Tag Archives: Networking

The Senior Chronicles, Pt. II: When Should I Start Looking for a Job?

Happy Monday mi amigos/amigas! With Spring winding down very quickly, so I wanted to make sure we got the “Senior Chronicles” going in full force, so you (and by “you” I mean “WE”) can get ready for graduation!

I hope you remember part I of the Senior Chronicles, in case you didn’t, here it is! Senior Chronicles: I am Terrified. It was basically my fear of the unknown (AKA life after graduation, employment, in particular); so I started thinking: why fear it, when I can conquer it? I can’t sit around and wait for  job to land in my lap, I need to get out there and TAKE IT! So, the Senior Chronicles is all about the job hunt, kiddies, and the 2nd post in this series is a great starting point:

WHEN SHOULD I LOOK FOR A JOB?!?!?!?!?

PR is a unique field for many reasons, one reason is the industry hiring practices: while a bank or a hospital may have regular hiring intervals, PR agencies, organizations, etc. only hire on an as-needed basis. Meaning, if they have a new account, or somebody leaves, then they need people. This puts us graduating seniors in a sticky situation because traditionally, in the summer, things slow down a bit in the PR world, so chances are, not much hiring is going on. Which is a bummer, because who wants to spend the Summer on your parent’s couch?

Another thing to think about is how quickly a PR agency hires its folks: from posting the job announcement to getting that warm body in the seat, it is only about a 3-5 week process, so if you don’t graduate until May, applying for a great job in February probably isn’t a good idea. I know, at this point, you’re probably saying:

SO WHEN SHOULD I START LOOKING FOR A FREAKIN’ JOB JESS?!?!?!

My answer? Yesterday! You should be always keeping your eyes open for announcements and openings; but not JUST announcements, look out for when an agency gets a new client, loses a client, merges or get’s bought. These are all indicators of jobs lost or created. BUT the catch is, don’t start applying just yet. Hiring managers are looking to fill these openings ASAP, and if you can’t start, it will mostly likely just frustrate them.

So what have I been doing? I’m glad you asked.

Starting back in NOVEMBER, I started connecting with agencies, recruiter, HR people and hiring managers on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, on email, via telephone, carrier pigeon…you name it (except the carrier pigeon…they freak me out!) and let them know while I am not graduating for quite some time, that I would like the opportunity to forward my resume and stay in touch. I got a lot of great feedback and it served a few purposes:

  1. It got my resume in front of them; which means they know my name and were able to go over the experience I had thusfar
  2. I was able to give them my blog and social media information; so they could see my work, links, influence level, etc.
  3. It gave me a reason to call them again in a few months, with an updated copy of my resume.

Believe it or not, I got some really great feedback, a few “call us when you graduate!” emails and I even had to turn down TWO interview requests, because I hadn’t yet graduated (which sucked!). The point is, I got my name in their box and let them know that I will be open for business soon.

I am going to follow up with all of them very soon, letting my contacts know that I graduated. BUT first, I am going to spend two months doing a full-time post-graduate internship in NEW YORK CITY!!!! That’s right, I got the job and I am ready to rock it out (more on that later)!!!

Well that’s it for this installment of “The Senior Chronicles” check back next Monday for my take on the “perfect entry-level resume” with a very special guest (oooh…mystery, suspense…) until then…

XOXOXO,

Jess_AsPRing

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So what’s the big deal about New York City, Anyway?

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-CiTm1OGUSMI/ThiPtNYOApI/AAAAAAAABGg/8IwQWRrlzPc/ny-awesome.gif
WRONG NEW YORK!!!!

You may not know this, but I’m moving to New York City, not tomorrow or next week, but soon and very soon, I will be a NYC PR girl. When I recently voiced this same affirmation to people around me, several of them said, “what’s the big deal about New York City, anyway?” after pulling out the smelling salts and getting my head on right, I fired away the many, MANY, MANY reasons I want to move to New York, so here they are, the 5 reasons, Jess_AsPRing is going to be a NYC girl…

  1. “Concrete jungle where dreams are made of, there’s nothing you can’t do” -Alicia Keys. So true Miss Keys, New York is the big city, a place where hundreds of people move, every year to make their dreams come true. And in PR, there’s no other place to go, all the top firms are anchored there and all the editors are there and all the opportunities are there.
  2. I’m addicted to the hustle and bustle of the city, so sue me! Seriously, it feels like every second there is something happening in the city; people are on the move, trying their best to make life happen and hustle.
  3. The melting pot of people. Did you lot know I am a former military brat? I am! I’ve lived in a few different countries and my love for diversity surpasses most and New York has it in spades, it really is the “great melting pot”
  4. New York is where PR is AT. Ask anybody, if you’re in PR, move to New York, the big 5 all have their anchor offices in the big city and their top positions in the city. All the editors are here and all the opportunities are here! Since my ultimate dream is to reach the top of the PR ladder (you HAVE been reading my blog, right?), then it would make sense that I would be in the place with direct access to the top.
  5. I love the city. Okay, this is purely sentimental, but I have loved New York since I was a little girl, since before I even had the privilege to meet her. I love this city, I love the good, the bad, the grime, the glitz, the glam, even the dirt. If I’m going to make it anywhere, I want it to be New York.

Well that’s it for me today, I guess this is less about PR and more about my burning desire to be in New York…you’ll be hearing more about “Operation: New York” in the future, so stat tuned and HAPPY HUMP DAY!

XOXOXO, Jess_AsPRing

Bonus: Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys “Empire State of Mind” (Your daily dose of New York!)

Hey, I’m on TUMBLR!!!

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As if begging you to follow Twitter, Linkedin and Pinterest AND now also  Instagram weren’t ENOUGH (were they, huh? Huh? Anybody out there!?!?!) I have decided to start a Tumblr because, why not? I like the visuals and some of my most favourite people are on Tumblr like:

  1. DKNY PR Girl
  2. The PR Closet (Alexis Rodriguez)
  3. Oscar PR Girl

And many more (too many to list, go to Tumblr, you’ll find some interesting and insightful character there). So you’re probably asking “Jess, you already have a Blog, why do you need a Tumblr?!” well, I don’t know if I actually need one, but I do know that it’s more visually-driven, quicker to post to and also (bad thing) more time consuming. I am going to give it a month-long trial run, and report back on January 3, 2013 to let you know my experiences.

Until then, you can check my page out here. The simple black and white theme is pretty much the same and the “Jess” is pretty much the same, so we’ll see how it goes…drop me a line and tell me your experiences with Tumblr or what your take on my new social media endeavor is!

Ciao! XOXOXO, Jess_AsPRing

Ending That Internship with Flair!

Hey fellow PR lovers…so I ended my first ever PR internship this past Thursday, and let me tell you: I was super sad! They got me cupcakes and the most expensive greeting card I have ever received in my life (I’m looking at you mom and dad…step yo’ game up). Well, I didn’t just leave with a wave and a “see ya!” nope, I did a few things that I think made an impression…and I want to share them with you, so next time you go out, go out with a BANG! Here we go:

  • Make sure to finish ALL your assigned work: Okay, I have to confess, I really did NOT want to finish my last assignment, it was a writing assignment and I was not feeling very confident in my writing. However, I forced myself to finish it out. Just because it’s your last day doesn’t mean you fool around and get on facebook: make sure you finish all your assignments. Don’t leave anything for the next intern, that’s just rude.
  • Make sure you get final feedback: I was pretty lucky with my supervisor in that she gave pretty consistent feedback (we sat right next to each other, so it was pretty easy) and I always had an idea of how I was doing, so I skipped this step. But if you’re still wondering how you did and it hasn’t been brought up; take the initiative and ask: how you did this summer, your strengths and weaknesses and how you can improve.
  • Ask for that recommendation letter: Don’t be afraid to ask for a letter of recommendation; you did the work and while you did (hopefully) gain invaluable experience, a recommendation letter is the other thing you are hoping to get out of this internship. I asked for a letter in paper and electronic form so that I could have a copy to forward to future internship applications.
  • Express your appreciation: I am a stickler for writing thank you notes, hand written thank you notes at that. I always write them after interviewing and I wrote one for my superiors after this internship as well. Not because I’m a kiss-ass…no, because I really wanted them to know I was grateful for their help and guidance. It can be such a pain having an intern; sure we help, but we also need hand holding and that takes away from other work and I am grateful that they taught me as much as they did. I also made little gift bags, for under $20.
  • Get contact information: Get business cards, linkedin info, Twitter info, etc. make sure you are making those connections so that they can be utilized later on! PR is about who you know my young compatriots!

Well, that’s it for me…tomorrow I start my new internship at a much larger firm and to tell you the truth, I’m worried, but I am also excited. Boutique agencies and larger agencies run differently and I feel like this is yet another adventure in the field I love so much. Remember: your reputation is king, (or queen) so protect it when you move on to the next big thing.

XOXOXOXO, Jess_AsPRing

Guest Post: Friendleagues, my term for when you can’t find the word for “My colleague/friend I met through Twitter”

Hey guys! Today I am so honored to have my 2nd guest blogger (this little blog is just rolling, ain’t it?), a good friend of mine, Meilani Kieu, another up and coming PR pro who has taken social networking to the next level, hope you enjoy her post!

Friendleagues, my term for when you can’t find the word for “My colleague/friend I met through Twitter” 
 
Hello Jess asPRing readers! My name is Meilani and I am guest blogging for Jess today. Jess was kind enough to guest blog switch with me, so she will be writing for my blog as well (brandingmeilani.wordpress.com) We wanted to blog about something we are both familiar with, and since we met through social media, what better topic to talk about than relationships formed through the internet? (Not the creepy type, I promise!)
I found Jess because she took the initiative to share her content through whatever means necessary. She started an incredibly popular thread on LinkedIn which lead me to her blog, leading me to her Twitter and finally leading me to our relationship today. I saw Jess’ posts and was blown away by her tenacity and helpfulness on her blog. As a beginner in PR, it was refreshing to see another industry newbie taking the leap and documenting the journey for others to learn from and follow along. After a few tweets back and forth, Jess convinced my to start my own blog, and I discovered a new friend and colleague to share my journey with!
Now, it may seem daunting to reach out to a total stranger via social media, but with a little research, a great relationship can come out of it. Remember, when it comes to these kinds of relationships, just like PR, it is all about mutually beneficial relationships. It is not all about one person doing all the talking or one person doing all the asking. It is a constant exchange. These relationships, while still professional, are different than your typical mentor-apprentice relationships because both people are pouring into each other. Whether it is words of support, retweets or referrals, this person is there for you in a way that even some of your closest friends can’t be. Why? They understand exactly what you are going through. Unless you live in some PR sorority house, your closest pals probably aren’t climbing the Public Relations ladder alongside you. This person, although you may never meet face to face, has your back in a unique way. So what are you waiting for? Make that first move.
Scenario: You have just found a young professional that interns at an agency that you would love to one day work at. This professional has a killer blog and has an active Twitter life. You would love to ask some questions about the internship, but don’t know how to initiate the conversation. What to do?
1. Research. Get to know this person. You obviously admire this person. What else can you get to know about him or her? What does the Twitter bio say? Does he or she have a LinkedIn or any other online portfolio? Get to know the person before you reach out.
2. Say hello. Send a polite, professionally crafted message introducing yourself, how you found the person and what you are hoping to learn from him or her. If you live in the same area and do feel so bold, invite them to meet over coffee. (Informational interview meets friend date.)
3. Engage online. Even if you have already connected privately, don’t be shy about your new relationship. If you tweet an article that you think he or she may find interesting, let them know! If they posted a new article, share it with your own followers. This plays in to the mutual part of the relationship. Even if this person is more experienced than you, you can still be beneficial to him.
4. Follow up. The relationship shouldn’t end with a thank you note and a cordial goodbye. Even if you are engaging online publicly, share with your new online buddy what is going on through email where it isn’t displayed for the whole world to see. If you need to vent about a tough day at work or share about an exciting event coming up, let your relationship become more authentic by opening yourself up. Just because your relationship is virtual doesn’t mean that it is not real. I personally would much rather have a friend that works in PR alongside me than a person I connected with once on LinkedIn because I liked her blog.
Well, that’s all for now folks! Thanks again for reading this. It sure was fun to be a part of Jess asPRing! I wish you the best of luck in finding that special online friendleague (my awkward combo for friend and colleague.) Don’t ever be shy to reach out and connect with me. I was fortunate enough that Jess was kind enough to connect with me, and I am pretty darn sure she would love to connect with you as well. She’s pretty amazing and makes for a great friendleague!
Best of luck guys,
Meilani

Meilani Kieu is a student at Biola University in Los Angeles. She is studying Communications/PR with the hopes of working in the consumer PR industry. She currently works as a PR intern for Konnect Public Relations in LA. When she isn’t studying or working, Meilani finds herself attempting hot yoga or blogging. You can follow her on Twitter  @MeilaniKieu or www.brandmeilani.wordpress.com

You are your most important “client”, Part III: Maintaining Your Brand.

Happy Sunday fellow newbies! I hope you are enjoying your weekend and you feel refreshed and ready for work/school/internship tomorrow morning (I know I am!). Today we’re continuing with our “personal branding” series, in case you haven’t read part 1, please read it here and in case you haven’t read part 2, got you covered here, where I talked about establishing your brand and communicating your brand.

Today’s post will be about maintaining your brand; which is pretty important since maintaining your brand will allow it to grow, and allow you to benefit from your positive brand notoriety. Here are a few tips to maintain your brand.

Have a list of daily tasks to help you maintain your brand. I know you’re probably saying, “ugh, I have school and work, my internship and PRSSA…how can I find the time to maintain my brand?!” Well, let me give you an idea of what I do, it takes about an hour in the morning (and yes, I just have to wake up an hour earlier, it’s worth it): I schedule a couple of tweets from trusted sites and blogs (including a few from my own, keep my name out there), I respond to unread blog comments, and I compose 1 or 2 e-mails to someone I want to reach out to (I send them later in the morning). These simple daily tasks make sure I am active in social media, maintaining my blog relations & enhancing my network. And all it takes is an hour, 5 days a week.
Keep Your Brand Fresh, Always Evolve. You don’t want a stale brand; everyday you are changing and growing and learning new things, and your brand needs to reflect that! Did you learn a new skill? Put it on Linkedin. Got promoted at work? Make sure your social media profiles reflect your new title. Or just do some general “spring cleaning” every few months to make sure you are sharing new and exciting information about yourself and your brand. Keeping your brand updated also makes you easier to find in search engines. Don’t get stuck in a “brand rut” and keep it updated.
NEVER Bring Negativity Into the Mix. I know sometimes someone will do something that is unethical, hurtful, dangerous or irresponsible, but publicly bashing them only makes YOU look bad. Look at Rush Limbaugh: how many people actually take him seriously? His hate-mongering and negativity have made his brand like poison and he’s lost millions in advertising. It’s totally okay to have a strong opinion, in fact, I think having an opinion is great; but be careful with your words: saying, “that was unwise of xx company to send out that tweet, they should be more careful” sounds way better than, “what idiots I cannot believe XX company tweeted that! #Fail” and you still got your point across.
Remember, This is About Consistency. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this several times before, but I can’t stress it enough: consistency is KEY!!! If you just keep up the “brand basics” then you are already way ahead of the curve. Also, think of it this way: maintaining a positive brand is a 24/7 job (rather aggressively or passively) and if a potential employer sees all of the hard work you do on your brand, they can easily imagine all of the great work you’ll do for their brand and their client’s brands. So be consistent, it will all pay off.

Well, I hope you enjoyed these few tips about brand management and maintenance and remember: YOU are the CEO of You, inc. it is a viable company that can make things happen! So go out there and put your brand to work!

Want some more reading on maintaining your brand? Got you covered:

XOXOXOXO, Jess_AsPRing

SYNTK: How to Network

Hey there fellow newbies/interns/entry-levelers! How was your weekend? Mines? It was kind of crummy, BUT I am super excited about today for 2 reasons:

  1. It’s NOT Monday, so life sucks a little less (but it ain’t Saturday yet, so…)
  2. I have a BRAND NEW post for you!!!!!

So, this post will be the 1st in what will become a new series, entitled:  Stuff You Need TKnow (or SYNTK pronounced “sink” because it’s my blog and MY abbreviation) which will outline “stuff” That will HELP you in your career.

The first post in the series will be “how to network” which is a skill I think everybody should know, but (aspiring) PR pros need to know more than any other profession, because we thrive off of relationships…and how do relationships start? Through networking! **NOTE: this is in-person networking, not internet networking, that’s another post** Here are a few Dos and Don’ts to get you networking like a pro!

  1. Do Practice. Don’t feel like a dork, there’s nothing wrong with practicing some openers and icebreakers in the mirror…hey the Sims do it, so can you!
  2. Don’t Take “No” Personally. Hey, not everybody is going to be able to meet with you or have the time, be gracious and say thanks anyway & make a note of it, & don’t give up, you can try them again.
  3. Do SMILE. I cannot express how big an impact a smile can have: it brightens your eyes, makes you appear more genuine and open you up to more people in the room. BONUS: confident people smile, you’re confident, right? Then smile.
  4. Don’t Apologize. I know it seems like you are imposing on someone by reaching out and asking for help and/or make a connection. YOU’RE NOT, you’re not doing anything wrong, so don’t apologize!
  5. Do have business cards and ask questions. The first one is obvious: make sure you have a stack of (hopefully high-quality) business cards so people can remember you & have your information. And ask questions! They can be simple ones (open-ended ones are best, keeps the conversation going) but just ask questions and stay in the conversation!
  6. Don’t Be Afraid/Nervous/Anxious. I know, I know, business networking can be scary for even the biggest ex-campus hotshot. I mean, this is your career we’re talking about! But I promise, if you just go out there and give it your best shot and be yourself, it will get easier and you will get better.

Well kiddies, that’s it for this installment of SYNTK (remember, it’s “sink” like kitchen sink), I hope I demystified networking for you (a bit, at least!) and you are ready to get out there and start making opportunities happen! As always, I have some sources you can look into for further reading:
Dale Carnegie (literally wrote the book on networking in 1936, How to Win Friends & Influence People READ IT)
How to Network Effectively
How to Network: 12 Tips for Shy People 
How To Network Like A Pro
24 networking tips that actually work
7 Tips for Networking

Good luck and happy networking, XOXOXO Jess_AsPRing