Category Archives: Topic of the Week

Taking the Next Step

Topic of the Week 7
Resumes

15 seconds. That’s all a resume gets.  A quick glance and you are either a “possible” candidate or tossed into trash, never to be looked at again. It may seem harsh. I mean we work hard through 16+ years of eductation and achieve more than we possibly could imagine. And still, that might not be enough to get the job. Life, however, wasn’t meant to be easy. Luckily, there are ways we can catch the eye of an employer in just 15 seconds!

Utilize Resources
As mentioned in my  previous post, Overwhelmed?, Internships.com is a great site for students looking for semester or summer internships. In addition, Internships.com helps visitors create resumes quickly and organize their data. For example, with Quick Resume Builder, users fill out various information areas in education and experience such as degree, relevant course work, school projects relating to the internship, responsibilities, honors, scholarships, and leadership experience. Additional information such as foreign languages and software experience can be added as well.

For More Information
It is important for college students to keep the resume down to one page. Because you only get a 15 second glance, it is unnecessary to add an excess of information. To keep employers interested, add a link to online resume websites such as Linkedin.com.

Short and Sweet
Finally, sifting out what kind of information to add to your resume can be overwhelming. Writing Your First Resume, an article on about.com offers plenty of tips for first-time resume builders as well as a resume writing guide, resume samples, and resume templates. Here are a few tips the author, Louise Fletcher shared:

Things to include on your resume:
Positive personal characteristics
Technical and computer skills
Coursework relevant to your desired profession
Educational accomplishments (include your GPA if it’s over 3.0)
Skills and experience gained during internships or summer jobs
Other related accomplishments (design awards, recognition, winning competitions etc.)
Work History (include unpaid work if it relates to your target positions)

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Two Roads Diverge

Topic of the Week 6
Public Relations Departments and Firms

Public Relations Departments or Public Relations Firms? Is there really that much of a difference? The answer is yes! Make that definitely yes!

Which Path Will You Choose?

In my opinion, it would be most beneficial for a new PR practitioner to begin a career in a PR firm. First off, the importance of the public relations firms are growing at an extremely rapid rate.  Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics, “forecasts that the public relations industry will grow 11.1 percent though 2010.”  This is because American corporations are becoming more interested in outsourcing their PR services to outside contractors. In addition, the text states “Today about 90 percent of corporate and institutional advertising is handled by agencies rather than by in-house departments.”  This means there are more opportunities for jobs and advancements within PR firms.

Secondly, PR firms offer extensive variety on the job because agencies are involved with several clients and projects. This variety also allows for advancement within the field and the ability to gain skills at a faster rate. Even though PR firms offer more to choose from, budgets and resources are traditionally lower than those in corporate PR, where salaries are much higher at entry level. However, the credibility gained within a PR firm is very valuable. For example, “A successful public relations firm has a solid reputation for professional, ethical work. If represented by such a firm, a client is likely to get more attention among opinion leaders in mass media, government, and the financial community.” Therefore, after gaining experience with a PR firm, higher salaries can be reach by moving to corporate PR because of the high credibility gained within the agency.

Advantages of Departments
Important component in the “big picture
Get to know the organization very well
Less daily pressure
More resources available
Higher salaries, more benefits

Disadvantages of Departments
Jobs more difficult to find without experience
Little variety
Growth usually limited
Not much time for networking with other PR professionals
Not a lot of coaching by peers, strength in all areas expected

Advantages of Firms
Fast paced, exciting
High amount of variety
High amount of networking with other PR professionals
Opportunities for mentoring
Rapid growth in firms

Disadvantages of Firms
Intense daily pressure
Limited budget and resources
Low salary at entry level
Seldom see the impact of your work
Less resources available

To find out more information or explore to the world of PR for yourself check out Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics by Dennis L. Wilcox and Glen T. Cameron.

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More Social Networking, Please!

Topic of the Week 5
One Week of Twitter

Jumping On The Social Media Bandwagon

Really? Another social networking site? Tweeting? Don’t birds do that?

That was my initial thought about Twitter. My feelings about Twitter didn’t improve after watching an episode of the Tyra Banks Show. During the show, a couple was interviewed over how Twitter ruined their relationship. Instead of taking advantage of the time they spent together, the boyfriend would tweet about every action he took such as, “Driving to the restaurant,” “ordering my meal,” “eating my meal,” “on the way home,” and so on.

 For my COMM 2322 class, however, we learned how to use Twitter in a healthful manner and also some practical applications it has to the world of public relations. In addition, we were assigned to create Twitter accounts and send out 20 tweets over a period of 1 week. Here are some details about my experience:

 At first I was kind of nervous about this assignment. I was afraid no one would find my tweets interesting and how I was going to randomly respond to another person’s tweet. I found, however, that some of the things I said made people laugh. For example, I commented about how one night I dropped a liter of Mountain Dew on the ground at a gas station and the employee just stared at me, expecting to clean it all up myself. So I did after I found a mop and bucket full of water conveniently located near the checkout counter. A few people replied to this tweet requesting more information about this mishap!

 Using Twitter, I also found a community of people who watched the first episode of the last season of Lost on February 2. It was interesting to see what people thought of the show while the show was playing. I was able to see event unfold from new perspectives and was introduced to questions people had concerning the show that I didn’t think of myself.

Overall, I enjoyed the Twitter experience so far and hope to use Twitter more in the future. And be sure to follow me!

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Nifty Fifties

Topic of the Week 4
History
To me, the 1950’s were probably the most fascinating era in American history. After WWII, the United States experience a boom in the economy and also rapid growth in mass media. If I could work in an era of PR history, it would definitely be 1950!
 During this time, there was a revolution in the mass media industry as televisions changed the public relations scene. Just as smart phones, blogging, and other technological advances are transforming  today’s culture, the television started a revolution within the teenage community in the 1950s.

I first fell in love with the 1950’s after watching the movie Back to the Future. I love the style, the cars, and the lifestyle. Everything just seemed more laid back and family-oriented. The 1950’s was a time of prosperity and hope for the future. It was a time where we were introduced to Lucille Ball, Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, and Elizabeth Taylor, celebrities whose work still has an impact on today’s society. It was a time where Drive-in movie theaters and shopping malls sprung up around the nation. Shows such as Lassie and The Ed Sullivan Show ruled the television airwaves, while Jackie Robinson, Wilt Chamberlain, and Jim Brown were stars in the athletic platform.

The most interesting part of the 1950’s, however, was the music. Although Elvis Presley was the main highlight of the music industry during this time with the introduction of rock and roll, I have fallen in love with the soothing voices of Frank Sinatra (my personal favorite) and Nat King Cole. Whenever I am having a rough day I just turn on some Frank, close my eyes, and imagine myself at his concert in New York City.

The 1950’s culture makes me think that maybe I was born in the wrong era, or maybe I’m just an old at heart.

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Returning the Favor

Topic of the Week 3
Comments
Before winter break, my roommate and I rented Julie and Julia, a film basically about a woman who started a cooking blog and made it famous. Cooking was this woman’s passion and she wanted to share it with the world. This got me thinking, “What are my passions?” The first thing that popped in my mind was motivating people to get out and just love life. Therefore, I started my first blog at Blogger.com that seeks to motivate others and also includes some things on my bucket list such as visiting every Major League baseball stadium and camping out under the stars for a night.

After a few weeks, however, no one (other than my friends whom I persuaded to start blogs also) had viewed my page. I thought I had great content, and even some great images, but I guess not. There was something missing, but what? I figured that out in my COMM 2322 class.

Susan Gunelius, President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a full service marketing communications provider, and author of “What are Blog Comments,” described “blog comments are the lifeblood of a blog.” I believe she means that although a blog may have great content, it can’t grow without input from others. Therefore, a blog must be focused, not on the blog itself, but the blogging community.

Blog comments are what make pages so interactive, unlike static websites. Comments allow others to join the conversation, adding value and new ideas to already existing information. Gunelius also states that the community makes a blog successful. Selfish and unethical motives will always fail.

So what then, makes an effective blog comment? Corinee Weisgerber highlights nine ways to blog in her presentation “Blogging and Managing Your Personal Brand“:
1. Disagree respectfully
2. Extend the conversation
3. Go beyond “great post” or “I agree”
4. Comment within a day or two
5. Read comments before posting
6. Stay on topic
7. Link to your sources
8. Only link to yourself if relevant
9. Use email for private comments

What are some tips for blog comments that you like to use? Make the world a better place and share your knowledge. That’s what blogging is for, right? 🙂

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Community!

Topic of the Week 2
Publics
I am a part of many different groups of people ranging from churches to sporting teams. These groups, in the realm of public relations are known as “publics.”  Dictionary.com defines a public as “a particular group of people with a common interest, aim, etc. In addition, Merrium-Webster describes a public as “the group at which a particular activity or enterprise aims.” Simply stated, a public is a grouping of individuals.

Kelloggsville Church of the Nazarene
I am a proud member of the Kelloggsville Church of the Nazarene. This beautiful church located in the “middle-of-nowhere,” is the place I call home. It was here where I first gave my life to Jesus and where, most recently, was baptized. Therefore, it will always hold a special place in my heart. Within the church I am a part of various smaller groups. For example, each summer I play shortstop for the co-ed slow-pitch softball team. Furthermore, I am a volunteer in the nursery, the sound booth, and a teacher at vacation bible school. In addition, I am part of a young adult group that gathers every Monday for food, fellowship, and fun.  
I continue to be involved in this public because of the strong relationships I have built within the church. Not only does most of my family attend Kelloggsville Nazarene, but a large number of my close friends go there as well for Sunday service or youth events. I am excited everytime I return home to see how much my church has grown and the new ministry opportunities avaliable.

Southeastern University Intramurals
One public that has made my transition to Southeastern University easier was the intramural sports. Through this group I have made many good friends. I joined intramurals for more than friends, however. One of the gifts God has blessed me with is athletic talent. I love just going outside and doing something active. Sports have been my life ever since I can remember and I thrive on the adreneline rush that comes from tough competition. I will always remember winning the intramural volleyball championship during the Fall ’09 semester!
To get involved in intramural sports at Southeastern University sign up on Athleague.com.

The Hub
A third public that I am involved with is The Hub. A bible study located at the Freedom Center in Lakeland, Florida, the group focuses on equipping college-aged students with the tools they need to impact the world. I became a part of The Hub in order to further define the calling God has placed upon my life and to get involved in the community around me. Moreover, I enjoy the intimate time of worship after a short devotional time. If you are looking for a small group to join I would definitely recommend The Hub!

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