I read an article on Ragan’s PR Daily website about how Twitter affects the news, according to journalists. The article’s author, Alan Pearcy, embedded a link to an Off Book PBS video in the article. The video was only five minutes long but very informative and interesting to hear journalist’s take on the advantages on Twitter. Three journalists were interviewed for the video and gave their opinions of how the journalism profession has been impacted by Twitter. News is a once a day product and there are so many good places to get news these days. The journalists in the video told the audience to think of journalism as an ecosystem. They went on to say that when Twitter first became popular, journalists knew it was a vehicle for self- promotion but later realized they could use it as a means of reporting. It has become a mechanism for collaboration and those that didn’t previously have a voice in the news can now be heard. Journalism is about performing a service and journalists are constantly asking themselves how they can add value to that. Although, admittedly, Twitter was a threat to journalism at first, many have agreed that it’s a huge source of information; journalism and Twitter go hand in hand. An advantage of Twitter is that you have a global resource that can fact check your process and help you create better news. Twitter has also increased the number of citizen journalists. Anyone can report on any topic and there’s no editing process. The reporters who excel at Twitter are those who see it as more than just a promotional platform, they understand that it’s a global conversation. The narrator of the video tells us that content isn’t only released in articles. Journalists have so many more options as technology continues to advance.
I recently attended a resume review with a senior recruiter at the AAFKC Career Day in Kansas City. The recruiter reviewed my resume and internship portfolio. She told me that objectives were no longer needed on resumes because employers know why you’re submitting your resume, they don’t need to be told it’s because you’re looking for an internship or part-time job. I thought that was interesting because almost all of my professors have suggested I include an objective on my resume before submitting it to a potential employer. She also pointed out that unless your GPA is 4.0 it’s not necessary to include. It made me feel better because she told me that in our industry employers want to see a candidate that is well-balanced, involved and a leader rather than a student who wasn’t involved but had straight As. I asked her for advice moving forward in my senior year and she told me it was very important I try and get as much experience as possible in the field. Like my contact at Fleishman-Hillard, she suggested I look for an internship second semester or next summer. I never knew seniors were still eligible for internships, I wish I had completed more than one. She also gave me the idea of going around asking local businesses if they needed any advertising or PR help. I’m going to offer my time and expertise, hoping to gain more experience. It was nice to have another set of eyes look over my resume, especially someone who is so experienced. She’s definitely going to be someone that I’ll be contacting in the future. I can’t say enough good things about the AAFKC Career Day, I had the chance to meet with very influential people and received great advice.
I attended the American Advertising Foundation of Kansas City’s Career Fair on Monday, Nov. 12 in Kansas City. Although I’m not a member of AAFKC I thought it would be a good networking opportunity to strengthen my professional connections. The day was filled with workshops, divided in to 3 sections. You had the option of attending a workshop aimed at students who were interested in the creative aspect of advertising, account management or those who were undecided. Each session had three speakers, who presented over various topics. I attended each of the undecided sections, as they had an eclectic mix of speakers and topics. One workshop I found to be interesting was the corporate vs. freelance vs. agency topic. I wasn’t entirely sure what the difference between the three was so I thought it would be a good idea to familiarize myself with the three different options. After listening to each speaker describe her respective career, I decided that agency work sounded like it would fit my personality the best. I don’t think I could handle the unpredictability and lack of structure that is common in a freelance career, while working in the PR department of a corporation sounds boring. I want variety and I want to be able to work on a multitude of different projects and meet as many new clients as possible. I feel that with agency work I’ll have the opportunity to be exposed to much more than corporate. I met a woman who worked for Bernstein- Rein, an ad agency in Kansas City. Her vibrant and bubbly personality struck me as she told us how much she loved working for an agency. She told us that although the starting pay isn’t very high it shouldn’t deter us from working for an ad agency. I spoke with her afterwards and her advice was this, find what you’re passionate about and go after it, no matter the pay.
I met with my advisor last week to finalize my graduation plan and make sure I was on track for my remaining semester of senior year. In our conversation about my plans after graduation, she asked if I had ever considered graduate school for a master’s degree in public relations. She told me that students who only receive a bachelor’s degree in public relations are unable to acquire any position in a company except an entry-level job. She strongly suggested I consider it, telling me that it would greatly help me in my career. She told me with a master’s degree I’d be able to teach public relations if I wanted and have the opportunity to move upwards in a company and enjoy pay raises.
Wanting to investigate this idea further, I e-mailed Mr. Glenski at Fleishman-Hillard with the information and the simple question; is graduate school worth it? He e-mailed back, saying in his opinion future employers and clients value experience more than anything. He attached a link to an article titled “5 Graduate Programs That Aren’t Worth The Money” from Yahoo Finance. Number 3 on the list was PR, advertising and mass media programs.
The article had encouraging news, saying that according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the field is supposed to grow by 21 percent between 2010 and 2020. The website cites a report from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and Workforce as the source for the article. Liz Weston, a personal finance author, also contributed to the article. In the section about PR, Weston said the graduate degree for PR “doesn’t really get you anywhere”. She said clients are looking for creativity and talent over a graduate degree. The Georgetown study concluded that employees with a graduate degree in public relations can only expect a 12 percent boost in pay.
To me, graduate school doesn’t seem like it’s worth the time and money. A 12 percent boost in pay doesn’t sound like a logical trade off, after having to take out loans to finance graduate school. I would consider working towards a graduate degree in another area besides public relations, but I know experience in the field is what will advance my career. I’m glad I investigated this further, as I was able to compare the benefits from both sides of the spectrum.
The rules of social media are changing. They’re evolving to fit our habits and needs, becoming mutable and flexible. This article specifically focuses on how the rules of using LinkedIn have changed and continue to do so. As a new user of the online business networking website, I was curious about the rules and what was considered acceptable information to provide. I’m still not entirely sure how to navigate the website but I found this article interesting because it’s based on the idea that the rules of social media are changing.
The article was shared by one of my favorite PR professionals on Twitter, Dave Peck. The article’s author, Natasha Lomas, writes that as online social media services are evolving and rearranging, so must the individual user. Each person can adjust their interactions with said social media to serve their own purposes. Lomas also noted that the more one uses a social network the more it changes you. She uses the example of sharing personal details on Facebook. When you first registered with Facebook you may have thought it was unsafe to share personal details, such as contact information or date of birth. But as the service progressed and grew, as did your acceptance of sharing the aforementioned personal information. With the development of your preferred choice of social media, you can reconfigure your rules of operating within the system.
Lomas specifically studied the guidelines for interactions on LinkedIn and how they’ve evolved as the website has gained more users. Traditionally, LinkedIn was used to make connections with colleagues you worked with or had worked with. Lomas conducted a snap poll, asking her Twitter followers what their rules were for accepting LinkedIn connection requests. Her responses indicated that the site has now evolved from making connections solely with people you know and have worked with to unknown users who are in your field of work or perhaps potential employers. She noted there is still a hesitation for users to connect with total strangers-something that may change over time.
I spoke with Robert Glenski, Senior Vice President and Partner at Fleishman-Hillard, last Thursday. Through a mutual connection he agreed to speak with me and give me advice for my senior year. With my ultimate goal being to work for Fleishman-Hillard, I was excited for our phone call.
Glenski began his career with a degree in Pharmaceutical Sales, he understood healthcare and was hired on to Fleishman-Hillard 13 years ago, as a non-traditional hire. He’s currently the senior partner with the firm and leads the healthcare team in Kansas City. He works with healthcare teams from all over the world.
I asked Glenski for advice moving towards graduation, in hopes of securing an internship at FH. He told me they’re interested in hiring students who have had 2+ years of internship experience in good programs. I asked him to describe his ideal intern and he told me someone with a can-do attitude, a willingness to learn, flexibility and someone who wants to eventually join FH. He said writing is absolutely fundamental, as is teamwork and leadership. His recommendations were to offer my services to local businesses and get as much experience as possible. Glenski also spoke from experience, saying he and has daughter looked on the Kansas City Ad Club website and looked for internships when she was in college. She know works for a reputable PR agency in New York. He also recommended I look on the KU and MU websites to see what internship opportunities they had listed. I never thought of doing that, but I’ve since been perusing their websites.
The bottom line, he said, is that FH has the luxury of being picky with their interns and employees because they have the best people working for them, the “cream of the crop”.
We spoke for about an hour and I learned strategies to better my chances of employment after graduation and tips for having a successful senior year. I promptly sent him a thank you e-mail and he told me to please keep in touch.
As per your request, I began following PR professionals on Twitter. One of my favorite accounts to follow is Dave Peck, the lead social media manager at PayPal. He always tweets links to interesting and helpful articles, one in particular caught my eye. He tweeted the link to an article from the PR Daily website, “5 Key Traits of a Successful PR Professional” by John Trader. (I also noticed the author of the article made sure not to include more than 7-9 items on his list, as I’ve learned that the human brain can only retain plus or minus 7 chunks of information at a time.)
The first piece of advice is you have to have thick skin in this industry. They recommended PR professionals prepare themselves for personal and brand criticism, without being easily offended. This is probably the best piece of advice for me because I know that in my career not everyone is going to like the ideas I have or my opinions, but I have to stick by them and be an advocate for myself. Secondly, the article cites attention to detail as a necessary trait. It urges us to make sure we meticulously review our work and carefully plan all communication to the media. You can’t afford to be careless. The third piece of advice is to be creative. As the PR field advances and new technology is developed, everyone is forced to think outside the box and present ideas to clients that are unique. We have to learn to be creative and not stick to the status quo or social norms. The final piece of advice is to build relationships. This is something that has been hammered in to my head since I began my undergraduate degree in PR. It’s all about connections and networking. After speaking with many PR professionals and professors, I’ve learned that grades aren’t everything- it’s more important to build relationships and develop a good rapport among colleagues.
The article proved to be very helpful and gave me ideas of how I can develop myself personally so I can be a solid employee and attain success in my career.