Eagle Expo and Graduation Fair

On Wednesday, February 24, Georgia Southern University held its annual Eagle Expo and Graduation Fair. I was a little hesitant to attend since last year many of my peers attended and came back empty handed. But, the job market is scarily bad and I thought to myself, “Why not give this a try”?

The information I had going into the Eagle Expo and Graduation Fair was sufficient, although I could have used a few more facts and figures to be honest. They did provide a list of employers that would be present, so any company you felt a pull toward you could easily research them prior to the fair.

The fair was held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. I am usually working at my internship at Savannah magazine during these hours, but was provided with a day off to visit the Eagle Expo and Graduation Fair. Truly, I would just love to get a job with Savannah magazine, unfortunately they are not hiring due to low numbers of subscriptions and the economy.

After viewing the list for the career fair, I wasn’t personally very impressed. I don’t mean this in the sense that reputable companies were not represented, but more so that companies in Atlanta were few and far between. I am making the move back to Atlanta after graduating so this was a deal breaker for me.

I wore business casual dress, black pants and a button down shirt. I walked around the expo for about 45 minutes and talked to several people from many different companies. I wasn’t blown away by anyone, however, I thought it would be a good opportunity to practice for interviews and such. Also, as a public relations major, I recognize that any opportunity to make connections, even if you think you will never need to rely on those individuals, is a good opportunity.

Overall, I would give it a satisfactory rating. It really wasn’t the right avenue for me, however I am positive many students came out of the Eagle Expo and Graduation Fair with an interview!

Switching gears a little here, my assignment was to right about a Career Services event or seminar, but I would like to take a moment to sufficiently praise Career Services resume revising service. I e-mailed my resume to a woman working in Career Services. We then set up a time to meet at the Career Services Center and went through my resume, cover letter, and reference page. I was blown away at the incredible advice I received. Things I would have never thought to change were brought to my attention in a highly constructive way. After revamping my entire resume package, I have received several comments on the clarity and strength of the resume.

Long story short, If you go to Georgia Southern USE THIS RESOURCE! I swear to you it is well worth the hour-long meeting. I also have a mock-interview coming up that I am very excited about and have heard great things about this tool as well. Get to it guys!

April 23, 2010. Public Relations Practicum. Leave a comment.

PR Practicum Blog Comments

Comment #1
Higher Education vs. Real-World Experience in PR by Ashleigh Egan
March 8, 2010
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Hi Ashleigh! Thanks so much for this post as this is something I have been struggling with lately. I am a senior Public Relations major from Georgia Southern University and personally cannot wait to get into the field. I have been taking PR classes for nearly 6 semesters now and this semester, my final semester, has definately been the most educational. Not because I am taking more hours or engaging in more difficult courses, but because I have an internship at Savannah magazine. I cannot tell you how helpful it is to work in the field three days a week and then go to class and be able to apply what I am reading to the company I am working with. I would love to go to graduate school eventually but I would only do this if I could do it just like you have, with a full-time PR job at the same time!

Comment #2
Fear Nothing by Adam Singer
March 8, 2010
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Adam i could not agree more with this post. I live by the motto, “That which does not kill us, only makes us stronger”. I am a senior public relations major and am currently interning at Savannah magazine. This is my first experience in the field and I cannot describe the fear I felt on the first day. My boss had me write a press release, radio copy, and call subscribers. My body immediately froze up, but I had to do it, and I did! Everyday I am pushing through my comfort zone and everyday I get a little more confident. In this business, I believe confidence is key and while I right now am faking confidence, I am sure that it will genuinely come to me by taking control of my fear.

Comment #3
Five Reasons Why Companies Should Not Block Employee Access to Social Networks by B.L. Ochman
March 8, 2010
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This is a really great post! I think the bottom line here is what you discuss at the very end, why aren’t companies trusting their employees? And, if they don’t then there is a much bigger issue here. I personally feel that blocking sites like Facebook and YouTube is a bit of a slap in the fact to an employee. I mean, you hired me but you want to limit me with rules because you think I am going to waste time and money? It is a little insulting, isn’t it? And, do executives really believe that no one was wasting time before the invention of social media? Water cooler anyone? Blocking social mediums won’t stop time-wasters but only urge them to find other avenues, that aren’t as intellectual, to waste their time on.

Comment #4

March 10, 2010

This Post is For Everyone by Richard Laermer

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First of all, I would like to thank your for writing Full Frontal PR. I just finished reading the book and putting together a slidecast for it on my blog. I am a senior public relations major at Georgia Southern University, and the tips you gave in the book were fantastic. I especially liked the section on fear and confidence. It was inspirational to a lowly intern and college student. Now to the post at hand, I really am in shock at the pitch you recieved from that woman. There were so many flaws in that short amount of copy you would think she would atleast catch one. I understand this job is timely and there is A LOT to get done in day, but with mistakes like those she might as well not reach out at all. Hopefully my generation of practioners will be a little more conscientous of these simple and, frankly, obvious issues.

Comment #5

March 10, 2010

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Hackers Predicted Social Networking by Joe Doyle

So, Life DID imitate art in this case! This is a great post. That is such a funny movie to watch now with all that outdated technology. But you make a great point that there are some definite parallels. The one you mention that seems most similiar would have to be the “hacker handles”. That quote is so funny, “I don’t have an identity until I have a handle”. And while it seems a little obnoxious how many people do you know that feel that way about their twitter handles. Maybe we aren’t as different from these crazy kids as originally thought! Great unique post! Thanks!

Comment # 6

~How is PR Changing? by Jeremy Porter

~link

~ I am graduating in May with a Public Relations major and am happy to say that I feel very confident with social media. That being said, there has always been a bit of anxiety around this seemingly unpredictable phenomenon, especially as someone trying to enter into a field based solely on being the liaison between corporations and the media or publics. Thankfully, your post has put my worrying mind at ease, at least a little. It is an excellent point you make when you say this is the age of information and that anything anyone could ever need or want to know is right there on our computer screens.I will also make sure to keep these textbooks I previously thought would be good for nothing other than some quick cash at the end of the semester! Thanks a ton!

~ January, 31 2010

Comment # 7

by Natalia Daise

Foursquare: Like at Recess?

Comment #2

I was right there with you Talia as far as not knowing anything about this incredible new resource. I think this will start to get some big buzz but I agree with you on the idea that twitter enthusiasts aren’t ready to switch over to foursquare just yet. I can really see this becoming a “must-have” while travelling in the future. One day we may here are grand children saying, “what did people do before foursquare” just like our generation says “what did our parents do without cell phones”. Technology is crazy but it sure is enthralling, especially to public relations students like us! Thanks for the great video also. Your blog looks great and keep up the good work!

~March 3, 2010

Comment #8

Topic of the Week: Social Media Friend or Foe? by James Kicklighter

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This is a great recap of the panel conversation. I really liked watching this because of the unique point of view it gave. The point of view of a CEO coming to terms with this social media phenomenon. I thought it was set up very honestly which makes watching it all the more riveting. I was wondering if you sensed any resistance from the Ragan CEO, Mark Ragan. I found at the beginning that Ragan would become almost frustrated with his panel of communications experts and even a little nervous about the astronomical change that is, inevitably, coming his way. Overall, I thought the panel gave very thoughful and insightful answers. Thanks for the great breakdown of the video!

Comment #9

#Happo and the Reality of Job Searching by Jeremy Pepper

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This is such a great post! First of all I have to ask how someone can become someone you trust enough to help find a job? I am a senior PR major from Georgia Southern University looking for a job in the greater Atlanta area and would love to talk sometime about all the great advice in this post. I have been tediously working on meeting people in the industry. Right now I am working as an intern for Savannah magazine and that is proving to be a great way to connect with people. I want to thank you so much for your philanthropic attitude towards the field. I cannot tell you what your advice means to young people like me who are dying to jump in head first to the exciting world of PR. This post is forever bookmarked on my laptop! Thanks and hope to talk with you soon!

Comment # 10

Everything in “Moderation:” Social Media Ethical Dilemmas, by Todd Defren

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I personally don’t feel like any line is being crossed. I mean the point of using social media in a corporate way is to get the lines of communication open between the company and consumers. This is clearly being accomplished here. So what if there is a middle man? Consumers are being heard and companies are gaining helpful insight. And as you have said you are working more with the tactical side of the social mediums. I don’t feel like your cutting corners at all but putting your company and its consumers in a position to talk. Efficiency and practicality shows through in this endeavor. Keep up the good work!

March 4, 2010

Comment #11
Chaos is Not Strategy by Shel Holz
March 8, 2010
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I think this is a great post. I love the title, “Chaos is not a Strategy” and could not agree more. Just because some individuals are using social media in a casual way does not mean that companies should not take charge of their social media campaigns. It is a great point you make that the whole concept of weening social media managers or coordinators is based on the fact that employees are going to jump on the social media band wagon and do it often. Even if this did somehow happen, whcich my gut tells me wouldn’t, there would be mix messages coming from employees. Mix messages from the inside causes anxiety to consumers and ultimately a termination of their patronage. Social media managers and coordinators are vital and companies who do not see this fact will certainly be hurt in the end.

Comment #12
Ads Drop Dot-Com URLs in Favor of “Facebook Us” by Steve Rubel
March 8, 2010
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First of all I have to say that a local pizzeria advertising their facebook page at the register seems a little overkill. However, what do I know I’m just a college student! Ha. Honestly though this is a really interesting point that I hadn’t really noticed. This may have something to do with the fact that I am 23-years-old and the idea of advertising through these social mediums such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, seems very natural to me, but I realize it has not always been this way. I really do believe that dot-com url’s are facing their demise as an advertising tool. Bottom-line is internet traffic migrates to social media and when you google companies now, their websites aren’t even the first search that appears, Facebook is. I obviously think that dot-com’s will stay on as informational tools for consumers as there is simply not enough room on facebook or twitter to get out all the pertinent information consumers want, and need, to know. Thanks for this incredibly insightful post and I suppose we will all be waiting to see what comes of this phenomenon.

Comment #13
Higher Education vs. Real-World Experience in PR by Ashleigh Egan
March 8, 2010
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Hi Ashleigh! Thanks so much for this post as this is something I have been struggling with lately. I am a senior Public Relations major from Georgia Southern University and personally cannot wait to get into the field. I have been taking PR classes for nearly 6 semesters now and this semester, my final semester, has definately been the most educational. Not because I am taking more hours or engaging in more difficult courses, but because I have an internship at Savannah magazine. I cannot tell you how helpful it is to work in the field three days a week and then go to class and be able to apply what I am reading to the company I am working with. I would love to go to graduate school eventually but I would only do this if I could do it just like you have, with a full-time PR job at the same time!

Comment #14
Fear Nothing by Adam Singer
March 8, 2010
Comment Link

Adam i could not agree more with this post. I live by the motto, “That which does not kill us, only makes us stronger”. I am a senior public relations major and am currently interning at Savannah magazine. This is my first experience in the field and I cannot describe the fear I felt on the first day. My boss had me write a press release, radio copy, and call subscribers. My body immediately froze up, but I had to do it, and I did! Everyday I am pushing through my comfort zone and everyday I get a little more confident. In this business, I believe confidence is key and while I right now am faking confidence, I am sure that it will genuinely come to me by taking control of my fear.

Comment # 15
Five Reasons Why Companies Should Not Block Employee Access to Social Networks by B.L. Ochman
March 8, 2010
comment link

This is a really great post! I think the bottom line here is what you discuss at the very end, why aren’t companies trusting their employees? And, if they don’t then there is a much bigger issue here. I personally feel that blocking sites like Facebook and YouTube is a bit of a slap in the fact to an employee. I mean, you hired me but you want to limit me with rules because you think I am going to waste time and money? It is a little insulting, isn’t it? And, do executives really believe that no one was wasting time before the invention of social media? Water cooler anyone? Blocking social mediums won’t stop time-wasters but only urge them to find other avenues, that aren’t as intellectual, to waste their time on.

April 23, 2010. Blog Comments, Public Relations Practicum. Leave a comment.

My Interview with a True P.R. Pro

Michael Altfest is an Account Supervisor at Edelman Public Relations in the San Francisco Bay Area. Mr. Altfest has been with the company for over five years and received a B.A., in Business Administration from the University of Washington Business School in 2000. As most of you know, Edelman is the largest Public Relations firm in the country, so this interview was incredibly exciting. You can go to Edelman’s website to learn more about the company! Here is Mr. Altfest’s public linkedin profile also!

My father’s company, Transamerica Retirement Services, is represented by Edelman and they provide a close personal relationship with their CEO’s and Mr. Altfest was very generous to spare a few minutes to speak with me. Here is the transcript.

1.)What’s a typical week like? (If no week is typical, then what was last week like?)

The one guarantee working for a PR agency is that there is no such thing as a typical week! I think the best way to give you a “typical” week is to start with a description of my role.

I’m an Account Supervisor that oversees day-to-day management of three accounts at Edelman. The position I’m in could best be described as “mid-management,” so I do a bit of everything: account planning and strategy, tactical execution, staff management, and new business (researching and pursuing new clients). Many employees also have broader corporate roles. I’m our office Quality representative, which means I’m the go-to person for our company’s larger “Quality” initiative and am responsible for anything related to that.

Last week alone, I probably drafted 4-5 press releases or media alerts for upcoming announcements that my clients are making, supervised my teams on outreach pertaining to another 3-4 announcements (ranging from new store openings to new services to new executives), finalized the monthly reporting (what we did in March) for all three of my clients while also finalizing the activities that we’ll be doing for them in April. I spend a considerable amount of time all week reading the news to stay on top of my clients, their competitors and industries. I also have at least one internal team meeting and one client check in meeting for each account, every week (so that adds up to 6-8 meetings).

And that’s just the proactive client work! Since last week marked the end of the month, I also processed all of the billing for each client. Basically this entails reviewing and approving all of the items that they get billed for (both the hourly fees they pay us, and any expense incurred during the month.)

Lastly, I also spent some time doing some research on a company as a possible new business prospect, which entailed researching the company and what they do and then reaching out to a contact there to see if they’d be interested in chatting with Edelman.

I can’t speak for everyone who works for an agency, but it’s the constant variety and fast pace that attracts most of us to this sort of job.

2.)Tell me about a project you worked on that you are especially proud of.
(**I’m not using this example because it has to do with your father’s business, what I’m about to explain is honestly the work I am most proud of in 5+ years at Edelman**)

As part of our work for Transamerica, we do the PR for the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, which is a non-profit research company that examines trends and issues in the retirement space. Last year we re-introduced The Center, so to speak, after it had officially registered as a non-profit and conducted a major media campaign on it’s behalf. Although we’d had a lot of success on this part of the business in the past, last year’s results were unprecedented. We secured coverage for The Center in virtually every major media outlet – Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, NPR, Associated Press – that matters to them. Ultimately, the visibility of the issues that we raised for them spurred a special session in the U.S. Senate.

But while the results are great, I’m most proud of how we accomplished this. Honestly, it was years and years of work to build the status of The Center that paid off in one enormous year. It was a great example of how hard work pays off, how valuable media relationships are, and how approaching a program with the right combination of strategy and effort can generate great results beyond simply media impressions.

3.)How important is writing in your career?

Extremely. Arguably it’s the most important, and certainly one of the handful of skills that are absolutely necessary. And it’s not just the ability to structure sentences and tell an interesting story that will result in media coverage. Good writing is essential, but so is versatility in writing. Yes, I write a lot of press releases and media pitches, but I’m also constantly writing client communication documents, messaging, strategy, and everyday emails. Good writing is necessary in each and every one of those instances.

(And please pardon this document. I wouldn’t recommend it as a “good writing sample” – I’m just rushed!)

4.)What three tips would you offer someone just starting out in PR?

1. Get agency experience, and a lot of it. There are a lot of “PR” jobs out there, but agency life is some of the best work experience you’ll ever get. Even if you learn that PR isn’t for you, you’re getting experience that will help you in any line of work. On any given day you are working for 3-6 companies, including your own. I’ve done legitimate, strategic communications work for retirement plan providers, brokerages, software companies, employee benefit providers, fitness providers, electronic retailers, high end audio equipment, and an owner of a professional sports franchise (among many others). I’ve worked directly with the C-level of some of the world’s most recognizable brands. My work has appeared on the cover of the Wall Street Journal. You simply won’t get that type of experience working in house.

2. Intern!! One of the most difficult things about PR, especially when you start working, is how foreign so much of the work actually is – and how much of it there is. The learning curve when first starting at an agency is quite steep, so rolling up your sleeves early on and learning how an agency works (before you ever get that first “real” job) is invaluable.

3. Stay up on media. Many times a day, every day. Keep tabs on traditional media, but also on the growing space of online. Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Take note of what companies are doing, what’s working and, most importantly, how people are responding to and interacting with the information companies are putting out.

5.)What do you do to keep current in the PR industry?

See #3 in the last question. Read, read, read. I wouldn’t say I keep current on the PR industry so much as I keep up on my clients and their industries. But by reading many sources of media and seeing how companies are getting covered, that is telling me what is working in terms of PR.

6.)What has surprised you the most about working in PR?

How strategic it is. Over the last 5 years there has been a noticeable shift away from paid media (aka “advertising”) into more strategic public engagement, so to speak. Most marketing used to be heavily driven by advertising, and now its becoming opposite. PR is driving the communications strategies of so many companies, and it’s doing so from so many areas beyond traditional media relations.

7.)What do you wish you would have known before starting your career in PR?

I wish I’d had a better grasp on the versatility it takes to succeed. Saying I work for 3-4 different companies is simplifying it. Each client has at least one client contact; often more. But on the agency end you have very complex reporting structures depending on the client and who owns each project. …and keep in mind, your clients might be VERY diverse, so you’re constantly involved in multiple industries.

8.)How does technology affect your daily work?

I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without technology. In fact, it’s probably safe to say that technology is WHY PR is so successful now. The process of disseminating information pre-internet was rather archaic. Now, it would take me a couple minutes to determine who the right media contact is at a little newspaper across the country, contact that reporter, and get a response back.

Keep in mind that if I put out a press release now, it’ll be all the way around the world before I can blink. The Internet and social media have totally changed the way we do business. Even though it’s been very beneficial, we need to be more cautious as well. The wrong message can spread at a speed that makes it virtually impossible to control. But if done correctly, any company can leverage technology to its advantage.

9.)When your company is hiring for an entry-level PR position, what makes a candidate stand out?

Experience (see what I said about internships), personality (we’re in the business of interacting with the media), writing skills, an ability to demonstrate that their in touch with the media landscape and business work, and an eagerness to roll up their sleeves and LEARN!

Thank you so much Michael for all your insights! This will be a huge help to me as well as my classmates!

March 29, 2010. Assignments, Public Relations Practicum. 4 comments.

Internship Advice

This semester I have been lucky enough to obtain an internship with a fantastic company, Savannah Morning News. I work for Savannah magazine specifically, and even though it is an unpaid internship, I am having the most amazing experience with working with the best in Savannah in journalism and public relations. My boss and editor have been giving me great feedback and I feel, that after several months at an internship, I have some tips to share with those who are about to embark on their internship journey.

One of the compliments I receive the most is that I have a great attitude. So, the first tip I would give to an intern is to always be gracious and be willing to work. Let’s be honest, internships, no matter where you are, are not going to be highly glamorous. I often find myself making phone calls and running errands but I always do it with a smile on my face. I also make it a priority to thank my boss and editor for giving me this opportunity. Georgia Southern University student, Kelly Rowen, recently graduated with her hotel and restaurant degree. She finished her internship in Florida last summer. She was working at a hotel in St. Petersburg and she absolutely  hated the job.

“It was the worst job I had ever had,” Kelly said. “I was constantly being yelled at by customers and my peers, but, that never stopped me from doing my very best.”

When Kelly left her job she received a great recommendation letter from her supervisor.

Another tip I give is to act professionally and not cross the line with off-colored jokes or dressing inappropriately. Laura Callahan, a junior at Georgia Tech, worked at an engineering company in Atlanta where she was often working side by side with construction workers.

“These guys would often curse and talk about really gross stuff,” Laura said. “I made sure to never give into the casual nature of my environment though.”

Laura’s boss was impressed by her tact and professionalism and got invited  back to work at this company next semester.

Internships, although they can be a lot of work, are really fun. So my # 1 tip is to get one and get excited about it! Enthusiasm shows through and it makes the people you’re working with happy to be around you.

March 11, 2010. Assignments, Public Relations Practicum, Topic of the Week. Leave a comment.

“Read This First: The Executive’s Guide to New Media – from Blogs to Social Networks” by Ron Ploof

March 3, 2010. Assignments, Public Relations Practicum. Leave a comment.

What to wear? PR Edition

As a woman, everyday outfit choices may seem difficult, however, when it comes to choosing the ensemble to wear to a job interview, this task can be nothing short of frightening. “Does this make me look smart?”, ” Do I look too risque with this color lipstick?”,  “Is this shirt too ‘something’?”  The questions and doubts are endless. This is precisely why I decided to put together this post to rid you of all uncertainty around this important decision. I searched the web and put together the tops finds I retrieved. Here they are!

Celeste Mitchell from the blog, Mediabistro, gives some tips for those applying for media related jobs including public relations. She suggests getting some information on the company before deciding on your outfit. If you still can’t really tell, a suit is most likely the best option, however, Mitchell says to wear a fun colorful shirt to show a bit of your personality. Also, “you want to show an understanding of the audience” Mitchell says. Know the organizations client-base and make sure your outfit choice reflects those people.

You Can’t Wear That to an Interview!Or can you? In a changing employment world, some job-hunt truisms are becoming old-fashioned myth ,by Julie Gordon, from the business week blog, says to pay attention to the small details as well as the overall appearance of your ensemble. Many kids right out of college usually overlook important touches like making sure your zipper is up and that your shoes have no scuffs on them. These little aspects of your outfit speak loudly to interviewees. So, do not forget to paint those chipped nails!

Finally, watch this video to get a professionals opinion on the matter and after you watch this video compare it to other YouTube videos on the subject and pull the ideas that are repeated!

Happy job hunting!

February 27, 2010. Assignments, Public Relations Practicum, Topic of the Week. 2 comments.

Pro’s and Con’s of Social Media for Job Seekers

It is clear that social media has penetrated almost every field. A very important area(especially to a graduating senior) is for the aid of employers to find and evaluate potential employees. After doing a little research on the web, I found there were many advantages and disadvantages of social media to the job seeker. In this post I have compiled the most valuable tips from various sources listed at the end of this post.


  1. Connecting with Organizations on a Personal Level- Websites like monster.com are not very legitimate anymore. Using job search websites can be frustrating and disheartening because you are constantly being bombarded by scams. Adam Schwabel, author of Me 2.0, says that instead of searching the web for jobs, search the web of people who work for the companies you desire to be employed by. However, it is vital that you develop an online relationship with someone before inquiring about a job position, only let them know your interest and knowledge of the company.
  2. Marketing Yourself as a Brand- The best way to accomplish this is to become a content creator instead of a consumer. Blogging is a great way to advertise yourself to future employers.
  3. Constructing a Digital Resume on YouTube- This is really cool way of separating yourself from the pack because so few people have built this inventive asset. It’s important to keep this video short and to the point without seeming too rehearsed.
  4. Negatively Portraying Yourself with Past Photos- I think it is safe to say that we’ve all been there when referring to “embarrassing” pictures on Facebook/Myspace/Flickr. Whether it be something minor like holding two alcoholic beverages at the same time or a picture incredibly inappropriate with nudity in it, these can be incredibly damaging to your job search. Take my advice on this one and go “clean up” your facebook page pronto!

Social Networking Don’ts Careerbuilder.com lists some potential pitfalls of social networking and the workforce. A bit of sound advice, that may seem obvious, is to never badmouth a company you have interest in working for. Anything on the internet can be found and this is not a risk a job-seeker wants to take. Also, if you are currently employed but in the meantime are looking for a better job, do not say this online. Again, something written, can be read.

I wish everyone happy job hunting and will keep you posted with all my interviews when I graduate!

Thank you to Adam Schwabel, Frank Reed @ Marketing Pilgrim, and careerbuilder.com

February 16, 2010. Assignments, Public Relations Practicum, Topic of the Week. Leave a comment.

Interviewing: Body Language and Nonverbal Communication

I remember reading once that 97% of communication is nonverbal. Knowing this to be true, we must all really REALLY be conscious of our body language ESPECIALLY in interviews. I am graduating college in May so, I will soon be embarking on my fair share of interviews. I have researched what experts suggest on this topic and compiled a list of the tips I found most helpful and applicable. I separated them by different body regions!

  • FACE
  1. Smile, often! This shows humility and good spirits. Both important in a prospective employee.
  2. Maintain eye contact! And never, ever, ever roll your eyes at anything your interviewer asks.
  • Hands-
  1. Try to not have too weak a handshake(this can suggest low self-confidence) or too strong a handshake (this may come off as aggressive)
  2. Don’t fidget with your hands. It makes you seem nervous and jittery. People want to hire confident calm people.
  • Body
  1. Sit up straight in your chair. This is a piece of your mother’s advice that you really want to carry out during the interviewing process.
  2. Don’t shrug your shoulders during an interview,ever. Even if you can’t think of an answer to a question, never resort to the shoulder shrug. It can come off as disrespectful and unintelligent.
  • Clothing/Accessories
  1. Don’t wear perfume to an interview. Some people do not like the smell of perfume or are allergic. You don’t want to take a chance on this.
  2. Wear little to no jewelery. Also, make sure whatever jewelry you do wear is small and not flashy. You want to be the star in your interview, not your earrings.
  3. Do not wear a purse- large or small. Instead carry a briefcase.

I want to thank What to Wear on an Interview, How to Use Nonverbal Communication in Hiring and How to Use Proper Body Languagepro

January 30, 2010. Public Relations Practicum. Leave a comment.

Cover Letter Tips for the Public Relations Majors

The anxiety that occurs before and during writing that three to four paragraph letter in which you ask potential employers to “buy” you in a sense, can almost be too much too bare. What should I include? What should I leave out? Does this sound to pretentious? Are my word choices attractive to the right types of people? Plus a dozen more questions that flood one’s mind before writing their resumé cover letter.

We have all been, or will be, there and when searching the internet for help the information overload is truly outrageous. In this blog I have compiled some of the top tips I have gathered when it comes to writing the perfect cover letter for the PR professional.

  1. First, take the time to recognize the fact that this cover letter is your foot into a very important door, your potential employers. In fact, jobbankusa.com says that for a public relations position, the cover letter is, in essence,  your interview since public relations is based on communication. What is a better gauge of someone’s communication skills than how they sell themselves in a cover letter?
  2. DO YOUR RESEARCH AND PLAN for crying out loud! This step is so vital because it shows the companies you are applying to that you are committed to it’s overall goal. jobbankusa.com suggests a few questions you should consider before/while writing your cover letter:
  • – What is the company’s mission statement and what are                        their areas of expertise?
  • – What specific position are you applying for and how are you adept to perform the tasks of this position?
  • – Who is going to read your letter?Know their specific title and (for God’s sake) spell their name correctly. This could potentially, not only, aggravate and offend your interviewer but, suggest that you do not pay attention to detail and are sloppy.
  • – What is the first, second, and third most important business problems that your position will be expected to solve? Which strategies and tactics would you implement? And, why do you enjoy solving these business problems?

3. Familiarize yourself with Netiquette- a term coined by Virginia Shea   in her book, Netiquette, which is a list of ten rules corporate Americans should follow when communicating with each other over the web. In this day and age you are no doubt going to be e-mailing your cover letter and resume to potential employers and you should be very sure that the e-mail accompanying these is suitable. GOOD WRITING IS KEY.

4.Be brief and direct. Worktree.com says this is important because the people who are reading your letter are inevitably busy and do not want to sort through descriptive words upon more descriptive words.

5. Edit and proofread your cover letter – TWICE. Maybe even three times. Allow someone you trust to read your letter and make notes. Than read through it a few times and read it out loud to make sure it is phonetically appealing.

These are the tips I found most useful and also most widely recognized among many sources. The specific sources I used for this blog are: jobbankusa.com, rileyguide.com, and worktree.com.

Happy job hunting!

January 26, 2010. Assignments, PR Connections, Public Relations Practicum. 2 comments.