“Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some hire public relations officers. -Daniel J. Boorstin”

When I can’t think of a long post, I will post three reasons why I love this industry:

1.) I get star struck when I talk to journalists.

2.) I help shape the public’s idea of a brand.

3.) I’m in a career where if you’re alone, you fail.

Tell me: why do you love PR!

Why, hello there!

Hello, blogosphere that I have so unrightfully abandoned.

What a crazy month or two it’s been since I last posted.

In a nutshell– I am now a WORKING PR professional, as my internship led to an account coordinator position.

 

I give interns work now.

Weird?

I’ll try to update this more as a resource for entry level professionals– anything you guys wanna know?

True Life: I’m an intern, I get coffee sometimes (and I like it)

I have a confession to make:

As a college graduate holding an internship, sometimes I am asked to go on coffee runs. Before you lecture me on how I am being exploited for my work, let me stop you– because I like it.

This isn’t to be confused with interns who start their day taking the office’s collective Starbucks order. I am not the overwhelmed, crazy lady you see leaving Starbucks with two stacked coffee trays. In the appx. 9 combined months at all of my internships, I’ve maybe gotten coffee four or five times.

And I actually really enjoy it! A coffee run means (when it’s not awful out) fresh air, a break from the office. Which is great because I don’t always make, or have, time to leave. You have to crawl before you can walk, my dear friends, and proving that you can correctly deliver even the most complicated of coffee orders shows an attention to detail and the ability to follow orders– which are solid skills to have in PR.

Sure, your time could be better spent drafting a press release, pitch, whatever. But in what other task can you combine fresh air, walking and declare your competence?

Coffee Runs. Bless the coffee run.

Should Every Social Media Manager Be Under 25?

Another article has been circulating the internet recently. If you haven’t heard, Cathryn Sloane, a recent University of Iowa graduate, is making the claim that all social media managers should be under the age of 25. Her argument is that our generation grew up with social media, so  we are by default, more qualified to manage it. This argument has angered pretty much everyone aged 25 and older in the communications industry.

I agree, her argument has lots of flaws. Personally, I think Gen Y and also Gen X are more capable in social media than their older cohorts. Gen Y did grow up with social media, and although we’re still learning how to use it professionally and for business, our generation drives social media trends and I think it’ important to be attuned to the entire social media industry as a social media manager. I think that people older than 25 (mainly Gen X) know how to use social media better professionally, because they wait a little bit longer to use platforms and when they do, seem to use them more selectively.

That’s my two cents. What do you think about the article? What are your thoughts?

Crossing your t’s and dotting your i’s

Until recently, I can say pretty certainly that I’ve always taken advantage of proofreading in my writing. I wouldn’t attribute that habit to carelessness, but moreso that I felt that I wasn’t making enough mistakes to really justify being thorough.

But things change, oh—they change.

In PR, a missed punctuation mark, typo or what have you can completely ruin the message of a press release, remove all credibility from your piece and do damage for you or your client. I’ve found that at my internship, I’m becoming more and more thorough, because working under pressure often means that you didn’t write something perfectly. It’s always good to look over something after you write it.

Moral of the story is: Proofreading is important.

How do you make sure you hand in high quality work?

 

3 Take-aways from my Spring 2012 Internship!

This semester has definitely been a time of change and transition. In two short weeks I will be a college graduate, prepare to enter the work force and pretty much start my life. I’ve done a lot this semester— I worked two jobs (one of which I ended after three years), I remained active in my sorority as a senior and helped to plan an excellent formal. One of my biggest accomplishments of the semester was interning at (add)ventures, a communications firm in Providence, Rhode Island. It was here that I was able to recognize and see how much I’ve grown as an intern since my first one last summer and it made it really hard to say goodbye on Friday.

This semester’s internship was the second intensive internship I’ve held in college and it was here that I was able to work on the most diverse projects and with very different clients. One minute I’d be doing work for an upscale restaurant and the next for the Rhode Island dump. So work was very versatile! The environment was also very interesting and I enjoyed seeing all the different departments like creative, digital and marketing collaborate together. Everyone was really nice and made coming in everyday fun, not like a chore.

I was left with some pieces of advice from my manager that I want to share, as I think they resonate well as general career advice:

– Always develop your writing and cultivate your own “voice”. Writing skills are essential in most any career these days, and they are absolutely so in public relations! One of my biggest accomplishments this semester has been the praise on my writing and seeing most of my content make it to final drafts of press releases. Practice this skill!

–Be hungry. Not for food, but get yourself involved in everything you can. When there’s downtime, take a few moments to calm your brain down and see what else you can help with. See if you can sit in on a meeting or something if you know an event is coming up. Internships are all about experience, and not all of your experiences will be delivered to you on a silver platter– so be proactive and make the experience you want!

–Be essential. This is especially important if you want your internship to transcend into an actual job. You need to make it so you become an integral part of getting things done. People need to notice when you’re not there–if they can’t imagine not having you in the office or see things not getting done when you’re not there, that’s how you land a full time position (I’ll let you know how this works after this summer’s internship).

I think these pieces of advice are probably some of the most valuable I’ve gotten lately. Do you have any valuable career advice you wish to share? Did you have a good internship experience you want to talk about? Leave it in the comments!

The Beginning of the End of the Unpaid Internship; A discussion

There is an online article on the Time Moneyland blog that has gone viral amongst college students and professionals alike. ‘The Beginning of the End of the Unpaid Internship‘ by Josh Sanburn is stirring up a lot of controversy.

The article, which many say is one-sided, really draws attention to and puts a microscope over the ethics of unpaid internships. Sanburn focuses on class-action law suits that have been filed against many huge corporations over their unpaid internship practices, and while I do agree in some instances companies take advantage of their interns, I wouldn’t go on a full-fledged claim that unpaid internships are completely unethical.

I, for one, am about to start my third unpaid internship. While many might call me crazy for volunteering to work for free, I have been able to receive a combined total of 12 credits for my past internships. I personally don’t find classroom learning to be particularly productive in my PR classes, so the fact that I was able to gain experiential learning instead of classroom learning is hugely beneficial to me. 12 credits is a full semester’s worth of classes that I got to play around with and put my time in towards other things. Plus, the experience that I’ve gained as an intern has been extremely valuable.

I think when you take on multiple unpaid internships, like 5 or more, where it becomes a problem. Then it’s really just a confidence issue, in my opinion, or you’re probably not honest with yourself that you’re in the wrong career path.

For PR, unpaid internships are almost essential and they’re usually partially paid somehow. I find myself getting into an argument over the ethics of it all quite often because PR is such an experience-based field, how can you possibly tell someone they’re wrong for wanting experience that is vital to them getting a job?

What do you think of this argument? Do you think unpaid internships are ethical? Have you ever held an unpaid internship where you think you were treated unfairly?

Looking for new business ventures– I’m dipping into Freelance!

With graduation impending and a basically unpaid internship in the immediate future, I am looking into accepting opportunities for freelance PR work. I’m not looking to take on major accounts, but if you or anyone you know has no idea how to promote your business, I’m offering PR consultancy and writing services.

I will soon be uploading writing samples so that you can see more of what I’ve done, as well as a link to my e-lance account. For now, please contact me via email on the ‘About Lauren’ page.

 

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