Today’s guest post is by Peppercomm account executive, Ali Hughes.

aliAs you can imagine from where I left off in my last post, television news is not as glamorous as most people think. Everyone has their favorite anchor, or weather person that they allow into their lives every day to keep them up to date on the world around them, but not many people think about the work that goes on behind the scenes to pull off one 30-minute show that will never be aired again.

Despite the hard hours and your work often going unnoticed or underappreciated, a well-oiled newsroom is a thing of beauty. One show depends on so many people, and as the producer you have to keep everyone happy – from the photographers, to reporters, anchors and the control room. Everyone wants to put on a great show, but no one can do it alone. It is a unique job, putting all your hard work and emotions into each story you write just to start all over again the next day, and the only people that really understand that is your team.

After two years in Michigan, working every show from the morning to evening, from Fox to NBC, I aimed for bigger and better things and moved to San Francisco, CA. Jumping from a 114 market to a top 10, I had visions of amazing benefits, a higher pay and a great schedule. No more being underappreciated and overworked, no more working every holiday and having to sleep while everyone else is out enjoying their lives. Boy was I wrong. Of course working for a national network had its perks, such as higher pay, a much nicer newsroom, bigger staff and even a helicopter for breaking news. Yet the decline of the newsroom is hitting the country – no matter what market you’re in. The days of getting your news from your favorite local anchor is over.

Newsrooms aren’t just competing with each other anymore– they are up against twitter, news apps, Google – a world where news is instant. That means more work for a smaller staff and having to work at a station for many years before having off holidays or being on your dream show. For most that dream show is the 5 o’clock evening shows – meaning having a shift of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. — normal working hours!

Needless to say, I quickly realized I needed to get out of the news industry. It took me three years and two stations, but I finally believed what older anchors and producers (lifers) kept telling me – “get out now while you’re still young.” I started dreaming of normal work hours, of not having to sleep during the day and walk through the city at two in the morning for work.

After secretly interviewing at many public relations firms in the city, I found Peppercomm and tried to let my news director down easy. I ended up working both jobs for a few months and am still a freelance writer at the news station; despite my new and exciting career it is hard to cut ties with an industry that feels so familiar. As I get ready for work in the morning, I still get excited hearing the morning news intro music and often find myself trying to catch errors in the slugs (writing on the screen).

As I work on the other side of the media now, I realize how much the news industry taught me, and how much I learned from lifers that I first thought were just trying to scare me off. I have a new life now in PR, but the local news will always have a special place in my heart.

Hopefully you’ll keep this post in mind next time you’re pitching a broadcast reporter or producer – who is probably over worked and very tired. When they snap at you or delete your emails without even reading them, don’t take it personally. And one last thing – when you’re on your way home at 5:30 to see your family or enjoying a paid holiday, try not to take it for granted – I know I never will.

 

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The use of social media is becoming more important each day. Working in public relations there will be opportunities to strategically use social networking sites for all businesses. B2B and B2C companies alike all have a target audience that they are trying to reach and most likely those audiences are active on social media. The above video breaks down the socialnomic benefits of using social media in a professional setting.

When you are in a client or team meeting and there’s a question on whether social media is a good idea for a client, just play this video and the answer should reveal itself. Keep in mind that not all social media sites are for every company. If you can share this video and give recommendations on why a specific social network would be best you will be a shining star on your team.

Do you believe social media has a role in all industries?

 

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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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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?

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In today’s post, meet current Peppercomm Boulder, CO intern and future industry star, Eric Graff. 

ERICGRAFFTell us about yourself—where did you/do you go to school, where are you from and what brought you to Peppercomm? 

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!

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Today’s guest post is by Peppercomm account executive, Ali Hughes.

PR pros can often forget what a life saver technology can be, overlooking many digital tools that can make the work go more smoothly.

Here are five apps that PR professionals should have in their arsenal:

1. IFTT (available for Android and iOS)

Social media management can quickly become a nightmare-inducing situation for PR pros balancing several social media profiles, especially for more than one client.

The IFTT (“if this, then that”) app makes managing these accounts less stressful with the use of “recipes” that connect actions on multiple accounts. For example, you can have IFTT send a tweet every time you post to Instagram, increasing your profile’s visibility.

PR pros should beware, though: The app can make easy work of several tasks, but automating all social media can put you in hot water—like this posthumous iPhone 6 post from Joan River’s Facebook account.

2. Pocket (available for Android and iOS)

Staying on top of the news and current trends is a must for PR professionals. There are many great newsreader apps available for busy communicators on the go, but Pocket saves articles, videos and other tidbits for you to read later on your phone, tablet and computer.

The app connects with several other apps and websites and even enables you to read content when you’re offline (great for flights or subway traveling) and, when you’re connected, to share the articles via Facebook, Twitter, email and more.

3. Humin (available for Android beta testing and iOS)

PR pros are constantly networking, which means your list of contacts can end up resembling a jigsaw puzzle with too many pieces.

Enter Humin, an app that organizes your contacts. You can search for people based on phrases such as “met last week” or “works at PR Daily.” The app also syncs contacts’ information from connected social media sites to give you more information. It’ll even let you know when one of your contacts is visiting your city, so you can easily meet up with them.

4. LinkedIn Job Search (available for iOS)

LinkedIn can be a trove for PR, marketing and social media jobs, and many employers give candidates the chance to apply for open positions directly through the social network.

Though job hunters can use the standard LinkedIn app on their Android or Apple devices to locate and apply for the job of their dreams, the new Job Search app makes short work of the process.

Users can search using keyword, location and other criteria and can even set the app to search for openings in their area. Positions can be saved in the app and users can receive notifications if the listing has changed. The best part: Searches and applications are kept secret from your network.

5. PRSA Ethics (available for Android and iOS)

The Public Relations Society of America’s Code of Ethics is the industry standard for PR pros. For press releases that might overstep the line with regard to a quote, or in crises that call for a lightning-fast response, this app can provide immediate guidance.

Jessica Airey, the Public Relations Student Society of America’s national VP of advocacy, says the app can navigate “all the ethical dilemmas you will face during your career.” She continues:

The app includes an explanation of the professional values, Code of Ethics provisions, case studies, an ethics quiz and more. Plus, it connects you to public relations experts who can guide you in answering your toughest ethics questions on-the-go at your job or internship.

Do you currently use any of these apps, and if so, does it really save you time?

 

More on these apps can be found in this PR Daily article

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