Happy Valentine’s Day! Today is one of my favorite days of the year (in a relationship or single) for two reasons: flowers and an excuse to eat excessive amounts of Dove chocolate. Every year PR professionals take advantage of the love fest and spread the love on their own. Here are a few companies, particularly in the fast food arena, doing silly PR things I couldn’t ignore.
White Castle transforms into the “Love Castle” on Valentine’s Day. Don’t think you can go to White Castle today and get your burgers and clam strips without a reservation. Reservations are required!
Pizza Hut is giving out its Eau de Pizza Hut perfume for Valentine’s Day. It’s been dubbed as “one of the most sought-after and rarest of scents available” according to the press release. If this isn’t the cheesiest gift you could give someone, I don’t know what is.
Dominos offers a sweet gift to customers named “Love”. The first 500 people whose name is a variation of Love to email firstname.lastname@example.org, starting today through Friday, Feb. 15, will receive a $10 gift card. Did anyone send this opportunity to the new chick on Mob Wives?
PG&E wants you to make sure you keep metallic balloons secure and away from its power lines this Valentine’s Day. Safety first!
Roses are red, violets are blue, don’t let that financial talk sneak up on you! A Chase Blueprint survey reveals the sooner, the better when it comes to discussing money and relationships – so why not make Valentine’s Day the day for the money talk? Seriously? The LAST thing I’d want to talk about.
Earrings are the most wanted jewelry for Valentine’s Day according to Overstock.com. This is actually interesting…because I’d definitely prefer a necklace, bracelet or ring.
Have you come across any silly Valentine’s Day press releases? Do share! Or share with us your Valentine’s Day plans. We both have dinner dates. Perfectly fine with us!
This weekend was one of my New York favorites. Besides the major blizzard that hit the city (I love the snow!) it was New York Fashion Week. Apologies for the blurred photos – used my iPhone with the help of Instagram (@nycprgirls).
After trekking through the blizzard, I headed backstage for Charlotte Ronson thanks to Sexy Hair. The hairstyles for Charlotte’s collection were inspired by both Jane Birkin and 1960’s London. The styles were simple and low maintenance but still chic – the sort of effortless looking go-to hairstyles we need for work. The collection presentation was a rainbow of jewel tones and outerwear pieces I wanted to snag off the models.
With some time to spare, I requested standing room at Nicole Miller and luckily got it. She had a unique show that was a twist on menswear for women. The collection was filled with tomboy styles that were meant to look as if you raided your boyfriends closet. Not a bad idea…
On Saturday, I went to Christian Siriano’s show at Eye Beam Studios. His Fall 2013 Collection was inspired by a night at the Opera. The scene was set with dramatic red curtains and giant chandeliers. The collection was filled with pencil skirts, fur and black pieces accented with gold.
Did you attend or watch any of the Fall 2013 show? Share your favorite!
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week officially started in NYC and for many PR girls, it’s the busiest time of the year. For M and I, we get the honor of attending with clients but that doesn’t mean we get to just sit back, relax and enjoy the show. With a couple of shows to attend this weekend, there are several things to remember to bring along and prep for.
Bring a big bag to fit all of your essentials plus any swag from the show
Make sure you have your best camera
Pack a small pair of back-up flats. The commute from Hoboken to Lincoln Center calls for these.
Think about what you’ll wear ahead of time. I’ll be in all black, in true PR fashion.
Find time to get your nails done. I tend to forget my manicure at home…
Write down contact information for the videographer, photographer or anyone else you’re supposed to meet
Double confirm that you and your client are on the list
Don’t forget emergency contact information for the PR rep and email proof of your confirmed attendance (just in case)
Have a pen to take notes so you don’t forget the looks you love
Make sure you can easily access all of your social media accounts (don’t forget to follow us @nycprgirls on both Twitter and Instagram Xo)
Number one priority, make sure your clients are happy before, during and after the show
I remember the first time I conducted an interview. I was interviewing a potential intern and to be honest, I had no clue what I was doing. Being a good interviewee is just as important as being a good interviewer. When I realized I didn’t know what I was doing, I held a meeting with my manager to discuss the best interviewing practices. Here are a few tips I took away on the best way to conduct an interview.
Ask to shadow an interview. This is a great learning experience and a good opportunity to takes notes on the best interview practices.
Review the interviewee’s resume ahead of time. Get a feel for their experiences and begin thinking of questions based off of what you see.
Start off personal. Relax the mood by asking about themselves and then telling them about yourself.
Don’t go off a script. You don’t want to make it uncomfortable. Keep conversation flowing and be yourself. You can jot down notes of topics you want to cover, but going off of a list of questions can seem inauthentic. The interviewee is more nervous than you are!
Chose the best person for the job. Don’t base your judgement off of someone you think you’d be good friends with. While it is important to have “chemistry”, your best friend might not be the best co-worker.
Ask open-ended questions. Not questions that can be answered with a quick yes and no. Open-ended questions keep the conversation flowing.
Keep it concise. Try not to go over (or under) the time allotted. Sometimes you can be so deep into conversation the interview can last an hour! This has happened to me.
Take notes. Especially if you’re conducting several interviews in one day, you want to make sure you remember your thoughts on each person.
The #1 rule of advice: Go into an interview knowing exactly what you’re looking for. This is the first step in being able to craft the right questions to ask. If you’re looking for a good media pitcher, ask about their past pitching experiences. Look for specific examples that will aid your client and team.
What are some other tips you found helpful for conducting an interview? Even though I’ve conducted many, I’m definitely not a pro!
Happy Monday and hope you had a great Super Bowl! Did Beyonce kill it or what?! January was filled with Twitter tips (plus our Twitter chat). Thanks to all that tweeted using #PR101 and don’t forget to tweet us @nycprgirls.
Recently I’ve become obsessed with buying and trying new beauty products. This month alone I’ve tried more new beauty products than I did all of last year. Not joking. While it hasn’t been great for my budget, I’ve been able to find some new must-haves for my everyday routine. Below are four of the finds.
1. Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Lollipop. I’m in love with Revlon lip butter – I bought three new colors. Yikes. It goes on smooth and gives a nice shiny color. It also looks great alone or layered on top of a nude lipstick, which is how I wear it most of the time. You can find it at most drugstores.
2. Protective Nourishment Cranberry Mint Gel. The team at Protective Nourishment sent me this to try and it quickly became my new favorite moisturizing gel. With application it gives you a nice tingly feeling and it’s perfect for anyone with oily skin (me!) since it works to reduce oil production in your skin. Plus it’s natural based.
3. Laura Mercier Secret Camoflauge Concealer. For years I’d been using Makeup For Ever’s liquid concealer, but I was ready to try something new. This Laura Mercier concealer goes down smooth and gives ultimate coverage with just the pat of your finger.
4. Jordana Fabuliner Liquid Eyeliner. Since I can remember I’ve been using Lancome Kohl Liner. The truth is that it never lasts me through the whole work day, so it was time to try a liquid. The Jordana liner comes recommended by beauty bloggers and I’m seriously in love with it. It goes on easily in pen-form, is mess free and last the entire day. Plus it dries extremely quickly. The best part? It’s only $2.99 at Duane Reade. Major steal.
Have you tried any new beauty product recently? Tell us which and if you recommend.
Another frequently asked question we received during our last Twitter chat was about how to keep in touch with former co-workers and employers. Since you had an internship with this company over the summer, you want to make sure they keep you in mind for a future job opening once you graduate, right? Or once you’ve left a company, you want to make sure you keep in touch with former co-workers just in case they have any potential openings at a new company they might transfer to. There are several ways to keep in touch with former co-workers and depending on your relationship with them, don’t be afraid to consider the below.
Social network. Make sure you’re connected on LinkedIn so that you can see each others work history and any job changes. You wouldn’t want to reach out to someone at a company that’s no longer there. Follow them on Twitter and tweet back and forth. This can’t hurt and keeps the connection alive.
Send an email. Email them saying hi, not necessarily asking for anything, but checking in to see how everything is going and letting them know your status (i.e. I’m graduating this spring and would love to be considered for a position at your company in the coming months).
Shoot a coverage note. This is a great idea suggested by @SuzanneMNolan. See a client placement that is most likely due to the efforts of your co-workers? Send them a note congratulating them on the coverage. They will without a doubt be impressed that you’re thinking of them and also looking at relevant media.
Send a hand-written note. Personalized, hand-written cards always leave a great impression. Consider sending a hand-written note especially around the holidays.
Coffee date. Chances are you formed great personal relationships with former co-workers. Ask them to grab a cup of coffee with you one night or during lunch break to catch-up (can’t tell you how many times I’ve done this!).
Keeping connections is vital in any career, but especially in PR. How do you keep in touch with former co-workers?
Last night, M and I hosted our second Twitter Party. For those of you who haven’t been able to join, our Twitter chats are run very informally – we take questions that you tweet us and try to answer as many as we can! If you couldn’t tune into last nights, don’t panic. Below find a recap of some of the most frequently asked questions. We look forward to the next one!
@zoeytopper: To work at an agency, should we apply to internship postings or entry-level positions if grad in May?
The harsh reality is, you’re probably going to have to start with an internship and work your way up. Even despite already having internships under your belt, entry-level positions are generally given to those that have already interned out of college.
@SocialAvery: I don’t have a minor in marketing, advertising, or GRDE but a minor in French. Yay or nay?
Yay! Any language skills are looked at as extremely beneficial. Minors don’t account for much.
@HauteWriter: I’m confused about whether or not you should follow-up after submitting a resume.
You definitely should. Email first and then try calling if you don’t get a response. Being persistent is key.
@lydled: What’s the BEST way to get a feel for a firm’s personality/”fit” if you can’t visit in person?
A list of the firm’s clients to see if any spark your interest. You can usually find this on the company website or through Google searches.
No! We were both shy when we started, but eventually you learn to break out of your shell and feel comfortable speaking up.
@DeonnahDavis: Do you think it is a smart idea to go cross-country for an internship?
If you can, go for it! It would be a once in a lifetime experience that will surely be worth it. Once you intern in a big city, you can intern anywhere!
@Halle_Byrams: What are some non-typical skills that would be beneficial in PR?
Any language, video & photo editing (Photoshop) and social media skills are extremely beneficial. Also having a niche passion for a certain topic (i.e. you love the food industry and would be a great fit for a food client).
@mhslowikowski: Most are the most common mistake made when applying for internships?
No research on the company, no personalization and tons of spelling errors!
@itsvee001: When do you encourage people to apply for summer internships?
Now! Most companies are already looking and filling the positions.
@tedjakokoneshi How would you describe the life of a woman in the PR field in 3 words?
Fast-paced, exciting and rewarding.
We also got a TON of tweets asking about cover letters. Expect a post in the future, but in the meantime, check out our guide and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @nycprgirls xo
It happens ever so frequently. We get inundated with work and turn into a monster we don’t want to be. We get restless, snappy and just don’t want to be bothered. Dare I say it, we turn into mean girls. Becoming a mean girl in the office and losing your cool can come with some major consequences. From someone who has dealt with coworkers giving attitude, here are the top 10 reasons you should never be a b*itch in the office.
You quickly lose other coworkers respect
Your coworkers will not want to approach you…for anything
You’re not viewed as a team player…crucial in PR
You won’t come off as professional
You could lose opportunities that would otherwise be presented to you
You’re coworkers will say exactly how they feel about you in your review
You won’t be put on new teams
The PR world is small and everyone talks
It could affect you from getting hired elsewhere (I’ve seen this happen)
Karma will come back and bite you
Share with us some other reasons! I’m sure there are more…
M and I are thrilled to be PRofiling a girl we’ve been following on Twitter religiously since the day we started this blog. Marigo Mihalos (@MarigoPR) is a fellow PR girl who started her own PR agency and recently became the Associate Talent Producer at the Wendy Williams Show. Her story is inspiring and I’m sure you will find it that way too!
1. How did you get started in public relations and what attracted you to the industry?
From a young age I always knew I had this zest for life. I had a constant yearning to know everything, be involved in everything, and make things happen on my own. I was so intrigued by celebrities and the entertainment industry. I was captivated by the constant integration of celebrities, their products, their brands… I was obsessed with how their empires grew, piece by piece, deal by deal, product by product. I knew that I needed some part in it. I also watched one of my mentors Lizzie Grubman on Power Girls and thought to myself, I REALLY need to work with her, alongside her.. Something. I needed to be in this business.
I was a freshman at Fordham University at Lincoln Center and in the hustle and bustle of NYC. I knew I had a purpose, and it was beyond learning about Picasso’s paintings in my intro to Art class. A family friend of mine knew I wanted to be in PR, so she recruited me, believed in me and gave me a chance to help her at Soho Fashion, the outerwear house for Baby Phat, Coogi, Steve Madden, Honee , Rocawear and other private labels. She told me to run the press closet. I had no idea what that even meant but I pretended and ran with it.
After six months of brainstorming how to get our jackets into the magazines, I started cold calling market editors and little by little these high brow editors were coming to meet me, the intern, in my showroom. It was honestly awesome. In six months my boss was so impressed that he told me he wanted me there full time. I was dumbfounded, because my response was… I’m a full time student. He didn’t care. So off I went to run the entire press department for the company, went to school full time, had a few interns while living in subways and taxis. I made it work. I knew this was it and I knew it had to lead to something.
After four years of college, I graduated with a double major, Communications and Business. My boss told me I had bigger things to do and accomplish, and he told me if I didn’t go, he would fire me (on purpose of course). I didn’t get it, but now I sure do. I started going on job interviews, but in 2009, at the height of the recession where was I going? People were offering me jobs that paid peanuts. I made more in college. So I sat my parents down and told them that I had decided to start my own small PR company until the next big thing happened.
From there MSM Public Relations took off. I started networking HARD. Facebook, Twitter, started going to events, and luckily I seemed to always be at the right place at the right time. It was like God was always watching out for me when it came to my career. I started getting clients, started doing events, started doing freelance work for agencies…even started to do some projects for TV stars. It was amazing. But it was a ton of work. A little while later I was introduced to Bonnie Fuller, who was the former Editor-in-Chief of Us Weekly, Star Mag, Marie Claire…the list goes on.
From there I went to represent not only Bonnie Fuller, but all of her websites. We started to really hit the broadcast waves and we kept running. Bonnie and the team were doing TV hits nonstop, sometimes everyday, sometimes a few times a day. I am really proud of that.
Almost two years later, I also had other clients as well including RichRocks and Zara Terez.
Later I was presented with an opportunity to enter the TV world as an associate producer at The Wendy Williams Show. I fell in love with the adrenaline of the TV world. Now in my second season at the show, I have become the Associate Talent Producer working with the Talent/Booking Dept. My PR career, skills, contacts and network have allowed me to make this transition and I am so thankful for it.
I knew I wanted to focus on the TV world, which is a full time gig. So right now I live and loving the TV world.
2. What is your average day like?
Before I was at the show, it was a ton of research. You always have to be in the know, what editor is where, what producer is in charge of what, what segment producer can pitch your client. You have to get back to people, respond to emails…Create the lane, figure out where you want to be, and do everything you can. No day is the same, that’s the beauty of the business. I would get a call for Bonnie to do TV and everything stops. You could have a fashion editor call that needs RichRocks product asap for a shoot. You are always running, you have to be able to handle it.
Now at The Wendy Williams Show it’s a lot of calls. I am old school. You have to know how to work those phones and be able to pitch. Not just in TV…this comes from PR. An email only goes so far. Be assertive, we have to go after the talent we hope to book on our show. It’s a ton of following up, but I love learning from my boss who runs the department.
3. What’s your favorite part of working in public relations?
I look at it like Lego’s, it’s the thrill of building. What can I do next? What can I make happen next?
4. What’s the best PR advice you ever received?
Always follow up. Always be in people’s faces, but be gentle enough to leave your mark. Always make people remember you. Always be in the know and always be 10 steps ahead.
5. Any advice for those looking to get into PR?
Start from the bottom up, but find every way to be noticed. Let people realize how passionate you are. Find the thing that will set you apart from the rest. Always smile, always be positive and again, always be in the know. Engage on Twitter and social media. Create an image you want for yourself and tell the universe what you want. Nothing is completed until you have given it 150 percent, pay attention to every detail. Let people want to work with you.