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!
Summer internship season is soon upon us. While we’ve been talking a lot recently about how you can tweak your resume to show off your best experiences and qualities, there is still a big part of the job application process to prep for: the interview.
Everyone gets a few nerves when it comes to the interview and a formal meet and greet with a potential employer. As you gain more experience, the interview can become your most confident part of finding a new job. If you’re just starting out or have never interviewed for an internship or entry level job before, here are a few ways you can prep yourself:
Listen to how you speak with your friends – Do you have a figure of speech or bit of slang that you catch yourself saying a little too often? Do you have to make a concentrated effort to remember to say please or thank you? Try to work on these little quirks with your friends way before you meet with HR.
Practice speaking about your hobbies and strengths – The part of the interview that many people feel uncomfortable with is talking about themselves. We’re not saying brag about your love of magazines to anyone who will listen, but maybe pick a few people who really love you to listen to you brag for a bit
Have a couple questions in your back pocket – The worst thing you can do is not ask questions during an interview. Sometimes you are so nervous you just want it to be over. Sometimes you are not sure if you’re feeling the company. But it is important to make the interview a conversation… this is just as much about seeing if the company is right for you as if you are right for the company. Have a couple questions memorized that you can ask at every interview. My favorites are “what does the day to day look like for you?” “what are some of your favorite parts of your job?” “how do you see someone in my position growing at this company?”
One of the questions Adrianna and I get all the time is how to we got our strong Twitter following. Now that we’ve had the blog for more than two years, the easy answer is “well, it takes some time.” We know some people who are so desperate for followers they’ve actually purchased them. There are a few tricks of the trade that can get you there a little faster though. As PR people, it is impressive to prospective employers and even clients to have a strong and engaged following on your personal account, so try out these strategies to see if you can amp up your tweet peeps over the next couple months:
Make sure you are following people similar to you – not just large industry feeds, but people just like yourself!
Show off your personality – if you’re sarcastic, girly, witty… go big or go home
When you respond to a tweet, always RT the tweet you’re addressing
Use hash tags! They help you find similar conversation
Join Twitter parties or group chat sessions over your favorite TV shows or events
Keep the mass tweets of food, shoes, selfies to a minimum
Show off pictures of places you are and tweet the location
Engage with brands in a positive way! They will most likely give you a shout out and earn you some new followers
Be polite and thoughtful. No one likes a rude tweeter. She’s like the town drunk at the party
What other ways do you keep your Twitter following strong?
In our Twitter chat last week, we got an abundance of questions asking us about cover letters. The questions ranged from “when do you send a cover letter?” to “how do you start a cover letter” to “who do you address a cover letter to?” Adrianna and I were actually taken aback by how many questions we received, because to be honest… we didn’t know people still drafted formal cover letters AT ALL!
We understand that when you’re applying for a first job or internship, you want to go above and beyond. To be honest, a formal, attached-document-style cover letter is a bit antiquated and redundant. The shift has gone over the past several years to a “cover email,” or “email of inquiry” when sending in your resume for consideration. It’s basically taking the meat of what was in your old “cover letter” and putting it in a friendly email to a prospective employer.
For PR girls and guys, this email is basically your first test in the public relations world. You need to be able to “pitch” yourself in two short paragraphs to an HR rep or new contact so they want to open the attached resume and call you in for a meeting. If you can’t sell yourself through an email about yourself, than how are you going to pitch that new anti-aging cream to Marie Claire?
Here are a few guidelines to remember when drafting your “email of inquiry”:
Be sure you have the right contact, and address them properly – If you are going in blind, be sure you are sending your resume to the HR department or main contact email. Call out in your subject that this is a job inquiry, something like “Job Inquiry: Summer Internship 2013″ is perfectly fine. DO NOT USE “To Whom it May Concern” as the greeting, even if you don’t know the contact’s name. A friendly “Hi there – ” or “Hello!” usually works wonders. Unfortunately in this day and age, “To Whom it May Concern” SCREAMS “I copy and pasted this from the internet.” If you do know your contact, be friendly, and address the connection in the first sentence: “Hi Amanda! It was so great to meet you at the PRSSA event last Tuesday. I wanted to quickly follow up on our discussion regarding an informational interview with Shadow PR.”
Keep it short and sweet…seriously – Do not copy and paste line items from your resume. Do not rehash every task and event you handled at your last internship. Do not lament about how you are dying to get into fashion or public relations. Pick two of your favorite PR-related experiences that you are most proud of in the past year, or something that inspired you to contact the company, and talk about that. The point of this note is to entice the reader to open your resume, not give away the farm. If you have zero PR experience, your email can include something as simple as: “I recently attended a public relations workshop at my university hosted by beauty PR girls and famous personal care brands. At the end of the day, I realized I wanted to work for a firm like DeVries that represents some of the biggest names in beauty.”
Check your spelling, check your grammar, check your language – You would be AMAZED as to how many resumes and emails I receive with spelling and grammar errors. I truly feel sorry for these girls and guys. In PR, and in most companies, your resume will be immediately deleted with a spelling error. Everyone is allowed a slip in real life (everyone knows we’ve made mistakes on this very blog!), but when your job is on the line you better be clean cut.
What are some other questions you have regarding cover letters? Do you agree that the cover letter has turned into the “cover email?” Do you have any additional tips or tricks that have worked for you?
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?
I’m off to LA this weekend, which after the craziness of Sundance and the citing chill of New York is a welcome destination. Though I do miss staying still in one place, I kind of like traveling by myself. Seeing new places and meeting new faces is one of the many PR girl perks, and I have to say that being a PR girl helps tremendously with the usual travel woes. Here are a few ways that being a PR girl helps when you’re on the road:
You have a kind understanding of the stress airline customer service has to deal with
You are one of the swiftest through the security line (you know how to accessorize efficiently)
You are happy to wait at the terminal outside Hudson News reading plenty of magazines
Taxiing does not bother us – a quiet moment in the middle of the day when we are not allowed to look at a computer screen?! We’ll take it!
Once we arrive at our destination, we are able to make new friends or connect with friends of friends through our network
We appreciate the sights and landmarks, and take in the personality of each city (“for consumer research”)
What are some of your favorite PR girl perks of travel?
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…