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
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.