Archive for Tips and Tricks

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

Cows everywhere, REJOICE! Chick-fil-A is coming to NYC. In light of this revelation, it seemed like an appropriate time to share the lessons I learned from my 4 years working my first job at Chick-fil-A.

When I was 16, I wanted a job to earn extra spending money and one of the few classmates of mine who had a job at this point had been working at one of our local Chick-fil-As.  After taking the plunge and applying, I was hired and worked at two Chick-fil-As off and on for the next four years.

Surprisingly, you can learn a lot while brightening people’s days one chicken meal at a time.

Go above and beyond: Chick-fil-A prides itself on “second mile” service, or going the extra mile to not just meet customers’ expectations but to exceed them and anticipate their needs. To do this, listening closely to your customer is crucial. I have carried this with me throughout my other internships and jobs. You’ll never be disappointed when giving your work your all.

Enjoy what you do: It truly was “my pleasure” to serve guests. I enjoyed being a part of the bright and friendly atmosphere Chick-fil-A is known for and had many instances where the warm smile shared with a customer noticeably improved their day.  Over my years working there, I developed relationships with our most frequent guests and knew just what to do to improve their experience. It’s amazing how happy an extra Polynesian sauce or a free ice cream cone can make someone. While our food was delicious (I would do anything for a Chicken biscuit right now), customers came to us for the friendly atmosphere. To create that atmosphere, your front line employees’ have to be happy and enjoying their work.

Know when to move on: While I enjoyed my time working at Chick-fil-A, the last lesson I learned was that it’s okay to part ways with an employer for a variety of reasons. In my case, a contributing factor to my decision to leave was a difference in opinion with the company leadership’s stance on a variety of issues.

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Have you ever wondered what life would be like if emails went from the digital realm to your real-life? This funny video shows you just that and at the same time teaches you a bit about email etiquette: 

  1. It’s not always necessary to hit the reply all button.
  2. Be sure that before sending an email you’ve spell checked and attached all documents.
  3. After returning from vacation, as tempting as it may be, turn off your auto response.
  4. When selecting names of recipients, be sure you’ve included the correct persons. You wouldn’t want to mistakenly send an email to the wrong client.
  5. Don’t overuse exclamations and ALL CAPS! 

Those are just some, but let me know other email etiquette tips that you have.

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Today’s guest post is by Peppercomm senior account executive & Intern Committee member, Samantha Bruno.

Whether it’s trekking our stuffed dog Pepper around New York for a career fair or waking up at 4 a.m. to catch our flight to D.C., 2015 has gotten off to a busy start for Julie Hoang and me as we took part in recruiting for Peppercomm’s internship program.

Julie Hoang (L) and Samantha Bruno (R) are seated at their career fair table while while visiting colleges in D.C. Photo courtesy of Samantha Bruno.

Julie Hoang (L) and Samantha Bruno (R) are seated at their career fair table while while visiting colleges in D.C. Photo courtesy of Samantha Bruno.

After meeting with countless students, here is some of the best advice that we can offer to anyone attending a job/career fair:

  1. Dress for the job you want: Whether this is fair or not, first impressions are a big deal. Especially considering the number of students/candidates we come across in a day, we really do notice when someone is well put together and presentable.
  2. Take advantage of the wait time: Sometimes at career fairs, you may have to wait a while for those in front of you to finish speaking before you have your turn. One thing that can be frustrating for us is when we spend five minutes answering a question and then you ask the same exact question as the person before you. There is nothing wrong with listening to the conversations that are taking place around you so that by the time you get to the table, we can delve deeper into something else instead of repeating the same information. It also shows that you have taken the first step in Peppercomm’s manta, “Listen.Engage.Repeat.”
  3. Remember you are a small fish in a big sea: Simply introducing yourself is not a guarantee that we will remember your name by the time you submit your resume.  This is your chance to tell us about yourself, so feel free to brag! Tell us what makes you a unique fit for Peppercomm based on your experiences.  One of our first asks is usually to tell us more about yourself, so be prepared to highlight your best attributes in a 30-second elevator pitch.
  4. Don’t be afraid to be truthful: If you are unsure about what you want to do or the career path you want to go down, don’t be afraid to ask informational questions about the company, the industry, advice, etc. One of my favorite things to do is mentor students, which is why I love being on Intern Committee. Every employer has been in your shoes at one point, so we understand the pressures that come along with needing to find an internship/full-time position before you graduate.
  5. Follow up is important: Help us put a face to a name even after we leave the event. It is important for you to remind us where we met you. It is especially helpful if you can reference a part of the conversation that we had to help jog our memory.

Stay tuned for a timeline of a day in the life of the Intern Committee!

 

*Samantha Bruno is a Senior Account Executive and Julie Hoang is an Account Executive at Peppercomm. Both Samantha and Julie sit on Intern Committee as Co-University Relations Coordinators. As members of Intern Committee, they participate in the recruiting, mentoring and advising of interns as well being responsible for building on-going relationships with universities across the country.

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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

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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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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