First internship, here I come!

(peoplemakinggood.com)

(peoplemakinggood.com)

In about one month I will be starting my first internship at a PR agency! It’s been less than a year since I have decided on public relations as my future career path so I am very eager to see what it is really like. I will be interning at People Making Good located in downtown Burlington, Vermont from May through December.

Yes, I may have waited a little longer than I should have to start doing internships, but I hope to make the best of the time that I have there. I’m excited to see what it takes to get earned media for and manage social media accounts for clients like The Republic of Tea and Walkers Shortbread.

I am happy that I was given the opportunity to do a six month internship instead of the 3-4 month ones that are more typical of college students. I think that those extra few months will help me gain some greater experience than

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The number one fear

(jmorosoff.wordpress.com)

(jmorosoff.wordpress.com)

“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two! This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.”  – Jerry Seinfeld

Public speaking… the thought of it still makes me cringe. I chose to enter a field where I will be doing this more likely than I would like, so I better get used to it. I remember when I first started giving presentations in high school. Bright head, sweating, reading directly from note cards as  fast as I could without stopping to breathe.

Thankfully I have made some progress over the years, through loads of practice. I was a shy kid growing up so naturally speaking in front of a room full of people didn’t exactly come easily to me. I hated giving presentations so I figured that the only way to fix that was to give as many as I could. I took public speaking twice while in high school and again during my freshman year of college. I am still not as calm in front of a crowd as I would like, but I’m still working on it.

Public Relations Nation recently posted a blog post titled, The fear of ExPRessing yourself that gave some tips for how to deal with the fear of public speaking. They gave a few good ones, but I thought that I would share some that work for me.

  • Wear lightweight clothing – When I’m nervous I tend to start over heating. Instead of stripping off layers when I am in the middle of a presentation in order to keep from passing out, I prefer to wear a lightweight shirt that is only a single layer. Even if it’s cold enough for a wool sweater, don’t do it!
  • Slow down – I know when you are presenting you are just counting the minutes until you’re finished, but try not to rush through it. Without realizing it you will be talking faster than normal if you are nervous so make a conscious effort to be aware of how fast you are speaking.
  • Have a cup of water – Whenever it is possible, I highly recommend it. If you are nervous just take a breath and a sip of water. It will help to calm your nerves and to cool you down if you are overheating.

 

So those are a few tricks that I find helpful.

What do you do to stay calm under the pressure of public speaking?

Content really does Rule!

content rules

(www.contentrulesbook.com)

As technology continues to evolve, so does the role of a PR representative. This book packed a lot of information and really showed how important the role of a content creator is in today’s online world. Our audiences need to be provided constantly with new content in order keep them engaged with our brand.

It is easy to get stuck in our old ways, but if you don’t change with the times your competition will get ahead. Done correctly, using content will establish your company as a reliable source for information.

Creating content doesn’t mean you need to take one new staff or create a new department. Content Rules gives great tips on how to make content creation manageable. Two great tips the authors give are to create a publishing schedule and re-purpose. Creating a schedule will allow you prevent you from staring at the computer screen trying desperately to come up with a witty, yet informative Facebook post minutes before it’s due. Re-purposing will allow you to create multiple pieces of content out of one source. Say your company comes up with a list of 5 great tips for something related to your business. Instead of just doing one boring post on the tips. You can release one tip a day on your Twitter account and then at the end of the week feature a video with a spokesperson explaining how exactly to use these tips.

Okay, so now you have an idea of what the books about so I’m going to weight in on what I thought about it.

PROS: This book is filled with valuable tips on how to create content your audience will care about. If you’re not extremely familiar with social networks this will also give you some good information on how they are all used differently.

CONS: I have to say that for a book targeted to PR professionals, it has a lot of fluff. I think the author’s could have gotten their point across in about half as many words.

And always remember…

Don’t feed the trolls!

Facebook Tips

This morning I came across an interesting article that was posted on LinkedIn. The article is originally from Mashable and is titled, 10 Tips for Posting on Your Brand’s Facebook Page. For the most part I agree with author’s tips and think that this is a valuable read for other people starting out in the PR industry. Social media management is becoming a key part of managing a brand’s reputation. Even though Facebook and Twitter do not translate directly into sales, it would be a mistake to consider them an after thought.

So here are the tips:

  1. Don’t Automate Your Status Updates
  2. Don’t Be Afraid to Show You’re Human
  3. Do Post More Photos and Videos
  4. Do Put Your Fans in Charge Every Now and Then
  5. Do Target Your Status Updates
  6. Do Ask Questions and Involve Your Fans
  7. Do Watch Your Post Frequency and Timing
  8. Do Have a Unique Voice
  9. Do Diversify Your Content
  10. Do Track the Performance of Your Posts

I disagree the most with number one. I think that if used correctly and keeping in mind the other tips, programs like HootSuite are a valuable tool to keep your audience engaged. Auto posts should never be a substitute for genuine human interaction though. It is always important to have a dialogue with your audience and respond to them directly.

 

What do you think? Are there any tips that you disagree with or have worked really well for you?