As summer internships come to an end (le sigh), many college PR students are scrambling to find yet another PR internship. As you know, internships are the best and really only way to put you in a good position for hiring after graduating college. While many PR students sector themselves into only taking PR agency internships, consider looking into other opportunities that will broaden your experience. Particularly in media.
Hospitality group. Learn the ins and outs of event planning.
Local TV/radio station. Become familiar with how your local broadcast station plans and books segments.
Website/blog. Broaden your writing skills and learn how story ideas come to fruition.
Magazine/newspaper. Learn about deadlines, how reporters and writers like to be pitched and much more.
Photography studio. Brush up on your creative and planning skills.
Wedding planning. Learn more about event planning and client relations from demanding brides.
In-house. See everything from the clients perspective at a fashion, beauty or lifestyle brand.
What are some other internship opportunities that are valuable for PR students?
We frequently receive emails with questions about moving to New York and living in a big city on a budget. I wrote a few posts the past few months while I was looking for an apartment, and now that Adrianna and I finally have a new camera I plan on posting more on the decorating process. Have to be honest, it’s a little intimidating! There’s a lot to think about when making your new apartment a home, and to me it’s one of the most important parts of the move-in process. If I don’t make my place a welcoming sanctuary from crazy-city life, things get a little nuts.
With a little planning and thought, you can have a dream apartment in a city without headache. Here are a few things to consider:
Be honest about your space - Are you in a little shoebox studio? A strangely arranged railroad style apartment? No kitchen to be had? It’s okay to be honest about your apartment’s flaws. Decor is all about embracing the quirks and bringing out the best in your apartment. Don’t work against what you cannot change. By picking the right sized furniture and complementing colors, your space can feel much larger and more cohesive than it actually is. Which leads to…
Work the assets - This is an easy way to make a big impact in your apartment on the cheap. For me, that’s the sunshine that comes into my bedroom that practically lights up the whole space. I plan on keeping most of my walls white to keep things bright and only adding soft, breezy curtains for night. Maybe your apartment has a faux fireplace or a long wall that can be used for a gallery wall. The easiest way to bring a “homey” feel to your apartment is with properly placed accents, and things like prints from Etsy or a new paint color can be found for little cost.
Figure out what you like – I have to give big credit to Pinterest here. Before the site, I had no idea what my decor taste was. After many years and a LOT of pins, I figured out that I really like mid-century modern designs with a lot of color and modern trends. And yes, I embrace my feminine side with lots of flowers, blues and pinks. Head to Pinterest and just start pinning EVERYTHING that appeals to you. When you’ve gathered 100 or more, look at the elements that are similar in each photo. Maybe it’s soft lighting and candles with a white couch. Maybe you like punches of color in the kitchen. Maybe you see metallics everywhere, including in fabrics. Embrace your taste, and find a way to highlight it in each room with pillows, bed spreads, or fun accessories.
Don’t buy into high prices - Especially on your first few urban apartments, it’s silly to spend too much on furniture and accessories. Chances are you will be moving every couple years, and your furniture may not be able to come with you. I may settle on a piece that I really want (aka “I NEED A GREY COUCH!”), but I’ll look EVERYWHERE to find it. Once I’ve found a price point I can feel good about, I make a purchase, even if it isn’t the exact replica of the Pottery Barn couch I’ve been dreaming of (one day… it will be mine).
I’ll be posting more on the blog about apartment living, tips and tricks. You can check out my apartment inspiration board on Pinterest here.
Meet Alle Fister - the Principal of Bollare Communications, a bi-coastal beauty, fashion and lifestyle public relations and communications firm.
After graduating from Pepperdine University with a dual-degree in Communications and Marketing, Fister began her career as the in-house publicist at Shopbop.com, a savvy women’s online retailer. Fister edited the site’s vast selection for fashion magazine editors and quickly gained a reputation for being on point with recognizing key trends.
The site’s popularity grew exponentially and in 2006, Amazon.com purchased Shopbop.com. In the sale, Fister went on to found Bollare; taking her former employer as the first client. Over the past six years, Bollare has grown to a bi-coastal presence and worked with some of the best names in the fashion, beauty and lifestyle categories including Smythe, Erin Condren, Mink Pink, Vans, ghd, the BeachMint portfolio, BluePrintCleanse and Quiksilver.
Fister has made a splash in the industry being named one of LA Business Journal’s “30 Under 30” in 2010, contributing to the board of Step Up Women’s Network, and being profiled in various publications including The Wall Street Journal, Women’s Wear Daily and Chic-CEO. Fister has been called upon as an expert on style and trends, contributing content with publications such as Lucky, Glamour, Allure and US Weekly. To date, she has appeared in over 250 television segments with programs including Good Day LA, MTV, VH1, E! News and The Early Show.
When not working, Fister enjoys spending time with family, traveling and practicing yoga. She currently resides in Los Angeles, California with her husband, Don Popkes.
1. How did you get started in public relations?
Interned, interned, interned, interned! While in college at Pepperdine, I interned within different types of fashion and lifestyle PR opportunities to best help me understand the different facets one could work in within the publicity realm.
Upon graduating college, I wrote a letter to Bob Lamey of Shopbop.com honing in on the skills I had learned from my college courses and internships, essentially pitching him on why I would be a good augment to the growing business! …cut to my moving from Malibu to Madison, WI to be on the early team of Shopbop.com!
At Shopbop, I handled our PR and spokesperson work, but as a growing business, had the opportunity to wear many hats. I always took careful measure to make sure I was systematic about my approach and showing that my efforts were directly benefitting the business.
As Shopbop was acquired by Amazon (almost 9 years ago), I leveraged my pitching skills once again…this time presenting the idea of starting my own consulting firm, Bollare, and my first client would be my former employer, Shopbop!
2. What is your average day like?
The wonderful thing about publicity is that each day is dynamic and different – which I personally love! If I were to divide my efforts into different arenas it would look like this:
1. Spending time with my team. We’re now 60 team members between NYC and LA…and in the process of cementing roots in London as well! We are so proud of the team we’ve built and one of my favorite things to do is to brainstorm with them on everything from client strategies to press day activations!
2. Meeting with current clients. We’ve built an incredible client roster of accessories, beauty, fashion, and lifestyle brands. I love hearing what our brands are launching next and being a part of the strategy to get the word out!
3. Meeting with potential clients. I have a passion for the entrepreneurial journey – so meeting with potential clients, and hearing their stories on how they built their businesses is a personal favorite!
3. What’s your favorite part of working in public relations?
That each day is different and new! Some may find this tiresome, but I personally find it energizing!
4. What’s the best PR advice you ever received?
Be deliberate, from devising strategy, to message points, to how often and which way you communicate. Every point of interaction and every activity should be augmenting a direct goal!
5. Any advice for those looking to get into PR?
Be a sponge! I shudder when I see or hear young professionals not fully taking advantage of the learning experience. From listening astutely to volunteering for more opportunities – make your mark with your actions and seize every moment to learn and grow!
I’m often told that I have it “all figured out.” I have a career path, I have a blog that I share with my best friend, I live in the best city in the world (such an unbiased statement, I know), and I’m surrounded by friends and family that I care deeply about. It may seem that I’ve checked every box on the list, but I think that’s only if you have a list to begin with. In reality, I’ve just started to conquer the goals and aspirations I had for my life and there is a long adventure ahead of me. Most of the time… I have no idea what I’m doing.
When I applied for college and well into my sophomore year, I had not a hint of what I wanted to do with my life. I knew I wanted to be creative and I knew I wanted to be out of my comfort zone. I knew I wanted to write, but I didn’t want to be stuck in a cubicle or writing about something that didn’t interest or inspire me. That’s very little to go on. All I did know was that I wanted to be in New York and I wanted to be happy. Now that college years are behind me, I’m still trying to figure it all out. I might be more stable than I was just out of college, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have my fair share of “soul-searching” ahead of me. And you know what, I’m all for it. I almost welcome the confusion, the curiosity and the jitters that come with not having a clue what to do with your life. And here’s why:
You’re open to every possibility - Those who have a “plan” or a “timeline” are often close minded and have the blinders on. It would be lovely to have your life plotted out for you and to have complete control over what’s going on. Universal truth – we don’t. Almost always things go NOT according to plan and if they do, usually it’s not in the way you expected. So throw that timeline out the window! When you’re open to what could be ahead, some real miracles happen. Yes, it’s scary. Yes, it’s unknown. But with a little hard work you could be getting what you wanted all along, just better.
You are stronger for it – With little idea what to do with your life, you may take some chances or go down a few roads that are just not right. That’s how you learn. In college I had a 5 month stint at an advertising agency that was just not right for me. Never regretted moving away from advertising after that. My first real job after college lasted me 4 months until I jumped ship and found an agency that really worked for me. You may have not taken the pretty path, but you’re wiser now.
You will see opportunity around every turn - So long as you put yourself out there and continue to work hard, you’ll see opportunities knocking at your door like you never imagined. It may not be a top-five-dream-PR-firm or an up-and-coming-fashion-designer begging you to work for them, but it will be something scrappy or full of new experiences. Maybe it will require some skills that will need to be self-taught. Maybe it’s for a company you never thought you would have an interest in. Try it out! Worst case, you hate it but stick it out for a little bit and you then have the experience to find your dream job. That doesn’t sound so bad.
How about you? Do you have a clue what to do with your life? If not, do you find it to benefit you or hold you back?