Archive for professional


Scoring a New Work BFF

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Changing jobs and immediately scoring a new office BFF

Image courtesy of iworkinPR

Does this happen when you hit it off with a new co-worker?




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Categories : professional
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Wait, Oprah Is Talking

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It’s not graduation season and for some, summer break still feels like a distant fantasy. No matter what stage you’re at in your college or professional career, we can all use some inspiring words every once in a while. This little sentiment reminded me of a commencement speech Oprah Winfrey delivered to a Harvard graduating class in 2013.

It always seems that this time of year is when you’re waiting for spring break or a holiday that things seem to become really busy. I thought it would be nice to hear a few encouraging words from Oprah and hopefully she’ll inspire you to make the most of not only your career, but your life.

In college and in public relations you’ll have opportunities to give presentations and speeches (whether you want to or not), so watching great orators like Oprah can help refine your own techniques and give you that competitive edge you might need.

A lot of great speeches have a personal connection to get the audience invested and to let them know that you can relate. Oprah shared experiences from her childhood to her struggles with her tv network OWN. She then was able to intertwine the two with her main talking points.

  1. At some point you’re bound to stumble/fall
    • “Failure is just life trying to move us in a different direction.”
    • Give yourself time to mourn, but learn from every mistake
    • Then you have to figure out the next move
  2. Build a resumé that tells a story of who you want to be
    • Tell about your purpose in life
    • What is your true calling and purpose?
    • Your purpose is not always clear in the beginning
  3. This generation will and should impact change
    • Give back
    • When you learn; teach. When you get; give.
    • Remember that the common denominator among all of us is that we just want to be validated and understood
      • We ask, “Was that ok?”
  4. There’s a light inside of us
    • Be yourself and not anyone else
  5. Challenges and setbacks will happen
    • Remember that your number one goal is to: “fulfill the highest, most truthful expression of yourself as a human being”
    • Lift others up
    • Listen and be guided by your inner GPS and know that everything will be alright

What did you think of Oprah’s speech?


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The Intern Spotlight: Lauryn Bodden

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In today’s post, meet current Peppercomm NYC intern and future industry star, Lauryn Bodden

2ec4968Tell us about yourself—where did you/do you go to school, where are you from and what brought you to Peppercomm?

There’s a saying, “I wasn’t born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I could.” Well I was born and raised in Tampa, but I am truly Texan at heart. About five years ago, I committed to Southern Methodist University on a soccer scholarship. It’s in Dallas, that I found my addiction for Mexican cuisine, talent for two-stepping, and knack for building relationships within Meadows School of The Arts’ Communication Studies program. My journey really set off a couple years ago with the start of my personal blog, which set the foundation for my Honors Thesis on the national food system. I was awarded a grant to conduct research on Europe’s relationship to food in comparison to that of America, which led to my internship with the marketing team of Roast Restaurant in London. From there, I jumped into public relations with Moroch Partners and bigInk PR before freelance writing for D Magazine, Feed Me Dallas, and Susie Drinks Dallas.

Growing up, I always loved throwing myself in new situations to experience new cultures and people. When it came time for graduation this past year, it only seemed right to make moves to a city that would push me past my comfort zone and offer an environment that I could develop even more as a person and communicator. What better place than New York City? After doing my research for the best public relations companies, I stumbled upon Peppercomm. The company offered a wide range of major companies and provided a culture that I knew I could learn from. I submitted my application, crossed my fingers, and on January 12th found myself unpacking boxes at one of the best companies I have come to known.

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

Every individual and company has a story. I find a passion in connecting people from all different backgrounds, interests, and needs on a common ground. Whether it’s understanding the client’s business outlook and brainstorming the best way to approach their target audience or understanding a niche market and bringing them to a business I know can meet their needs, I love bringing people together. Public relations has so many different aspects to the job and allows me to learn and utilize a spectrum of skills.

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

I have worked at a number of agencies from corporate to boutique and each one has given me a very different experience in regards to participation and management communication. I was surprised at the level of involvement I was awarded at Peppercomm. I am on a total of six accounts that push me to be just as committed as the next. With such as wide variety of accounts, I have done more within these first four weeks than ever before.  Time management is the key to balancing all the work and making sure the client’s needs are met. I am enjoying my time learning from each of my accounts and building on this skill.

Where do you see yourself going in the industry?

Be it public relations for a restaurant or freelance writing for a publication, I have worked many sides of the industry to provide a range of experience. Ultimately, I want to dabble in a little bit of everything. I have a connection to the hospitality industry and see myself thriving in restaurant public relations, but Peppercomm is teaching me that I enjoy other industries as well. However, I will always see myself as a foodie and hope to freelance write for either a print or online outlet at one point. Each day, I see a new aspect of myself and look forward to seeing how my time at Peppercomm will help me transition into my career.

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

aliAs you can imagine from where I left off in my last post, television news is not as glamorous as most people think. Everyone has their favorite anchor, or weather person that they allow into their lives every day to keep them up to date on the world around them, but not many people think about the work that goes on behind the scenes to pull off one 30-minute show that will never be aired again.

Despite the hard hours and your work often going unnoticed or underappreciated, a well-oiled newsroom is a thing of beauty. One show depends on so many people, and as the producer you have to keep everyone happy – from the photographers, to reporters, anchors and the control room. Everyone wants to put on a great show, but no one can do it alone. It is a unique job, putting all your hard work and emotions into each story you write just to start all over again the next day, and the only people that really understand that is your team.

After two years in Michigan, working every show from the morning to evening, from Fox to NBC, I aimed for bigger and better things and moved to San Francisco, CA. Jumping from a 114 market to a top 10, I had visions of amazing benefits, a higher pay and a great schedule. No more being underappreciated and overworked, no more working every holiday and having to sleep while everyone else is out enjoying their lives. Boy was I wrong. Of course working for a national network had its perks, such as higher pay, a much nicer newsroom, bigger staff and even a helicopter for breaking news. Yet the decline of the newsroom is hitting the country – no matter what market you’re in. The days of getting your news from your favorite local anchor is over.

Newsrooms aren’t just competing with each other anymore– they are up against twitter, news apps, Google – a world where news is instant. That means more work for a smaller staff and having to work at a station for many years before having off holidays or being on your dream show. For most that dream show is the 5 o’clock evening shows – meaning having a shift of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. — normal working hours!

Needless to say, I quickly realized I needed to get out of the news industry. It took me three years and two stations, but I finally believed what older anchors and producers (lifers) kept telling me – “get out now while you’re still young.” I started dreaming of normal work hours, of not having to sleep during the day and walk through the city at two in the morning for work.

After secretly interviewing at many public relations firms in the city, I found Peppercomm and tried to let my news director down easy. I ended up working both jobs for a few months and am still a freelance writer at the news station; despite my new and exciting career it is hard to cut ties with an industry that feels so familiar. As I get ready for work in the morning, I still get excited hearing the morning news intro music and often find myself trying to catch errors in the slugs (writing on the screen).

As I work on the other side of the media now, I realize how much the news industry taught me, and how much I learned from lifers that I first thought were just trying to scare me off. I have a new life now in PR, but the local news will always have a special place in my heart.

Hopefully you’ll keep this post in mind next time you’re pitching a broadcast reporter or producer – who is probably over worked and very tired. When they snap at you or delete your emails without even reading them, don’t take it personally. And one last thing – when you’re on your way home at 5:30 to see your family or enjoying a paid holiday, try not to take it for granted – I know I never will.


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The use of social media is becoming more important each day. Working in public relations there will be opportunities to strategically use social networking sites for all businesses. B2B and B2C companies alike all have a target audience that they are trying to reach and most likely those audiences are active on social media. The above video breaks down the socialnomic benefits of using social media in a professional setting.

When you are in a client or team meeting and there’s a question on whether social media is a good idea for a client, just play this video and the answer should reveal itself. Keep in mind that not all social media sites are for every company. If you can share this video and give recommendations on why a specific social network would be best you will be a shining star on your team.

Do you believe social media has a role in all industries?


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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