Archive for May, 2011

May
18

A Little Goes a Long Way

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Yesterday as I was tidying up my desk at the end of the day (read: attempting to find my keyboard under a pile of papers and notes), I saw a pink ‘thank-you’ note I had received earlier in the week from a former intern. The message inside was very sweet and referenced a few projects we had worked on together- totally tailored and very thoughtful.

My cube itself is pretty eclectic, and what isn’t already covered by magnets or pictures of my dog is reserved for the small collection of handwritten notes I’ve received from my year at Peppercom. Some are from former intern candidates or colleagues, visiting students, and another from a supervisor on a job well done, but all of them have one very particular thing in common- the extra mile.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Emails thanking me for my time are always appreciated. Unfortunately, there inevitably comes a time when my email folder is auto-archived and that nice note you typed is lost in an abyss I can’t even begin to fathom or access without an IT specialist. The handwritten notes take only a few more moments to compose, but will never run the risk of being accidentally overlooked, archived, deleted, or lost in the spam folder. They’ll land square on my desk, hand delivered by our trusty receptionist Ray.

So when it comes time to thank those that sat down with you in an interview, composed a recommendation letter, or just grabbed coffee with you every morning, remember that a little extra time and thoughfulness can go a long way. It might even take you as far as NYC and to a little agency called Peppercom.

Don’t believe me? Check out my co-worker Mikinzie‘s blog post about her journey from the Midwest to the Big Apple and take note of her tips- one sounds pretty familiar!

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In public relations, and really any profession, it’s all about appearances. Can you handle multiple projects in a fast-paced environment without looking frazzled and stressed? Are you representing your client’s brand in the correct manner when speaking with reporters on their behalf? Are you acting appropriately when you’re at a happy hour, casually telling several new acquaintances what company you work for? Like it or not, everything you do truly affects your company’s brand as well as your personal brand and every new meeting is an opportunity to network.

We all want to get good publicity for our respective companies and get their names out in the world—anything to spread the good word on your company, right? Maybe not.

Now I am all for “finding love”—any Bravo viewer knows exactly where I’m going with this—but at what cost? Several months ago PR pro Robin Kassner was one of those seeking love help from The Millionaire Matchmaker, Ms. Patti Stanger. Kassner’s actions and attitude in this episode, without going into full detail of her actions, portray her as being superficial, bubbly to the point of annoyance, and even dumb.

I’m quite certain that Kassner is very intelligent; she wouldn’t be the CEO of an extremely successful PR firm. But what possessed her to go on a reality show that would undoubtedly skew her personal brand? Sure her name has been mentioned nationally, but it brings up more negative connotations. Stanger calls Kassner a “plumpty dumpty” in the episode and proceeds to put down Kassner for wanting to date a Matthew McConaughey double—and that isn’t going into how Kassner acted during the clips that were aired, which back up the previously mentioned personality traits.

The kicker was that a show that I hold very near and dear to my heart, “The Soup” with Joel McHale, obviously jumped on how ridiculous this episode was at the time it was aired. But that was not the end of McHale poking fun at how the millionair-ess was portrayed on national television. Kassner and her “dream man” from the show were invited to accept their own “Soup Award”—because the first round of McHale’s ridicule wasn’t enough. They both happily appeared and endured more embarrassment as they relived the episode.

So yes, Kassner’s name is everywhere, but was it worth it? How far is TOO far in getting your name and your company’s name out in the public? Do you think her appearance helped or hurt her? And if you haven’t seen the episode, do yourself a favor and watch it . . . and have The Soup ready too.

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May
02

The Twitter Era

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We have explored our fascination with Twitter and how it is amazing that so much information is shared between people within seconds all over the globe. It has been reported that the news of Osama bin Laden’s death broke on Twitter, but did you know that an IT consultant in Abbottabad had been tweeting about a helicopter hovering followed by a blast? Unknowingly live-tweeting history.

Check out this fantastic article by Al Tompkins and read more about Twitter’s impact in breaking news on the Poynter Institute’s site. If you weren’t already a Twitter user, hopefully this will convince you.

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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