PR 101

Social Media Management

There are hundreds of social media rules that people apply daily to push advertisements and their content — what to do, what not to do, etc. Sometimes, I can barely keep up!

‘They’ say you should make it entertaining, ‘they’ say to use hashtags, and ‘they’ say that paid advertisements reach more followers.

Well, ten rules or more is already too much! Although I’m still learning, I’ve been following these three simple rules when scheduling content for my internships and have gotten great results.

Visibility

Appealing and persuasive images speak more words than you know. If an image catches my attention, then I read further. It is…what it is.

Utilize Attractive Questions

Let’s not be general, here. We want more than a one-word response for consistent engagement from several followers. Winning!

Know When to Post

More than likely during an eight to five, people aren’t checking their social media. I would suggest scheduling posts during lunch hours and when people are enjoying down time. Especially on the weekends!


As I continue to stress, I am not an expert…yet! I’m just helping you with what best helps me. With just a nudge, these tips should help increase your social engagement. If not, let me know…and we’ll figure something out!

Happy posting!

Cast Yourself

Fashion is already a competitive industry, so you can imagine how intense breaking into public relations can be. Believe it or not, I really didn’t know what I wanted to do until last year. Heck! I didn’t even know what PR was, let alone where to even start.

I’ve always had a knack for wanting to connect people or being in the midst of networking. I found that PR was broad enough in any industry. Yet, I do regret not having more strategy when it came to my post-graduation plans. Things were still up in the air…all over the place! Still is! Trust, I have a plan though which I may share in a more personal post.

For now, here are a few things I would recommend you do as early as sophomore year:

Intern

It may not be the best experience for some, but it is fun and amazingly interesting to see how much you grow within a few months. You DO NOT learn everything sitting in a classroom. You learn how to deal with people, attitudes and all of the essentials to this so called fast-paced industry. More importantly, you learn more about yourself.

Even if you don’t specifically intern in the fashion industry, you are still learning basic skills that you can apply to any job.

Create a Portfolio

As I said, you don’t learn everything in a classroom. In the beginning, it can be hard and nerve-wracking to learn how to pitch to media, or to businesses for sponsorships. Take those PR tasks and assignments serious; they’re exactly what will help you transition into entry-level positions.

Writing skills will be the most impressive to potential employers.

Network! Network! Network!

I really cannot stress this enough. You never know who you’ll meet, better yet…where your next job will come from. There are all types of job fairs, networking events and socials held during the semester. What about ‘networking’ cards? An interesting twist to business cards; utilize these cards to reach out to people you admire. Invite them to lunch or a Starbucks coffee break.

As a general rule of thumb, NEVER stop meeting people.


Wondering when, where or how to start? Your college community! Are you a part of any school clubs or volunteer for any non-profit organizations? How’s your social life? Try speaking with local bar owners or managers that host weekly events. These small-scale projects really help you learn the ins and outs of the PR world.

PR Becomes You

Coming into this PR business, it isn’t as bad as I expected…but it is time-consuming. I have been working on starting my own side business and have been learning more and more that I still need grooming. I’m not quite there yet.

After graduation, I expected to jump face first into my career as a publicist…ha! These days I spend many hours researching information, strategizing and absorbing as much information as possible. I receive numerous emails daily for new career and marketing tool updates and lay awake most nights thinking of new business opportunities.

It’s not too stressful, just not the average 9 to 5 experience. If people knew the amount of hard work, dedication and time that it takes to accomplish a task…we’ll probably get hand and feet massages each week! Yes! It is well deserved! 

There are a billion ways to start and grow a business, but if we aren’t clear on what we want, it’s easy to get off track. It’s also easy to become complacent in doing what we feel is ‘best.’ As I said before when starting my blog, I’m here to grow and learn just like the next PR superstar. So, as practice makes perfect…here are a few tips that we can all use to cultivate our careers:

Be clear on your purpose.

What is your WHY? What is it that you really want with your career and your business? Think about clients you’d love to work with, connections you’re willing to make, or projects that interest you. Envision your values and set your principles into steps that you take daily.

Keep track of everything.

We all have ‘lightbulb’ moments, where we get an idea or thought and the next moment its gone. Keeping up with everyday thoughts can get overwhelming, trying to remember important messages or people you meet daily. Being able to put your thoughts on paper or an app, allows you to clear the busy circulation and places your focus on things that actually matter. It works…TRUST ME…I am the NOTE QUEEN!

Develop a daily reading and writing habit. 

The consumed material will help you develop and influence how you communicate with others. Find great reads that share insight on ‘what to do’ and how ‘not’ to fail. Learning from others’ mistakes will save you time and trouble in the future.

Create a consistent routine. 

Ever heard the saying, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” I believe it to be true. Do you have ‘to-do’ lists? What about career projections? My aunt told me about her ‘vision board’ that she uses to place images and quotes, providing daily inspiration. You should try it.

This may be the beginning, but I hope you’re just as excited as I am! One day at a time. One step away from our goal.

7 Ways to ‘PR On-The-Go’

There are many ways to be efficient on-the-go, especially when there’s no paper or pen involved. We stay connected to our gadgets (eyes glued to the screen), that we can’t even remember to keep a small writing tablet in our bags for emergencies. I don’t know about you, but it’s something about pen and paper that gives me empowerment! I’m old-fashioned in this ‘modern-tech saavy’ world! 

Since some of you have become ‘one’ with your cell phone, tablet or laptop…you may as well take advantage of the paperless-apps that help you transition your headaches into effortless tasks. Here are some quick ways to prioritize and be productive when:

Brainstorming: 

  • Coggle

Taking Notes and Printing Articles:

  • Evernote

Printing and Scanning Contracts:

  • Adobe eSign Manager
  • HelloSign

Writing Lists:

  • Any.do
  • Wunderlist
  • Todoist

Share your productivity secrets…I’d love to hear how you’re efficient! All of these apps are free in Googleplay. I hope these help you, as they are helping me 🙂  Good Luck!

PR is a Journey

 I begin to panic because I start telling myself, ‘You’ve never done this.’

There are many nights when lay awake thinking about my next move, or how my future logo will look and new people to add to my ‘red book.’ Yes, my red book…because it’s hot and full of powerful connections!  I toss and turn because I’m thinking of new ventures and diversions that could sky-rocket my PR career. I do admit, I get ahead of myself at times. But, I often have to remind myself that my skillset and brand will need some time to grow.

At the moment, I’m interning with a publicist from Atlanta. Although it requires a lot (A LOT!) of research, I enjoy the work. She gives me weekly assignments and sometimes, I begin to panic because I start telling myself, ‘You’ve never done this, and I sure don’t want to tell her that!’ So, I do the tasks and like Tim Gunn says, I ‘make it work.’ I learn so much along the way that I realize, I wouldn’t have been able to start my own brand without this knowledge and practice. I realized that much grooming has to be made before I can jumpstart ANYTHING!

Ah! Patience is truly a virtue. I realized that you need much of it working in PR. I cannot tell you how many days I’ve wasted alone on RESEARCH! Trying to find the right person of contact, the perfect event or fundraiser for our clients, in a particular area…ugh! My head hurts at times. There has been miscommunication errors, email mishaps, and plenty of unanswered phone calls. Maybe there was something I did, said, didn’t do…who knows! My mentor has had to correct me on plenty, but yet, I love it 🙂 I’ve made things happen; a movie premier, event appearances, store openings…all because of me! That’s an accomplishment!

Yet, my journey isn’t over. I still have so much to learn. I hope you’re able to follow along with me through my ups and downs 🙂

This post was random, but thanks for listening.

Public Relation Talks

As a public relations enthusiast, I do think about how social media has changed the PR world and is still creating new avenues in the way we see things. I can’t say that the changes are either good or bad, but social media has paved the way for many professionals. It is used as the ‘go-to’ tool to further market clients, products and ideas. On the other hand, I have seen social media destroy a company’s images after a spiraling controversy.

Social media is so widespread, yet diverse that anyone with a social media account feel that they can take on [PR] responsibilities without a background in public relations. In a sense, it is what it is. There are people without proper training or knowledge to do many things, yet they continue to do so. For those who do not know how to effectively use, monitor, track and distribute information, or do not know creative crisis management are those who begin to fail at their jobs.

So much for trying to be something you’re clearly not qualified to do. I guess I do get offended.

Though, I feel that the same argument applies to people without degrees or those that drop out of high school; they find great success and fortune. It happens!

People or companies that employ social media, but do not have a qualified publicist can sometimes hurt, more than help a brand. Yes, networking and interacting is easy, but that’s not all ‘PRofressionals’ do. At the end of the day, there are books and resources, like ‘PR for Dummies’ and plenty of ‘how-to’ articles with tips on how to effectively use social media. If employed efficiently, these techniques will help brands flourish.

If that doesn’t work, remember money is always there to grow a brand 🙂

Photo source: onlinepr-blog.com

PR 101: That Guy

In Fashion PR, well public relations in general, you study, learn and prepare for the industry and later become your own boss (if entrepreneurship is your thing). You want to be the person that everyone knows, admires and make connections possible.

Simply put, “you want to be that guy,” stated by Peter Shankman, founder of Help A Reporter Out (HARO), in his book “Customer Service: New Rules for a Social Media World.” I don’t necessarily know if I’ll ever be “that girl,” but I do know that I’m a reliable source for connecting one person to another.

Being the go-to person, the one that sees, hears and knows all puts you in a position of industry power.

“Why? Because “that guy”… is valuable to everyone” (Shankman, 2010).

How do we become valuable? There is no secret, just listen and interact with people; basic customer service. In Fashion PR, our purpose is to help, build and construct a brand’s image so being the initial contact from every marketing angle is important, including jewelry, beauty and lifestyle. You want to be “that guy” for your brand because more connections = increase in profits.

Everything is connected one way or another.

As a college student, I feel that this will be the highlight of our careers to know if we’re fit for PR. From the way we interact with people daily to our responses given on social media, to the ‘thank you’ notes that aren’t sent after interviews, we are noticed by our customer service.

People want to know if we’re listening, being active and giving them what they want. It’s going to get more intense from here, so it’s up to us to decide whether or not we will be “that guy.”

Photo Credit: Blog.Trashness