SurvivingPR



games PR-ing. music lover. bookworm. blogger. social media fanatic. cinephile. polyglot. fashion admirer.

 

So, I will mostly blog about relevant PR related topics and probably (too much) about my love for coffee.

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Posts tagged "PR"

I know I haven’t been on this blog for a very long time, but I have come back to talk about an issue that is very close to my heart. Unemployment among graduates and, really, unemployment in general, alongside internships, graduate schemes and entry level positions.

I was very, very lucky to find the job that I am in, I’ve just realized. For almost two years now I have worked in the same job that I’ve had since the summer I graduated. I found a job in an industry I knew nothing about, but, since it fit so well with my interests, have since then come to love.

When I was in university I worked and did internships and freelanced and did basically all I could to gather as much as experience as possible, but to be fair I am pretty sure it all came down to luck in the end. Lucky for finding the job advert at the right time and for finding a company that is willing to recruit young people, give opportunities based on interviews and meeting the person rather than keeping a distance and seeing the advantages that come from hiring a graduate that can be molded for the job from the experience they have.

I have friends from university, from the same course that I did – maybe even with a better degree result, some that did a Master’s degree and that are still unemployed now or work in jobs not connected to our degree. And that’s not for lack of trying. I have friends that did courses like Mathematics and Physics working in jobs that have nothing to do either mathematics or physics and it’s just because of the job market today.

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I also read in yesterday’s Guardian the story of a young man with a 2:1 degree in politics and journalism who had applied, he estimates, to 540 positions. From jobs he was incredibly overqualified for, like cleaner and sales assistant, to jobs he might have been under qualified for and of course the general graduate schemes and unpaid internships. It has gotten so bad that even after interning unpaid for months, doing part-time work where he found it and applying for 540 jobs with a good degree he was still unemployed.

Don’t get me wrong, I think a degree is not everything. If fact I am pretty sure a degree matters much less than everything else on your CV, but if you’re never given a chance to grow that degree might be the only thing you have as a weapon in the job battlefield.

My dad used to tell me something growing up when I was frustrated by not being able to solve a maths problem in school or not understand something in the news and it was ‘You’re not born with knowledge’. You’re not born knowing things, you learn them and if no one is willing to give you a chance to do so, how could you ever learn?

Sure, it would be great that for every position you advertise for your company a candidate would appear with enough experience in the field, great recommendation, intelligent and perfectly suited to your company’s culture and he’d also probably be willing to take a little less money, but let’s be honest, the world just doesn’t work like that very often. And if someone has the perfect experience coming from the greatest company then why would they leave?

I’m not saying lower your standards or give the position to the first person who applies, but if you’re willing to invest a bit of time in someone, maybe that graduate that seems appropriate for the position and has all that energy and enthusiasm but not that much experience, you’ll come out better in the end knowing that you’ve now got a ‘custom-made’ employee tailored for the job exactly as you want him/her while bringing that fresh vibe and new ideas from the little experience he does have.

Among other things I tend to disagree with are graduate schemes that ask the world of you and unpaid internships that extend over one month. And here is why: 

Graduate schemes had been devised to help graduates get a job, but nowadays, you have to have so much experience to even be included in one, in end you might as well look for a job or an internship.

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Which is why I do understand the point of internships, I have been an unpaid intern more than once, but by choice, not because I was forced by my situation, luckily. 

In my second year, when one of the companies I had interned for asked me if I wanted to stay (continue unpaid) for a couple more months which might lead to a job I said NO immediately. They already had an intern that had been there for 3 months and a half, did more work than some of the executives, came in earlier and left later than all of them and was now looking at doing a second job to support himself because he wasn’t getting paid there. This terrified me. I think in the end this is what made me decide to get as much experience when I was still in university for my last year rather than leave it for after graduation.

I left as soon as my promised end date arrived and a month later my fellow intern left too and got hired at another PR agency, salary and all. I did get the experience from working there and so did he so in the end I do see why internships still look like they work when in fact they are almost the worst case scenario of the job market. For me it was a great financial hardship to live in another city (London, so not a cheap city) and go to unpaid work. I used to come home on weekends just so I could pay less for accommodation and in the end, after my internship, I was exhausted.

I did other internships after, but never more than one month. After that period of time, if I didn’t get a serious offer, I would just move to the next one – learn more, gather more experience, see if along the way I liked a field more than others. That’s what you should be doing, right? Experimenting. I had internships that lead to freelance work and temporary contracts and in the end all this experimenting got me an entry level job in a small company that had the right attitude towards young graduates.

Entry level positions are hard to come by though and this is why I say I was lucky. Most of all entry level positions now require that you have at least 6 months to one year experience, which in itself to me seems like a Catch 22, but I have come across many of these in final year in education while looking for work. How are you meant to get experience if for an entry level position you’re meant to already have it? To paraphrase my father ‘You are not born with experience’.

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Companies nowadays expect too much from graduates, but it’s not just them that suffer. It’s also those that choose to switch their focus later on or those that want to move to a different position. 

Let me give you an example and I want you to think about being in this position:  

You’re a graduate and the only job you’re offered from the hundreds you applied for is one that you’re not particularly excited about. Say you wanted to work in the software industry but you get offered a job in automobiles.

You take it, out of fear, out of financial pressure and even out of social pressure. You work there for 6 to 8 months. 

Now you have the experience for other positions so you apply for a job at the same level as your own but in the software industry. Even though you may be more enthusiastic about the job you’re applying because it’s somewhere you’ve always wanted to work, no one will give you a chance because this experience you have is in the automobile industry and is not what they need. You try and apply for an entry level position at any other software company now, but you’re overqualified and they won’t accept you. 

Essentially, the fact that you needed a job may hold you back forever.

And I know situations like this have happened. Many, many times. The job market today has no mercy. There will be no chances given. Companies maintain such a distance that you might not even get the interview you needed to prove yourself or you may go through 5 steps of an interview and recruitment process to be told in the sixth and final one ‘We’re sorry, you’re great, but we just needed a bit more experience…’

In a world that is moving fast and has to adapt constantly, companies seem to have no flexibility any more. The more blasé organizations are, the more they miss out. On that young BA graduate, now a waiter, that had great ideas on how to reform the banking system, but never got the interview, on the young MA graduate that now works as a translator and part-time cashier at Tesco who could churn out great artwork for adverts but is too tired from her two jobs to apply to the hundredth and sixteenth job this month on someone you know or even you.

People think that liaising is just a fancy world for not doing any work and answering the occasional email in disdain. 

Let’s take an example. Today, in the office, we were talking about a multinational company with a small marketing and PR team in the UK (1-2 people). They had just been pitched by a few agencies and decided to drop their previous one (in what they regarded was all of a sudden - though, surely, contracts are dated). To this, someone raised a point that they should instead fire their internal marketing team as they’re useless anyway. 

I’m not a crusader on this but I disagreed saying that their job was to liaise. “Ah, liaise” was said in a sarcastic voice. Now, let it be noted, as someone who deals with multinational companies and is in need of assets on a daily basis, I’m in no way a fan of the slow, long, approval-filled processes that create a long chain of back and forth emailing. However I do believe they serve a purpose.

That one person in marketing is your link to everyone. You address them for assets, approvals, data, designs, information and upcoming plans and they (slowly) deliver - be you a PR agency, supplier and at times even consumer. Without that person it would be chaos. Misguided members of the public would email your director asking for “a pic” thinking their request is of so high importance that it has to reach the top - but only to get lost in the binary haze of an overflowing Outlook and it wouldn’t get done.

Everyone has their purpose in a company. Even if that is to liaise. 

mebuell:

Some from my family: 

10 things you should never say to a social media manager

In fact, I’ve heard all of them.

Now I’m just kind of sad. 

Funny. Yet kind of sad.

Can I just say.. It’s absolutely awesome when you work with people towards something you’re all passionate about and the efforts show it. And it’s in the national papers and people engage with the article and share it and discuss on the topic. 

Why board games are making a comeback

Forget Cluedo this Christmas. The new ‘hardcore’ card- and dice-based games are satisfying and fun

(…)

Read it here

jessaspring:

According to a PR Newswire study, more visuals means more engagement…what do you think?

It’s definitely true.

In a world where we look for quick information and we’re used to communicating in 140 characters, a picture is worth a thousand views. 

Adding videos gives more depth and further info while downloadable content makes it easy to review and use the information later without the hassle of reconnecting/searching for it again.  

On that note, cool chart.

Meet the popular kids, the jocks, the nerds, and the new kids of the public relations profession.

Every movie involving a high school plays up dramatic stereotypes of cliques and groups that rely on their members’ interests, looks, or personalities. 

These groups affect where people sit, where they eat, with whom they hang out, and even with whom they are allowed to talk (depending on rank in popularity). 

All of us might be out of high school, but we will never escape the lessons we learned from the jocks, cheerleaders, stoners, and hipsters. 

No matter your group in high school, some point you interacted with those of another clique. This is when your PR skills started to form. 

You, as a future PR pro, started finding a common ground to talk and build a relationship with them. Obviously, this may not have been a relationship in which you invested a large amount of time, but you may have benefited from this relationship down the road. 

You could have been a jock asking a nerd to help with homework or a band geek asking a cheerleader for a makeover. You used your interpersonal skills to communicate and build a relationship, just as PR professional build relationships with clients and media. 

Here are four classic high school groups, and their PR industry equivalent: 

The popular kids: Crisis communicators 

“Mean Girls” is a hilarious, cliché-packed high school movie that shows crisis management at its best. The popular girls, known as “plastics,” are constantly in crisis mode to ensure they maintain their status. 

For these girls, every day is a new challenge full of surprises. One moment they could be on top of the world, the most popular girls in school, and then something happens—a stain on their shirt or wearing sweat pants twice in one week—that means disaster for their status and reputation. 

In other words, they are the ultimate crisis communicators—constantly on their toes and combatting negative press (traditional or otherwise) at every pass. 

The jocks: Executives 

In most movies about high school, jocks are known as the attractive, rude, and sometimes dumb characters. Think about Biff (played by Thomas F. Wilson) from “Back to the Future,” Greg Tolan (played by classic ‘80s jock/bully William Zabka) from “Just One of the Guys,” or Big Red (played by Lindsay Sloane) from “Bring It On.” They rule the school, often with an iron fist. 

Remind you of anyone in your office? Perhaps someone who occupies the C-suite? They can be terrible, roaming the office looking for lunch tables to overturn (metaphorically speaking, of course). 

Then again, they can also be jocks with hearts of gold, such as Emilio Estevez’s character from “The Breakfast Club,” who falls for someone far from his social stratus. 

The nerds: Social media’s early adopters 

The nerds are always the unsung heroes in high school movies, or in some films, the full-blown heroes. Thanks to their nerdy prowess, they can wow an audience (“Revenge of the Nerds”) or take on an epic adventure (“Goonies”). 

It’s kind of like social media’s early adopters. While the executives (jocks) are ridiculing them for not focusing on what’s important, they’re laying the foundation for fame, fortune, and success in the future. 

The new kid: Young PR pros 

When the Ren McCormack character in “Footloose” (first played by Kevin Bacon, later played by Kenny Wormald in the 2011 remake) arrives in the small town of Bomont, he’s faced with a series of challenges, from the authorities to the high school bullies. And what does he do? He dances his way out of trouble. 



If only young PR pros—the new kids in the office, like Ren—had it so easy. 

They’re faced with new challenges every day, sometimes they navigate these challenges with skills, other times they stumble. But never estimate a new PR professional with a good attitude, a lot of enthusiasm, and some skill. 

Like Ren, they’ll not only knock your socks off with their moves, but maybe even change the establishment along the way. 

Matthew Dougherty is a public relations assistant at BLASTmedia (@BLASTmediaPR), a PR and social media agency in Indianapolis. Follow him on Twitter @matt_door_t

(Image via
Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some hire PR professionals.
Daniel J. Boorstin (via getsavvy)

Interesting. 

Just a while ago I was saying I needed something to queue up my tweets, but I didn’t know about Buffer. I gave it a shot just today and I have to say I’m really pleased. 

It can connect to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn about queue up posts which it will then publish throughout the day. 

The one thing I’m a little dissatisfied with is that I can’t change when my tweets go out. Or maybe I just haven’t found the option yet. 

And as a little suggestion I think they should add Tumblr to the profiles. Even though Tumblr has a queue you can easily arrange, it would be faster to do it all in one go, alongside Facebook and Twitter.

safzath:


Tweet-queuing service Buffer has introduced a very significant update that allows users of the popular social sharing service to enjoy its benefits direct from Twitter.com. A new Buffer extension for Google… http://goo.gl/6PRH4

I have a new blog post on the Wordpress blog about assertiveness in the workplace - it’s for one of my last assignments at Uni ever, if you could have a read and leave some opinions it would be great. 

Thank you.

Every year here at Solent, our CIPR representative organises a little liaison event between students and PR professionals called Meet the Professionals. This year I’d like to think it was very successful. Not just because we had our own hashtag which you can see in the title (although it was very helpful) or the fact that it was organised by the lovely Claire Hodson, our own course mate, but also because of the number of people that turned up and especially left satisfied.

The event kicked off with two guest lectures, the first one was given by Bill Reed, Managing Director at St. Cross Group. He talked about the importance of opinion leaders and their influence as well as how to manage communication with this stakeholder group. I couldn’t help but think about one of our most recent course discoveries, and might I add a heavily used tool this academic year, the VMM (Valid metrics matrix). The way in which Mr. Reed explained his topic linked in perfectly with what we had been introduced in our PR Strategy unit.

This lecture was shortly followed by David Clare’s presentation (Programme Executive at 33 Digital) on social and digital media and the many uses these have in the PR world. I found this very helpful not only because I am writing my dissertation about luxury brands and their use of social media, but also on a personal level. He encouraged us to try as many social networks as possible and to experiment with our profiles while keeping in mind how we can make them work for us.

After the two lectures we went on to the “speed dating” part of the night where, in small groups, we were able to discuss with the professionals, ask them questions and find out more about what it is they do. Just like last year, I found this part of the evening to be extremely interesting as we had the opportunity to learn new things about the industry from active practitioners.

I noticed that, while I was at the first table the answer to the question “What exactly do you want to do after uni?” was a total mistery but as I was going from table to table asking questions and interacting with the PRos I found myself forming an opinion about the field I wanted to work in. And I observed the same thing happening with my fellow students. By the end of the night I had a pretty good idea about I believed would suit me and where I could use my skills better in the PR world.

All in all, I can say I enjoyed this evening of networking and even gained something more from it, not just contacts, but also an idea of what I’d like to do in the future. I can only hope that my fellow course mates felt the same way and that the professionals enjoyed it as much as we have.