Archive for August, 2012

Aug
30

It’s called enabling

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Today’s post (by Laura) was originally featured on Peppercom Cofounder and Managing Partner, Steve Cody’s RepMan.



Millennial

The millennial generation has been under fire for some time, especially in the past year or so. I frequently see articles and reports popping up with ridiculous “reasons” for why my generation “is the way it is.” I was alerted to an article in The Wall Street Journal titled: Delayed Development: 20-Somethings Blame the Brain” (special thanks to Steve Cody and Ann Barlow for sending it my way). This article was no different in terms of the tone.

The piece begins by pointing out that many parents of the millennial generation are worried that their respective children don’t have a career, aren’t married and/or aren’t financial independent—to name a few issues.

According to the article, this is all OK because recent research suggests that the brain develops at a pace that makes people better equipped to make major life decisions in their late 20s rather than earlier in their lives.

Great? From this millennial’s perspective, absolutely not.

First, this seems like another excuse to explain and project a behavior of a small group upon an entire generation. This can’t be too drastic of a development in the brain, otherwise I would think groups should probably start lobbying to raise the legal age of adulthood. Why position it as the reason for why millennials “act the way they do”?

Second, for those who do exhibit any irresponsible behavior, hopefully the millennials parents’ minds are not at ease because this research is just an easy way to justify poor choices. And guess what, Mom and Dad, those poor choices are coming from you too—it’s called enabling.

On a base level, this research is very interesting and makes a tremendous amount of sense, especially in terms of how the average age people are marrying has risen by six years. However, (and, full disclosure: I am not a scientist) it sounds like this is how the brain has been developing since the dawn of man?

So, we’re better equipped to make bigger decisions in our late-20s? Why is it that all of the previous generations have been capable of functioning without having full-scale investigations launched to figure out why they aren’t “successful”?

This article and ones like it stereotype millennials to seem like we are all dysfunctional humans unfit for this world. I’m not sure where all of these examples are coming from; I know plenty of younger people with “underdeveloped brains” who have not been financially dependent on their parents for some time (myself included).

Of course, when I hear some of the examples people have about their freeloading kids, I have the same natural reaction and tone of the authors of said articles—I am incensed. But I think there is a larger issue at work here.

Let’s discuss the group of millennials giving the entire generation the bad name. It is safe to say that parents from an early age want to make sure their child has the best life possible—which includes college. But what are parents really telling their kids? Are they letting their kids know that while college is important, it is still equally as important to pay for said education and also be a functional member of society? Education can become very expensive, very quickly. Why can’t a kid take a gap year and start saving to pay for school? Why can’t they take part-time classes while working to help make school more affordable? Also there is nothing wrong with delaying or not even attending college. I was always told there is nothing wrong with hard honest work, and to be honest, it’s made me who I am today.

Clearly, some parents choose to coddle their kids by allowing them to stay financially dependent for them to focus on their studies. At that point, is the millennial to be fully blamed? Those who act entitled had to learn that they are entitled from someone.

We are a smart and resourceful generation. We seem drastically different because we are dealing with a very different world—a world and economy that our predecessors created for us.  We work hard. For those of us who do not, guess what, there are people who are lazy in every generation.

To circle back on the article, I myself am in my late-20s and I made very big decisions in my life starting at age 18 up until now. My brain may not have been fully developed yet, but I still made those decisions and used research and advice from those who have been in similar situations and made the best choices. I am still standing and have been on my own two feet for some time and I certainly did it on my own. I speak on behalf of all millennials as I say “pick on someone your own age!”

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Aug
22

Thriving in your job search

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Looking for a job but all you’re getting are rejection letters?  In today’s increasingly competitive job market, it is easy to get frustrated after months of  ”no’” from employers and feel like you’re never going to find a job that is right for you.  With that said, it is increasingly important and expected that you find ways to differentiate yourself from the rest of the applicant pool during your job search.

In this article, career and workplace expert Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter lists five ways on how you can increase your chances of winning over a prospective employer, whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first-timer on a job hunt.  In addition to having a clean and well-written resume, having the right mindset and focus during your search may just give you that little boost you need to land your dream job.

 

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Aug
21

The first business trip

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Today’s guest post is by Catharine Cody, current Peppercom intern and lover of London.

A few weeks ago I had the unique opportunity to work at Peppercom’s strategic partner in London, Flagship Consulting.  One of Peppercom’s newest offerings is Comedy Experience, where we teach clients, prospective clients, and even our newest staff members the benefits of performing stand-up comedy.  Since I received comedy training a few weeks prior to the trip, I was asked to help train Flagship Consulting.

However, not all of my time was spent working inside the office extolling the benefits of laugher.  We also went out to dinner every night and got to know each other very well.  The people were amazing.  Not only did the entire staff make sure I had everything I needed, but they became my friends.  Even though we work together and have exchanged numerous emails in the past, seeing them in person solidified our bond.  We realized that, although we work thousands of miles away from each other, our general attitudes and dispositions are the same.

Once back in the states, I realized that the bonds I formed while in London carried over to my work in New York.  I am constantly emailing with the staff about the Olympics and Kate Middleton. (Yes, those are my two London vices and I refuse to defend them.)   I’ve also become friends with them on Facebook and follow them all on Twitter.

If I can only give one piece of advice to my fellow junior workers it would be to travel as much as possible for business.  Not only does it broaden one’s perspective, but it allows you to see that, although we may talk, dress and act differently, people are people no matter where you go.  If you are a great worker, it will be evident on any continent.  Travelling expands one’s horizons and allows you to meet people you might never have the chance to otherwise.  As we know, networking is one of the most important tools one can utilize in their careers.  Why not network with someone from a different country?  This blogger certainly will be doing so from now on.

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Categories : Business, entry level PR
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Aug
20

How rude

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There are many things in life that annoy me and other people who hire for his or her respective companies, including, but certainly not limited to:

  • Spelling errors on a resume/cover letter
  • Using a different company name when mentioning the place you’re applying to
  • A resume that’s on two pages—especially when you’re entry/mid-level, there is no need for a resume that long and if you do, make it two FULL pages; not a page and a half . . . or a page and a quarter

While these are pretty big errors, sometimes they can be saved by a follow-up note apologizing, etc. However, one faux pas that you can never save yourself from (without having a very legitimate excuse) is having a set interview time and not showing up/picking up the phone when you are called by the person who has set that time aside.

There is nothing more disrespectful to an interviewee and someone who coordinated a meeting time than to simply not show up. Of course, things happen and some people take different positions at other companies, but you should alert the person you’re meeting with to withdraw your application.

Many may think this is just common sense and the first rule of interviewing etiquette, but you would be surprised. It’s one action that will make me remember someone in a negative light. Cue Stephanie Tanner’s catchphrase.

 

What are your thoughts on this behavior? Do you think this is the kiss of death with a potential employer? Or is there something worse?

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Aug
17

The Intern Spotlight

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In today’s post, meet Courtney Moed–Peppercom intern and future PR star.

1)      Tell us about yourself—where did you go to school, where are you from and what brought you to Peppercom and public relations?

I am from Manalapan, New Jersey and in the Fall I will be starting my junior year at Ramapo College. I am studying Communication Arts with a concentration in Global Communication and Media.   An interesting fact is that I am the Public Relations Committee Chair on the Executive Board at my school. This has given me a major leadership role and I feel as though this internship experience will make me even more qualified for the position.

I have always been interested in public relations and how the media works. Luckily, Ed, my uncle/cousin happened to have an “in” at this really hip PR firm. I came to visit the office a few times and knew this is exactly what I wanted to do.

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

Although I am still exploring the different areas within the industry, there are a few that I am particularly fond of. I find crisis management fascinating and think it is very exciting how PR firms are able to send out positive releases in the media when something negative happens. It is really interesting to see the creative outlets that people will use to display a positive image. I also think that event planning is very exciting because it is important for companies to have events that give them a good reputation and make people want to buy their products or discover their brands. Event planning is also intriguing because there are endless possibilities and every event is unique in its own way.

3)      Any surprises or revelations about the industry?

My biggest revelation about the industry is how much work actually goes into each task. This industry is ever-changing and fast paced so it is important to not lose sight of the future. Public Relations is extremely exciting because it is always something new and stimulating, but that can also be its downfall because it requires a lot of effort and attention. As a PR intern, the most important thing is making sure you have excellent time management skills, otherwise you may become overwhelmed very quickly.

4)      Tell us about your proudest moment in the internship program so far.

My proudest moment in the internship program so far is being able to see all of the hard work I have done come together. It is rewarding to see all the research and time you spend on a project really benefit to become a positive presentation or blog post. The first time my blog post was posted, I was so proud of it because I put so much effort into it and now it was finally out there for the world to read.

5)      Any favorite/inspiring case studies? (This does not have to be limited to Peppercom)

My favorite case study so far would have to be Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turn 25. I believe that fans are the most vital people because they are the ones who need to be pleased. It was great how fans were able to be reached whether it was through blogs or Twitter. Social networking is something that our society cannot live without so it is extremely important that it is incorporated into campaigns.

 

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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