Tag Archive: linkedin


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.

 

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!

Guerrilla Promotions

“It has to start somewhere
It has to start sometime
What better place than here
What better time than now”

The quote from Rage Against The Machine’s lyric seemed so fitting to this topic, mainly because I can’t ever hear the word guerrilla and not automatically start singing their song in my head. =)

In the 21st century public relation professionals, marketing managers and advertising directors are working diligently to come up with the idea that is going to get their brand noticed most by consumers. A lot of known brands are resorting to more guerrilla style promotions to achieve a competitive advantage in this tough economy. A 2010 Mashable’s article lists their top 10 Excellent Examples of Guerrilla Marketing Campaigns.

Out of the list, my favorite video example of guerrilla marketing came to a tie: Absolut Vodka and a Dutch insurance agency.

Both videos put consumers in everyday situations that they might encounter and made them fun. Who hasn’t ever thought about taking something on the luggage claim conveyer belt? No one ever does, because it’s just not right, haha. But what stops us?

And every driver can spot a scratch or dent on their car once they immediately set their eyes on it in the parking lot. After drivers got over the instant shock, they looked closer at sticker and then searched online and found out they could order scratch stickers to prank their friends, too. That leads to a lot of word of mouth awareness.

Agencies are resorting to this kind of awareness because it costs and only takes some thinking outside of the box. The campaigns are quite effective at getting consumers to notice your brand in all the clutter of traditional advertising. I personally believe guerrilla campaigns leave a longer impression on a consumer as opposed to flipping through a magazine and seeing an attention grabbing ad.

Unfortunately for us in the States we don’t experience a lot of these campaigns. This is usually because someone (government or nongovernment) always completely over reacts to anything abnormal. In 2007 Adult Swim launched a marketing campaign in Austin, Texas… and it completely backfired. If you’re unfamiliar with the story, check it out on Austinist.com

I personally, thought the Aqua Teen Hunger Force campaign was awesome! But I was part of Adult Swim’s target market (much like the rest of Austin’s 20-somethings) and was aware of the cartoon that the “bomb-like devices” resembled.

Hopefully guerrilla marketing campaigns will start to have more approval in our country. I have hope! Just recently works from the famous British street artist, Banksy, were spotted at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah. He was doing a little self promotion for a documentary that features him, Exit Through The Gift Shop. If you haven’t watched the film yet, I encourage you to check it out (it’s on Netflix!) Whether you’re interested in graffiti art, marketing or pop culture it’s a must see.

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.

trends in PR

Every week I learn something new about social location-based marketing. I’ve only tinkered with Gowalla and Facebook Places because I haven’t figured out what the point is. It reminds me of the Verizon commercial with the parents on Twitter and Facebook. The dad is constantly tweeting pointless information like, “I am sitting on the patio.”

I don’t want to spam everyone’s newsfeed with “Donna Douglas is at University of North Texas GAB rm 111,” “Donna Douglas is at University of North Texas Wooten Hall rm 216” or “Donna Douglas is at University of North Texas GAB rm 114,” Donna Douglas is at home.” I live such an exciting life huh? Haha. I guess it’s worthy to check-in to places that are of interest. For example, last night I attended the Social Location Marketing Book Tour with Simon Salt at the Angelika Theater hosted by SMC Dallas with some fellow PRSSA members and a couple friends. My friends were checking in and posting it to Twitter so their followers could see that they were there and then they could meet up. I started thinking about how awesome this concept was.

This paragraph was going to be about how I couldn’t see myself using check-ins on a daily (or even weekly) basis to inform friends and family on Facebook or acquaintances on Twitter where I was. I’ve started to rethink that. If I checked-in on Facebook it would be to show off that I’m at a cool or notable place. If I checked-in on Twitter it would be to see if anyone I’m following is there. Are you thinking why do I care if I’m at the same bar/event as a random PR professional I follow on Twitter? Because networking is everything. =)

So this blog isn’t meant to be about my personal use of location-based apps. I’ve been learning how useful social location-based applications can be for the marketing and the PR business.  I was curious as to how people were predicting it is going to affect the industries.  According to Eb Adeyeri, blogger for Lewis PR, his number two trend prediction for 2011 is “Location, location, location.” Although he doesn’t go into much detail, he threw in the term geo-fencing which I’ve never heard before but I like the sound of it.

For fun I thought I’d go back in time, to 2008, and see what trends were forecasted for public relations that year. On PR20/20.com the blogger mentioned social media as the number one trend to watch in 2008 because of its affordability and efficiency to connect with others.  Wow. It seems so vague! No one had any idea what social technologies would turn into. For giggles, I’ll share the rest of the list…

8 Public Relations Trends to Watch in 2008 (full blog post here)

  1. Social Media
  2. Online Press Release & Newsrooms
  3. Search Engine Optimization
  4. Content Publishing
  5. Social Bookmarking
  6. RSS Feeds
  7. Google News Alerts
  8. Standardized Services & Pricing

How many of these things have become instinctive to you?

As a soon-to-be graduate I often find myself asking every professional their view on things like what are the most important things I can be doing to get a job after school, what they prefer to see on a resume and what should I include in my portfolio, among others.

At this week’s PRSSA meeting the President of BizCom Associates, Scott White, gave some advice that really made a difference to me, “Write to be a good writer, not to get the grade.” This helped me get out of my forced creative slump. When you’re forced to be creative by a deadline each week the work produced is hardly your best. Every week staring at my laptop a powerful, thought provoking idea doesn’t automatically come to mind. I know I’m the only person with this problem. I know as a college senior that this definitely won’t be the last time I struggle with this situation. But I now realize that this blog can be something more than just an obligation. It’s another outlet for me to perform on deadline and improve my writing skills.

Another student (Brandon, maybe?) asked Scott what he prefers to read on blogs and if he likes a more conversational tone or a news-story structured blog. Scott said the key to writing is understanding your audience. We’ve all heard that before and apply it to our communication plans and marketing homework but fail to realize it’s the same for a simple blog post.

Scott, having a BA in Journalism from UNT, really emphasized at the meeting how important it is to be a strong writer. To write a basic news release that meets the requirements of standard format isn’t that hard. But to write an effective news release that is going to read and the information published requires being a skilled writer.

Scott White of BizCom Associates Tips to Scoring a Job after Graduation

#1 – Have an internship during school

#2 – Be a strong writer

#3 – Read The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use News Releases, Blogs, Podcasting, Viral Marketing and Online Media to Reach Buyers Directly

lessons learned

As I’m starting my last semester of college I’ve been thinking about a lot of lessons I’ve learned along the way. I realized if you see an opportunity you must jump on it. For example, this Thursday I wanted to go to an event the Social Media of Club Dallas was hosting. I waited until the day of to purchase a ticket and the event was sold out! This isn’t exactly a critical analysis of something specific to PR, but a general analysis of my procrastination (it’s less than an hour before this blog is due.) In my defense, this first blog caught me off guard and I work 12 hours on Fridays. Anyways, I learned last year when I attended the PRSA Communications Summit that networking is everything. I already knew that… just never practiced it in a corporate/industry setting. At these events you’re going to meet that one person that is going to change your whole career. I hope to get on top of things (school and networking, among other affairs) and kick this semester into gear. I will have a job when I graduate.

Just so you know,
I’m already registered for the SMC Dallas’ next event with Simon Salt. You should be, too,

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