Archive for February, 2012


It pays to be thankful

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Remember when you were little and taught to say please and thank you when you were given something? Yes, being polite should have been ingrained in us from an early age. And if this blog has mentioned the definite “do” of an interview as you’re on your job or internship search, it’s to remember to be polite and send a thank you note to the interviewee (we’ve posted on this a few times such as: here and here).

In case you didn’t believe us, check out this piece from Business Insider‘s Jessica Liebman–the number one mistake she sees people making when they interview with her. We’ll give you one guess on what that mistake is.

What are your thoughts on thank you notes? Do you send? How soon? Email or handwritten?


For The Voice . . . Less

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I’m not big into the reality competition television shows like American Idol, The Apprentice, etc.  (Top Chef is the one exception to the rule). I have a set group of shows that I like watching and it is very hard to get into the mix if you are a new show (I’m the “Mean Girl” of TV, it’s hard to hang with my clique).

It wasn’t until a few weeks ago when I was at the Laundromat, doing my laundry and attempting to “do work,” when the one TV that was on caught my attention with The Voice.

Not to get into too many specifics about the show, but the talent that was on it was amazing and the “coaches” (active musicians: Adam Levine, Cee Lo Green, Christina Aguilera and Blake Shelton) were hysterical as they fought to compete for the talent they wanted for their respective teams.

It was then that I noticed at the bottom of the screen a ticker that popped up with different tweets from the coaches, the official handle for the show and even the host, Carson Daly. Without even realizing it I wanted to search for each of their handles and put in my two cents about the contestants.

Why is this worth noting? Because the folks behind The Voice did a great job getting people to want to discuss the show and interact with the people involved. I basically was halfway through a tweet before realizing it.

Many television shows try to create mobile/online audience participation by encouraging viewers to “text” who their favorite contestant is, etc. Then you hear the whole spiel of how “regular fees apply.” I loved the way The Voice was so discreet about starting the conversation and to use five well-known celebrities and their twitter handles as part of the conversation. It is a great way to truly engage fans of the show . . . or those who just happen to be watching. Giving a voice to those who aren’t able to clap in the audience, judge the contestants live (like Blake and Adam), or even be a contestant was a brilliant move.

Staying on top of the latest trends in social media is extremely important especially as an entry-level PR pro—it shows that you’re interested in the industry and are knowledgeable. Have you seen any interesting campaigns worth noting?


The Intern Spotlight

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In today’s blog post, meet Alexandra Stephan, future PR star and current Peppercom intern working out of the San Francisco office.

1)      Let’s get the low-down. Where are you originally from, where did you go to school and how did you end up in PR?

I’m originally from Tampa, Fla., and went to college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I majored in Communications, and minored in Gender Studies. My first internship was with The ZOI, a Sorority and Fraternity-based advertising company, as an account executive. I was very influenced by my managers and they were the first people to encourage me to look into PR as a career.

After the internship, I started working for a promotion company called TEAM Enterprises, as a Brand Ambassador. I thought it was a fun experience learning how to set up and run events, and I liked being able to work with a large national corporation.

My senior year, I began working as a preseason sales account manager for the Madison Mallards Summer Baseball League. The Mallards are a small operation, so I was able to work closely with each department including their PR and marketing manager. After the season ended, the Mallards recommended me to look into PR in professional sports.

For my last semester of college, I was able to land an internship with the Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club in the Media Relations Department. The internship started in pre-season and ended post-season in the National League Championship Series losing to the 2011 World Champions. GREAT year to be an intern with the Brewers! Having graduated in May and the internship wrapping up, I was able to move wherever I wanted. I loved San Francisco and always said I would move there after graduation, so the week after the playoffs ended I packed up my car and made the 2,000 mile drive to Cali. The day after I arrived in San Francisco, I was offered the internship with Peppercom!

It was one of those moments where I felt that “it was all meant to be,” and I’m so happy to report that I love my new city and working with Peppercom!

2)      Which area of the industry do you find most appealing?

I’m really interested in crisis management, green PR and my favorite is media relations. I love pitching. To some it’s nerve-racking, but to me it’s the part of the day where I don’t have to look at my computer monitor. I like talking with the media and enjoy building relationships with people in general. I have also enjoyed the extra challenge pitching has given me throughout the internship in trying to land segments and/or editorials for the accounts I’ve been on.

3)      What’s your biggest revelation about the industry so far?

The biggest revelation I’ve had about the industry so far is that it’s not always glamorous, and you will get rejected more than you are successful. It has made me appreciative when things do come together, and I think it has given me a thicker skin. All of which I’m grateful for and hope will continue to help me be successful in the future.

4)      Tell us about your proudest moment in the internship program.

My proudest moment so far has been securing a TV opportunity for a client in Orlando. Being only a month into my internship, I was excited to be assigned to a familiar market. Being able to get in touch with someone at the station, get them interested and have the show successfully air that week was exciting to feel a part of the team. It was great to do something productive for the client. I think the biggest thing with media relations is timing, and this was one situation where all the pieces were able to fall into place!

5)      Any favorite/inspiring case studies and why? (This does not have to be limited to Peppercom)

I think the case study with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles Turn 25 is really interesting. I do love the ninja turtles, but I’m really into social media. I think that this was a great example of what social media can do to spread awareness.

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We’re all about giving you tips on how to be successful. With that, comes the inevitable don’ts we need to highlight.

Receiving a job offer can oftentimes be a delicate balance of “playing the game.” One doesn’t want to wait to long on an offer, request too high of a counteroffer, etc.

Check out this great piece in US News & World Report on what you should and should NOT be doing after a job offer is made. And remember, companies can revoke offers after they have made them. So keep calm, read on and keep these points in mind while you’re on the job hunt.


Much love for PR

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In the aftermath of the sugar, red/pink and flower overload, I thought this would be the best time to discuss Cupid’s favorite day. And nothing really says “Valentine’s Day” like public relations. Am I right?

I know I’m not, but in honor of the day, I would like to take a look at a few things I love right now:

  1. Twitter. One of my favorite ways to easily get news. I follow all of my usual news sources and get links to articles and headlines in real-time.
  2. Networking. I love meeting others in the communications industry, especially those who are just starting out or still in college. It’s great to learn from my peers and help those breaking into PR.
  3. Meeting with my supervisors. I never want to annoy my managers, but I do ask for feedback when I give presentations or on any documents I draft. Having meetings like this helps me to focus on areas that I can improve and identify my strengths from a different perspective.
  4. Anything making fun of the industry. Because it is funny and because in satire there is a bit of truth and I can see ways to tweak my own performance.
  5. Roses sent to Peppercom and addressed to me. I just figured I’d throw this one in here just in case (also feel free to send a separate bouquet to Kristin. We deserve it).

Tell us about a few things you love about the industry, we’d love to hear it.

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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