Monthly Archives: February 2009

Media Relations

Last week in our PR class we had a guest speaker, Eric Connor, from the Greenville County News come and speak to us about Media Relations and more specifically for us, good ways to pitch our stories to journalists.

We learned a lot of really great tips like to call journalists before lunch time so we do not catch them on or close to deadline.  Also to make relationships but don’t try to “buy” your contacts.  And to make sure your emails and attachments are not full of crazy gizmos and have an html format so they are easily accessible from any computer.

In co-ordinance with this I found a blog post  on the Bad Pitch Blog about “How Many Phone Calls Are Too Many” which talks about not pestering your media and how to even take “no” for an answer.

So check it out students interested in PR, we may need to keep these tips in mind for our future internships and jobs!

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Non-paid internships? “Intern Queen” explains why.

Currently, I intern non-paid with Main Street Deli, a non-profit organization.  I write a blog for them, send out a weekly email, hang fliers, and construct press releases.  My reasoning for doing this was that I still would be in school and it does not require that many hours.  Also, it is my first experience interning, and it is with a non-profit organization.  But, in my search for a internship in the summer I have been really hesitant to take on anther un-paid internship.

Lauren Berger the “Intern Queen” herself has given me a little more momentum and wisdom though, on this issue in her article on why students should take un-paid internships.

Go check it out students, she knows what she’s talking about with 15 internships under her belt and all.

(Look for more to come soon on my experience at Real World PR!)

Why not join the Peace Corps?

This is the question I’ve been asking myself lately.  No really, it sounds hokey and tree-huggerish but I’m for real.

Here’s my thought process:

  • I’m not married, don’t have kids, and do not have a job lined up upon graduation.  Which is in one year. Therefore, I’m not attached or held down by anything.
  • Jobs are down, salaries are down.
  • What is 2 years out of a lifespan?
  • Imagine the resources and help I could bring to an underprivileged area that I have acquired from my life spent in higher education.
  • I’ve never been out of the country or even lived outside this state.
  • I have teaching experience and understanding of Spanish.
  • I would love the challenge it would bring.
  • I’m too spoiled and sheltered (see above) this would really open things up.
  • They give you a $6000 stipend when you get home to emerge back into the states.
  • You have medical and dental coverage.

Those are the pros but there are SO many cons I’m trying to stay optimistic…

  • You have to go for two years.
  • You do not get to pick where you go and who you go with (if you go with anyone at all). There is an exception if you’re married.
  • You live like the people you are helping, mud houses, no running water, etc.
  • Communication with those back home is not as easy as an email or call.
  • I’ve never packed for a long vacation in less than one bag, no heels, no makeup bag and hair straightener.  I’ve always had heat, AC, running water, clean water, a grocery store full of food, lots of friends and family nearby, etc. (this is the spoiled part).
  • Crazy bugs we’re not used to.
  • Language barriers (these are the sheltered parts).
  • Its kinda really super scary.

Like I said, there are lots of cons but wow the pros and wouldn’t it be such a great life experience so, why not?

Well what I am wondering is what would employers think when I get back?  Is this a resume booster? Would it be hard to jump back into ther real world and into a real job?  Is this a bad time for a break, should I go do PR first and then take a step back so I have the experience?

I don’t know, lots of things to think about and they tell you to apply 9-12 months before you wish to go which is getting closer by the day.

What do you guys think? I really would love to hear your thoughts from students like myself and from pr professionals and those that would hire all of us students…

Hope I’ve made you think a little about expanding your boundaries and taking a leap, even if its not as drastic as joining the peace corps!

The Ex-Factor sponsored by Crunch

Okay so we normally think of Valentines Day as a day of love, candles, romantic dinners, and chocolates.  But what about those who are left without a Valentine and just have the remainders and reminders of an Ex?

Crunch fitness center is using your pent up frustration constructively on this day so you can get even, burn some calories, and be on your way to looking hot which is ultimately the best kind of revenge.  They call this event the Ex-Factor and request that you bring in a picture of your Ex as motivation for an intense boxing workout.  The idea is that you tape his/her picture to a focus mitt, pair up with a partner, and go at it!  It doesn’t just stop here, after the class you get to mingle with the other singles over cocktails and snacks. Its even open to non-members.

Did I mention that this is great PR for Crunch in their unique angle of blending fitness with a broken heart. It is definitely newsworthy and grabs my attention!

Unfortunately the closest location to me is in Buckhead in Atlanta but there are other locations all over the country.  So go on get your revenge, its guaraneed to be your most productive Valentines Day yet!

exfactor

PR Example: Go Red For Women

We all know of the fight against breast cancer, the Susan G. Komen foundation, & how everyone is going pink for the cure.  But what about the fight to beat heart disease?  Well, the American Heart Association has launched a full-fledged campaign for this exact reason and it is called: Go Red For Women.

I first heard about this new “fight” when I was listening to the radio and heard details of a casting call for women who feel they would well represent the fight to beat heart disease.  I then ventured to the website where I found that the cause is already backed by many celerity companies and people. For example, Macys stated that for any customer that wore red between February 5 to the 8th it would have all-day, store-wide savings.  Even if you didn’t wear red you could buy a $2 red dress pin (the cause’s logo) to receive the savings. Also, Andie MacDowell is on the homepage stating that she is a Go Red supporter and a link to her story on heart disease is provided.

Considering that one of our assignments for PR is to present a good and a bad example of PR to the class, I am taking this as my opportunity.  I think this is a fabulous idea for not only heart disease to garner more awareness but also for the American Heart Association to gain more support in their efforts.

All that heart disease prevention and support leaders needed was a name, a color, and media attention. The efforts on the part of breast cancer awareness have obviously worked and with the new idea for National Wear Red Day (February 6), the growing support of large name people/companies, and interactive capabilities of their website I believe that knowledge of this cause will only grow.

So what do you say… get out there and GO RED!

Is you is or is you ain’t: Social Media Expert

I recently happened across a blog post by Dave Fleet where he reviewed eight general questions he would ask a social media expert, here’s a run down of the questions:

1. Can you give me an example of social media work you’ve completed for a client recently?

2. How do you go about pitching bloggers?

3. How do you monitor what people are saying about you?

4. Where can I find you online?

5. Can you write my blog for me?

6. How do you measure results?

7. How would you define social media?

8. Can you just pretend to be me online?

So why have I found this particularly interesting and pertinent to me as a student? Well, I have put on my resume, along with many of my other classmates I’m sure, that I am experienced in social media.  But if I get asked one of the above questions in an interview do I know how to respond correctly and am I really as experienced as I think?

Fleet gives what responses you should look for a social media expert to say or to not say.  Many are pretty humorous like his response to number one:

1. Can you give me an example of social media work you’ve completed for a client recently?

If you hear anything other than “yes, here’s a good example” then back away slowly. Or not so slowly.

What I have taken from this post is that just knowing social media is not enough.  You must also know how to apply the social media techniques that we have learned.  You must also know before going into an interview how your skills can specifically help that company.  For example, I learned from an interview with Bunny Richardson that BMW does not engage too much in social media but they do monitor what is said about them in social media.  So, for this particular instance, one would need to know how to search blogs, twitter, articles etc.

I hope this helped my fellow students think about what to do with your knowledge of social media.  So go on out there and strut your stuff, but just do it a little more tactfully.  Leave some other suggestions and ideas I would love to hear them!