Category Archives: Tools for PR Students

Why You Need A LinkedIn Account

By Abby Cousineau

Screen Shot 2017-07-14 at 12.16.59 PM

Having an updated LinkedIn account can help you find a job before you graduate college

You have probably heard your professors tell you million times to create a LinkedIn account. If you haven’t listened to them yet, now is the time to hop on the bandwagon and do it.

Creating a LinkedIn account can help you in a million ways, but here are the main reasons you need to create an account before you graduate.

 

  • Job Recruiters and Hiring Managers are on LinkedIn

 

According to the polling company, Jobvite, nearly 94% of recruiters say they use LinkedIn to find candidates. This means if you want a better chance of getting a job, do yourself a favor and create an account, it could help you get discovered by your dream company.

 

  • Networking

 

Having a LinkedIn account connects you with employers, current job opportunities and can help employers find relevant candidates (AKA you!). Getting a LinkedIn also helps you keep up with your peers’ professional accomplishments. Having a strong LinkedIn network could help alert you to job openings and could get you a foot-in-the-door if you know someone at a company.

 

  • Online Resume

 

We all know that your physical resume should only be 1-2 pages long, especially if you are a recent grad. If you are having trouble fitting all your credentials in the page limit, a LinkedIn account can help you greatly. Your LinkedIn profile essentially acts like your resume, and there is no limit to how much information or how many areas you can include. Try to put your most relevant skills and experiences on your hard copy resume and feel free to go more in depth on your LinkedIn profile.

 

  • Research

 

Having a hard time finding companies that are actually hiring? You can use LinkedIn to search for jobs in your area. Don’t waste a million hours searching Google, instead head over to the jobs tab of LinkedIn, select your city and the positions you’re looking for and rejoice in all the job opportunities before you. Oh, and the best part? Most of the time you can apply to the job with your LinkedIn profile. It’s the easiest job application ever!

 

  • Endorsements and Recommendations

 

Say farewell to the old-school recommendation letters and say hello to LinkedIn endorsements and recommendations. LinkedIn allows people to endorse your skills as well as have colleagues and bosses give you recommendations (testimonials which explain how awesome you are). These all can help confirm your abilities to recruiters and hiring managers who don’t know you personally.

Abby Cousineau is a senior at EMU majoring in public relations and minoring in graphic design and marketing. She is currently serving as president of EMU PRSSA and is excited to be leading such a creative and dedicated group of individuals. You can usually find Abby outside anytime the weather is nice or otherwise spending her time behind a computer screen, working on one of her design projects. Connect with Abby on Instagram @abcattt.
Advertisements

6 Things Incoming PR Majors Should Know

By Heather Pruitt

At the beginning of 2017, I was given the opportunity to become a Group Leader as a part of Eastern Michigan University’s Orientation program. As someone who loves interacting with people, and has a passion for Eastern, working this job has become one of my favorite things to do.

However, my favorite part about being an Orientation Group Leader is getting to know the incoming students. I am excited for them to find their place at Eastern, just as I have found mine, and to start writing their own story while they’re at college.

I enjoy talking with all students at FastTrack (the segment of orientation where students register for classes) but nothing gets me more excited than meeting a future PR major. Even though I have only encountered a handful, I am incredibly excited for everything that they are about to experience when they start PR at EMU.

While I am excited to see the students start their journey at Eastern, there is nothing that I want to do more than to tell them everything I wish I had known when I started. But with one short day, it can be a little intense for incoming students to register for classes, get their first taste of college, and be bombarded with advice about their program all in one day. So I decided to create a list of the six things I wish I knew about PR as an incoming freshman.

Learn to love writing.

When I started the program, I expected to exclusively be planning events, posting on social media, and standing up in front of my class giving presentations about the future of Facebook. While these aspects are apart of the Public Relations program, I was in the dark about how important writing is in the world of PR. Press releases, feature articles, crafting newsletters, and blog posts, are all incredibly important parts of PR. So learn to love writing, learn to love your writing, because it will become an important part of your life.

Start networking from the beginning

Within the first few weeks of starting my freshman year, I decided to join PRSSA. I’ll be honest- joining PRSSA freaked me out because I had to learn to network and get acclimated to college life. How was I, an 18-year-old, who was stressed about finding new friends, supposed to network with professionals for a career that was years away? I found that having someone in the program who I felt comfortable asking questions to, and getting help from, was reassuring. They can help ease any worries you have about entering the world of PR. Additionally, the earlier your start networking, the more people you come in contact with, which can benefit you in the long run.

Join PRSSA

Joining PRSSA is great way to start networking and to learn about PR. It allows you to learn how to network, as well as give you information about subjects that are relevant to the PR world. Joining PRSSA also gives you the chance for great leadership opportunities in and out of the organization.

Invest in a ‘professional outfit’

When I started college, I had no idea what clothes would identify as ‘business casual’. I didn’t even know when or why I would need them! I found that it is important to invest in clothing that is appropriate for the occasion. While it may not be frequent when you start college, there will be occasions that require you to dress in business casual and possibly business professional. Make sure that you are prepared and have outfits that fit criteria. Having the wrong outfit can leave the wrong impression! However, if you are unsure about what outfits are business casual or business professional, there are lots of ideas on Pinterest!

Make time to do a little PR everyday.

Make an investment to look at a PR blog a few times a week to stay updated with the ever changing world of PR. There are some professors who like to use current events as teaching points for their classes. When you are up to date, it gives you an advantage to speak up in class, and really helps fuel class discussions. Additionally, if you don’t have a lot of time I recommend subscribing to Help A Reporter Out (HARO). HARO is an online database that helps journalists with upcoming stories. They send you emails several times a day with topics that are relevant. This is a great way to stay updated on current trends.

Set out a timeline of how you want things to go.

It is one thing to know that there are goals you want to accomplish in college, however, it is another thing to achieve those goals. Create a timeline of what you want to do in your college career, and set dates to accomplish those goals by.

Heather Pruitt is a junior majoring in Public Relations. This is her first year serving as VP of Member Relations.

Walkouts at the New York Times

By Josie Bobeck

Image result for the new york times

Source: deadline.com

The New York Times is one of the most well known newspapers in the world, if not the number one. And if you know anything about how newspapers work, you know that it takes a village from start to finish to get a newspaper to the public.

Earlier this week the New York Times announces plans to cut back on the news paper’s copy editors. Copy editors are super important in the world of journalism – without them, publications would be filled with typos, grammar mistakes, and missed punctuation.

Image result for copy editing

Source: lynettenoni.com

Executive editors said in a statement that by laying off editors, the newspaper would be able to hire as many as 100 journalists with the money.

Copy editors aren’t the only people in fear of losing their job – the role of public editor, around since 2003, is also said to be eliminated.

So why is this relevant to public relations?

PR professionals work very closely with journalists, and it is crucial that publications are well-written and clean. A simple typo could be very bad for a company. Copyediting is more than just proofreading – it’s a valuable skill that could help give you an advantage in the world of media.

Eastern Michigan University offers a Copy Editing class (JRNL 307). In this class you will learn more about AP style, grammar, and how to improve stories overall.

Josie Bobeck is a senior majoring in written communication and minoring in communication. She is currently the VP of Public Relations, previously serving as VP of Member Relations. Josie hopes to one day work in a creative environment in a big city or for a record label doing publicity. Connect with Josie on Twitter at @Josephine3laine or by email at jbobeck@emich.edu.

 

Straight from the Recruiters Part 1: Resume Writing

By: NinaMaria Badalamenti

writing-computer

Source: lilpickmeupdotcom.wordpress.com

I recently attended Global Team Blue’s “The Dirt”. This was an inside scoop of what GTB is and what they do. We got to listen to many members of the agency speak and also got to ask them some questions of our own. For one of the sessions we got to hear from the recruiters of GTB. We got to hear what they look for directly from them. We all know the general do’s and don’ts of resumes and interviews but the recruiters gave some insightful tips that you don’t hear every day. To summarize the highlights of this insightful session here are 3 tips to follow when writing your resume to get an interview straight from the recruiters of GTB.

  • Include additional skills that may or may not specifically pertain to the job description.

Adding in your hidden or not so hidden talents can give you just the boost you need to stand out. Things like being well rounded in Excel, Photoshop, or Google analytics, or even having experience in photography or graphic design can be helpful working in this field even when it doesn’t apply to the position your trying to get. Having these other skills is always useful and recruiters will note that you have useful skills that others might not. This doesn’t mean you need to study up in these programs if you don’t know how to use them but if you have the skills, flaunt them.

  • Don’t be afraid to give your resume a splash of color.

Adding some color to your resume will make it physically stand out and be more memorable to recruiters. Sticking to the traditional black and white is safe but bland. This doesn’t mean be flashy but just adding some simple, tasteful color on the sides or maybe an elegant design can do just the trick to give you some edge.

  • List ALL of your experience.

Even if you don’t have any experience in the field that doesn’t mean you don’t have any experience at all. The experience you have in life counts! Experience from previous jobs, schoolwork and volunteering count. Include it! Just because you don’t think your experience applies to the position doesn’t mean the recruiters won’t. They may see something you don’t. Also, be sure to use projects from class that might be relevant to the position. Don’t forget volunteering is great experience. Just make sure you explain how the tasks you did apply.

Bonus tip: Cut out the objectives section of your resume. This isn’t an important part of the resume and takes up space. The exception to this is if your degree doesn’t match the position you are applying for. In this case, it is helpful to show that you are dedicated to the new field. In addition to this, a cover letter is very crucial to explain your passion for the new position.

NinaMaria Badalamenti is a senior studying Communications. This is her first semester serving as VP of External Relations for EMU PRSSA.

 

 

Why Canva should be one of the tools you know how to use as a PR professional

By: Rachel Dwornick

Canva

Source: upload.wikimedia.org

As social media continues to grow and expand, PR professionals are faced with new challenges to solve and tasks to complete. One amazing and free website I recently learned about in one of my public relations classes is Canva. This awesome website lets you create graphics with ease.

For someone who has never had any graphic design experience, creating graphics scared me. Canva is a great website for people with little to no experience when it comes to creating graphics. First, let’s start off with what I feel is one of the most important features of Canva.

Canva has templates for you, which are sized properly for whatever platform you may need a graphic for. For example, if you are looking to make a graphic for Facebook there is a template for Facebook posts or Facebook Cover Photos. The same concept applies to Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr. You can create your own custom dimensions if needed. Along with social media content they have templates for ads, events, documents, blogging materials and marketing materials.

The next feature that Canva offers that I love happens after you pick your template. You can than pick from a premade design that Canva has created. This is great for someone who as little to no graphic experience because you can simply drag and drop your images and place your text in the layout. They have a ton of great free layouts you can use, as well as some to purchase if you are looking for a specific type of layout.

Another awesome feature Canva offers is the tons of free images/icons they offer. You can simply search what you are looking for in the search box and choose which one you want to use. Some images have a cost but for the most part there is always something you can find for free to use. Or, if you have an image to use, you can upload it to Canva and place it in your layout. Canva also has social media icons that you can use to link your brand’s social media accounts or websites to the graphic.

Finally, when your graphic is complete Canva gives you the option to download it as a PDF, JPG, or PNG. There are so many other great features Canva offers. So, if you haven’t heard of Canva or never used it, go check it out!

Rachel Dwornick is a senior at Eastern Michigan University studying public relations with a minor in communications. She holds the position of Member Relations in PRSSA and is an active member of Alpha Xi Delta. Follow her on Twitter at @racheldwornick.

Journalism experience can be valuable to PR students

By: Katie Gerweck

As students, we are always looking for opportunities to sharpen our skills and better prepare ourselves for our future careers. Although we get experience through our public relations classes, there are other ways to improve as well. Students looking to strengthen their writing and other skills should consider taking a journalism class or working for the school paper. This experience gives students valuable practice with some of the same skills we use in public relations. For example:

 Writing quickly

As public relations professionals we will be expected to write high quality pieces in a short period of time, and journalists face similar time limits. It is not uncommon for a student journalist to attend an event on a Tuesday night, and to have the story due Wednesday morning. Covering events for a school newspaper is a good way to improve your writing speed, and get you in the habit of writing under pressure.

 AP style

Journalists and public relations professionals both use the Associated Press stylebook when writing, so journalistic writing is a good way to exercise your AP style knowledge. Copy editing for a paper, or taking a copy editing class, is another way to familiarize yourself with AP style. It can help with your grammar knowledge as well.

 Understanding what is newsworthy

We are taught as public relations students to ask ourselves “So what?” and “Who cares?” when writing press releases and other materials. It is important that we understand what is newsworthy so we can grab our readers’ attention. Journalists work in the same way, especially when they write hard news stories, which are written in the inverted pyramid style. Writing hard news stories can get students accustomed to quickly discerning what is newsworthy in their story, and organizing the information accordingly. Writing hard news is also a great way to learn more about quotes and proper attribution, which lend credibility to the story.

Overall, taking a journalism class or working for a school newspaper are good options for students looking to strengthen their writing in a different environment.

Katie Gerweck is a senior majoring in public relations with a minor in journalism. She is the editor-in-chief for EMU PRSSA, and also works as a copy editor for the Eastern Echo. She is the copy chief for the Echo during the summer of 2015.

 

The usefulness of online portfolios

Source: Design Web Identity

Source: Design Web Identity

Online portfolios are a great tool for PR students to have. Having an online portfolio allows potential employers to see all of your work. It’s also an way to keep track of everything you do. As a student, you can put up your best PR class work.

Online portfolios is also an easy way to submit work samples. You can simply direct them to your site where they can view all of your work. The portfolio site should an include an bio with a resume/experiences, contact information and social media profiles. The url address should be a variation of your legal name, its commonly the first and last name.

Sites that can be useful for creating a portfolio site is WordPress or Wix. Be sure to keep your site updated with your most current work.