Posts Tagged ‘building’

The PR Intern Who Pitched the Media

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Kion Sanders is a recent communications and public relations graduate from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is the former Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) national vice president of chapter development and a current member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). Recently, he officially started his career in Cleveland, OH as an account associate for Fahlgren Mortine Public Relations.


As a student, I was fortunate to have internships that provided me with pitching responsibilities. One of the major roles of entry-level PR professionals is building and maintaining relationships with media representatives. My relevant experience made the transition from student to professional that much smoother because I was properly prepared for future responsibilities.

A model from the Nicholas Lindsey Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week show

A model from the Nicholas Lindsey Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Show. (Image Rights: Nicholas Lindsey Brand)

 A few weeks ago, I concluded my post-graduation internship with Weber Shandwick – a global public relations agency. As a consumer brands intern, one of my major responsibilities was pitching the media on behalf of clients I represented. I was able to practice everything from writing and distributing pitch e-mails, using social media tools to engage my targeted journalists, the proper way to pitch bloggers and of course, jumping on the phones to tell my client’s story.

This experience prepared me for one of my most challenging roles to date – serving as a PR manager for a Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week show. Nicholas Lindsey, a brand designer and one of my fellow PRSSA graduates, was in need of last-minute PR support for one of the biggest shows of his life. Immediately, I jumped at the opportunity; it was a great way to help a friend in need and a way to practice what I learned from my internship.

As PR manager for the show, my main responsibility was media relations. On show day, I had journalists present from Essence Magazine, NBC Universal and fashion bloggers from around the country, including an NYC Fashion Examiner. To solidify these high profile media representatives, I used everything I learned from my internship, especially social media for media relations purposes. My wonderful PR agency allowing me to pitch as an intern led to something I am very proud of – my first national magazine placement: NYFW Designer Q/A: Nicholas Clements-Lindsey.

To answer Tressa Robbins’ question, posted on the BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas blog, “Should PR Interns Pitch the Media?” … YES, they should – I am a living example of how it can prepare interns for the “real world.” In fact, I recently accepted a full-time position with Fahlgren Mortine Public Relations where I … pitch the media on behalf of clients.

Giving the valuable experience interns can learn from pitching, can you think of any reasons why they shouldn’t? 

Using Social Media to Enhance Attendee Experience at PR Industry Events

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

How is Social MediaIt’s that time of year again. Yes, it’s public relations and marketing conference season. Peter Shankman’s latest blog post gives some great tips for surviving it. Although social media is not a new thing to conferences (Twitter debuted at SXSW a few years ago), it is really now just becoming “mainstream.” In my June 20, 2009 blog post, I first talked about how I use Twitter as my note-taking platform and as a way to encourage engagement. A year later, and it is amazing to see how much more of a role social media plays in event participation.

I recently spoke at the YNPNdc (Young Nonprofit Professionals Network) second annual social media conference. Rosetta Thurman gave a great presentation on basic social media tools you should be using to enhance participation in your conference. Some of my favorite tips include:

  • Make a hashtag and promote it early.
  • Make a Twitter list of attendees and follow it.
  • Don’t hire a videographer; use Flipcams and digital cameras.
  • Allow attendees to take pictures and share them.
  • Integrate social media into your event. It is a great way to get information to your attendees and allows for more contact points than any one person can manage.

 “Building social media strategies into your event allows other people to speak and respond on your behalf. Sometimes the best answer to a question comes from a fellow attendee,” says John Chen, publications/project manager, International Society for Performance Improvement.  

What tips do you have for BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas readers looking to increase engagement at conferences? What has worked best for your organization?