Archive for entry level PR
Today’s guest post is by Peppercomm associate, Chris Piedmont
To help land the coveted first job, young professionals spend their entire college careers laying the building blocks of their professional network. But, the networking that was oh so important to get hired is pivotal in building a successful, long lasting career in public relations. Your newest contact could be a new business lead, job opportunity or best friend in the making. Having people who understand the daily life of a PR pro also gives you an outlet to bounce ideas off of someone for a fresh perspective. As a fairly recent southern transplant to New York City, I’ve also found networking events to be one of the best ways to make new connections with common interests and goals. Here’s a few tips for continuing to grow your network in the early stages of your PR career.
4 Tips for Building Your Network as a Young Professional
- Join a Professional Organization: Organizations like the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) are a great way to meet other professionals in the field while also building your skill set through professional development opportunities. PRSA also has a section specific to New Professionals to network with others beginning their careers.
- Connect With Your College Alumni Groups: Most colleges have active alumni groups in major cities. Getting involved with your alma mater’s alumni base can introduce you to others outside of the communication industry.
- Utilize Social Media: Embrace the power of social media to expand your network and continue learning. Follow and interact with the leading minds in the industry and participate in regular Twitter chats sponsored by PR News, PRSA and others.
- Continue to foster existing relationships: There’s an old song that goes “make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other’s gold.” The same can be said for network connections. Stay in touch with those you met during your time in college and continue nurturing those relationships.
What other tips do you have for building your network?
In today’s post, meet current Peppercomm Boulder, CO intern and future industry star, Eric Graff.
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!
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
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:
- Seek out free Webinars
- Take a class at your local community college
- Attend an event or conference that allows you to learn and network
- Find a mentor
- Conduct an informational interview
- Read industry journals
- Give your library card a workout
- Join Twitter if you are not already a member
- 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?
Today’s post is in response to this article.
There are always so many tips for new PR pros and the above mentioned article is no different. There are great tips like always, but at the end of the day it’s up to you how you will be during your career. I suggest being proactive and searching out work in your current job, but know your limits. You don’t want to take on so much work that you begin missing deadlines.
The article gave 14 tips and here are my favorite five:
- Learn a client’s industry and their business
- How can you add value if you don’t know how your clients make money? Get in the trenches. Study your clients and their competition.
- The future belongs to those who can do the work and sell the work. Build relationships in the business community. Get involved in civic and charitable organizations, and don’t expect your company to pay for it all. You must invest in yourself.
- Develop your oral and written communication skills
- If you don’t know how to research a company and write a press release, you won’t make it in this field.
- Dedicate yourself to learning
- Those who go the extra mile to learn on their own will make it further. Firms are working with limited resources and don’t have time to spoon-feed newbies. If you learned how to do a research paper in college, apply those techniques on the job.
- Watch business trends and analyze their impact on clients
- In time, this trait will come to those who are naturally curious. I love curiosity, because it breeds creativity and ingenuity. Employers, seek employees who are naturally curious.
From the list above do you have a favorite or would you add anything else?