!

My final interview of the day was with the Alzheimers Association. I met this woman through a PRSA event, through a person in my network. It to is an unpaid internship position, as most non-profits are, but promised a lot of hands-on experience. That’s really the beauty of the non-profit world, they need they help and because of that you’re able to work on different things that maybe an agency wouldn’t let you work on.

I actually wouldn’t call this an interview, it was more of a ‘where are you in your career’ talk, and how can I help you. It’s so rare, to hear those words. Because I don’t live in the heart of Denver, she agreed to let me work virtually from home, which is something that I can totally do. The AA has a large press conference that their organizing with the Governor of Colorado that I’ll be able to help with as well as their annual Polar Plunge, at the Boulder Reservoir. Fun projects that will allow me to work on the gamut of skills necessary in the PR industry.

(HELPFUL TIP) A lot of student complain about the lack of internships available. Well try this on for size. Volunteer your services for a non-profit. My first internship was with a transitional house in my college town. I did a PR plan for them for their upcoming summer fundraiser. It’s a great way to implement the tools you’ve learned in the classroom. Find a NP that interest you and give them a call, say you’re a PR student looking to gain some experience, would it be possible to come in and talk with them. Simple.

Now it’s the waiting game (my favorite!). Even if none of these transpire into actual employment, it’s still rewarding to get some interview practice and realize that I’m worth a look at.


Spotlight: Ligaya Malones

As this is my first post, I wanted to make sure that it represented the theme and overall purpose of this blog, which is to help other YoPRo’s like myself, through not only my experience, but other’s as well.

I’d like to introduce to you Ligaya Malones. She’s originally from Kauai, Hawaii and a 2005 graduate of Kauai High School. She plays volleyball and loves to sit down and talk about an array of things from the latest movie to what makes the world turn? But her greatest passion would have to be her love for food. She is constantly refueling her petite tank with an endless food supply that consist of many things, but her favorite being cupcakes. Currently Ligaya resides in both San Diego and Los Angeles.

Like many young adults going from the safe haven of high school, to the harsh reality and on your owness of college it can be a confusing time. Where’s this building? No attendance? How do I make new friends? When can I go home? And also like many young adults embarking on a new academic adventure, we go in with a preset notion of what we want to do. The same was true with Ligaya.

“I originally was going to do the journalism route, but realized I wanted something that was more than just writing,” she said.

Public relations offered her the chance to be in a dynamic field that involved the creative writing that she found so alluring. She loved how PR is always changing and evolving, especially with the “Big Bang” addition of Web 2.0. Arguably the main role of any successful public relations practitioner is the ability to cultivate relationships, which for Ligaya was  a natural fit given her friendly demeanor.

A 2009 graduate of Cal State- San Bernadino, Ligaya felt that she would have been in an entry-level position by now. The economy and a competitive market forced Ligaya to spend several month post-graduation working a non-PR job, while applying for the only thing that seemed to garner any type of response: internships.

“Finding a way to stand out when you’re competing against mid-level and senior-level executives for Junior-level openings is hard,” she said. “The ratio of job applicants to openings is a lot greater than in years past.”

She worked for a boutique PR agency in San Diego as well as Edelman in L.A. before landing her current internship at Golin Harris. Internships are now becoming the trend. As a recent CNN article points out, “Is an internship the new entry-level job?” For many newly graduates, internships are in fact one way to get a foot in the door.

“[Internships] give you a chance to see exactly where you want to go in your PR career,” she said. “There are so many sectors.”

It’s true, Public Relations offers many different avenues, where the goal is often the same, but the target audience and product is as rangy as a coloratura. By now, however, Ligaya knows which sector she believes she belongs in. An avid reader of Travel + Leisure magazine, Ligaya fancies herself working in that industry as well as the consumer sector and even social impact, doing cause marketing. The added bonus for her is that all of those are often linked.

Ambition, like imagination is endless. Her ambition in particular can be summarized by a motto that her former volleyball coach use to drill into her head: relentless pursuit. That attitude will serve this burgeoning PR star well in her career and in realizing her ultimate goal.

” Eventually I’d like to become a consultant, and be involved more in the strategy,” she said. “I want to be the type of person in the industry that other people look to for information.”

Ligaya has come a long way since the beach bumming days back in Hawaii. Now on the brink of landing her first entry-level job, she realizes and appreciates the struggle and sacrifice it took to get here. She attributes a lot of her journey to a close network of friends and professionals who helped her navigate the unchartered and choppy waters. She said that to her gaining traction in this market requires tapping into contacts you’ve made.

“Take a good look at the network you’ve already built and see how they might be able to help,” she said.

Leveraging your professors, may be a great place to start for those who haven’t accrued a large network yet. Ligaya found mapping out a skeleton of places she wanted to work for and professional who had the types of jobs she wanted was imperative. ‘If you have a basic structure, you can start reaching out to those companies and professionals.’ Also utilizing social media platforms like twitter, with users such as HAPPO there as a guide for networking. LinkedIn as well; it’s designed for such purposes as connecting to like-minded individuals and forming relationships.

As for this like-minded young woman it’s clear she’s on the right track as a YoPRo. She takes her craft very serious and is determined to do what needs to be done in order to see the investment she’s made in herself yield a big return.

For those of you who would like to connect with Ligaya, you can do so through her KauaiianSun PR blog, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn .

If you happen to be PR YoPRo and want to be my next featured Spotlight, get in touch with me!