SXSW, for anyone who doesn’t know, is a huge film, interactive media and music festival and a series of conferences that takes place in downtown Austin, TX.
Not only did I get to attend this, but I got to network with lots of PR professionals from Pierpont Communications, Edelman, Muck Rack, Texas Medical Association, Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)’s Austin chapter, and HomeAway. They all had such amazing advice for us, especially since we are about to be thrown into the professional world.
Here are some of the most important things I learned during my trip:
Find common ground with people you disagree with:
This tip actually came from a member of Texas Medical Association’s marketing team. In order to have a conversation rather than an argument, it is best to find something you can both agree on. If your opposition can see that y’all have similarities and are working towards some common goal, they will be more willing to listen to you.
When you don’t know what to post, about think of the three H’s:
Holidays, Hashtags and History. Alissa Lippman had some excellent tips on social media content. Followers really like to see and will typically respond well to a brand or company using these three topics when there isn’t much else going on. Another insight she gave, was that followers care more about moments and emotions than they do about the perfect picture or caption from a company. They like to feel a personal connection and it makes an online presence feel like a two-way conversation.
You can’t ignore anything anymore:
We live a viral and trending world. Any mistake, minor or major, will depend on how you handle it. If you are dismissive or rude, that will most likely explode in your face but if you handle it professionally, you or your company will recover. We can’t be afraid to make mistakes but we have to know how to manage them. This idea came from Nancy Elder and Linda Boff’s talk on reputation management.
This seems obvious but hear me out. Consistency is a virtue of mediocrity. If we just repeat what has worked in the past, then we aren’t growing and chaning with the rest of the world. Carmen Medina challenged all of us to seek disagreements, evaluate priorities instead of the costs and to let people do what they are good at. She also said that calendars and schedules are the most important weapons and I absolutely loved that! She said that they should reflect individual priorities not simply what we are expected to do or have to do.
I cannot express how thankful I am for the opportunity to go to SXSW! I had such a blast and will be posting soon on my own blog about my personal experience!
Imagine this: You walk out of a room of young professionals discussing the best practices for recruitment in student run firms, only to be greeted by an enormous manatee floating in a canal adjacent to your hotel.
Through PRSSA’s National Assembly in Miami, I don't have to close my eyes and imagine what on earth this would look like because as Louisiana State University’s delegate to Assembly, this was my reality for four days as I represented my school with around 150 other delegates from across the United States and South America. National Assembly, much like National Conference, is an opportunity to network with other young pre-professionals and attend sessions led by public relations experts to hone your craft with the main purpose of electing the new National Committee members in a day-long session.
Upon arriving, I assumed I would essentially be attending assembly then going on a solo-vacation of sorts in my spare time. I should've known better— there’s no such thing as a shy PR delegate. At assembly you meet equally dedicated PRSSA executive board and student firm members eager to share the secrets of their chapter’s success, recruitment strategies, and discuss organizational structuring to help improve the quality of you and your chapter’s PRSSA experience. On my first day I made two friends in the lobby who quickly became my go-to buddies for exploring the city and debriefing newfound strategies to bring back to my firm at the end of the day as we sat on the shores of South Beach. By the end of the week, I felt as though I had made 15 new like-minded best friends from across the country who I not only plan on visiting and keeping in touch with, but who share my motivation and inspire me to be a more driven professional and a better friend. We have a group snap so, yeah, its pretty serious.
Focused sessions based on the position you hold in your chapter helped me collaborate with other student firm leaders in a group discussion on ways to improve from conflict management, to client relations, to pointers on being taken seriously as a college student when you pitch real businesses prices for your services. Delegation wide sessions on ways to deliver savvier pitches on sensitive subjects such as asking for funding and more interpersonal topics like reaching out to professionals and faculty members for mentorship gave way to advice on how to get the most out of being an executive board member with personal accountability to your organization. Equally as constructive were the guest speakers from multiple facets of the PR Industry and Miami-based agencies who gave sage advice on sensitive topics such as crisis-management and resolution, areas that interest me but with which I had no personal experience or background prior.
The personal accountability that weighed most heavily on all of us was our duty of carefully reviewing and electing new officers to National Committee, compromising all presidential and vice-presidential offices. While definitely the most arduous and long day of the conference, it was necessary to see the legislative backbone and inner-workings of our organization during the voting process to fully understand the meticulous planning our organization carries out and in extension the legal an logistic aspects of the PR Industry on the whole. Between multiple qualified candidates for each position, several motions to attend Q & A sessions in order to garner more information to make the difficult choice of picking a candidate, and dashes outside to finally stretch our legs and experience a brief taste of freedom before resuming deliberation I certainly have a newfound respect for past and future delegates as well as the preparation and achievements of every candidate who ran for office. Voting was done electronically, but make no mistake, there was still room for surprises and even some shocks in-person on the assembly floor. Each candidate choses was highly qualified and I look forward to seeing the new benefits and innovation the 2018 National Committee will bring to the table.
From Miami’s flourishing arts district, to a brief foray to the northernmost Florida Key for lunch, and the countless LinkedIn requests from new friends over Cubano sandwiches downtown I can truly say PRSSA gave me opportunities I wouldn't have been able to pursue on my own. I’m so eager to bring all the new ideas assembly gave me back to my chapter and firm
over the next two years of my college journey. My only complaint? Apparently you cant take a manatee home with you on an airplane as a checked bag.
Being the unprepared student that I am, I walked into MC 2035 not knowing what the name of the class was or what I was going to learn over the semester. This was simply a required class I had to take. After the first lecture, I realized how interesting the class was going to be.
“A brand is the sum of all the emotions, thoughts, images, history, possibilities and gossip that exist in the marketplace about a certain company.” -Luke Sullivan
A brand is not just a logo or a font, it is the personality of a company. Branding is the reason you choose a certain company over another. It is a promise to your consumers; it is a promise to deliver an experience or results. Brands communicate this promise by having an interesting, consistent look and a strategy. By having a strategy and consistent look, brands become familiar to the audience.
Digital branding is when a brand uses digital channels to show their purpose as an engagement program. Digital branding is constantly changing. There are more and more media platforms every day, this impacts digital branding. The shift from having three or four news outlets on television to millions on the internet is a great example. There is more content available to society than ever before. This means there are more channels to manage and coordinate, but simply it does not change that much. Companies are still communicating a brand message.
This class has forever changed the way I watch commercials on television or advertisements online; I will always try to analyze and see if it is central or peripheral route processing.
Are you pursuing a public relations degree, or getting close to completing one, but you are just not sure what you want to do with it? According to Brad Plumer, reporter at the Washington Post, data from Jaison Abel and Richard Dietz of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that only 27 percent of college grads land jobs pertaining to their major.
Here are 15 ideas of different jobs you could have a career in related to public relations including, but not limited to:
A publicist generates and manages media coverage for a company, brand, or public figure they are the link between their clients and the media to promote publicity for the people they represent.
Some of the work a copywriter will do on a daily basis: Research, interview, edit, proofread, manage projects, source images and plan and implement marketing campaigns. They write for different mediums such as print, radio, television and the internet.
3. Public relations specialist.
A public relations specialist works on behalf of company’s initiatives to help build and maintain relationships with their publics. They organize and
manage budgets campaigns, draft new releases, draft speeches and write new letters – to name a few.
4. Social media manager
A social media manager will monitor, filter and guide a company or brands presence on social media. They also promote the brand they represent and engage with their audiences through a number of social media platforms.
5. Brand ambassador.
Brand ambassadors are paid to promote and help generates sales on behalf of a company. They also create a specific image for a brand and its products and bring awareness to what they promote.
6. Director of public affairs.
Public affairs work deals with current and political issues. This work is specific to the public concerns including policy, legislation and public administration. It is a blend of government relations, media relations, corporate social responsibility and issues management.
7. Event manager
Event managers delegate the duties and responsibilities in order to ensure an event or project is executed efficiently. Leadership is vital in this role to encourage, motivate and support team members to accomplish set goals.
Lobbyist work for legislatures, constitutes and corporations to influence and persuade members of Congress or other elected official to push legislation and get their support on behalf of their clients.
9. New media coordinator.
Multi-tasking is a key skill in this field of work. New media coordinators are responsible for online campaigns such as digital advertising and social networking. They assess the effectiveness of the campaigns for their companies.
10. Public information.
Public information work involves to distributing facts and information to the media, organizing special events and producing print and video content for their organization.
11. Corporate communications.
The main focus of corporate communications is to distribute information inside and outside of an organization and achieve the company’s strategic goals.
12. Strategic communications.
Responsibilities of strategic communication involve implanting communication programs with in a company and handle the responsibilities of crisis communication and corporate social responsibility. Strategic communicators are sometimes tasked with being the spokesperson for the company.
13. Marketing communications.
Marketing communicators deliver information to the public and media. They gather information to distribute to internal and external clients. Additional responsibilities include organizing meetings and planning timelines for executing goals for a project.
14. Media relations.
It is important in this role to develop a list of contacts for different members of the media. The handle any publicity issues a company may have and promote their company’s image. Strong writing skills are required, as this position involves constantly creating and editing news leases.
15. Fundraising manager.
A fundraising manager oversees all aspects of fund raising. Creativity is important to implement strategies to get people to donate to the foundation or charity. A fundraising manager also organizes events, gathers volunteers and manages the budget.
With all of these options in mind it is important to gain work experience through jobs and internships to get a feel for the professional you might want to pursue. Several of the job titles listed above overlap in numerous industries, which is why it is essential to consider what seems interesting to you or what you are passionate about. The first job you land does not determine what you will do
for the remainder of your working career. If it is not the right fit and you want to take your career in a different direction, there are plenty of options to find the perfect job for you.
Public relations is the professional maintenance of a favorable public image by a company or other organization or a famous person.
Political communication is a subfield of mass communication and political science that is concerned with how information spreads and influences politics and policy makers, the news media and citizens.
1. Crisis communication
Both political communications and public relations rely heavily on knowledge of crisis communication. In politics and in the private sector mess ups are bound to happen. It is important in both fields to know how to deal with scandals.
2. Shape public perception
Public relations deals with creating a favorable public image for a company or organization. Political communication deals with the spread of information and influencing policy.
3. Requires an understanding of people
For both of these fields, a general knowledge of people is imperative. How is a professional supposed to shape perception without an understanding of what motivates people?
4. Involves communication and strategy
Both political communication and public relations involve being able to plan and execute media strategies and to positively communicate with the public.
5. Combination of print media and digital media
Public Relations and Political communications both use a combination of traditional print, like a magazine, and digital media, such as social media.
Hello all, my name is Samantha Lanham. I am a freshman at LSU majoring in Mass Communication with a concentration in public relations and a minor in theatre. I joined ImPRint Communications at the start of the semester and have thoroughly enjoyed my experience so far. I have been involved in theatre for ten years and since learning more about PR, I have noticed a few correlations between the two.
You are a part of a cast.
In theatre, you are always a part of a cast. You play off of the other characters to enhance your performance. In PR, you are a part of a team. You need to utilize the different people with different specialties in your team to further your project.
You audition for your role.
In theatre, you must prepare a monologue and perform in front of the director in order to be cast in the show. Your audition is almost as important as your performance. In PR, you have to pitch ideas and concepts to your client. If you aren’t good at pitching, you will never get the chance to show them your performance.
You wear a costume.
In theatre, depending on who you are playing, you wear a specific costume. The costume reflects who you want the audience to perceive you as. In PR, you dress
nice and classy. You want your client to respect you and see you as a professional.
You memorize your lines.
In theatre, you work day and night memorizing your lines. You want to not be reliant on your script so that you can focus more on your acting. In PR, you need to know about your client and their needs. The more informed you are, the better your final project will be.
You’re sad when the show is over
In theatre, you work for months on a show and eventually you reach closing night. Tears are shed and hugs are given that night. It’s all over but you’re happy with the production you put on. In PR, you may do one project for a client you really like and when you have to leave them, it can be bitter sweet. You’re proud of your work but sad to leave a good client.
Thank you all for reading. I’m excited to one day put my love for PR and my love for theatre together in the professional world. I’m glad I could do that for you today.
I can’t get through my day without a little caffeine. A girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do!
2. Procrastination is a STRUGGLE.
College is stressful. Really stressful. When I start working on things early, it makes things so much better. Unfortunately, I’ve learned this lesson the hard way.
3. Take care of yourself!
It is so important to take care of your body in college. Because of staying up late and being stressed out, your body is TIRED. Getting enough rest, staying hydrated, and managing stress are some keys to staying healthy in college.
4. Do your absolute best.
College is a time for learning as much as you possibly can. Work hard and do your best now because it will pay off after graduation.
5. I love public relations!
Even in the small amount of time that I’ve learned about this field, I have completely
fallen in love with it! I can’t wait to learn more in my coming semesters.
-Ann Marie Thevenot-
PRSSA is the kind of organization that you don’t choose, it chooses you. This semester as a Sophomore, I joined PRSSA to see if I wanted to pursue any Public Relations-related careers alongside majoring in Political Communication. After meeting many amazing people through networking and becoming highly invested in our student-run PR firm, ImPRint Communications, I learned of an opportunity to attend the PRSSA 2017 National Conference in Boston, Massachusetts along with 17 of my peers from LSU. I immediately seized the opportunity.
Aside from the endless wonders of Boston, the backbone of the National Conference was having multiple separate sessions each day to choose from featuring multiple guest speakers who hosted them. Among these, the sessions I really grew from ones where I learned about how to better network and pursue public relations disciplines. One of the most eye opening lectures I attended was one regarding creativity in public relations related fields. Through this workshop, I learned about the ways PR careers transcend disciplines. Someone with medical interest or experience could benefit a local hospital by running a successful awareness campaign for them as well as working for a firm and representing a pharmaceutical company as a client. A person interested in music could navigate public relations for record companies and coordinate album releases. Professionals with a penchant for finance could work in the budget and analysis facet of a PR firm or campaign. The variations of ways in which a PR professional is useful were infinite in fields previously thought best left to others.
As a political communication major, I had the opportunity to attend the Communication in Politics session hosted by a woman who manages public relations for the current governor of Massachusetts. This facet of PR is riddled with risks and requires passionate and authentic communicators in search of a fast paced environment. One of the main tenets of the job is making sure your client says the right thing in interviews, and dealing with the potential fallout of if your client does not do exactly that. Professionals in this concentration can also focus on less traditional positions in the PR field such as working with policy and issues management. To survive in this high-stakes world you must be capable of listening to others but also of thinking on your feet and using your head. As the guest speaker joked, “Everything that happens in Massachusetts is now my fault”. This job comes with knowing that you now have great personal responsibility to the constituents of an area and greater public uproar if any PR tactics implemented by you fail.
A session I attended more out of personal indulgence than practicality relating to what field I wanted to professionally pursue was the PR in fashion session, led by experienced host and trendsetter Sharifa Murdock. Sharifa of the renowned Instagram and Twitter handle @SharifaSays definitely lived up to her online persona by administering sage advice on the kind of grit and determination it takes to shine in the world of fashion PR. Murdock got her start in Brooklyn, New York working at a clothing boutique and rose all the way to organizing and curating her own trade shows all over the world. This aspect of PR intersects with the world of fashion and requires investment in personal style as well as great focus on curating one’s personal brand. Sharifa says, you have to ask for what you want because closed mouths don’t get fed, don’t be afraid to be a pain in the butt that won’t give up on their goals.
From the tearful and moving presentation of LSU’s very own Mary Klemenok regarding her orchestration of the father who biked to meet the man who had received his daughter’s heart after her untimely death, to the panel of experienced living PR Legends imparting wisdom and knowledge onto us, the conference encouraged personal growth as well as contemplative thought on the greater and more universal importance of PR. Between afternoons spent walking through Boston Commons down to Faneuil Hall Marketplace and nights dining on clam chowder from a breadbowl, thousands of young professionals were able to exchange business cards and social media handles to expand their connections and become inspired by peers’ success across the country. Personally, I took interest in the stories of how chapters grew their membership through structured events and fun socials yet also undertook a serious time commitment to everything their chapter stood for and participated in.
National Conference 2017 made me realize the historical yet inexplicably youthful city of Boston is a beautiful New England hub I could learn to call home and thrive in. Yet more importantly, National Conference finally helped me complete a harrowing mental journey to the realization that Public Relations is the field in which I belong no matter the what the facet, although which concentration is a slight trek ahead that still evades me. The initial rush of Louisiana State University receiving the Star Chapter Award at the opening ceremonies was nothing compared to the pervading peace I experienced as the final goodbye breakfast wrapped up knowing I had uncovered a network or mentors, job connections, and graduate programs designed to help me tap into my potential as a PR professional who felt right at home in this new world of communicating and interacting.
The guest speakers repeatedly pushed the importance of networking, persistence, and listening when it came to advancing in this competitive yet fulfilling field. My peers I met and befriended from across the country from other distinguished chapters pushed me to improve myself and continuously strive to seek ways to improve my own credentials and resume in a competitive but ultimately supportive manner. However nothing compares to the motivation and creative energy conference bestowed on me to take back with me to my own chapter in Baton Rouge. Thanks to PRSSANC 2017, I garnered first-hand advice on how to help contribute to making an already passionate group of people an even more distinguished and tenacious chapter of PRSSA, one that strives to prepare young people to feel empowered and experienced as they step into becoming America’s future tastemakers and communication moguls.
To anyone pondering attending PRSSANC 2018 in Austin, Texas that has never attended PRSSANC before, if you want to experience astronomical growth as a professional and person in a matter of days...
I think I may know of a place that’s exactly what you need.
Fair trade is ethical shopping that has a global impact. It is a way for farmers and artisans in third world countries to rise above poverty by having consistent and sustainable work. To be considered fair trade, organizations must have fair working conditions, have a guaranteed minimum price for their worker’s wages, be environmentally sustainable and have a community development aspect. These principles give opportunities to the workers as well as their communities to grow and succeed beyond what is expected.
Citizens are becoming more socially and economically aware in their purchases. Because of that, there has been a rise in fair trade companies and products. The Internet has made shopping ethically affordable and easy. Fair Trade USA states that their certified products are available in tens of thousands retail locations and online stores.
I was introduced to fair trade when I started interning for a local nonprofit called Hands Producing Hope. They are a fair trade nonprofit organization that works with women in Costa Rica and Rwanda. I, by no means, am a poster child for eco friendly living, but I do think differently about purchases. If I have the option to choose between a long lasting piece of clothing or home décor item with a cause over something that is cheaper and mass produced, I will normally choose the higher priced item.
Here are four reasons why everyone should shop fair trade:
The first part of ad critique is very easy as it is just looking for the base information of the ad itself. Firstly, one must find the source of the ad. In this case the source is the UN Women Organization. Secondly, the audience must be considered. The audience is everyone, but the ad will mostly appeal to women – and in this instance, Muslim women since the women displayed has on a hijab. It will also appeal greatly to Feminists since they want the sexes to be treated equally. Next, ask what is the medium? The medium is digital media. Then we need to examine the message the ad is trying to convey. The message is that the constant claims of what women “need to do” are misogynistic and that women should be seen and treated as equals to men.
Then the critique becomes more in depth when asked whether the ad is designed to encourage central- or peripheral-route processing? In this case the chosen ad is designed to encourage central-route processing. This is evident due to certain features that the ad has. The ad features a search bar with recommended searches below it which will draw the audience’s attention. The recommended searches are also things that are said to demean women and it makes the audience think about: how can this be ok; why are women treated like this but not men; there should be equal treatment of the sexes; and so on. The ad is designed to speak to people and get them to think about the inequality women face – which can be a contentious topic. Afterwards, look at whether the ad agency thinks that the audience has high or low motivation. In this case the ad agency probably thought that the audience had a high motivation as this is a considerable issue that a vast percentage of the human population deals with. Furthermore, see whether the ad agency thinks that the audience had high or low ability. The ad agency likely thought the general public would not have a high ability to read graphs about inequality but they knew that people would be able to read and some even relate to the statements they used.
The last question in ad critique, is whether the person critiquing sees the ad as persuasive. This is a subjective question and will change with each person who sees the ad. Personally, I found the ad to be persuasive because it made me think about the ways that women are treated negatively around the world. The ad also made me think about how other people actually believe these negative thoughts about women and it makes me want to work against this misogyny. I also identify as a Feminist, so the ad will have a stronger appeal to someone like me.