Tips to land a job after graduation

In searching for a PR Connection, I came across the article by PRDaily that talks about 5 tips for landing a job as a PR professional after graduating college. I thought this article was certainly relevant for us college students who are close to leaving the comforts of a university and landing a job in our career field.

The following are the five tips given for college graduates hoping to land that job.

1. Apply for internships- In the field of public relations, it is vital to one’s resume and ability to have already had some hands on experience in the PR field

2. Build a portfolio- PR professionals look for experience when hiring college grads, so putting samples of your work into a portfolio is just what these employers are looking for.

3. Be a “strategic” online expert- It is vital for a person looking for a career in PR to be well versed in the avenues of social media and all things web related.

4. Create an impressive resume and cover letter- These two components are the first thing an employer sees when you’re applying for a job so they had better be presented well.

5. Improve your writing skills- I have heard this over and over again, but that must mean it is so very important. Being a good writer and liking to write are vital qualities when applying to work in the PR field.

Interview with a PR professional

Interview with Lorrie Walker of Lorrie Walker Communications, Inc.

1. What’s a typical week like? (If no week is typical, then what was last week like?)

We do a lot of writing instead of campaigns. The bulk of our work is writing or dealing with our clients. Vast majority is writing press releases or web content for clients. The second most important thing is generating media publicity for clients to peak the interest of media outlets and make connections for clients. These are the things we do in a typical week.

2. Tell me about a project you worked on that you are especially proud of.

Most recently we worked with Park Auto Mall, a used car dealership.  The owner has taken in some unusual things on trade—he took in a horse, which he thought would make for a good press release. He wanted some media attention, so we came in and got the story to print and to Internet exposure.  The owner is having a cable television show about used car dealers. It is a reality TV show and filming starts this week. This was a recent project that was a lot of fun.

3. What do you do to keep current in the PR industry?

Follow social media, follow certain twitter hashtags, and follow email newslists like prweb. We also nose around on our own to see what other PR firms do.

4. What do you wish you would have known before starting your career in PR?

I wish I would have known to take some marketing courses as well as courses in the research realm. Learning how to target audiences can be difficult without knowing how to research, so we mostly draw from past campaigns to see what works and what makes people tick.

5. How important is writing in your career?

We wouldn’t be a business if we weren’t good writers.  It’s what we do. You have to know how to write according to associated press style. If something is written the way they want it, then it is more likely to get printed. Who has time to fix other people’s writing? Interns better have the current AP stylebook.

6. What three tips would you offer someone just starting out in PR?

1. look for internships before it’s even required

2. be good at writing, read good writing, and write often

3. search engine optimization–know SEO to make you more marketable

7. Did your education prepare you for working in PR? How?

Yes and no.  I didn’t finish college right after high school. I became a journalist in the army, and that training does help with what I do know. I went back to school as an adult, and that degree has helped in knowing how to run my business but not specifically PR work. If I were to go to graduate school, I would go for a masters degree in PR or communication.

8. How has PR changed since you entered the field?

So drastically. In the early 90s we were still laying out newspapers and printing and cutting. We didn’t email, didn’t type notes into a word document. It’s no longer by hand. Everything is now social media related, and there are more opportunities now. We use social media to promote our clients or their businesses.

9. How does technology affect your daily work?

Streamlines it. It’s easier. We can post something in one place and it will show up at another. (Facebook and twitter connection) We work smarter not harder.

10. When your company is hiring for an entry-level PR position, what makes a candidate stand out?

-Strong writer

-Understands AP stylebook

-Well versed on social media

-Have a Twitter account and use it

-Have and use Facebook smartly

-Understand Tweetdeck

-Have a 4 square account and use it

-Be as techy-nerdy as possible

11. After interviewing this person, are you (the student, not the practitioner) more or less likely to want to have a career in PR? Why?

Less likely.  I’m not well versed in social media and I probably don’t stay as current as someone who is looking into PR should be. I don’t really see myself as having a career in PR, but that’s not to say I don’t enjoy learning about it.

How you know you work in public relations

PRDaily recently posted an article listing 53 signs that someone works in public relations. Quite a few of them made me smile because they’re so true. A few of the ones listed on the post are here listed below.

-Your day starts and ends with a cup of coffee.

-You can power-walk in 5-inch heels with your laptop bag while checking your BlackBerry.

-You set three alarms to rise at 4 a.m. to make the early morning in-studio segment.

-You’ve heard all the lines about sleep: “Sleep is overrated.” “You can sleep all you want when you die.” “Do you ever sleep?”

-You start your day by digging out of client and competitor alerts and checking email, all before you’re out of bed.

-You almost die if your BlackBerry is sent for servicing!

-Your friends think you’re crazy for your undeniable attachment to your social networks.

-You work out at 4:00 a.m.

These are just a few of the signs or symptoms of someone who works in PR. Public relations professionals live busy busy lives. They are constantly on the go and are required to be current. This was a cute post by Lauren Fernandez. At least we know that PR professionals also can have a bit of fun.

Content Content Content

I read a post in PRDaily about the 3 Cs of powerful content. Whether we’re writing blog posts, a speech, a press release or an article, the most important aspect is the CONTENT.

The first C is to be Clear– content should be easy to follow and should not be confusing.

The second C is to be Concise– content should include the necessary info without adding a bunch of           information that is irrelavant

The third C is to be Compelling– content should evoke emotion in the reader. It should be powerful so don’t be afraid to share a personal experience to make the content more interesting. A reader won’t read something that is boring.

 

Make sure that when writing ANYTHING the content is good. Include these 3 Cs and you’ll be good to go.

Asleep before the interview even started

Harry Belafonte, an author and entertainer, was miked up and ready for an interview with a California TV station; yet when the cameras turned on Harry, he appeared to be sleeping!

The interviewer was saying wake up and we could hear people on the set calling Harry’s name, but he never opened his eyes.

According to his publicist, Harry wasn’t sleeping at all. In fact, he was meditating, or so they say.

There was a technical glitch with the feed and with his earpiece; however, I think that one should still be ready when you know you’re about to be on live television for an interview. Never good to be sleeping at an interview.

Steve Jobs insulted in The New Yorker

The above photo was published in The New Yorker. This picture depicts recently deceased Steve Jobs at the gates of Heaven; however, the photo is receiving a lot of negative feedback as Steve Jobs was a Zen Buddhist. Many are saying that publishing this photo was very disrespectful. Fortunately for The New Yorker they are a well established publication, but this does not mean that their PR department was not fast at work trying to make the situation less serious than it was.

On the other side of the argument however, one commenter said that it’s got people talking which is good marketing. Not sure if I necessarily agree with him seeing as the photo is depicting a recently deceased man and the subject may still be sensitive for certain family and friends.

Want to work for Dunkin’?

Dunkin’ Donuts is no stranger in our world today. From PR Daily, I found an article that was basically an advertisement for a PR job at Dunkin’ Donuts. They are in need of a public relations manager and the site had a link to an application page. What a great way to find a PR candidate: on a PR website that is visited quite regularly.

Check out the PR Daily site to read more about the job or even visit the application page to view a job description. Dunkin’ seems like it would be a great company to work for, especially in the PR department.