HIRING A PUBLICIST? READ THIS FIRST…

by  This post can be originally found here

So, you’re the next incredible brand on deck and you’re ready to hire a publicist? Read this first:

Know exactly what a publicist does.

A publicist/PR pro is a public relations practitioner. And, public relations is the art of influencing public perception using strategic communication. “PR” is commonly used to describe the practice in general, not the practitioner. If your potential publicist refers to herself/himself as a “PR”, run.  It’s the equivalent of Metta World Peace saying he is a basketball. He didn’t say that, by the way.

Side note: Publicists don’t like to be called publishers either, unless in the rare instance he or she actually publishes books too.

A breakdown of a publicist’s tasks include:

Creating exposure: Your publicist should craft or oversee your Electronic Press Kit (EPK). Draft press releases to announce news worthy happenings. Pitch you to media and schedule interviews. Scan the media for new mentions of your brand, negative or positive.  Oversee your image and have a good relationship with a fashion stylist. Manage, plan or review your social media activity. Coordinate photo shoots and video shoots. Assist you on the red carpet, but not actually pose for photos with you. Assist with speeches. Plan events and press junkets. Make sure your branding is cohesive.

Brand protection: He or she should conduct media training for your print/radio/TV interviews. Manage a crisis, if one arises. Think Olivia Pope. Or, Judy Smith. Although most PR pros don’t soley specialize in crisis management, they should have a working knowledge to craft an effective plan in case you ever need it.

What’s your budget? 

Now, that you understand publicists aren’t hired to put your name on a list at a party, pick up your laundry or babysit your kids… know your BUDGET. Before you go to a car dealership, you have an idea of the amount you want to spend. Do your research before meeting with a publicist to avoid wasting your time, and theirs. If you want to hire a big time agency– who may actually assign a first year account executive to your account– expect to pay at least $10,000 per month as as minimum rate. Some big name publicists with boutique size firms and huge clients are also in this range.

Boutique firms and reputable freelance publicists charge around $5,000 per month on average, although more demanding clients may spend up to $10,000 per month. They may also take on a few smaller budget projects here and there if they believe in the particular brand, especially if the brand is a start-up, rookie, new artist, etc. On the flip side, corporate brands are hiring more and more boutique and freelance pros to ensure account attention and around the clock accessibility.

If a publicist is charging under $900 per month, what are the surrounding factors? Smaller geographical market? Seasonal or start up special? Scaled down services? Inexperience? Ask.

Oh, it’s not uncommon for publicists to ask professional athletes and entertainers to provide game/event tickets. It makes sense for them to observe you in your element. However, being in your element should not be a payment substitution.

Does the publicist have a passion for your field? 

Once upon a time a publicist with NFL clients asked me what a first and tenth was. That wasn’t a typo. Someone representing professional football players really asked what a first and tenth was. That’s like a book publicist asking what a book outline is. Or book hotline, to keep it consistent. Anyway, passion breeds research. Financial services & technology publicist, Samantha Savory, studies trends in the financial and tech world with the same intensity level she studies PR trends. Kristen Hopkins, who specializes in non-profit, knows her niche’s trends like the back of her hand.

It’s not unfair to ask for a fashion publicist’s thoughts on Isabel Marant’s spring collection to test their engagement level. Or, ask a sports publicist to pick Ovechkin or Crosby. If I were a musician, I would want my publicist to have a favorable opinion in my genre. Or, understand the complexity of current political issues before running my political campaign. A film publicist shouldn’t be required to have Roeper level movie knowledge, but a Varietysubscription shouldn’t sound far fetched. Regardless of the niche, it doesn’t hurt to check out your potential publicist’s tweets. If it’s truly a passion, they can’t help but talk about the subject.

Goals.

During the first meeting with your potential publicist, 80% of the conversation should be about your brand and its goals. If a publicist gives you a million ideas prior to hearing the brand’s goals, run. If you believe your brand is unique and trendsetting, PR ideas should be tailored. The publicist may have a few initial ideas, but the exciting ideas should be in the proposal you receive after the consultation. Even if the publicist knows all about your brand through research, hearing your goals is the main objective in the first meeting.

Side note: Speaking of the consultation, some publicists charge an hourly fee similar to attorneys, some do not.

Ask to see his or her portfolio. 

Don’t be afraid to ask to see their work. Even a newbie should have a portfolio with entries from internships.

Look at the types of brands included, the level of media exposure, writing skills, and the quality of the presentation. If their brand isn’t represented well, why should you trust them with yours?

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How to Write a Rockstar Twitter Bio

By: Amy-Mae Elliott This post can originally be found here

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What does your Twitter bio say about you? Don’t think in terms of cold, hard facts — what does it really reveal about you to others?As we’ve recently discussed on Mashable, your bio is one of the major factors that people take into consideration when deciding whether or not to follow you on Twitter, but it’s even more important than that.

Your bio is searchable within the Twittersphere, meaning you need to think carefully about keywords. It will show up in search engine results for your name, so it has to represent the true you. It’s also how you choose to present yourself to Twitter’s 230 million users, so it’s worth giving it some serious thought.

The Bio as an Art Form

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Whether or not you agree with the The New York Times‘ rather grandiose statement that the Twitter bio is a postmodern art form, it’s certainly a skill to distill the essence of your complex, multifaceted personality (or so we’d all like to think) into 160 characters.

Embrace the space available. Don’t think of the allowance as a limitation; think of it as an opportunity to be concise. When you write your bio, actually compose in the window Twitter allows. This will help with structure.

Are you creative or commercially minded? If you fall into the commercial camp, it may help to think of your Twitter bio as a a copywriting exercise. The product is you and you have 160 characters not just to summarize it, but sell it to an indifferent, anonymous audience.

If you’re more creative, you might enjoy approaching a bio as you would a poem. Every word you use must justify its place on your limited canvas, add meaning, appear in the correct order and work as a whole.

The Bio as a Cliché

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“Coffee expert. Twitterholic. Internet advocate. Music aficionado. Wannabe entrepreneur.” This might read as a totally believable Twitter bio, but it is in fact gobbledegook: made-up, buzzword nonsense from the “Twitter Bio Generator”.

Developed by Josh Schultz, the generator was designed to poke fun at the list-based bio format so beloved of key-word-minded Twitter users.

“I created that site a few years back just for fun, when I noticed a lot of similarities among Twitter bios,” Schultz explains. “Folks using short, punchy phrases to describe themselves, including an inordinate number of ‘social media experts’ and all manner of ‘mavens.’ It was actually a bit of a joke: I included bits that could describe practically anyone on the Twitters, and threw in a few silly things, for flavor.”

Could your bio be easily interchangeable with A. N. Other’s Twitter bio? Could something you’ve written in your bio appear in the Twitter Bio Generator’s database? Then you need to think of ways to make yourself stand out.

Bio Basics

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This should be obvious, but from the amount of typo-ridden bios out there, it bears repeating. Your bio must have perfect spelling and grammar. There are no excuses for mistakes. Run your text through a spellcheck tool or get a buddy to check it for you, but be sure what you’ve written is error-free.

Secondly, be consistent. If you are going for the list-based format, decided whether you’re separating words with commas, periods or vertical bars, and stick to that. Capitalize consistently by choosing to write the entire thing in either sentence case or title case. The same goes for if you’re mentioning usernames or using hashtags (e.g., @JohnSmith or @johnsmith, or #Football or #football) — keep to the same format for every example.

Learn From Others

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Don’t create your bio in a vacuum. Do some research, study the different styles of bios out there and read what other Twitter users have written — especially ones with large followings.

When you’ve followed someone on the strength of his or her Twitter bio alone, consider what it was that prompted you to hit the “Follow” button.

Sarah Milstein, the 21st user of Twitter and co-author of The Twitter Book, has the following straightforward advice: “Look at a bunch of Twitter bios, notice which ones you like best, write a bio that imitates those.”

Find Your Unique Sell

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From a professional perspective, make it clear exactly what it is that you do. This helps differentiate you from others with similar bios. Don’t just state you’re in a sales role, mention the industry in which you work. If you’re a recruiter, what kind of candidates are your speciality? Do you work in marketing? Which industry sector?

“Your Twitter bio should position you as an expert in your field who serves a specific audience,” states Dan Schawbel, author of Promote Yourself and Me 2.0.

“The objective is to position your personal brand so you’re using the right keywords and clearly showing what your focus is so people read it and know exactly what you do and whom you serve.”

As well as widening your appeal for potential followers, Schawbel suggests this tactic may help your future job prospects.

“I did a study with American Express and we found that 65% of managers are looking to hire and promote subject matter experts. The problem is that most people position themselves as generalists or ‘Jacks-of-all-trades,’ and that won’t work in this economy,” he says.

Consider SEO

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The words you use in your bio don’t just add up to create a picture of you, they carry some serious SEO juice. Tools such as Followerwonk can search Twitter bios on a keyword basis. Carefully consider what topics you’d like to be discoverable under, as you never know who might be searching for just those subjects.

“Followerwonk helps users find people through bio search, which is incredibly powerful for niche audiences and building brands,” says Erica McGillivray, social community manager for Moz, the company that created Followerwonk.

“On Twitter, it’s all about first impressions, while finding the right audience, whether you’re reaching out professionally or just looking for new friends. By optimizing your bio to give the perfect details — your interests, location, job, company, love of cupcakes — you’re telling the world why they should follow you. Why you’re important,” she says.

It’s not just Twitter search you have to consider, but wider searches from third-party engines. “Write a bio that will motivate others to follow you on specific topics, those you most often tweet. Use keywords and be direct,” says Michael Dobbs, group director of SEO at digital marketing agency 360i.

With news that Google Search has recently made moves to include hashtag searches, Dobbs also suggests: “Consider adding hashtags on keyword topics you’d like to be discovered against.”

Be Unusual

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“The idea behind your bio is that you want to provoke enough interest so that somebody will follow you back,” Mark Schaefer, author of The Tao of Twitter, says. “Be honest and give at least a hint of what you do in the real world. Then, add something unusual or funny to stand out. For example, I identify myself as a consultant, author and social media bouncer. That often starts a conversation!”

On an online platform of over 200 million users, it can be hard to stand out, so don’t be afraid to let your quirks show and don’t hesitate to use humor in your bio. If you have an unusual hobby or a niche passion, include it, especially if it’s something you’re likely to tweet about.

“Your bio should reflect who you are, your values and what you have to offer others,” statesLouise Mowbray speaker, coach and branding consultant.

Most importantly, use your bio to let people know what you’re going to bring to their Twitter streams — how following you is going to enrich their Twitter experience. After all, as Mowbray says, “Twitter is all about giving something of value to others for free.”

Image: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

PR Pros: Choosing Clients’ Causes Carefully

By: Toni L. Rousell                   Original Post can be found here

Your advice is not only valued, as a hired PR professional, wise counsel is required.

So, how do you help your clients choose the causes they support? Being driven by emotions or going with what’s popular, is sure to be a recipe for disaster.

Discouraging clients from seeking alliance with causes they really have no sincere desire to support, or no real understanding of, should be number one priority.  It can be hard to steer them in a more beneficial direction, avoiding self-destruction of their brand, but it’s responsible and necessary.  They’ll thank you later and you’ll sleep better at night.  Throwing support to a cause they don’t truly believe in, will only lead to their support waning, which will consequently reduce the value of their endorsements as they appear “flaky”, or even unstable, in the public-eye.

Local vs. National

It can seem convenient to offer support to the largest, most visible organization when it comes to “giving-back”, but could a local organization, requiring more hands on support, be more beneficial to your client’s long-term philanthropic goals and public image?  Analyzing the organization’s mission, do results support that mission?

Local organizations will allow for your client to see the lives their efforts effect. They will be able to look directly into the eyes of those benefiting from their donations and volunteering, and will also be more likely to give to those in their hometowns who directly affected their success, which makes for excellent public relations.  This encourages a more faithful, less “fair-weather”, connection.

Alternatively, national organizations offer the opportunity for clients to give-back to multiple communities at once.  If your client lives or their primary business is based outside of their hometown, this choice would allow them to give-back to their hometown community, as well as to the new community that has embraced them. There should be no lack of effort on the client’s part to make their presence known, even when the cameras are off or not around.  A national organization will also be more likely to have consistent PR representation, affording a better grasp on public support of the cause and offering more flexible events your client can join.

Making the Commitment 

Sometimes a client desires to support organizations with a focus that may require a little extra effort for educating the public or validating the connection. Is the client truly committed? This is where your client’s genuine beliefs will come into play. The work required will expose the true intent: is it pub or love?

One example of true commitment is that of Actress Ciera Payton. Being raised, until the age of 13, by her grandmother and drug addicted (now incarcerated) father, Ms. Payton wanted to align her brand with organizations that would allow her to connect with youth growing up in an environment similar to herself: children of incarcerated parents.

But how understood is this cause?

Most children of incarcerated parents are misunderstood and, in many cases, ignored.  Many can site statistics, and some can actually admit they’ve become a statistic, but Ms. Payton’s focus is clear: share the fact that she has overcome the statistics.

By welcoming audiences in, sharing some of her most painful moments growing up in a life-threatening environment, Ms. Payton reaches those who can relate, finding those in need. She credits the Arts for saving her life, and not only commits funding, but diligently focuses on giving-back to youth facing the same battles she’s faced by mentoring.  She has chosen a mix of both local and national organizations to support, allowing her to give back to her hometown of New Orleans as well as her new home of Los Angeles.

Maya Angelou quote (pic)

PR and Publicity vs “Puff and Fluff”

While announcing the partnership, be honest with the public.  Don’t puff up your client to be more than what they are or try to fluff up their support to be more than what it is.  Instead, once the choice has been made, be sure to connect with those who genuinely share in the cause.  Reach out to those who are long-term supporters, whether celebrity or not. This will not only increase the support base for the cause, but will also strengthen your client’s alliance.  Joining forces and sharing ideas for creative support, increases public awareness and makes the difference between superficial “puff and fluff” and careful PR and publicity.

Remember, it’s the man who has more that gives more and philanthropic efforts are what keeps many in need going and feeling encouraged.  Giving back for the cameras is bound to be exposed and never worth the backlash.

PR DIARIES: TWEETING YOUR FEELINGS

by   The original post can be found here

In the world of PR, we juggle back in forth on what I like to call the ‘personality aspect’ of branding. As we all know, Twitter has become an every day essential for proper business branding. Not only has Twitter become one of the most rapid and effective ways to interact with your following, but it sets across your message to the public instantaneously. Whether you’re announcing a new story or showcasing a new product, our tweets speak to and attract an audience targeted to your brand. In our world, let’s just say Twitter is one of our best friends. And if you haven’t heard, the rumor is true. Personality does sell. But when managing Twitter accounts for numerous clients, how do you incorporate an individual message with a personable aspect for each brand? And when is personality too much personality?

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For one, before beginning social media management for a client, get to know the brand and who you are aiming to interact with. In example, if you are tweeting for a beauty brand, know your stuff! Research all aspects of your client’s products because people will ask! Twitter can be a highly effective way to transform words into sales and this is your pitch. As for the personality, utilize your tagline, if applicable, and research any fun images and quotes that may fall into the brand’s message for postings. Don’t be afraid to tweet to your niche! With our beauty brand example, you would want to maintain a ‘twitter relationship’ with beauty bloggers first and foremost! Join in on live chats and twitter conversations. Twitter is one big popularity contest and we are all aiming for the clique.

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Ultimately, we are after one goal. Connect your client to the consumer. How are you interacting with your consumer? To most effectively converse with your followers, you must learn to think like a consumer, a publicist, and a client all in one (And usually for ten different companies at the same time). As the PR Girl, what is your goal? To make the deal, the sale, or the relationship! As the consumer, it varies. Who are you targeting?! If you are live tweeting with single moms in business, then you better act like a single mom in business! What are those single moms looking for in a product? Learn the day in the life of a single mom beauty guru, and the mission is accomplished. Public Relations is all about relations after all and the capability of relating with ease is a necessity.

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Now to dig deeper: The personality aspect of tweeting. Your followers will easily relate to a company they feel that they know on a personal level. In addition to researching the brand that you are representing-thoroughly, take the time to get to know your client. Who is he/she? What do they stand for? If your client is philanthropic, interact with philanthropists on Twitter using the interest as a common ground. You want to show the person behind the brand because 9 times out of 10 it is the person that sells, not the company. Ultimately, they care about the company message, who you are, and what you are trying to do. Shine your client’s personality through a PR voice on twitter.

Use the personality aspect to your advantage, but please keep in mind the disadvantage. DON’T: Tweet about a client’s weekend adventures on their son’s soccer game sidelines. DO: Tweet an eye-catching picture of a client at an event. Be personable, yet effective! Showing a person behind the brandcan make a company or break it. Your followers want to see who you are and want to feel related to you and your company, just don’t tweet about everything you’ve had to eat that day! ;)

Fancy Yourself A Fashion PR Girl?

by   This post can originally be found here

 

Ah fashion PR. Ever since the the high brand fashion PR girls (you know…the fashion media goddesses, such as the almighty OscarPR girl/Erika Bearman…) decided to publicly tweet, blog and Facebook away about her job antics..with you know the “usual” 9 to 5 agenda,  the casual name dropping of celebs, the oodles of international trips and champagne swilling parties, a career in Fashion PR has never before looked so (in the worlds of the immortal Coco Chanel) “classy and fabulous.”

The success of popular reality TV shows like “Project Runway,” “Kell on Earth” and “The City,” have also inspired many public relations students and recent graduates to break into the world of fashion PR.  But one must remember that all these lavish ladies such as Whitney Port, Olivia Palermo, Anna Wintour, Grace Coddington… they are at the peaks of their careers. And before you can even think of sipping some martini’s at a high end Monte Carlo fashion bash or hailing that yellow cab in New York City, you may have a long and laborious ladder to climb first.

So what does a PR do exactly? Since publicity is free, a fashion PR company or executive would be responsible for; building relationships with the press (they basically have to make friends with fashion editors, writers and journalists so that these people will write about/feature the product); organising and managing guestlists for promotional events; gifting (sending free product to key editors or celebrities in the hope that they’ll use or write about it); writing, distributing and following up on press releases and press packs; dealing with requests from the press and celebrity PRs; and reporting back to clients on the publicity they’re getting for the brands. PR Reps also help maintain the public image of the brand. They may help with marketing initiatives, or photo shoots, or just maintain the overall perception of the brands mission and image to the market.

So like any other sector in the media (such as journalism for instance) fashion PR is becoming more and more competitive because of how popular culture is depicting is as one of the most charismatic and glamorous jobs in the fashion industry. All the fashion aesthetic and pleasure without the hardcore and challenging sewing/design work. And of course it can be all these stylish things, but only in good time. One must be be prepared to start from the bottom and become acquainted the pains, pressures and hard work that will in due course put you on the winding road towards PR success. So, still fancy becoming the next Gucci PR Gal or Lavin PR Lady? Darlings, go get yourself a notebook and please be ready to take note…

Here are some essential pointers that could assist you onto conquering the yellow brick road of a Fashion PR career:

1. University degree: If you are lucky enough to live in the metropolis of London you may be able to just study for a college diploma in Fashion or for your A-Levels and brave the world of fashion by falling straight into internships. However most Fashion PR wannabe’s will consider doing an undergraduate degree first just as educational insurance in case this becomes a requirement later on. Regarding the academic discipline of your degree it be anything you wish. Still most successful employees in the PR industry usually have an undergraduate degree in the following areas: Journalism, PR, Media studies, English, Fashion, Marketing, History etc. If you don’t have a degree in these disciplines it may still be possible for you to pursue a career as a PR associate however you may need to do some independent research/work to put you up to scratch with the others. I suppose if  you want it enough you will be determined to prove your worth!

2. Work experience: This is a absolute must if you want to place a foot in the first rung of that PR career ladder. While employers aren’t so fussed on your degree discipline, nothing in the world beats hands on experience on the job. When you do your work experience however is entirely up to you. Many students who do a sandwich 4 year course at university will opt to do an industry placement as part of their course. Other students who follow through with more traditional degrees like English may have to do work experience alongside their studies and attempt to balance it out. The best advice is to gain some sort of work experience in the first or second year of your degree so you can concentrate getting the very best marks in your last year. And if you live outside of London where many of the placements and internships are, be prepared to plan ahead and email in advance to avoid nasty surprises of clashing dates and availability!

3. Finding work experience: Finding work experience has never been so easy in this day and age. Long gone are the days were we would have to write letters and deliver them by snail mail post, now we have the world wide web at out fingertips. Sit down with a brew and scour through job websites such as FashionMonitor.com and FashionJobs.com to keep up to date with the latest internship and work placements as and when they happen. And do not just limit yourself to search engine websites. The social media era has now become pervasive with everyone, in every country and with every age. Even your Grandma has probably got a Facebook account and is probably in more tagged pictures than you are. So instead of just using Facebook and Twitter for talking to your friends use it for tracking down companies and employers!

4. Twitter, the biggest social network of them all: Never before has Twitter been in demand so much. Many find it an unfamiliar social media to begin with but once they have sent a few dozen tweets and gained a few followers, it has never become so addictive. You find yourself hash-tagging everything in virtual sight. So if you find yourself on Twitter more times than you would like to admit, use that internet hovering to good use! Track down other who are in similar positions to you to ask for advice, tweet companies directly asking for work placements, follow important people in the industry who might be able to get you a job and reply to their tweets as friendly as you can, in order to show an interest…believe me in the end you will be rewarded for your research and friendliness!

Nonetheless even though Twitter may have its advantages, I’d advise also to be wary of what you voice on there. Unlike Facebook, Twitter has less privacy settings regarding your personal information so don’t write anything down on there you would not want a prospective employer to see.  But all in all, regarding PR placements and internships, Twitter is thee place where they are most regularly advertised. All day every day. You never know when Jonathan Saunders may need an assistant or if Henry Holland  requires a few dozen interns. You just have to be at the right virtual place at the right virtual time…

5. Blogging – As a PR student it might be an idea to show an interest in your area of work by writing a fashion blog. Fashion bloggers have really made their mark in recent years and because of their willingness to write fashion/beauty reviews, articles or whatever interests them they have ended up landing secure PR jobs and placements because of that blog. An employer for instance would gain a brilliant insight into your personality and a taster of how much you want a particular role or how you would fit into the philosophy of their company just through looking at your blog content. And never fear if it’s not as good as some of the other “big bloggers” blogs. Employers will be able to see through that facade of how many “followers” and “comments”  being tantamount to your “success.” It is sheer nonsense. Evidently if you have hundreds of followers then that by all means is fruitful. BUT they will appreciate content over the social factors of it. Blogging after all is not a popularity contest nor should it be enthused to be so.

6. Gaining work experience: Congratulations on getting a placement! But this is were the hard work begins. You must ensure you are punctual for your first day in order to set a good impression. Be friendly, appeasing, willing and approachable as the team you are working in will appreciate those qualities. As it’s fashion PR they won’t expect you to dress so corporal so feel free to dress to revel in your own normal attire. Nonetheless remember it is a fashion placement so be sure to adhere to particular style that will get you noticed for your creativity or wear certain trends you know to be in vogue to stress that you are indeed “style savvy.”

Sadly you may be making tea, photocopying, sitting at a desk, liasoning, answering the phone, on Excel etc on your first day but don’t feel disheartened by this. You must take it on the chin and continue to smile. What did you expect on your first day? That’d you be whisked away with a senior member of staff to eat danish pastry The Savoy or to go to an exhibition in Paris? Of course not. So remember to use your time to observe productively. See what other employees are doing. Ask them questions on how they got their role or to show you how to function particular software or operate different tasks. As a result you will be appear an interested and eager individual and more likely to be remembered for all the right reasons instead of sulking in the corner like a diva. This may be a job in the fashion industry but it gives you no right to appropriate “model behavior” akin to that of Naomi Campbell.

7. After the work experience: YAY you have survived your first tests of PR Fashion girl work. Now what? Well the experience should have taught you whether you feel that PR would be the right career for you or not. If it is and you imagine yourself in your mind as the next Olivia P then you should be focused on securing your next placement. However that does not mean you should disregard the first company that took you under their wing. If you had a really productive time, perhaps suggest an opportunity for working for the employer again in the next few months? Perhaps write down the names of the contacts you have made and ask whether you can keep in touch? Remember networking is crucial to the fashion industry and by regularly tweeting, writing emails and referring to a previous colleague who knows what that person could do for your potential career prospects? One day you could work with someone who knows Kate Moss, Lily Cole or the editor of a big fashion magazine. What I’m saying is that without networking, if you never ask, you will never know! I’d particularly stress making a LinkedIn account to, a social networking site designed for professionals. (www.linkedin.com)

These tips then are just the basis to springboard your career into the fashion PR industry. These points would probably be the most traditional of avenues but don’t feel you have to completely adhere to it. Most PR employees have diverse and wide ranging backgrounds of how their secured their jobs in the industry which makes it all the more interesting, attainable and reassuring to us who may be apprehensive or nervous about whether we can succeed! Still, it would not hurt to take this advice on board to know what you are up against. As a person you need to be (like with any other career in the fashion industry) determined, hard working, willing to work long and unconventional hours, fashion conscious and knowledgeable, adaptable, passionate, calm under pressure, have a range of interpersonal skills and most significantly of all, be confident. Fashion is a industry full of strong willed characters therefore it is essential that you raise your voice high and proud to have it heard. There are no quiet or mousy plain Jane’s in this field of work. Oh no. Only a parade of colourful and loud characters that bring personality and essence to a brand. Candidates of the highest style calibre if you please…

So the question is…could you then be the next OscarPR girl or a Lagerfeld lass? Oh Reality TV watch your back or indeed watch your production budget…because slowly but surely they’ll be a new influx of PR girls swarming into town…

 

 

FYI Meet The 20 Most Powerful Publicists In Hollywood

By: ALY WEISMAN This post can be found here
When most people think of publicists, they picture someone like Vincent Chase’s fast-talking, cell phone-addicted, workaholic publicist, Shauna Roberts (expertly played by Debi Mazar) on HBO’s “Entourage.” 

In reality, most of these traits are actually true of Hollywood publicists, who are on-call 24/7 for their A-list clients.

Whether they’re crafting an actor’s image, babysitting a hard-partying starlet, fielding phone calls from press, or helming a multi-million dollar movie campaign, publicists are an integral part of the showbiz machine.

And they’re getting paid big bucks to do so. “The most basic services start at $4,500 a month and escalate toward what she calls ‘the high six figures’ annually for corporate clients,” reports one top Hollywood publicist in a 2011 New York Times profile.

So we decided to rank them based on their power in the business.

Our picks are based on the wattage of their client roster, feats accomplished, the nominations we asked for in August, and by talking to industry insiders such as journalists and producers who work with publicists on a regular basis, to get a sense of who really holds the keys to Hollywood.

Between TV, film studio, and celebrity publicists, we couldn’t possibly fit everyone on our list, so the following represents at least one in each category.

Although they often prefer to remain under the radar and let their clients soak up the spotlight, publicists know how important image can be. When we asked each of the 20 publicists on our list for further information, almost every single one replied: “Who else is on the list?”

 

20.) John Wentworth, Executive Vice President at CBS Television Distribution

20.) John Wentworth, Executive Vice President at CBS Television Distribution

Courtesy John Wentworth

Clients: “Dr. Phil,” “The Doctors,” “Rachel Ray,” “Entertainment Tonight,” “The Insider,” “Inside Edition,” “Excused,” “Judge Judy,” “Judge Joe Brown,” “Wheel of Fortune,” “Jeopardy!” and “Swift Justice With Nancy Grace.

Memorable moment: Launching such long-running shows.

Why he makes the list: In addition to helping launch a long list of successful TV shows, Wentworth oversees the publicity of 12 syndicated shows. Before his current position at CBS, Wentworth was EVP of Marketing and Communications for 11 years at Paramount Network Television.

19.) Nicole Perna, BWR

19.) Nicole Perna, BWR

Twitter

Clients: Jessica Chastain, Chloe Moretz, Sharon Osbourne, Jenna Dewan, Lucy Hale, Johnny Galecki, Ryan Phillippe, Diane Kruger, Nikki Reed, Kellan Lutz.

Memorable moment: Perna reportedly lost her temper after an Australia morning show teased an interview with her client Nicole Richie by showing video of the star’s troubled past.

Why she makes the list: Perna, who has been at BWR since 2002, was promoted in June to help develop new strategies to support talent in a changing digital landscape. In an announcement, BWR partner Nanci Ryder said Perna has “shown tremendous skill in client development over the years … With [her] leadership and insight we see the opportunity for continued growth and diversification of this company.”

18.) Jill Fritzo, Publicist at PMK*BNC

18.) Jill Fritzo, Publicist at PMK*BNC

Courtesy Jill Fritzo

Clients: Kim Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian, Brooke Shields, Shannen Doherty, Denise Richards, Kristin Chenoweth, Vanessa Hudgens, Michael Strahan.

Memorable moment: “I have had so many memorable career moments. I love my job and every day it is exciting to be a part of what the clients are doing and what they are passionate about. I feel very lucky to have this job and be able to be a part of some very cool things! Memorable career moments are getting to work with some people who I idolized growing up.”

Why she makes the list: She reps all three of the Kardashian sisters. Last year alone, the Kardashian empire pulled in roughly $65 million.

17.) Joy Fehily, Partner at Prime Public Relations and Communications

17.) Joy Fehily, Partner at Prime Public Relations and Communications

Courtesy Joy Fehily

Clients: Aaron Sorkin, Olivia Wilde, McG, Seth McFarlane and Graham King.

Memorable moment: “There are so, so, so many! However, all of the ‘firsts’ tend to be the most special.  At my very first film scoring session, the director brought me to the center of the room with the orchestra while they were playing.  Being a part of this music and film collaboration process for the first time was one of my all-time favorite career moments.”

Why she makes the list: Joy is the founding partner of PRIME Public Relations. PRIME is a Los Angeles-based firm providing communications, brand management, marketing, strategic planning and social media services to the entertainment industry.  Clients of the specialty firm include prominent actors, award-winning filmmakers, leading television creators and producers, production companies, nonprofit corporations and sports leagues.

After receiving a dual degree in Social Science and Communications from USC, Fehily began her public relations career at PMK Public Relations, segued to Castle Rock Entertainment and then returned to the newly-formed PMK/HBH.  At PMK/HBH, Fehily served as senior vice president of their bi-coastal film department.

16.) Howard Bragman, Founder, Fifteen Minutes PR

16.) Howard Bragman, Founder, Fifteen Minutes PR

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Clients: Stevie Wonder, Camille Grammer, Chaz Bono, Petra Ecclestone, Adrienne Maloof.

Memorable moment: “The times I remember most are when my lesbian and gay clients came out of the closet and I could actually see and feel the lightness in their hearts as their burdens were lifted.”

Why he makes the list: With over 30 years of PR experience, Bragman now serves as an ABC News Consultant for “Good Morning America,” is the resident Public Relations Expert for “Entertainment Tonight,” resident Spin Doctor for HLN’s “Showbiz Tonight” and was a frequent contributor to “The Joy Behar Show.”

He is the author of the book “Where’s My Fifteen Minutes?,” has over 118,000 followers on Twitter and a deal with E! for a scripted series about PR — inspired by his real-life experiences.

15.) Danica Smith, Publicist at PMK*BNC

15.) Danica Smith, Publicist at PMK*BNC

Shutterstock

Clients: Colin Farrell, Olivia Munn, Wanda Sykes, Mike Epps, Zach Braff, Matthew Fox, Michael Pena, Carmelo Anthony, Kim Cattrall.

Memorable moment: Smith has helped Olivia Munn go from “Attack of the Show” host on G4 to starring in Aaron Sorkin’s HBO series “The Newsroom.”

Why she makes the list: Longtime publicist and PMK executive, Smith is a masterful talent publicist representing actors, actresses, comedians, sports stars, and personalities.

14.) Nicole Perez-Krueger, Publicist, PMK*BNC

14.) Nicole Perez-Krueger, Publicist, PMK*BNC

Courtesy Nicole Perez-Krueger

Clients: Matthew McConaughey, Christina Aguilera, Lauren Conrad, Jewel, Whitney Port, Marisa Miller, Stacy Keibler and Jeff Lewis.

Memorable moment: Under Perez-Krueger’s guidance and tactical direction, Lauren Conrad remains the third highest-selling magazine cover despite the fact that she hasn’t been on a television series for years. Also, by orchestrating strategic press coverage and positioning, Perez-Krueger transformed the public (and professional) image of Matthew McConaughey from a romantic comedy heart throb to a serious actor and awards contender.

Why she makes the list: A veteran entertainment industry publicist, Perez-Krueger joined PMK*BNC in June of 2011 from Rogers & Cowan. Perez-Krueger has an innate sense of media and is an expert at managing the images of her high-profile clientele.   

13.) Amanda Lundberg, co-head of 42West’s Entertainment Marketing Division

13.) Amanda Lundberg, co-head of 42West’s Entertainment Marketing Division

42west.net/lundberg

Clients: Tom Cruise, Kelly Ripa, Bobby & Peter Farrelly, “Bridesmaids” director Paul Feig.

Memorable moment: As as Senior Vice President of Worldwide Publicity at MGM, Lundberg was one of the key executives responsible for rejuvenating the James Bond franchise by initiating and carrying out publicity campaigns for “Goldeneye,” “Tomorrow Never Dies,” and “The World Is Not Enough.”

Why she makes the list: As the co-head of 42West’s Entertainment Marketing Division, Lundberg oversees film release campaigns, awards campaigns, and publicity initiatives for filmmakers. Before joining the firm as a partner in 2005, Lundberg was head of Public Relations at Miramax, overseeing publicity for worldwide theatrical releases.

12.) Jill Hudson, VP of Publicity at FOX

12.) Jill Hudson, VP of Publicity at FOX

Courtesy Jill Hudson/Fox

Clients: Jill is the lead publicist on two of Fox’s biggest shows, “American Idol” and “The X Factor.” She also used to run publicity for the network’s longstanding hit, “The Simpsons.”

Memorable moment: “For the past 16 years at FOX I’ve worked with some of the most talented people in the industry and have had so many incredible experiences, but I’d have to say launching ‘Malcolm in the Middle’ was the turning point in my publicity career. The show went on to become a huge success and it was so gratifying to work on campaigns that garnered truly gifted actors like Bryan Cranston his first Emmy nomination. Since then I’ve gone on to work on everything from ‘The Simpsons’ to ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ to ‘American Idol’ and ‘The X Factor.’ Both the latter have allowed me to travel all over the country and meet everyday people whose lives have literally changed the moment they stepped on that stage. It’s inspirational to be even a small part of that phenomenon.”

Why she makes the list: According to Gaude Paez, Vice President of Corporate Communications at FOX, “Jill is one of the most well-liked and respected network publicists I know, and I don’t think any list of top Hollywood publicists would be complete without her. Her ability to manage huge brands like ‘American Idol’ and ‘The X Factor’ and work with high-profile talent like Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler, and Britney Spears makes her a huge asset for the FOX network.”

11.) Adam Keen, EVP, Worldwide Publicity & Corporate Communications at Relativity Media

11.) Adam Keen, EVP, Worldwide Publicity & Corporate Communications at Relativity Media

Courtesy Adam Keen

Clients: Keen recently led the worldwide theatrical publicity campaigns for Relativity’s box office hits “Act of Valor” and “Immortals,” as well as the successful launches of “Mirror Mirror,”” Limitless,” Steven Soderbergh’s “Haywire” and “Shark Night 3D.” Looking ahead, Keen will lead the theatrical publicity campaigns for Relativity’s upcoming releases including Nicholas Sparks”’ Safe Haven,” Scott Cooper’s “Out of the Furnace,” Liam Hemsworth starrer “Paranoia,” Luc Besson’s” Malavita,” “21 and Over” and many other titles.

Memorable moment: “Working on documentaries or films based on true stories is always a pleasure because of the amazing and inspired people you get to meet. You feel the impact on these projects as you are not only helping to educate the masses on some great factual story or issue, but have the responsibility to represent the personal subjects as well. These are the campaigns that always stay with me.”

Why he makes the list: He’s worked everywhere! Before joining Relativity, Keen was senior vice president of Worldwide Publicity & Corporate Communications at Overture Films, head of Entertainment and Brand Strategies Division at I/D Public Relations, and spent five years as the senior vice president of special projects at MGM & United Artists where he oversaw specialized publicity efforts for both the domestic and international divisions. Before his employment at MGM, Keen handled similar duties at DreamWorks SKG in the special projects department working on such award-winning films as “American Beauty” and “Almost Famous.

10.) Cindi Berger, Chairman and CEO of PMK*BNC

10.) Cindi Berger, Chairman and CEO of PMK*BNC

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Clients: Robert Redford, Mariah Carey, Billy Crystal, Barbara Walters, Simon Cowell, Rosie O’Donnell, John Legend and Harry Connick Jr.

Memorable moment: “One of the most memorable moments in my career was the night the Dixie Chicks won the 5 top Grammy Awards including, Album of the Year, Best Country Album, Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal (2007).”

Why she makes the list: Berger got her start at publicity firm PMK as the receptionist and worked her way up the ranks to become chairman and CEO of PMK*BNC. She has led countless film campaigns, consults for The Weinstein Company and works on OWN’s documentary film series. She also helped launch and continues to work on the award-winning talk show “The View” and “The Barbara Walters Specials.” 

9.) Lewis Kay, COO/EVP, Entertainment at PMK*BNC

9.) Lewis Kay, COO/EVP, Entertainment at PMK*BNC

Courtesy Lewis Kay

Clients: Jimmy Kimmel, Amy Poehler, Will Arnett, Zooey Deschanel, Louis CK, Tracy Morgan, Chris D’Elia, Joel McHale, Sarah Silverman and Paul Scheer.

Memorable moment: “I am sorry but it is Emmy week so I am tapped out on creativity right now!”

Why he makes the list: He reps the kings and queens of comedy.

During his more than 15-year tenure with the company, Kay has played an integral role in building the agency’s Media Relations area into the robust practice it is today.  Overseeing a staff of more than 30 professionals, Kay supervises the agency’s Television, Special Events, Lifestyle, Talent and Corporate Entertainment divisions.

Kay also oversaw efforts to grow the agency’s overall social media presence by a whopping 4,300 percent in just two years and is an expert in how to effectively utilize social media tools to enhance any communications strategy.

8.) Nanci Ryder, Co-Founder of BWR

8.) Nanci Ryder, Co-Founder of BWR

Ryder, left, with longtime client René Zellwegger.

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Clients: Katie Holmes, Mila Kunis, Ewan McGregor, Viggo Mortensen, Blake Lively, Johnny Galecki, Renée Zellweger, Amber Valletta, Matt LeBlanc, Eric Dane, Rose McGowan, Terrence Howard.

Memorable moment: In July, Katie Holmes left her shared publicist with Tom Cruise and returned to her pre-marriage reps, BWR’s Nanci Ryder and Leslie Sloane—who originally signed the actress at age 16.

Why she makes the list: The “R” in BWR stands for Ryder.

7.) Leslie Sloane Zelnik, Publicist and co-president, BWR

7.) Leslie Sloane Zelnik, Publicist and co-president, BWR

Megan Fox, one of Leslie’s star clients.

AP

Clients: Katie Holmes, Blake Lively, Kate Beckinsale, Megan Fox, Zoe Saldana, Diane Kruger, Michael J. Fox, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Emmy Rossum, Lucy Hale, Gretchen Mol, Melissa McCarthy, Chris Rock, Jason Biggs, Penn Badgley, Edgar Ramirez, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Chris O’Donnell, Mariska Hargitay, keke Palmer, Katharine McPhee, Lauren Graham.

Memorable moment: “I could give a moment with every client, but one that stands out is when a teenage Megan Fox got my phone number from Kelly Ripa and called me to ask if I’d represent her. It was very sweet.”

Why she makes the list: Despite saying “God I hate stuff like that” when contacted about this list, Cindy Guagenti — the managing director at BWR Public Relations — then recommended Leslie Sloane as one of her top picks to get a spot on our list.

6.) Shawn Sachs and Ken Sunshine, Co-CEOs, Sunshine Sachs

6.) Shawn Sachs and Ken Sunshine, Co-CEOs, Sunshine Sachs

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Clients: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck, Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, Cyndi Lauper, Darren Criss, Demi Lovato, Guy Fieri, Harry Belafonte, Jessica Lu, Jon Bon Jovi, Karlie Kloss, Kathy Griffin, Katie Lee , Leonard Cohen, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Malin Akerman, Naomi Campbell, Nick Lachey, Novak Djokovic, Ryan Lochte, The Band Perry, The Jonas Brothers (Joe, Nick, Kevin), Trace Adkins, Trisha Yearwood, Tyler Perry, Andre Benjamin.

Memorable moment: Shawn: “I am really proud of the type of work we do and the clients we represent. Nearly half of the clients we represent have a cause element ranging from documentary films to digital, celebrity, corporate, crisis, legal and of course nonprofit organizations. In a very short amount of time, we have grown significantly without compromising our values or losing our culture. I love that we work with clients like the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, American Red Cross, Calvary Hospital, Canon, DoSomething.org, NY Jets, NYC Ballet, Comcast and digital leaders such as IAC, Bing, eBay, Facebook, and the Webby awards — yet we don’t have a website. Keeping our unique culture while we grow is both the single biggest challenge and at the same time the greatest joy.”

Why they makes the list: A quiet yet super powerful PR firm, their clients range from celebs and corporations to non-profits and politicos. They have recently opened an LA office, run by Keleigh Thomas, and nearly tripled their number of staff.

5.) Ina Treciokas, Publicist & Partner at Slate PR

5.) Ina Treciokas, Publicist & Partner at Slate PR

Treciokas’ longtime client, Sarah Jessica Parker.

Examiner/AP

Clients: Harrison Ford, Woody Harrelson, Sarah Jessica Parker, Leslie Mann, Anna Paquin, Owen Wilson, Liev Schreiber, Jon Favreau, David Schwimmer, George Lopez, Justin Theroux, Anjelica Huston, John Leguizamo, Eddie Izzard.

Memorable Moment: Starting her own company after 13 years in the ‘biz.

Why she makes the list: After working at ID PR, Ina co-founded Slate PR. At the time, ID founder Kelly Bush (see slide 17) called the departing senior EVP one of her best friends. According to Deadline, “It seems like she is leaving at a time when Kelly is expanding the company into other more lucrative revenue streams, like brand representation and management, while Ina enjoys actual client representation.”

4.) Kelly Bush, Founder & CEO, ID PR

4.) Kelly Bush, Founder & CEO, ID PR

Twitter/kellylbush

Clients: Ben Stiller, Tobey Maguire, Ellen Page, Drake, Christopher Nolan, Javier Bardem, Diane Lane, John Malkovich, Alicia Keys.

Memorable moment: Bush took on actor Paul Reubens as a client and led the effort to revive his career by pushing him to resurrect his Pee-wee Herman persona for a 2007 appearance on Spike TV. A positive reception led to a Broadway run for “The Pee-wee Herman Show” in 2010 and a career revival that now has him starting production “very soon” on a new “Pee-wee Herman” movie with Judd Apatow.

Why she makes the list: This NYT profile of Bush discusses how she persuaded Sony to cast Tobey Maguire as the lead in “Spider-Man” by lining up a sexy magazine shoot, can get nasty headlines removed from Google, and jokingly says her goal for ID PR is “world domination.”

According to her Twitter bio, she is also “Mother of two girls. Passionate about equality. Endlessly curious.”

3.) Robin Baum, Publicist & Partner at Slate PR

3.) Robin Baum, Publicist & Partner at Slate PR

Courtesy Robin Baum

Clients: Johnny Depp, Ryan Gosling, Dakota Fanning, Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Craig, Alexander Skarsgard, Kate Bosworth, Naomi Watts, Orlando Bloom, Antonio Banderas, Melanie Griffith, Benicio Del Toro, Jared Leto.

Memorable moment: “A memorable moment for me was being acknowledged by Russell Crowe during his Oscar acceptance speech for ‘Gladiator.'”

Why she makes the list: Her client list speaks for itself.

2.) Meredith O’Sullivan, Head of West Coast Talent Department at 42 West

2.) Meredith O'Sullivan, Head of West Coast Talent Department at 42 West

O’Sullivan’s client, Jessica Biel.

Steffen Kugler/Getty Images

Clients: Jessica Biel, Reese Witherspoon, Will Smith, Ryan Reynolds, Rachel McAdams, Halle Berry, Rosario Dawson, David Spade, Scott Caan.

Memorable moment: Reese Witherspoon recently left her longtime publicist to be repped by O’Sullivan.

Why she makes the list: In addition to repping A-list talent, O’Sullivan is the head of the West Coast talent team at 42West — overseeing all staff.

1.) Stephen Huvane & Simon Halls, Founders of Slate PR

1.) Stephen Huvane & Simon Halls, Founders of Slate PR

Stephen Huvane with client, Jennifer Aniston.

Getty

Clients: Jennifer Aniston, Neil Patrick Harris, Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Kirsten Dunst, Anne Hathaway, Johnny Depp, Channing Tatum, Ryan Murphy, Ridley Scott, Jude Law, Matthew Broderick, Annette Bening, Frances McDormand, Sam Mendes, Nathan Lane, Ang Lee, Brett Ratner, Gore Verbinski and Tom Ford. 

Memorable moment: Perez Hilton printed a fairly lengthy email Stephen Huvane sent to him regarding how the gossip blogger snarkily reported his client Jennifer Aniston’s break up with Vince Vaughn.

Why they make the list: After a long career in public relations and with a few brothers in the ‘biz, including CAA powerhouse agent Kevin Huvane, Stephen Huvane is deeply entrenched in Hollywood.

Simon Halls, whose longtime partner is “White Collar” star Matt Bomer, has played a central role in promoting gay visibility within the entertainment industry.

Together, they rep Hollywood’s top actors and filmmakers.

BONUS: Debi Mazar as publicist Shauna Roberts on HBO’s “Entourage”

Before actors need a publicist, they first need a director.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/20-most-powerful-publicists-in-hollywood-2012-10?op=1#ixzz2YktLAsB2

15 tips for a successful PR career

By Dave Fleet – Post can be found here

 

 

 

 

One of the things I enjoy most nowadays is having the opportunity to speak to the future leaders of the PR profession when they’re starting out. I often get asked: “What tips would you offer to get ahead in this field?”

 

Now that summer is upon us and students are turning their minds to life after school, I thought it might be timely to offer some advice here.

Here are 15 top tips for success in a public relations career. Funnily enough, I’d give the same advice to someone 10 years into their career, like me:

1. Be a sponge.

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it made the PR pro. Whether you’re just starting out or if you’ve been in the business for years, it’s incumbent upon you to constantly learn in order to stay on top of our industry. Never stop being curious.

 

2. Stay on top of the news.

Make time to stay on top of current events. Read a newspaper (online or offline). Set up news alerts for your company and/or your clients. Listen to the radio or to podcasts about industry news. Watch the news in the morning. Whatever approach you choose, it will make you more interesting and it will make you better at your job. Consider it an investment.

3. Focus on details.

Nothing hurts the credibility of a pitch, a proposal, or a program like sloppy mistakes. Meanwhile, people who become known for outrageous attention to detail become go-to people in a team. Be that person. Read and re-read your work. Be your own devil’s advocate in order to think things through and make sure you’ve covered all the angles. Double-check your calculations. Question your assumptions.

4. Learn to juggle.

This one applies especially to agency folks, but it goes across the board. Learn how to prioritize, how to focus when you need to, and how to manage your time. Life in PR is a juggling act, and you need to know how to manage your workload and the expectations of your clients—however you define them.

5. Learn to write.

Take the time to learn how to write well. Practice. Learn from others. Take a course if you need to. (I recommend the eight-step editing course by the Editors’ Association of Canada, but there are many others.)

Crucial for many new graduates, you may need to unlearn what your professors taught you in university. Short paragraphs, short sentences, and clear language help you to convey your point much more easily than the opposite.

Oh, and if you could put “by zombies” at the end of a phrase, it’s passive. Keep your voice active.

6. Embrace numbers.

Measurement has been a weak point in the PR profession for a long time. Nowadays, companies demand more. This is especially the case for social media and paid media programs. The days of output-focused measurement are numbered, and outcome-focused measurement is on the rise. You don’t need to be an expert in dissecting website traffic (especially if you have a measurement team supporting you), but you should know the basics and know how to coach clients and people within your organization on how to approach measurement effectively.

7. Measure through the life cycle.

Measurement is so much more than reporting, and companies are demanding more from PR measurement nowadays. Know how to take full advantage of the potential that measurement holds throughout a program:

  • Inform your objectives (setting realistic goals, fueled by insights from past programs);
  • Fuel your planning (again, with insights from past work);
  • Identify and help to address issues mid-flight;
  • Measure results and generate new insights to fuel future work.

[Check out more on this in my recent presentation on Social Media at Scale that I gave at PodCamp Toronto.]

8. Provide solutions.

Tough challenges are a fact of life in the PR industry, where the role of communications is often to help to change behavior or perception. That’s difficult. Few things will endear you to your boss more than this: Become the person who comes forward with solutions alongside their problems. It doesn’t have to be the solution they choose (that helps, though), but the fact that you’re thinking it through and considering solutions demonstrates the kind of mindset that managers adore.

9. Learn to stay level-headed.

PR pros frequently have to deal with difficult situations, many of which can’t be predicted. These are moments where you can distinguish yourself and improve your reputation, or the reverse. Be one of those people who keep a cool head. Stay calm, and focus on solutions (per the earlier point). Remember: frantic doesn’t mean effective.

10. Know what you don’t know.

Self-awareness is a valuable trait, regardless of where you are in your career. Be humble enough to know when you’re out of your depth, and to learn from those who have experience in areas you don’t. Make sure that when you find yourself in that situation you don’t sit paralyzed until it’s too late for anyone to help you.

Bonus points for thinking things through ahead of time and coming prepared with a suggestion: “I’m not sure of the best approach here… here’s what I’m thinking… what do you think?”

11. Learn the difference between objectives, strategy, and tactics.

Nothing makes me cringe more than seeing people confuse objectives, strategy, and tactics with each other.

Simply put:

  • Objectives are what you need to accomplish. They should relate to business goals.
  • Strategies are how you plan to accomplish them. They should drive toward the objectives.
  • Tactics are the actions you take. They should funnel up to the strategy.

Learn it. Preach it.

[Read more on how to set better objectives or download my ebook on communications planning for more pointers.]

12. Become a trusted advisor.

Whether you’re dealing with executives in your company, or with clients at other firms, strive to become a trusted advisor to them. Go beyond what you “have” to do and become a partner. Flag opportunities and threats. Offer strategic opinions. Learn to empathize with them. Have difficult conversations when you need to. Push them to take the right approach (but know when to accept their decision).

Don’t just take orders.

13. Learn from your mistakes.

Accept that you’ll make mistakes. We all make them, and they’re a key piece of how we learn and improve. If you don’t make mistakes, then you’re not trying hard enough or not trying enough things. The key is to make them at the right time, in the right setting, and to learn from them. Conversely, people who constantly shirk responsibility for mistakes, or make excuses, will never learn.

Some of my most valuable lessons, and most beneficial experiences, have come from making mistakes. They weren’t pleasant at the time, but I learned from them and I’m better for it. What’s important is owning them and figuring out what to do differently next time.

14. Think outside your bubble.

It’s easy to get caught up in your day-to-day routine. Instead, look around and proactively identify ways to expand your expertise. That could be by finding new ways to get better at tasks, or by getting involved in a project that stretches you, or by learning more about a relevant field.

15. Understand converged media.

This point began life as “understand social media,” but nowadays it’s broader than that. Start with understanding social media-monitor and participate in relevant conversations; think about how your programs might play out in social channels, and so on. Social media is just the beginning now, though. The key nowadays is understanding how earned, owned, and paid media play together. You don’t need to be an expert in all of them, but you do need to understand how to leverage them.

There you have it-15 tips for success in PR. What would you add to the list?

A version of this article originally appeared on DaveFleet.com.

The Most Influential Personal Style Bloggers Right Now

This blog can be originally found here

By: Lauren Sherman

Some say the age of the personal style blogger is over.

Today, the girl needs more than an outfit, a boyfriend, and a camera. Bloggers need to think about production quality, editorial strategy, and affiliate programs to really gain a foothold on the web. They are more like editors, creating publications worthy of a million-person audience than a few thousand super-fans.

Yet it still comes down to that camera. Nine times out of 10, the bloggers who move merchandise, who get people talking, who attract repeat advertisers, love to strike a pose.

So we say the personal style blogger isn’t going anywhere—-in fact, she’s more powerful than ever.

Fashionista’s list of the most influential personal style bloggers was determined by a strict methodology: We factored in Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr followers, monthly pageviews, press mentions, affiliate marketing successes, and industry sentiment. (Affiliate marketing, in this case, means the act of using trackable links to get a commission on products sold because you wrote about a product/linked to them. There are a lot of affiliate marketing programs: The most popular include Reward Style, Skimlinks and ShopStyle.)

To ensure the numbers we crunched were accurate, we worked with individual bloggers, affiliate marketers and Fohr Card, the new database for brands to access legit stats and information on thousands of bloggers.

We also took into consideration audience feedback about 2010′s list. You’ll notice that this group is tighter—any site arguably more about lifestyle than fashion or beauty was eliminated.

Like any list you read on the internet, our ranking is up for debate. And we encourage it! Let us know what you think. And feel free to Tweet me if you have any more questions about the methodology.

Click here to see who made it http://fashionista.com/2013/01/influential-fashion-style-bloggers-2013/2/

Should PR pros get accredited?

By Matt Wilson| This post can be found here

 

Of the Public Relations Society of America’s 21,000-plus members, only about 3,800, or 18 percent, hold the organization’s Accredited in Public Relations (APR) certification. The number of professionals seeking the accreditation is on the decline, too, according to PRWeek.

That’s likely why the PRSA is re-examining the APR. In a Monday night email to members, Mickey G. Nall, chairman and CEO of PRSA for 2013, announced plans to work with a consulting firm and the Universal Accreditation Board to “enhance the profile and prestige of the APR credential” for the 50th anniversary of the credential next year.

“Rest assured, abandoning accreditation is not an option that PRSA is considering,” he added.

Yet plenty of PR pros have clearly decided accreditation isn’t something they need. To find out why—and whether they’re mistaken in that assumption—PR Daily talked to a handful of accredited and non-accredited PR professionals.

The reasons why 

Brian Lee, president of Revelation PR, Advertising and Social Media, says he got his APR credential in 2011 for a very simple reason: It “helps distinguish the contenders from the pretenders, to put it bluntly.”

“You can only earn the designation after you have proven mastery of areas such as research, ethics, media relations, crisis communications, and management,” he says.

Bad apples, such as the PR firm that helped Facebook plant negative news about Google back in 2011, can give the PR field a bad name, Lee adds. Accreditation can help separate those bad apples from the bunch.

“I’m hopeful that no APR-trained practitioner would ever agree to do something that unscrupulous, and that’s reason alone for the need for more accredited PR professionals,” he says.

Crystal Smith, director of integrated media for public relations at Strategic Communications and president of the Central New York chapter of PRSA, says it’s tough to explain to people outside the PR industry what PR professionals actually do.

“I relate the APR to a CPA for accountants,” she says. “You don’t need a CPA to do business as an accountant. But if a business or consumer has a choice, they’ll pick the CPA—especially for their more serious and significant accounting needs.”

Philip Chang, partner at the PR firm Carbon, says firms benefit from managers having APR credentials, as a shorthand way to prove the company means business and cares about PR and its history.

The reasons why not 

Chang says he can see the other side of the coin, though. To the untrained eye, one certification—APR—isn’t all that different from any other, such as the Business Marketing Association’s Certified Business Communicator credential.

“Where there are competing organizations, there are competing credentials and consequently, it diminishes the value of the credential,” he says.

Jenni Gritti of branding firm Wyatt Brand says she had every intention of gaining accreditation after graduating from college in 2009, but it’s become less and less important to her over time.

“APR at the end of my name doesn’t make anyone open my emails any faster, get back to me any quicker, or approach me with ideas and business any sooner,” she says. “My hard work makes a name for itself, and I personally don’t need the three letters at the end of my name to prove it.”

[RELATED: Hear how top companies adapted to the digital PR industry changes at this August event.

Josh Cline, president and CEO of The Cline Group, seems to confirm Gritti’s suspicions.

“I find no need for anyone to be accredited,” he says. “Anyone can pass a test, but work experience, accomplishments and understanding how PR is only a subset of marketing and marketing needs to map to business objectives.”

Is it worth it? 

PRSA hasn’t explicitly tied APR to higher earnings for professionals, though the organization has done surveys that found the accreditation has been beneficial to those that have earned it. Most, 91 percent, view their APR as a source of pride, and large majorities have used theirs to develop professional skills (78 percent) and resolve ethical dilemmas (58 percent).

Even so, Bob Birge, director of marketing at Blue Pillar, says accreditation seems to have simply gotten buried under other priorities in the past decade or so.

“Those in hiring positions often are looking for the best people available, with the right background and at the right price,” he says. “Whether or not APR appears after their name is somewhat irrelevant.”

Smith, who earned her APR as soon as she was eligible—which is after one gains five years of experience—says the roadblock she sees most PR pros encounter is the cost involved in becoming accredited. An application fee, an online course fee, and the cost of textbooks are all part of the deal.

For that reason, she’s starting a scholarship program for professionals in Central New York.

What do you think, PR pros? Is there significant value in having APR after your name?

Matt Wilson is a staff writer for Ragan.com.

How To Get An Internship

 

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Lauren Berger, 27, has become an authority on landing internships. She runs a website,Internqueen.com, and just published a book on the subject: All Work, No Pay: Finding an Internship, Building a Resume, Making Connections and Gaining Job Experience. But she started out as a clueless college freshman at Florida State in Tallahassee, whose only work experience was waitressing at the Red Lobster, and a minimum wage job at The Limited II. Berger’s own tale of landing her first internships with zero connections, offers excellent pointers for students who want to get started on the internship track. It worked for Berger. She did 15 internships while in college.

1. Cold calling can work. Berger’s saga started in 2002 when her pushy mother, who had just seen a “Today” show segment about the importance of internships for college students, called and said she had to get one. It was the spring of Berger’s freshman year. Berger headed to Florida State’s career office, but was told that she needed to be a junior or senior if she wanted help. “They said, ‘come back and see us in three years,’” she recalls.

2. Take immediate action when you get a lead. Thinking it was a long shot, Berger did some more Googling, for help putting together her materials. She sent them in that evening. The next morning, her phone rang at 8am. “I thought I did something wrong,” she recalls. The coordinator was so impressed by Berger’s promptness, she offered her an interview. “She said, ‘you don’t know how long students take to send in their materials,’” recalls Berger.

3. Prepare for the interview. Before her meeting, Berger poured over the company’s website, including the firm’s mission statement and executive biographies. “Look for things you have in common with the people who run the company,” she advises. “If you run into the head of the company on the elevator the first day, greet him.”  Berger recommends incorporating buzzwords from the mission statement into your interview.

4. Ask what the internship would entail.Don’t use the interview as an information-gathering session about the interviewer. Instead, Berger suggests applicants ask, “can you describe a day as an intern at your company.”

5. Say you’re ready to start immediately. Especially for unpaid internships, employers often tell applicants they can take time to think about whether they want the job. Berger says you should break in and say, “I know I want this.” Berger’s eagerness and persistence came through and she got the Zimmerman internship.

6. Volunteer to be the company’s first intern. Berger’s second internship, in the summer of 2002, was also prompted by her mother. “She called and said all her friends’ kids were going to New York to intern,” says Berger. But Berger had no contacts in New York. She asked the Zimmerman internship coordinator for advice, and the woman helped her use the firm’s media guide. This time Berger wanted to work for a publication. But she got rejections or no responses from half a dozen big magazines like Us Weeklyand Seventeen.

Finally she stumbled on a theater publication called Back Stage. Berger’s cold call reached the editor in chief, but the woman said they didn’t hire interns, and wanted to get Berger off the phone, insisting Back Stage didn’t hire interns. Berger persisted. “I said, ‘I can be your first intern,’” she says. The editor was persuaded.

7. Make a dream list of companies where you want to work. Once Berger had a few internships under her belt, she was ready to shoot for a job that focused on her interest in celebrities. She started looking up her favorite stars and checking which PR firms represented them. “I saw most of them were coming from five different companies,” she recalls. Berger put those firms and five others on a list that included internship coordinator contacts and deadlines. She went through her list methodically. One of her top choices, BWR, expressed interest, but said she had to interview in person. So Berger accepted an offer for a part-time internship with a boutique PR firm that agreed to interview her on the phone. When she got to L.A., she interviewed at BWR and that internship came through as well.

8. Follow up. Berger recommends checking in about your application two weeks after you have send it. Write a short note asking whether your materials arrived and offering additional information. If you applied through a website, call the company and ask to speak to the internship coordinator. If you can’t get through, send an email to the coordinator.

9. Ask for a letter of recommendation two weeks before the end of your internship.Berger suggests you leave every internship carrying one or more letters of recommendation, which can help you land your next internship. Her advice: get the process going two weeks before your job ends and offer to write the recommendation yourself. “Say, ‘look, I know you’re extremely busy. I’d love to get a recommendation from you. I’ll write one and you can take a look at it.’”

10. Work hard and send handwritten thank-you notes after your internship concludes.Berger says she plugged away at each of her internships. During down time at her summer 2005 Fox television job, she and another intern reached out to eight senior executives and asked for informational interviews. Six said yes, and Berger was able to add those contacts to her network. After each internship concluded, Berger says she wrote to her employers by hand, thanking them for the experience. She kept copious notes of all her colleagues and superiors, and sent snail mail notes to each one.  Her rule about staying in touch: email is fine for subsequent contact, but do it three times a year, in the fall, spring and summer.

One of the most intriguing things about Berger’s story is how far she got with cold calling, diligence and sheer persistence. Since she started as an intern back in 2002, she has tirelessly built a network of thousands of contacts. But she got her first internships without a single connection.

Post script: After college, Berger used her Los Angeles connections to land a job at Creative Artists Agency in Beverly Hills. At that point, she wanted to start a business helping students find internships. She talked about it to everyone she met through the job, including producer Marshall Herskovitz (Thirtysomething, Traffic, Blood Diamond), who wound up funding her company with a 12% stake. Berger charges $100 to companies to post internships for a semester, and $250 for a year. She says she has 800 clients and she also does multiple speaking engagements. Internqueen specializes in fashion, PR, marketing, entertainment and production companies in New York City and Los Angeles.