I Heard It From The PR Girl


Interview With Ashlea Rogers

Posted in PR Connections by laurynwilliams on April 22, 2010

I decided to do one more PR Connection, before the semester ended to just close on a good note. I spoke with Ms. Ashlea Rogers at the Center for Academic Technology Support at Georgia Southern University. She met my sister when they both went to school as PR majors here at GSU. I love Ashlea and think she is a great person to ask for advice on life in the PR/Marketing/Communications field.

She is the Information Systems Coordinator, so she really is not active in the PR field anymore, but that just goes to show that none of us know where we are going to end up or what we will be doing in the future. She just knew what she liked and what she was interested in and took it from there. I suggest everyone do that same. Go with the flow and follow your heart. Do not just stick to PR if you see your life taking you somewhere else. 🙂

These are a few questions I asked her. Here is her input!

1) What was your first job out of college? Was it a job you really wanted?

My first job out of college was with View Tech, Inc. as a Marketing representative.  This was the same company that I completed my internship with, and yes after having completing my internship with View Tech, I did want the job.  The company’s focus was on videoconferencing and this was something that gained my interest when I was a student on campus at GSU.

2) Do you feel like you learned the correct skills in college to effectively do your job in the PR field?

Yes, I do feel like the skills I learned in college helped me do my job.  I learned early on in my career that communication was key whether you are talking about a formal press release or simply an office email.  A majority of my PR classes were focused on writing and this proved to be very helpful.

3) What do you wish you would have known before heading out into the workforce?

As I mentioned above, I started my career out with more of a marketing focused position and eventually moved into a sales role.  I wish that I had known more about what other ways I could have used my PR degree or what other types of job (rather than a PR only position) fields I could use my degree.

4) Do you believe that social media such as Twitter, Facebook, and blogging should be used in the PR field? Do you use them?

Yes, I believe that social networking is key in any field.  The use of these sites are being used more and more both in the public and private sectors.  I think that using these sites and using them effectively can be a huge benefit to communicating a message.  I currently use Twitter on a professional basis to relay updates about our department.

5) How has the PR field changed since you graduated?

Well, since I actually have spent a majority of my career in sales I am not sure that I can speak to the PR field specifically but in general I think that companies/organizations are looking for individuals that have the ability to not only focus on one area of expertise.  I feel that individuals who are able to focus on multiple areas such as PR / Marketing / Communications appear to be much more attractive.  This all due to the reality that companies want to do more with less.  Therefore, individuals who can lend expertise and work in multiple areas are the ones who come out on top.

6) Are there any books or websites dealing with PR that you would recommend to PR students and practitioners?

PRSA is a great organization to be a part of especially for networking.

7) Do think that PR students are prepared for the business world after graduation? What should they know?

I do think that PR students are prepared for the business world.  There is nothing like on the job training, but I do believe that students have been equipped with the basics to get started.  The rest only comes with time. 

For more information about what Ashlea Rogers does now or if you have any questions for her email me at Lauryn_e_williams@georgiasouthern.edu.

I feel accomplished having my 11th PR Connection done, but I am more excited about having created some networking through people like Ashlea and my sister, Robyn. Get started on making your connections while you are in college.

Just some more advice from the PR Girl 😉

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Where Do You Get Your News?

Posted in PR Connections by laurynwilliams on April 18, 2010

Most young adults have begin relying on the Internet for news and information. I know I do not have time to sit down and watch the news all of the time, let alone pic up a news paper or magazine. I am always online either doing homework or catching up with friends. This is one reason that it is he most convenient way for me to get my news.

News websites are timely. They are constantly being updated. Sometime you will turn on a news channel and they speak on one subject, or by the time you can sit down to watch television the news is over.

I suggest BBC News online .

As a PR student, I have to keep up with what is going on in America and all over the world. BBC News covers a global spectrum, but also gives news in the United States. One good thing about this is that it is news from a non-politically partial perspective. You do not get a democratic or republican view. I feel like it is much more objective in that aspect.

The website is really easy to navigate. On the left you have a list of countries, regions and subjects for news, such as business, health, science, technology and entertainment. There is a sports section to the right of the page. Top stories are of course listed on the main page. There is a “Latest” section at the top the page that keeps a constant updated scroll of the most recent news. If you are looking for videos only and not news articles, there is a section in the middle of the main page called “Videos.”

This website is perfect to catch up on news quickly. Even if you only have 30 minutes out of your busy PR filled day, just stop by and check out the latest news.

BBC News online has a lot to offer.

says the PR Girl 😉

One of the Biggest Questions About PR

Posted in PR Connections by laurynwilliams on April 18, 2010

I think that one of the most asked questions about my major is “what exactly is PR?”

People relate it to marketing and advertising. This makes sense, because PR does deal with those things. Here is a neat little video I found on YouTube about what PR is.

Public Relations Video

This video tells you a lot about what people think about PR and what PR really is. I believe that what most people do not understand and what most people want to know is “how PR is done.”

PR is a process to promote your company or client through efficient planning. A PR professional plans out events to promote his or her client, whether they are set up specifically for that company or client or whether they are events that are already happening that his or her client/company could join in. PR professionals plan campaigns and do tons of writing. They write speeches, news releases, and media advisories. They create photo releases and media kits.

When there is a course dedicated entirely to PR writing, it is pretty obvious that there is a lot to learn.

The video I linked to helps explain what PR is, but I think that another video should be made to explain how it is done. I think this would not only clear up some questions, but also shine light on what students who have not declared a major might really be interested in doing.

PR 2.0: How the Internet is changing public relations

Posted in PR Connections by laurynwilliams on April 17, 2010

Check out Brian Solis’s video on YouTube about PR 2.0

Solis talks about how PR is changing due to the Internet. PR professionals can now put more of their opinion in a blog, instead of striving to be more objective in such things as news releases sent to journalists. Twitter and Facebook are being used more for business.

Al Sargent’s created blog post and response to the video and Solis’s idea, called “Why traditional PR is dead – and what to do about it.”

I found out about Solis’s idea and video through Sargent’s post. I suggest everyone read the blog post and watch the video on their own to learn more about how the web is altering the way PR works.

I left a comment on Sargent’s blog. Just to get my opinion across I’ll show you what I said.

My comment to Sargent’s blog and the idea of PR 2.0:

“This post makes many good points. PR is changing due to technology and social media. I really like that you mention the importance and skill of bloggers. Blogging is a great way to get your opinion out without being punished for it. I would suggest for PR students to start blogging while in college. It doesn’t matter if it is about PR or not, as long as it is something that they are generally interested in and have a lot of knowledge about. I do not believe that journalists should worry about PR practitioners and bloggers taking their jobs, though. They write differently and usually address a different audience. What PR bloggers talk about is not necessarily newsworthy to everyone, because the blog is focused on PR. I love some of the points made in this post.”

This comment can also be found on my “Friendly Little Comments” post, which has tracked my comments throughout the Spring 2010 semester.

Are PR bloggers moving to Twitter?

Posted in PR Connections by laurynwilliams on April 13, 2010

Paul Stallard created a post called “Why do so few PR professionals blog?”

In this post he says that many PR professionals in the UK have moved to Twitter and stopped blogging. He says that most of the time PR personal that do have blogs do not update them frequently enough or they create posts about something not related to PR.  Why?

This was my response:

“I believe that blogging is a wonderful way for PR professionals to get their name out, get their products name out, speak up about issues in the field, and receive feedback. I think that Twitter is a good way to briefly point out all of the above, but with Twitter it is hard to see opinions due to lack of word space. In blogs, PR professionals can state how they feel if they would like to. The reason I think so many people have moved to Twitter is because it is newer than blogging and it is easier in that you do not have to write much at all. I am currently blogging for my PR writing class in the USA, but I agree that most professionals blog infrequently. I see many posts, but not from the same person. I don’t necessarily think that this is a bad thing. I just think that as a PR student or practitioner one should follow many PR blogs not just one or two. The broader your scope is for taking in knowledge the more you will take in that information and be able to practice it. This is a wonderful post!”

Blogging is important, because you can bring up issues in the field and receive almost instant feedback with more opinions. You cannot do that as well on Twitter. I believe that PR professionals should keep up with their blogs and have their Twitter follow behind that. Have Twitter to back it all up.  What do you guys think?

Wiki for PR Student Blogs

Posted in PR Connections by laurynwilliams on April 13, 2010

Matt Churchill created a post about a PR Wiki on Seldom Seen Kid, a blog about digital communications, social media, brand consultancy, PR, newspapers, the digital world and music. He states that Adam Lewis, a student at York University and Flawless Buzz blog creator, has started a Wiki page dedicated to Student PR blogs. This allows students studying PR or looking for work in PR showcase their blogs to a wider audience. This is a wonderful way to network and possibly find a placement or full-time work.

I suggest hat you add your name to the Student PR blogs wiki if you are an PR student aspiring to be a professional with a serious interest in the digital part of PR. Even if you are not interested so much in the online world of PR it is still a wonderful way to create some networking.

Adam says his wiki is a worldwide list of student PR and communications blogs inspired by Stephen Davies’ s List of UK PR Student Bloggers.

Check out all of these posts. Start becoming involved in the world of PR online. I believe that it will really help you in the future.

Recruiting During a Recession

Posted in PR Connections by laurynwilliams on April 6, 2010

In this weeks’ Issues and Trends – Career Mondays email from PRSA different career articles are mentioned. One of the articles mentioned was Recession Recruiting by Doug Berg, Founder & Chief Innovation Officer at Jobs2Web, Inc. courtesy of Recruiting Trends.

This is the opening paragraph that was posted on the email. It grabbed my attention, because I cannot help but think how I will get a job at graduation if the United States is still in a recession. We will mostly likely be recovering slightly from the recession I believe, but what if it is worse? Here is what Berg has to say:

“Are you wasting a great recession and the possibility that it provides smart companies to cultivate relationships with future recruits? As I travel around the country and meet with top companies to discuss their online recruiting strategies, I’m constantly surprised by employers’ attitudes: We don’t want applicants if there aren’t any specific recruiting requirements open. This means no capturing any candidate interest whatsoever! This “go away – there’s nothing here for you” sign that hung on career sites hurts future recruiting efforts – especially when in today’s market, the number of candidates searching online for jobs and companies is at an all time high”  Recession Recruiting

One of the most interesting parts of Berg’s article was his alternative to having candidates apply for a job that does not actually have a position currently open for them.

“If the ONLY way that candidates can show interest in working for our company is to apply for a job, then that’s the course of action they will take right? But what if there was an easier alternative?

Many employers haven’t even considered the simple concept of offering prospective candidates the ability to enter their email into a simple employment newsletter integrated into your career site. By using email subscription services such as Constant Contact, you can begin to harvest email addresses of candidates from your site. Another great option would be to set up a LinkedIn Group, a Facebook fan page, or a Twitter account for prospective employees. This would allow prospective candidates to follow your jobs in the social channels, and provide you with a way to capture their interest. Your recruiters can post future positions into these channels, which auto-broadcast them to this pool of prospects online, helping to capture the initial interest of prospects, and recycle them when future positions arise, helping to leverage these easy tools to fill future positions.”  Recession Recruiting

I believe this is a very important article for PR firms and professionals to read in order to more effectively build new relationships with future employees during this recession. It is important for PR students to read, because we must understand that simply applying or the job may not be enough or event the answer at all. Times are changing and we must adapt correctly.

The Rising Use of Social Media in PR

Posted in PR Connections by laurynwilliams on April 6, 2010

On PR Media Blog  I found Jon Clements’ post  “Marketeers board the Social Media Clue Train” which discusses social media issues, trends, and  who really uses social media. There are still businesses that do not want to engage in the world of social media, because they do not understand how to use it to effectively benefit their company.

“Overall, 70% of CMOs polled by Forbes said they’d be doing more work in social media next year, now comfortable that it offers real value, though measurement was still in its infancy.” Marketeers board the Social Media Clue Train

“Twelve months ago the attitude of big business to social media ranged from cautious interest to total disregard.  Now, in the UK too, the sound of consumer chatter is gaining an audience in the board room.” Marketeers board the Social Media Clue Train

I suggest all PR students and professionals read this post and visit the additional tags and links.

Paul Stallard  mentions this page in his own post PR Week – best of the tech blogs . Stallard’s post directs the reader to another post of his in PR Week  where he highlights Clements’ points about social media.

I commented on Clements’ post because I felt that during this semester in my PR Writing class we have learned so much about how social media can benefit a business through public relations. Clements’ post really highlights how business people feel about social media and who is using it.

My comment:

“I believe that social media has many benefits for public relations and marketing. By reviewing what consumers are saying about your product or service you can better understand what they want and what they no longer want. These things are really important for promotion. Twitter is a great source for businesses to view what consumers are saying about their company as well as for promotion for their product or service. The only problem I see with social media is that some people use it incorrectly. Businesses should make sure that they are not doing ridiculous automatic updates on Twitter. This does not benefit anyone and is quite annoying for other businesses as well as consumers.”

When to Tweet and Blog About A Client

Posted in PR Connections by laurynwilliams on March 7, 2010

I have mentioned several times now that my PR Writing class participated in a “A Week of Twitter.” We posted tweets with interesting info and questions  regarding to public relations as well as other invoking tweets. We also had to reply to other tweets.

During this week and currently, I saw how many public relations professionals posted tweet to publicize a client or product. I never took into consideration that this must be carefully considered before doing until I read the post When Clients Wan Coverage in Your Blog:  Social Media Ethical Dilemmas in the blog PR Squared.

This post points out how a PR professional must think about whether or not to publicize a client through social media (blogs, Twitter, etc.) by considering who the target public is that the blog reaches and if the post about the client would be relevant to the blog’s purpose and informative to the audience. Also, it mentions how these Tweets and posts must not be obnoxiously prevalent on your page because it only clutters it with information.

I thought this post had some very valid points and great advice to current and upcoming public relations people.

The Twittersphere, Is It Digressing?

Posted in PR Connections by laurynwilliams on March 5, 2010

After having done “A Week of Twitter” in my PR Writing class for Professor Nixon, I believe that Twitter is a great way for PR Professionals to make connections. The article The State of The Twittersphere 2010 talks very much about how Twitter is a great networking site for professionals and businesses, but also how it can be addictive. It also provides graphs that represent the fluctuating usage of Twitter over time. I do not understand how the use of Twitter could go anywhere but up on a scale of users in the future. This article may prove differently.

 “The state and future of Twitter is passionately debated as users and industry pundits explore whether or not the platform and the relationships that connect one another are in danger of slowing or worse, regressing.”

 “The Twitterverse is a living and breathing ecosystem that moves and adapts to current events and the moments of opportunity when someone is prone to sharing, responding, or viewing the activity of their friends and contacts.”

This article even includes the distribution of tweets by day and hour and the top locations that Twitter is used. It includes the most “ReTweetable Times” during the different days of the week. This could be very helpful for business and public relations professionals using Twitter. The article is very informative for anyone wishing to see the true impact Twitter has had on the world and its future.

It shows that users may be going down, but that actual tweets are going up. It is a very interesting article and I encourage everyone in the business world or preparing for the business world to read it.

I found this article through the publication email of PRSA, “Issues and Trends.”

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