Archive for Career Advice

Dec
16

The Intern Spotlight: Eric Graff

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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!

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Dec
08

The Task of Time Management

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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?

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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.

 

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Nov
13

Don’t Rule Out Internships

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Image via Wikipedia

Image via Wikipedia

Once you graduate you may expect to start you dream job and begin putting those college internships behind you. Right? Well, in PR that is not always the case. Your career path may call for you to take on a post-grad internship (or two) before you land your first job that doesn’t have the word “Intern” in its title.

When you are looking for your first job after college be sure to apply for both entry-level positions and internships. You can work at an internship full-time allowing you to get into the flow of what life will be like in your first career job.

I suggest that you take on a lot of responsibility at your internship, treating it as if it’s the position that you want next. Ask your supervisor what’s the difference between an intern and the position above that role. This will allow you to map out your internship to help prepare you for your next position.

Other benefits/tips of a post-grad internship:

  • Allows you to work in a new city temporarily helping get your feet wet in your career and the city.
  • Take it very seriously – There is a great chance it can lead to a full-time permanent position, so act like you got the job.
  • Live your life outside of your internship as close as possible to the way you want it to be at your first career job.
  • At internships you are held responsible/accountable for your work, but it’s expected for you to be there to learn. Take advantage of this as a learning opportunity!
  • Internships, especially in PR are important for your career and your next employer will really look at all of the experience you had regardless if the job title has the word “intern” in it.
  • Don’t rule out a post-grad internship.

Overall, when you are looking for your post-grad job be sure to search the internship listings too. You never know where an internship can take you.

Keep in mind that Peppercomm hires full-time interns in both New York and San Francisco: http://peppercomm.com/employment

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Regardless of your education level you should find ways to enhance your learning: formally and/or informally. After reading the 10 ways to do this on a budget I’m committed to making sure I remain a student for life.

Here are the 10 ways to continue your PR education on a budget:

  1. Seek out free Webinars
  2. Take a class at your local community college
  3. Attend an event or conference that allows you to learn and network
  4. Find a mentor
  5. Conduct an informational interview
  6. Read industry journals
  7. Give your library card a workout
  8. Volunteer
  9. Join Twitter if you are not already a member
  10. Read up on award-winning case studies

I do a lot of these on the list already, but I really want to do more. You can read the full article here.

Which of the 10 ways to continue your PR education do you find the most interesting?

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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