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Archive for the ‘Hit the Ground Running’ Category

I know there are no excuses for leaving my blog go as long as I did, but I am going to list some anyway:

– Graduated from Kent State University summa cum laude in August

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– Traveled heathercolloseum.jpgaround Europe with my brother for two weeks

– Moved from Cleveland to Cuyahoga Falls and learned that I own way too much

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– Started my new job at Akhia, Public Relations & Marketing Communications

However, now I’m back, practicing public relations in full force and ready to dedicate some time and effort to Experience PR.  Sorry if you missed me, but I included a few photos so you can feel like you were along for the ride…

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RelaxIn the cliched words of one of my favorite rockers, “School’s out for summer! School’s out forever!” From the obvious blog neglect, it should be clear that I have been lost. After 17 years of school I wasn’t really sure what to do with myself once classes were done and I had a few weeks off before my summer PR internship at Landau PR began. I don’t actually graduate until August, but finishing the last final I ever have to take sure made me feel like I was done. Not so!

My two-week break wasn’t completely relaxing– moved into a new apartment, nursed my boyfriend who lost the top of one of his fingers in a work-related accident, traveled out of state to visit friends and started reading my long-awaited pile of books. When I headed off to my first day of work, I had a moment of terror.What if I had forgotten everything I ever learned about PR?

So far my fears have been unfounded. I am loving my experience in the agency world. My clients run the gambit, and I just volunteered to be on a relatively new account, On Call, which provides medical insurance to travelers (health care+ travel= me written all over!) What’s most amazing to me is how seamlessly I transitioned from school to work. It’s probably not all that surprising, but the first few days I was already doing research, writing press releases and preparing media lists… all skills I acquired throughout Kent’s PR Sequence and my former internships.

There’s no better way to learn than to just do it, and I’m flinging myself head-first into any experiences I come across, especially ones I’ve not had before. I was able to tag along to a radio interview with a client and watch my colleague prep her for the interview, and I’m looking forward to helping with follow up calls to the media and some networking events.

What I hate most about starting somewhere new is the awkward acclimation, but so far this hasn’t been too hateful. I can’t wait to come in and have a list of things to do and just get right down to it, but right now I’m learning about the people, the clients, the problems and strategies, and that’s ok.

I do have to mention however, especially to anyone in the Kent PR Sequence thinking about taking PR Online tactics, that my blogging is helping me out more than I had anticipated. Two of my account teams already have me researching bloggers to pitch, and I am also going to help prepare a suggestion for a client to start a blog that involves outlining topics to cover with the blog, researching competitor and best case blogs and discussing how to go about creating and maintaining the blog and what time and effort is required. Exciting times, and I finally feel like I have a good handle on something that is not in everyone else’s area of expertise.

It pays to stay on top of things, and I’m hoping the more I blog and continue monitoring other blogs, the more I will be able to contribute on these teams. Guess the little lost PR student is on her way to being found!

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Each semester in our PR Campaigns class here at Kent State a client is selected and the keyred.gifclass is divided into groups who form agencies and compete for the client by developing a plan during the semester. I have been working with my group, AntHill Communications, to create a public relations campaign for KeyBank. This Friday we have 20 minutes to present weeks and months worth of research, planning, developing and design to our client, who will then choose a winner.

To be honest, at this point I don’t care whether or not that’s me. This class has been such an eye-opener to me about what goes on in the real world, and at a probably much more intense and strict pace than what I’ve been working at. It’s also been a fantastic opportunity to culminate all of my classroom and internship experiences into a final product that I will have with me the rest of my life. I’ve heard wonderful success stories of students taking their final casebooks to interviews and really having an upper-hand with the experience of creating and presenting an original campaign to a client already under their belt.

This has also been a stressful semester for me, having to work so closely with a group of people for so long. I only remember enjoying a few group projects during elementary, middle and high school, and that was when I was able to choose a team of like-minded individuals who I knew would complete their portion of the work, assuring me that I would get my A.

This semester has really changed by perception of group work in a number of ways, and since I’m about to enter an agency experience this summer, this realization couldn’t have occurred at a more appropriate time.

  • Delegation=Trust
    As product manager of my group, learning to delegate tasks, and trust that they would be completed and done well, has been a huge challenge. I am the boss that would just rather do it myself so that I know the final product meets my rigid standards of perfection, but I’ve learned the hard way that not only is this impractical but impossible. There is just too much work to do, and perfection is not always possible when a last minute project occurs and you only have an hour to complete it. It’s not that I’ve lowered my standards, I just think I’m a little more realistic. (more…)

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The other day, I remarked to my mom that I couldn’t wait for college to end and the real world to begin. I explained that school consumes by life 24 hours a day and my job would probably only require a nine-hour shift and perhaps the occasional weekend take-home project. It would be nothing like this never-ending schedule of meetings, classes, work, projects and, very rarely, social life. 

What was I thinking? 

Rather than blaming this blunder on blind naivety or stupidity, I would like to think it was a moment of weakness, probably brought on by one too many glances at the novel on my nightstand that I am still aching to read. I realize it was a silly, passing thought, one you would never mention to your professor and especially never to a potential employer, but I know I’m not alone in wanting a brief rest from this fast-paced schedule. 

The thing is, there are things I want even more. I want several excellent internships before I graduate so I feel confident applying my knowledge, I want perfect grades so I can get every scholarship I apply for, and most of all I want to be so excited about what I do that employers are seeking me.  

Are all of these things possible? Maybe not, but constantly throwing aside the meeting schedule and homework will only help me obtain a short break and multiply the stress I will undergo when I do get around to that work.  (more…)

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