Friday, February 29, 2008
In corporations, a PR practitioner’s work includes protecting and enhancing a company’s reputation, providing information to your publics, including stockholders and other users of financial statements, and employees.
These organizations can be very diverse in their services. Fund-raising and community relations are a big part of public relations in a nonprofit organization.
Entertainment, Sports, and Travel
This category probably encompasses what comes to mind when you think of “publicist.” Instead of enhancing an organization’s image or reputation, you will most likely be enhancing an individual’s reputation. In this category you will also be promoting events ranging from football games to motion pictures.
Government and Politics
This area includes promotion of political issues though lobbying, work with politicians and dissemination of information about government activities.
Public Relations agencies
A public relations practitioner working at an agency can expect to be an external consultant to an organization. Work at an agency includes listening to the client’s needs and concerns, creating a PR plan and/or campaign and carrying the plan out in order to get the anticipated results. Evaluation of your PR plan is critical in order to prove to the organization that your agency is a vital part of the success of their business.
Some information from:
“Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics” 8th edition
D. Wilcox; G. Cameron; P. Ault; W. Agee
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Just as if you were going to write a paper, you need to research information beforehand. The ability to research is an essential and very necessary skill you must have as a public relations person. Before any action or plan can begin, you need to research and gather information about the company, event or person you are dealing with. Being prepared and knowledgeable is always beneficial. However, there are many different types of research, all of which are used to accomplish various tasks or objectives.
Some great research outlets include:
One of the largest search engines, Google is a great way to start the
research process, it can lead you to a endless amount of websites and information.
A database which contains articles from over 125 magazines, newspapers, and news services.
Dow Jones News
A virtually up to the second collection of business news, economic indicators and market data. Also includes about 45 million documents from 3,000 business and financial publications.
Talk one-on-one for personal accounts or in a group to get a better idea of people’s thoughts. Focus groups can help target audiences, test messages, explore consumer attitudes or for evaluation purposes.
The Library, is a great way to research. Just beware, books and certain print publications are not always as up to date as Internet and online outlets tend to be.
Remember these are just a few ways to go about the research process. Research is extremely helpful as well as beneficial in the public relations world, especially with investigating and learning about your client beforehand. Always keep educating yourself, learning more can only help you later on.
Some information from:
“Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics” 8th edition
D. Wilcox; G. Cameron; P. Ault; W. Agee
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
It's definitely helpful if you're organized. Many people may think that being "junky" works for them, but if you try it, you may find that being organized is a lot easier on you and your hectic life! It also looks better if you have to find a certain paper or information for your client or boss and you know exactly where to find it, instead of searching through a million things and risking the possibility of not being able to find it at all! Here are some ideas:
-Get a notebook and divide it into sections. Get a three-ring binder and the tab inserts/dividers from any office supply store. Give each section a name and put the different papers into the correct section. Also keep some space at the back for some plain, lined paper for taking notes or writing something down at the last minute.
-Having a daily/weekly planner helps a lot! This way you can write anything down and you'll be able to have it all in one spot, instead of having to sift through piles of paper to figure out when your next meeting is.
-Post-it notes are great, especially if you need to remember something quickly. They come in bright colors so they'll definitely stand out if something is important and they're very convenient. Stick them on your desk, at the top of your computer screen, even in your planner, if there's something you need to remember like calling a client or even e-mailing your mom!
-Most of all, figure out a system that works for you. One person's way of organizing might not work for another person. Try different things out. You might not like having a three-ring binder. Maybe an accordion folder would work better. If you don't like having a planner on you at all times, try out a digital calendar and have it send e-mails to you at the beginning of each day for reminders.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
1. COURSEWORK. Be flexible. Get as much as you can from your PR classes, but make sure to expand your horizons and check out other classes that you're interested in. A broad knowledge base is key.
2. LEARN TO LEARN. Be curious. When you hear about something interesting, learn everything you can about it. Talk to people about current events. Ask questions when you don't understand.
3. WRITE. Be clear, concise, correct and quick. Don't let anyone tell you that writing is not important. It's essentially and must be done flawlessly.
4. JUGGLE. Take on lots of responsibility- see how much you can do! Don't just sit around your dorm room watching MTV- in today's world, your resume needs to jump out at everyone who reads it.
5. GLOBAL. Learn a language. Study abroad. Do whatever you can to become more global. Our world is becoming bigger and bigger and nothing is out of reach- take advantage of it!
6. WHO ARE YOU? Figure out what separates you from the rest. Your activities, interests and extra-curriculars can define you- make sure you are who your resume says you are. If you aren't, change it to reflect your true personality.
These are all important points to consider - there's always more you can be doing to prepare for the future. (and don't forget to have fun doing it!)
Monday, February 25, 2008
A press release can come in many different forms. It can be an announcement of coming events, about a cause, or to build up someones name or organization.
Here are a few helpful hints for writing a fabulous press release:
-Don't forget to put your contact information in the top right-hand corner of the press release. How can you expect to be covered by a publication if they can't contact you for more information?
-Put the words FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE at the top of the paper. Media outlets will know that timing is important for this piece of news and consider it for...well...immediate release.
-Please check spelling and grammar. Also, most, if not all publications use the AP style, so it would be helpful to familarize yourself with this format. A journalist will not take a release seriously if it isn't up to journalistic standards.
-Send the press release to the proper person: If your press release is about a college organization, send the release to the education editor of a newspaper. Sending it to the editor in chief or another section's editor will not be of any help to you. In fact, it may hurt you. Newspapers like to see that PR people know the media, and where to correctly send their releases.
Some information taken from: News Reporting and Writing, The Missouri Group, 8th editon
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Friday, February 22, 2008
Whether the interview goes well or not you need to get their contact information. If the interview goes well you’re going to want to write a thank you letter to tell them how appreciative you are. If the interview goes badly you want to write them a thank you letter to tell them how appreciative you are and also turn things around. If you messed up an answer in the interview, answer the question for them again in the letter. Also, if you forgot to mention anything now is the time to tell them.
You want to make sure you state why you will be a good fit with the company. They probably aren’t looking to do you any favors; they’re going to hire you because it will be beneficial to their company, so make sure they know how you will be a great asset to their team.
A handwritten (make sure it’s neatly written!) thank you letter is personal and goes a long way. A hardcopy letter is also acceptable though. Overnight the letter to make sure they get it the next day and you stay fresh in their minds. If you feel it is more appropriate, write an email. Although it is the quickest, email can be risky because the company that the employer works for may have filters and your email may not get through!
Writing a thank you letter can cement the job for you, and not writing a thank you letter can lose the job for you. Sounds like an easy choice to me!
So, in conclusion: get the business card, and then write the thank you letter! It is not painful, will only take about an hour (this long because you don’t want to throw it together, it is a representation of yourself and should be written this way), and will really leave a good impression with your potential employer.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
The importance of networking and establishing relationships with people…
In order to be more successful in the Public Relations world and making yourself known, a lot depends on the connections you have made with other professionals within the same field. Building genuine and lasting relationships with the people you encounter or work with can only be beneficial later on. But don’t be afraid to establish relationships with people outside of your profession. You never know where you might end up down the road. Also, keep in mind; by maintaining positive relations with everyone you meet, they will more than likely remember you for it.
If you’re just getting started, talk to your family or relatives, see if anyone works or knows people within the same field you are searching. You could even go to a job fair and meet new people, just remember to make good impressions!
Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself! You can’t get noticed, unless you speak up.
The saying usually goes, “It’s all about who you know, but it might more correctly be, "who knows you."
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
When you're writing something, whether it is an e-mail or a press release, always make sure you spell everything correctly! If someone important (like a prospective employer) is looking at it and they notice a simple error, they may think that you're not cut out for the job and you won't get hired.
Take advantage of spell check, it's so simple! Also, some programs have a grammar check. Definitely use both of these because you may have spelled a word correctly, but it is not the word you want to use.
Make sure you use the correct form of words. Here are two big ones:
Your and You're:
I hope you're having a nice day, not I hope your having a nice day
Is this your coat?, not is this you're coat?
There, Their and They're:
There is a dog, not their is a dog or they're is a dog.
This is their house, not this is there house or this is they're house.
They're going to the movies, not there going to the movies or their going to the movies.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
-BE A NEWS JUNKIE. Always be checking out the local, national and international headlines. Not only will knowledge of current events be useful in an interview setting, but it will be beneficial in every area of your life. Current events have power- they connect people.
-GO ABROAD. Whether it's a semester-long program, a work-study trip after graduation or volunteering during school breaks, make sure travel is a priority. In our increasingly global society, few things are more impressive than time spent abroad.
-THERE'S LIFE AND LEARNING BEYOND PR. As important as our SToC curriculum is, we should be interested in a variety of topics. Our degree isn't called Bachelor of Arts for nothing. We should strive to learn more about the arts, philosophy, politics, history - any and all subjects that you find interesting. You can use it all to your advantage.
Take these three points to heart- get out there and grab the New York Times, apply for a passport, and pay attention in your core classes!
Monday, February 18, 2008
As cliche as it may sound, get involved in everything PR related AND non-related as you can. When you apply for an internship or a job, businesses like to see EXPERIENCE and VARIETY.
Experience is key. Anything you do that is related to Public Relations is something worth noting on your resume or placing into your portfolio. Joining PRSSA is a great step because it leads to many different opportunities, such as joining a firm, a fundraising committee, or simply listening to speakers and getting contacts for the future.
Variety is also important because it shows businesses that you are well-rounded and have interests other than PR. Also, having experience in other areas will let employers know that you have other skills that they may need, helping your resume to stand out in the pile.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
I am so very excited to be working with a fantastic staff, as well as with our clientele. There is so much on our horizon, I can’t wait!