From the Inbox: The Four Year Detour


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?

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!


Skill to Conquer: Let Go of the Need to Control

Guys, this one is a big one for me. Almost all of my problems in life, work, and relationships can be traced back to a need to control or predict an outcome. I feel like if I don’t know for sure what is about to happen, I will be blindsided. I’ll end up hurt, alone or lost. Especially in our career of public relations, it is hard to “go with the flow.” We work tirelessly to be prepared for all situations and offer our clients counsel or “predictions” of what results will look like from certain actions.

I’m here to call BS on the whole shebang and try a new outlook.

I was recently told I need to “watch the waves” rather than “try to catch every single breaker.” Trying to predict and plan for any kind of outcome or scenario is not only completely exhausting, it’s maddening and ridiculous. Life does not go according to “your plan.” If it ever does, it’s really a coincidence. That is not to say that your hopes and dreams mean nothing, but if you open up, often times the result is a much more pleasant and exciting experience than you ever thought was possible.

Here are a few things to catch yourself on next time you feel yourself spinning out in control freak mode:

What am I really afraid will  happen? Am I texting the boy 100 times because I’m afraid he won’t call? Would my world collapse if I don’t get home right at 5:30pm tonight? If I get caught in traffic, will my brain really explode?

Is this really any of my business? Am I trying to make something happen for someone else? Is the interview I just had really all about me, or is it also about whether or not the company and I are a fit together? What other players are there? Can I or should I really influence this at all?

Would letting go feel like freedom right now? Often times, the answer is yes. Think of it this way – would you rather be paddling against the current, trying so hard to go the way YOU want that you don’t even notice the beautiful view around you? Or how would it feel to put the paddle down, drift down stream and look at the scenery? Yeah. One is better than the other. Duh.

So say buh-bye to your inner control freak. Watch the waves this time.

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