By Rachel Zetwick
During college, it can be hard to travel for a job or internship interview because of busy schedules and long distances. Because of this, many students are required to participate in live video interviews instead of traditional in-person interviews. With many public relations job application deadlines fast approaching, here are some tips for your next video interview.
Get Used to the Technology
A few hours or even days before your interview, practice using the technology you will be using for your video call. Whether the company you are interviewing with uses Skype, Zoom or another program, make sure you know how it works and that your computer’s microphone and video are working properly. This way, you can prevent technical mishaps during your interview.
Choose a Neutral Background
While your posters and pictures may make your dorm room look cool, they definitely won’t help during a video interview. Stage your camera in front of a neutral background so you do not distract your interviewers.
By: Rachel Zetwick
When you are only 20 or so years old, beginning to build your network can be quite a daunting task. However, it is so important to build your network as you begin searching for internships and jobs during college. Reaching out to mentors, professors and college peers can help you learn about the public relations industry and could potentially help you land a great job. Here are some ideas to begin building your network:
Meet With Your Professors
One of the most helpful ways to network I have found in my four years at Miami University is to meet with my communications professors regularly. Even if it is only once a semester, talking with a professor can help you discover your long-term career goals and can potentially introduce you to even more contacts that can help you during an internship or job search. Professors want to help you, so it is a great idea to set up a meeting to learn more about their experiences.
Set Up Phone Calls
This may seem scary at first, but reaching out to contacts with jobs that you are interested in may help you learn how to be successful in the public relations field. While their company may not have any available positions, it can be very helpful to learn about their personal job search and responsibilities in their job. And who knows - they may think of you when a job opening comes up!
Talk to Older Students
I have gained so many mentors on campus by reaching out to older students at Miami University. This has been so helpful to learn about anything from Career Fair to learning how to use LinkedIn. If you know an older student with a similar major or interests, reach out to them to build your path to success.
By: Grace Wells
1. Do your homework
Always make sure to do some basic background research. This allows you to be able to demonstrate your knowledge of the company during the interview.
2. Practice Interview
Have answers prepared for the basic interview questions expected. Questions such as: How do you handle stress? What is your greatest weakness? Or Are you willing to fail? Should all have prepared answers ahead of time.
3. Dress for Success
First impressions are key for successful interviews. You not only have to act the part but you have to look the part. Dress accordingly to the work environment you are interviewing for. But when in doubt, overdressing is always better than underdressing.
4. Get there early
That old saying, “Leave on time you’ll get there early, leave early you’ll get there on time”. Well, now is time to put this saying really into practice. Plan your outfit the night before. But, also plan for traffic. Plan ahead but put in enough of a time pad for things to be able to go wrong.
5. Show your knowledge
Be able to use concrete specific examples so your interview stands out among the other candidates for the position.
6. Send A Thank You
Send a thank you or email to the people you interviewed with to show interest in the position. Send the thank you within 24 hours.
By: Lindsay Nelson
Ah, a question I have been asked far too many times! Especially this time of year when I am seeing family more often that just love to know my life plan. Whether it is my grandmother who has never heard of such a field, or my uncle who thinks I am studying speech pathology, I feel as if I always have to explain what the heck it is that I’m studying. The truth is, this might be so hard to explain because there are simply so many options for graduates in the real world who studied Communications. Every single company on planet earth has a department or single employee who specializes in some form of communications to keep the business running smoothly. Here are four types of jobs that are the most common for a Communications major to do after they graduate:
By Rachel Zetwick
In the summer of 2016, I was a congressional intern for the Office of Speaker Paul D. Ryan. At the beginning of my internship, I expressed interest in working with the Speaker’s press team as I wanted to put what I was learning in my communication classes to use. Here are three things that I learned while working with Speaker Ryan’s team.
1. Build relationships with members of the media
Throughout my internship, I was invited to attend numerous Speaker press conferences. I noticed that his press team and media members had built strong, respectful relationships with each other. This allowed for news to be provided to the public in an efficient and effective manner.
2. Think proactively about social media
One of my intern tasks was to research the following base of the Speaker’s Twitter account. I learned about the importance of understanding a governmental official’s following, and how social media is an easy means of communication for congressional members and their constituents. I also learned about the importance of hashtags during a political campaign.
3. Be prepared for media appearances at all times
Throughout my internship, the Speaker was required to make unexpected media appearances quite often. Since my internship was during an election year, this was even more true as the Speaker had to be prepared to continue his campaign while also answering unexpected media questions related to the election.
By Rachel Zetwick
This past summer, I was a PR and Marketing Coordinator at the Ohio State Fair. During the first night of the Fair, a ride malfunctioned and killed an 18-year-old man and injured seven. As soon as I got back to my desk after the accident, I received calls from NBC’s “Today” show, CNN and multiple local news networks.
While my team and I learned about the importance of crisis communication under very dire circumstances, we left with new skills we did not expect to gain. Here are my three biggest takeaways from my crisis communication experience:
1. Have a plan in place
Before the Fair, all employees attended a crisis communication meeting to prepare for a variety of potential crises. We collaborated with emergency staff, created a group communication system and shared documents that detailed plans for all aspects of the Fair.
2. Treat media to the same standard
After the accident, we created a staging area for the media to go live and take B-roll. We made sure that all networks and reporters had the same access to footage so we did not give anyone preferential treatment.
3. Think about your scheduled content
During the months before the Fair, we scheduled numerous Facebook posts, press releases and blog posts. We immediately changed our editorial calendar so that we did not provide insensitive information to our audiences.
By: Kiley Harris
Public relations is a constantly evolving field. With new advances in technology and social media, public relations has had to adapt in order to stay current with the trends and continue to reach target audiences efficiently. With each year that passes, there are new trends in PR to look out for. Forbes published an article this year about 6 PR trends to keep an eye out for in 2018, that all aspiring PR students should educate themselves on in order to get ahead of competition in future classes, internships, or potential jobs. We have mentioned below three of the most important trends from this article for students to know and use to their advantage in setting themselves apart in the internship and job market.
1. “Personal branding and thought leadership will go beyond executives.”
This PR trend is especially beneficial for those working in a company, but who do not hold a top position. This trend implements a more companywide approach that allows for greater reach due to more people working on a brand. This is beneficial both for the workers, and for the ability to reach a larger target audience. Since this is a growing trend, getting experience with branding and thought leadership as a student, will help you set yourself apart from your peers.
2. “Owning your digital landscape will never be more important to attract followers.”
Developing a strong digital landscape will be very important in PR for 2018 because it is getting more difficult to attract followers with an abundance of content. Being able to maximize SEO so your landscape comes up first, as well as having a good grip on the digital landscape in general can help set students looking for jobs stand out from their competitors as this trend continues to grow.
3. “PR will need to understand business goals besides its own.”
PR professional will need to be able to understand the goals of other areas that can use PR as a tool such as marketing, recruiting, investor relations, etc. This will allow collaboration between these areas with PR for more successful communication within a company. As PR students, it would be very beneficial to take classes in these related fields and expose yourself to them in order to put yourself ahead on the job market as this trend becomes more important.
PR students must be curious individuals. Being curious and researching up and coming trends, and then acting upon them by gaining experience in those trends can help you really stand out from your peers, elevating you in the job market. Educating yourself on these trends above, the other 3 trends, which can be found in this article posted by Forbes, and on any other trends you research is an extremely beneficial and smart thing to do. This shows initiative and can help you gain experience you need to land your dream job.
By: Lindsey Nelson
As an extremely swamped college student, it can be hard to stay in the loop with news outside of your busy schedule or the tiny college town of Oxford. But as students interested in the Public Relations world, it could not be more important, and is a good habit to get into while you’re young. Here are 3 quick ways for busy students to stay in-the-know:
The Daily Skimm is a daily newsletter that Miami University students can sign-up to receive an emails breaking down recent events in government, sports, Hollywood, etc. Their main goal is to give their readers short blurbs that get to the point, so the subscribers are not bombarded with unnecessary information. It will only inform you of the most relevant news, with a wide variety of topics so readers can impress their friends with new facts daily.
Most people think Twitter is just a platform for celebrities and following friends, but it is a perfect place to receive news and companies. Every major network is always updating their account with breaking news updates, before it can hit actual TV-news. Even if you do not follow news accounts, you are bound find current events updates from your friends liking or retweeting them. Or if you want to find news on something specific, the search feature is an awesome device to type in key words and instantly say what the world is saying about it.
Who would have thought that Snapchat would turn into a news outlet? With being one of the biggest social media apps out there, it is one of the easiest ways for college kids to quickly access different news sites of their choice. Daily Mail, People BuzzFeed, and ESPN are just a few of the channels that are provided.
By: Lindsay Thomas
As the semester is nearing an end, many students are stressed out about not having either an internship or full-time job lined up. The dreaded, “What are your plans this summer?” or “What are you doing after graduation?” or better yet, “Have you interviewed for a job?” will no doubt, come up during your family Thanksgiving. For those seniors who don’t have any idea what is next, full-on freak out mode will commence.
Whether or not you have a job yet, I can say that time is no predictor on how successful you will be in the future. Some of us just get lucky and land a job early on, but many employers don’t actually start hiring until spring semester. And while it is unfortunate having to wait for what seems like an eternity, it should be reassuring that you still have a lot of time to figure it all out. You might feel like a failure right now because you’ve seen your friends landing interviews and receiving job offers and you’ve yet to get one, but know you are far from a failure.
I wanted to share some advice I received from my mother when I was feeling discouraged after career fair last year that helped me stay positive: “Just because you don’t get a certain job doesn’t mean you aren’t qualified or they didn’t necessarily like you. They may just not see you as the best fit. And while it’s hard not to take rejection personally, you have to keep your head up and know that you are awesome, and you will find something that best fits you.” Enough said. Keep your head up!
By Sarah Emery (@sarahemery1995)
I would consider myself a Twitter aficionado. I’ve even been granted access to 280 characters, although I spend the majority of my time on Twitter reading and learning from what others have to say than posting my own content (unless it’s about my love for desserts).
Here are four Twitter accounts any up-and-coming PR professional HAS to follow:
Whether you love it or hate it, AP Style is here to stay in the media world. The AP Stylebook Twitter account is highly active and the weekly #APStyleChat will update you on everything from fake news to punctuation
PR News calls itself the “hub for communicators,” and I’d definitely agree! The account has a healthy mix of top headlines, communication tips and media trends and is a great way to see the world from a PR professional’s perspective.
A strong understanding of social media and digital marketing is paramount for the 21st century PR professional. With informative infographics and links, I find myself bookmarking Hootsuite’s content all the time!
If you’re still hungry for PR-related posts after reading our blog, make sure to follow PRWeek US for trending stories about successes and snafus throughout the public relations universe.
After following these great accounts, make sure you’re following @miamiohPRSSA to stay up-to-date on what we’re doing! Happy Tweeting and Reading!
By: Beth Pfohl
It is common practice in the public relations industry to have one, if not two or more, related internships before starting your first “big kid” job. So at this point, you know you need an internship but probably don’t have a clue about how to get one. Below are some tips I learned through trial (and error) to help you find the perfect internship that will get you where you want to go.
1. Where do you want to work?