PR Real World Conference: Part Four.

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Session Four: Focus on Sports

During this session, Matt Garvey discussed what goes on behind-the-scenes when promoting sports teams and events.

Matt Garvey from the Chick-fil-A Bowl:

  • Know about the Graphic Design and Printing Industry. Also know about the Photography Industry to help you hire people.
  • There are 4-5 people who run just the events for the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
  • Work on the Chick-fil-A Bowl happens year-round for just three events. They have a $20 million dollar budget!
  • Garvey says, “Plan now to develop skill sets for later on.”
  • Event Management: Press Conference, Satellite Video Tour, News Release. Learn logistics and time management. You need to know every side of PR.
  • “Must be able to build relationships.” PR is about relationships (writers, editors, etc.). You need face time with these people.
  • You have got to be able to write! He says:
  • 9 out of 10 professionals can’t write that are out there.
  • You need to be able to incorporate message into the press release. Weave message (this is more of an art then a science- Garvey).
  • You need to be creative!
  • Garvey says hours are terrible with Sports PR. “I worked 93 days without a day off one season.” (9am- Midnight is common for hours with baseball when the team is on tour).
  • Another key point he made was the number one factor in the Bowl Game:
  • “#1 factor in Bowl Game= TEAMS! How highly ranked they are.”
  • They have to have money to get better teams.

All in all, I had an amazing experience at PR Real World Conference 2010. I learned many valuable things about the profession I am going into that I will definitely take with me wherever I may end up. If this conference happens again next year, count me in! I will definitely encourage everyone to attend.

Sky, Amanda, Lauren, Me


PR Real World Conference: Part Three.

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During the luncheon Sean Cassidy, from DKC Public Relations & Marketing, spoke to us about how entertainment PR. He talked about how celebrities used to be untouchable and disconnected, but now those barriers are down. Consumers are influenced by what celebrities do or consume when they are on or off screen. Now they can be classified as multi-platform brands. Sean Cassidy also mentioned emotional connection- you feel better because you interacted with a brand. An example he used was how airlines are re-establishing a brand connection using entertainment (ex. James Bond). Social media/networking is also very prominent in the entertainment community. Some celebrities have more followers on Twitter than how many people read a newspaper a day! Mr. Cassidy had great information to offer about entertainment PR.

Session Three: Networking and Career Fair.

Session three offered great opportunities to network with other students and professionals. I met many great people who I am definitely planning to stay in touch with! Among these people were Stephen Brown from MS&L Worldwide, Tomeka Cherry from Edelman, Leslie Young a student/intern in Georgia, Brad Willard from PR Newswire, Katherine Mason from Porter Novelli, Tayshia Jackson a student in Georgia, and many others. I was also able to have my resume critiqued during this time. A few pointers he gave me was to include a short description about the companies I have worked for. Personalize my objective for the job I am applying for and under experience put PR and Marketing related topics first and to also lead with the biggest thing you have done under each topic.

Lauren, Me, Leslie

PR Real World Conference: Part Two.

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Session 2: Seal the Deal: What You Need to Know to Land the Job

There were two great speakers at this session discussing the interview process and what to do when you land the job.

Sharon Jones of Ketchum: Interview.

  • Research the company before you apply to a job. You do not want to go to an interview not knowing anything about the company you would like to work for.
  • Find out what the company is doing to show off at the interview.
  • Ask what the companies values are.
  • NETWORK! Traditionally and with social media (join websites such as LinkedIn).
  • Follow-up after the interview. Ask something like, “May I connect with you at a given time?” after the interview. Ask when a decision will be made to help you plan follow-up.
  • Your resume should be PERFECT. No typo’s or wrong spellings. Use key word phrases to draw the employers eyes to your resume. Keep resume one page and updated; make relevant for where and what you are applying for. Do not assume the employer knows what a previous company you have worked for is; include brief description in resume.
  • The cover letter is very important. If the resume engages the speaker then they will look at your cover letter.
  • Before interview: do not arrive to the office until fifteen minutes before interview. Pump yourself up! Practice your elevator speech. You never know when you will have to use it.You are interviewing with everyone when you walk through the door.
  • When someone wants to shake your hand, stand up.
  • Evaluate how well you listen, prior to the interview.
  • Maintain comfortable eye contact.
  • Mirror formality of interview. Just because the person you are interviewing with is very comfortable does not mean you should be.
  • Go with thoughtful, prepared questions. This shows that you have researched the company and are interested.
  • Send a personal thank you note after interview. If you interviewed with several different individuals, send a thank you to everyone.
  • If the company gives you an offer, respond in two days.

Tia Jackson of Porter Novelli: When you land the job.

  • Just meeting expectations is not good enough. Go the extra mile, it really can make a difference.
  • Get to know the business. Know exactly what to do.
  • Network! This is key to having a successful career.
  • Ask expectations for career. Meet with your manager and team if you are on one.
  • Be actively engaged and take advantages of opportunities.
  • Research! Make sure you know what you are walking into.
  • Find out what you can expect in the first 24 months of your career.
  • Meet deadlines! If you have more than one to meet on the same day talk with your manager to help make a plan to meet these deadlines.
  • “This is your career. You have to take charge of your career.”
  • Set goals for yourself.

Other tips from Sharon Jones and Tia Jackson:

  • If you have already accepted a job, but you get a better job offer know that the first company will most likely turn their nose on you.
  • If you do a phone interview put a mirror in front of yourself so you smile!
  • When you are in your interview physical appearance is first impression. Keep it moderate!
  • If there is a salary question on the application do research to find out what is appropriate to put.

My LinkedIn Account:

PR Real World Conference 2010: Part One.

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This past Friday, February 19, I attended the PR Real World Conference in Atlanta with three other lovely ladies from the PRSSA chapter at WCU. Altogether there were four sessions plus a luncheon with a keynote speaker. Throughout the conference there was also many opportunities to network with other public relations students from different states, and individuals from companies like Ketchum, Porter Novelli, MS&L Worldwide, Golin Harris, and many others. At the opening session of the conference, we were reminded of some important things to keep in mind throughout the day:

  1. Networking is critical!
  2. Save contacts and remember who they are. After you receive a business card write down something so you can remember who they are. Follow-up on them two to three days after initial meeting (ex. I met you at Real World..).
  3. Do not just join PRSA or PRSSA, get involved!

Here are some valuable tips that I took from each session I attended:

Session 1: Social Media’s Place in PR

The speakers at this session were Ashley Payne from the Georgia Aquarium, Stephen Brown from MS&L Worldwide, and Nick Ayres from The Home Depot. They each offered valuable advice about using social media and how it has affected the companies they work for.

  • Ashley Payne: A year ago, the Georgia Aquarium did not have social media but they did have traditional public relations. Now that they use Twitter (10,862 followers), Facebook (16,013 fans) and e-mailing lists they are able to offer special promotions and give away free things via social media.
  • Stephen Brown: MS&L’s social media team helps many clients with their social media. Stephen informed us to create a calendar of specific times and dates and information for what to Tweet about. He also said to engage customers using the social media. Twitter has become very popular with this because of hashtags, ‘mentioning’ and direct messaging. One of the important messages he left us with was to know the purpose of having social media for your client.
  • Nick Ayres: Home Depot started their social media two and half years ago. He said it is great for offering promotions and gaining customer feedback. The team he works on is made up of him and one other individual.

The speakers had many other things to say about social media. Ashley Payne mentioned that you should make your Facebook and Twitter private when you apply for a job. They DO look at your pages, so at least clean them up. Another bit of information they included when applying for a job was to research what the company was doing with social media. If they are not using social media ask them why not and explain to them why they should (promote special offers, deals and events). Here are some other great pointers the three left us with:

  • Organizations want to know other things you do besides just social media when applying for a job.
  • Know the different platforms of social media. RESEARCH! Know how to apply this for business.
  • The Big Three: Youtube, Facebook and Twitter.