Archive for February, 2012
Remember when you were little and taught to say please and thank you when you were given something? Yes, being polite should have been ingrained in us from an early age. And if this blog has mentioned the definite “do” of an interview as you’re on your job or internship search, it’s to remember to be polite and send a thank you note to the interviewee (we’ve posted on this a few times such as: here and here).
In case you didn’t believe us, check out this piece from Business Insider‘s Jessica Liebman–the number one mistake she sees people making when they interview with her. We’ll give you one guess on what that mistake is.
What are your thoughts on thank you notes? Do you send? How soon? Email or handwritten?
In today’s blog post, meet Alexandra Stephan, future PR star and current Peppercom intern working out of the San Francisco office.
1) Let’s get the low-down. Where are you originally from, where did you go to school and how did you end up in PR?
I’m originally from Tampa, Fla., and went to college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I majored in Communications, and minored in Gender Studies. My first internship was with The ZOI, a Sorority and Fraternity-based advertising company, as an account executive. I was very influenced by my managers and they were the first people to encourage me to look into PR as a career.
After the internship, I started working for a promotion company called TEAM Enterprises, as a Brand Ambassador. I thought it was a fun experience learning how to set up and run events, and I liked being able to work with a large national corporation.
My senior year, I began working as a preseason sales account manager for the Madison Mallards Summer Baseball League. The Mallards are a small operation, so I was able to work closely with each department including their PR and marketing manager. After the season ended, the Mallards recommended me to look into PR in professional sports.
For my last semester of college, I was able to land an internship with the Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club in the Media Relations Department. The internship started in pre-season and ended post-season in the National League Championship Series losing to the 2011 World Champions. GREAT year to be an intern with the Brewers! Having graduated in May and the internship wrapping up, I was able to move wherever I wanted. I loved San Francisco and always said I would move there after graduation, so the week after the playoffs ended I packed up my car and made the 2,000 mile drive to Cali. The day after I arrived in San Francisco, I was offered the internship with Peppercom!
It was one of those moments where I felt that “it was all meant to be,” and I’m so happy to report that I love my new city and working with Peppercom!
2) Which area of the industry do you find most appealing?
I’m really interested in crisis management, green PR and my favorite is media relations. I love pitching. To some it’s nerve-racking, but to me it’s the part of the day where I don’t have to look at my computer monitor. I like talking with the media and enjoy building relationships with people in general. I have also enjoyed the extra challenge pitching has given me throughout the internship in trying to land segments and/or editorials for the accounts I’ve been on.
3) What’s your biggest revelation about the industry so far?
The biggest revelation I’ve had about the industry so far is that it’s not always glamorous, and you will get rejected more than you are successful. It has made me appreciative when things do come together, and I think it has given me a thicker skin. All of which I’m grateful for and hope will continue to help me be successful in the future.
4) Tell us about your proudest moment in the internship program.
My proudest moment so far has been securing a TV opportunity for a client in Orlando. Being only a month into my internship, I was excited to be assigned to a familiar market. Being able to get in touch with someone at the station, get them interested and have the show successfully air that week was exciting to feel a part of the team. It was great to do something productive for the client. I think the biggest thing with media relations is timing, and this was one situation where all the pieces were able to fall into place!
5) Any favorite/inspiring case studies and why? (This does not have to be limited to Peppercom)
I think the case study with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles Turn 25 is really interesting. I do love the ninja turtles, but I’m really into social media. I think that this was a great example of what social media can do to spread awareness.
We’re all about giving you tips on how to be successful. With that, comes the inevitable don’ts we need to highlight.
Receiving a job offer can oftentimes be a delicate balance of “playing the game.” One doesn’t want to wait to long on an offer, request too high of a counteroffer, etc.
Check out this great piece in US News & World Report on what you should and should NOT be doing after a job offer is made. And remember, companies can revoke offers after they have made them. So keep calm, read on and keep these points in mind while you’re on the job hunt.
In the aftermath of the sugar, red/pink and flower overload, I thought this would be the best time to discuss Cupid’s favorite day. And nothing really says “Valentine’s Day” like public relations. Am I right?
I know I’m not, but in honor of the day, I would like to take a look at a few things I love right now:
- Twitter. One of my favorite ways to easily get news. I follow all of my usual news sources and get links to articles and headlines in real-time.
- Networking. I love meeting others in the communications industry, especially those who are just starting out or still in college. It’s great to learn from my peers and help those breaking into PR.
- Meeting with my supervisors. I never want to annoy my managers, but I do ask for feedback when I give presentations or on any documents I draft. Having meetings like this helps me to focus on areas that I can improve and identify my strengths from a different perspective.
- Anything making fun of the industry. Because it is funny and because in satire there is a bit of truth and I can see ways to tweak my own performance.
- Roses sent to Peppercom and addressed to me. I just figured I’d throw this one in here just in case (also feel free to send a separate bouquet to Kristin. We deserve it).
Tell us about a few things you love about the industry, we’d love to hear it.
In honor of Valentine’s Day, we wanted to post something we not only LOVE, but something our coworkers lovingly created to showcase the different perceptions that float around regarding the industry. Thank you Rebecca Maas and Lia LoBello for an amazing graphic.
And yes, believe it or not, the work life of Samantha Jones is not the everyday experience.
I would love to say I am an extremely healthy individual. However, it would be a far cry to say that I am a model of health—especially given the amount of sweets I just CAN’T say no to.
Minus the candy, I do eat pretty healthy and exercise very regularly. Both of which are habits I attribute to helping provide good results with my work.
Since I was about 16, I started running in the morning, even if it was something as short as one mile. I have always found that taking a morning run or just working out in the morning has given me so much more energy throughout the day. It also makes me feel better in general, which makes me work better and think a little clearer. In an industry where productivity is key, this is extremely helpful.
I realized pretty early on, even in high school, that I am one of those people (aka “weirdoes”) that can wake up and be pleasant in the wee hours of the morning. So not everyone is like me and can get into my schedule. Getting into a good workout routine, if that’s your thing, is a great way to maintain that all important work-life balance and just make you feel better . . . and work better. Whether it’s early like me, or after work, that routine will help you to feel healthy and happy. You’ll end up having a much more productive day. It may also allow you to eat as much candy as I do without the guilt.
Exercise keeps me happy and energized, what’s the routine/activity that keeps you focused?
Nothing’s worse in an interview than coming off a bit nervous or maybe forgetting to say something key about why you’re a great fit for the job (both of which are easily fixed in a thank you/follow-up note).
Oh wait, there is–NOT showing up for your interview. That is much worse and, in my opinion, pretty unforgivable.
Things can definitely happen, while not ideal, but trains can get delayed, cars get flat tires. If you have read prior entries on this blog, people can get very lost (“people” being me—I can and have gotten lost everywhere). Sometimes a job offer comes along that you want to take. In all of these instances and anything similar, absolutely always call or send a note to the person you are interviewing with, even if it’s after the meeting time. It can truly save you and people are much more understanding than you think. This is a time when the phrase “better late than never” could not be more true.
This is a good rule of thumb in any industry, but especially in the communications industry—you never want to burn bridges, because you never know when you’ll meet that person again. Prospective employers always remember the standout stars, but they also remember the person they set a specific amount of time to meet with and that person just simply don’t show up. It just shows that person was so disrespectful of the interviewer’s time that they didn’t even send a note explaining.
What are your thoughts? Is there something worse that can be done on an interview?