Tag Archives: YoPRo

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


Cool Tool

As I was cleaning out my inbox I saw a link to this really neat job searching tool called Twitjobsearch that compiles job opportunities from twitter based on key search terms. What appears to be so beneficial to me about this particular service compared to the other countless  services out there is the immediacy of the post, if you’re able to monitor the feed often. The old adage: “the early bird gets the worm” may be even more true as it pertain to looking for a job.

In the same line of thinking. Google Alerts are super helpful if your looking for a job. Put in those key phrases, including the company, if you have a list of companies you’d love to work for, and let Google do the work for you.

Take advantage of these tools that people aren’t either privy to, or haven’t taken advantage of.

Happy job hunting and Happy Martin Luther King Day… Keep Dreaming!


New Internship- Week 1

Today marked the completion of my first week at my new part-time, unpaid internship. I’m not going to list its name, not because I’ve had a bad experience, but because I found, unsurprisingly, that it has Google alerts set up to track the mention of its name, and I’d like to avoid the notoriety.

I know an unpaid, part-time internship, not to mention the 75 minute commute sounds pretty lame,  especially for someone who’s a college graduate with plenty of internship experience to boot, but I’ve enjoyed the past week immensely. With all of the experience that I did bring to the table with me, it’s been the first real agency experience under my belt.

By part-time I mean I work three times a week (M,W,F), and each of those days has been different and interesting at the same time. Because it’s a smaller agency atmosphere, I’ve seen the whole gamut of running a successful agency play out in front of me.

A lot of my responsibility has been surrounded by research and compilation of media hits and lists. I expected as much entering this internship, but the analytical tools behind it, that interprets the data is fascinating to me. The clients that I’m able to work with; the publication they’re mentioned in are top notch, and it’s so cool to be part of the behind the scenes process.

Something I didn’t expect was the realization of how much I didn’t know, or didn’t realize the intricacy of. I had a thorough, or so I thought grasp on the process, but working for multi-million dollar clients is quite different then where the majority of my experience came from- non profits. Not to say that one is better then another, just different.

Anyway other then a great first week, the women who work there (yes, I’m the only guy… ladies here I come) are just as nice and personable and welcoming as can be.

I can’t wait to see what future weeks hold in store, knowing that there’s so much more to learn and more responsibility to come. One last thing. In addition to this internship, I was also hired on by Internships.com as a paid intern, where my primary responsibility will have to deal with research- something that I’m very eager to undertake. Can’t wait to bring you along for the ride.


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.


Heart vs. Mind: On the PR battlefield

Tomorrow I have an interview with Turner PR in Denver. And tonight as I was perusing its web site, for what must have been the 50th time in preparation for tomorrow, I was struck by an overwhelming sense of jubilation and confliction.

When I decided to go into public relations, I had a general idea of what it was- I knew that I would be able to utilize my love for creative writing, research, and relationship building. What sealed the deal was a random google search for “travel pr.” Who would’ve guessed that after I hit enter, my overall vision and purpose for my time in college and burgeoning career would change?

The google search poped out a variety of cases studies, travel guides and of course firms specializing in that exact thing. One of which was Turner PR. It wasn’t even the client list including: Eddie Bauer, The North Face, REI, KSWISS- responsible for ‘Desert Smash,’ a charity golf and TENNIS event (HELLO! Talk about perfect for me!). It was the people behind those campaigns. These principals are cultured, passionate and add charisma to this niche of public relations. Adjectives that I would attribute to myself as well.

How can the son of a glorified chef, outdoor enthusiast, travel maven (if not now, one day), sport zealot and the fact that I was born and raised in Hawaii not be cut out for this type of work? Not to mention the qualifications I have on the PR side of things.*I’m not usually this boastful, at all. But given this is filed under ‘inner dialogue’ you get what you get.*

Going into tomorrow’s interview, I know two things: 1. It’s 20 hr/week unpaid internship and 2. It’s my dream firm. How do I begin to calculate the risk vs. reward of this situation? On one hand, I have this great opportunity, granted I get offered the position to potentially work my way into a AAE position at this firm, if that growth is possible. On the other hand I’ve graduated, have bills to pay, live 60 miles away from Denver (talk about a commute) and would have to turn down potential interests from interviews that I’ve already had and waiting to hear back from (that are either paid internships of entry-level jobs).

Following your heart, has been a centralized theme for mankind, from the moment our species was breathed into existence. Turner PR was a main if not the reason I pursued this career path in addition to the reason I already stated earlier. All of us, no matter what career we’ve chosen for ourselves was inspired by someone or something.

I’ve always sought opportunities that are rewarding and fulfilling. It’s what makes doing something you love so important.

Wish me luck!


“Why Asking for a Job is the Worst Way to Actually Find a Job”

Last night I participated in a HAPPO’s (Help A PR Pro Out) Twitter chat. The format was a simple Q & A between current public relations students, recent graduates and “champs” or PR pros who have been in the business for a while. The last question of the night asked the champs to offer links to potential jobs. To paint a scene of what happen next, do you remember the scene in The 10 Commandments where Moses and his people cross the Red Sea, and then when the Pharisees’ army tries to do the same, the ocean collapses on them? Well that’s what it was like, YoPRo after YoPRo tweeted “hire me” faster then my TweetDeck column could keep up with.

I’m happy to report that I wasn’t one of those YoPRo’s. In fact, my tact earned me a new contact (rhyme not intended). Anne Buchanan, president of Philadelphia’s Buchanan Public Relations, also took notice of how many emerging public relations practitioners were going about getting a job the wrong way. She recently just posted a blog entry entitled, “Why Asking for a Job is the Worst Way to Actually Find a Job.” I encourage people to read up on her tips to set yourself up for success. Hint: It’s a little thing called networking.