Posts tagged Weber Shandwick
Whenever I participate in an event for students aspiring to work in public relations, I try to publish a helpful blog post for them to check out. Today, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide‘s Bellevue (Seattle area) office is hosting an agency tour of students from Allen Hall Public Relations, my alma mater’s student-run public relations agency, and I’m lucky enough to speak on a panel of University of Oregon graduates to answer their questions.
After much deliberation on what kind of blog post to write, I’ve decided to raid my blogging history and Twitter favorites to compile a round-up post of tweets and posts that I think are especially helpful for students.
Some of these blog posts and tweets are quite old. I promise I’ve read through them and only included ones that, in my opinion, are still 100 percent true today.
Tweets by others:
“If you don’t figure out what you want to become, someone else will define it for you.” goo.gl/n0ZPI
— Justin Tsang (@justinjtsang) November 8, 2011
— arikhanson (@arikhanson) June 12, 2012
— Lori McNee(@lorimcneeartist) June 14, 2012
— Pat Rhoads (@patmrhoads) January 29, 2013
— Derek Belt (@derekbelt) January 26, 2013
Blog posts by me:
- 2008 Student vs. 2011 Professional: The PR Industry and 2008 Student vs. 2011 Professional: PR Agency Job Duties - Note: I’m happy to report that entry-level public relations hiring is better than when I wrote those posts. Some agencies now have a shortage of good intern candidates. Everything else about those posts are still true today.
- Student Interviews Me About PR and China
- How to Survive the Undergraduate to Post-Graduate Transition
- Tips for Students on Finding Post-Grad Jobs Abroad – Part 1: Before You Leave
- Tips for Students on Finding Post-Grad Jobs Abroad – Part 2: Visa Advice
- Tips for Students on Finding Post-Grad Jobs Abroad – Part 3: Once You’re There
- NGO Public Relations in Uganda – Interview with Jessica Lomelin
- UO PR Grads Who Now…Teach English in Korea
Students and aspiring public relations professionals, let me know if you have any questions about working at Waggener Edstrom Wordwide in the comments or by emailing me at beth dot evans 4 at gmail dot com.
I experienced a steep learning curve during my Weber Shandwick internship because while it wasn’t my first internship, it was my first at an agency. Below are tactics and job duties that I never encountered until agency work and have worked on at both Weber Shandwick and Nyhus Communications:
Depending on the agency and client, pitches can be a more common outreach method to individual journalists than emailed press releases.
Advanced search engine skills:
In school, I learned how to use library resources, including exclusive access databases, to research information. Now, most of my research involves figuring out the most efficient and comprehensive search queries for either inbound coverage alerts or one-off research projects.
Soft skills in prioritizing and time management:
I never knew that time management could be any more systematic than working on tasks my supervisor assigned until they were complete and keeping a to-do list. It’s been important for me to figure out which deadlines I can meet without extensions and what tasks can wait until later.
Hunting down background information for briefing documents for spokesperson interviews
Compiling and updating documents for client viewing such as call agendas, detailed coverage reports and metrics, and agency activity reports
Researching and submitting applications for awards and spokesperson event opportunities
I attended a PRSA Puget Sound focus group last Thursday intended to unearth ways to increase Chapter participation among public relations professionals with zero to five years of experience. I have been a hardcore PRSSA/PRSA fan for four years now, but I agree that this is an experience level that our local Chapter needs to better address.
Hopefully we’ll see concrete additions to programming and communications as a result of what seemed like an enlightening meeting. A handful of board members including the programming director and Chapter President attended, which to me shows dedication to this topic and promise of change. Unfortunately, the only employers represented among the early career professionals were Edelman (the host) and Weber Shandwick, with special guest Brian Seitz from Microsoft, whom Karianne Stinson recruited because he’s passionate about the focus group topic. At least my opinion was heard, right?
Here are some of the highlights of what we discussed in regard to programming for early career professionals:
- Programming topics are more of a draw than prestigious speakers or exclusive venues.
- In terms of topics, we want to see more that appeal specifically to our career level, such as how to get your boss to trust you during a public relations crisis as opposed to how to create a crisis communications plan yourself. We see a programming gap between what’s useful for students and what’s useful for professionals who are years and years into their careers.
- Preference for in-person programming over webinars, even if it means a less famous speaker
- Events that simulate tweetups or Cold Pavement in that they are interactive and networking focused and have a low cost or registration barrier
- Events starting at 7 p.m. or later, but not late evening unless it’s Thursday. We like events with “happy hour” in the name, and everyone in the focus group raised our hands when asked “How many of you go to happy hour?”
Here are the highlights of our event publicity improvement suggestions:
- Overall, we think the Chapter could greatly improve its online presence, including the Chapter site and its social media use.
- Revitalize the blog, cultivate relationships with Twitter advocates/ambassadors who will spread the word about Chapter events, and encourage event Twitter hashtags for live tweeting.
- Best case scenario would be something like a Chapter phone app integrated with the Chapter website.
- Create a point-person for event publicity at each Seattle agency because people are much more likely to attend an event that they find out about from a coworker.
Is there anything you would add to these lists? Do you think these desires are specific to the Seattle area or to early career public relations professionals nationwide?
Image courtesy of Kathleen Baxter
Update February 1, 2011: I just accepted an account coordinator position at Nyhus Communications in Seattle. Thank you to all of you who have helped in my job search and career development.
After a truly wonderful internship at Weber Shandwick‘s Seattle office, I’d like to announce that I’m now on the hunt for an entry-level marketing or public relations position in the Seattle area. You can view my online resume and contact information here. Read the posts I wrote for the Weber Shandwick Seattle blog here and here. I try to make myself pretty easy to find online, so feel free to find out more about me by also searching “Beth Evans,” although you might want to combine it with a term like “University of Oregon” or “Beijing.”
I grew quite a bit professionally over the course of my internship. In addition to the soft skills I improved upon related to working at a corporation and agency, I honed my knowledge of and skills in research, media monitoring, and document formatting. I also picked up on some Microsoft acronyms and standard agency slang along the way. :)
Know of an employer hiring someone with my skill set, experience, and interests? E-mail me at beth dot evans 4 at gmail dot com, send me a mention or direct message on Twitter, or send me a LinkedIn message. I’m of course open to informational interviews and e-mail exchanges, as well. I enjoy connecting online with public relations professionals and students of all geographic locations.
Jessica Lomelin interviewed me on my experience working in China for a blog post, which was mentioned to a large lecture full of International Communication students at the University of Oregon. Jessica and I got to know each other last year from working in the same groups in two of our public relations classes and serving on the Executive Board of the University of Oregon Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Chapter together. She’s now a team assistant at the Seattle office of Weber Shandwick. You can read the post on her blog here. For those of you behind the Great Firewall of China, I’ve copied and pasted the full text below: