A Note for Advertising & Public Relations Professionals:
Getting that first job out of college is a big deal. In today’s competitive world of advertising and public relations, having an internship (or two) is an important step to getting your foot in the door at an advertising agency or as a freelancer.
To all of you recent college graduates and those still in college and thinking of pursuing a career in advertising & public relations, consider this post a guide to not only landing the “big interview,” but how to
impress knock our socks off while you’re at it.
Having a blog is ‘really, really ridiculously good looking’
Few people in college (and even those well out of college) understand the power of a blog. When used properly, your blog can be a direct line with the interactive world. If I could change just one thing about my college experience, it would be to have created a great blog before I graduated.
There are few entry-level individuals that have come through our doors looking for a job that have the skills to manage a powerful blog, let alone combine those skills with superior writing and communication skills. So, you want to be in public relations because you are great with people and you’re a very creative person – great. So, why don’t you show off those skills?
I’m always much more impressed when the prospective hire comes to the table with a thriving blog and all the skills to take it from an idea to a full-blown interactive experience.
Blogging shows not only your writing and creative skills, but also gives us a much better idea of your thought process and how you make ideas and experiences come to life in your own personal way. Just like author Michele Buckley would say, “Writing is the indelible fingerprint of [a] soul on paper.” That’s exactly what we want to see.
Showing us you have an excellent understanding of social media by building a following and sharing your blog through a variety of different channels is a definite plus. It shows you have the skills to generate buzz, and, most importantly, you’re proud of the work you do. The best PR/AD people I know can do both (don’t worry, it doesn’t happen over night).
The Advent of Social PR
At LGD Interactive we constantly use social media for “Social PR.” To say the advertising/public relations/print industries have evolved because of social media is quite an understatement. The few PR/AD agencies that don’t know how to use social media properly are dying out every single day. The world has gone completely social. If you want to have a career in Public Relations/Event Planning/Advertising (in my opinion) you are going to want to be as versatile as possible.
You’ll want to be able to help organize an event, write a great press release/engaging article, flawlessly edit an image, think of a witty tagline, and find a way to gain as much exposure and consumer engagement as possible with as little effort and time as necessary – and do it several times a day. Are you up to it?
If you work in Public Relations, what other channels can you use to get news to high-end publications and people movers with the click of a mouse? How do you think these people communicate now in the industry? They share blogs and articles. They use social media to capture an audience, and then drive them to their blogs/websites so they can actively engage with their creative content.
Just look at how social media is changing the way events are covered.
An Employer’s Perspective
Would you hire the entry-level individual who can only do only limited work and requires extensive training, or the “new breed” entry-level that is of the future and can already do it all?
Blogging and social media share the unique characteristic that you don’t need to have a job in the field to learn about and master their use. The field is evolving so quickly with new ideas that nobody has really mastered it – yet. That’s the beauty of it all.
Socially intelligent for ‘those who can’t read good’
Facebook has over 750 million active users. Twitter has over 175 million. LinkedIn is the 2nd most popular social network after Facebook in America. South America just exploded on Facebook. These are just a few examples of what is happening right now in the world of social media. If you’re going to be graduating this year, where do you think the field will be by the time you are tossing your cap?
Start acting now or be ready to entire a flood of unqualified aspiring college graduates who are all competing for the same job you are. How are you going to be different from them? What makes you better?
The easiest baby step I can advise is to constantly be reading up in the industry. Do you know what Mashable is? Tweet-ups? Tweetvites? SMDay? How do you SEO a blog? Are you using social bookmarking? Expand your knowledge everyday and you’ll be head and shoulders above the competition.
In grade school people were teased for being called this phrase, but now it is the ruler of the interactive & social media world…
Know. It. All