UF PRSSA's Spring Membership Rally is at 6:15 p.m. on Jan. 15 in Turlington L005. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJ3iEMsLz0Q&w=560&h=315]
By Christine Pietryla, Senior Vice President at Walker Sands
In September, I had the pleasure of speaking with PRSSA members at my alma mater, University of Florida. During my presentation, I shared what a typical day as a PR executive looks like as well as some advice about starting and advancing your career in public relations.
While there are no shortcuts to a successful career in PR, I did share a few important tips that will help you thrive in your career and achieve your personal milestones.
Read Every Day
My day always starts with reading. Read early and often – everything from books to articles to blogs to social media posts. During interviews, I ask candidates to describe what and how often they read. Why? Because reading and staying informed are important for helping you speak intelligently about current trends and events in the course of everyday PR interactions.
Stay Focused on the Big Picture
It’s important to establish your long-term goals early in your career, and understand why you are choosing that path. I’m not expecting you to have all of the answers at first, but you should have a clear sense about where you want to be ten years down the line. You have to know your destination before you can determine how to get there. Otherwise, you may be disappointed when its feels like your career lacks purpose later on.
Advocate for Yourself
Being your own best advocate is a fundamental part of achieving your professional goals. But many young professionals take a misdirected or passive approach when it comes to advocating for themselves and their careers—and that’s a big mistake when it comes to career advancement.
Young people must get past the misconception that just because they are young, they can’t add value in a conversation with their more senior colleagues. Individuals who recognize the value in their experienced colleagues and communicate their ideas intelligently will shine, regardless of age or seniority.
Build Your Personal Brand on Social Media
Often, recent college grads delete their social media profiles when they are job hunting. This is a misguided and potentially harmful decision. Instead, young PR pros should be present on social media and use it to build valuable connections during a job search.
Don’t get me wrong … you should definitely take down those questionable photos that depict you doing Jello shots at your fraternity kegger. But don’t be afraid to show off your personality with photos of you and your friends going out to dinner or doing other fun activities.
At the end of the day, be yourself and remember that good PR is about hustle, hard work and dedication. If you focus on doing your best, being confident in your abilities and staying curious, you can set yourself up for a successful PR career.
Follow Christine on Twitter @cpietryla.
UF Donate Life is a college branch of the statewide nonprofit organization Donate Life Florida, which aims to saving and enhancing lives through the promotion of organ and tissue donation. The main purpose of the UF organization is to encourage UF students and Gainesville residents to sign up for the online organ and tissue registry. UF PRSSA's University Service Committee provides UF Donate Life with its public relations and communications services.
The committee plans and executes a yearlong campaign with the organization in oder to achieve its purpose. Members who are a part of the committee draft press releases, compile media kits and launch grassroots marketing campaigns for UF Donate Life on campus.
According to Donate Life Florida, there are roughly 7 million registrants as of October 2013. More than 4,500 Florida residents need organ transplants. No one is ever too old to sign up to be a donor, and every registrant can make a difference. Someone loses a loved one every day because of the organ and tissue shortage, but the passing of an organ donor can bring a positive light by saving the life of someone in need of a transplant. UF PRSSA and UF Donate Life are helping to make a difference.
UF PRSSA University Service Directory Barbara Dimajo oversees the committee and works exclusively with UF Donate Life to help expand the organization. Her committee helps with branding and events around campus.
“This year we have set a goal of 100 organ donor sign-ups each semester,” said Dimajo.
This goal is higher than last year’s, but Dimajo is confident in her team’s abilities. The committee also helps in the planning of UF Donate Life’s most important event at the end of the year.
The biggest event UF Donate Life puts on every year is Life-A-Palooza, which takes place in April during Organ Donor Awareness Month, is a night filled with food, giveaways and musical performances. Dimajo said the organization also brings in speakers ranging from organ recipients, to organ donors’ families and others who fight for the cause.
Being involved with UF Donate Life can be very beneficial. Dimajo said that working in public service public relations, like she does with UF Donate Life, is a great way to help prepare her to work in the government sector after graduation.
Visit Donate Life Florida to register as an organ donor. When asked how you learned of the organization, please make sure to choose “College Campaign” and then “UF” from the drop-down menu.
For more information on UF Donate Life and how to join the University Service Committee, please email Barbara Dimajo at email@example.com.
I had the opportunity to “Meet the Media” at a luncheon with the North Florida PRSA chapter in Jacksonville on Wednesday Oct. 16. Our parent chapter invited leading people in the media so practitioners could develop contacts with the people that they could potentially pitch ideas to for their clients.
The event was extremely beneficial to me as a public relations senior because I was able to see how I could connect with local media in my career. I gained valuable insight and was able to network with local professionals who actually practice the skills I’m learning about.
During the session, I heard a number of ways the media likes to receive pitch ideas and how we could effectively send out press releases. Public relations is such a diverse field that we as future practitioners should prepare to expect almost anything.
After graduating, I would strongly consider joining a chapter of PRSA. The meetings are usually scheduled once a month, and the networking opportunities are truly amazing. Just at the one luncheon I met so many interesting people and talked with fellow Gators. I heard personal experiences and found that my public relations degree can take me anywhere.
Every four years the atmosphere in the media takes a shift toward the impending presidential election. Two of the most anticipated events in politics are the Republican National Convention and Democratic National Convention. Whether you are a Democrat, Republican, Independent or have another party affiliation: Watching both national conventions is a perfect way to not only get informed on pressing issues of the election, but also to watch public relations practices in action. In order for candidates to get their constituents’ votes, candidates must know their constituents and be able to appeal to a vast range of needs. The speakers at both national conventions were key in attempting to reach as many different demographics of voters, and especially important in tallying up the Independent vote. The conventions allow both parties to highlight their accomplishments and generate support in weak areas, using PR strategies is an integral part of this process.
When a gunman opened fire on a movie theatre audience during an opening night screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" in Aurora, Colo., the tragic fate of the victims would overshadow the success of the summer blockbuster. Warner Bros., the studio behind the film, came to recognize the scope of the tragedy and make several bold decisions to manage the crisis including:
1. Weekend box office totals for the film's July 20 (Friday) release were not provided until July 23 (Monday) out of respect for the victims and their families.
2. The studio canceled the Paris premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises" and all cast interviews on July 20, the day of the shooting.
3. The trailer for the film "Gangster Squad," which features a movie theater shooting scene, was removed from screenings of "The Dark Knight Rises." TV advertisements were also pulled for the Batman movie nationally.
Finally, early on Friday, July 20, Warner Bros. released this statement: "Warner Bros. is deeply saddened to learn about this shocking incident. We extend our sincere sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims at this tragic time."
The managers of social media sites are trying to get people to become fans of their pages or follow their Twitter accounts. Once people start following Twitter and become fans of Facebook sites, the next goal is to get those users to read the content -- not just skim the content, but read and retain it.
That is a very difficult task. Some companies and organizations are using prizes to lure in users to "like" statuses or to comment on event pages. Other companies make competitions to see who can which users gain the most friends in the shortest time.
How "social" is social media though? Yes, everyone follows favorite people and looks at favorite pages, but how will companies get audiences to comment or respond, to get involved and feel attached to a company or organization.
The future of social media is unknown. Will there be regulation of social media or will social media continue to grow to be a bigger part of society?