Real World Advice (the actual real world, not the show)

A couple of days ago I had the opportunity to chat with a young PR professional who works at a highly regarded boutique firm in Portland, Oregon. I asked her if she had any tips for recent grads who are trying to get jobs in PR. Here’s some of the advice she offered.

1. Take time off before you jump in. Agency PR is really demanding. And if you’re not mentally prepared, you’ll burn out. (I hope my dad is reading this)

2. NETWORK! Meet people through PROpenMic, LinkedIn, Facebook, PRSA chapter meetings or wherever. Build relationships and ask for advice.

3. Do your research and narrow your prospects. Blanketing your resume to every organization in the google search for “PR” in your town usually doesn’t work.

4. Once you create your short list, get connected with someone who works there. Keep an eye on the agency’s clients and keep a conversation going by referencing publicity they generated or interesting trends you see in the industry.

I’m off to enjoy the last week of my college life. Cheers!


June 11, 2008. Tags: , , , , , , . Career Advice, PR. 1 comment.

Let’s Talk About Money, Baby.

In the spirit of addressing every topic associated with finding, getting and keeping a job in PR, I thought is was time to utter that four letter word that we all think about but rarely utter: cash.

According to, the average yearly salary for a “public relations manager” is $78,917. The number that is often thrown around for PR professionals with less than two years of experience hovers around $40,000. In case you didn’t know already, the latter group is most likely us.

Now that you are comfortable with the reality of our first of couple years in PR, let’s get some advice from Jon Morrow, author of the blog On Moneymaking. How I Got a Six-Figure Salary Right Out of College outlines three tips for making more money right out of college.

1. Start building your resume early. Your relevant work experience is crucial to landing a good job.

2. Get noticed by the right people. Networking within the PR industry while in college is essential to your success.

3. Forget about doing what you love for a while. The odds of you landing a great job are higher if you remain open minded about job prospects in different branches of the PR industry.

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March 11, 2008. Tags: , , , , , , . Career Advice, PR. 3 comments.

Your Most Important PR Client: Yourself

PReparing for an interview can be a stressful and taxing process. From your shoes to skirt to blouse to blush, dressing for an interview leaves many job seekers, like myself, more than a little nervous.

There are a lot of websites, books and articles that offer advice on this all important day (or days). Almost all of them provide the same information, but’s “Dressing for Success in Interviews” is the best I’ve found.

Some of the basic rules for women are a well-tailored, neutral suit, minimal makeup, understated jewelry and pumps.

But one of my biggest concerns about interviewing for a job in PR is how to look polished in a basic suit while also showing some personal style. And agrees that you’re less likely to make a distinctive impression if you stick to a simple, sapless suit.

How do you look stylish and chic while also following the basic rules of interview attire? Most articles agree that the level of acceptable personal style varies based on the company, but that expressing who you are within the guidelines of basic interview style is important.

As a future PR practitioner, it is important to cultivate your personal image, performing PR for your most important client: yourself.

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February 7, 2008. Tags: , , , , , , , . Career Advice, Life-in General, PR. 1 comment.

What “They” Want You to Know

You have the PR job of your dreams, but what now? Take a look at Todd Defren of SHIFT Communications’ personal list of things he wished his new PR hires would know. “What I Wish My New Employee Knew” provides an often overlooked perspective on success in the PR workplace.

In “The ‘X Factor'” post from January 30, the advice from Cori McKeever to new PR hires was to burn the midnight oil. Defren disagrees, however, writing that working late, rather than impressing the big wigs, could make your boss question your efficiency.

They may disagree on some things, but both McKeever and Defren agree that slaving late or not, having enthusiasm, self motivation and a willingness to work is the best way to demonstrate your worth.

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February 4, 2008. Tags: , , , , . Career Advice, PR. 1 comment.

The “X Factor”

I’m just beginning to realize the wealth of information out there about getting a job in PR. And although each firm or company is probably looking for something different, “The Public Relations Career X Factor” by Cori McKeever offers some valuable insight on starting in the PR industry. What is the X factor according to McKeever? It is more like the X,Y and Z factors.

1. Exude confidence, not arrogance.

2. Identify a mentor.

3. Realize that mistakes will be made, but do not make the same ones twice.

4. Burn the midnight oil.

5. Commit to being a student of the industry.

6. Recognize there is much to learn.

They seem pretty obvious, but sometimes the simplest things are the hardest to remember.
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January 31, 2008. Tags: , , , , , , . Career Advice, PR. 1 comment.

Surfing New Media: It’s Sink or Swim

The more I learn about social media public relations, the more I think that traditional PR is on the way out. These days it seems like distributing information and getting publicity is impossible without using the newest technology. As social media tactics get more elaborate, the more the old black and white press release loses influence and credibility.

We are a PR generation caught in the middle, and any new graduate without knowledge of how to ride the social media tide will be left on the beach.

Luckily, many colleges around the country are beginning to catch onto the media transformation currently happening in PR. There are also a lot of new media disseminating information about new media – like the example below.

Steve Rubel of Edelman Public Relations, Senior Vice President and blogger of Micro Persuasion talks about the impact of social media on PR.

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January 25, 2008. Tags: , , , , . PR, social media. 4 comments.