Answering The Tough Questions

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Weighing the ethics of any situation may seem like something better left to those with more experience under their belts than we New Pros. Questions of ethics are the tough questions.

But being an ethical professional isn’t magically bestowed on PR pros once they have a certain amount of experience. That would be nice, right?

As PR professionals, the closest thing we have to an ethics fairy godmother is PRSA’s Board of Ethics and Professional Standards, or BEPS. BEPS is responsible for developing PRSA’s Code of Ethics and counseling professionals through ethical dilemmas and practices.

Since an ethical professional can’t be born overnight, New Pros has teamed up with BEPS to answer any and all ethics-related questions to celebrate Ethics Month. Throughout the month of September, we’ll be collecting questions from New Pros via this form. BEPS will answer each question and we’ll share the answers in a blog post and across our social media between Sept. 25 and Sept. 30.

Have a question, but prefer to remain anonymous? No worries! Just select that option on the form before you submit your question.

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My PR story: Robyn Rudish-Laning

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“Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” ― Julia Child

There really isn’t a better way for me to describe my career, especially since Julia Child’s passion was food. I, too, love food and that’s where my passion for PR started.

First, a little about me. I currently live in Columbia, SC, with my boyfriend and our tail-less cat Izzy and where I work for the South Carolina Council on Competitiveness, a nonpartisan, business-led nonprofit that works to advance South Carolina’s long-term economic competitiveness. I grew up on a farm in Southern New Jersey and when it came time for me to head off to college, I packed my bags and moved to Pittsburgh. There I attended Duquesne University, right in the heart of the city, which is where I belong – right in the middle of a city. I earned my bachelor’s in public relations and a master’s in media arts and technology, focusing on creative media practices. My PR experience has been a little all over the place: nonprofits in Pittsburgh, New York and Columbia, retail, boutique agency and pharmaceutical research.

So how did I get here? I figured out early that I wanted to work in PR and communications. My first job back in high school was waitressing at a local restaurant. It was small and, being the master of multitasking I am, I began helping to organize some of our events and putting together marketing pieces and campaigns, in addition to my normal job and learning how to cook in the kitchen on slow nights. So in a way, food led me to PR.

As a student I interned with two nonprofits – the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Pennsylvania & West Virginia in Pittsburgh and the 9/11 Tribute Center in New York. In both, I created and maintained media lists, drafted press kits, press releases, media advisories, social media content, web content, print marketing materials – basically if it was written or designed, it probably started on my desk.

That’s a common theme through each job I’ve had so far. If there’s writing to be drafted, a piece to be designed or, more recently, strategy to be crafted, it’s started with me. I could outline all the different types of projects that I’ve worked on, but the point is that through all the places I’ve worked, no matter how thrilling or mundane the project or task might have been, there was a similarity tying them all together – each was its own form of storytelling. Telling stories is the heart of what PR is and it’s what I love about the field. Being able to find and share stories, whether that’s through blogs, video, social media, events, photos or whatever type of content lies ahead, is important to me. It’s what I’m tremendously interested in, what I’m passionate about. It’s what I’ll keep looking for in every job through the end of my career.

Whether you’re trying to tell your own story, still trying to find a path for yourself or anywhere in between, that’s the best advice you can take. Find what you’re passionate about, what drives you, inspires you, makes you feel like you’re doing something, and stay interested, learning everything you can along the way.

robyn-rudish-laningRobyn serves as PRSA’s New Professionals Section’s programming co-chair and is a communications and PR pro currently living and working in Columbia, S.C. In addition to volunteering with PRSA’s New Professionals Section, she also serves as the 2017 VP of Communications for the South Carolina PRSA Chapter and brought together the chapter’s first New Professionals group in 2016. She’s a native of southern New Jersey and currently resides in Columbia, S.C., by way of Pittsburgh, and currently works as the communications coordinator a statewide non-profit organization. In her spare time, Robyn likes to cook, read, spend time with her tail-less cat Izzy and write for her own blog – and almost always with a cup of tea in hand. Find her on Twitter & talk to her!

How I foster my public relations skills

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Don’t settle for mediocrity. You’re young. Be nimble. Be an expert at what you do.

I’ve learned a lot about public relations from my nearly two years of working as a new professional. In particular, I’ve learned about media relations, research, leadership development and time management. I’ve developed a groove for these skills. In fact, I consider them to be my strong suites in public relations. Here’s what I do to further develop each:

Media relations.

Keep tabs on what’s going on nationally and in your area. I’m sure you’ve heard by now, but theSkimm sends a daily newsletter with national news. For local news, save websites in your bookmarks for easy daily access.

Research.

Become a research powerhouse by using Google operators to find valuable information on the internet. Search for a specific word in a domain name, find related bloggers and locate news in minutes after a press release goes out. Find a list of Google operators here.

Leadership development.

My supervisor encouraged me to become a PRSA Charlotte board director and New Professionals leader for our local chapter. I was hesitant at first, but I agreed. I now lead ten New Pros who plan programs and networking events. Additionally, at the time of this writing, I’m gaining leadership skills through John Maxell’s book, Intentional Living: Choosing a Life That Matters. I highly recommend it. (Thanks for the recommendation, dad!)

Time management.

My first alarm goes off at 5 a.m. every weekday morning. I eat breakfast, drink lemon tea, read, journal, meditate and stretch before 7 a.m. This sets me up for success each day before I arrive at work. Daily stresses vie for my attention throughout the day, and these few peaceful hours help me manage all of them.

What facets of PR are you good at? I’d love to chat. Connect with me on LinkedIn.

Read more tips on my blog.

Seth Kingdon

 

Seth Kingdon works as an account coordinator at Chernoff Newman’s Charlotte office. He assists with social media, media relations and research for the agency. He’s also a director at-large with PRSA Charlotte, and leads the New Pros committee for the chapter. He could eat Chick-fil-A sandwiches every day.

From Post-Grad to Professional: How to Jump into the PR World in 2017

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Just do it. And no, this isn’t a blog post sponsored by Nike. Just do it. Dive head-first into the pool of opportunity that is the public relations world. Its waters are deep; you will want a life jacket. And as you have already concluded, there is no lifeguard on duty. Have no fear! You will not sink… as long as you abide by these two policies this year:

Maintain enthusiasm. Seek opportunity.

Structure. It is defined as the process between components of something complex. As students, we developed a habit to systematize our lives around class schedules and the daily routines which coincided with college life. Before you knew it, it was over. What now? Uncertainty is intimidating. The structure you unknowingly relied on is no longer defined by your next class assignment, mid-term paper or upcoming PRSSA meeting. Where to next?

Consider this reality check:

You are the navigator. This is huge. What a wonderful place to be – at the starting line of the real world. There is potential at every corner. Apart from the support of your family and friends, the defining factor of what will push (sometimes pull) you along will be your enthusiasm. This is essential not only for how you conduct your professional life, but also your inner persona.

“Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with all your might. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality. Be active, be energetic, be enthusiastic and faithful, and you will accomplish your object. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”

–Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Success does not happen overnight, but becoming self-aware about your attitude can. If you are feeling discouraged, know that some of the strongest leaders were not knock-out superstars on day one. It was through the lessons learned by making countless mistakes that, over time, sculpted the greatest trailblazers in our industry. How did they make it? They were passionate about their work, they thought creatively and most importantly, they were enthusiastic about the “lessons” they learned from failing. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.

Next, Opportunity

Whether you’re interning at a branding agency, working part-time within a company’s marketing department, taking on freelance work, or still trying to figure out your next steps – know that being fresh out of the graduation cap and gown leaves a door open for the unimaginable. You have the time to invest in yourself outside of what you have done to earn your degree.

This year, make an effort to:

  • Become involved with your local PRSA New Professional section and surround yourself with a community of individuals who also want to invest in themselves. It is an empowering experience.
  • Seek mentorship through the PRSA Mentor Match. There are few words I can use to explain how important it is to find a mentor that can give you valuable guidance during your first steps into the industry. In one word: necessary. Anticipate an awe-inspiring moment when you see exactly what you want to do in your career. Your mentors will open your eyes to this.
  • Conquer the available PRSA training courses online through the PRSA website. These are essential skills and strategies that will prove themselves handy in times of demand.
  • Find inspiration by reading the best sellers in public relations and marketing and by watching webinars. Gain an insight on how industry leaders think. These are unparalleled resources for devising successful campaign strategies and sparking remarkable ideas.
  • If you want to do work in social media, work on earning native social media platform certifications through Facebook Blueprint and Twitter Flight School. Become Google certified in Google Analytics and Google AdWords if you are interested in online advertising. The more you know, the more you grow. Having these certifications under your belt can give you a level up on your resume.

Taking advantage of your resources is the greatest graduation gift you can give yourself this year. Remember, enthusiasm sparks curiosity which introduces opportunity. How did you jump head-first into the public relations world? I would love to hear your story!

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Anne Deady is a social media specialist at MMI Agency in Houston, TX and a member of the PRSA Houston Chapter. Her professional interests include influencer marketing and social media strategy. In her spare time, Anne’s favorite activities include attempting every BuzzFeed Tasty recipe and teaching her German Shepherd tricks. She graduated from the University of Houston with a corporate communication major and business minor. You can follow her on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn.

Looking to 2017

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Welcome to 2017, New Pros!

While some of us may continue to write “2016” when we write dates on press releases and meeting agendas, it is very much 2017. None of us can tell the future, but we, as your 2017 PRSA New Pros Blog co-chairs, know that 2017 will be a year full of change.

How do we react to change, and adapt to whatever is thrown our way–both in our professional and personal lives? This is something that new pros need to consider as they start their careers and grow into seasoned professionals.

We learn from change, whether we view that change as positive or negative.

This year, the blog will explore many topics from month to month. However, what will remain throughout the year is that we, as new pros, will connect and leverage the events of 2017–whatever they may be–to change ourselves for the better.

In the words of Henry David Thoreau,

Things do not change; we change.

We look forward to experiencing 2017 with you.

Cheers!
Lindsay Moeller + Greg Rokisky

About your blog co-chairs

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LINDSAY MOELLER

Lindsay is a Public Relations Executive for Two Rivers Marketing in Des Moines, Iowa, where she writes content and connects with the media. In addition to her role as co-chair for the PRSA New Pros blog, Lindsay serves on the Central Iowa PRSA board as the professional development/networking co-chair and volunteers as part of the Event Management Team for the Des Moines Arts Festival. In her downtime, Lindsay likes to read, pretend to be good at running and yoga, search the internet for caticorns, binge watch TV shows and hang out with her cats while drinking coffee (or perhaps some really strong tea).  

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GREG ROKISKY

Greg works remotely as a social media and community manager for Streamline Publishing, a national corporation, as well as a freelance creative services consultant. He resides in Lansing, MI where he serves as the Central Michigan PRSA New Professionals vice-chair, PACE Awards chair, Director-At-Large, 2016-17 East Central District Diamond Awards chair. Outside of PRSA, he serves as the Membership Chair for Lansing’s Grand River Connection, a young professional networking group, as well as the 2017-18 President of the Social Media Association of Michigan. In his down time, he’s either reading a book, snapping some photos or catching the latest Indie films…all while sipping on a cup (or five) of coffee. Connect with Greg on Twitter or Linkedin.

Meet the rest of the 2017 PRSA New Pros Executive Committee HERE.

Write for The Edge

Have an interest in being published on The Edge? Check out our monthly themes below. Not seeing where your topic would fit in? No worries! Shoot Lindsay and Greg an email and they’ll work to get you scheduled into their posting schedule.

  • January: Jump-start to 2017, Welcome from PRSA New Pros National
  • February: Digital/social media + The evolving PR landscape
  • March: What does PR look like for you? (Do you work remotely? Do you work in non-profit? At an agency? Tell us your PR story.)
  • April: Continuing education (accreditation, graduate studies, alternative education + beyond)
  • May: Graduation tips and leadership
  • June: Measurement, math + PR: Embracing the data
  • July: PR book reviews
  • August: Diversity in PR and New Pros Week
  • September: PR ethics
  • October: ICON month and networking
  • November: New technology and tools
  • December: 2017 recap + looking ahead to 2018 (planning, work resolutions, etc.)

When submitting an idea, please note the topic, and which month’s theme it fits into.

Click HERE to contact the co-chairs via email.

As a reminder, contributors must be a PRSA New Professionals/PRSA paid member to be published on The Edge.

General Post Tips/Guidelines

  • Posts should be between 300-600 words in most cases.
  • Send a photo with your post and attribute the source of the photo.
  • Attribute the source, speaker or author if you include statistics, facts, quotes or surveys.
  • Start a conversation by ending the post with a question for readers.
  • Write a short biography for the end of the post. Things to include: name, job position, PRSA Chapter and social media links. Please submit a headshot if possible.