Tag Archive: college


crunch time

Ready, set…

Start freaking out!

There are six weeks left of school and the job search has begun. I should have probably started the hunt awhile back but I just don’t think it would have been humanly possible. I hardly have time to see my boyfriend and we live together. Between building three websites, two communications plans , an internship and working I don’t have time for much else.

So are you wondering how to find a job after graduation? Me too. I’ve done my fair share of networking and asking communicators around me for tips or recommendations on the process. A lot of them had similar answers but I still hear this phrase in my head, “it’s not about what you know or who you know. It’s about who knows you.” Simon Salt gave my class this bit of knowledge a few months ago and it’s stuck with me ever since. After all, that is pretty much exactly how I got my internship with him and myDASHH.

For the past couple of months I’ve been attending a lot of networking events and job shadowing trying to get my name out there. I’ve made a few connections and plan on working those to get my resume in front of the right people. I’m also creating a digital portfolio online to help brand myself and showcase some of my best work.

My next step is to complete this weekend is a list of prominent places to work for in DFW. I need to do a little more research on the companies I haven’t heard of and determine which I think I would fit in best. After that, I’m going to figure out which of my connections have connection at each place, haha.

I’ve already been scanning the PRSSA job bank, as well as dfwcommunicators.com, Monster and UNT Career Center. Now I really need to start sending out my resume.

If you’re a PR student and you’re graduation next semester or next May I highly recommend starting your networking and internships now. Everyone should also read this blog post by MarketingMel,  How to get a job in Public Relations: Eleven tips from a PR pro. I like this post because it has a few unique but pertinent tips.

MarketingMel points out as number eleven on the list you need to brand yourself. I’ve heard this over and over the past semester. I’ve found the easiest way to do this is to solidify your social media profiles and make sure you are portraying the brand in person as well. The other tip I like is to follow journalists on Twitter, etc. I’ve heard too many PR students say that they don’t read the news. I have always been a news junkie and it’s important in our field to know news breaking information no matter which part of communications you pursue.

 

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job shadowing

When I first thought about job shadowing I racked my brain to find companies that were different and remotely related to the music industry. Then I remembered I knew someone whose company has done business with Clear Channel Radio and asked if she could help me find someone there to shadow for a day (networking is everything! ha!) After a few email exchanges the date was set for me to observe Shane Williams, the National Promotions & Integrated Marketing Coordinator for Clear Channel Radio in Dallas, on Thursday, March 24.

I had no idea what to expect when I arrived at the Clear Channel building. Shane met me in the lobby and gave a quick tour around the different studios: 102.1 The Edge, Mix 102.9, Lone Star 92.5, 97.1 The Eagle, 1190 AM. Most of the morning shows were on-air so I just peaked in through the glass doors. Then we headed down to his office where I learned a little more about his job.

Shane is in charge of the national clients, people wanting to advertise, at the different stations. He handles them all, whether it is through traditional media or non-traditional (website and events.) He also works on the big events like Edgefest and Freakers Ball dealing with the vendors and just about anything else.  Shane started working at Clear Channel as a promotions coordinator, moved on to the integrated marketing coordinator and now deals with the national promotions as well.

An important part of Shane’s job is protecting the Clear Channel brand. He filters the potential clients to determine which ones will or will not be kosher through association. On occasion Shane will come up with a creative promotion to put on a station’s social media networks, but that is mostly left up to the promotion coordinators.

I found it very refreshing that everyone working there was so friendly and laid back. From the promotion coordinators to The Eagle’s on-air personality Cindy Scull, everyone interacted with each other like they were all equals.

The most important skill Shane uses to be successful at his job is communication. Whether it’s with the directors above him or the clients he’s working with. I found it interesting Shane said the station always makes sure to get sound clips or screen shots of advertisements to send back to the client to show their investment being executed. It’s not a requirement to do this, but everyone puts in the effort to make the client feel good about Clear Channel.

Shane also stressed it is important to manage expectations of others. “Under sell and over deliver,” he said. This too applies to the expectations of people within the company and those choosing to advertise with them. He is also constantly prioritizing and following through with things.

Before lunch I asked Shane the generic, but valuable, question I like to ask every professional: What are the most important things about how to get a job? According to Shane…

  • Have Passion
  • Know something about the company or person interviewing you
  • Do anything to get your foot in the door

Shane also threw in do NOT ask unrealistic questions or be late during an interview.

Job shadowing has been one of the most constructive experiences I’ve had. I highly recommend it to any public relations student, whether you have an internship or not. It gives you the opportunity to seek insight on different corporations to helps determine what type or what direction of your career you want to take. I could only be so lucky to have a job at such a chill, yet exciting place like Clear Channel Radio. I really appreciate Shane taking the time out of his day to show me the ropes and answer all my questions!

Learning the philosophical bases for ethical behavior is not an easy task, that’s why there are tools to help. Tools like Harvard philosopher Ralph Potter’s Potter Box and the PRSA Board of Ethics Matrix of Ethical Dilemmas will guide your decision making process. Not that you’re actually going to pull out notes from your college ethics class in real life and draw four squares or look at a matrix to help you decide the right choice, they’re a good method to use in a class setting to help promote your thinking.

The Potter Box is “an ethical framework used to make decisions by utilizing four categories which Potter identifies as universal to all ethical dilemmas.”

The four categories are:

  1. Situation definition
  2. Values
  3. Principles
  4. Loyalties

The real benefit of the model is that it keeps the practitioner from making a quick, unethical decision. After being taught the Potter Box in college, hopefully in real life you will become accustomed to prioritizing the facts, values, loyalties and principles that are most important to your organization in any given situation.  I’m a big list maker, for everything, so even if I’m not making quadrants and instead I’m jotting down bullet points the act of writing things down will help me make a better decision.

Using the Potter Box model in groups during class to discuss a case study helped me realize when two people are analyzing the same issue, they can come up with different decisions. During our class discussion, within our group, we agreed on two different ethical philosophies that helped reason the decision for the situation. We had to go over each category several times to reach a decision and that was very tedious work, especially since we were trying to work as a group.

Overall, I believe the Potter Box theory is tactic you’ll always remember like “FOIL,” or “every good boy does fine.” Besides, you don’t have to work through the Potter Box manually anymore… there’s a website for that ethics-e-learning.com.

need for ethics

What the majority of humankind thinks is right and wrong isn’t always ethically right. Society can impose certain beliefs on you to the point where they’re almost accepted as normal behavior. At some point in our careers we will face a decision against our moral code and everything will seem blurred.

The fundamental character of a person is formed when they are young and influenced by their guardian or religion. Unfortunately, some people don’t grow up in the best situations and have to learn right and wrong on their own through trial and error. However, I think no matter how you were raised your moral compass will not point due north until you’ve faced a challenging decision and you overcome. It will take years to build your character, but only a moment is enough to ruin it.

Teaching ethics in a university setting when our minds are still young and developing is essential. It keeps the topic active in your conscience when you spring into the business world. Right out of college we’re not going to land a job at top agency’s or corporations (well, just being realistic haha.) This is where we rely on our instructions and mentors to be ethical and pass the chain of goodness along.  As a young professional you will have to work our way through companies who might not have such high standards of truthfulness. As long as we are continually influenced by the right companionship our decisions will stay in the right direction.

 

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