Wednesday, June 13, 2007

My job search has come to an end!

Last week while on vacation, I was pleasantly surprised when the Director of Public Affairs and Communications from Coca-Cola Enterprises called me and offered me a position!

The job search process is such a tedious one, going to interview after interview, and I'm so glad I can finally say I am employed. Landing one about 3 1/2 weeks after graduation, I guess I should feel somewhat lucky because I know it can unfortunately take a lot longer. For all you upcoming graduates, here are a few of the most important things I have learned throughout my search....

1. USE your resources! Professors, friends, parents' co-workers...whoever you know that might be able to help you! I learned of the Coca-Cola position through my dad's boss, who happened to know someone who worked at Coke and had heard about a position opening.

2. Know how to interview. Just because a friend of a friend worked there, the rest was up to me. I took SPCM 2520 ("Intro to Interviewing") while I was in school. While this may sound silly or easy, I found it to be one of the most beneficial classes I took. Even if you don't have an opportunity to take a class like that, buy a book so you can read about it (I personally recommend, "Knock Em Dead" by Martin Yate). You would not believe some of the specifics that can make or break your opportunity.

3. Get experience. When you interview, employers usually won't ask you what your grade on your last calculus test was...they want to know what you have done that is related to the position. Even if you haven't had an internship, talk about situations in school when you have been on a team (I guarantee they will ask you something related to that).

Good luck!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

A Little PR for Myself....

An article is currently featured on the Grady College homepage about our Campaigns blogging assignment! Our professor, Dr. Karen Russell, started her own blog about teaching PR in order to teach her students how to communicate in the blogosphere.

Check out the article and all my classmates' blogs as well!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Advice for Future ADPR Campaigns Students

There are a few things I would have done differently for this class if I could do it all over again. There are also things I did do right, and I am so glad I did. Below is a combined list of my recommendations. I wish someone would have given this advice to me before I started this class, SO for everyone that just registered for ADPR 5950, here is my top 10 list for you....

1. Due date month will come before you know it. You will not believe how fast time flies by when you have so much work to do.

2. When your professor gives you something that needs to be edited or revised, do not wait until the end of the campaign to do it. You will have way too many other things that have to be done.

3. RESEARCH is an essential part of the campaign. Do not waste time in the beginning thinking you will learn more about the client as you go.

4. You will have a client meeting at the beginning of the campaign, but I recommend having another one midway through the semester to make sure everyone is on the same page and you have not missed anything big in your research process.

5. Communicating with your group seems easy, but you may find it to be a challenge. Make sure you keep in contact with your group constantly so everyone knows exactly what he/she is responsible for. Even if you don't have your campaigns class on a regularly scheduled day, meet with your group! You can never meet "too much".

6. Do not turn in anything that you don't consider to be great work. It is embarrassing to have poor quality work associated with your name, and it makes you look like you don't care.

7. Your group will become your family - you will spend so much time with them, so if there are any conflicts, try to get them resolved immediately. You will enjoy this class so much more if you get along with those you are working with.

8. Be prepared to be more organized than you have EVER had to be. There are so many documents to manage, so much text to edit, and so many things that go in the campaign book. It can be a challenge to manage which tactics have been printed, which ones have been edited, and so on. Organizational skills are a MUST!

9. Do not wait until Week 8 to start your blog. One post per week is NOT a lot of work if you space it out correctly.

10. Make the best of this project! You will feel great when it's all over and you see that your client likes your ideas.

Good luck!

The Athens Symphony Pitch

Today was THE BIG DAY! My final PR course in the Grady College came to an end with a presentation to the Athens Symphony.

I feel like the presentation went well - the conductor really liked the piece we played in the background while we spoke, and I think he would really love to turn some of our tactics into reality, but he repeatedly mentioned how he did not think the players would be willing to contribute more of their time. One of our main tactics was to add a benefit concert (ie more rehearsals and time) to their schedule as a way to give back to the Athens community for their 30th Anniversary celebration.

He specifically mentioned that there was no way he could add another Christmas concert because people did not want to play an additional night (they need one because unfortunately they have to turn people away the tickets go so fast), but I think people are less willing to give time over the holiday's to be with their families.

Even after that suggestion was made, he insisted that he had a really difficult time getting people to give more, which disagreed with our survey numbers (86% atleast "somewhat willing" to perform a benefit concert).

I think a benefit concert really is the perfect way to give to the community, besides the free concerts they already offer, and I feel like the 30th season is the PERFECT opportunity for them to put something like that into their schedule. If the players really are against adding another concert, use one that is already planned. There doesn't necessarily have to be another one added.

I really hope our campaign impressed the individuals who sat before us today, and I truly hope they use some of our suggestions.

I can't believe my Grady career is almost over - I have worked with some of the smartest, most talented students in many of my classes, and I know I will miss that after I get to the "real world".

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Seeing Two Sides of Every Story

Alec Baldwin has recently been through a PR nightmare, after a recording of a voicemail he left his 11-year-old daughter was released to the media.

Making one mistake can so easily ruin a reputation, especially when you're a celebrity, but that is good pr is for - right?. It would be very difficult for me to defend someone who called his daughter a "pig" among other threatening words and names.

Heather Mills, current Dancing With the Stars contestant, made a statement on the Ryan Seacrest radio show that people should not judge Baldwin so soon. Of course, let's not all forget about the divorce battle she is going through. Speaking from experience, she claims that the public does not know what goes on behind closed doors (referring to Basinger and Ireland, the daughter). Even if his ex-wife has made his life miserable, he has NO reason to take it out on his daughter.

I think Alec Baldwin is going to need a miracle to protect his image, and I don't think efforts made by people like Mills will do him any good, especially since she is probably already against the media for making her own divorce and settlement details so public.

Telling people they need to think about both sides of every story is just not enough.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

One Thing I Have Learned About Myself...

So I am 3 weeks from finally graduating, and if there is ONE thing I have learned about myself through my college years, it would be that I would rather be in a leadership position, even if it means I have more responsibility, and therefore more pressure.

My freshman year, I took an elective class that was specially designed for students who did not know what they wanted to do when they graduated. I probably took up to 5 career and personality "assessment" tests to see what field would be most fitting for me. On those personality tests, the question always comes up: "Would you rather lead or follow?"

Not that I want to be labeled as a follower, but I was always afraid to have too much responsibility if I was a leader, or too much chance of failing. More than likely, I would chose to follow someone else (it was a cop-out, I know).

HOWEVER, after I picked my major and started taking Public Relations classes in Grady, I took on many more group projects, and I've especially noticed my change in the Campaigns class for which I am writing this blog for.

I have realized that I am the type of person that has to do things a certain way. I want everything to be consistent, so when I am working with a group of 7 people, I want everyone's work to look similar, so the project will look good as a whole. Even though having more responsibility can be more stressful, I have realized I would MUCH rather be in a leadership position, not to boss people around, but to ensure that I will succeed when others are working with me.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Virginia Tech Communication Evaluation

I would first like to say how sorry I am to all of the victims of the Virginia Tech shootings that took place yesterday, and all of the victim's families, as well as the entire Virginia Tech community are in my prayers.

When I first heard the news yesterday morning, I could not stop watching the updates and live interviews on television. However, it bothered me that after one student criticized Virginia Tech's notification strategy, the media created a negative spin on how the situation was handled. I know there are many students were blaming Virginia Tech for the lack of communication, but as I was reading many blogs on the particular subject, this one truly caught my attention because I think at this point in the investigation, everyone needs to be on the same side and focus on how to make things better.

While I believe an e-mail could have been sent sooner, many people who were interviewed (most were not students) were acting like a loud-speaker announcement should have been made. There happened to be a small system outside one of the dorms, and an announcement was made in that particular area of campus. But unfortunately, a 2,600 acre campus is not the same as high school when someone can just get on the intercom and speak to the entire student body. We are lucky today to have an e-mail system that can reach so many people instantly.

The media has created such a negative spin on the situation that a police officer working the case in Virginia spoke at a press conference today and showed his support to the Virginia Tech notification attempt. Let us all place the blame on the gunman rather than each other.