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: The Benefits and Pitfalls of Social Media for Job Seekers

For most of us, unlike Dwight, a sign is not going to cut it.

Social Media is a word most of us refer to more than others, but overall, the majority of people know what it is, even if they do not participate in social media. Social Media has changed the way job seekers are searching for their dream job, as well the way job seekers are already being targeted by future employers. There are many benfits to social media but also some things that can hurt an active job seeker, if they do not take precaution. The following areas of discussion will be based on just this. I have found some very interesting articles after researching the topic, that I believe will help educate the average job seeker on dealing with social media in their job hunt process.

Landon Long, posted an article that can be found on which listed a few benefits to using social media as a tool for youself when looking for a job. Thanks Landon for sharing these helpful tips.

Personal Branding – honestly, these sites strengthen your personal brand. You might know by now that personal branding is very important in a job hunt. However, it is not a new phenomenon. From the day you are born, you are already branding and marketing yourself. As a social being, it is natural to live your life based on other people’s view on you. Even if you do not admit it, you are living your life to the expectation of others.

Profile Pitching – technically speaking, your profile on your social media accounts is your elevator pitch. It should be able to make a lasting impression of you in only ten seconds. Your opportunity on social media lies in you. What you represent will determine what opportunity will open up for you.

Update Your Profile Picture – as they say, photos speak a thousand words. You do not want your potential employer to see your weird side. To capture people’s attention more, upload a photo with you smiling in it. Smile using your eyes and your lips. This is considered a true smile. Also, ensure that the photo is up to date. As you may have notice, your profiles in your social media accounts act the same way as your CV.

Build a Positive Image – in social media sites, you can easily slip and ruin your reputation. The articles you submitted, the comments you posted and the pictures you uploaded will define who you are. They will influence the image you want to emit either in a positive on negative way. Hence, start your messages with a statement that will help in defining who you are. If you can, include your passions and ambitions in them.

As you can see, you can use your accounts on facebook, linkedin, and twitter to offer more about you that you may want the possible employer to see.

The next bit of research I found has to do with getting a job using social media. This article by Dan Shawbel, posted over a year ago, really goes into specifics and detail to educate you as a job seeker. The 7 secrets listed are:
1. Conduct a people search instead of a job search.
2. Use attraction-based marketing to get job offers.
3. Be proactive on Twitter.
4. Capatalize on LinkedIn.
5. Advertise your brand by using Adwords and Facebook Social Ads
6. Construct a video resume and upload it to
7. Subscribe to blogs that have job listings

I highly recommend reading through these “secrets” Shawbel has listed, they offer a great amount of information that will send you right on your way to benefiting from social media.

Although some of us might hate to admit it, social media has downfalls. If you are not especially careful with what types of content is showing up on your profiles, you could risk yourself a job. Not only may you end up not landing a job, but people have been known to get into trouble from posts and updates they have tweeted about when at their job. Rachel Zupek, writer for, has posted an article that lists precautions and what not to do as a warning to job seekers.


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Weekly Topic: What to Wear to a PR Job Interview

The time has come and you’re about to graduate or are thinking of changing positions to find a job in public relations. In either position you are either new to the professional job interviews or are experienced but have been out of the loop and may not know what to expect in this area of work when it comes to attire. Being a student about to graduate, I did not know all of the rules for proper attire. I had a pretty good idea, but wanted to do a little research and check up on what other professionals were saying about dressing for an interview.

The general attire rules are listed below: Thanks to Alison Doyle, and her article, Dressing for Success: How to dress for an InterviewWomen’s Interview Attire
Solid color, conservative suit
Coordinated blouse
Moderate shoes
Limited jewelry
Neat, professional hairstyle
Tan or light hosiery
Sparse make-up & perfume
Manicured nails
Portfolio or briefcase

Men’s Interview Attire
Solid color, conservative suit
White long sleeve shirt
Conservative tie
Dark socks, professional shoes
Very limited jewelry
Neat, professional hairstyle
Go easy on the aftershave
Neatly trimmed nails
Portfolio or briefcase

Being a woman, gives you a few more options in dress, than men. This could come as a relief to you if you are a female, or for some a headache. It seems like the more options we have the more we worry. I have found an article by Katharine Hansen, Ph.D., put together an interesting post relating to this exact topic. It can be found at Dr. Hansen is a professor and writes about the option for females to wear a pantsuit compared to a skirtsuit to an interview. I found it interesting that she suggests wearing the traditional dress or skirtsuit. “Whenever I want to watch my students’ jaws drop down to their desks, all I have to do is tell them that the “safest” attire for women to wear on a job interview is a skirted suit and that pantsuits while almost universally acceptable in the workplace are still somewhat risky attire for interviewing.”

I would have to admit that I am more comfortable wearing a skirtsuit, and feel that it fits my personality better than pants, but at the same time I would have thought that in this generation, it was perfectly acceptable for a female to wear pants to an interview.

She also writes, “One study, albeit with a limited number of respondents, indicated that 25 percent of employers would think twice about hiring a woman who wore a pantsuit to a first interview.” In my opinion, if this sort of simple fix of wearing a skirt on an interview will give you a higher chance of getting a position, WEAR THE SKIRTEDSUIT! I personally am not willing to take that sort of risk.

For my last source of research I went to two of my favorite people, that appear on TV’s popular fashion show, “What Not to Wear.” Stacey and Clinton, put together a short video for those with the same question we’ve been discussing. Although, in the video they do not put together a skirtsuit, they do show the value of purchasing a good pantsuit and the different ways you can change-up that suit to get maximum use out of it.

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Practicum Blog Comments

1. Jeff,
Although many of us have heard what is appropriate and not appropriate it’s still a great thing to review. I was reading over some of the attire options and had forgotten what color panty hose females should wear. haha! Just being honest but sometimes these things come as good reminders. I loved reading your helpful section on tips of what not to wear, do, or bring to an interview. Very funny, and as shocking as it may be some people I’m sure bring these items in. Thanks for the detailed post, I enjoyed reading it.
-Kati Ann

2. Kristen, Career Fair
I really enjoyed this blog post. I felt like you were very honest, and said some things that students are afraid to say. I understand the anxiety of getting ready for a career fair: dressing up, revamping you resume, and mentally preparing yourself for conversation with what could be a future employer. The point that you at least admit it shows a truly honest person. I always get nervous before attending events such as these, but once you’re through the front doors it seems a lot easier. I took a look at the website that you posted along with this article for more career fair opportunities and really found some of the places a possibility. Thank you for the post- very good!
-Kati Ann

3. Meghan, Eagle Expo and Career Services
I agree with using your resources that are offered through the school. Just last semester I was in a marketing class, where our professor tried to get the ball rolling with many of the “checklist” requirements upon graduation. We had to create or tweek our resume for the business class. After we turned in our best, most up to date copy, we then submitted them to career services on campus, where they took a look at our resumes and recommended many great tips. I am ever so greatful for some of the advice I received as well. As far as the eagle expo went, I have come to realize that they are beneficial even if the companies are not what you are looking for, a new contact doesn’t ever hurt.
-Kati Ann

4. Lauren, Benefits and Pitfalls of Social Networking as a Job SeekerWe have all heard it, but does it really sink in? I have asked myself this. I have a facebook account, and love it! I’m on it constantly and could possibly be called a “fb addict.” I love social networking. Its important though, as you mentioned in this post to keep in mind all of the eyes that will be looking at your profile. Even if you have privacy settings on your networking sites, it seems to me that if once on the internet, always on the internet. People must be careful, becaue one little thing could truly cost them their reputation or represent their character in a false way. I sometimes even question things that others have written on my facebook wall that I had no control over, and wonder if the wrong person might see something at the wrong time. The market is just too competitive right now for something so small and insignificant such as a facebook photo or comment to keep you from landing a job. Better safe than sorry!
-Kati Ann

5. Meghan,
Thanks for posting this video. This summer I have to hold an internship position. So, even though I have not completed my internship yet, I found this video helpful for future encounters. I loved how he broke down what you need to do into 3 easy steps. You are right about using what we have learned through social media this semester, and using it in the future. Throughout this video he discusses twitter. There are so many options out there for ways to network and connect with people, we just have to be willing to reach out and take advantage of the opportunity. Thanks for sharing.
-Kati Ann

6. Eryn,“>Braves Career Fair
How awesome is this! I wish I would have known about the career fair, because it sounds like you got tons out of going. I agree with you and the interest you have in sports pr. I think that it would be such a fun environment to go into work everyday. I love sports, and all of the teams that you mentioned in the post are great teams. I would love to hear more about it. Are they looking for hiring for positions other than internships?
Sounds like you had a great experience and good luck with finding what you want to do!
-Kati Ann

7. Mackenzie,“>Social Media Resume
Great idea! I feel like social media is so much a part of my daily life now, that it would almost be silly to leave an interview without them understanding all of the capabilities we have to offer through the use of social media. We may not be geniuses or social media mentors yet, but I believe we have more experience than the average person on facebook. I love the idea of adding a section to our resume for social media access alone. This provides the possible employer with hands on access to our work through our blogs and twitter accounts. They can see our interest in social media by simply following us. Thanks for the post, this really is a good idea.
-Kati Ann

8. Candice, Learn from my mistake
It’s okay. Everyone makes mistakes. I’m sure it was just very upsetting after you put all your work into getting in just right, and then made that simple mistake. I have been in your shoes before with the email situation. I’ve had important issues that needed to be taken care of, and I accidently gave the person the email address I check at minimal. At the end of the day, there’s really not much you can do, but apologize, and learn from our silly mistakes. I can assure you though, after this you will always be aware of which email you are sending from and giving out. 🙂
-Kati Ann

9. Candice, Launch your career using LinkedIn
I am so glad that after you attended this workshop you are more interested in the website. I love it! When I first signed up I was shocked with all of the business professionals that I knew who were already LinkedIn members. I had no idea that many people were on the site. I joined and started making connections with past employers, teachers, and co-workers. It has not only allowed me the opportunity to keep in touch with people in a more professional way than facebook, but I take full advantage of the job listings and have found some pretty good leads on there. Have fun learning the social network of LinkedIn, and find me on there!
-Kati Ann

10. My chat with PR Pro, Marla Bruner
After reading this post, I felt excited too about entering into the PR world. Marla Bruner’s tips were very helpful. Three simple tips put into perspective for someone starting out in the field is the type of thing many of us out there are looking for. I would have to say that I admire her for writing all the time. I do love to write, but I would rather be in personal communication with clients and such. This post was very interesting, thanks for the interview information.
-Kati Ann

11. Jacqueline, Informational Interview
This interview was very interesting. Although Claudia did not specialize specifically in college in wedding or event planning, it seems like she has done very well with a business degree in this field. I think that her job would be very stressful and time consuming, but how much fun! Being involved with weddings all day every day, would seem like a pretty upbeat and “happily ever after,” atmosphere. I think that technology in her case as well as almost any job would have lots to do with communication. Thanks for the post!
-Kati Ann

12. Jacqueline, Internship TipsI agree with this post completely. From others that I have asked, they all say it matters the most to show that you have experience. Experience is hard to come by sometimes when you are in college full-time and have a job on the side, along with everything else life holds. I have found that it is easier to find internship positions open during the school year as well, because most students, like myself, are looking for an internship position during the summer. It seems like the perfect time, right? I am actually in the process of finding an internship and cannot wait to see what all I can learn from getting out there, getting my hands dirty, and taking classroom experiences and applying them to the real world.
-Kati Ann

13. Phillip, What to wear to a PR job interviewI too being in the same Practicum class had to write on this topic. As I started researching what others are saying about whats was appropriate and not appropriate to wear on an interview I found some of the answers shocking. My research all came from online sources, but for woman in particular it changes. I obviously would be more interested in what they recommend for a female to wear, but the controversy between dress, skirt, or slacks is still unclear. In my research it stressed the importance for woman to wear a dress or skirtsuit, but in your blog it states that you should not wear a dress. Confusing, confusing.
-Kati Ann

14. Phillip, Tips for creating an effective cover letterThis was an awesome post! You put some great pictures and images in there, to really make it stand out. I really thought that tip number three was the most interesting out of them all. I have a really hard time asking for an interview or a call from someone I don’t know, especially if it involves, A. a job, and B. a potential future employer. Yikes, right? I am going to take the advice though from the article. Thanks for all the usefull information!
-Kati Ann

15. Sarah, Internship Advice 101I found this post to be very interesting and also helpful! How good is it to hear of someone getting a job after the completion of an internship. It seems almost rare to hear of it anymore, but when you do, its pretty exciting. I completely agree with Carleigh when it comes to doing your research and then telling that employer about what you can offer them through social media. Not many people from earlier generations have tuned it like our generation. Its something that we can produce within a company anywhere if they are willing to let us. Thanks!
-Kati Ann

16. Sarah, Getting LinkedInI have found this website to be the most beneficial of them all so far. Not only can I now keep in contact in a more professional way with co-workers, past employers, and friends, but I love the fact that its set up to help people out. With the recommendation application provided, you can have references for future employers at your fingertips. I’ve had great experience with this site since I joined, and hope you do too.
-Kati Ann

17. Sarah, What comes up when you are “googled”?I loved this topic. Its crazy to think that in this generation you can type someone’s name into a search engine, and see what they look like, find out their interests, possible work information, their address or hometown, and even relationship statuses. We all have become immuned to this type of environment too. I believe that there is a positive way to use search engines and there is a negative usage. If you are using the search engine as a employer for a look into someone’s social media skills before an interview, I think thats great, but the risks are sometimes pretty scary if you don’t know who’s out there googling your name.
-Kati Ann

18. Sarah, Informational PR InterviewYour post was a great interview. And it touched me so much at the end. Your thoughts are exactly how I feel about our field of study, and am only hoping that I will be given an opportunity as a PR major to help others out and give back. It was reassuring hearing Ms. Cooper talk about getting out there and getting experience. I was torn between taking the senior seminar class or trying out an internship. At last minute I went with the gut instinct to venture out and take the opportunity to do an internship. I am on the hunt for the one that will give me the most experience in what I am looking to do, and will complete it this coming summer. I volunteer a lot with events, such as, Race for the Cure, and Relay for Life, so reading an interview by someone who works for ACS was very interesting. Great post! Thanks
-Kati Ann

19. Sarah, Slideshow on Twitterville
Very cute slideshow. After watching this it has peaked my interest a little bit, to read the book, Twitterville. Funniest slide I would have to say was seeing that someone actually placed an order for a breakfast burrito via twitter. Haha, who does that? I don’t know, but if they actually got it, mission accomplished, i guess. For something that only took two weeks to create, it sure has boomed in the past couple of years. Sometimes I wish I had come up with these idea’s before others. Maybe next year will be my year of great inventions. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
-Kati Ann

20. Ashley, Internships…Info, Advice, TipsThis post was very beneficial for me at least. I will be completing an internship this summer right after graduation, and cannot be more excited about getting some experience in the real world for my degree. I think that the most important advice was given by both of your friends that you interviewed. Networking is key. It really is who you know. The bigger your group of connections, the more likely you are to come up in conversation at some point and get to where you want to be. I also believe that the advice given from Holly was great as well. I would rather find an internship that really educates me in what I want to do, rather than one that is just convenient. Thank you!
-Kati Ann

21. Ashley, Pro’s and Con’s of Social Media
This was a great post! I would say that although there are plenty or pro’s and con’s to social media, I looked at the list and the pro’s outweigh the con’s in my opinion by far. This is the new thing! And you want to be current on what is going on with our society as we move into bigger and better things. Another point is that with the economy the way it is right now, free always looks good to people. The fact that we can now connect to people for free all day any day, is amazing. In fact, my best friend is working in Spain currently and has been there for the past year, and my favorite resources for communication to use are facebook and skype. They are magical! When you look at the bigger picture and compare social media to its con’s of things you mentioned, such as, spam, there really is no way to judge the social media world other than saying “it wins!”
-Kati Ann

22. Shannon, Professional Interview
I love that you interviewed Brandi Wigley. She is one of my dearest friends, so therefore I’m allowed to say that I think she rocks! I interviewed her also, and found so many interesting tips and reasons for why I chose the major that I did. She reassured me in my interview that I chose the right major and I believe that I chose it for the right reasons. I have not come to a decision about which type of PR work I would like to be involved in, being that there are so many different choices, but I’m hoping answers will come later this summer once I have completed an internship. I love her response that speaks of her teachers and other classmates laughing at her in her high school days, if she had told them then that she would be working at a museum. Too funny. I hope you get great experience out of your internship, and good luck!
-Kati Ann

23. Jeremy, InternshipI will be interning this coming summer and am still deciding who I want to take a position with. After reading your blog post, I found that you were really honest with your past experience. Thank you- most people don’t fully come out and tell others about a large assignment that was not their favorite persay given to them when they interned. Although, yes a paid internship would be great, I understand that there are not too many companies out there willing to offer up compensation for an intern, especially in these economic times. That is why I am taking full advantage to see what I can gain and experience from my future internship. Thanks for your honesty!
-Kati Ann

24. Marie, Trade Book Review: Naked ConversationsI appreciate your honesty through your slideshow. I have become a fan of blogging, but its truly took a good hard push from my professor in my social media class. If it wasn’t for Mrs. Barbara Nixon I probably would not have ever started a blog. I remember first entering my first pr class with Mrs. Nixon and she required that we start a blog. At first I hated it, and then over time I came to appreciate blogging and all of its aspects. Although you and Lauren would not recommend this book to friends, maybe its the type of book for someone who is a everyday blogger.
-Kati Ann

25. Brittney, Non-Verbal Communication in an Interview Setting
I think that nonverbal communication sometimes says more than verbal communication. I think that the study of nonverbal communication is so very interesting. Your list was great! I highly enjoyed some of the “dont’s” for interviews. I find that some of these tips are common sense, and some would just be rude. Everyone should know you don’t chew gum in an interview. I try not to chew gum when I’m in any sort of formal meeting. First impressions are everything once you land an interview, so you must make sure you look your best and express yourself in a manner that is professional and appropriate. Thanks for this post, very good!
-Kati Ann

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Weekly Topic: Body language and nonverbal communication in Job Interviews

Yes you heard correctly. When you hear or see the word job or interview in the same sentence it can be a little intimidating for anyone. When you go to interview for a position you are desiring, body language is VERY important. So important that, if you do not handle your nonverbal communication appropriately, it can very well cost you the job.

Some of the simplest actions truly make a difference.

  • Sit up tall and straight
  • No gum chewing, in fact no gum at all
  • Give a firm hand shake
  • Be polite and considerate
  • My favorite —>Be Confident!

Key factors such as those listed above, you should know, and if you don’t its okay, but remember them!

1. One might ask what is body language exactly. Body language is one of the main ways we communicate. People can see others emotions and actions through ways other than words. Thanks to Alex Rudloff’s blog post “A Quick Guide to Body Language, I took many key points that I found extremely helpful and interesting when it comes to body language and interviewing.

How to Read Body Language

Here is a handy list of body language signs. Given the proper context, these nonverbal cues can help you with interpreting body language.

Examples of Body Language

Body hunched – low confidence
Clenched fists – aggression
Crossed arms – shut off, uncomfortable
Dragging feet – lethargy
Dropped shoulders – lethargy or weariness
Fidgeting with objects, hands – nervous
Hands behind head – arrogance, superiority
Hands on hips – in defiance
Hands on table – in agreement
Head down – timidity
Head rested on hand – bored, disinterested
Leaning away – discomfort with the situation
Leaning in closer – interest, comfortable
Looking at watch – boredom
Looking away to the left – lying
Messaging temples – anxiety
Nodding – interest, agreement or understanding
No eye contact – lack of confidence, lying
Shaking of legs – a sign of stress
“Shifty” eyes – nervousness
Stroking of chin – thinking, in thought
Tapping foot – impatient or nervous
Wiping hands on clothes – nervousness

“There are different body language expectations for different circumstances. On a job interview, you want to appear calm, cool and collected. You want to come across as confident and in control. You do not want to come across as creepy. Prolonged eye contact, close talking — these may be appropriate on an intimate date, but not in a job interview!”

Tips to help improve your body language:

  • Smile and laugh – Laughter is contagious, it will also help put you in a positive mood. Your body language will naturally improve because of it.
  • Slow down, breathe regularly – Nothing will stress you out more than moving at full speeds. Don’t walk fast, don’t talk fast and remember to breathe. Not only will this help calm you down, it’ll calm down the people around you who pick up on stressful vibes.
  • Use your body with purpose – No fidgeting and keep your hands out of your pockets. Don’t be afraid to take up a little space. Show you are comfortable in the situation, not put-up-your-feet comfortable, but that you are in control and unafraid. Use your hands to expand on points or call attention to important statements.
  • Hold objects by your side – If you have a drink in hand, keep it to your side, not in front of your chest. Holding your drink in front of your chest can express the same feelings as if you were standing with your arms crossed. Relax.
  • Show your interest – Nod occasionally to let the person you are interacting with know that you are listening and are in agreement. Leaning in is another way to show your interest, just be careful not to lean in to soon or to often, or you may creep them out.
  • Eye contact is powerful – Make eye contact with the people you are talking to, just don’t stare. Breaking eye contact downward is generally more positive than breaking eye contact to the sides. If you have trouble looking people in the eye, try looking at their nose instead. They won’t be able to tell.
  • Mirror – This is a tough one because it can be hard to pull off. When two people have strong rapport, their actions and body language will naturally start to mirror each other. If you can, you can stimulate this by consciously doing it. Just be careful, as if you get it wrong, it will be really awkward for everyone.


2. Click here  for an interesting outline on what to do with your body during an interview. Frank van Marwijk, answers questions as easy as, “what do I do with my hands?” to “what type of person am I?”

3. If you are still unsure about the interview process, Mike Aguilera, communications specialist has some tips and techniques that might help the future job seeker.


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Weekly Topic: Cover Letter Tips for PR Majors

Dear followers,

      Throughout my last semester of college I will be covering weekly topics chosen by my PR Practicum class. These topics will vary around public relations issues. There are about 14 weeks left until I graduate, so you will be able to find about 14 different topics. Some you may find these posts helpful, insightful, or maybe just a review. But, I will try my best to post something of interest, and who knows, maybe after these 14 weeks, not only will I have learned something new, but you as well!

Cover Letter Tips for PR Majors

Obviously, I’m not a PR Einstein, considering I’m still in classes and have not yet entered the world of working in PR, but I have found some great tips, from people who have. I’ve also provided the links to their websites, or places where you may want to purchase a book concerning this topic.

1. Remember before you get an interview, you will submit a cover letter. This cover letter is the way of communication besides your resume between you and your possible future employer. Make sure its not only good, but great! There cannot be mistakes in it. Why? Because it shows a sense of irresponsibility and carelessness to your possible future employer. They don’t know you so this means, this letter is all they are judging you by until you actually meet them in an interview. Its your ticket and chance to sell yourself. So make it good, and show em what you got! 🙂

PR people, here’s a helpful process with steps to follow to really knock out that professional you’re trying to impress!

2. Have you read some of the helpful tips above and felt the drive to get started, but didn’t know exactly where to start? Below I have found an excellent sample cover letter, that could be just the encouragement you need to get typing. You can find many cover letter samples on the internet. Here’s one for PR majors like you and I.

3.  Here are 6 easy steps for PR majors that are given that most of us know, but might easily forget. These 6 steps might be helpful to keep as a checklist as you are writing your cover letter.

4. Another issue to consider is not only what to put in your cover letter but also what not to put in your cover letter. Here are 10 c0ver letter mistakes to avoid.

5. And last but not least, I found an article on titled “you’re not getting the job- 25 reasons why.” Its not entirely about cover letters, but I felt had some interesting tips for the everyday jobseeker. Take a look.

Lastly, from what I’ve read and encountered, be yourself in a cover letter. Make sure the way you come across is friendly and positive. And no matter what always be interested in the position you are pursuing.


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