Yesterday, I had the privilege of attending the California Womens Conference in Long Beach, thanks to a last minute invitation from my friends at Habitat for Humanity of Greater LA. It was awesome and I’ve been thinking about the experience all day. It got me thinking about how much more I want to do and how I need to put it out into the universe so it can happen.
I want to be able to travel the world and speak for a living. I want to inspire others and be inspired by those I meet. It would be a dream come true to make a living by speaking, sharing ideas and writing. And mentoring others would be icing on the cake.
This may sound weird but every time I get a new legal pad to write on, it makes me feel so full of promise and possibilities, like it’s just waiting for me to fill it’s clean, white pages with all my fantastic thoughts and big ideas! That is how the Womens Conference made me feel and so now I must get to work on my new dreams!
I’ve spent the past 2 weeks interviewing candidates for 2 intern positions with my company Starfish PR. It’s been awesome because I’ve meet so many great people, it’s going to be tough to choose. One question that has come up with several of the young PR hopefuls is “what else can I do to help my chances of getting a job?” I was able to rattle off a few things that, as a hiring manager, I felt would make add credibility and give them a leg up on their competition. So here are my suggestions, but I hope other PR pros will add to this list so that we can arm young PR pros with the tools they need.
Start doing PR now – get in the conversation and network with people who work within your desired field.
Join Twitter – select a professional handle or one that is creative but conveys your area of expertise and be sure your profile shows your real name. Also, create a short profile that honestly reflects why you’re there. For example: Media newbie in Chicago looking to learn from PR pros and share my creative ideas. Oh and follow me on Twitter.
Join online networks/groups – Already on Facebook? Join some groups where you can network with likeminded people. Always share ideas and links if you can, it’s about engaging in conversations, not one-sided conversations. Better yet, start your own group and show off your leadership skills!
Blog – Blogging is the best way to establish your own voice. Write about what excites you, challenges you or drives you. Use this forum to show people why you’re interesting and always try to add value for your readers.
Google Alerts – create a google alert for your name, your desired field/industry, and companies you’d like to work with. Use any keywords (like job openings) that make sense.
Join HARO – Helpareporter.com is the greatest tool for media professionals and it’s free. Thanks to the hilarious and brilliant Peter Shankman, you receive 3 emails a day filled with media quries. Even in you don’t have a job yet, monitor these queries and see if you can help friends/colleagues get media placement. Great practice and you’ll learn a lot about pitching (the right way) on HARO.
Read other blogs – your google alerts and HARO will help you find bloggers you enjoy reeading & subscribe to their blogs and share what you learn via twitter, facebook and your blog. Also, check their favorite links for other great blogs.
Sign up for online newsletters – when you find bloggers you like, chances are they have newsletters too so sign up.
It’s a challenging time for all of us right now, perhaps more so for the thousands of people out of work. I am self-employed and have noticed a slowdown amongst my clients.
I just read this great post by Seth Godin with great tips about starring in the YOU show at your next interview, although it rings true for pitch meetings to new clients. I am signing on with a new client this week and I have to say that I truly was myself during the entire pitch process. For this I am proud and the best part is I don’t have to live up to any unrealistic expectations…I just have to be the best me I know how to be.
Happy Thanksgiving to all, may every new day bring possibility, prosperity and peace.
Most Mondays I wake up late and tired, especially during NFL season for today I woke up early, refreshed and full up possibility. I love doing PR, especially the creative side of it. I love writing and telling stories. Last week I responded to a media query on HARO and today I have been included in an article about writing. Pretty cool and full of great ideas. Read it here.
As I have been going through my list of projects today – a press release, email replies, media pitches – I can’t help but think I am on the brink of something special and amazing. It’s a really good feeling, but the idea hasn’t presented itself clearly yet.
Tonight I am attending a special event at my client Clarita’s studio, presented by fitness icon Kathy Smith. I am a big fan and looking forward to her presentation. Perhaps, that is when my big idea is going to materialize?
At some point in your career you will be asked for a bio. Will you be ready? I challenge my interns to write bios because I know it’s one of the toughest things we do, even if we know the person as well as ourselves, even if it’s for ourselves.
Here are some tips to help you when your time comes.
Practice. Practice on friends, family and colleagues.
Get it on paper and walk away. I always start with a legal pad and go somewhere I won’t be distracted. Then I create a word document, save it and leave it until the next day. Getting it started is the toughest part, by tomorrow you’ll be able to give it a fresh review and the edits will come more easily.
Interview the subject. Ask them questions about where they’ve been, what’ve they are doing now and where they are going.
Think about how you’d describe the person to someone else (or how someone might describe you.) Include those descriptions.
Enlist an extra set of eyes. Always get help during editing and rewrites.
When you craft the bio, consider this formula: paragraph one: what is the person doing right now; paragraph two: upbringing and education; paragraph three: personal and professional accomplishments; paragraph four: goals and aspirations.
Research. Search for other bios from similar people and get a feel for what sounds best, formulas, etc.
Quotes. Some bios include quotes by the person. This is an individual decision. It’s also acceptable to have two versions for whatever situation you may need the bio – lighthearted and extremely professsional.
The Long and Short. Be prepared with a shorter version of your bio for when only a paragraph will do.