By: Isabel Illig
Now that PRSAA National Conference is over, we can begin to look back on what we learned. One session at the conference was called Code for Communication with guest speaker Brandi Boatner, the social and influencer communications lead at IBM.
A saying from scientist E.O. Wilson quoted at the beginning of the session really stood out to me, "We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom."
Boatner said how we reach people when there are so many different ways to do it is our current challenge in the communications world. We need to mix analytics and algorithms with what we do best and create some sort of clear-cut ROI to bring PR to the next level.
She went on to tell the audience that there are 15 skills all public relation professionals need:
1.Social media listening
10.Digital Media Relations
Having just five of these skills will get you a good job in the industry, according to Boatner; list them on your resume!
Key takeaways from this session were:
1.Focus on public relations AND technological innovation. Observe how communications affects STEM and why.
2.Work to make PRTech prevalent such as MarTech and FinTech
4.Professionals need to understand the 3 A's - analytics or data storytelling, architecture and algorithms of PRTech. The three A’s affect your most important A of all - your AUDIENCE.
5.We need to find new ways to aggregate information, minimize clicks, and make content consumption easier and more enjoyable.
Boatner leaves us with this quote, "We must lead the charge and disrupt our own medium of delivery!"
By: Sophia Iannelli
Entering the workforce after graduating is such an exciting time, but can also be super intimidating. At the “Kick-Start Your Career: Tips from New Professionals” panel at the PRSSA 2018 National Conference, recent graduates, Gemrick Curtom, Robyn Rudish-Laning, Hannah Porterfield, and Mia Simon, shared their thoughts on what it is like to join the PR industry post-graduation.
Here are just a few tips these new professionals discussed during the panel.
Don’t underestimate LinkedIn and other social media platforms. In today’s world, social media is where a lot of connections are made and really valuable networking can happen. Rudish-Laning explained that you can make really helpful connections through LinkedIn and other platforms that can help you land that first job; you just can’t underestimate the power of social media.
You need to ask for what you want. Simon shared that just because you are new to the industry doesn’t mean you have to let people walk over you. You can still ask leadership for what you want and what you think you deserve. You will be noticed if you exude confidence and make it clear what you want from the beginning.
Don’t forget about your peers. So many people focus on impressing long-time professionals while trying to land a job or get a promotion that they forget how important their peers are. The people that are at your level will be with you at the top someday, and keeping those connections strong and growing will only benefit you and your team in the future.
Never overpromise things to a client. Once you have your first client it makes sense to want to impress them and show them everything you’ve learned throughout your college career. But, you never want to overpromise something to a client that you may not be able to achieve. “You want to set realistic goals and manage the client’s expectations,” Curtom said.
There are so many other things to learn as a new professional that aren’t on this list and a great way to gain that knowledge is through the New Professionals Section of PRSA. Once you graduate you are able to join this group of professionals who are new to the industry with less than five years of experience. You can find out more about the New Professionals Section here.
By: Hannah Wagner
Purpose. Possibilities. Passion.
Those are the three words Michele Glaze reiterated throughout her entire presentation. As the previous CMO & Developing Officer for the Boys & Girls Club of Austin, TX, she spent her session showing how passionate she is about the non-profit world. With over 1.3 million active non-profits around the country, she defines ones as “a delayed business that’s purpose is to utilize income to achieve goals rather than distributing it as profit.”
Glaze encourages those who are interested in that field of public relations to pursue your passions. Here are her top reasons who working for a non-profit is a great opportunity:
“Community engagement is what drives your passion – you may have a great job but you have things that drive you outside of your regular work day.” – Michele Glaze
By: Lauren Garczynski
In 2006, the ‘me too’ movement was founded to give hope and support to survivors of sexual assault. However late last year, the viral #MeToo hashtag emerged and generated both a national and global conversation about sexual violence, methods to combat assault and support survivors and how to introduce systemic change. As the world has witnessed, no profession nor person is immune to falling victim, however, as one of the sessions I attended at conference discussed, there are ways to promote measures in an organization to help combat and prevent this worldwide travesty in the workplace.
The session, #MeToo and Other Smoldering Crises, was led by Deborah Hileman, President and CEO of the Institute for Crisis Management, which operates to assist and guide organizations through preventing and mitigating crises. The session dove into the numbers and statistics behind #MeToo regarding organizations, as well as how #MeToo has impacted organizations from the inside and outside.
On a personal note, while I found the session to be informative and the statistics to be alarming as well as imperative, at times I thought the points discussed by Hileman almost teetered on viewing #MeToo as a problem organizations need to fix, rather than the problem of sexual violence and sexual assault in the workplace. I think Hileman had thought provoking research and data, but the way she presented and framed her information almost made me uncomfortable, as if PR practitioners need to work against #MeToo rather than combat the and work against the individuals who have perpetrated the reasons for the necessity of #MeToo.
By: Katie Pavlick
In this session, Jason Mollica discussed the importance of personal branding in his session titled “#CEOofYou2 Personal Branding, Digital Analytics and Your Future Success.”
Mollica started the session with the quote: “Don’t sacrifice your trust or your ethics for a quick win. It will be a loss that last forever.” He then talked about how important it is to stay true to who you are. There is no gain from pretending to be something that you are not and there is nothing greater than remaining genuine.
When you create your personal brand, there are three things that your brand should represent: trust, transparency, and ethics. These three concepts are also important in the field of public relations. As a public relations professional, your brand should also represent these things.
The first thing you should do is define your brand. Mollica says, “when you grab hold of your personal band, it is yours to shape.” He then discussed how your personal brand should always be a work in progress because you should always be evolving as a professional. In a study, 91% of people believe employers value personal brand. If people believe that employers value a brand then we all should as professionals.
The next step in a personal brand is to analyze. When you are analyzing your personal brand, pick your analysis tool, audit yourself and invest in your brand. “Auditing yourself shows where you stand on social networks,” says Mollica. You do not need to invest thousands of dollars of on a website to invest in your brand. It’s important to find ways to make yourself visible online. Your personal brand should not be something that makes your look like a robot. You want your brand to show personality and show how you would fit into a company’s culture. “Your brand should echo how you want others to feel about you,” said Mollica. It’s also important to look at analytic platforms and be aware of who is viewing your information/ brand and who is interacting with it.
Mollica used the quote, ”give yourself permission to care and don’t be afraid of your passion. You have two lives: the second begins when you realize you only have one.” Throughout this session and the conference in general, speakers talked about the importance of finding your passion. When you realize what you are passionate for, it will show through your work. “Our jobs are important, grades are in important. But at the end of the day, you only have one life,” he concluded.
After the session, the floor was open for questions. One student asked about posting on social platforms. He questioned how much someone should post about certain topics on social media. Mollica responded, “what would annoy your audience if you talked about it too much? If you were to talk about politics or religion, or anything, –as long as there’s a balance and not too much of it, you will be okay.” Many people often find it difficult to separate their professional and personal lives.
Mollica ended the session stating, “our brand, our life, is very short. Take the time to show people what you mean. Show people that you are the best at what you do”