PR Start by Nick Lucido

How to start in the public relations industry.

First Day Reminders

With the end of the school year comes the first for something new: the first day on the job. I wholeheartedly believe that first impressions are incredibly important, especially in the workplace. If you can manage to make a solid first impression to your supervisor and coworkers, you will be off to a great start at your job or internship.

Here are some of my reminders when it comes to making a first impression:

Preparing for the first day
Just because you got the job doesn’t mean you should stop researching the company. Make sure you know about big events relating to the company and the industry in general. Keep on with Google Alerts, subscribe to the company’s blog or news feed and read industry publications to make sure you know what’s up. You never know who you’ll meet the first day!

Appearance
What you’re wearing and how well you take care of yourself really speak louder than words. Before the first day, make sure you get in contact with an employee of the company and see what the dress code is. There’s nothing worse than wearing a suit when everyone else is casual, and when you’re not comfortable, you won’t be able to perform.

officeWhat to expect
Come to your first day with an open mind and get ready for anything. With some companies, you might have an orientation for the entire day. With other companies, you might have a brainstorming meeting, a writing project and some media clipping to do. Chances are you’ll be entering a fast-paced work environment, especially at an agency, where you will have to jump right in. Get to know the people around you and ask them how you can help. By asking questions and becoming familiar with the clients, you’ll be able to be a more effective practitioner.

Lunch
Will your new coworkers take you out to lunch? Will you all eat in the lunchroom together? Will you eat at your desk? Be prepared for anything. I recommend bringing a lunch – something that you can keep for another day in case you go out.

When to leave?
When you’re trying to figure out when to leave, make sure you’re not staring at the clock wondering when you can get the heck out. That said, it might be overkill to stay hours past closing. The best thing you can do is understand when  you’ll be expected to stay and make one more call or answer one more e-mail before heading out.

For more general tips on interning, check out my post here. For some other great articles on first days, check out these:

  • Culpwrit has an entire category dedicated to first days — there are some great posts there.
  • On Brazen Careerist, you can find some good posts on internship first days here and starting off on the right foot here.
  • Pick the Brain (my favorite motivation blog) has a great post on how to survive the first day here.

What tips do you have for those of us coming to the first day of a new job (myself included)? Any good stories to share?

Photo by mikebrown3506 on Flickr.

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Filed under: Internships, Professional Development, , , , , , , ,

Why and How to Blog

To blog or not to blog. I’ve seen a lot of other bloggers discuss why they blog, and I want to chip in my own two cents.

I blog simply because I want to help other students like me. While I try to provide my own perspective on things, I like sharing what I learn. I also like learning from other people – students, professionals and everyone in between.

If you’re looking to start a blog, here are some basic tips:

  • Use wordpress.com. It’s free, easy and all around awesome. You can see how many people are looking at your blog, where your blog is being passed around, and a couple other useful pieces of information. Honestly, it’s cool to see how many people look at your blog, but also can be depressing. Don’t let it consume you!
  • Name your blog. What’s your personal brand? It should apply to your blog. Make sure it’s SEO (search engine optimization) friendly.
  • Think about what you want to blog about. It doesn’t need to advance yourself or your career, but find that niche that you can write about. Here is a post talking about finding a successful niche.
  • Get involved with social media. Haven’t you heard me say this enough? Read other blogs, like a lot of other blogs, and start commenting on their blogs. Then get yours going. Start on Alltop.com and work your way around to find blogs that will actually help you out.
  • Once you start blogging, it wouldn’t hurt to hire a copy editor. I hate when something slips through my young and inexperienced eyes, so I have a couple “lucky” people that get to check over my posts. Go Becky and Christina! They rock, but they don’t have their own blog (yet).
  • Proof your work.
  • Find communities to interact with. I found homes with PR Open Mic, Brazen Careerist and 20 Something Bloggers. Just remember that it takes a lot of time to build relationships in each community.
  • Did I mention to proof your work?
  • Are your ideas new and fresh? Keep on top of new trends and ideas in order to separate your blog from the rest. Hopefully mine doesn’t poop out too much – that’s what you’re reading it, right?
  • Keep the party going. Try and post at least once per week. At the very least, keep on Tweeting and sharing to build credibility.

If you don’t like my ideas, here are some great posts on how to start a blog. They’re pros.

  • One of my favorite posts from Penelope Trunk shows how to start a blog.. on her blog.
  • Guest post on Chris Brogan’s site pointing out what bloggers are doing poorly and how they can learn from professional journalists.
  • Scratch that. CB has a whole section on how to blog here.
  • Here is what you don’t want to do as a new blogger from Jason Falls.
  • For more tips on writing in a niche, check out Coppyblogger’s post here.
  • A great guide on making your blog successful in 90 days from the Influential Marketing Blog.

So, whether you are an public relations student, a seasoned PR professional, an engineer, a mom or even a regular Joe, think about starting a blog. Clearly define what the blog is for, and start interacting. But don’t start a blog just to start a blog.

I’ve been surprised how much I’ve learned since entering the blogosphere. You can do it too. Honestly.

So what have you learned to be best practices since starting a blog? How do you find your nitch? If you have a new blog, post a comment – I would love to check it out.

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