Last night A and I hosted another great Twitter Party with @cision, and boy did we get some great questions! We were so happy with how excited everyone was to join and really get the conversation going. Below are some of the best questions and points that came through last night, and since we have more than 140 characters to go through on the blog, we’ve gone into a bit more detail
@Sam__Dickson: How do you convince client to “take the leap” if they’re nervous, especially in social media?
We’ve come across this a bunch of times with clients. It’s all about doing your research and having relevant examples and success stories to share. Even sharing things that failed help your client, if you can show “lessons learned.” Of course, sharing what a competitor is doing is a real good way to light a fire under them!
@alexisdcecil: I was told pr has nothing to do with creativity. I beg to differ. To stand out in pr world one must be creative
We love this! PR is incredibly creative, we would argue that it’s one of the most creative jobs in the marketing world. If you love to write and brainstorm, PR is right up your alley
@viaCHARY: How do I get into fashion editorial? Any pointers?
Be sure you know your editors that you’re pitching, and you know how relevant what you’re pitching is within the fashion landscape. If you speak the language, you can join the conversation
@_christielsmith: How do you stick to the 140 characters but still get the info out?
This is hard sometimes! We definitely had a few issues with that last night. Use strong words, clear language, and watch your grammar and spaces! You usually don’t need all that you’re using
@RemixRuby: Any tips for college grads wanting to start a PR career in NYC?
Be open to any experiences that come your way. NYC is a place of endless opportunity. Be yourself, be true, and smile!
Keep reading and tweeting, guys! Love to answer all questions even when we’re not partying on Twitter. Xo.
This weekend I watched an episode of Girl Code that talked about mean girls at work. Yes, they exist and you’re going to encounter more than one in your career. There are plenty of reasons why you shouldn’t be that b*tch at work, but if you find yourself being annoyed by one, here how you should handle yourself.
Don’t overreact. It’s something that we tend to do when someone bothers us. Take a deep breath and remain calm.
Don’t snap back. Don’t become the mean girl yourself – very important. Stay professional.
Try not to take it personal. Most mean girls are mean to everyone. Don’t let it affect your performance at work.
Work even harder. Show them your value and don’t let them undermine you. Be proactive in highlighting your strengths.
Kill them with kindness. Something you should do with every “enemy”. Don’t give them a reason to be mean to you.
Don’t confront head on. It never goes as planned. And things will probably escalate.
Talk to HR. Follow the office protocol. Let them know how you’re feeling and you’ll find you’re probably not the only one.
M and I are super excited to announce the date of our next Twitter Party. We’re hosting alongside every PR girls life support – Cision. We’ll be answering all of your PR questions as well as talking about how PR pros can exercise content marketing – the next step in social media marketing. Mark your calendars for Tuesday, August 27 at 8pm ET and follow along using #prchat.
I was awarded an amazing internship opportunity as a public relations coordinator for the student-run radio station on campus at the beginning of the summer. However, I had several life events happen this summer that caused me to perform very poorly at my internship, resulting in my being fired today without notification.
How can I bounce back from this? Are there ways that I can get other internship opportunities for the fall? What other activities can I do or organizations can I join that can help me recover from my epic summer failure? Any advice would be very helpful!
Thanks in advance,
Looking for a silver lining
First off, don’t let this get to you. Not every internship works out and sometimes our personal lives have to come first. Don’t look at it as a failure – look at it as a learning experience. First make sure you keep a good relationship with the radio station on campus and send them a thank you again for even giving you the opportunity.
You can quickly bounce back from this by pursuing other internship experiences – once you feel you’re in a good place with your personal life. Speak with your adviser and ask about any fall or spring opportunities. Look to join any communications organizations on campus such as PRSSA. Or consider rushing a sorority – which helped me grow immensely in college. It’s important to get involved with campus activities to grow your resume and network with other students.
Bottom line, don’t let this get you down. One bad internship experience won’t effect your future PR career. There is a silver lining.
When I was first interviewing for internships and my first job, my BIGGEST fear was how to answer a question in an interview I didn’t know the answer to or couldn’t respond eloquently to. I was worried my experience wouldn’t be enough, or I wouldn’t share my most important and valuable qualities, or I would completely trip up and babble on without making sense.
This is a pretty common fear with all young professionals, but when you get into PR you quickly learn that this fear is pretty much an every day reality. Clients and team members ask the hard questions all day long – and it’s our job to handle them. I had to get over any nervousness I felt with hardball questions if I wanted to stay afloat, and now I can “PR” my answers with the best of them.
If you're headed out to interview of a new job or internship, here are a couple things in mind when you're thrown an "out of left field" type question from a client or potential colleague:
Breathe - The question is not meant to be an attack, so don't take any hard questions personally. If you're in an interview, the employer may want to see how you do under pressure. If it's a client, they're looking for the truth and your help in leading them through the dark
Never lie - While a white lie or a fib might feel easy to get out of a tough spot ("Oh I ABSOLUTELY rubbed shoulders with media while working backstage at Fashion Week" is not the same as "Assisted team with logistics for large events"), avoid telling a non-truth or overexaggerating
Do brag - This is potentially what felt the oddest to me. Don't feel about talking about how amazing an experience was, how you succeeded, or past examples of how you handled a problem. It might feel like you're being a braggart, but you're really offering valuable real-life experience to the table
But be humble - Speak to key learnings and how you can do better for next time. It's okay to admit defeat if you came out of it with the right mind set
Clear voice - and smile! - Don't be afraid of the question, it's a natural part of conversation and team work. You got this.
Exceling in PR isn’t always easy. Some people quickly get overwhelmed by the stress and high demands. If you’re just starting your career or are struggling with your job, here are a few simple ways to excel in PR.
Over communicate. With your co-workers, managers, teammates, everyone.
Think ahead. Try and predict what your manager will ask you to do next – and get started on it.
Make new contacts. Read new publications and research new media contacts to share with your team.
Bring forth media opportunities. Exercise your media contacts to find new opportunities your agencies clients could fit into. Even if it’s not your own accounts.
Be social. Attend after work events and get to know your colleagues personally. Super important.
I am the dreamer’s biggest cheerleader. I love visualizing a new life, I love setting near impossible goals, I love fighting for what I want. Since coming into this industry (just coming to New York in general really) I have realized that almost everyone has big pipe dreams. For the PR industry in particular, I like to call it “the Vogue complex.”
Being exposed to public relations at first seems glamorous. Whether you notice a publicist in Prada leading a celebrity while he walks the red carpet, watch any number of E! reality TV shows, or see a tall skinny blonde jogging in six inch heels at the tents at fashion week, our industry looks like a fast-paced glamazon show. You don’t really know what to think, but you want to be a part of it. It’s bold. It’s in control. It’s Vogue.
Clients in PR fall for a similar pipe dream. Each emerging brand has that vision of a full page spread or feature in a glossy magazine, and whether or not it will do anything for them business wise is irrelevant. While smart PR people may push for online placements or partnerships to move the needle for sales, the client insists on that glossy magazine feature. “Get me into Vogue.”
I hope that Adrianna and I have shown you along our journey (going on 3 years now!) that while PR has it’s glamorous, fun and flirty moments, Vogue is not the end all be all of PR. We receive countless emails and tweets asking us how to get connections into fashion houses or celebrities. Public Relations is so much more than that. Yes, the possibility of working with Channing Tatum or teaming up with Marc Jacobs would make any blue-blooded fashionista’s heart flutter. But we’re bigger than that. There is so much potential in each of you that Vogue literally isn’t big enough to hold it all in.
Find what it is about Vogue that sends chills down your spine. Is it the people? Is it the glam? Is it the fast-paced life? Find your own path that is much less traveled and much more fruitful. You’ll make your own Vogue, and it will be so much more fierce.
Lucky for me, I have this week off on vacation down south with my family. We’re a particularly lazy beach-bum bunch, so most of the time will be spent reading multiple books I haven’t gotten to all summer, eating fruit on the beach, and enjoying evenings on the back porch. Already this time off after a hellish month of events, new launches and high client demands has been a godsend. Mostly because I’ve had some time to sit back and think about how I’ve handled the curve balls thrown my way the past few weeks.
Reflection is important for any professional, but especially in PR it can be hard to find this precious time to learn from mistakes or correct course. And as a college student looking to get into PR or an intern just starting out, sometimes you’re not sure you’re asking yourself the right questions. Below are a few ways to get started. In the beginning of my career I kept a journal that helped me track progress and keep tabs on important lessons learned, but keeping a quick notepad on your phone or even tweeting or writing on a blog are other great ways to hold yourself accountable and keep on the right track.
Take time at least once a week to ask yourself…
Did I communicate clearly this week? How did my colleagues/peers/teachers respond?
Did I perform efficiently? How could I have cut back on unnecessary work or time spent?
Was I able to help others? Did I offer my help to other people even when it wasn’t asked of me?
What was my favorite project this week? How did I show off my passion for the task?
Which was my least favorite project? Did I take anything new away from it, or did I sulk?
How can I show off my talents more? How can I use them to help my client/my classmates/my team?
If you have truly newsworthy information, often offering one media outlet an exclusive to break the news is the strategic way to go. Before offering an exclusive, align with your fellow teammates and make sure you remember the following:
Make sure it’s actually newsworthy. Offering a media outlet news that isn’t could deteriorate the relationship.
Decide between an exclusive vs. an embargo. Sometimes one makes more sense than the other depending on the news.
Find the best outlet. Out way the pros and cons and make sure you’re targeting the most appropriate outlet. Offer an exclusive to a reporter that requires one.
Have a plan. If the first outlet passes, what will you do next?
Keep the trust. Make sure you’re actually only giving that outlet the exclusive. If the same news breaks on another outlet, you’ll lose trust from the reporter.
Make sure your client is on-board. You’ll want to have your release scheduled after the media outlet posts. Plus you want to make sure your client is in the loop just in case another outlet approaches them – unlikely, but possible.
Be careful. Sometimes an exclusive can kill your story. Make sure you confirm everything with the reporter ahead of time. When it will post, what will be included, etc. Do so via email so it’s all in writing and you’re on the same page.
Don’t be discouraged. If your dream outlet passes, try another one. Don’t go overboard, but offer the exclusive to one or two more relevant outlets.