From the Inbox: Do I Go Back to Get My Degree?

Hi Girls!

So I’ve been reading your blog for quite some time now and I know without a doubt that PR is a field for me. Now, my only dilemma is should I really go back to school for a formal education in it? My close friend believes in my dream and let me jump into the field as her publicist (she’s a DJ).

I’ve made connections, gotten her features and gigs, but I keep wondering what will happen when I decide I want to work for a firm. Will not going back to school deter a future employer even if I have an impressive rolodex and proven work ethic? Or is hard work and dedication all I truly need?

Help.
-Doubtful with a foot in the door.

From the Inbox Foot in the Door

First off, congrats on your success thus far! Getting a degree really depends on what you want out of your future career. If you’re dead set on working on an agency, generally most of them require a bachelor’s degree. It doesn’t have to be in PR, but any sort of degree is important. Don’t quote me on this because it is a case by case basis. Some places wouldn’t focus on your degree – just your experiences.

My advice would be to go back to school and get your degree. It won’t hurt and you might get discouraged if places start to turn you down because you don’t have a degree. Try to get an internship in the meantime just to get yourself some agency experience. Either for pay or for credit. You’ll walk into your internship more prepared than others and it could open a lot of more doors for you.

Best of luck,
-A

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Get the Creative Juices Flowing

I’m very lucky that I am off all next week for a vacation with my family in Georgia. I haven’t had a break since Christmas, and I can’t actually believe that it’s here already! One of my main goals of the trip is to relax COMPLETELY (my phone will be stashed away) and reset the brain. I’ve been feeling a little creatively blocked and there’s nothing like some sunshine to clear out the cobwebs.

If you’re not headed off to an island or don’t have a lounge chair near by, there are still ways you can get your creative juices flowing. Here are a few of my favorites:

Take a walk – Usually when my brain is failing me it’s because I’ve been in the same space for hours on end. One of my favorite things to do is go on a walk to someplace completely new. I’m not talking about 5 minutes around the block. I mean at least a solid 30-45mins by yourself in a new place. I always find new restaurants, new iconic New York locations, a surprise Jazz musician here and there – it’s one of my favorite times.

Or, a run – When I REALLY need help upstairs, I always lace up the running shoes. Even though I’m thinking or day dreaming on my whole run, the euphoria I get once I’m done really helps me channel my goals and tackle the to-do list. Any exercise will work

Tumblr – Pinterest and Instagram are great but I often get distracted. I have a few pretty Tumblr blogs I follow that only contain beautiful photos and ideas for fun occasions. Just looking at pretty photos always seems to put me in a good mood and have me thinking about new adventures I want to take

Read a new book - A completely new point of view and escape from your life is always welcome. Settle into someplace quiet and get into a new life you can visit for a short while

Tackle a project - If there is something you’ve always wanted to do, like paint your bedroom blue or try a new taco recipe, just do it! You’ll feel accomplished, and your brain will be looking for new things to try

How do you get the creative juices flowing?

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Playing it Cool around Celebrities

Meeting and working with celebrities is a part of our job. It’s one of the perks we look forward to entering the industry – whether it’s working an event, coordinating an interview or setting up a photo shoot. Some celebrities make us love our job and some make us hate it, but no matter how many times you meet the stars, there will always be those one or two that leave you star struck.

Fan Girl

One of the most important aspects, especially when you’re starting out in the industry, is to keep calm. Having a fan girl moment in front of your celebrity crush is not only uncomfortable for the celebrity, but also for your coworkers and client. If your dream is to have your picture taken with the celebrity, ask if it’s ok with your manager first. It’s a case by case situation depending on what kind of mood the celebrity is in, what the asks are and how everything is going.

Keeping it cool when you’re on the job isn’t always easy but try to keep professional when you’re interacting with celebrities. Be upbeat, personable and complimentary. At the end of the day your job is to get everything your client needs from a business standpoint. The perfect Instagram picture for yourself is secondary…

What are some of your celebrity stories? Ever have a complete fan girl moment? Not going to lie… I’ve gotten that pit in my stomach, knees weakened, I can’t speak feeling many times.

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Switching Up Your Pitch

Yesterday M and I were talking about the difficulties of pitching. It’s so discouraging when you get radio silence on something you think is a great idea. Pitching is the bread and butter of our job and as PR professionals we always have to think about new ways to get the media’s attention. Especially since their inbox is flooded with emails every single day. Here are a few simple ways to switch up your pitch.

Switching Up Your Pitch

  • Use a simple subject line. The simpler the better. Even, “Hi” works.
  • Get an outsiders perspective. They might suggests rewriting the entire pitch.
  • Use graphics. Pull a round-up into one JPEG image.
  • Space out paragraphs. Don’t pitch with lengthy paragraphs – try spacing them out into short sentences.
  • Get personal. Use a new personal sentence as your opener in each pitch.
  • Be creative. Think of what would capture your attention. If you’re rereading your pitch and it’s making you fall asleep, switch it up.
  • Consider pitching with only one sentence. Use it to just open the door with the reporter.
  • Pick up the phone. It works.

What are some other ways to switch up your pitch?

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