Blogging…one day at a time

Archive for the ‘PR Connections’ Category

Newest Obsession

So I was wandering from blog to blog on Tuesday in my journalism class because I had already completed the assignment our professor told us to do in class. I checked up on my WordPress and a few other people’s as well. I then decided to look for some new blog material. But to be specific, I wanted to look for some fashion. My dream job would be to work in fashion pr. There’s something about the fashion industry that draws me in, and I just have a gut feeling that it’s where I belong. I need a career that is always in the “now” and what is better than fashion? It’s so fast-paced, and always innovative. Not to mention fashion with public relations means lots of creativity. I was graced this past Tuesday when my mouse stumbled on my newest obsession: PR Couture, a website dedicated to fashion pr. I was smitten, no joke. The site has links to fashion pr agencies. It contains blogs, and in the corner was a subscription box that I quickly filled. Now I get emails that update me on what is new to the site, which is probably every other day. I think I found my new love.

Melanie Seasons

Okay…I decided to do two blogs on this woman’s page, Fake Plastic Noodles, because the first one is hilarious. Melanie Seasons’ most recent post, April 14th, 2009, claims that Domino’s is “fartastic”. On this post, she critically ridicules the two stupid employees that pulled the stunt. She lightly called it a “PR nightmare in the making.” In my opinion, that is a true statement. 

Even thought Melanie’s blog post are shorter than most, I read a lot because of her spunk and sense of humor that comes from the text. She goes on in a blog post before the previous about new social media that ticks her off. She made a valid point that Facebook and Twitter look the same, and I too have noticed the comparison. Apparently, people that she knew from 5th grade adding her on Facebook is not a good idea either. Her blogs are so raw, but not obnoxious, which is why I enjoy her writing. 

The blog I really liked the most, “Someday your unborn baby will read this post…” I found funny but enlightening. She was talking about how bosses look at people on the internet to make or break a job offer. Also, how her friends and family are some how connected to her online. Well, did you know that babies that don’t even know how to walk are learning to use the internet? Well, it made me aware that whenever I may have a family, they could Google their mother’s name and some unfortunate picture of my college days could easily show up. I liked Seasons’ insight on the topic.

Lara Kretler

Today, I took the time to read a PR professional, Lara Kretler’s blog. It was posted on APril 14th, 2009, and she seemed very up-to-date in the public relations world. I really liked how she was talking about “personal branding” and how t can set an individual apart from the crowd in today’s economy. So many people are being laid off, or looking for another job in this recession. I think her most beneficial advice was “make sure your actions always match your words.” I believe this is most important because when sending a message, a person shouldn’t say one thing and do another. This would have a negative effect on their reputation. Kretler, who seems at a loss to brand herself, gives her audience a list of tips personally brand oneself. I laughed out loud at her second tip-Google yourself, because of how we’ve talked about it in class. I have Googled myself, and I think I am safe so far. The first thing to pop up is an Australian actress…definitely not a PR major from Southern. 

Lastly, Kretler writes that it is important to build a strong network both on and offline. She says that one needs to be genuine and honest. I think that naturally, any PR practitioner needs to accommodate those values in their field, especially when it comes to the client they are representing. If their client can’t trust them, the message that is sent to the public may not seem beneficial. Overall, I really enjoyed really Krelter’s blog, I completely agree with her points of view.

Three

On Wednesday in PRCA 2330 we were graced with the presence of two former GSU students who have now gone on to work for a PR, advertising, and marketing agency called Three. Lauren Crawford and Jeremy Estroff enlighted the students about what to expect when venturing into the PR field. They gave us plenty of tips, especially what to have in our portfolio. For example, future employers really want to see what kind of work a hopeful employee has available. They don’t have enough time to mess around, and want to get straight to the point. It would be wise for a portfolio to have press releases whether they are real or examples, papers related to the subject, good writing samples, and of course a resume. The two made a good point that a resume is one piece of paper, but that doesn’t sum up all that the individual has done. When going to an interview, I learned I needed to go in with experiences to share, and work to show. Usually with these types of speakers, I get very overwhelmed, feeling like I need to go out and join like 50 clubs and start doing a ton of charity work. But in all actuality, the speakers really put into perspective what needs to be taken care of to go out into the PR field. 

I like the way Estroff explained the difference of corporate PR and agency PR, all the way down to the wardrobe. I thought that was kind of funny. I thought the carpet campaign he produced was also fabulous!

PR Interview

For the PRCA 2330 interview assignment, I was able to speak to Mr. Michael Barker with GE Infra, Energy. I compiled a list of questions that I thought would be beneficial in my studies as a hopeful PR practitioner. He had great insight in his answers, and I can’t wait to share them.

 

Q: What has been your best project? and Which one have you been most
proud of?

A: One of my favorite (and most challenging) projects took place just
last year when I coordinated a media and customer event in Dammam, Saudi
Arabia
, announcing a new GE facility. I had to work in a completely
different culture and with local customs and security measures to plan
the event. Any fear or apprehension I had going into the event about the
country was quickly put aside by the warm and generous people and cool
things we had at the event (camels! Tents in the desert!). 

Q: Which project have did you find most challenging? 

A: See above

Q: What do you wish you knew when you graduated college before going
into your field?

A: I wish I took more business classes – to understand the financial
aspects and decision making of a company. You end up having to write
summaries for issues and events – such as annual reports, quarterly
earnings, shareholders meetings – and it’s so much easier to do that if
you understand the language of finance. 

Q: How important is written communication in your job?

A: It is in the top 3 in priority! If I’m not writing – press releases,
talking points or media briefs – I’m editing someone else’s writing.
What we do is seen by the media, top executives and the rest of the
world – so it has to be well written. 

Q: Does your company look up candidates online before an interview?

A: Do you mean reporters? Absolutely. There are a few search engines we
use to find biographical information and recent articles by the
reporter. Here is an example of one:
http://labs.daylife.com/journalist/charles_sheehan?js=1. This helps us
to prepare – by seeing what kind of a reporter they are (creative,
tough, detailed, etc.) and if we have anything in common with the
reporter (a great way to build a relationship!).

Q: What is the strangest thing you have done for your job?

A: When 9/11 happened, I had a reporter visiting from London.
Unfortunately, since all the flights were grounded and the hotels
quickly filled up, he could not get home and had no place to stay. So,
he had to stay with me for a week. I hardly knew him – so that was a
little strange!

Podcast

I tuned in to  the Marketing Over Coffee, to listen to what a popular podcast had to say about blogging in Public Relations. I had never listened to a podcast before. The two men discussed the new ideas that some companies are having employees blogging what they’re selling, bringing up numbers in clients. I think that for selling a product this is a fabulous idea, because  the act can really put the company’s name out there on the internet. In reference to a bigger client base, they referred to one company attaining almost seventy new clients. 

The guys then turned the conversation to Twitter, and the upgrades offered. It connecting with the company blogs with another means of marketing products. They continued with the importance of marketing, inbound and outbound. If companies are not working outbound, the loop will not continue to the inbound process. Inbound is the most profitable when reaching the public. I didn’t realize how important it was for companies to blog. At first I found it irrelevant because I thought that employees would be working already on getting the name out there. I guess the importance of the blog depends on what industry or company each person is working for. Blogs, as well as Twitter and other networking websites, are widely used tools that companies are now enforcing that PR practitioners to work into their daily schedule. 

They talked about the fact that using blogs and such are ways to link people to each other, another outreaching mechanism. There was an important point made that many older PR people aren’t fully in the loop with the up-to-date advances with the corporate tools. I can’t imagine what tools will be used in the future for companies to get their name out there and sell the products!