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Archive for the ‘Networking’ Category

crawl.gifI admit that I’m neglecting the blog this summer, but I’m going to blame this last break on my vacation sans Internet.

What I wanted to mention before I left was that I was able to take part in the first-ever Cleveland Intern Crawl on Monday, July 30 and had a blast! Despite the alcoholic connotations associated with any kind of crawl, this was a dry (only as in sober) networking and educational experience.

The interns at Liggett Stashower planned and implemented the event, which included interns from five advertising and public relations firms in downtown Cleveland. I know there were a number of other places that could easily have been added to the list, but for the sake of time this was a perfect amount of stops… especially for a hot afternoon of walking across town.

I went along as the solo representative for Landau Public Relations, but there were also students and young professionals serving as interns from Dix & Eaton, Wyse, Brokaw and Liggett Stashower.

Aside from meeting the other interns, who were from a variety of universities and backgrounds, ranging from communication to design, it was awesome to see the office layouts of the other agencies and learn about the kind of experience each intern was gaining from their respective company.

I had never heard of a couple of the agencies before the tour. I blame my ignorance on the fact that a few are advertising agencies, but I was surprised to learn that the companies have public relations professionals on staff as well.

Most of the agencies were full-service, incorporating some combination of advertising, marketing, public relations and design, and I enjoyed learning how those all work together in one building since Landau Public Relations is pure PR.

It was also extremely beneficial to me to experience the different environments, which ranged from relaxed and creative to corporate and organized. I think a major part in determining where to apply for an internship or job is deciding what kind of surroundings and people will encourage you to do your best work. I’ve had informational interviews with most of the agencies in Cleveland, and those have significantly impacted my career decisions.

I am of a firm belief that if you don’t feel comfortable or like you can be yourself during an interview, or even just sitting in a foyer waiting for the interview, that you might want to reconsider. When I am interviewing, I always ask my interviewers what they like best about their job, and if people/environment are not mentioned at least in their top three, then I know it’s not somewhere I want to be. A huge part of the learning experience is getting to know the people you work with and learning from them. If you begin with a strain on that relationship then I think it’s often downhill from there.

The interns are leaving comments for the next group filling their spots so the crawl can continue, if not next semester then at least next summer. If you’re in the area, working or interning, I recommend contacting them and signing up! You can also check out the Liggett Stashower intern blog.

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Disclaimer: I’m feeling a little preachy.

I didn’t even know what public relations was when I came to Kent State. I certainly didn’t know it was a major or that I would become consumed with learning more about it. Luckily, I fell into it, and I haven’t looked back.late-bloomer.jpg

Since I was a late bloomer in the PR field, undeclared my freshman year and studying abroad in Northern Ireland my sophomore year, I’ve been working hard to catch up these past four semesters. a.k.a. I’ve been loading up on the public relations classes. Part of my being consumed with the major is literal… I’ve had no choice. Four of the five classes I’ve taken each semester have been public relations.

It’s been a little overwhelming—the classes, the internships—but preparing for a life in the public relations world isn’t just about understanding PR. It’s something more.

It’s knowing the news:Media writing. News writing. Print beat. Media relations. Common theme? You have to know what’s going on in the news and you have to be able to think and write like the news. Your client is going to expect you to know their company inside an out, including the way key publics view them. Monitoring the news is often an intern’s task, but its importance makes it an equally significant responsibility of public relations professionals with years of experience.

The first day of Law of Advertising and Public Relations this semester, my professor, Tim Smith, gave the class a quiz that struck home the importance of staying on top of current events. See if you agree:

  1. Name the seven dwarfs.
  2. Name seven Supreme Court justices
  3. Name the three stooges
  4. Name the three branches of government
  5. Name the last American Idol
  6. Name the new Secretary of Defense

I thought I would include links to help you with your homework. (more…)

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