Archive for Q&A


The Intern Spotlight

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In today’s post, meet Peppercomm SF intern and future PR star, David Jolly.


David Jolly_headshot1.   Tell us about yourself—where did you/do you go to school, where are you from and what brought you to Peppercomm and public relations?

Life for me began in Cleveland until I was a teenager and my family relocated to Columbus, Ohio. After graduating from high school in Columbus, I went to an out-of-state college in Hampton, VA majoring in finance and marketing.  After two years there, I realized that  it wasn’t the best fit for me, so I transferred to Ohio Dominican University (ODU) in Columbus.  I graduated from ODU with a BA in Public Relations and Marketing Communications in December 2012.

Throughout my time at ODU, I had several PR internships and was heavily involved in student organizations, and even served as the PRSSA  president for my chapter. Upon graduation, I took on my first full-time internship at a PR agency before coming to Peppercomm’s San Francisco office. Making the decision to move across the country to San Francisco was a big deal. Not only had I never visited San Francisco, I did not know a single person in the city. Yet, it sounded like a great adventure and after speaking with the teams here, I knew I had to find a way to make it happen. The next thing I knew I was living in San Francisco and starting my first day as the  intern in the Peppercomm SF office.

I’ve always told myself that agency would be the best fit for me. A past internship proved me correct and I knew I had to continue my career at Peppercomm. My passion for media relations was a major reason in wanting to work at Peppercomm and I felt the agency would be a great place to hone my skills.

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

A majority of my past experiences is in media relations, so I find that area of the industry to be the most appealing. I think I fell in love with this area of the industry during my first internship. I saw an opportunity for a media placement and I sent an email pitch to the appropriate editor at the publication. The editor liked the story and I had my first placement in a national publication. It felt great to be able to see my idea go from a pitch to being an article in a widely-read outlet, and also build that relationship with the editor. Since then, I’m constantly looking  for opportunities and projects that allow me to improve my media skills.

3.  Any surprises or revelations about the industry?

After taking a few entry-level classes as an undergrad and really taking the time to research the industry, I had a better understanding of what to expect. One of the biggest surprises for me was learning that public relations can be found in almost every single industry. This is definitely a good thing for emerging PR professionals like me, because regardless of what your interest might be, there is most likely a PR job in that specific industry.

4.  Where do you see yourself going in the industry?

I would really like to continue to learn new skills and best practices in the industry. I see myself becoming more of an expert in media relations and social media. I also see myself staying in an agency setting because of the fast-paced environment and the variety of clients I get to work with on a daily basis. My goal is to ultimately become a senior partner at an agency and mentor future PR professionals.

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The Intern Spotlight

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In today’s post, meet Peppercomm intern and future PR star, Chris Piedmont.

Piedmont, Chris

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

I’m currently a senior at the College of Charleston located in historic downtown Charleston, SC where I’m serving as the Student Body Vice President this year. I grew up just outside of Charleston in a small suburb. After spending my first year of college at another university in the upstate of SC, Charleston called me home.  When I originally went off to school, I was dead set on going into education but, after my introductory class had us tutoring local high school children, I felt like something was off. I decided I wanted to pursue a degree in something I could do more with than teach and, if the call to educate came later in life, I could always take classes to get my teaching certification.

After making this decision, I started taking career surveys to figure out what I should consider. One of the surveys suggested that I’d be good at teaching (shocker), psychiatry and public relations. Prior to this, I never understood what public relations field really was but decided to try it out and I’ve never looked back.

My interest in public relations was what sparked my transfer back home to the College of Charleston due to our thriving strategic communication program, our Advisory Council and the internship opportunities available in the Charleston area that were not as easy to find in the upstate. A month after I started at CofC, I had the pleasure of hearing Steve Cody speak at one of our Advisory Council Student Forums about developing your own personal brand. I was so blown away by his ability to connect with everyone in the room, make us all laugh, and learn at the same time. Later in the year, I was able to participate in a networking trip to NYC and one of our stops was Peppercomm. While visiting, we learned about Peppercomm, the internship program and the great work and culture that exists here. After seeing all this, I knew that this was the place for me and I still get excited every day to come in to work because I’ve wanted this for so long.

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

Right now, I find public affairs the most appealing part of the industry because it’s the unknown for me. I haven’t had the opportunity to do much work in this area and would love to take a stab at it. With that said, I really enjoy the consumer and financial services sectors that I’ve been introduced to recently.

 3.  Any surprises or revelations about the industry?

One surprise for me would be the extent to which public relations professionals love their jobs and have fun while at work. In talking with friends at other internships in different sectors, they are getting coffee, filing papers, and not really enjoying life. For my friends in PR internships and myself, that couldn’t be further from the case. We’re getting hands-on experience and learning from professionals who light up when they come to work.

 4.  Where do you see yourself going in the industry?

Who knows? If I’ve learned anything from networking and speaking to my colleagues here at Peppercomm and elsewhere in the public relations industry, it’s that you never know where you’ll end up because opportunities simply have a way of presenting themselves. While I’d like to say that my crystal ball is in full working condition and that I know exactly where I’ll be in one, five, or 10 years, I can’t. I simply plan on working my hardest and taking any and every opportunity that presents itself because there’s always something more to be learned.

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Summer’s here (or will be as of tomorrow) and so is our internship program’s summer session. This week meet future communications industry star and current Peppercomm intern, Taylor Hatch.

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

I am a rising senior at Georgetown University in Washington, DC and I hail from Montclair, NJ. I study Spanish and Marketing and first decided to give PR a shot last summer during an internship at a small public relations consultancy firm in New York City. I loved learning how to pitch and decided I wanted to do another PR internship at an agency, particularly one that would give me even more hands-on experience. It didn’t take me long to stumble across Peppercomm’s website and fall in love with the company culture, variety of clients, and internship description.

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

 So far, I’ve been most interested in the way social media is used as a PR tool. I think social media has enabled brands to express their personalities in ways that aren’t possible without it. it’s so interesting to see how companies that one may not expect to be “social”, like financial service companies, for example, engage customers across all platforms! Another area of PR that I’m interested in exploring is Crisis Management and, luckily for me, it completely intersects with social media. Now, when a crisis occurs, brands can’t put it off for even a day because they can instantly respond by tweeting about it. Social media is both a source of damage control and damage creation for brands and I love this area of PR because, in my opinion, it’s the most dynamic and engaging.

Any surprises or revelations about the industry?

Going from a much smaller PR firm to a mid-size agency like Peppercomm, one thing that surprised me was how many roles one agency can fill! In my first week I’ve noticed how Peppercomm owns so many of its clients’ projects from start to finish. Between research, design, events, media relations, crisis management, measurement, and so much more, it’s obvious that the industry is anything but limiting. I was happily surprised by how a career in PR can allow you to dabble in many different areas of marketing.

Where do you see yourself going in the industry?

While PR seems to be the place for me, I’d like to learn more about how PR agencies intersect with other types of  marketing firms, such as advertising agencies. It would be interesting to learn more about these other functions of marketing in order to better understand how to cooperate and coordinate client strategy on every level. For this reason, I definitely see myself working in an integrated marketing agency such as Peppercomm. I’ll have to see where my accounts take me this summer, but I imagine myself working with either consumer product or financial service companies in the future.

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The Intern Spotlight

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 In today’s post, meet Jamie Hogan – current Peppercomm intern and future PR star

 1.  Tell us about yourself- Where did you go to school, where are you from and what brought you to Peppercomm and PR?

I am originally from Rochester, NY and attended college at Oswego State University in Oswego, NY. I graduated in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in creative writing. After spending the summer after school working at AT&T, specifically teaching people how to use the iPhone when it first launched, I moved to New York, NY without a job. I snuck in right before the economy took a turn for the worst and after temping at a few random places (Hermès and Sony stick out in my mind) I landed an interview at a fashion jewelry company and got the position. I started out as the showroom manager and after that, was promoted to an account executive. Although I worked at that company for over five years, I knew that job wasn’t exactly right for me and that feeling was solidified by a particularly bad experience. I started seeking out new opportunities in fields that I thought would be interesting and because of my background in journalism, public relations really stood out. I was lucky enough to be hired as an intern at Peppercomm about three months ago, and have enjoyed my experiences since then!

2.  What area of the industry do you find most interesting and why?

Since I didn’t have any experience in public relations before this internship began, I actually find many aspects to be appealing! I’ve learned so much in this short period of time and I really think that there are a lot of exciting facets to the industry. As far as my accounts go, I really like the more “consumer-y” traditional PR projects and also enjoy helping out with new business research. And although I haven’t done much with it, I think the event-planning side is very interesting as well.

3.  Any surprises or revelations about the industry?

One real surprise was learning some of the “behind the scenes” responsibilities that public relations professionals take on. For instance, it was amazing to learn that many times, it’s our team who is writing articles and answering questions on behalf of the accounts that are hiring us. I had to really wrap my head around that one! As one co-worker put it, “PR people run the world, and no one knows it.” I thought that was a fun way of describing it and it makes me feel like I’m part of an underground secret society.

4.  Tell us about your proudest moment in the internship so far.

I’d say that my proudest moment so far was when a team member on one of my accounts gave me a shout-out during one of Peppercomm’s staff meetings. Getting recognized for something that I had done well made me feel great and really boosted my confidence. It was nice to know that my hard work had paid off.

5.  Any favorite/inspiring case studies?

While it was before my time at Peppercomm, I remember reading about the Teenage Mutant Ninjas Turtles 25th Anniversary. For such an iconic brand to reemerge and spark nostalgia into fans by way of social media, I thought it was a great juxtaposition of new and old because of the innovative use of modern technology.

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The Intern Spotlight

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In today’s post, meet Ali Pearce – current Peppercomm intern and future PR star.

1.  Tell us about yourself- Where did you go to school, where are you from and what brought you to Peppercomm and PR?

My name is Ali Pearce and I’ve been interning at Peppercomm since September. I graduated from Elon University, a small liberal arts college in North Carolina, last May with a degree in Strategic Communications. I have always enjoyed working in teams and coming up with creative solutions to problems; therefore public relations was a perfect fit for me. Because it is an industry that encourages thinking outside of the box, I am constantly being challenged and continuously learning new ways to help our clients.

The culture at Peppercomm is unlike any other organization I have been a part of and immediately drew me into the company. The minute you step into the office, you can tell that everyone enjoys coming to work and because of that, the energy here is contagious.  My interview flew by because I spent half of the time laughing with the intern committee. That’s when I knew I was sold and that Peppercomm was the place for me.

2.  What area of the industry do you find most interesting and why?

I’m really interested in the digital side of public relations. Social media has revolutionized the industry by completely changing the relationship between brands and consumers. I love following the digital trends and learning new ways to build a brand’s presence through these social media platforms. One of my favorite aspects of this internship is working with Peppercomm’s internal digital team, PepperDigital.

3.  Any surprises or revelations about the industry?

I think the biggest revelation about the industry for me was the different types of projects that we work on for our clients. Before working at Peppercomm, everything I knew about PR came from the classroom and my internship for an in-house PR department. Working for an agency is completely different; no two days are ever alike and you are constantly juggling different types of projects for a unique client base.

4.  Tell us about your proudest moment in the internship so far.

One of the most challenging yet rewarding experiences of my internship thus far has been working for a foreign technology company. My team and I have been helping to establish a social media presence for this client. This has been difficult at times because of cultural differences and a differing of opinion on various topics. Drafting social media content for this client has taught me how to adjust my language and tone so that it matches my client’s audience, which I have come to learn is an essential skill in public relations. Overall, it has been rewarding every day to see an increase in engagement on the client’s Facebook page and to receive positive feedback from the client.

5.  Any favorite/inspiring case studies?

I recently came across a Unicef campaign on Pinterest that really resonated with me. Pinterest is typically used as a platform for sharing things that you want in your closet, for your home or things that you want to cook or craft. Working off of this theme, Unicef created a fictional Pinterest account for Ami Musa, a 13 year old girl from Sierra Leone. Using this account, Unicef pinned items such as a cup of rice or clean drinking water to show the wants of a 13 year old living in poverty. These images stood out amongst the typical materialistic pins. Personally, this campaign forced me to think about those less fortunate about myself and instilled in me a desire to do something to help others instead of pinning another pair of shoes.


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Q&A Friday: Brian Blank

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In today’s post, we asked Brian Blank, Account Supervisor of Peppercomm and PepperDigital, how technology and social media trends are shaping the way we communicate as PR professionals.   

Q.  Tell us a little bit about your role at Peppercomm.

A.  My role is unique in the way that it straddles both the digital side of the agency along with the communication side of what agency. I primarily work as a consultant with our clients on a variety of areas and ways they can leverage digital media in a strategic way to carry their messages to a variety of audiences. This runs the gamut too – from developing and maintaining social media thought leadership programs to developing strategies for specific platforms. I also help out my accounts with strategic communication work, from writing PR plans and press releases to pitching news.

Q.  What drew you to digital and social media?

A.  I went to college here in the Silicon Valley and cut my PR teeth in the startup world. I was lucky enough to be on the “front lines” of emerging tech over the years and just loved to find out more about the tools and gadgets coming on the market each day. The digital world is all around us whether or not we choose to participate in social media and provides incredible opportunities for brand to reach new and existing audiences in a variety of ways.

For me, I found the tools fascinating as social media accelerated the feedback loop and changed the way companies interacted with customers. Technology allowed communication to evolve in ways we didn’t even imagine 10-15 years ago. I have always had a fascination for technology and gadgets and I believe this was one of the reasons why I was drawn to the digital and social realm.

How have recent developments and trends in digital and social media changed the PR landscape?

A.  For better or worse, it has changed things dramatically, but PR and communications has been evolving for the last 30 years. The advent of the fax machine and email revolutionized the industry just as much as Twitter or Facebook does today. Although with social media we’ve become more open in many ways and sometimes share way too much information. But at the end of the day, we’re talking about tools here and Facebook is a tool, not a strategy. You still need solid counsel and support that matches your business objectives to be successful. The tools will continue to change, so look at the big picture and think critically and creatively.

Q.  What skills should today’s PR students be sure to master if they are interested in a career in digital?

A.  You have to be comfortable with the technology. As a society, it is becoming a part of our daily lives and you have to be able to know how to use it and be willing to get out of your comfort zone to try new things. Since technology continues to evolve, you have to be able to think about creative ways to solve problems. Think about what tools your client could use to reach their objectives.

Q.  What are some basic rules that PR professionals should keep in mind when using social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook for work? 

A.  Separate your personal use from your professional use as much as possible, because a hilarious tweet you want to share with your friends late on a Friday night might not be so funny if you accidentally post on your client’s Twitter handle. Another thing is that it is OK to keep boundaries between your accounts. You don’t have to follow your boss on Facebook but it might make sense to do so on Twitter or LinkedIn. I use my Facebook page as my personal page for friends and family and really only add my coworkers if they become close friends. I open my LinkedIn and Twitter accounts for professional use and prefer it that way.

Q.  What one piece of advice do you have for those just starting their careers in PR?

A.  Get started with internships early on and try a few. You might not love agency life but excel working at a non-profit. The experiences will help shape you professionally and will make you a more rounded candidate for your chosen career field. Learn to be a rock star researcher, because you will always be called upon to know a lot about a variety of topics and the quicker you can get up to speed, the more valuable you will be.

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The Intern Spotlight

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In today’s post, meet Courtney Moed–Peppercom intern and future PR star.

1)      Tell us about yourself—where did you go to school, where are you from and what brought you to Peppercom and public relations?

I am from Manalapan, New Jersey and in the Fall I will be starting my junior year at Ramapo College. I am studying Communication Arts with a concentration in Global Communication and Media.   An interesting fact is that I am the Public Relations Committee Chair on the Executive Board at my school. This has given me a major leadership role and I feel as though this internship experience will make me even more qualified for the position.

I have always been interested in public relations and how the media works. Luckily, Ed, my uncle/cousin happened to have an “in” at this really hip PR firm. I came to visit the office a few times and knew this is exactly what I wanted to do.

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

Although I am still exploring the different areas within the industry, there are a few that I am particularly fond of. I find crisis management fascinating and think it is very exciting how PR firms are able to send out positive releases in the media when something negative happens. It is really interesting to see the creative outlets that people will use to display a positive image. I also think that event planning is very exciting because it is important for companies to have events that give them a good reputation and make people want to buy their products or discover their brands. Event planning is also intriguing because there are endless possibilities and every event is unique in its own way.

3)      Any surprises or revelations about the industry?

My biggest revelation about the industry is how much work actually goes into each task. This industry is ever-changing and fast paced so it is important to not lose sight of the future. Public Relations is extremely exciting because it is always something new and stimulating, but that can also be its downfall because it requires a lot of effort and attention. As a PR intern, the most important thing is making sure you have excellent time management skills, otherwise you may become overwhelmed very quickly.

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

My proudest moment in the internship program so far is being able to see all of the hard work I have done come together. It is rewarding to see all the research and time you spend on a project really benefit to become a positive presentation or blog post. The first time my blog post was posted, I was so proud of it because I put so much effort into it and now it was finally out there for the world to read.

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

My favorite case study so far would have to be Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turn 25. I believe that fans are the most vital people because they are the ones who need to be pleased. It was great how fans were able to be reached whether it was through blogs or Twitter. Social networking is something that our society cannot live without so it is extremely important that it is incorporated into campaigns.


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The Intern Spotlight

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In today’s post, meet Ed Page, current Peppercom intern,  future PR pro and visitor from across the pond.

1.      Tell us about yourself—where did you go to school, where are you from and what brought you to Peppercom and public relations?

I am one of the many Ed’s at Peppercom, but the only British one! I am from London, England but live in Henley-On-Thames, a small town by the river Thames in Oxfordshire; famously known for its annual Royal Regatta and cameo in The Social Network. I am a student at the University of Nottingham majoring in American Studies, but a year ago I crossed the pond to go to college in the middle of a corn field, the University of Illinois in Champaign, on an exchange program for 10 months. There I studied a variety of modules such as marketing, journalism, advertising and even got involved with a weekly painting class. During my 10 months at the University of Illinois, I was fortunate enough to join the Illinois branch of the American Advertising Federation (AAF).

While there, I was fortunate enough to gain insight into the world of public relations, marketing and advertising. The membership included placement days, visits to various agencies in Chicago and weekly talks from various notables in the industry. It was these placements and visits to the agencies in Chicago that ultimately ignited my interest and curiosity into the world of Public Relations. It was not however until a family ski trip to Utah with one of Peppercom’s clients in February that I discovered and learned more about the company. Within three weeks I was on a plane to New York for what I thought would be a 20 minute interview, it turned into an hour long conversation with Mr. Ed Moed, Peppercom’s co-founder and the rest is history as they say. It also didn’t hurt that I was wearing a pair of trousers covered in tiny skulls which I think the Peppercom Intern Committee enjoyed quite a lot.

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

I am particularly fond of event planning and that is where a lot of my past experience lies. Coming from an artistic background I am also greatly drawn to the marketing and creative side of PR. I have enjoyed working on a variety of projects thus far from brainstorming and discussing marketing initiatives to gaining insight through H20–Peppercom’s in-house creative department.

3. Any surprises or revelations about the industry?

Prior to working at Peppercom, I would have always said I wanted to focus my efforts on entertainment PR. However, since working at Peppercom, I have realized the extent of how public relations dominates the world in so many different sectors and markets. One of the best things about working at Peppercom and the industry so far has been the interaction with a plethora of clients from all different spheres. I particularly enjoy working with our clients in the financial sector which I never would have thought I would.  I have also come to learn that no day is the same in the PR world which is very exciting; the industry is extremely fast paced and you never know what might occur on any given day. From a crisis popping up to your pitching efforts resulting in a published story, the PR world is a multi-faceted and diverse arena.

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

My proudest moment so far definitely has to be the third day of my internship, the saying “being thrown in at the deep end” is an understatement to say the least. It was a Friday night and one of our clients had a major event the following week and there was still a lot to get organized, myself along with my fellow intern Nicole, stayed until 1 AM putting together various documents that were crucial to the event running smoothly. My initial reaction when the clock struck midnight was “Is every night going to be like this? What am I doing? Have I made a mistake getting into the PR industry” (please note that this is not the norm for this agency)? As the night came to a close and reflecting on that evening, I not only bonded with my team and got to know them, but there was a huge sense of pride and accomplishment when the job was done. The client was happy, we were happy (if not rather tired), the event ran smoothly and the client was very impressed.

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

One of my favorite case studies has to be SPOUT: Connecting With Film Lovers. SPOUT is a unique online film community and it came to Peppercom as it needed to drive traffic to its Web site and encourage new members to join.  Being a film-buff myself, I was fascinated to see the work Peppercom did in driving circulation, buzz and obtaining great media coverage surrounding SPOUT; over 5,000 New Yorkers and film enthusiasts subsequently got involved. I find it fascinating how buzz surrounding a company can snowball and traffic grow as a result.

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The Intern Spotlight

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In today’s post, meet Jonathan Salm, current Business Outcomes intern with Peppercom’s Business Intelligence Group.

1)      Tell us about yourself—where did you go to school, where are you from and what brought you to Peppercom?

I am from Lakeland, Fla., and currently live in Lexington, Va., where I will be a senior at Washington and Lee University (W&L). I am majoring in English and am a philosophy minor, but I’ve been able to take a wide variety of classes as a part of W&L’s liberal arts curriculum. I’ve taken courses in Latin, formal logic, philosophy of law and even a miserable semester of calculus. I’ve also spent some time in W&L’s C-school (school of commerce, economics and politics), where I was in an awesome marketing class last year. In that class we worked on a full-fledged marketing campaign for the National Student Advertising Competition and were divided into teams based upon our skills and interests. I was on the media planning team and was personally in charge of feedback, measurement and evaluation. When my professor forwarded our class an email the Business Outcomes internship at Peppercom, it sounded like it would be a great fit for me. And so far, it has been!

2)      Explain what Business Outcomes is.

Business Outcomes is a division of Peppercom’s Business Intelligence Group. In this industry, firms like Peppercom help companies to form and push out their respective messages. However, the amount of influence and the type of message is hard to quantify. That is where Business Outcomes comes in. By analyzing data and using a flexible algorithmic scoring system, the Business Outcomes team has created a verifiable way to measure success and identify “white space” areas of opportunity. To achieve this we measure the quality and quantity of share of voice and public responses using different analytic variables. With these results, the Business Outcomes team provides benchmarks for success and prescriptive strategies for the future.

3)      How does your division and work fit in with the rest of the agency and clients?

Business Outcomes is an additional service that Peppercom offers on top of public relations work. Some companies want the extra service and analysis that Business Outcomes offers, while others may not be interested. Right now, the Business Outcomes team works with a number of Peppercom’s clients.

4)      What attracted you to this type of work?

During my internship search, I applied for positions with companies in the marketing, advertising, and public relations fields. What really attracted me to the Peppercom Business Outcomes internship was the division’s focus on the “why” of PR. Why are certain messages successful? What kind of messages are more successful than others? And how do different media forms affect these messages? These questions are what Business Outcomes seeks to answer. As an English major and philosophy minor (which might seem at the opposite end of the analytical spectrum), I am continually asked to analyze stories, novels, essays, etc. While postmodern novels and PR messages are quite different, the methods for analyzing and understanding both are exactly the same. The more I thought about it, the more similar this job and my background seemed. Additionally, my strong computer skills (particularly in excel) helped me hit the ground running once I began.

5)      Tell us about your proudest and/or favorite moment of your internship so far.

It was definitely finishing a special project for a Peppercom client. We were asked to analyze every single traditional media hit for a competitor over the course of an entire year. Our search gave us somewhere around 6,000 total hits that we had to read through, sort into buckets, and analyze under a deadline. Thanks to lots of hard work from the Business Outcomes team and the help of a few of my fellow interns, we were able to get it done accurately and on time. It was a great feeling to see the finished presentation after all of the work we put into it.


Other ways to connect with Jon:

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The Intern Spotlight

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In today’s post, meet Shira Palka, current Peppercom intern and future PR star.

1) Tell us about yourself—where did you go to school, where are you from and what brought you to Peppercom and public relations?
Originally from Riverdale, New York, I now study at New York University as a media, culture & communications major and psychology minor. My involvement in the high school newspaper has led me to my first internship at the Bronx Press, and while I realized that journalism wasn’t my calling, I continued to search for outlets where I could explore my writing, researching and creative interests.

During my sophomore year, I interned at The .CO Registry, in which I assisted with the launch of the company and communicated with the outside public relations and marketing agencies. Also at that time, I was elected as one of the founding executive board members of NYU’s PRSSA chapter and I became much more aware and involved with the public relations community. When I landed at M Booth as an intern for the digital team, I learned about the importance of digital and social PR to help companies succeed in the modern era. I was curious to delve into the traditional side of PR, and I was happy to find Peppercom welcoming me just a few blocks away.

2) What area of the industry do you find the most appealing and why?
I find technology and digital PR most appealing at this stage of my career. This is one of the most rapidly growing areas of our society, and public relations agencies must adapt their levels of expertise to help their clients be as up to date with their strategies as possible. It fascinates me that social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and others have become significant tools in helping companies communicate with their audiences, and personalize their branding to hundreds of millions of people with the click of a button. There are so many up and coming technology startups that are in need of good public relations assistance, and additional technology vendors that work with these agencies to provide the ultimate support and understanding for their clients. While this field continues to expand by the minute, it will be interesting to see the new trends that arise along the way and their effects on the public relations industry.

3) Any surprises or revelations about the industry?
One thing I learned early on about the industry was the need to multitask on a large-scale level. Today’s generation is growing up on smartphones which allow you to email someone, while video chatting, simultaneously taking a picture, and then posting it on all your social channels. Surprisingly, I realized PR professionals need the same types of skills to work on their accounts. PR people work on several projects and accounts at once, while maintaining their personal reputations on the internet. I thought multitasking was an easily acquired skill if you’ve grown up in an environment that encourages it, yet I see people who have been in the PR industry for longer than I’ve existed that have been multitasking before I knew the true meaning of the word. This attribute is something that really stood out to me when first learning about the field.

4) Tell us about your proudest moment in the internship program so far.
So far, my proudest moment at Peppercom was pitching and planning for a large client event. I was able to secure bloggers and reporters from top-tier media to attend, and kept in touch with them as the event date neared. When I welcomed guests to the event that evening, I enjoyed seeing all of the planning details come together to form what appeared to be an effortless, yet elegant party with a satisfied client.

5) Any favorite/inspiring case studies (and this does not have to be a Peppercom case study)?
An inspiring case study done by Peppercom was the Nikon: Creation of an Online Sensation. While Nikon is a classic brand which has been around for a long time, it too was struggling to stay fresh in a continuously developing market. Peppercom strategically identified new audiences and media that may be attracted to Nikon’s online competition, and successfully drove thousands of visitors to the website with hundreds of media placements. The case study is a great example of how an older company can maintain its reputation with fresh, forward thinking public relations tactics to assist behind the scenes.

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Intern Podcast

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