PR Start by Nick Lucido

How to start in the public relations industry.

Trying Something New

As I continue to transition in my new position with Edelman, one thing I’m already finding is I don’t have as much time in the day to peruse news articles and share them via Twitter, Friendfeed, etc. Trust me, I know this is a good thing. Technically, this is my first 40-hour per week gig; for the past couple of years, I’ve always balanced jobs and internships with classes, so I’m used moving around all day.

So, in an effort to continue to share what I feel is relevant to future and current PR pros, I’m going to try something new. I’m going to bookmark a couple articles per day via delicious and automatically post these to this blog. You can check out this feature here.

You know I love feedback, so let me know what you think. I’m here to help, and I hope this will be another tool that will accomplish that.

Advertisements

Filed under: Social Media, , , , ,

On Leadership

If I asked you who to define what a leader is, how would you do it? Would you say it’s the person in the corner office leading your company? Would you say it’s a member of a professional organization you’re involved with? Would you say it’s an intern in your company?

When I think of what I leader is, a lot of qualities come to mind — dedication, knowledge, attitude, aptitude — and these are probably some you would agree with. However, one prerequisite a leader does not need to have is a title. That means no matter what position you have within a company, whether it’s an intern, assistant or coordinator, you can be a leader.

Here are some tips for effective leadership, especially for students, interns and new professionals. Sure, these might sound like general career tips, but being a leader in the workplace is an entirely different mindset. Check them out and see how you can apply these principles in your office.

Attitude is everything

When you walk into work every morning, you can be a leader by motivating and inspiring with your attitude. Don’t let challenges get you down and look at new projects with a positive attitude. Hopefully, your attitude will be contagious and people will look to you for a pick-me-up when they need it. This creates a great work atmosphere.

Earn respect by doing what you say you’ll do

How many times have you offered help to a coworker and not followed through? I’ve done it before, and I know it doesn’t help with your credibility. Be honest with your coworkers and mean what you say — this will help you earn credibility and trust with your coworkers, and these are two traits leaders have a strong command of.

Learn and understand when to say yes — and no

There are only so many hours in the day, and at a certain point you can only take on so many projects. If you’re already swamped and can barely get through your daily to do list, it probably isn’t a good idea to take on a new project. That said, don’t be afriad to push yourself to do more. The point is there is a fine balance of doing a lot at work and not being able to get through your work. If you can demonstrate your ability to know the difference, you will definitely impress your coworkers and managers.

Give compliments a lot

You really can’t go wrong telling someone you think they did a good job or how much you appreciate their work. This is especially true of your managers and supervisors. Don’t be afraid to give a high-five to your boss if they did a good job. Chances are, your bosses probably don’t get praised for their work because they standards are higher, so go the extra couple of yards. Again, it goes back to attitude.

Promote teamwork, especially among those who don’t know each other

I didn’t realize it, but I let the e-board of MSU PRSSA formulate into pairs who always worked with each other. Looking back on the past year, I think a more effective approach would have been to encourage teams with the members who didn’t know each other as well. Also, you can take the initiative to get to know other people in your company. You never know who might be sitting next to you tomorrow.

Find ways to learn and grow with everything

As a young professional, you’re going to make mistakes. In fact, as you progress with your career, you’ll probably still make mistakes. In most cases, it’s not what you do, it’s how you react to the situation.Value professional development and always learn. It’s a great way to give more value to your company and your coworkers.

For more on effective leadership techniques, check out this slideshow from Andy Hanselman. There are some great tips in here for everyone:

So, what do you think? Can young professionals really be leaders?

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

Social Network Separation Is Bad

One thing I see more and more often is students who use different social networks for different reasons. For example, using Facebook for a crazy college lifestyle and keeping a professional blog. To me, it doesn’t make sense. Here’s why.

You’re findable

Even if you’ve changed your name on Facebook or use some kind of alter ego for other social networking profiles, don’t risk it. Here are some stats from an MSNBC article I want to throw out:

“According to a March survey by Ponemon Institute, a privacy think tank, 35 percent of hiring managers use Google to do online background checks on job candidates, and 23 percent look people up on social networking sites. About one-third of those Web searches lead to rejections, according to the survey.”

When it comes down to it, there are many more applicants to any one job, so don’t hurt your chances by taking a risk online.

profiles

Linking up

When I put up the new design on my blog, I added my Facebook profile badge. Before, I always thought Facebook was for my personal friends because I have personal information on there, but isn’t that the case with any social networking site you’re part of? Now, I’m open to networking on any of my profiles. Once you get over the initial “I want to post something really inappropriate” hill, it’s not so bad and helps your reputation in the long run.

Remember when Facebook changed and everyone thought it looks like Twitter? And Friendfeed‘s recent makeover to make it look more like Twitter? I think social networks are going to continue to converge (to some extend). Networking professionally on one site but avoiding conversation on another just plan looks bad.

Choose one side

When Facebook opened up to more than those with a .edu address and I started getting friend requests from professionals, I quickly learned about the importance of keeping a professional online profile — no matter what you’re using.

I recommend choosing one side; there’s no point of using some sites professionally and some sites for fun. This, of course, brings up the question of authenticity: do you have to show a different personality that who you really are? Not at all — just keep your illegal habits out of sight.

Be smart

I’m sure many of you already know what you put online is open for anyone to view. I just want to emphasize how important it is to be consistent and clear with your social networks. You never know, it might end up helping you get a job.

So, do you use different social networks for different reasons? Why? Do you think college students should be in a different category since they will be looking for jobs? All thoughts and comments are appreciated.

Photo by M. Keefe on Flickr.

Filed under: Professional Development, Social Media, , , , , , ,

Master the Career Fair Part Two

Last week, I wrote a post on how to master the career fair. Doing all that stuff is a good idea, but there’s more to it than just what happens after the career fair, especially in today’s economy.

One thing students tend to forget about the public relations industry is that agencies and corporations rarely hire a set number of people each May when students graduate. Remember that agencies fill positions based on how their business is doing. If you read in PRWeek that Burson-Marsteller recently lost a big account, it’s probably not a good idea to contact the recruiter and ask for a job. However, if you see that Ketchum won a new account, don’t you think it would be a good ideas to send your resume and cover letter talking about your experience with that industry? I don’t think it would hurt.

All in all, remember to be patient and persistent. The job market is competitive right now, so just keep your eyes on the prize and don’t give up.

Here are some tips for following up after a career fair:

Don’t:

  • Don’t send a follow up e-mail; send a handwritten, old-fashioned thank you note. Keep it to a maximum of four lines.
  • Don’t think recruiters will contact you about job openings. You have to look on their Web site and watch the news to see how business is going.
  • Don’t call daily or weekly. You don’t want to pester the recruiter.

Do:

  • Follow up if the recruiter wants to you send samples or an e-mailed version of your resume.
  • If your talk went well at the career fair, go ahead and see if you can schedule an informational interview. If the recruiter likes you but they don’t have an opening, it’s possible they might forward your resume on.
  • Apply for a job with the company online, and be sure to mention who you spoke with at the career fair.
  • Consider an internship post-graduation – it is the path to a full-time position.

The video below is another from MSU PRSSA’s YouTube Channel. It features Kelly Rossman-McKinney of Rossman PR talking about the skills necessary to be successful in PR and how to get a job in these challenging economic times.

Any other tips for following up after a career fair? Have you been able to find a job or internship because of a career fair?

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

Master the Career Fair

It’s career fair season. MSU PRSSA is hosting our second annual PR Links event – a career fair and reception for members and professionals to connect with each other. Not only is this a great way to find jobs and internships, but this is awesome practice for future public relations professionals. Keep in mind that you are your own brand – just your audience changes. In the case of this career fair, recruiters are your target audience so it’s important to plan accordingly.

Our Chapter recently hosted Brian Barthelmes, APR from Airfoil PR to talk about the elevator pitch and how to navigate a career fair. Here’s a video with Brian’s tips and advice:

I think the elevator pitch is so key for students to have, prepare and use, not only for career fairs. Say you ended up on an elevator with Harold Burson. What would you say? Would you even introduce yourself? This is where the elevator pitch comes in. A simple way to describe this is a quick pitch on who you are, what you do and why you are qualified. How many times have you been asked to talk a little about yourself or describe yourself? This is the solution, my friends!

Use this as a guideline when creating an elevator pitch. I also like this article from BusinessWeek about the importance of the elevator pitch.

  • Who are you? Skip over the “I’m a student at MSU studying PR.” Get right to the nitty gritty and talk about your traits and defining characteristics: “I’m a creative, out of the box thinking with a passion for the field.”
  • What do you want to do? From my experience with interviewing, I hear this line way too often: “I want this position so I can learn more about advertising.” How does that help the company? Replace it with, “I would like to contribute to the growth and development of the firm while picking up skills along the way.”
  • Why are you qualified to work for the company? You can answer this question in a couple of different ways, but ultimately, you want to find out what they are looking for in an employee. You can tailor the rest of the conversation to what they are looking for.
  • More talking points during the conversation: recent company accomplishments, the atmosphere of the office, what an average day is like, best part of the job, etc. Don’t talk about religion, politics, alcohol.. Just use good common sense.

Here are some more resources on the elevator pitch:

  • Perfecting your pitch – assume short buildings. Brevity is important because you don’t want to bore the recruiters. Keep in mind that they are talking to hundreds if not thousands of other people in your same shoes.
  • How to make an elevator pitch work for you. Practice makes perfect!

Are you ready to master your next career fair? Any other tips to add?

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

Add to Technorati Favorites

Delicious

View Nick Lucido's profile on LinkedIn

Twitter

Friendfeed

View my FriendFeed

Flickr Photos