Posts Tagged ‘Career Advice’

PRSSA National Conference: Student-run PR Firms

Monday, November 9th, 2009

73984912_20While in San Diego for the PRSA 2009 International Conference, of which BurrellesLuce is a sponsor, I went over to the PRSSA National Conference and sat-in on the Student-run Firm WorkshopNick Lucido, PRSSA national vice president of professional development and University of Michigan student, moderated the session. 

Mark Mahoney, senior communications specialist for Kohler, kicked off the session by introducing a national collegiate marketing competition for Save Water America. The competition requires the chapter/student-run firm to respond to a request for proposal (RFP) and develop an executive proposal outlining a marketing and public relations plan and budget. They will receive money and supplies to execute their marketing plan and will be judged on several criteria including creativity, media value, attendees, and local product sales.

The top team wins $10,000 worth of water-conserving products for their school, an all-expense paid trip to Kohler headquarters with roundtable executive meeting, and water conservation products for each team member. First and second runners-up will also receive water conservation products for their school and team members. (more…)

Are You a Conference Commando?

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

Steve Shannon
Over the last month and half I have attended six different PR conferences and have learned a lot, but more importantly I have met many new people and renewed business friendships with many others (read: expanded my professional and personal networks and engaged possible new clients and business partners for BurrellesLuce).

istock_000008002627xsmall.jpgUnfortunately, to this reporter, it seems like most folks attending conferences just gladly come and go from session to session, not bothering to interact with their fellow attendees. Hard to believe as PR is all about public relating.

For all intents and purposes, meeting people face-to-face is the true benefit of attending conferences these days. In the past, there was no such thing as a conference call or a webinar. So by default, if you wanted to learn about a particular topic, a conference was the natural place to go. But now, in the Internet age, and with the premium put on time, you can do distance learning by phone and/or web. If you’re going to invest the time, effort, and money it takes to travel to and attend a conference, maximize your face time and be as Keith Ferrazzi would say, a “conference commando.”

What’s a conference commando?  It’s somebody who attends a conference not only to learn, but to meet as many people, and the right people, who might be able to help them somewhere down the line. But successful commandos know it’s not all about them, you’ve got to give to get, as Ferrazzi counsels. 

If you’re ready to be a Conference Commando, it’s easy and the benefits are many, follow this link to Keith Ferrazzi’s website for 15 tips on how you can become one.

December Job Blues? ‘Tis the season for career networking

Monday, December 1st, 2008

Unfortunately, some companies still don’t understand in a slow economy they should increase their pubIic relations efforts, not reduce them. Sadly, this is confirmed by the notices I’ve received in recent weeks from PR colleagues who have been “liberated” from their current positions. A few liberations didn’t surprise me due to industry conditions, but others caught me totally off-guard. Below I’ve compiled some thoughts and resources. I encourage you to add resources you’ve found helpful to aid our peers in their time of need.

Update your résumé

Customize your resume and cover letter for each job you apply for based on the posted job description. There are many free sites and resources available online including 

Résumés that Get You the Job, an audio program that provides tried-and- true tips for creating a great resumé.


Take advantage of holiday social events. There’s no harm in letting people know you are looking for a new position and when appropriate, to ask to leverage their personal and professional contacts within the companies you target for employment. Attend and volunteer for events hosted by IABC and PRSA. Before you venture out to power-network your way back to employment or to a better job, check out some excellent networking tips in Karen Susman’s weekly newsletter.

Leverage your social network

Keep your online profiles up to date. There’s nothing worse than reaching out to contacts only when you need a job, so please don’t be that person. Go through your contacts, recommend their work, and ask former colleagues and managers to provide a recommendation of your work as well. Prospective employers will most likely conduct some preliminary research on professional and social networking sites based on your application and you should make certain your profile accurately reflects the hirable you.

Freshen up your skills

If you are not already active in social media, take advantage of this time and join conversations where you can contribute and build your profile. If you don’t know where to start, keep your eyes out for the BurrellesLuce free social media overview presentation, scheduled for later this month.  (You may also download two BurrellesLuce white papers, Conversation Builds Community and Social Media Provides Opportunity, here.)  If you are already an active participant, then build your profile as a thought leader in your area of expertise. All professional communicators and PR practitioners must be well versed in social media.

Take advantage of the holiday season

While looking for a job during the holiday season is certainly challenging, there is also an advantage in that your competition slows their efforts during this time. Many companies want to fill key spots before the New Year in an effort to kick off 2009 with a full staff.

Send thank-you notes

Send thank-you notes to everyone who encourages you, opens doors, and provides advice, counsel and insight whether you use it or not. A thank-you note goes a long way and allows you to stand out as someone people will want to help in the future.

Please share other resources and your thoughts here so our peers can minimize their down time and quickly get back on track to inform, influence and persuade.