In a bit of cross-promotion here, I am shamelessly plugging the post I wrote today for Peppercomm’s co-founder, Steve Cody’s RepMan blog.
While it goes a bit beyond the normal topics we cover on PRiscope, I am curious to hear your thoughts on the topic at hand–education.
That’s right. We’re looking to hire some interns to start immediately. We need two PR interns and one for our Business Intelligence team. For more details on the program and positions, visit here.
They’re all full-time and paid . . . and you get to work with us!
By now, you’ve probably seen the “I Quit” video posted by former Next Media Animation video producer, Marina Shifrin.
You’ve probably also seen the response from Next Media Animation.
You might have also seen the news of the job offer to Shifrin from Queen Latifah to work on the Queen Latifah Show.
The original “I Quit” video is well-done and funny. Shifrin’s clearly creative, smart and a phenomenal dancer. But, is airing your grievances with an employer and quitting via YouTube necessary?
I can’t tell if the whole thing is a big stunt or who is telling the truth about the work environment, but choosing the high road and just taking it as a lesson learned might have gone a long way. I’m sure there are many of us who have had bad work experiences, but it may not be the best idea to go on to make a video that basically says “suck it” to said employer.
I would love to hear more about the type of worker Shifrin was and whether her experience maps back to the portrayal in the video. It’s great that she has turned this into a good job opportunity. I do wonder if the video will help or hurt her in the long run. Will future employers be impressed by her video or will it come back to haunt her? I can see it going both ways. Some people like Queen Latifah will be impressed by Shifrin’s guts, but others may shy away from someone who released a video to complain.
What do you think? Was Shifrin’s video a good idea? Would you hire her if you were a potential employer?
One item I think everyone can agree on is that everyone who works or has worked at Next Media Animation clearly has fantastic dance skills. Not to brag, but I would fit in well.
I hope you pictured me with a cane while shaking my fist when reading the headline.
Almost every intern session, we have one or two people innocently ask, “How did you do XYZ before the internet?”
Luckily for me, I was not working in the field prior to Google being the go-to for any quick research, so I have always been able to look up a reporter, do research, pull data, etc.
It always surprises me when that question pops up—maybe because I was used to not simply relying on the Internet in school. I definitely benefited, but even in college, I was still mainly using books (yay, being a history major and really getting to know LexisNexis).
When I first started in the industry, I had purchased a book on public relations that might have been printed in the late-90s. Most of the tactics were tailored for pre-internet success, which was great for learning how things used to be done. Not so great for getting things done when I had no one to learn from.
So, what did you have to do without the internet to be effective in the industry? You were making more phone calls, having more in-person meetings and you were fighting over a printed database of media contacts that was issued periodically.
After doing some research (yes, using the internet), it looks like there are a fair amount of “history of PR” courses offered. I’m not sure if this is a requirement for any programs, but it should be. It’s always good to know about your own industry and how it started and evolved. Even the term “PR” is too specific to describe the type of work I do at least at a strategic communications and marketing firm.
But not knowing the history and evolution of your own industry goes beyond knowing how current companies were formed. You can learn about effective tactics that might be applicable today, spark ideas, but, most importantly, not look “uneducated” by asking questions like that to supervisors who may have worked during the time before the internet.
The Economist printed an interesting article a few years ago that touches on some of the beginnings of the industry as we know it. I’ve been looking into some good books–and better than the ones I initially read–that provide a good history of the industry, but am always open to suggestions.
Today’s post is by Peppercomm intern, David R. Jolly.
You walk into a room full of strangers and you pause at the entrance. You’re thinking twice about gracefully exiting stage left, but you know deep down that you didn’t come this far to turn back now. Taking a deep breath, your legs lead you into the room and your eyes scan for a familiar face, but there are no eyes staring back. There are groups of people, usually in sets of three to four and they all are forming circles as if telling you not to interrupt. Before self-sabotage completely takes over, you find the sign-in table and you quickly make your way to it. Being greeted by a warm smile you start to relax, but after placing your sticker name tag on the right side of your chest, you know it’s time to invade these networking cliques and tell the world that you have arrived.
Alright, networking isn’t this intense, but it can be frightening going into a room full of professionals and students without knowing another person. Yet, that’s the great thing about it; you get a fresh start to reinvent yourself for this crowd. You have the power to share or not share details about your career and life. Before you turn back without giving networking a chance, invade those cliques and strike up a conversation with a complete stranger. It may be awkward, but it can be fun, too.
As you get more comfortable with working the room it’s important to not only talk about yourself, but remember to give time for others to speak. No one likes a conversation hog. You don’t have to stick with just talking with professionals; it’s also good to talk with other students/interns. You all can share experiences and tips from your newly begun careers.
Besides bringing the charm, you should also bring business cards to exchange with those you meet. Having a business card as a young professional makes you more memorable. Plus, who doesn’t like saying, “here’s my card.”
You’ve worked the room more than once, made a lot of great connections and now the networking event is coming to an end. You spot the door and now you start gracefully networking your way out. Be sure to grab any handouts, maybe a cookie for the road and make sure you’ve talked with everyone that you possibly could. Now that you’re on the other side of the networking event, it doesn’t stop there. When you get home it’s time to follow up online with those you met.
This is the perfect time to put your cyberstalking skills to good use. Slam your stack of newly collected business cards on the table and start going through them (*tip: write the date, place/event, note to remember that person directly on card). Feel free to type their names in a search engine, connect on LinkedIn and follow them on Twitter. Take it to the next level and send them an email; state who you are, encourage them to connect with you on LinkedIn and Twitter and mention a memorable moment and/or conversation you had with them (if you can remember).
Now that all of that is done, take a deep breath and pat yourself on the back. Networking may seem scary, but it’s a crucial component of your career.
Do you have any networking tips or stories?
Today’s post is by Peppercomm intern, Mandy Roth.
Senioritis symptoms escalate uncontrollably as the familiar aromas of chlorine and sunscreen ally to invade the residence halls. You procrastinate from studying for finals by determining the exact fashion in which you will dispose of the plethora of lecture notes that has accumulated throughout the semester; whether burning, shredding, or ripping will elicit the most satisfaction. It’s finally May, and in a few days, the freedom of summer will be upon you; all will be right with the world. Suddenly you’re confronted with a petrifying epiphany: your textbook sell back failed to cover your Dave Matthews summer tour ticket and your lifeguard certifications expired months ago. The taste of freedom that has inhabited your mouth since spring break is instantly tainted with the bitter zest of reality. It’s not long before you regret the hours you spent perfecting your beer pong form and re-tweeting @UnluckyBrian when you should’ve been applying for jobs.
“Taking the summer off won’t be so bad,” you console yourself. “I’ll get a ‘real’ job in the fall anyways.” Great pep-talk, except that everyone with previous interning experience is suddenly ahead of you in the job market. “It’s ok,” you reason, “I’ve still got a few days before summer vacation. That leaves plenty of time to land an internship before June!” Your confidence is wonderful, but you’ve failed to consider where you’ll be applying and what you’re qualified for, let alone the millions of other students who made the same classic error you did.
I was fortunate enough to have been advised by my former boss, “Start your job search in the fall.” I’ll admit it seemed a bit premature at the time, especially considering that entry-level positions are often looking to be filled ASAP. In any case, I soon realized the brilliance in my boss’s advice: I now had the opportunity to familiarize myself with companies and programs to figure out exactly what I wanted and what I had to do to get there. An early start turned out to be especially crucial when I realized that many of the agencies I was interested in happened to be in New York City. Since my graduation date was still but a figment of the future, I was able to visit NYC to determine whether I could in fact call home to the city that never sleeps.
While it might be classy to arrive fashionably late to a party, it’s nothing short of dowdy to apply to a job past the deadline. Even if a company notes that they are looking for an immediate hire, it’ll never hurt to put your name in the hat. Doing so might open up a door for the future; perhaps the company can’t hire you now, but will keep your resume on file for future opportunities. Internships are in high demand, especially in this economy, and the number of intern applicants grows exponentially in the months leading up to summer. Instead of applying at rush hour, give yourself the chance to stand out by applying before the traffic gets too heavy.
Bottom line: a job isn’t going to come after you. It all comes down to being proactive, making connections, taking the time to do your research, and ultimately giving yourself the best chance possible. If you take some time throughout the year to break-away from Facebook stalking your Economics TA and research potential job opportunities instead, suddenly your last months of college might bear a rhythm of relaxation rather than a period of panic.
Today’s post is from Peppercomm intern, Madeline Skahill.
It started as a typical Tuesday morning. Rush hour, bustling streets, and a bright New York sky paved the way for three Peppercomm interns on their way to attend Workforce Live 2013, an event that gives thoughtful insights into becoming an employer of choice. Grabbing the only open chairs in the back of the conference room, Stephanie, Madeline, and Jessica were able to apply their fast-thinking and texting skills to live-tweet the event as well as learn an important comedic lesson from two of the best.
Steve Cody, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Peppercomm and Clayton Fletcher, full-time comedian and Chief Comedy Officer, took the stage at the event to discuss the importance of comedy in the workplace. According to Steve, “Peppercomm is a place where it’s OK to laugh and OK to have fun”, allowing the atmosphere of Peppercomm to truly embody the four elements of a successful business: trust, authenticity, openness and teamwork. From the company’s website to client meetings, these four elements are evident in daily life at Peppercomm.
Embracing these four elements is the fundamental goal of a stand-up comedy experience within the workplace. Steve and Clayton stressed the fact that stand-up comedy is not a monologue of your favorite knock-knock jokes or Popsicle stick puns. It is the ability to relax, tell a story, and build a relationship with your audience. This relationship with the audience, or in our case, fellow employees, is a true factor in what makes Peppercomm stand apart from other PR agencies. It is an atmosphere filled with encouragement, motivation, and success all because we can sit back, relax, and share a good laugh.