Tag Archives: public relations

PR in what?

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My favorite thing is to go where I’ve never been.” ― Diane Arbus

So, you want to be a PR professional but you’re unsure of the industry? It seems to be a trend among many young professionals. You know you want to pursue a position in the field, but you’re unsure of which industry. With an overwhelming number of options, like beauty,
healthcare, fashion, travel and many others, deciding on what’s best for you can naturally seem like a daunting task. Not to mention having to decide if you’d rather be in an agency or work in-house.

Is there a solution? Not really. When it comes to narrowing in on where you’d like to focus your efforts, it’s always best to start off with something you think you’d enjoy doing. Sometimes
people are surprised by how drastically their perspective changes once they are submersed in the industry and realize it’s not what they anticipated.

The best piece of advice I’ve been given is to tap into areas that are unexpected, and begin to build experience across a wide range of industries. This might even mean choosing an agency position in order to dabble across a few different clients. The agency choice might open up your eyes for which industry you don’t want to work in. On the other hand, in-house allows you a unique specialization that provides you with knowledge about how it fully functions.

The benefits of working with a variety of clients are the insights you are able to take away from the work and apply throughout different industries. For instance, providing strategies and
solutions for a client in the fashion industry might assist with directing your approach with a technology company. The insights you gain from developing tactics around the progress of a new ready-to-wear line, may add value to a technology client who is looking for a strategic way to build a brand identity that emphasizes a fashionable lifestyle.

Many individuals undervalue the experience they receive from an industry they have little knowledge about, or little desire to pursue. The challenge here is to take the opportunity to gain a new perspective and approach to understanding how a specific industry might use public
relations to inform that of another industry.

It’s important to remember that you are gaining valuable experience about how public relations can help a company as a whole. Rather than emphasizing a particular industry, don’t be afraid to branch out and dip you toe in the water of a new industry. You might be surprised about what you can takeaway from the experience.

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Landing the NYC PR Internship

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“Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” –Thomas Jefferson

Last week was my first week of missing a post in quite a while, and to be honest, I felt lost. I take my blog seriously for so many reasons, but most of all, it’s a chance for me to connect with my readers. So, I’m back and I’m hoping you’ll like the reason why I was gone!

As many of you know, I am originally from Toronto, and lately I’ve been focusing on my Masters full-time. However, after living in the city for close to 10 months, I started to seek out positions that would allow me to gain new experience. I was consistently looking for more to do (I love to be kept busy)! I think it’s important to possess a readiness to be busy in an industry like PR.

The process was long, and it’s never easy finding the right job! Now the search is over, and I’m happy to share with you that I’ve been offered an incredible opportunity at a marketing and public relations firm in the heart of TriBeCa. So now that I’ve been placed into a role, I felt as though I should share some takeaways with you. Whether you’re a recent grad searching for a summer position, or a current student that’s still hunting for some experience, I’ll share with you some tips on the process!

Be patient. Everyone knows the job search isn’t an easy process. It requires a lot of patience to sift through job descriptions to find something that suits your needs and abilities.

Be proactive. Rarely will you be sought out for a position without having applied to the job in the first place. If you’re in the process of searching for an internship, don’t delay the application process. Fix up your resume and start applying as soon as you are ready to find a job.

Be committed. Again, the job hunt is never easy and can take up a lot of your spare time. If finding a job is a priority or top goal, be sure to allot a time frame throughout your week where you are committed to searching for positions. An hour bi-weekly probably isn’t going to help you secure a position.

Be resourceful. Use your network. As PR professionals, we’re taught that forming relationships and making connections is an essential asset in our career. You’ve probably already begun
establishing a good network throughout your undergrad. Use this network you’ve built for
yourself to help facilitate the process. Ask your mentors for advice, or to keep you informed of any positions in the field that they might hear about from their fellow colleagues.

Be confident. It’s easy to get defeated by missed opportunities or never hearing back after
applying for a position. It’s important to keep in mind that a lot of candidates are up for these
positions, and not everyone is going to be suitable for the  job. Always have faith in your
abilities and accomplishments. Your skills will shine through in the right position.

Be mindful. It’s easy to apply for a number of positions all at once, and at times the process
begins to be monotonous. It’s important to keep in mind that you are searching for a position
that not only fits you, but also making sure you’re a fit for the employer. Sometimes just
applying for a position for the sake of finding a job may not always be the best strategy.
You’ll gain experience from positions that you are truly meant to work in.

Other thoughts? Tweet me @Sam__Dickson

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The PR Story: Why controlling the narrative matters

image-93“It isn’t what they say about you, it’s what they whisper.” Errol Flynn

For professionals in the public relations industry, a part of our job description is storytelling. We’re tasked with the goal of creating a story to go behind a brand, a product, or our client. It is a chance for us to think strategically about how we want our clients to be represented in their industry, as well as to their target audience.

The story that is created is a valuable asset. It is a unique representation of your client that helps differentiate themselves in the market, and to help establish ways for their audience to identify with their brand. Alongside any valuable asset come potential threats that could
compromise its worth.

Whether you’re facing a product recall, an offensive commercial, or a political candidate that has alienated a group of constituents, you lose control of the story. The story is now in the hands of the public, and how they view the narrative from the outside in is the only thing
framing their judgment.

As PR professionals, we are responsible for regaining control of the story. In other words, telling the narrative as it is within the organization. It’s about being transparent and honest to regain the respect of your most important stakeholders. Every hour in a crisis is crucial time. The longer you take to tell your side of the story, the more time the public and the media has to
create the story for you. It’s natural for humans to logically create reason, when reason isn’t given.

The point to drive home in this article is why controlling the narrative matters. For every minute you spend analyzing the crisis, your audience is losing faith in your ability to tell the truth. “Tell it all, tell it fast, and tell the truth” is the crisis management motto. As PR professionals, we have the skill-set to create the story. The story that is created for you isn’t always going to be the truth, making it difficult for you to reestablish trust with your stakeholders. The challenge is to tell the story before it’s created for you.

Why else does controlling the narrative matter? Sound off in the comments below or tweet me @Sam__Dickson.

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