Posts tagged with “Internships”

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Harness Social Media to Brand Yourself for Job Hunt Success

By: Alex Buchart

It is projected that in 2015, 93% of job recruiters will screen potential candidates’ social media profiles. That’s right, 93% of job recruiters. This means that almost every job you will apply to, a potential employer will be Googling you to see how you present yourself to the world. Additionally, 69% of potential employers have rejected a potential candidate because of what they saw on a social networking site.

Here is some food for thought, why not use social media to brand yourself as the perfect candidate for the job rather than as a liability? In fact, 68% of potential employers have hired a candidate because of what they saw on a social networking site.

We hear about how businesses try to create their own unique brands all the time, but what about people branding themselves? Ever found an Instagram or Twitter user you love to follow because they have so many interesting things to say? Well, that is an excellent example of someone branding themself to be a social media success.

Let me give you two examples of successful “branders,” so to speak, that I have observed on Instagram.

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One of the users I follow, a woman named Kino MacGregor , posts detailed yoga poses for each day accompanied by an inspirational caption. Her captions typically involve a message about how much diligence and hard work it has taken her to reach her level of strength – at times even a decade! With 498,000 followers, I began to analyze her success. It’s not just her ability to put her feet behind her head that is fascinating, it is also her ability to bare her vulnerabilities to her followers that ultimately makes her such an inspirational person to follow. She manages to showcase her talents while reminding her followers that it is continuously striving for success after facing failure that makes you stronger.

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The other user I follow is named Courtney Kerr , who uses bright photos and clever captions to capture the interests of her followers. Courtney’s posts are a little more lighthearted, yet she is similar to Kino in that she showcases pieces of herself as well. Typically these pieces are brightly colored jackets and bedazzling jewels, but it is the way she pairs these together that gives her followers a taste for her personality, interests and fears without even truly knowing her. Courtney also uses quotes, moments of sadness as well as joy that give her followers the feeling that she is a real person who has important attributes to show the world.

A few of my takeaways from these Instagram personalities are that in order to brand yourself you must showcase what you love in a clever, tasteful, soul-baring way. These are not just photos of a woman doing yoga on the beach or another posing in a hounds-tooth coat; they are windows into the lives of other people.

I have used these women as inspiration to advertise what I love in a manner of self-expression. In fact, my Instagram is full of dishes I have tried, places I have been and hobbies I love. These past few months I have begun using my Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as a complete reflection of my resume. Anything and everything I have put in my resume, I have attempted to showcase in some form on my social media. Not only does this prove to employers you are not lying, but it also serves as a portfolio to show my potential employers what I am capable of.

Social media is a wonderful way to brand yourself as a cooking connoisseur, a culture junkie or even a music enthusiast. Let your social media accounts be another voice that speaks truths about who you are as a person and what you can accomplish. Harness the things you care about and put them out there in a way that show your potential employers what you love too!

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Relationships the Classroom Doesn't Teach You About

By: Cary Lynn Nabors

Throughout my public relations classes in college, I’ve constantly heard “PR is about building relationships.” However, one thing the classroom did not teach me is how many relationships there are in a PR firm and what goes into maintaining them. My internship at JDPR has revealed important relationships that I didn’t even know were necessary to keep a PR firm going. How do we go through classes not learning important things like these? I think it speaks to the value of supplementing instruction with internships so you can learn as much as you can.


Vendor Relationships: Sometimes, your client has needs that can’t be met inside the walls of your office, and you have to hire a vendor to assist in areas outside an agency’s core service offerings. This is not a bad thing, but sometimes, especially in a smaller firm, you need to hire artists or videographers to do the best job for your client. When this happens, a PR pro has to take off the vendor hat and wear the client hat, which is a transition I thought PR firms never had to do. Your mentality has to change, the way you talk and how you do your job change because it’s a different relationship. Once you observe these transitions and practice them yourself they make sense, but practice makes perfect and that’s what an internship gives you that the classroom doesn’t.


Nontraditional Media: Who would’ve thought we would be at a point where bloggers can have more of an influence than a media outlet? Blogging has become a huge deal and, at times, PR firms are targeting them as often as news outlets. We briefly mentioned bloggers in my classes, but we never talked about how you have to pitch and approach them differently than traditional media. They do not necessarily view things like a journalist, and you need to pitch them like you would a friend. Once you build those relationships, you can be very candid with them. Should you exclusively pitch nontraditional media? No, but you should not leave them out because they can have a strong influence.


Potential Clients: We never talked in my classes about how PR firms reach new clients. Searching for potential clients is not a one-time deal; it’s an ongoing process that never stops. Interestingly, agencies look for new business without pulling resources away from their existing clients. Hunting for new business is an exciting part of the agency world. There is never a guarantee that you’ll get every client you pitch, but regardless it’s a great way to show the agency’s chops and expand.


Although I learned about these in the workforce and not the classroom, I don’t feel that the classroom isn’t doing a good job. I learned so much in college to help me be a better intern, but the classroom couldn’t teach me everything and I’m thankful for my experience at JDPR to help me grow.

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Photo credit: sysmarketing.co.uk
By: Cary Lynn Nabors

Throughout my public relations classes in college, I’ve constantly heard “PR is about building relationships.” However, one thing the classroom did not teach me is how many relationships there are in a PR firm and what goes into maintaining them. My internship at JDPR has revealed important relationships that I didn’t even know were necessary to keep a PR firm going. How do we go through classes not learning important things like these? I think it speaks to the value of supplementing instruction with internships so you can learn as much as you can.


Vendor Relationships: Sometimes, your client has needs that can’t be met inside the walls of your office, and you have to hire a vendor to assist in areas outside an agency’s core service offerings. This is not a bad thing, but sometimes, especially in a smaller firm, you need to hire artists or videographers to do the best job for your client. When this happens, a PR pro has to take off the vendor hat and wear the client hat, which is a transition I thought PR firms never had to do. Your mentality has to change, the way you talk and how you do your job change because it’s a different relationship. Once you observe these transitions and practice them yourself they make sense, but practice makes perfect and that’s what an internship gives you that the classroom doesn’t.


Nontraditional Media: Who would’ve thought we would be at a point where bloggers can have more of an influence than a media outlet? Blogging has become a huge deal and, at times, PR firms are targeting them as often as news outlets. We briefly mentioned bloggers in my classes, but we never talked about how you have to pitch and approach them differently than traditional media. They do not necessarily view things like a journalist, and you need to pitch them like you would a friend. Once you build those relationships, you can be very candid with them. Should you exclusively pitch nontraditional media? No, but you should not leave them out because they can have a strong influence.


Potential Clients: We never talked in my classes about how PR firms reach new clients. Searching for potential clients is not a one-time deal; it’s an ongoing process that never stops. Interestingly, agencies look for new business without pulling resources away from their existing clients. Hunting for new business is an exciting part of the agency world. There is never a guarantee that you’ll get every client you pitch, but regardless it’s a great way to show the agency’s chops and expand.


Although I learned about these in the workforce and not the classroom, I don’t feel that the classroom isn’t doing a good job. I learned so much in college to help me be a better intern, but the classroom couldn’t teach me everything and I’m thankful for my experience at JDPR to help me grow.

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You Think You Know PR? Think Again.

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By Samantha Hunter

As an aspiring PR professional with the name Samantha, I am repeatedly associated with the character Samantha Jones and faced with the question, “Is working in PR really like it is for Samantha Jones on Sex and the City?”

When I’ve told people my major over the past couple of years, I’ve come to realize that most people do not understand what PR actually is. Interning with JDPR has given me insight into what a PR professional does on a day to day basis and made me realize how different the profession is than how it is perceived. For those of you considering a PR career, I hope this will shed some light on what a PR professional does and help debunk some of the common myths:

PR is not all about parties and red carpet events. For Samantha Jones, PR is planning and attending the hottest parties, traveling around the world and running all over New York City in high heels with her friends. Sounds easy right? In reality it is a lot of hard work and can’t be done while shopping with your friends. Simply throwing a party can’t achieve a PR pro’s main goal which is to define and convey a brand’s story. All clients have a story to tell about their brand but they don’t always know how to go about spreading their message. That is where a PR pro comes in. There is so much more involved in creating a multi-faceted campaign than throwing a party. Most of the work is done sitting behind a computer, in planning meetings and on the phone as opposed to on the red carpet.

PR is not just for “people persons.” One of my professors said he would never hire anyone who came into an interview and said they would do well in PR because they are a “people person.” He said that answer would only prove you know nothing about the profession. While it is necessary to possess strong interpersonal skills and an ability to work with other people, being an extrovert won’t automatically make you successful. Public relations is about strategic thinking, problem solving skills, and creative abilities. If all you can offer is a good conversation and can’t do the work to back it up, you will have a very disappointed client.

PR is not about “spin” or being dishonest. Many people believe that PR is all about spinning the truth and avoiding controversy, when it is actually the opposite. PR is all about gaining the public’s trust and helping to define and convey a brand’s story. The only way to do that is to be honest and engaging. One of the first things I learned in my PR courses in school was to, “tell the truth and tell it quickly.” Trying to avoid a controversy will only bring even more unwanted attention to your brand. All you can do is face any bad press head on and try and get your clients message out to the public.

In a profession where even we can’t always agree on what exactly we do, it is easy for the media and characters like Samantha Jones to perpetuate stereotypes. It’s our job to try and break free from these stereotypes by grabbing every opportunity to let others know the hard work PR entails and the business value we bring to our clients.

Photo Credit: HBO

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How to Get the Most Out of Your Internship

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By Megan Grubbs

Completing an internship is a crucial stepping-stone from college to career. In fact, as my university graduation date inches nearer and the hunt for a full-time job becomes more of a reality, I’m realizing how utterly important it is to grasp hands-on experience in your industry of choice.

So how can you get the most out of your internship to make sure you’re prepared for a career? You have to give it every ounce of energy and passion you have. Here are three mantras I’ve found make all the difference.

1. It’s not what you can get, but what you can give. Acknowledge that the most important factor is not what you’re getting out of your internship, but what you can give your employers. Once you realize this, your work ethic, the quality of your work, and your office environment can change completely. When you focus on how you can help others and fulfill that famous Golden Rule, you’ll find yourself more inspired to create the best content and inspire the most meaningful relationships possible.

2. The more you give, the more you get. Along the same lines, if you are fully devoted to doing the absolute best you can, you will gain more beneficial experience than you could ever have imagined. The more work you prove you can handle, the more tasks you’ll be trusted with.

3. Exceed expectations. Here at JDPR exists a little motto: exceed expectations. That goal should be present in every assignment you face, whether it’s a basic task like organizing data or crafting an exquisite press release. Everything you create should go above and beyond, exceeding expectations.

Before my internship, I was somewhat confident in my skills and the idea I’d obtain a decent job after graduation. Now, I can’t fathom the possibility of starting an entry-level position without the experience I’ve gained during my time at JDPR. Now I know I’m prepared to begin my career in PR.

So, what’s my advice for getting the most out of your internship? Give it everything you’ve got.

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So You're About to Start Your Internship, Here's What You Need to Know...

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By Megan Grubbs

After taking some advice from my last post , along with your own knowledge and expertise, of course, you’ve landed the internship of your dreams. Now it’s time to prepare for that daunting first day on the job. Here’s what you can do to prepare for your PR internship:

1. Get to know the company even better. Hopefully, when preparing for your interview, you studied the company and its clients. Now is the time to learn everything you can. Dig through the company’s LinkedIn page to familiarize yourself with who you’ll be working with and research the company’s clients and understand their individual industries.

2. Brush up on your skills. Flip through your old, dusty textbooks and jog your memory. During my orientation at JDPR, we had a surprise tactical discussion with Jeff Dezen (there’s nothing like an impromptu conversation with the president on the first day to get you sweating!) and I absolutely could not come up with the simple term “crisis management.” It certainly wasn’t a career-killing mistake, but if I had taken a few minutes to flip through a textbook, I’d have been in much better shape.

3. Dive deeper. Educate yourself beyond the academic level. During the course of my internship, I’ve found how incredibly valuable it is to stay on top of news, current events, emerging trends and developing technologies. Don’t know where to start? Here’s part of my daily routine: catch up with the world on USA TODAY, get some PR tips and advice from PR Daily and keep an eye on emerging technology with Mashable . While you’re at it, register for a few industry-related webinars and watch some inspiring TED Talks . Dedicating just a few minutes everyday to educating yourself will provide insights into the profession, supercharge your creativity, and help you demonstrate your value as a member of the company’s team.

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How to Ace Your PR Internship Interview

How to Land an Internship

By Megan Grubbs

Now that you’ve realized how important an internship is, you’ve contacted a PR agency and had an interview set up. But interviews are scary—really scary. Nothing is more intimidating than showing up at an unfamiliar place to meet with an unfamiliar person to answer unfamiliar questions. So how can you get that PR internship you really want? Let me give you some advice. Now, I’m certainly no expert on the topic, but learn from my sweaty-palmed, stutter-laden mistakes. I’ve found, through a bit of trial and error, what works and, unfortunately, what doesn’t. Here are my tips for aspiring interns in the field of PR:

1. Know the company inside and out. Get to know every nook and cranny of the company’s website, devour its blog and social media accounts. Learn as much information as you can about the company and its clients. Your research will go a long way, and you’ll show your prospective employer your dedication and determination.

2. Have a two-way conversation. Many students expect an interview to be similar to an interrogation, but an interview should be a conversation. While you obviously want to answer all questions your prospective employer has for you, ask some questions of your own: get to know the company culture and staff even better. This will give you the opportunity to show why you are a good fit for the company.

3. Leave a lasting impression. Following up with your interviewer is common sense. But rather than shoot off a quick email, take a moment to deliver a hand-written note thanking your interviewer for his or her time while also expressing your desire and believed qualifications for the position. This often forgotten special touch shows your interviewer you appreciate his or her time and serves as a reminder of why you should be considered for the position.

Now I could go on and on with this list, but don’t you have an interview to prepare for?