What to Tell Your Parents About PR

May graduation is only a few weeks away and college seniors are getting the inevitable question, “so what’s your plan for a job?” Many college seniors are feeling the pressure to come up with a good answer, and for those pursuing a career in public relations, you might get a few blank face stares back when you say you’re getting into PR. Because that’s like advertising, right?

What to Tell Your Parents About PR

Defining PR is always difficult but instead of resorting to a comparison of Samantha in Sex and the City (which won’t give your parents the best impression), here a few pointers to highlight that will get them just as excited as you are about your PR career.

  • Get the word out. Our job is basically to make our clients look good and “get the word out” (the only thing my parents understand) by hosting events, planning media interviews, aligning with celebrities etc.
  • A people’s person career. PR is all about networking, meeting new faces and communicating daily with clients and media. In other words, you’ll meet lots of people and make new friends.
  • Travel really fun places to do cool things. Random trips to places you’ve never been before will happen. Did I ever think I’d be traveling to Dallas for the NCAA Final Four? Nope, but I am. Thanks to working in PR.
  • Get creative. PR is all about coming up with the next best, big idea. You get to brainstorm really fun, over-the-top ideas that will get you media attention.
  • Work with famous people. Working with celebrities in inevitable in PR and guess what? Even though celebrities can be a pain in the a$$, it’s a major perk and gives you bragging rights.
  • Good pay. Note that I’m not saying great, but working in PR you will have a decent salary. Your starting salary is rough, but that’s expected with any career.

How did your parents react when you said you were getting into public relations?

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How a PR Girl Handles the First Date

I have found that being in public relations has helped me countless other ways in my social life. While I’m naturally a bit shy and introverted, PR forced me to break out of my shell. Now I enjoy introducing myself to new people and learning new things about life I would never have known before.

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If you’re in the dating scene AND in public relations – congrats, you pretty much rock at this. Going on your first date is not only about representing your best self, but also having fun in a new and foreign territory with another new and foreign person. here are some ways PR girls maneuver and succeed on the first date:

  • A PR girl will always know what spot to go to for a date, whether you’re looking of low key, flashy, fun or romantic (thanks to multiple events and site visits)
  • PR girls love to dress up, but know when too much is too much
  • Your PR girl date will read the room, know exactly where to sit to get the most privacy, and always be polite with the service staff
  • A PR girl knows when someone is nervous or overly excited, and helps their date feel more comfortable (thanks to media training more than a few fumbling brand spokespeople and CEO’s)
  • Your PR girl crush will have plenty of interesting stories about any number of topics, whether it be the backstage behavior of a crazy celeb or the down and dirty details of your favorite athlete (we’ve worked too many press events not to have a few stories stashed up)
  • A PR girl will guide the conversation but never jump down your throat, and always ask thoughtful questions (again, media training)
  • Should an unexpected snafu occur, your PR girl date will be on crisis management lockdown and clean it up before you can blink (you don’t know the disasters we deal with daily)

 

How else do you think PR girls handle dating with ease?

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Reality Check: Your Dream Job Doesn’t Exist

The other day I read a quote that got me thinking.

“Your dream job does not exist. You must create it.”

Your Dream Job Does Not Exist

M and I are huge advocates of following your heart and chasing your dream job, but does the dream job really exist? In all honesty, probably not. In PR we all get stressed, feel overworked and want to pull our hair out. Sounds more like a nightmare than a dream.

The reality is, it’s all what we make of it. If our dream job doesn’t exist, then we really do have to create it – in our minds. The more positivity we surround ourselves with and think to ourselves, the better our job will seem.

The first real PR job I landed wasn’t what I would’ve called my dream job at the time, but once I got ingrained in the company, became friends with my colleagues and started to excel, it became what I would consider the dream job. Low stress, great clients and awesome people to work with. What more could I ask for?

Do you think a dream job exists, or is it something we have to create? Leave your thoughts below.

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PR Girl PRowess: When Someone Doesn’t Like You…

When you first start your career, you’re extremely focused on getting people to like you. You pick your outfits to be agreeable, you watch your speech, you over analyze emails… all to be sure you are not offending anyone and (hopefully) making friends.

It may happen a few weeks in, a few months, or a few years, but some time in your career you will come across someone who just doesn’t like you. You’ll get snubbed for lunch invites. They will be condescending in front of your colleagues. You may even be the brunt of a few jokes. You wonder what you did wrong, you try to make it better, but for whatever the reason, you cannot change the first impression you made on this person (and apparently, it was a bad one).

First thing – don’t take it personally and don’t freak out. This happens to everyone at some point in their working life. There are definitely a few proactive and positive steps you can take to be sure this situation doesn’t come to a conflict. The last thing you want is someone’s wrongful impression hurting your work or your concentration. Or for this to turn into an episode of The Real Housewives.

A few tips…

Always be polite – Playground rules apply here. Just because someone has chosen to show their (wrongful) feelings, does not mean you stoop to that level. Always show graciousness and poise. Don’t even share with your closest office buddy any negative feelings. If there is any bad blood, it isn’t coming from you. It makes the other person’s opinions  seem silly.

Warn your boss – Have an offhand and offline conversation with your boss BEFORE any real issues arise. This can be very casual, something as simple as “I was working with Angela on this project and she expressed a few feelings – I’m not sure she likes me very much.” If your boss asks you to elaborate, you can. This will keep you out of the fray if things take a dramatic turn. *Note, this is not an excuse to talk to your boss about every small conflict in the office, just those you worry about tension rising over.

Help with the workload – Continuously offer to help with your grumpy colleague’s work, and do the best job for her that you can. Just short of sucking up, this shows your colleague your worth to  the company and the good work you can do! If you make her life easier, there really is little smack talk she can hand out.

How have you handled wrongful impressions in the workplace?

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