Tag Archives: PR agency

Hump Day Help: Let’s Talk Phone Interviews, 5 tips to Ace Them!

Happy Hump Day my fellow PR peeps! I was recently looking over my blog and I said to myself, “I haven’t been helpful in weeks! All I talk about is ME, ME, ME” and I am not that kind of blogger, so it’s time to get back in gear with some advice.

As you may or may not know, I am finishing up the last 6 months of my university career (thank God) and I am moving to New York City in June. Because PR is such a competitive field, I have already started to reach out and get some interviews, but how am I interviewing from 3,000 miles away? Phone Interviews!!!

Even the dog can do a phone interview!!!

Yes, I have been doing a few phone interviews (I’ve done 3, so far) and they are a little nerve-racking, but I have honed in on some great practices that have gotten me some amazing feedback (and some top notch opportunities). I’ve listed my top 5 tips below, take a look:

  1. Have a “script” beforehand: I put script in quotations because I’m not saying a word-for-word, but make sure you have some key points down that you can reference in case you get nervous. You can bet they are going to ask a few all-time faves, like: what made you get into PR (NOTE: DON’T SAY TO GET FREE STUFF), your favourite PR campaigns at the moment, why you want to work there. Having some of these down beforehand will help you from stumbling on yourself.
  2. Research Research Research: I’m serious you guys, don’t be that entry-level/internship candidate who just wants to work “anywhere” (even though you are and you do), but make sure you know something about the firm: who are their clients? Does this particular office have a specialty practice? Being able to add in these little zingers shows that you are passionate about the firm and what they do.
  3. Let the interviewer speak: I am guilty of this big time. I am so eager to get my point across that I sometimes over talk the interviewer. Let them say a whole sentence and then count to 3 and answer. In a confident and slow voice (but not too slow)
  4. Don’t be bringing up irrelevant $h!t: Yea, I cursed. This is my blog. Anyway, if she/he asks about your experience with press releases, then talk about that, not your 3-legged cat named Hobbles. They are asking these specific questions because it pertains to the specific job you are interviewing for. This is where those scripted notes I told you to make come in handy: you already have all of your info in front of you (having a copy of the resume and cover letter you sent in front of you would be a big help, too)
  5. SEND A THANK YOU. You guys, I’m serious. Thank them FOUR times: at the beginning of the interview, at the end of the interview, via a follow-up e-mail AND a snail mail note. You are showing how polite you are AND by sending the e-mail a bit afterwards, you are refreshing your name in the search. Sending the snail mail refreshes you in the memory a few days later (but no later than 4 days later!)

Well, that’s all I have for today. I know this is kind of late in the day (uh, I do work, people), but you can use this info anytime! Remember, a phone interview might be a little more relaxed, but you still want to be prepared; just breathe, speak slowly and make sure your voice is confident.

XOXOXO, Jess_AsPRing


In Honour of Dan Edelman: A True PR Innovator

Dan Edelman, Founder of Edelman PR, 1920-2013

I was going to write my usual post on “humpday help” and silliness and getting you a job and all that business, but then I got devastating news yesterday: Edelman PR founder, Dan Edelman, passed away, aged 92.

Now, as a young PR pro, you might not know exactly who Dan Edelman is, or the huge contributions he made to this industry; and if you don’t, then I’m here to educate you. In 1952, Dan Edelman started a small agency (with just 5 employees and a monthly retainer of $500, just $4,500 in today’s money) that sought to connect the public with brands. Now, if you have ever looked at my “What is PR?” page, then you know public relations itself, isn’t new, but Mr. Edelman had a new idea for PR, one where the firm wouldn’t only launch campaigns for its clients, but it would be with them day in and day out, paving the way for what we now know as “brand recognition” by handling media relations, launching recurring campaigns and positioning the brand within the public’s mind.

By 1960, the small firm had over 20 accounts, including the country of Finland (the entire country!) and Edelman had pioneered many of the practices we still use in the industry today. Edelman wasn’t just a publicist, he was a WWII vet, a former reporter and a true innovator. During WWII, Edelman studied German propaganda to get an idea of just how influential messaging can be, and how he could utilize that knowledge to position brands to the forefront of their industry.

Today, Edelman PR is not only the largest PR firm in the world, it’s also the largest independently-owned firm in the world–because Edelman refused to compromise his beliefs and practices to sell to a larger company, no matter what the offer price. Without the genius of Daniel Edelman, the PR industry would not be where it is today; he paved the way for many independent agencies to make a name for themselves and he positioned many companies that are now household names (Sara Lee, KFC and Wal-Mart…just to name a few). So please, take the time honour this late, great PR innovator and listen to a few of his past lectures, I bet you’ll learn something. RIP Dan Edelman.

For More information, please visit:
Edelman PR: About Us
Chicago Tribune: PR pioneer Daniel Edelman dies
Bloomberg Business: Daniel Edelman, Founder of World’s Largest PR Firm, Dies at 92

When it’s all over…my final impressions of a big agency

Hey all! As you may or may not know, for the past several months, I have been working for a fairly large and well-known agency here in San Francisco, I wrote about my initial impressions in this post and I just wanted to sum up my experiences and give you some advice my supervisor gave me.

big vs little

BTW, the largest and smallest dogs in the world!

So are there really any big advantages of working for a big firm? Yes there are! They have tons of resources and usually “big-name” clients, they also usually have more formal training and a larger talent pool to learn lessons from and take inspiration from

So what are the drawbacks? I think I went over this before, but the drawbacks for me were that I just wasn’t able to work on the variety of projects I wanted to, or jump on all of the accounts I was interested in. This is because in a larger agency, there are a lot more systems in place that are totally necessary to keep that larger wheel spinning. I also felt like I didn’t get very many chances for media outreach, which is really important to me this early in my career.

Would you go back to a large agency? Yes, I would, but maybe not as an intern or an account coordinator, my supervisor gave me some great advice at my exit interview, “start small, my first job was at a firm with three people and I learned so much, as I’ve gotten further in MY career, the firms have gotten bigger, as well” this made TOTAL sense to me because in the beginning, I want to be thrown in the fray and really get my hands dirty doing the things I LOVE. However, if one of the “biggies” reaches out to me, I’m not going to scoff, I guess it’s all up to what opportunities present themselves during my career.

So WHAT about ending my internship?!  I ALREADY showed you that in my awesome post Ending That Internship with Flair! so go check it out and make sure to get your thank you cards out ASAP!

Overall, I enjoyed my time at the firm; I met a lot of really great people and I learned a lot. I am moving back to a boutique agency in January, so I’m sure I will have PLENTY to say about that! Until then, I’m kicking my heels up and patting myself on the back for a job well-done. Enjoy the break, I have something pretty cool in store for you over the next few weeks, so keep an eye out for that, until then…

XOXOXO, Jess_AsPRing