Today’s guest post is by Peppercomm associate, Chris Piedmont

To help land the coveted first job, young professionals spend their entire college careers laying the building blocks of their professional network. But, the networking that was oh so important to get hired is pivotal in building a successful, long lasting career in public relations. Your newest contact could be a new business lead, job opportunity or best friend in the making. Having people who understand the daily life of a PR pro also gives you an outlet to bounce ideas off of someone for a fresh perspective. As a fairly recent southern transplant to New York City, I’ve also found networking events to be one of the best ways to make new connections with common interests and goals. Here’s a few tips for continuing to grow your network in the early stages of your PR career.

4 Tips for Building Your Network as a Young Professional

  1. Join a Professional Organization: Organizations like the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) are a great way to meet other professionals in the field while also building your skill set through professional development opportunities. PRSA also has a section specific to New Professionals to network with others beginning their careers.
  2. Connect With Your College Alumni Groups: Most colleges have active alumni groups in major cities. Getting involved with your alma mater’s alumni base can introduce you to others outside of the communication industry.
  3. Utilize Social Media: Embrace the power of social media to expand your network and continue learning. Follow and interact with the leading minds in the industry and participate in regular Twitter chats sponsored by PR News, PRSA and others.
  4. Continue to foster existing relationships: There’s an old song that goes “make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other’s gold.” The same can be said for network connections. Stay in touch with those you met during your time in college and continue nurturing those relationships.

 

What other tips do you have for building your network?

DiggYahoo BookmarksTwitterTechnorati FavoritesDeliciousFacebookShare

In today’s post, meet current Peppercomm Boulder, CO intern and future industry star, Eric Graff. 

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

I graduated from the University of Colorado Denver. I am from Parker, Colorado a little suburb area outside of Denver. I began my college career at Dodge City Community College in Dodge City, Kansas on a baseball scholarship. I pursued broadcast journalism where my speaking and writing skills improved. After 2 years, I transferred to Washburn University to continue a Journalism degree and a baseball career. During my year-and-a-half stay at Washburn I became homesick and came to a quick realization that journalism was not the best fit for me. So, I transferred to the University of Colorado Denver and graduated with a communications degree with an emphasis in public relations. Graduating and earning a degree that is applicable to many businesses as well as my personality, was one of the happiest moments of my life.

Persistently searching on LinkedIn for an internship/job in my related field is what brought me to Peppercomm. One day, I stumbled upon an open internship position at Peppercomm posted to LinkedIn. I saw the number of applicants and said, “why not?” After submitting my resume, I did my research and found that Peppercomm has an all-around great atmosphere. At Peppercomm I found a humorous and personal work environment that still maintains a high standard of professionalism.

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

I find the concept of understanding the clients’ needs and strategizing ways to better their overall brand image to be the most appealing. This is appealing to me because I am a spirited individual that enjoys engaging and interacting with different types of people and problems. “Listen, Engage and Repeat” is the vocal point of my interactions with clients and staff in this industry.

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

The biggest surprise was the amount of time given to multiple projects. I found it hard to believe that everyone could wear multiple hats and still maintain a balance. I admire this attribute because this is an area I need to improve. The surprise of it all was seeing everyone at Peppercomm maintain sanity as well as being positive about the multiple tasks at hand.

Where do you see yourself going in the industry?

The tools I have developed here throughout my internship at Peppercomm have truly been essential to my growth in this industry. It taught me the importance of researching and to never take one solution and run with it.

The path in the industry I wish to pursue further is client relations and creative branding strategies. I am very talkative, personable and enjoys understanding the true message of the client and developing that idea for others to understand. Also, I believe creativity is the juncture of critical thinking and originality that connects all those involved in one exciting project. Thank you Peppercomm for this opportunity!

DiggYahoo BookmarksTwitterTechnorati FavoritesDeliciousFacebookShare

Today’s guest post is by Peppercomm account executive, Ali Hughes.

PR pros can often forget what a life saver technology can be, overlooking many digital tools that can make the work go more smoothly.

Here are five apps that PR professionals should have in their arsenal:

1. IFTT (available for Android and iOS)

Social media management can quickly become a nightmare-inducing situation for PR pros balancing several social media profiles, especially for more than one client.

The IFTT (“if this, then that”) app makes managing these accounts less stressful with the use of “recipes” that connect actions on multiple accounts. For example, you can have IFTT send a tweet every time you post to Instagram, increasing your profile’s visibility.

PR pros should beware, though: The app can make easy work of several tasks, but automating all social media can put you in hot water—like this posthumous iPhone 6 post from Joan River’s Facebook account.

2. Pocket (available for Android and iOS)

Staying on top of the news and current trends is a must for PR professionals. There are many great newsreader apps available for busy communicators on the go, but Pocket saves articles, videos and other tidbits for you to read later on your phone, tablet and computer.

The app connects with several other apps and websites and even enables you to read content when you’re offline (great for flights or subway traveling) and, when you’re connected, to share the articles via Facebook, Twitter, email and more.

3. Humin (available for Android beta testing and iOS)

PR pros are constantly networking, which means your list of contacts can end up resembling a jigsaw puzzle with too many pieces.

Enter Humin, an app that organizes your contacts. You can search for people based on phrases such as “met last week” or “works at PR Daily.” The app also syncs contacts’ information from connected social media sites to give you more information. It’ll even let you know when one of your contacts is visiting your city, so you can easily meet up with them.

4. LinkedIn Job Search (available for iOS)

LinkedIn can be a trove for PR, marketing and social media jobs, and many employers give candidates the chance to apply for open positions directly through the social network.

Though job hunters can use the standard LinkedIn app on their Android or Apple devices to locate and apply for the job of their dreams, the new Job Search app makes short work of the process.

Users can search using keyword, location and other criteria and can even set the app to search for openings in their area. Positions can be saved in the app and users can receive notifications if the listing has changed. The best part: Searches and applications are kept secret from your network.

5. PRSA Ethics (available for Android and iOS)

The Public Relations Society of America’s Code of Ethics is the industry standard for PR pros. For press releases that might overstep the line with regard to a quote, or in crises that call for a lightning-fast response, this app can provide immediate guidance.

Jessica Airey, the Public Relations Student Society of America’s national VP of advocacy, says the app can navigate “all the ethical dilemmas you will face during your career.” She continues:

The app includes an explanation of the professional values, Code of Ethics provisions, case studies, an ethics quiz and more. Plus, it connects you to public relations experts who can guide you in answering your toughest ethics questions on-the-go at your job or internship.

Do you currently use any of these apps, and if so, does it really save you time?

 

More on these apps can be found in this PR Daily article

DiggYahoo BookmarksTwitterTechnorati FavoritesDeliciousFacebookShare
Comments (0)

It’s easy to get distracted when you’re trying to get work done. Maybe you are at your job or internship and a friend sends you a link that you just have to read. You click on that one link and before you know it you have spent more than 30 minutes browsing through random articles.

What can you do to help prevent distractions like this? Here are several ideas:

  1. Temporarily disable your personal emails on your phone.
  2. Do not sign into your personal email accounts while working.
  3. Set a specific time in your schedule, about 10-15 minutes that you can use to check personal emails and social media.
  4. Watch the below video about how to disable or block websites on your web browser.

Time management is key when working in public relations or any industry for that matter. It’s up to you to figure out what system and practices work best to help you stay on track when you need to get work done.

What are you time management tricks and secrets?

DiggYahoo BookmarksTwitterTechnorati FavoritesDeliciousFacebookShare
Comments (0)

Not another News App

There are many apps that should be on every public relations professional phone, tablet and/or iPod Touch. After taking a look at Facebook PagesHootsuite and Pulse, I began to question why I never used Pulse before this time. Facebook Pages and Hootsuite are fun and easy to use, but Pulse is chalk full of information tailored for me.

The iTunes app store describes Pulse as, “Pulse by LinkedIn is the professional news app tailored to you.” The description goes on to say, “The Apple Design Award-winning app allows you to customize your news reading experience, easily explore compelling professional content, and share stories to your favorite social networks.”

There’s nothing like being introduced to a new app and I’m glad that Pulse is now part of my app library.

PR Professionals, This App is for You

Since all public relations professionals are on LinkedIn (or at least should be), it’s easy to signup for this app. Just login with your LinkedIn credentials and you’re all set. After walking through the demo it’s time to tailor it to deliver the news that you want. You can have news sights such as NPRPeople Magazine or industry trade news sites at your fingertips. The best part, it’s all in one location and with a click on the screen you’re taken to the full article.

The purpose of this app is for you to create different news channels based on your interest. So, if one of your clients works in the agricultural industry then maybe you’ll have an ag related news channel. Then below that you may have a tech related news channel for a different client. You are then able to scroll through the most recent articles published on that site and read a preview before clicking on it to read the full article.

Upon clicking on the preview you are taken to the full article or sometimes more of the article with the option of opening the rest of it via the web. Within the app you are able to leave a comment, share the article across your various social media channels, like it, bookmark it and click on embedded links.

Download vs. Not Download

It goes without saying that I think this app needs to be downloaded. Working in public relations you have to stay current with the news, especially when that news can affect your clients. Having all of your main news sources in one place makes that so much easier. You don’t have to worry about visiting individual websites and scrolling through Twitter hoping you’ll see every relevant article.

Ease of Use

From my use so far, I don’t think there are any deficiencies that I can name at this time. Maybe with a bit more time using the app, I will be able to point some out. It’s easy to change the reading style, clicking and scrolling through the articles is simple and most importantly finding and creating new channels is a breeze.

As you are navigating the busy news landscape, give this app or other similar apps a try to help make your life easier. Your teams and managers will thank you once you begin sharing relevant news articles with them each day.

 

DiggYahoo BookmarksTwitterTechnorati FavoritesDeliciousFacebookShare

Archives

Intern Video

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