PR Connection 8: Beauty going all Natural?

What defines beauty? Our definitions of beauty change from person to person. I believe culture has had a huge impact in shaping our minds into how we see beauty and others. It’s evident when you look at our models and celebrities, that beauty on the “outside,” is important. Its a part of their job, to stay in shape, and “pretty.” But is this all that defines beauty? I would have to disagree. A couple years back Dove put on a campaign to sell their products and redefine beauty in a natural and yet positive light. They took natural everyday people, and showed how beautiful they really are. They are striving to change the way the world looks at woman, and one of their strong focuses is on younger women. If you start teaching your daughter at a young age the real importance of beauty, the chance that they will believe they are beautiful without looking like, Carrie Underwood, Beyonce, or Heidi Klum are actually likely. Our world has become very caught up in image, and has forgotten much of what makes a person beautiful. The reason I mentioned Dove’s Campaign is because they have a rockin’ PR team. Much like Jessica Simpson’s these days.

Jessica Simpson has been through some issues this past year. It was not long ago that magazines everywhere were accusing her of being “too fat.” She now has a new show out called, “Price of Beauty.” Jessica along with friends are participating in this reality TV show, where they travel to all sorts of different cultures and places and find out what true beauty means to these people. Jessica just recently went “untouched” in the latest issue of Marie Claire Magazine. She is photographed wearing absolutely no make-up. This is bold, not something celebrities are willing to do these days. After I saw the issue and read through the article, I thought wow, someone of her pr team, has got her on the right track. This image sets her a part from many others, and is highly respectable if you ask me.

2 Comments

Filed under PR Connection, Social Media

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.

brandi1

Below are my favorite Q and A’s from the Interview. πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

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.

7 Comments

Filed under PR Practicum, Weekly Topics

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. πŸ™‚

Leave a comment

Filed under PR Practicum, Social Media, Weekly Topics

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under PR Practicum, Weekly Topics

TOW 9: What PR OpenMic has to offer to PR students and recent grads

There are so many websites available for “public relations people” today, but one that really rocks, in my opinion is PR Open Mic. The site is available for PR students, professors, and practitioners. It’s a great way to communicate idea’s and facts about pr issues and much more. The website offers information on jobs and internships, which is a huge advantage for those of us looking for an internship position or job in our field of choice. Offered on PR Open Mic , are blogs, forums, video’s, photo’s, events, and a search engine catered to people interested in internships or jobs in public relations. The site gives those interested in the same type of work, a way to communicate and stay in touch with people around the world, that you may have never had the chance to meet. This communication offers the user a chance to learn from others, connect, and even share their experiences and knowledge. The site is growing tremendously. PR Open Mic currently has over 6,000 members, which these members are made up of people from over 70 countries. The opportunity to connect seems endless. I have found the website to be beneficial when looking for blog posts on issues dealing with the working life in public relations, other students who have written about their intern experiences, and tips on how to manage your portfolio. I even recently uploaded my resume to the site. After looking over the site I came across a blog today that really backed up just how important it is to use the resources we have, such as, PR Open Mic. The post written by a pr student in college talks about the importance of networking. Thank you Margaret Sullivan for letting me share your article as an example for my classmates and others who might be reading. Below is Margaret Sullivan’s article titled, “The Importance of Networking,” which can be found on the PR Open Mic website as well.

The Importance of NetworkingPosted by Margaret Sullivan on April 19, 2010 at 2:17am
Send Message View Margaret Sullivan’s blog
Between my classes and my personal life, I feel like the importance of networking has been constantly stressed. Of course I have taken this into deep consideration throughout the years, but have just recently realized exactly how much it helps to reach out and submerge yourself in various organizations and situations that will allow for that one (or several) opportunity that could make a huge difference. More importantly, I have just realized exactly how much networking pays off.

For the past couple of years, I have felt a calling to work for and raise awareness for a children’s hospital. The work done for the hospitals is incredibly moving and I hope to one day be able to call PR and foundation work for both my job and passion, but getting to that point isn’t always the easiest thing. This summer, I am thrilled to have a small internship with Athens Regional Foundation. Because I have several other things going on this summer in Athens, the simple exposure to an established foundation program will hopefully prepare me for a future career in a similar field. I was so thrilled to have this opportunity arise, but it never would have without strong networking ties.

Throughout the past several months, I have been lucky enough to get to know a young woman who has gone on the exact career path that I hope to begin after graduation. She worked with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) doing fundraising promotions and has since moved to Albany, Georgia, to work with the major gifts department of Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital. Getting to know her on both a personal and professional level and continuing to nurture the overall relationship benefitted me in ways that I am incredibly gracious for. This woman has boosted my networking web by mentioning my name, sending out my resume, and making phone calls to the people that she worked with at CHOA and other state-wide hospital conventions. Her kind efforts paired with my hard work have opened doors that I couldn’t imagine doing alone.

Aside from the little bit of networking that I have begun to build personally, the process of internship-searching has truly made me realize that networking as a whole makes everything in the working world much smoother. I am fully confident in my resume, but believe that recommendations and guidance from a mentor or professional allow for countless opportunities within the working world. Seeing how a little bit of networking can assist in so many ways has opened my eyes and taught me to grasp every potential contact that I come across in order to broaden all aspects of my life.

1 Comment

Filed under Social Media, Weekly Topics

TOW 8: Podcasts: How PR majors benefit from listening

Some of you might not know what a podcast is. I know that I had an idea a couple of years ago, but wasn’t exactly sure myself. In simple terms, its audio content that is found online. It can be in the form of audio or video. To give you an image of what it is, it’s very similar to radio on demand, but with more options. For instance, you can download a podcast, save it and listen to it at your convenience. Through the the use of Ipods, you can take that podcast with you, technically, anywhere. People can just participate in the listening aspect of podcast availability, or make your own. Pretty neat right?
Podcasts are being used all around the world now, in fact its hard to not find a social media site that doesn’t carry some sort of podcast on it.
As a Public Relations major, there are tons of beneficial podcasts available. They’re available not only to (pr) majors, but to students in a number of majors. Many podcasts you must subscribe to or purchase at places, such as, www.apple.com/itunes/. Not only do podcasts related to public relations give you information on social media, interviews, working in public relations, but even how to make a podcast for beginners. A website that I found interesting and beneficial for PR majors is www.insidepr.ca/. A big thanks to Terry Fallis and David Jones for providing weekly podcasts on public relations issues out of Canada, I have found many conversations and discussions beneficial. You should definetely check it out.

2 Comments

Filed under Social Media, Weekly Topics

Trade Book Review

3 Comments

Filed under Social Media