Archive for the ‘public relations’ Category


Edelman Digital Bootcamp: Exhausting AND Energizing

March 2, 2008

Writing News Features

February 18, 2008

Our discussions today in Public Relations Writing focused on writing news features. How are features different from other stories? How can you get one published? As I promised my class, I am sharing the slides from today’s class.


Resumes That Resonate: Tips for Entry-Level Positions

February 13, 2008

What’s the purpose of a resume? It’s not to get you a job. . . instead, it’s to provide a positive first impression that MAY garner an interview for you. The advice below comes from my years of being – and listening to – hiring leaders. If you’re lucky, hiring leaders may scan your resume for up to 15 seconds before they determine if it’s worth pursuing further.

  • Tailor your resume to the specific position that you’re applying for. Use the same phrasing in your resume that you’ve found in the employer’s want ad whenever possible.
  • If you have less than 10 years of experience, it’s best to stick to the traditional one-page resume. Each additional 10 years helps you “earn” an additional page. (If you want or need to provide more details, offer the URL of your LinkedIn profile. See my profile.)
  • Pepper your resume with terms that are relevant to the career field and industry in which you desire employment. Phrase your work experience in terms that are relevant to your career goal.
  • Use reverse chronological order (most recent first) when listing your experience and education.
  • If you are still in college, it’s okay to leave your high school on your resume if you have available space for it, especially if you did something noteworthy during your high school years. After you graduate from college, leave high school off your resume.
  • Always start every bullet point in your experience section with an action verb. Use past tense for previous jobs and present tense for current jobs.
  • If you have little paid work experience, provide details on projects done in classes to show that you are prepared to enter the working world.
  • Volunteer experience counts too! Don’t forget to include service projects you’ve been involved with.
  • Explain acronyms and cryptic group names on resumes. A potential employer will not automatically know that SOCS stands for Society of Communication Scholars, ILA stands for International Listening Association, or that PRestige is a public relations firm made up of college students.
  • Many employers assume that if an organization’s name includes greek letters, it’s a social fraternity or sorority. If you belong to something Phi Kappa Phi, indicate that this is an honor society.
  • What to do about that GPA? If it’s above 3.0 (on a 4-point scale), you may want to include it. If it starts with a 2 or lower, definitely leave it off. Or, you can include your GPA just in your major if you’d like, for example “3.4 GPA in Major.”
  • Before you graduate, you can still include your anticipated degree on your resume. For example, “Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations expected in May 2008.”

For entry-level public relations positions, Jennifer Abshire of Abshire Public Relations & Marketing offers these additional suggestions:

  • Leave the objective off, or customize it for the specific position you’re applying for. Don’t use a generic one that you found on a template somewhere.
  • Include all your work experience, even if it seems not directly related to the position. (The worst that will happen is that it will show that you are a hard worker.) Abshire holds in high regard people who are well rounded and street smart, rather than with a high GPA and no work experience or community involvement.
  • Send a few samples of your writing or design work along with your resume.
  • If sending your resume (and samples) electronically, make one PDF file that has all the information in it, rather than sending multiple attachments. (For an inexpensive and easy-to-use program for creating PDFs, try CutePDF.)

After you’ve created your resume, have several people proofread it for you. Set it aside for a while. Then measure your resume up against this Resume Checklist.


Key Points from a PR Professional

February 11, 2008

On behalf of my Public Relations Publications classes at Georgia Southern University, I’d like to thank Jennifer Abshire and Summer Ivie from Abshire Public Relations & Marketing for sharing their expertise with us today.

Below is a quick summary of the key points – in no particular order – of their time with us.

  • Get published. (Actually, it’s GET PUBLISHED – read that as though I’m yelling; it’s that important.) Your potential employers in the field of public relations may be mildly interested in writing you did for class projects. They are intrigued by what you got published for your clients.
  • Start to develop relationships with members of the media in your market.
  • When you write a news release, expect lots of time to be spent with follow-up with both your client and the media. It’s not a one-shot deal. Then scour the media to see if your release was printed. Make an electronic copy of it for your files.
  • The design principle of KISS (Keep It Simple Silly) should be followed in PR publications.
  • Listen carefully to your clients, your co-workers and the media.
  • To show your value to a client, calculate the ad-equivalent for news releases that are published. (Find out how much the equivalent advertising space would cost the client.) Make a booklet with copies of the articles and a spreadsheet that shows the date the article ran, article title, publication name, # of publication readers, and ad-equivalent cost.
  • Start and frequently contribute to a blog about something you’re passionate about. This will help you hone your writing skills. (Starting one here at WordPress is free and literally takes two minutes, max.)
  • PR employers are looking for entry-level employees who are tech savvy – more savvy than they are – and people who can help their company grow.
  • Create a one-page resume if you’re just coming out of college. (Jennifer mentioned that she scans resumes for just a few seconds before she determines if she’ll read the whole thing.)
  • Start looking for a job at least six months before you graduate.

In a future posting, I’ll offer tips (some mine, some Jennifer’s) on writing a resume, specifically for entry-level public relations positions.


The Ethical Public Relations Professional

January 27, 2008

This week, I had the opportunity to share some of my thoughts on ethics in the field of public relations with classes from Georgia Southern. I promised the students that I would post my slides here, and since the presentation was on ethics, it made lots of sense to follow through on my promise — so here are the slides.

The Ethical Public Relations Professional (Slides / Notes)

(Note: Information in this class presentation was gleaned from various sources, primarily the textbook for the Introduction to Public Relations course, Public Relations: Strategies & Tactics.)

Something that intrigued the students was this image. What do you see here?

What do you see in this image?

Now tilt your head to the right . . . do you see anything different?