My Top 10 List

For our last assignment, we were told to make a Top 10 List of the things we learned in Dr. Barbara Nixon’s Intro to PR class.  I learned so many valuable things throughout the course of the semester.  Here is a slide show of my Top 10 (in no specific order).  Hope you enjoy it!

Published in: on May 3, 2009 at 10:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

48 Hours of Twitter

For our assignment, we were told to use Twitter for 48 hours.  This time was different from the first week of twittering for me.  At first, I honestly had no idea what I was doing.  I only updated my “status”, and that was pretty much it.  This time around, I have found myself a little more addicted to Twitter.  Now, I usually find myself checking Twitter on my cell phone throughout the day when I’m not around a computer.  I really enjoy reading other people’s tweets to keep up with everything going on.  Also, for my interview with a public relations pro, I used Twitter to ask Jeremy Pepper for an interview.  Without Twitter, I would have been up the creek without a paddle because I don’t know anyone in the PR field.  Thankfully, Twitter has opened me up to people who practice public relations in so many different careers.  I will admit that I have not been very good at interacting with PR pros on Twitter, but I have definitely been able to see how helpful Twitter would be for that.  I am still amazed at the rate Twitter is growing!  When we were first told to start using Twitter, I had never heard of it and neither had any of my friends.  Now, it is all over the news, and celebrities are all into it.  I’ll even admit that following some celebrities on Twitter has become my guilty pleasure.  I started following Perez Hilton after the Miss USA fiasco, and I have found it extremely interesting to keep up with everything going on with him.  He has been using Twitter to promote his voice on gay marriage and the shows he’s been featured on. 

I have definitely enjoyed Twitter more this time around.  I would like to get more involved with it and communicate more with people in the PR field than I have recently.  I will continue to use Twitter and start using it more for networking.  I realize there are so many opportunities to be made with people in the PR field and hope to make some connections by the time I graduate.

Published in: on April 22, 2009 at 10:12 pm  Comments (1)  

Interview with a PR Professional

For my interview with a PR Professional, I contacted Jeremy Pepper, a PR Generalist, via Twitter for an interview.  I fortunately received the privledge of asking Mr. Pepper some questions about his work in Public Relations.   

Pepper_by_pulver

MS: What is a typical week like?  (If no week is typical, what
was last week like?)
http://pop-pr.blogspot.com/2007/07/being-early-adopter.html

JP: Each day is pretty similar, but it really changes week to week.
Morning starts where I scan the news – national, local and trade
press. I then scan for coverage of Boingo (I’m the internal PR manager
at the firm).

From there, I look over the list of things to do and start the work.
That can range from media outreach, to PR planning and strategy, to
writing press releases. I write two a month, and the internal and
external process tends to get sticky.

There’s also the typical weekly marketing and PR firm meetings, as
well as one-on-ones with the boss.

MS: What is a specific project you worked on that you are
especially proud of?

JP: It depends on what project.

Early in my career, I was most proud of working on the breast cancer
stamp project, helping it become a reality – the stamp has raised tens
of millions of dollars for breast cancer research; I continued working
with the surgeon, trying to get license plates in various states to
support breast cancer treatments – to help underinsured or uninsured
women get mammograms.

I am also proud of the work I did at Ofoto – took the company from
launch to acquisition. During that process, I worked with a reporter
from the Wall Street Journal on online photography, and from my work
with her, we dominated the article.

While working with Kodak, one of my proudest moments was working
closely with a reporter and being the main focus on a digital
photography and camera story for Communication Arts 40th Annual
Photography edition, a key publication for the professional
photographers.

At my last job, I was proud of the work in social media that I did
with large Fortune 100’s, including Cisco, Verizon and Clorox and
integrating social media into the traditional campaigns.

MS: How important is writing in your career?

JP: Very important – whether it’s a press release, or a pitch letter, the
newsletter for customers that I write articles about – it’s the key
component of public relations.

Most of outreach is now done via email, and if you cannot write a
concise, smart and targeted pitch – you’re done.

MS: What three tips would you offer someone starting off in Public
Relations?

JP: * Don’t be afraid of picking up the phone – it’s a key part of the
public relations practice, and the best way to build relationships
* Remember that the client comes first – too often in PR now,
practitioners are pushing themselves first, before the client. Clients
pay the salary, remember to do the work for them
* Hone your writing. Practice your writing. Learn AP style. The most
important thing in PR – besides relationships – is writing ability.

MS: What do you do to keep current in the PR industry?

JP: I read the trades – PR Week, O’Dwyers, Bulldog Reporter. I attend
conferences – BlogHer, BlogWorld Expo, Third Thursday in SF, etc. I
talk to other practitioners that I respect, and share ideas on private
back channels. I read various blogs on the industry.

But, at the end of the day, I’m a geek that likes new technology – and
I’m an early adopter:

MS: What has surprised you most about working in PR?

JP: When I left agency life, went in house and then had my own agency – I
eventually made it back to large agency. What’s surprised me is how
much PR had changed. People were not picking up the phone anymore, but
only using email. People were not networking as much, but only doing
what needed to be done. And, many agencies are afraid to give honest
counsel to clients, but instead just go along with everything the
client wants.

MS: What do you wish you would have known before you started working in PR?

JP: I went into PR totally blind. My background is philosophy, and I wrote
at the college newspaper and worked in student government.

The one thing I wish I knew was how stressful the industry can be.
(WSJ noted it as a top 10 stressful profession back in the mid-90’s).

MS: When your company is hiring for an entry level PR position,
what makes a candidate stand out?

JP: I’m in-house, and likely the team won’t grown beyond me. However, when
I interviewed at the agency, I looked for well balanced students. I
want traditional and social media understanding, someone that reads
the press and understands how to put together a story.

After interviewing Jeremy Pepper, I would say that I am even more interested in PR than before.  I especially enjoyed the projects he shared with me and can only hope to be involved in something so rewarding, such as raising money for breast cancer research.  Once I graduate next May, I am more than thrilled to start interviewing for jobs in PR.  There are so many different opportunities, and I can not wait to be a part of it!

Published in: on April 8, 2009 at 2:07 pm  Comments (1)  

Seth Godin’s Tribes

In this video, Seth Godin discusses how to build and lead your “tribes”.  Godin defined a tribe as a group of people who have similar interests and share fundamental ideas.  People want to belong to a tribe because it simply makes them feel good to be a part of something. 

He said there are three original tribes: church, work, and community.  Godin explain that work isn’t just a job but defines who the person is.  Godin explained that people are always looking for more;  more sells, more connections, and more ideas.  Tribes are always looking for leaders.

Godin discussed the importance of tribes in marketing.  They are so effective because they have a similar interest in common and the desire to  make things happen. 

The point of Seth Godin’s book, Tribes, is to inspire people to be inspiring.  It is up to you to find your tribe and to contribute to it the best of your abilities.

Published in: on April 1, 2009 at 1:43 am  Leave a Comment  
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Top 10 Tips

Here are my top 10 tips for job searching and interviewing:

1.  Appearances DO matter!  Make sure you dress comfortably but also professionally.  Men should wear a suit, and women should wear a jacket and skirt set.  Women should also wear hose if she chooses to wear a skirt.  Shoes are important too, so you should make sure they are in good condition!

2.  If you have an interview over the phone, it is still important to dress up.  Even though the person doesn’t see you, it will help you feel more professional during the interview.

3.  Following up with people from the company is important!  Always send a handwritten thank you letter and an email after the interview. 

4.  Have a nice firm handshake!  Only shake hands with one hand though!  When you shake hands with both hands, it feels as if you are trying to hold onto the other person. 

5.  Keep your body language in  mind!  Eye contact is important, but be careful not to stare!  Make sure you have proper posture- Don’t slouch!  Sit straight and tall!  Stay focused!  Don’t click your pen or fidget with things around you.

6.  Be sure to turn off your cell phone!  If it does happen to ring, don’t make excuses for it!  Just apologize and continue with the interview.

7.  If you smoke cigarettes or live with someone who does, make sure your clothes do not smell like smoke when you go into your interview!  Many employers will take your health into consideration and also whether you’d want to take breaks to smoke.

8.  Make sure you research the company.  Know what their mission statement is, other job locations of the company, and anything else that might be important for you to consider about the job.  It would be better to know before if you would be willing to relocate or not if the job called for it.

9.  Be sure to ask any questions you have.  However, avoid self centered questions.  For example: how much they would pay you.

10.  Be confident and be yourself!

Published in: on March 3, 2009 at 4:35 am  Leave a Comment  

Chapter 2: Eras of PR

Usually history does not interest me at all, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the different eras of PR and discussing them in class.  I learned so many interesting facts in the mixed groups and once everyone started sharing facts at the end of class.

I was so surprised that PR dated all the way back to the Boston Tea Party!  The fact that PRWeek called it “.. the greatest and best known publicity stunt of all time..,”  blows my mind!  I always thought of PR being a fairly new area in the business world.  I was definitely wrong!  Also, I thought all of the pioneers of PR were interesting to read and talk about.  I learned that Teddy Roosevelt was the first president to make use of press conferences to gain support from people.  I also found out that PR was prevalent in World War I.  President Woodrow Wilson asked George Creel to use massive PR efforts to unite the country.  That’s quite an important task for someone!  Probably one of the most important men of PR would be Edward Bernays, the “father of modern public relations”. 

I also enjoyed the statistics of PR.  70% of the practitioners in PR are women, and it allows opportunities for more advancements (and more pay!) for women.  The PR field has expanded tremendously and is only going to keep growing.  This somewhat makes me nervous about finding a job, but it is also exciting to know there are so many fields involved in PR.  I’m anxious to learn more about the different fields of PR and find my niche!

This information was taken from the book  Public Relations Strategies and Tactics, Ninth Edition by Dennis L. Wilcox and Glen T. Cameron.

Published in: on February 4, 2009 at 12:50 am  Leave a Comment  

Twitter

When I first became introduced to Twitter, I honestly wondered what the point of it was.  I signed up for my account, and I didn’t know what exactly to do with the website.  It wasn’t until I got sent a text message informing me that I was being “followed” by a classmate that I felt even more skeptical of it.  Once we started talking more about it in class, I decided to try to be more open minded about the Twitter World.  Professor Nixon explained to us that Twitter was similar to updating our Facebook status.  Even though I wasn’t completely convinced yet about the site, I felt like I had a better understanding of it.

Once I got into sending tweets, my initial impression of Twitter started to change.  I enjoyed reading everyone’s tweets.  I definitely came across a wide variety, ranging from serious to humorous.  Twitter was also a good way to have questions or concerns answered quickly.  Whether it was asking about the weather for tomorrow or a comment about something on the news, there would usually be at least one reply to the person.  I thought this was extremely helpful. 

Though I’m not completely convinced by Twitter, I think with more time I could find better use out of it.  I have realized that it is definitely a huge way for people to network, and it has helped people land jobs in the past.  Even though I’m not the biggest fan of Twitter, I will definitely keep my account.  Needless to say, this week on Twitter has been interesting, and I plan to keep in touch with the Twitter World.

Published in: on February 2, 2009 at 11:23 pm  Comments (1)  

Hello world!

I’m Meghan, and I’m  from a small town outside of Macon, Georgia.  I went to high school at Tattnall Square Academy where I met wonderful friends that I continue to be in close friendships with even today.  I cheerleaded for football and basketball in highschool, and our squad participated in competitions.  It taught me so many valueable lessons.  I learned time management, discipline, the importance of hard work and how good it feels when it pays off, and countless other things. 

I graduated in 2005 and began college at Georgia Southern University in the fall.  College life was a huge adjustment for me.  As an only child, my parents were fairly overprotective and being on my own was a whole new experience.  I have done my fair share of partying and made mistakes, and I have also learned from them and that it was quickly time for me to put my priorities in order.  There is nothing more true than the saying about there being a time for work and a time for play.  I have grown so much over my 4 years of being here.  I have met a lot of great friends down here and grown closer to the friends I’ve already had.  I can always count on them to be there for me no matter what the distance is between us. 

I came into college not really sure what I wanted to major in.  I started as a Business major since Daddy told me I could do about anything with that degree.  I found out that all the math and economics involved was not for me.  It took me quite a while to decide on a major.  It always seemed like such a big decision to be making when I still felt like a kid.  I am now a Public Relations major, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this is the right thing for me. 

As for my interests and hobbies, I have such a wide range of them.  I love to travel and see new places.  I love the beach and hot weather.  I have visited some beautiful places over the years.  I also like to go shopping, get pedicures, lay out by the pool and have wine nights with the girls.  I wouldn’t like to think I’m high maintenence by any means.  I love to go fishing (especially when the fish bite), watch a good football game, and have even started to learn how to shoot targets with Daddy. 

My family and friends are the most important thing to me.  They are the people who keep me grounded, make me smile, and lend an ear when I need one.  I have realized not to take anything for granted, and that life is too short not to make the most of it.  I like to try to take one day at a time and not stress out over the small things that will essentially not matter in the long run.

Published in: on January 20, 2009 at 8:36 pm  Leave a Comment