Right now I am having an extreme difficulty finding a decent PR job. I live in Los Angeles and I apply to everywhere it seems but the only thing I can get is these little businesses that say they want a PR person but they really want me to just go to business to business and pass out flyers. How do I get in for a real PR job?! Meaning press releases and all! I need to make an income but do you think it would be a good idea to try and get an internship at a PR agency for some sort of way in? I’ve been struggling with this for over a year and I am losing faith and money!
Lost in LA
Unfortunately, in urban areas you are going to find a lot of bait and switch PR job postings out there. Companies with little money and a lot of legwork to do are willing to pray on girls and guys who are desperate to “get their foot in the door” at music, entertainment or fashion PR houses or businesses. Here’s how to spot the phonies and get into the real stuff:
Do your homework – The worst thing you can do is blindly send your resume anywhere and everywhere. That only sets you up for disappointment AND increases your chances of getting caught in a net of scummy jobs. We say it all the time… do your research. You should never submit your resume to a company you know nothing about. That’s basically the career equivalent of agreeing to marry someone you’ve never met. This isn’t reality TV, it’s your livelihood. Do some googling and only submit to companies worthy of your time. And in that vain…
Look for jobs in respectable places – “Real” PR firms usually don’t post jobs on Craigslist.
Know you will have to do some admin/heavy lifting/b*tch work - There is no fast track in PR, ladies. You’re going to need to do some jobs you won’t want to do. Even at senior levels, you will have those events where you’re lifting boxes and putting together mannequins, and saying “I went to college for THIS?!” That’s just the nature of the job. However, there should be an end to it. In the interview process, ask how they uplevel their interns or what tasks you’d be given in media relations or writing. Gauge whether or not this works with YOUR timeline.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is – If a job posting promises “BIG MONEY” right from the get go, walk away. Any reputable starter job will offer an hourly wage or college credit. If you don’t have any PR experience yet, know that you’ll need to start with an internship. But you can definitely find one that pays.
While I’m not moving to an organic farm, I am prepping to move, yet again, in New York city. It is funny how fast time flies, because I could swear that I just did this, but it was a full 2 years ago when my sister and I decided to live together on the Upper East Side. Now, I’m back on my own again and am DETERMINED (like every one else crammed onto this island) to find the diamond in the rough.
I wish I could say NYC apartment hunting was as easy as other urban conveniences, like ordering dinner on Seamless or finding fresh cut flowers at a ridiculous price. If you don’t want to use a broker (something I am just morally against), you need to be prepped for some hard work, several dozens of stairs to climb, and maybe a few tears.
Here are a few things to prep for when you go on your urban apartment search:
You will get the bait and switch – Whether it’s on the apartment’s exact location, it’s exact size, or the apartment itself, you will come across too many apartments that were exaggerated on their digital posting.
There are crooks out there - Stay smart. If using Craigslist, do not give your credit information or personal information to anyone online. These kinds of scams are usually tied to apartments that look too good to be true. Also, if a “no fee” apartment suddenly becomes a “fee apartment,” walk away. That’s a scummy broker, and you don’t want to deal with that dude.
Send the obligatory email, but don’t hold your breath – When people are moving in the city, everyone usually asks everyone they know if they know anyone else moving. The easiest and cheapest way to get an apartment is to find it through a friend or acquaintance, but don’t hold out for this option. Keep your fingers crossed and your ear to the ground, but do your due diligence in the meantime.
Put your walking shoes on – Sometimes I find the best apartment buildings by going out in a neighborhood and walking. It’s a little stalkerish, but I just peer in the building that I like and see who owns the place (usually there is a plaque with the manager’s name in the lobby or entry way). I use StreetEasy to figure out if there are any openings in the buildings and set alerts for when something opens up
Have all your assets ready - When apartments do become available, they usually go QUICK if they are a steal or a good price (we’re talking hours). If you’re going into the apartment solo and without a guarantor, have all your needs in order. Usually that’s a recent letter from your employer, a landlord reference, a couple past paystubs or bank statements, and of course, money. If you have a guarantor, make sure he or she understands that you will need some information probably at a moment’s notice.
Happy April! M and I couldn’t be any happier to say goodbye to winter and welcome the gorgeous weather we have in New York City today. Below are some of our favorite #PR101 tweets from last month. Keep them coming and you could be featured xx
@SymonePR: Do without delay, any task that can be finished in one minute.