Tag Archives: public relations

7 Tips for Maximizing Your Internship

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Internships are more than a summer job or a resume booster; they’re great opportunities for growth and development in the area you wish to pursue after school. Take full advantage of everything they have to offer, and you’ll learn valuable skills to make you an employee everyone wants to hire.

Here are 7 things you can to do maximize your internship:

  1. Take it Seriously

Future employers will view your internship as a trial run of what they can expect from you. Give it everything you’ve got, just like you would when you really get hired. Whether the internship pays or not, having the experience will give you an edge over other candidates with the same degree.

  1. Keep a Record of Everything You Do

One of the best things I did during my internship was keep a record of my accomplishments and projects. Be sure to keep any published press releases, blog posts, or other samples of work to build a portfolio.

  1. Accept All Opportunities

Regardless of whether or not the task is related to your position, accept the opportunity graciously. Your manager will appreciate it, and you never know when you might find a niche that you hadn’t previously thought of pursuing by taking on something outside your normal duties.

  1. Ask Questions

You should always take the initiative to research first, but don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if necessary. Many employers would rather you ask for assistance than flounder and turn in something they can’t use. Asking questions also shows you’re invested and can be trusted with projects, which may lead to more opportunities.

  1. Get Feedback

Set up periodic meetings with your supervisor, if possible, to review your performance. Though constructive criticism can be tough to swallow, it’s necessary to grow and become an excellent employee.

If periodic meetings aren’t possible, be sure to get at least one at the end of your internship. These questions to ask your internship supervisor are a great start, but be sure to come up with more specific and relevant ones, too.

  1. Stay Connected to Build Your Network

You never know when you connections will help you down the road, so stay in touch as best as you can. You likely won’t be texting your manager every day, but there are plenty of other ways to stay in touch after your internship.

  • Connect on LinkedIn. You can network professionally, and coworkers can endorse you for skills you exhibited or learned during your internship or give you public recommendations!
  • Engage in other Social Networks. Social media sites like Facebook or Twitter are great ways to stay connected in a less formal manner. I frequently interact with old coworkers/managers online and have built a strong relationship with them, some of whom were able to give me glowing recommendations when it came time to finding a job.
  • It’s great to check in every once in a while to maintain your network, and email is a great option if you’re not comfortable interacting on social media. I’ve sent emails to old coworkers on several occasions. Sometimes I find a particularly great article they would like, others I just send a brief email when congratulations are in order. Just be sure to keep your emails short and genuine, as they will likely be read at work.
  1. Ask for a Reference and/or Letter of Recommendation

If you’ve done well there’s no reason you won’t get a letter of recommendation. Most supervisors will offer to be a reference, but it’s still good to stay connected. That way, you’ll have a stronger relationship and they’ll be able to tailor the recommendation to the specific job you’re applying for.

When it comes to advancing your education and pursuing your career, there’s nothing better than an internship. Getting hands on, practical experience in your field will give you a much better chance of finding a job. Better yet, if you work hard and follow these tips, you’ll become the ideal candidate everyone wants to hire. And hey, given that many companies hire their interns, you may not have to go looking at all!

sarahSarah Landrum graduated from Penn State with degrees in Marketing and PR. Now, she’s a PR Specialist writing in her free time. Sarah is also the founder of Punched Clocks, a site dedicated to helping young professionals navigate the work world and find happiness and success in their careers. You can find Sarah tweeting @SarahLandrum 

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Power to the People

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Every agency has its own unique culture, but the general stereotype is that agency life is fast-paced and creative, and that a successful PR professional is one who can “sell” an idea. It takes a special environment to enable employees to promote their ideas both internally and to the editors and others being pitched. In my experience, the most successful agencies are those that foster a productive, creative agency environment in which individual employees feel passionate about their work, feel empowered to bring new strategies, take initiative, and share a sense of team spirit. This environment enables the fulfillment of client, agency and individual goals. The agency I am a part of, Vantage PR, is not the only agency that has developed a culture of inclusion, but it is my “home,” so I will use Vantage as an example of an agency that gives power to its people. Continue reading

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Spin Doesn’t Suck- A PRBC Book Review

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As an individual and PR professional, I enjoy learning something new every day.  Let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to learn something new daily? When I was given the opportunity to review the book, “Spin Sucks: Communication and Reputation Management in the Digital Age,” (Que Publishing) by Arment Dietrich founder and CEO, Gini Dietrich, I was excited. Gini has great respect in the PR/marketing/social media world. My only concern was that the book would be a collection of blog posts from her blog of the same name. I should have known better. Continue reading

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Avión Tequila “Health Claim” PR Snafu Part of Bigger Problem

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In late March, Avión Tequila’s PR firm, Allison Brod PR, sent a media pitch claiming “consuming tequila has some serious health benefits.” The pitch offered cocktail recipes and sourced an American Chemical Society study that suggested agave could lower blood sugar, aid in weight loss and boost insulin production.

The pitch did not point out an important finding in the study: Continue reading

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Why Evergreen Stories Die

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Evergreen stories mean the content is permanently fresh and always newsworthy – sounds like a media pitching slam dunk, right? Unfortunately, in today’s constantly moving news cycle evergreen stories don’t make it to air because they can be pushed for another day, and another day, and so often fall off a producer’s radar.

I’ve heard from practitioners who brainstorm evergreen topics internally and then get their clients, who are experts in a specific field, to layer on a juicy details germane to the moment – yet on the flip side I know folks who confirm evergreen topics with their clients and then pitch out when they can piggyback on a hot topic in the news. No matter the process, the fact remains that our end goal is to secure a story and an evergreen story alone won’t open up doors much less land a spot on the nightly news. Continue reading

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State of the Union: Women in the PR, Part 1

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Women in Leadership
It’s a great time to be in the PR industry – shaping public perception of key issues, political figures, and new products coming to market.  Specifically, 2013 is a great year to be a woman in PR with plenty of room to push forward with networking playing a key role in making the move.

The formidable industry outlet PRWEEK offers two strong barometers in their ranking lists of professionals.  The growth of powerful woman within their awards speaks volumes – this year almost half of PRWEEK’s 50 Power List were women and more than half of their recent 40 under 40 honorees were women. Continue reading

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15 Online Marketing Techniques: How they Relate to Your Firm’s Growth

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With so many different marketing channels at your fingertips, how do you decide where to invest? Which online marketing techniques are really going generate leads for your firm?

Here at Hinge, we set out to answer these questions in a recent study of 500 CEOs and marketing executives from professional services firms across the globe. The survey was simple: rate each of 15 online marketing techniques on a scale from 0 – 10 on how effective they are in generating leads for your firm. Continue reading

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Should Interns Be Paid or Unpaid?

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Giving away cashIt’s one of the most hotly contested issues around right now. No we aren’t talking about Alex Rodriguez and Biogenesis. We aren’t even talking about Obamacare. The hot debate lately has been over whether interns should be paid or unpaid.

Over the last few weeks, this story has been front and center. On Aug. 14, the Lean In Foundation’s Editor-At-Large, Jessica Bennett, posted on her personal Facebook page that she was looking for a “part-time, unpaid” intern. The post had many positive responses, even \ from those who were interested in the part-time gig. It was the negative responses that really put fuel on the fire. Continue reading

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Top 5 Tips for Adapting a Relationship Marketing Model

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In the age of consumer marketing, which focused on advertising benefits and features of a product, this automobile ad would have been strategically placed in a men’s magazine. There is enough text in this ad for a short story and a message being pushed to the male reader (and his ego). With a consumer marketing mindset, the brand’s arching goal was to strategically pinpoint the people who would need, use, and ultimately buy their product. For an individual, consumer marketing meant being talked at, not with. Continue reading

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From Mail to Maker’s Mark: A Scale for Assessing Flack-Reporter Relationships

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The Coffee-Serving Security Guard © by Qole Pejorian

Every PR pro has been in the scenario: the team is gathered in a conference room. The topic of media comes up, and various names are bandied about. Then the boss growls, “who has a relationship with that reporter?” The implication is clear: in a business of connections, the person doing the pitching should have some sort of tie to the writer/editor/blogger in question.

Invariably, someone pipes up, claiming they have a relationship with the reporter in question. But the word “relationship” is fuzzy, Continue reading

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