M and I are excited to announce that we’ll be hosting another Twitter Chat a week from now, Wednesday, January 23rd at 8 p.m. ET. We had so much fun tweeting with all of you in October and can’t wait to do it again. Make sure you’re following us on Twitter at @nycPRgirls and including #prchat in your tweets.
M and I will answer as many questions as we can. We’ll be talking about finding summer internships, tip for getting into PR and much more!
Be sure to join us and feel free to tweet any questions you have. Looking forward to tweeting with you! Xx
This week is a little hectic for me. Aside from having mountains of new 2013 work to get started, I’m only in the office three days this week before I head to Sundance to work a celebrity suite for a client. While I’m excited to go back again this year, leaving the office for travel is intimidating on its own without the pressures of new projects and needy clients.
So it goes without saying, I’m a little overwhelmed this week. We’ve talked about stress and time management multiple times on nyc PR girls, but I think it’s always a good idea to take a step back and look and what you can do to help yourself and your team when the workload gets to be too much.
Schedule your day, down to the minute – Set specific times for specific projects, so you cannot avoid doing the work or procrastinate. If you need to, block off your Outlook calendar so other team members can see you are busy working on assignments. Make sure to schedule in a Starbucks run to keep your sanity.
Put details in writing – ESPECIALLY if you’re going out of town or will be unavailable at events, etc. You may have discussed your work with your team and supervisors at countless meetings, but it’s always a good idea to send an email with an outline of the work you need done in your absence (or what you’re working on currently). When I first started, I thought this kind of team reporting was a waste of time, but its incredibly helpful to have your team on the same page.
Take your time – Though you might be rushing to get assignments finished, don’t let your work suffer because you have 500 other items on your plate. Give yourself time to produce quality work. Your supervisors will be much more thankful for a well-thought out press release rather than a rough outline with a million edits.
Admit when it gets to be too much – I have a bad habit of taking on more than I can handle, and it makes me nervous when other team members do the same. Make sure you tell your team when you need help. It is SO much worse to miss a deadline or turn in messy work than to ask for a hand. That’s what a team is for!
As an aspiring or working PR girl, it’s important to learn many of the terms that are thrown around the office. For Part 1 and 2, we covered some of the basic acronyms and abbreviations. We recently received an email from a reader asking us to elaborate on some of the more basic PR daily tasks we mention. Take some notes, below are just a few.
Media Monitoring (or charting): Looking for a mention of your client’s brand or competitors in online, print, broadcast and social media. This can be done through Google searches, Google alerts and outside vendors that track print, broadcast and social coverage. Factiva for print, Critical Mention for broadcast, Cision for print and broadcast and Radian 6 for social to name a few. Any mentions are then compiled into an Excel chart also known as a coverage chart (usually done on a month to month basis).
Media List: Easily created using CisionPoint, a media list is an Excel grid with a list of media outlets and contact information for each relevant to your client. For example, if you work for a beauty brand, your media list would consist of magazine beauty editors, online beauty writers, beauty bloggers and more.
Media Outreach: All of your pitching efforts and communications with online, print and broadcast media.
Fact Sheet: Used alongside media outreach, a fact sheet is a one page document outlining details about your client’s brand, product or service (price, availability, features, etc).
Media Briefing: A session, done one-on-one or at an editor event, in order to provide detailed information about your client to media. Those that attend can also sometimes meet with your client, receive fact sheets, photos or additional press materials.
Call Agenda: Pulled together and generally sent to a client before a meeting, the call agenda includes short bullets of what will be discussed on the conference call.
Brainstorming : A creative way of getting ideas from your colleagues on a given topic for your client. For example if your client is looking for a new campaign idea based on a specific goal, (i.e. ways to drive traffic to their store) you would host a brainstorm or e-storm (through email) to get ideas from others.
Lead Time: The deadline for submission of articles that reporters have. It’s important to know the deadline for reporters articles, especially for those you’re contributing to.
Any other PR terms you’re confused about? Comment below!
Yesterday, we received a great email from one our readers with a question many of you might also have.
So I had a really awesome interview for an amazing summer internship program. The HR reps I interviewed with said they have just begun holding interviews and would send out offers in about two or three months. Is there anything I should do to keep myself in their minds for the selection process? I understand that it is normal procedure but I feel so nervous thinking they may forget about me as soon as they have a whole slew of other candidates coming in.
Thanks so much, Anxious and nervous
This is such a good question and a reminder for those interested in a summer internship to start looking NOW. You definitely want to make sure the HR reps keep you top of mind. Following up with them after a month and half or two months definitely won’t hurt. It will show that you’re still extremely interested in the company and like you said, make sure they don’t forget about you. Send them a quick note stating that you’re just following up and are excited to have the opportunity and look forward to hearing from them. Also try and confirm exactly when you will hear back from them.
I also want to note that you definitely shouldn’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Even if the interview went perfectly, you never know what could happen and don’t want to be stuck without a summer internship opportunity when May rolls around. If you haven’t already tried, line up some other interviews. It can’t hurt! It’s much better to have to choose between two internship opportunities than none.
We have done a few posts now on datingPR girls, but what about having a PR girl in your tight social circle? Girls and guys in public relations make some of the very best and loyal friends, just from our nature and the tips and tricks we learn in the industry. If you don’t have a PR girl in your social family yet, we suggest you run to the nearest Starbucks or secret Saks sale and get one ASAP. Here are a few reasons why:
Need to find the ideal outfit for an occasion? The PR girl friend knows how to dress your “brand” no matter what the event
Looking for a certain pair of shoes on the cheap? Your PR BFF will be able to google just about every boutique out there and find you the best price
Need a hot date spot? The PR girl friend knows where the new spots are, or, can find you a place to match the ambiance you’re looking for
In the middle of interviewing? Have your PR girl look at your resume for a frank point of view
Having issues with your guy? Send your texts or emails to your PR girl BFF before you send to your beau. They will edit your text with perfect precision, and make you look like the hot Megan Fox of text that you truly believe you are
Changing careers? Your PR girl friend has a network of people across all industries
Looking for parties to go to this weekend? Your PR BFF won’t lead you astray – she knows exactly what’s going on, who with, and where
Lucky enough to have a PR girl as a bridesmaid? You’re about to have access to all the top vendors in your area
While everyone “knows” that having an impressive list of contacts is an imperative part of public relations, it’s hard to put your finger on where exactly to start or what to do to build your network. Whether you are just starting out or in the middle of your career, there are absolutely ways you can work on your social skills and make some new acquaintances and friends. Not only will it teach you some important PR lessons, but who knows what it could lead to – a job opportunity, some new friends, and fun experiences!
Here are a few ways you can navigate a beneficial, successful network:
Build your own virtual profile – Make sure your LinkedIn account, Twitter feed and Facebook are professional and express your personality. If you’re really looking to build your contact list, it’s time to drop the college party pictures and TMI tweets. As much as you want to connect with others, make sure others will want to connect with YOU
Go in it blind – Do you have some favorite bloggers, tweeters, or club members that you would like to learn more about, and potentially learn from? Send them a message via LinkedIn or Twitter, and ask to take it to email to talk more about a topic you need help in. Though this might seem a bit bold, you’re technically pitching yourself to a friendly audience – the best kind of PR practice!
Follow up… always – If you met someone super interesting at a party or a friend of a friend is in a field you have an interest in, be sure to write them a note or friend them on Facebook the next day. Don’t let the new connection die, and be sure to say what a pleasure it was to meet them and you look forward to catching up soon
Try double dating, or play third wheel - Does your friend always brag about her amazing boss? Are you jealous of the group of PR girls and boys your roommate hangs out with? Does your aunt have a friend whose daughter is an Account Manager at a dream firm? Ask to be set up on a coffee date or join in the next group hang out. Even if your friend/roommate/aunt is present, it’s a great way to break the ice and meet new people
Maybe it’s the new year inspiration, but we’ve gotten several letters yesterday from new fans of all ages who are looking to learn a little bit more about public relations as a career path. Though Adrianna and I hope the blog serves as a great resource and an inside look into the field, we understand the feeling of wanting to get a real “feel” or sneak peek into PR before diving headfirst into this roller coaster ride of a job path.
Below, I’ve included a few key things to keep in mind and ways you can look into PR if you’re just starting to consider the career. Be sure to check out our guide for more helpful articles as well. And of course, dear readers, please feel free to add to the below in the comments! We would love to get input from everyone for our new fellow followers:
So, you think you want to be in public relations…
Hope you like writing! Think of your favorite brands, and go to their corporate page. Check out their recent press releases under the “News” or “Press” columns. This is the type of writing you’ll be doing throughout the year on behalf of your clients, but it’s only a small portion
Subscribe to magazines, everything from lifestyle to special niche – Good Housekeeping, Glamour, Vogue, Food & Wine, Travel & Leisure, Time, New York Magazine
Connect with other readers and tweeters on PR blogs – ask for other blog recommendations or books to read
PR does NOT mean you’ll be working in entertainment or fashion only. Public relations is present in almost every single field. If you have an interest in science or biology, look into university communications or healthcare PR
Though event planning is a part of the public relations job description, most of the time it is not the main focus. If you like to be on your feet and “running” the show, consider a smaller firm with hospitality clients
If you’re considering which major to go for, keep in mind that PR is heavy in writing and communication. The most common major is “Media & Communications” or “Public Relations” itself, but it’s not a must-have. Almost anything that is focused in the liberal arts will do
Volunteer for a school paper or start your own blog to work on your writing and communication skills – anything that has an audience
What other advice would you give to a PR girl or guy testing the waters?
It’s hard to believe it’s been another full year of PR Twitter Tips. Through the course of the year, so many of you tweeted using hashtag PR101 and we captured them monthly to make sure you didn’t miss any. Below are some of our favorite tips from December, as well as a recap of the year.
Happy New Year to everyone! It’s that exciting time of year where everyone is starting fresh. After a vacation at home that felt like a much needed hibernation, I’m feeling bright-eyed and ready for what the next month has in store. This is one of my busiest times of year, with new programs kicking off for all of my clients and a few trips planned for work. Before things start to get really insane, I like to use the first day back as an opportunity to set some habits I can easily hold on to during the madness. Here are a few good habits and goals I’ve started to work on as I get back to the grind… hopefully they inspire some of your own PR resolutions!:
Wake up early, and only press snooze once
Organize hard copy materials into new “2013″ folders, including call agendas, notes
Drink green tea!
Read more magazines, and check in with editors immediately after reading relevant articles
Keep a more organized and thoughtful calendar, giving myself enough time to complete assignments during the day
Sign off gchat/email for an hour each day to dedicate to pitching
Continue to check in with managers frequently, especially with trips coming up
I have to say, this is my first day working after Christmas and it feels odd. The office is dead, which is disturbing yet relaxing at the same time since I can catch up on my 200+ emails from the past week. Any PR professional knows it’s not hard to find work to do when there’s little to do. Here’s what’s on my list this week.
Monitoring – get all of your charting done before the New Year
Google Alerts – sort through them and delete those you don’t need
Blog Catch-up – my favorite, look at recent post from your favorite and most relevant blogs
Year End Report – most clients have these, get started now!
Research – whether it’s for a spokesperson or event space, this is time consuming so great for downtime
2013 Planning – there’s plenty of this to get started on
New Years Pitching – though it may be a little late, New Years coverage lasts through January
It can be hard to unwind from the holidays! What’s on your list of to do’s this week?