How I foster my public relations skills

tell-us-your-pr-story

 

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.

5 ways to use social media to build your personal brand & help your job search

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Spring is just around the corner and now is a perfect time to spring clean your social media. Twitter, Facebook and the like are for sure a treasure trove of cat videos, gifs and other humorous bits to procrastinate your day away, but social media – Twitter in particular – can be a powerhouse career tool if done correctly.  Here are five things you can do today to harness the magic of social media to build your personal brand and boost your job search.

1. Give your LinkedIn a make-over.

If you’re on the job prowl, the first place you should start with your social media is on LinkedIn. Show your page some love by refreshing as much as necessary. Think your photo, positions, volunteer work, summary, skills – anything and everything. Don’t forget to give yourself a new header image if you haven’t already and a personalize URL for easy sharing.

Spend some time really digging into what you write beneath each position. LinkedIn is a great place to expand a bit more on what’s in your print resume, but don’t get bogged down in the job description and minutia of your day-to-day. Focus on your accomplishments and impact right up front and highlight the key functions of your position if you really feel inclined or they’re a little out-of-the-ordinary.

2. Find & join a Twitter chat (or two).

Twitter chats are the hidden networking gems of social media, especially for PR people. Depending on your interests, joining an industry-focused Twitter chat can be a great way to make new connections, meet and learn from industry thought leaders and establish yourself as someone in-the-know.

New Pros hosts them, PRSA hosts them, some of your favorite PR veterans host them – there’s really no shortage of chats. My favorites are the New Pros #NPPRSA chats (third Wednesday of most months at 9 p.m. EST) and PR Daily’s weekly #RaganChat (Tuesdays at 3 p.m. EST).

3. Make connections.

Social media is all about connecting the world, right? Find and follow some PR pros you admire and reach out to them. Build a relationship by commenting on their posts, resharing them and connecting with them to chat. Most PR pros are more than willing to chat and share their expertise, so building a good repertoire is easy to do.

4. Join a Facebook or LinkedIn group.

Just like there are a number of great Twitter chats, there are some pretty awesome Facebook and LinkedIn groups out there for PR people too. Unlike Twitter chats though, these groups aren’t limited to a specific date and time or even a set topic that everyone will talk about. These groups encourage members to post their own topics or questions as they come up and for everyone to engage at their own pace. Group moderators will often post topics or questions as well to keep the conversation flowing. Two of my favorites are Shonali Burke’s Social PR Posse and PRSA’s New Professionals Group. Both are closed groups, so you’ll have to request to join, but both are very worthwhile.

5. Share your stuff. Share relevant stuff. Share all the things.

Consistency is key and content is king, right? So put them together to build your personal brand on social media by sharing industry pieces you like, news articles you think deserve some attention and your own content. Using a scheduling platform like Hootsuite or Buffer to make sure you have content being shared consistently, not in a giant rush all at once and then not again for weeks. Don’t forget to add your own commentary or insight. Repurposing your own content – whether it’s something on your own personal blog or something you guest wrote and published elsewhere – and scheduling it out for later on is also a great tactic for keeping yourself fresh in your followers’ minds.

Want to talk some more about social? Join PRSA’s New Professionals Section on Wednesday, Feb. 15 at 9 p.m. EST for February’s Twitter chat. We’ll be talking about social media and PR trends in 2017. Follow along and join the conversation using #NPPRSA.

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!

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!

anne-deady


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

lindsay-moeller

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).  

greg-rokisky

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.

Four Ways to Stand Out (In a Good Way) at Your First Job

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From navigating the lunch scene to navigating office politics, a first job can be tricky. You want to find just the right balance of doing your job well without seeming like a suck up. I’m no expert, but I do want to share a few tips I’ve found to be helpful as I navigate my first real job:

Have an opinion

This piece of wisdom floated my way from a mentor who’s worked in communications for over 30 years. Just because you’re the new guy or gal doesn’t mean you have to be quiet. There’s a time for speaking and a time for silence. While it’s extremely important to embody a sponge sometimes — taking in all the newness and expertise around you — recognize that you were hired for a reason. Your insights, thoughts and opinions are company assets, so don’t let them go to waste by being unspoken.

Get to know your coworkers as people

You’re likely spending 40 plus hours in the office each week, sitting next to the same people every day.  Take the time to find out what your coworkers’ lives are like when they’re off the clock. What do they love? What do they hate? What’s their favorite way to goof off or relax? By asking these questions and more, you’ll have a better understanding of who your colleagues are — not just as fellow workers, but as fellow humans. I think you’ll find that this has a catalyst effect when it comes to building trust and empathy. Plus, it’s never a bad idea to gain a little extra social capital by remembering someone’s birthday or wishing them well before they leave for vacation.

Keep a work/life balance

Plenty of people throughout your career will tell you to “say yes to everything.” In my opinion, it’s not the wisest way you can live and here’s why: If you keep saying yes to everything, you’re going to find it harder to flex your crucial muscle of discernment. Instead, you’ll find yourself automatically accepting job assignments and social invitations that are going to wear you out with no substantial gain. To function at your best, you have to create space to recharge and connect. Don’t believe me? Check out this handy PR Daily infographic that explains even more benefits of keeping your weekends free from work.

Do the right thing

At Lockheed Martin, “Do what’s right” is one of our three ethical mottos. (I’m fortunate that it’s also a life motto for me, too.) Lots of times it may be easier to purposefully overlook a small error or choose to end a task before going the extra mile. Hey, nobody’s even going to notice, right? Wrong. The trouble with that thinking is that it doesn’t matter if nobody notices. If you’re not doing the right thing and making choices out of integrity, then you’re not only cheating the company, but also yourself and your coworkers. Instead of “advancing the profession,” you are choosing to take the whole ship down with you.

What advice has been helpful to you at your first job? Or what advice do you wish you would have been given to you?

lauradaronatsy_headshotLaura Daronatsy is the Immediate Past President of PRSSA and currently works as a Communications LDP Associate at Lockheed Martin. She graduated from Biola University with a public relations major and biblical and theological studies minor. Connect with Laura on Twitter @lauradaronatsy.