PR Start by Nick Lucido

How to start in the public relations industry.

Summer Plans

Besides moving out of East Lansing and complaining about the whole thing, I’ve been up to some pretty cool things. With classes finished for the semester, I’m starting to get my summer plans in order. Part of this is making the move to Chicago, and this will be my first summer away from East Lansing since I started at Michigan State University. I’ll also be starting an internship with Edelman in their digital group, as well as starting my National PRSSA position. In the interest of being open and transparent, you’ll probably be seeing more about the following:

I just moved out of my house last week. While I’ve lived here, the house has been broken into, we’ve had sewage problems, our kitchen has been remodeled and we had unwanted pets (never figured out what the scratches in the walls were), among other things. Even though the house was literally falling apart, I’m going to miss this place and mostly the front porch.

home

Recently, I was elected National Vice President of Professional Development by PRSSA at the National Assembly in New Orleans. In that position, I’ll be blogging at the PRSSA Blog, supporting student-run firms across the country and some other pretty cool things. I’ll also be traveling to Scottsdale in June with the other National Committee members to plan for the upcoming year and get things going. Here’s a picture of the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 National Committees:

nc

Also, I’m going to be moving to Chicago for the summer and interning with Edelman Digital. I’m starting right after Memorial Day and I can’t wait. The team has a blog and I hope you check it out. Below is a picture of where I’ll be for the summer.

office

So, what’s the future of this blog? Because I’m blogging at a few other places, I probably will only have time for one post per week. I’ve covered a lot of “tips” for PR students, and I hope to discuss issues we’ll be facing and how to addresses them in addition to more posts about the industry. Thanks for reading and I hope you keep up with me.

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Timeless Tips I Found in Chicago

During the weekend, I attended a PRSSA Regional Activity in Chicago. It was a great event with a lot of useful information, no matter your level in college. I also will disclose that I’m a bit of a conference junkie and hop any conference I can fit in my schedule. This was was particularly well planned and the programming was fantastic. I give my props to the planning committee from Valpraiso and DePaul.

I even got to stop by the office that I'll be working at over the summer. It's near the top of this monster. Cool!

I even got to stop by the office that I'll be working at over the summer. It's near the top of this monster. Cool!

I found the interviewing workshop to be the most useful for me. Below I’ve recapped some of the tips I got from the event:

  • Prepare your toolbox. Have a strong handshake (not too strong), bring extra copies of your resume and cover letter, have your portfolio in hard copy and on CD (or online if possible), prepare your elevator pitch and have business cards.
  • Research your prospective companies. In public relations, finding an internship can be extremely challenging, so many of my colleagues tend to apply for 10+ internships each summer. That’s fine, but it usually works out that you get the interview with the company you know the least about. Make sure you do your research and set up Google Alerts on each company to keep in the know about news and developments.
  • The core elements to a successful interview are as follows: 40 percent attitude, 25 percent image, 25 percent communication and 10 percent job qualifications. Note: your job qualifications are the lest important. While this may not be true for every company, the take-away here is that if you get the interview, you can sell yourself on your attitude, image and communication skills. Basically, come in there with a smile, think beforehand about some questions that might come up and answer clearly.
  • When answering questions, use the PARK model: problem, action, results, knowledge gained. In situational questions, keep this in mind. Also remember that it’s OK to admit you’ve made mistakes; if you have learned since and corrected the problem, that demonstrates maturity and skill.
  • Utilize grouping answers in threes. When the interviewer asks about your strengths or weaknesses, give three each time. One isn’t enough and four or more just sounds too much.
  • If you’re asked to start with “a little about yourself,” use this format: education background, what you’re passionate for and why you’re applying. Skip the “well, I’m…” and “uh.” This is one that you can easily prepare beforehand.

The last thing I learned was something that I think is timeless. I went to lunch with some friends that I see at PRSSA events and one of the things that came up was how knowing fellow students eventually turns into professional relationships. It’s hard to think that all of the people going to these conferences with you will soon be your colleagues, but it’s imperative to build your network with them, too. Don’t cut them off in line at the career fair and don’t ignore them.

Filed under: Professional Development, PRSSA, Public Relations, , , , , , , ,

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