Deciding Where to Live: Five Best places to Live for PR

One of the main decisions when graduating college is deciding where you want to live. I know that I’ve had a hard time debating whether I should stay in Charlotte or go begin an adventure in another city. When narrowing my searches of the “other city” I started with what places would be the best for someone seeking a job in public relations. These are the “Top 5” places to live if you are pursuing a job in Public Relations.

  1. Washington D.C.: First, Washington, D.C is an amazing place to live, especially for people in there twenties. However, for a Public Relations specialist D.C. has the best jobs that also pay the best than the national average. The average mean is $81,000 compared to the national average at $46,000. So, if you love politics and great museums D.C. is the perfect place for you!
  2. Toronto, Canada: If you love Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling then Toronto is the place for you. Toronto was listed the second best place to live for quality of life. In addition, it is a great place to live for Public Relations because it is home to the leading integrated strategic communications and public affairs firms, Fleishman-Hillard. Toronto is flourishing with opportunity!
  3. Denver, Colorado: Skiing isn’t the only good thing about Denver, but also it’s great careers in Public Relations. Known as the “Mile High city” it delivers top salaries and also has the second highest concentration of jobs. In addition, it has the highest concentration of Public Relations Specialists as well. If you like the cold and outdoor sports, Denver is the perfect place for you!
  4. Austin, Texas: Austin is located in central Texas and surrounded by many lakes. It is listed as the best city to live in for the next decade. This city is great for Public Relations Specialist because it offers ample opportunities in social media and has a great salary. However, keep in mind that salary isn’t everything, Austin also has a great nightlife and great food!
  5. Boston, Massachusetts: Boston is a huge city and home of the Boston Red Socks! It is also great for Public Relations Specialist because it is home to many agencies including Allen and Gerritsen, who was voted the best place to work in 2011 and offers a great internship program. The company also is active in community service.

Overall, you should choose what you want to do and what works best for you! I know that it can be hard to step out of your comfort zone but these are only five places to get your search going. If you’re not ready to take the leap yet, maybe you will be in a few years. Whatever you decide to do, I wish you the best!

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Jade Hudson, Spring 2015 Account Coordinator

Jade Hudson is a senior at UNC Charlotte with a love for social media. She is currently the Public Relations Intern for the non-profit, NC MedAssist. If you would like to connect with her follow her on twitter @Ehudson20 or on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/pub/elizabeth-hudson/83/3a3/455

Social Media Accounts: Private or Public?

Every student comes to the point in their college career when the end is near and it’s time for job applications and interviews. Time to change out of the usual class t-shirt attire and trade it in for dresses and suits…but will that be enough? As popular as social media has become over the past couple years, it’s no surprise potential employers will look at your profile before hiring you, and they’re probably right to.

What does this mean? Well, a couple things actually.

1) The picture of you dancing on the table at the bar needs to go

 

We understand- you like to have fun! However, not every fun thing you do needs to be in the public eye. Have a mentor go through your pictures and delete what may seem unprofessional or make it private! Who knows, your co-workers may enjoy dancing on tables too…but find that out before you let them know the real you.

2) Beware of TUI

It’s always entertaining scrolling through your TL the morning after a night out and receiving favorite notifications on a tweet you don’t remember tweeting…you had no idea you went to cookout! Tweeting under the influence can be a dangerous thing. Luckily, there’s a delete button…but if you have friends like mine then you know there’ll be screenshot copies to remind you the next day. A big part of Public Relations is social media and tweets with accurate grammar. Businesses want to know they can trust you to not tweet anything harmful about their company…and what better way to prevent that than starting with your own account?

3) Everyone likes surprises

There’s nothing wrong with a public account. If you do it the right way it can be a great tool to show employers your personality, and hey, it could even help you land that interview (13 Retweets?! I mean you’re basically already famous). However, if you’re not 100% confident that there’s nothing there you may regret, it won’t hurt to make it temporarily private until you land the job of your dreams. Be that mystery job applicant that they have to call in for an interview to find out more about, not being able to see your accounts may be intriguing enough for them to want to learn more…like I said, who doesn’t love surprises?

So what’s the answer? Well that’s up to you. With positives and negatives on both sides, it comes down to your own judgment…take down those embarrassing photos, proofread your tweets, and put yourself in the employer’s shoes. If you saw your profile from their standpoint, would you hire yourself?

947205_10151501836448645_1619887963_nCady Ray, Spring 2015 Account Coordinator

Cady Ray is a senior majoring in Communications Studies with a concentration in Public Relations. She is set to graduate early in December 2015. Cady Ray finished her term as Secretary of PRSSA and her internship with 49er Athletics Media Relations department last semester. She’s currently an intern at SPARK Strategic Ideas and is excited to experience the agency side of PR. She works as Resident Advisor on campus and is a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority. Cady Ray also serves on the Panhellenic Executive board as Director of Recruitment Counselors. When she isn’t working or in school, Cady is usually planning or stressing about something… In her spare time though, she loves to read books and watch movies, or even splurge for a ticket to watch her favorite sports teams play.

 

 

 

5 Tips to Pitching a Successful Campaign

As a communications student, taking a public relations campaigns course, we learned the “Do’s and Don’ts” of pitching campaigns to clients. As you sit through 6 different presentations by different groups, you learn what works well and what doesn’t, what is unique and innovative, and what should be avoided. When you stack various campaign presentations on top of one another, the lines of A+ work from B+ work, are clearly drawn. The following are tips for any advanced public relations student or young professional, when they need to pitch a campaign to a client. The following tips also contributed to earning 100% satisfaction by the client to whom we presented.

Phot Cred: The Leadership Source
Photo Credit: The Leadership Source
  1. Presentation: Whether you are presenting with a group, or by yourself, the way you present yourself, has a direct reflection on the way your campaign is received. Make sure you are dressed appropriately. If the client you are pitching to has specific logo colors, try to accent that in your clothing. For example, The Charlotte Museum of History’s signature logo color is maroon. Wearing a maroon colored sweater or blouse during your presentation will entice your client. They will notice this. If you are pitching as a group, know who speaks when, who will manage all aspects of the presentation, such as PowerPoint, Prezi, distribution of flyers, rack cards, etc.  Sounding polished without jargon and using correct grammar is a must. Incorporating these into your presentation will add to your credibility as a presenter, and in return will convince your client of your professionalism.
  1. Introduction: NEVER begin by saying “Good morning and thank you for coming, today we are going to talk about ______.” This is boring and sounds like a presentation from a high school student. Be innovative in your opening. Use a quote that relates to your campaign or your client. Start with an interactive activity for the client or present an interesting visual that ties into your campaign topic.
  1. Client Interaction: After catching the client’s attention in the introduction of your campaign pitch, don’t stop. Far too many times, the presenters just stop after a unique introduction and then the client is left to zone out or become lost in the remainder of the presentation. Re-capturing their attention every 3-5 minutes is helpful, not only to add creativity to your campaign, but also to engage your client. For example, if you have planned an event for your client, show them what that event would look like. Create a vision board, filled with pictures and statistics to justify ways and means for everything. While you show them what their event would look like, play classical music in the background to set the mood, like you would during the event. If your event includes refreshments for attending guests, give your client light refreshments during the presentation. They will appreciate the extra effort you put in, but they will also be more likely to believe in the success of the campaign if they enjoyed the presentation of it.

    Photo Cred: Stearn and Associates
    Photo Credit: Stearn and Associates
  1. Attention to Detail: The detail used in a campaign is what sets the campaign and presenter or creator apart from others. It is important that your ideas for the campaign are executed. Simply stating what you want to do is nice, but a client will understand and most likely accept a campaign that is visual and detailed with all elements of what the campaign entails. For example, if you are pitching a social media campaign to a client and you plan to include a social media contest in the campaign, include an example of what the contest could potentially look like, in the presentation. Mock twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts with example graphics and status updates will prove to the client that you know how to implement your plan for the contest.
  1. Conclusion: Always make sure to summarize all of the main points you stated throughout your presentation. Do not simply say, “thank you for your time and this is the end of our presentation.” Just like in an introduction, the key to a successful campaign is tying everything together in a unique way. In conclusion, draw the client back in, referencing something in the creative introduction or use a powerful quote to wrap everything up. The feeling the client has at the end of the presentation reflects on how they feel about the entire campaign. End strong to finalize a fantastic campaign pitch to a client.
Photo Cred: Briggs Communications
Photo Credit: Briggs Communications

Post by Kathleen Duckworth, Newly appointed CEO
Kathleen is a senior at UNC Charlotte. She has experience in social media public relations as well as event planning and has secured a marketing and PR internship for the spring semester.


Sources:

Pointers on Creating a Business Card

Even though most things run through the internet in 2014, your contacts will still expect business cards from you (Sessions.edu, 2012). “A business card is an integral part of any good marketing plan. For its size and cost, it is probably the most powerful part” says an article from entrepeneur.com. Simply put, business cards can be your gateway into good business, new clients, and a great reputation. However, sometimes business cards just don’t make a good impression on whoever receives them. We want you to have the best business card to represent your company.

Your business card should match the image of what your business wants to display. It should match the kind of business you are running or working for. For example: If you are handing a business card out to someone to promote a funeral home, you do not want to have an image with a cartoon jumping around, or crazy fonts on it, you would like it to look sophisticated and respectful, with a normal, easy to read font (Gordon). If your business card does not match the image of your business, people may get the wrong idea. There are five main types of business cards that you should consider for making your own are:

  • Basic cards. A basic card is usually printed in black ink on plain white or cream stock. This is a good style to choose when utility is all you need
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Image courtesy of Toad’s Tavern.
  • Picture cards. Images representing a product or service, or a benefit your business provides, can help you communicate your business better than dozens of words.
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Image courtesy of Brit + Co
  • Tactile cards. Some cards are set apart not so much by how they look as by how they feel. They may use nonstandard materials, such as metal or wood, or have unusual shapes, edges, folds or embossing.
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Image courtesy of Design Beep.
  • Multipurpose cards. A card can do more than promote your name and business, it can also serve as a discount coupon, an appointment reminder or some other function. It may also provide valuable information that the average person may need.
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Image courtesy of Smart Practice.
  • Outside-the-box cards. A wildly original, fanciful or extravagant presentation can draw extra attention.
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Image courtesy of Boss Chicks.

After deciding your preferred style of business card, you now must make a few more decisions. You must decide the weight (most business cards are printed on 80-pound cover stock), finish, color (which can be a lot of fun), and quantity. Making these decisions may seem like small decisions, but they are very important in creating the image you want people to see. Lastly, do not forget to include the essentials such as: your name, title, company name, address, phone numbers, email, and website.

You are now on your way to creating an incredible business card!

Written by Cameron Floyd, Account Coordinator.
Cameron Floyd is a senior at UNC Charlotte with a driving passion for Public Relations. He hopes to one day practice public relations for a national band.


Source: “Why Business Cards Still Matter in the Digital Age.” Notes On Design. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2014.
Source: Gordon, Kim, and Ivan Misner. “Creating a Great Business Card.” Entrepreneur. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2014.
Image: http://designbeep.com/2011/12/01/45-creative-examples-of-edge-painted-business-cards/
Image: http://www.brit.co/diy-business-cards/
Image: http://toadstavern.com/products/business/card_library/businesscards_library.htm
Image: http://www.smartpractice.com/Apps/WebObjects/SmartPractice.woa/wa/category?cn=Patient-Communications-Appointment-Cards-Standard-Appointment-Cards&id=506495&m=SPC
Image:  http://www.bosschicks.com/boss-chick-business-4-innovative-business-card-ideas-to-help-your-brand-stand-out

Know How to Use Social Media for Your Professional Development

With social media slowly taking over our lives it is important we represent ourselves to our best abilities on all aspects of social media. Have you ever wondered how to represent yourself professionally on social media and a resume? Look no further than these five tips:

  • Create a QR code. This is a great way to hand out your resume or personal website on your business card. A QR code makes it easy for anyone, including an employer, to learn more about you on the go.
  • Make use of Facebook. You can create a Facebook page for your resume for employers to ‘like’ and view. This would be useful when employers are searching for you on social media sites, they can see you are trying to be more professional and appealing. It also adds to your accreditation for being able to use social media pass the basic everyday uses
  • Video resumes. Step out of the box and post on YouTube! A video will be able to show an employer who you really are past a piece of paper within a stack of more papers. You will be able to stand out and show that you have taken the time to present yourself in a higher manner.
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Image courtesy of Wikihow
  • Make a website. A website will enable you to show all aspects of yourself. It allows you to post your social media sites, blog posts, resume etc. A webpage, again, goes beyond a paper resume and shows employers who you really are and continues to show that you care about standing out when it comes to finding a job.
  • Creative resume. Beyond a normal resume you can add an unique style such as highlighting recommendations from those who think fondly of you. This will allow employers to see what your recommenders are really saying without actually having to reach out to them. Also, you can add a splash of color to your resume or stray away from the normal format. For your resume, you can add columns or blocks to add more information in a creative way.
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Image courtesy of Mashable.

These are the top five tips I think are most important when putting your resume on social media. With these suggestions you will be able to further yourself on social media as well as the job market. Remember to not be afraid to be creative and step outside of the box, you never know where it may take you for your future endeavors!

For more tips and suggestions on how you can further your career on social media you can look on Mashable.

Written by Courtney Palazzo, Account Manager.
Courtney Palazzo is a senior graduating in December. Courtney formerly served as secretary of PRSSA. She plans to move to Washington, DC to work in health PR.


Source: http://mashable.com/
Image: http://mashable.com/2011/05/20/social-media-resumes/
Image:  http://www.wikihow.com/Create-a-Successful-Video-Resume

How to Prepare for a Public Relations Interview

Public relations in the workplace is necessary and important. It is needed as a management function in every successful business. Although at times, it can be very broad and diverse, it is essential for a company or client to enhance brand and reputation. Commonly mistaken for marketing, advertising and publicity, public relations falls into its own category. When applying for a position in PR and going through the interview process, it is important to remember to tailor your answers specifically to the company.

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Image courtesy of Recruiting Division

Don’t make the mistake of walking into an interview and talking about other career paths such as marketing or advertising if you are there for a PR position. Sometimes what you say can accidently sound like you may be applying for a different position. Staying fresh and current on your skills and knowledge of current events is a key quality to posses when going into an interview. While researching helpful tips to prepare I came across tips from smartrecruiters.com. The following tips are a few general questions that could potentially be asked while in your interview:

  • What does public relations mean to you?
    • Since public relations is so broad, it is helpful for an employer to see if your perception of public relations matches what they are looking for in their company. Showing your potential employer that you are well rounded will show them you know the true meaning of public relations.
  • What skills have you acquired that would help you communicate client’s message?
    • We all know that oral and written skills are needed to be successful in public relations, but it takes more. Assertiveness, passion, persuasion, and creativity are skills that set average apart from the best. Those professionals that harvest hobbies such as photography, editing and production knowledge or community outreach programs are the ones considered top notch.
Featured image
Image courtesy of The Staffing Stream
  • How can you use social media to reach and impress traditional media?
    • If your personal social media sites are dull and unimpressive, what makes  an employer believe that your work for them would be any different? Consider your personal social sites to be a direct reflection of the work you would do for your employer. If your personal social site is impressive, then most likely so is the rest of the work you will do.
  • How would you handle a certain situation?
    • Everyone would handle any situation differently, but in public relations, an employer wants to see if you are able to set up a solution to a crisis whether it be structurally or creatively. Take time to re-play the worst possible situation and stay calm before answering.

Written by Kathleen Duckworth, Account Coordinator
Kathleen is a senior at UNC Charlotte. She holds an Account Coordinator position for the firm and has experience in social media public relations as well as event planning.


Source:  smartrecruiters.com

Image: http://www.recruitingdivision.com/category/interviewing/

Image: http://www.thestaffingstream.com/2012/10/25/the-truth-about-the-u-s-skills-shortage/