Today’s guest post was written by NYC Business Outcomes intern, Addi Dabiri

Prior to working at Peppercomm, I had very little idea about what the Public Relations industry had to offer. During my hunt for jobs, I came across many opportunities in PR but ultimately passed them up, thinking: “what could I, someone who studied Economics and Computer Science in college, possibly stand to gain from or offer to a PR firm”. It wasn’t until I saw the job description for an internship with the Business Outcomes team at Peppercomm that I thought, “Woah, I could work in PR!”

Fast-forward through the four months that I’ve been on the Business Outcomes team (and loved it); I’m able to share some insights about the lovely world of PR Measurement:

1. (Insert quant major) is not required
I studied Economics and Computer Science which tend to be quite quantitative but I’ve found that it’s not absolutely needed to do carry out basic analyses. All you really need is an eye for spotting trends and the desire to learn! My supervisor majored in Media Studies and he’s amazing at his job.

2. EXCEL
There’s no escape. Learn to love it. Love to learn it.

3. Find the Story
There’s quite a bit of numerical variables involved in measurement and your clients most likely won’t be too thrilled by random and inconsequential statistics being thrown at them. It’s essential to get comfortable with looking at data from different angles and extracting meaning from them. Numbers aren’t very fun to look at all day but what really helps is…

4. Visualization
You’re not going to stand a chance against all those stats if you can’t turn them into pretty charts and graphs. It’s also important to know when to use which form of visualization in order to portray the main story behind the data: if you have a large array of words, are you going to use a bar chart or a word cloud to show the most common ones?

5. Analytic Tools
If you’ve taken on a role that will be involved with measurement, chances are you’re going to have to get acquainted with one analytics platform or the other. From my experience, these platforms usually come equipped with many options that allow you to customize several aspects of the data you get. However, they aren’t always very intuitive to use so it’s important to wrap your head around all the useful functions as it could save you several hours of number crunching in Excel.

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In today’s post, meet current Peppercomm NYC intern and future industry star, Liesa Ehrenberg

LiesaTell us about yourself—where did you/do you go to school, where are you from and what brought you to Peppercomm?

I’m from a small town in Germany. Yes, that’s right, the country of beer, pretzels and those weird clothes they’re wearing around October. I’m sure you’ve heard of the Oktoberfest we celebrate in late September/early October in Munich every year. I actually moved to Munich in March 2013 to start college there. I’m a Business Major at the University of Applied Science Munich. The school system is very different from the American one, but in Germany we basically have a “practical semester” included in the middle of our studies. I always loved the English language and the idea of working in PR, but I never got a chance to actually experience it and know what working in Public Relations really means. But then I got the chance to start here at Peppercomm. I applied for a Visa, packed my bags and here I am! The short German girl working in a PR agency in NYC- who would have thought?

What area of the industry do you find the most appealing and why?

I always found the idea of working in business exciting. But ever since I started college, I felt I needed to do something more creative. That’s why I started a YouTube Channel back in summer, 2014 – to have at least something creative to work on besides solving math problems and writing statistic or financial papers. Working on different accounts here at Peppercomm made this even clearer to me. I’m a creative head and I love to edit visual things. It doesn’t matter if it’s videos or pictures – everything visual, colorful and even audio is what I love to work on. Creative Digital is definitely one of the most appealing areas to me.

Any surprises or revelations about your role, the industry or Peppercomm?

To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I never had worked in PR before nor had similar experiences. But what I can say is that I’m definitely surprised – positively! Even if I haven’t worked in PR before, I did some internships back in Germany and I’ve never felt more welcome or comfortable during my first week as I felt at Peppercomm. Everyone is so supportive and just wants you doing okay and survive the “horrible” first week of an internship. And even my work load was more than I expected – but that was good! I love running around attending one meeting after another. Especially because I’m working on so many different accounts. Every day is so different and I love that. I can definitely say: Now I’m spoiled!

Where do you see yourself going in the industry?

I mean the future is so unpredictable. I once wanted to be a surgeon, then I wanted to be the next superstar, now I’m sitting here working for Peppercomm in New York City. But what I know for sure is: I need something creative. I’m not sure how and where exactly this will be, but isn’t this the exiting part about not knowing what comes next? However, I would love to work as a creative head anywhere media related.

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Today’s guest post is authored by NYC intern, Robert Smith

Remember when Taco Bell purchased the Liberty Bell? The fast food chain took out full-page ads in a number of high profile publications, claiming it had purchased the Liberty Bell and was renaming it the Taco Liberty Bell. This was back in 1995, long before social media captivated their millennial customer-base.

Today, Taco Bell is clearly a brand that knows its audience, leveraging their influence to promote new products and campaigns. From 2007-2015, Taco Bell’s following has grown exponentially amassing nearly 1.55 million Twitter followers and 9.9 million Facebook likes at the time of this post.

In 2014, one day after launching a mobile payment and ordering app, Taco Bell wiped out its social media channels to promote the mobile payment application. Its Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr pages were “blacked out” with a single post promoting the hashtag #onlyintheapp, effectively driving traffic towards their ordering app.

Taco Bell manages accounts on several other social platforms including YouTube, Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, Pinterest, Tumblr, and keeps a close eye on emerging social platforms.

So how can other brands replicate this success?

1. Incentivize, don’t control— It’s important to not try and control what people think or say, instead encourage or incentivize followers to share your content.
2. Be human— “Code-switching,” refers to when a person alternates back and forth between multiple languages in a single conversation (professional and personal personas). Understand that both come together to affect preferences.
3. Actively Listen, Answer Questions— Use conversations online as an opportunity to listen for insight.

 

Let us know if you’ve received a memorable response from Taco Bell’s Twitter handle!

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In today’s post, meet current Peppercomm NYC intern and future industry star, Matthew Moeller

Tell us about yourself—where did you/do you go to school, where are you from and what brought you to Peppercomm?

At 30-years-old, not only am I the oldest intern in Peppercomm’s history, I’m also older than Peppercomm itself.

A Milwaukee, Wisconsin native, I was faced with a question many Midwestern’s ask themselves… how the heck do I get out of the Midwest? That question was answered when an Army recruiter walked up one day and offered to take me to lunch.

I never saw myself in the military, but I certainly never saw myself turning down a free meal, so I accepted. Within 30 minutes of my Subway meatball sandwich, and several beers, I quit college and became an Army Public Affairs Specialist.

During my nine years, I traveled the world as a public relations representative, military journalist, war photographer and the Journalist of the Year a couple of times. Eventually, I became an instructor at the U.S. Army’s Noncommissioned Officer Academy, teaching strategic communication and media facilitation, making me technically a college professor with no college degree. That’s the Army for you.
Now a civilian, I’m finishing my last year of school at Fordham University, in New York City.

I chose Peppercomm because I wanted to do more than fetch coffee or stack CDs. I wanted to grow as a PR professional, and that is what Peppercomm not only wants for me, it expects it.

What area of the industry do you find the most appealing and why?

I find consumer and industrial PR most appealing. However, financial PR is by far the most rewarding. So much of it goes over my head that I have to work twice as hard to keep up.

Any surprises or revelations about your role, the industry or Peppercomm?

I was surprised by the pace of a PR agency. In many corporate PR positions and governmental PR positions, the speed is much slower, almost lumbering. Every decision must be approved, reapproved, redone because its now out of date, approved again and then…. well, you get the point. Peppercomm isn’t like that. It empowers its employees to act fast and make decisions that lead to results for the good of the client and the company.

Where do you see yourself going in the industry?

I see myself settling into a nice PR position in the near future. Even if it’s not with Peppercomm, this internship has definitely prepared me for my next step.

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Dear College Seniors,

Let’s face it. There’s a reason we refer to post-grad life as “the real world.” The phrase reflects the idea that the college experience exists in a protected, bunker-like environment, shielded from the unsolicited elements of adulthood, such as corporate jargon and mid-summer obligations. But don’t let this reality sway you to delay your diploma, for there are many benefits in store for those who “exit the bunker.”

For verification, we need not look further than Kimmy Schmidt, star of “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” Tina Fey’s new sit-com featuring 29-year-old Kimmy as she adjusts to life in the Big Apple (like a boss) after spending 15 years in a doomsday cult bunker. So without further adieu, here are three Kimmy-inspired tricks to help you adapt to the real world upon your bunker departure:

1.     Attitude is everything.

Sure, being within arm’s reach of both your best friend and a red Solo cup at all times gets comfortable after four years, but there’s no bigger bummer than the kid who got his/her diploma three years ago and is still residing in his/her parents’ basement pouting about the fact that the college years are in the past. You’ll come to find that for the most part, the most successful young adults are those who find it within themselves to believe the best is yet to come.

Take the pro-tip that Kimmy Schmidt shared with her roommate, Tituss, when he’s facing a spell of uncertainty: “Life beats you up…you can either curl up in a ball and die like we thought Cindy did that time, or you can STAND UP and say, ‘We’re different. We’re the strong ones. And you can’t break us!’”

Hint: Don’t be a Cindy.

2.     Flee the comfort zone.

When it’s time to bolt your bunker, don’t just “go back to Dernsville and get your braces off” like Kimmy’s fellow cult victim (the one in the pink sweater). You’re in your early 20s; time to ditch the comfort zone in pursuit of adventure!

With a mere 8th grade education under her belt, Kimmy was able to relocate to NYC, land a job, and find a place to live. You already have several more resources than Kimmy had at her disposal upon exiting the bunker, and pretty soon you’ll have a college degree to top it all off. USE IT. Do your research, put yourself out there, and pretty soon you’ll be parroting Kimmy on phrases like, “What in the ham sandwich, I just got a job!”

3.     Don’t let the Richard Wayne Gary Wayne’s of the world get you down.

In the unlikely event that you haven’t realized this by now, the world is running rampant with difficult people—from biased professors and lazy peers, to unresponsive clients and corrupt executives. When you inevitably encounter one of these challenging individuals, you can either let it affect you, or you can borrow Kimmy’s attitude toward Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne, the cult leader responsible for kidnapping her and her fellow bunker hostages in the first place.

Rather than allowing RWGW’s insanity to drive Kimmy to her breaking point, she rises up and focuses solely on those elements that are within her control. Take a hint and reinforce your spirit so as not to let the idiots of the world hinder your success. You too can become unbreakable.

So you see, just because you don’t have sufficient weight in your wallet to hire Tina Fey to write your “life after college” story, doesn’t mean you can’t Tina F-ake it til’ you make it. As the theme song goes, it’s gonna’ be “a fascinating transition” (dammit)!

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To find out more about life as a Peppercom intern, check out this YouTube video produced by former Peppercomm interns who share their experiences. Click Here