Look for the Happy News

The past week or so has been exceptionally anxiety-ridden in the 24 hour news circuit. In the San Francisco office there is a television in the pit always set to CNN, which can either be incredibly informative or just plain sad and depressing. While I don’t believe in being positively ignorant, I do think you are allowed to put a filter on your news time and time again. The past few days I’ve tried to look for “Happy News.” Here are a few examples:

Where do you go to get happy news?

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From the Inbox: The Four Year Detour

Hi,

I read your blog every week and I thought why not ask for advice. Four years ago I graduated with a Public Relations & Advertising degree but didn’t end up working in PR.

I’m feeling extremely frustrated because the one internship I had wasn’t very good and I feel like I’ve wasted 4 years of my live in jobs that I didn’t like. I’ve always considered PR my dream job, but I have yet to take a step forward in my career. Right now I lack experience and confidence.

I am considering taking some courses of Intensive Public Relations and Writing for the Media. I would also like to complete another internship but do not know how to get a company to give me a chance. I live in Puerto Rico and there are not many opportunities here unless you have connections and unfortunately I don’t have any.

Do I still have a chance? Are there books that can help me?

Thanks,
Lost and Confused

Do It With Passion

You absolutely still have a chance! The most important factors for you will be networking and restructuring your resume. Make sure your resume properly demonstrates how your experience the past four years relates in some way to PR. Customer service, organization and multitasking skills. Taking some additional courses isn’t a bad idea at all. You can network within your classroom and get advice from your professor. It will also help you brush up on some of the skills you might have forgotten.

Since there aren’t many PR opportunities in Puerto Rico, set your eyes on a few agencies and go after them. Ask for informational interviews. Confidence is key in the PR industry. For your next internships, don’t let past experiences get you down. If you’re passionate about PR, you will find the right opportunity. Read our guide for more information and best of luck!

Xo, A

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Getting Your Ish Together Before the Weekend

I’ve landed in San Francisco this weekend and working out of the SF office for the next week. There’s lots of fun personal things going on over the upcoming days, but my workload is also unrelenting. With 2015 planning underway, a slue of client events and holiday pitching in full swing, every day is full and could go well into the night if I let it. Not wanting to carry workload into fun weekend plans and have press releases on my mind while site-seeing, it’s imperative that I put my ducks in a row when I’m here in the office.

Here are a few things to keep in mind if you want to keep work at work and truly enjoy the weekend you’ve waited for:

Give yourself a deadline for the day – Having set hours for your day always helps priorities and organize your workload. Think about when you want to leave for a Summer Friday or half day… mostly likely you blew through your to-do list just because you thought you had no time in the day. If I know I am going to start at 7:30am but be out by 4:30, my list will be accomplished by 4:30.

Schedule your breaks in your calendar, and mind your meetings - When you want to leave for lunch, take a Pinterest break, take a walk with a friend – schedule it. Keep the time short but planned. Be sure you start every morning knowing when you need or want to leave your desk, and you’ll be more productive in those hours you’re sitting down.

If something comes up (and it always does), don’t panic – While your to-do list might look nice at 9am, chances are everything will change by 1pm.  Be smart about what needs to get done (any deadlines to a client are first), but then work with your team to move things around. Most likely, internal deadlines can be adjusted to meet your needs.

Set times to check your phone over the weekend – Don’t be obsessed with checking email over the weekend. Let your teams know that you’ll check in periodically, but won’t be available 100%. Then be sure to check once in the early AM, once in the afternoon, then once at night. That’s it.

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Meeting with the Rutgers PRSSA

Last night, M and I had the pleasure of meeting with the Rutgers PRSSA in New Jersey. We were both beyond excited to meet a group of determined young professionals interested in entering the PR world. After the meeting, we were blown away by their enthusiasm and all of the great questions they asked us. Here are some of the highlights.

Rutgers PRSSA

What sort of digital experience should I put on my resume?
Any knowledge of Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, WordPress, etc. is something you should add under the “skills” section of your resume. The same goes with your social media capabilities.

As a male trying to get into PR, am I at a disadvantage?
It’s actually just the opposite. PR is a predominately female industry, but agencies are constantly looking for male team members to throw into the mix.

As a freshman, what can I do now to help my career in the future?
Don’t stress this too much now. You have plenty of time to intern your Junior and Sophomore year. Join any PR organizations now and get to know your fellow peers. Network and they might be able to help you land an internship once they’ve graduated.

How do I even start to find an internship?
The internet is your best friend. Look on search engines and check out our guide. Pick up the phone and make calls to companies you’ve researched and are interested in.

Real talk, what sort of salary should we expect after graduation?
This varies depending on the agency and what city you start working, but expect anywhere between $35K-$40K when starting out.

Huge thank you to the Rutgers PRSSA, particularly the fantastic Eboard, for having us!

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