With Valentine’s Day newly in the rear view and the season of love in full swing, lets take a look at how some tips for first date success can also be tips for success in the world of public relations.
Dress to impress
First impressions are oftentimes not the deal maker, but can definitely be the deal breaker. Just as you would for a first date, be sure to properly dress for the occasion. So, that your client is aware that you mean business. Now, that level of “mean business” is subject to change. If the meeting is on their turf in a conference room, then it is a safe bet to dress business professional. However, if you have the opportunity to dictate the terms of the meeting and perhaps choose a corner bistro on a Saturday afternoon, a setting like this it is safe to err on the side of a laid-back business casual. Think Friday in the office. Dressing in this manner conveys to the client that you are approachable, but still business oriented.
Be efficient when it comes to communicating through technology
Picture this, you meet your Tinderella out for the first time and she has no idea what Facebook and Twitter are, let alone who Tom from Myspace is. There should be zero chance of a second date after that, right? (I hope your nodding in agreement after that. Unless you are one of those “I don’t judge people” people, sitting up in your ivory tower, loving everyone’s uniqueness. I digress). The same standard will apply when you set sail for your first post graduation job in the public relations industry. Your potential employer is going to assume you are well versed in the tools of the trade. Not only does this include your standard social media sites, but also tools such as Adobe InDesign, AP Style, newsgathering sources like Skim and NYT Morning Briefing. Not being well versed in the tools of the trade is a surefire way to not get a “second date.”
In this small world, somehow, everybody knows everybody
Social media has blessed and cursed us with interconnectivity. Nowadays, it seems everyone knows everyone or is at least one or two connections away from knowing him or her. It is vital that you understand this and take it into consideration when moving from job to job, speaking to prospective clients about past clients, and during the interview process. The reason being is because you never know the extent of one’s network. So, when talking about past experiences, be respectful and avoid any negative comments.
The “waiting game” is a lose, lose
Lastly, the pièce de résistance. Many of you will have the opportunity to boast your public relations knowledge right out of the post-graduate gates with an internship. Do not play the “waiting game” when you get this opportunity. Instead, dive into the company and try to get as involved as you can. Show that you can be helpful, efficient, and innovative. As much as we would like it, the Ogilvy’s, Edelman’s, and Weber Shandwick’s of the world will not hire just because you are a nice person. So, get out there and showcase those public relations talents and skills to the best of your abilities because if you don’t, someone else will.
Written by Tyler Fiesel
Public relations student Sydney Holland is a great example of what students should aspire to be in college. When Holland isn’t busy in the classroom, interning, or working at the ISU Student Fitness Center, she is dedicated to improving her public relations skill set with the Illinois State University Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America. Holland is an active member in Progressive Image, the Chapter’s student-run firm, and will be representing ISU PRSSA as the National Delegate next month at the PRSSA 2016 National Assembly in Dallas, Texas, which is why she is this week’s featured member!
Tell us about yourself.
I am a junior public relations major from Mundelein, Ill. When I first began studying at ISU I was confused about what I wanted to do. I decided to enroll in the introduction to public relations course on a whim and discovered that public relations was the right major for me. I like to keep busy with ISU PRSSA, working at the Student Fitness Center, and interning at Uptown Partners.
Why did you join ISU PRSSA?
After declaring my major as public relations, I wanted to do everything I could to learn more about the field and get to know other public relations students. I wanted to take advantage of all the great opportunities ISU PRSSA has to offer like agency tours and workshops to develop myself professionally. It is also a lot of fun and gives me a chance to apply what I learn in class in more realistic situations.
Besides ISU PRSSA, what other organizations are you involved in?
I try to be involved with the Association of Women in Communication, ISU Mediation Club, and I work at the ISU Fitness Center as a Fitness Floor Monitor.
Describe your dream job.
I would like to work in agency public relations or doing public relations for a natural health company.
What is something a lot of people don't know about you?
I have a passion for nutrition and food. I love learning about organic nutrition, clean eating, and homeopathy. I love trying new foods and making healthier alternatives out of my favorite meals. If I were not a public relations major, I would definitely try to pursue natural health.
What is your favorite ISU memory so far?
Homecoming every year is always a good time, being with my friends always makes it memorable.
Who inspires you?
My parents inspire me; they both have an admirable work ethic but always put what is important first. I think today it can be hard to find a balance between work and family, and they do a really good job of keeping that balance. I aspire to be like that when I am older and I know I can always rely on them for help with anything.
Questions composed by Kimi Sanden
Tell us a little bit about yourself
I am a double major in public relations and English studies at Illinois State University. I am an honors student, a leader in the community, and also work with University College as an academic peer advisor.
Why did you decide to major in public relations?
I decided to study public relations because I love the idea of serving as a liaison between an organization and its publics. I enjoy working in a collaborative team setting.
How did you become interested in PRSSA?
I knew that ISU PRSSA was the best way for me to gain experience with all of the different aspects of public relations. With PRSSA, I have the opportunity to learn event planning, writing professionally, and work with real clients.
If you could work any job, what would it be?
If I could have any job, I would work with Vogue International as a public relations professional or stylist for photo shoots.
Do you have any hobbies outside of ISU PRSSA?
As for hobbies, I love to read. I almost always have a book in my hands. I am a political activist in the community on the weekends, bringing social justice to the foreground of peoples' minds.
Who do you look up to the most?
The person I look up to the most would be Audrey Hepburn. Hepburn did many amazing things with her life (including her work with UNICEF and other humanitarian projects) with confidence. I aspire to be a powerful, humble woman like her.
Where do you see yourself after you graduate?
After graduation, I see myself working at large agency doing public relations or internal communications in a corporate setting.
What are your responsibilities in ISU PRSSA?
Within ISU PRSSA, I am the development committee manager. I oversee a committee of around 30 people that help plan fun, creative, and lucrative events for Chapter.
What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind at ISU?
I want to leave behind a legacy at ISU that shows if someone works harder than all the rest, puts in the extra time, and chooses to pursue only the things they loves, they can accomplish all of their goals. No matter what road blocks fall in their way, they can do it.
Questions composed by Hope Fairchild
Sydney Holland, Illinois State's national delegate is excited to have the opportunity to represent the Chapter at PRSSA 2016 National Assembly in March. While at PRSSANA, Holland will participate in voting on the 2016-2017 PRSSA National Committee. Holland is prepared to network with PRSSA professionals and other public relations enthusiasts. As a junior, Holland feels her past courses and internships have allowed her to feel confident for the upcoming event.
PRecisely PR is the blog of the Illinois State University Chapter of the PRSSA. We write about Chapter events, the public relations industry, member profiles, and more.