Category Archives: PR Practicum

Posts will be added under this category in relations to an online PR Practicum course I will be taking this semester at GSU.

Weekly Topic: Attending a Career Services Workshop: Info on Cover Letters and Resumes

Earlier this week I attended a career workshop, put on by the career services department at Georgia Southern University. Most of those in attendance were other students that are approaching graduation. The instructor covering the workshop explained in great detail what a resume should look like. She explained that this is your tool to express yourself. The employer only has this piece of paper in front of them to judge you by, so it is important that this piece of paper be as accurate and precise as possible. The resume is to show off your talents. You are marketing yourself, and with the market the way it is right now, you must prove that you are the best there is, meaning your resume needs to be outstanding and memorable. Professional is the word she used most frequently. This comes by honest and lets a possible future employer see a organized and well-balanced side of you before even meeting you.

When working on your resume, you need time to really think about all that you’ve been involved in and accomplished. Make a list of everything you can think of from jobs to volunteer work. Anything recognition or projects you have been a part of really stand out as well. After you have made a list, choose from that list what you believe to be the most powerful for your resume. After you do this, you are well on your way to creating a memorable resume for your future employer prospect.

One thing that I took from the worshop was not to hold anything back. Show off your skills in your resume. The most time consuming part of sending off the resume is your objective line. If you choose to have an ojective in your resume, it is important to tailor it towards each position you are applying for. I took note on this, which I had not been doing. I have a very broad objective that reaches and accomplishes what I like to say to each of the companies I have sent my resume to. They are all in the same genre of positions, so therefore I just used the same objective. I guess things will be changing after this workshop.

As far as cover letters go, you need to be specific. Make sure you share with the employer why you would be cut out for the position. Here, is a great way to get their attention. You can also show a little bit of your personality through the cover letter, which I believe is a great way to set people a part from others.

Overall, the workshop was helpful. Much of the information covered I felt like I already knew, but I did learn some interesting things, and always hearing what you know again is helpful. The repetition of what you think you know, can really come as a benefit when trying to remember tons of thoughts as you are putting these important documents together.

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Weekly Topic: Interviewing a PR Professional, Recap

My Public Relations Professional I chose is a good friend of mine and is always enthusiastic to share highlights of her day at work. Her name is Brandi Wigley and she is the  Community Initiatives Manager at the Atlanta History Center.  She graduated with a degree in Public Relations from GSU. Thank you Brandi for being kind enough to offer up your time for a one-on-one phone interview.

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Below are my favorite Q and A’s from the Interview. 🙂

Me: What’s a typical week like? (If no week is typical, then what was last week like?)
Brandi:  A typical week varies for me. 
I serve as the “face” for the Atlanta History Center.  I contact other cultural institutions and try and create partnerships between campuses.  I help to create press releases and media alerts and send them out to my contacts throughout the tourism industry on different events and promotions we are currently working on.    I also go out and speak to the community on the offerings of the AHC, whether that be educational events, group tours, lectures, or exhibitions.  I also attend industry tradeshows and events where I educate the public on our offerings.  Every week I contact group tour operators, sending them information on what we can offer them.  My goal is to get them to come and visit the AHC where I will lead them in a familiarization tour of the facility, our 33 acres of gardens, two historic houses as well as our midtown campus, The Margaret Mitchell House, thus prompting them to add the AHC to their itineraries.  On top of all of this, I work with the graphics devision of our Marketing Department to create collateral pieces that allows us to let the public know what we have going on in the next few weeks.  Grass roots marketing is a really important part of my job, so I develop discounts and get the collateral out to the public – thus pushing people through our gate.  There are many things that fall into my “bucket list.”  On any given week, something else gets added to my job description 🙂

Me: Tell me about a project you worked on that you are especially proud of.

Brandi: I am currently working on Atlanta’s largest Gone With The Wind tour.  This tour works with 10 different institutions and allows the visitor to experience Margaret Mitchell’s life and vision while writing the epic novel.  I have worked to develop collateral, press releases, media alerts, and have talked to several different media professionals about the pre-launch of the tour.  This has been my baby – and I look forward to it being a huge success!

Me: How important is writing in your career?
Brandi: Writing is extremely important.  I send out industry e-newsletters to over 5,000 people once a month.  This newsletter allows all the hotels, Destination Marketing Organizations, restaurants, and other cultural institutions, to know what the AHC has to offer their visitors.  I also have to work to help create press releases and media alerts.  Working as the “face” of the Southeast’s Premiere History Museum – it is very important that we craft the right message to get out to the public and to the media.

Me: What three tips would you offer someone just starting out in PR?
Brandi: NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK!!  You can never get too many business cards and you can never give out too many!  Start asking for them in college!  These people will serve as a network to help you find a job or even advance in the job you currently have.

Me: What do you do to keep current in the PR industry?
Brandi: Newsletters, working, and talking with other professionals

Me: Did your education prepare you for working in PR? How?

Brandi: Yes!  Georgia Southern has a wonderful program.  From Intro to PR to Campaigns – my education gave me a huge leg up among the rest of the new college graduates coming into the industry.  I know how to plan meetings, write press releases, media alerts…  All of things come into play with my current position…

Me: What has surprised you the most about working in PR?
Brandi: Every company has their own style… I remember coming out of college and thinking that everyone’s press releases would look the same – NOT TRUE!  Your company will help you to learn their style!

Me: What do you wish you would have known before starting your career in PR?
Brandi: I would have networked even more than I did.  I wish I had known how important an internship would be… I probably would have done more than one!!

Me: How has PR changed since you entered the field?
Brandi: PR has had more of a demand since marketing dollars and advertising dollars are few and far in this economy.  Writing a press release is a great deal cheaper than advertising in the AJC!

Me: How does technology affect your daily work?
Brandi: HA!  I live on Email!  And social media is huge for us right now!  It helps us to reach a market that we haven’t been able to in the past.

Me: When your company is hiring for an entry-level PR position, what makes a candidate stand out?
Brandi: Great communication skills, excellent writing skills, and the ability to think on your feet!

Me: What professional organizations are you involved in? (For example, PRSA, IABC, etc.)
Brandi: PRSA

Me: What is your favorite and least favorite part about your job?
Brandi: My job is very rewarding and has allowed me to meet some wonderful contacts.  I have gotten to work on some amazing exhibits!  Such a wonderful experience!  Least favorite:  The pay!  HA!

After interviewing Brandi, I can defintely see myself working in the Public Relations industry. I’m more likely to have more interest in the career, mostly because it seems like jobs like this keep you on your toes. I like new challenges and new events. The fact that there is always something new to be working on appeals to me.

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TOW 11: Interview with Martin Waxman

This week’s topic came about after listening to an interview that professor Barbara Nixon had with Martin Waxman, president and cofounder of Palette Public Relations Inc. My professor discovered Mr. Waxman through his podcast a couple of years ago, and since then has kept connections that have undoubtably paid off. After Mrs. Nixon interviewed Mr. Waxman, we had the privilege of listening to the interview. Throughout the interview Waxman talks about keeping connections through the use of social media, but also remembering to stay tuned in with traditional media. As the world is evolving in social media and the trends it brings about, he gives some great advice on how to stay “hip” in the new ages of technology. He touches on the importance of social media and tools that are available for those who are wanting to get involved, such as, blogging, but it’s not the end of the world if you aren’t blogging everyday. Although it looks great to future employers that you have been practicing writing and keeping up with the wave of discussion through a blog, it’s just as important to read others blogs especially those who matter.

Social media has been very beneficial when it comes to companies and their consumers. It’s an efficient and honest way of sharing information. These tools that are available through facebook and twitter have really broadened the spectrum of communication. The data that can be sent to consumers with the click of a mouse can share information or even address a complaint. The access seems to be in reaching distance whereas before it was much harder to get to consumers. This communication is now more personal than it has ever been, and companies must listen to their consumers. It’s for their own good.

Even though social media has advanced and taken off at a rate of speed that was probably uncomprahendable years ago, Waxman says that we must not forget about traditional media. The ol’ “word-of-mouth” techniques are not disappearing. Which I believe to be a good thing.

What struck me as most interesting about this interview, and I would like to see more of, is how colleges can use social media to communicate with professors and students more. Most college students that have a facebook account are checking it at least once a day. With the capability of groups or fan clubs on facebook, and twitter updates, I think that emergency or important updates through these tools would make a large difference. I know that Professor Nixon uses most social networking sites and has offered up her availability through these different sites for all of her students. This has made it much easier to communicate with her being that this social media class is online. The traditional office phone number and email, seem to not cut it anymore. Mrs. Nixon has made herself available through numerous accounts. In a way this has been a really help, but at the same time it also creates a want for an instant response, which as unbelievable as it may be for most of us who are always on a social networking site, instant responses might not always come when you need them. We might have to wait an hour. 🙂

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Weekly Topic: Internship Advice

I’m a bit timid of writing a post about internship advice, when I haven’t actually completed an internship yet. I have full intentions of doing my internship this summer, but when I sat down and thought about it, I really do not have hands on experience in this topic. So, I went to people who did. I first found a website that seems to offer a lot of different information pertaining to internships. Its called wetfeet.com . This is a place where undergraduates and graduates can go to find out advice on internships and look into different employers who may be offering an open position. I found an article on the website that fit perfectly with the discussion topic. Its titled, “Confessions of an Intern,” written by Liz Seasholtz. She is completely honest, and its a really good article. Most of the articles you read mention things like research your internship position and ask questions. This article not only talks about the importance of asking questions, but other sticky topics, such as, how much you should drink at a business function. Its definitely unique, which is why I picked this article as an example, to help readers out.

As I myself have not completed an intern I went to two people that have.

Allie Burrow, recent graduate of Georgia Southern University, interned for a couple of different companies after college, one being the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta. Her advice for those just embarking on an internship is to get your hands wet. Be yourself, and let your “boss” know exactly what you are looking to get out of the experience. Allie loves social media and wanted to share the love and growth of social media through her company. This is exactly what she did. Make sure you do what you like, and help the company out with your strengths. In the end, both you and the company will grow!

Lauren Nesselroad, current student at Gainesville State, in Athens, Georgia. She interned with CNN out of Atlanta, Ga. Lauren could not stressed enough the importance of networking. The way Lauren got the position was through networking. “It was the best thing I ever learned.” Lauren will not only carry this lesson throughout college, but well into her future job searches and career. “Talking with anyone and everyone seems to be the best chance you can take, because you never know who you are going to meet.”

Hopefully, hearing from both these sources will give us future interns the advice we need to make the best our of our experience.

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About Me

 

I am currently a student at Georgia Southern University. I am expected to graduate in 2010. My major is Public Relations with a minor in Marketing. The reason for my blog is for my Public Relations class here at GSU, but hopefully If I become good at blogging it will become a permanent thing. I love being around people. I believe how you spend your time with people and  your building of relationships is one of the most important lessons you will gain in life. I love God, my family, and my friends. My dog Sophie means the world to me. I often drive by cars that have the bumper sticker “I would rather be…”; I fill it in with -relaxing on the beach. I’m currently learning how to cook, and love it! My favorite food is sushi. I am from the south and plan to never leave, except for on vacation. The best time of year is football season! I love tailgaiting and cheerin on the team. Since moving to Georgia I have become a semi-recent fan of the bulldogs. I would rather be outdoors than inside. If I had to choose a favorite singer or band, it would be Dave Matthews hands down. I hope my future home will be somewhere along the coast, and my favorite quote is “Life is Good.” I will talk to just about anyone. I use the word “dang” in ANY dissapointing situation, and even though I read intellectual fiction and nonfiction, I will occasionally pick up a Dr. Seuss favorite every now and then.

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Whats to Come!

Hello readers,

     Just to let you know I have not been under a rock, or hiding from my blog. I have been catching up on all sorts of assignments, but I can promise you this; new and exciting things will be posted tomorrow. Please look out for interesting topics and more to come! Thanks for listening.

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Tradebook Review, Groundswell

Click here below for the slideshow from Groundswell. If you view the slideshow on on Slideshare you can see my notes below each side.

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