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Oct
11

The Intern Spotlight: Katie Skelly

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Today we are going to get to know, Peppercomm intern Katie Skelly!

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

Hey y’all! My name is Katie and I am a recent graduate from the College of Charleston (CofC) where I majored in Communications and minored in Film Studies. I was born and raised a southerner in Lexington, South Carolina, but I will always tell people I am from Charleston because that place feels the most like home (secret is out, don’t tell anyone).

I have always been interested in any kind of media, though entertainment media holds a special place in my heart and, at times, an obsession. I think it is fascinating that there are so many things that go on behind the curtain. From the intriguing articles we read, the broadcast segments we glue our eyes to and different companies that work together to create the TV shows & films we watch. I was first introduced to PR during my first internship at the end of my junior year of college, which focused on the in-house side of PR. I knew I wanted to focus more on strategic media operations, so when I graduated PR was a direction I knew I wanted to pursue.

I heard about Peppercomm through my school. Steve Cody and Ted Birkhahn would visit the College of Charleston frequently because they were on the CofC Advisory Council for the Communication Department. The reputation of Peppercomm was clear on campus and when my professor and mentor Beth Goodier urged me to apply for its internship, I knew I had to go for it. It is one of the boldest moves I have made and will never regret it.

What better place to pursue PR than in one of the biggest cities the world?

When you’re not hard at work at Peppercomm, what do you like to do?

Before coming to Peppercomm, I had never been to New York City. Now I love getting to continually go out and explore all the different opportunities this booming city has to offer. I love that you can wander the streets of New York and find a place you have never been before or maybe witness a person performing on the street.

Being a huge lover of film, I always make it a point to try and go to the cinema. New York always has niche film events going on every week, so there are a lot of options. I love going to bookstores with my friends to pick up the next gripping novel and finding new places to eat because I am a lover of food.

I love to write, so in my spare time I’m brainstorming my future masterpiece of a screenplay that I want Baz Luhrmann or David Fincher to direct (a girl can dream). Though, my greatest passion that I hope to get to do more of is travelling. Just like New York has thousands of opportunities, there are so many other places I want to visit and experience. Ever since I studied abroad during undergrad, I have developed a wanderlust, so I am always planning for my next adventure.

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

I love the media relations side of PR. Getting to reach out to top tier outlets and getting a response can be exciting, even more so when they are interested in what your client has to offer. It makes all the times you have been turned down or left without a response worthwhile.

I also really enjoy research and reporting. Given that I am a certified social media stalker, as many of my friends put it, I love getting to do any kind of audit or research pertaining to background on a competitor for a client.

Any surprises or revelations about your role, the industry or Peppercomm?

This is my first PR Agency job, so I have been able to witness firsthand how people who work in PR are some of the most innovative and diligent people you will ever meet. PR can be a thankless job at times, but everyone here at Peppercomm manages to celebrate every win and support one another when times can get tight. In such a fast-paced, constantly shifting environment, it is neat to witness Peppercomm as an agency that not only takes the heavy load, but does it as a team.

I love getting to work with multiple groups of people. I always knew that in a professional role you will always be working with some sort of team, but at Peppercomm I work with up to 7 different teams! It can be refreshing and exciting because everyone always takes a different perspective and brings different ideas to the client.

Where do you see yourself going in the industry?

I still am not exactly sure, but that is the fun of it! This industry is constantly changing, so I am trying to keep an open mind when it comes to future endeavors. However, one day I know I would love to be involved in some sort of strategic communication role for a film distribution or production company and combine my two passions.

Intern Lightning Round Questions:  

  • Netflix or Hulu?  Netflix
  • Text or Call? Call
  • Coffee or Tea? Coffee
  • Dogs or Cats? Dogs. I love them so much that I have started my own #doggosofNYC hashtag on Snapchat. Hopefully one day it will catch on.
  • NYC or San Francisco? NYC, though I would love to check out San Francisco
  • Star Wars or Star Trek? STAR WARS….and Han Solo shot first!
  • Crunchy or smooth peanut butter? I grew up crunchy, but lately I have realized my love for smooth
  • Mac or PC? Mac.
  • Sweetened or Unsweetened Tea? I am a southerner, so you would think sweet. However, I prefer unsweetened.
  • Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network? Nickelodeon, though I have to give Cartoon Network a shoutout because Scooby Doo was my favorite show growing up.
  • Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate everything, except chocolate ice cream.
  • Seltzer or Water? Regular H20.
  • Cake or Pie? CAKE.
  • Tacos or Pizza? TACOS.
  • Hogwarts House?  Ravenclaw and proud.

 

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blog random post 3.29As a young southern California girl, moving to the big city was quite the change. Everything from big buildings, bright lights and so many people. It took quite the adjustment to find my way. I decided to make a little list of do’s and don’ts for living in the New York City from my personal experience and with a little help from my fellow interns.

Do: Even though the city is a busy place, DO keep your eyes open and take it all in. I’ve noticed after being here for almost 3 years I still see something new every day. Like celebrities on the train, dogs with nicer outfits than I will ever afford and a naked cowboy. A building might look busted on the outside but it could be a gem on the inside.

Don’t: This is a big one that I’ve learned from personal experience. DON’T fall asleep on the subway without setting an alarm when you’re commuting an hour to work. Otherwise you’ll miss your stop and have to walk 10 cold blocks to work.

Do: Talk to other people! As someone who comes from San Diego, we are friendly folks and we say hi and smile to everyone. I realized at first that most people are very much in their own world, but a lot of people will be nice if you talk to them. DO ask for recommendations for restaurants, bars, and new places to visit. You’d be surprised by the amount of awesome people you can meet.

Don’t: This can really ruin your day. DON’T forget your headphones when you leave your house. Riding the subway without headphones is especially boring. Even if you just wear them without music playing, it gives the illusion to everyone around that you don’t want to talk to them and usually will keep the guys that are selling something on the trains away too.

Do: Eat pizza every week. Whether it’s for lunch or after a fun crazy night with friends at 3 a.m. DO eat pizza whenever possible. My favorite thing to do is bookmark places on my Yelp app to help me remember which spots I like the best so I can go back and relive the cheesy goodness over and over again.

Don’t: Go to Time Square or any touristy spot unless you absolutely need to. I don’t know how many times I use to go all the way to 42nd street my first year here to go shopping. WORST IDEA EVER! As if there wasn’t other Forever 21’s and H&M’s in the city. Not only will you spend hours waiting in line to buy the two items that you just “kind of” like, but you will run over all the tourist that want to stop mid-sidewalk to get a picture with their selfie stick.

So with all these suggestions hopefully you can make your life a little easier living here in this one of kind city.

P.S even though it’s March, check out this Elf video to get a few extra tips on NYC from the jolly bearded man himself.J

Till next time.

-Mo the Pro :)

 

by: Morgan Dewberry

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stock-photo-word-cloud-concept-illustration-of-hearing-deafness-48282802

Before we begin this article, I have to reveal something about myself. I suffered major hearing loss when I was 17, while playing in a water polo tournament. Immediately, I had to be rushed to Emergency Care where they determined that my ear drum had been destroyed in one ear, leaving it essentially useless.I was then classified as Hard of Hearing.
During orientation that fall at Syracuse University, I tried to settle into the routine of a college student, but I also had to begin to learn how to live my everyday life with extreme hearing loss. I had to adjust my body’s balance, which I still struggle with, and ear pain became part of my routine. I sat in the front of lectures, took ASL courses, learned the joy of subtitles, managed frustration and anxiety stemming from my hearing loss and worked on how to read lips.
But far and away, the hardest lesson I had to learn coming to terms with my hearing loss (and I’m still learning) is how to ask for help.
I’ve always been a very independent person, wanting to make things happen by my own hard work and no one else’s. Maybe it comes from being a twin, or coming from a family where independence is expected young. Regardless, pairing my need for independence with my shyness made me more likely to retreat and work on my own during elementary school. Asking for any kind of help has never been a strong forte of mine. Even before I became Hard of Hearing.
Once I graduated from Syracuse, most of my professional life has been built on making sure I can hear and understand the directions being given to me. One of the more important tasks included with working with a disability is making sure I encourage other members of the office to speak clearly in order to navigate my workday around my disability. Sometimes, it’s easy to work with no hearing, and other times it makes me want to punch a wall. But that feeling of frustration is not exclusively tied down to hearing loss. It’s easy to get irritated by not being able to do or understand at the same rate as everyone else, especially in a competitive workplace. Below is some things I learned at various times working with this disability, especially for those with disabilities in the workplace.

  • Be Honest: There’s never a good time to tell people about hearing loss or other disabilities. I know there’s a lot of questions about when you actually disclose it at your job or school. Do you start off your introduction with it? Do you wait for the third conversation? Should you put it in your application? Should everyone know? I know a lot of these fears can dominate the application/training portion. My best advice is to be honest with your coworkers about what it is you need for optimal communication, and with that information you can work forward, setting a precedent for others in the office.
  • Know your rights: As a person with a disability, you have the right to receive accommodations in order to help you work as efficiently as possible. You also have the right to disclose your disability at your comfort level during the hiring process. A lot of workers with disabilities don’t realize the different kinds of rights the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 gives them, and most employers know even less. Read up on them and ensure that your business is held accountable to providing all employees with disabilities the proper actions and accommodation. If not only for you, but for someone else with a disability who may join the company later in the game. Accomodations and how a company treats disabilities matter.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask someone to repeat themselves: Make sure you understand what is being asked, be unafraid to ask for clarification for a project. It’s important that you are comfortable with the work and not afraid of missing parts of the instructions or having to guess.
    I had a friend in high school who introduced herself to me and I did not clearly hear her name, so I did my best guess work and called her Mary for the next four years.
    Her name was Claire. She never bothered to correct me and we both went with it. For four years.
    I don’t think I can stress this enough:
    Never be afraid to ask someone to repeat, lest you mistakenly call someone Mary for four years.
  • Develop other ways of communication: It’s widely understood at my job that my expertise does not lie with the phone, and often I prefer doing emails or Skype conversations over phone because of my disability. It makes work so less frustrating when you can hear what’s going on. When I was a barista at Starbucks, my fellow partners and I came up with a system of hand signals for things we needed to say without having to shout. Even knowing the way to respond with ‘yes’ ‘no’ ‘what’ or ‘please repeat’ can help establish a system of communication.

And Peppercomm is such an amazing place to be; they’re so willing to work with me, whether it be communicating over email rather than phone, repeating themselves without judgement of what I couldn’t catch, or always facing me when speaking. They key of knowing that you have a good fit is the company’s ability to listen to what you need, and accommodate without belittling your needs.

This is what most workers with disabilities long for, to be considered an employee just like our coworkers without being considered a burden for those disabilities. It gives you a different way to view work, and how you view yourself as successful. My own hearing loss has given me a better sense of patience and gratitude for what I have accomplished, and a greater determination for what I want to achieve.

 

By: Hannah Tibbetts

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Do you have an analytic mind and personality to boot? Are you curious about how “stuff” works—what motivates businesses and how they reach their customers? Then Peppercomm’s Research & Insights group may be for you.

This team helps Peppercomm to better understand the businesses we work with. Using the latest ideas in statistical, analytical and market research, the Research & Insights Group is known for helping clients to define success, understand their target audiences, and designing tailored programs that provide actionable insights.

Our team of analysts explores a client’s entire business model and identifies the challenges to growth. We work to craft strategic messages that will move the needle with our clients’ most important audiences. Infused with this intelligence, Peppercomm’s programs then become a tool not just for promoting a company and its products through the media, but for making sure that messages most clearly reflect what the company wants to communicate and what the intended audience needs.

As an intern, you will be treated as an entry-level marketing science pro, working a full-time schedule while gaining hands-on exposure to the integrated marketing and communications industry. Our interns, who are affectionately referred to as “The PeppSquad,” are supported by the Intern Committee and paired with a buddy who helps show them the ropes of the agency.

The ideal candidate needs to be comfortable with Excel, possess an understanding of business/economics, and have strong communication and writing skills.

Specific day-to-day duties can include:
• Collecting and cleaning data of all kinds (media, sales, marketing, etc.)
• Scoring and evaluating data points (qualitative and quantitative)
• Working with the Research Insights and account teams to turn data into insights
• Developing quarterly presentations
• Conduct secondary research for new business presentations
• Evaluate survey results

Evaluation of data is both qualitative and quantitative. This means you will be expected to not only analyze tangible numbers but also have the ability to read and analyze articles and other written materials.

HOURS: Full-time position only. Monday through Friday, 9AM – 5:30PM. Pay: $11/hr

If you are interested in applying for an internship at Peppercomm’s New York office, please send your resume with a cover letter to Nicole Moreo at InternJobs[@]Peppercomm[.]com. In the subject line please write: “Research & Insights Intern Application”

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abc

Who doesn’t want to be a triple threat? As a high-school musical wannabe who danced, sang and performed and a retired varsity soccer player who ran, passed and scored; becoming a triple threat has always been at the forefront of my mind.

Today, my quest to become a triple threat continues as a PR intern at Peppercomm. At Peppercomm, my fellow interns and I work on accounts across three industries–consumer, financial and B2B.

Prior to joining the PeppSqaud, my PR experience was limited to the fashion industry. During past summers I studied at FIT, participated in fashion PR courses and completed the summer long Vogue Intensive Program at Conde Nast College of Fashion. Although PR had always been at the core of my fashion resume, I was initially nervous to enter the financial and B2B industries at Peppercomm.

In hindsight I had nothing to fear.

After a few weeks at Peppercomm, I realized the same three basic principles held true across all accounts. The ABCs of PR (as I call them) have guided me to become a PR triple threat.

Audience

  • Discover and learn your client’s target market. Whether it is a large demographic for a consumer account or a few specific stakeholders for a B2B account, figure out who your client needs to communicate to.
  • Research theiraudience. Look into this audience’s interests, opinions, lifestyle, occupation and age. The more information, the better.
  • Draw upon someone you know or a company you are familiar with that fits within the target market, as a reference.

Brand

  • Figure out who your client is and who they want to be. This includes the client’s personality, values, beliefs, interests.
  • Reference your client’s mission statement, website, products or services. In addition, social media is a popular and effective way to cultivate a brand image for your client.
  • Compliment and highlight your client’s leadership. Inspiring leaders span across all industries, from consumer to B2B to financial. Have these leaders comment on current events or leadership techniques.

Content

  • Content is key across all sectors of PR. PR professionals share and create various types of content from press releases to pitches to thought leadership.
  • Newsworthy content is required in order to successfully write a press release or pitch a story.
  • Different clients share different types of content. Consumer clients share new products and special events, while B2B clients share trades, acquisitions and partnerships.

Use these ABCs to master all of your accounts from finance to consumer to B2B. By applying the universal ABC’s of PR to various accounts you’ll become a triple threat in no time!

 

by Molly Prybylski

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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