PR Advanced: Be The Change – What Advice Would You Give?

Last weekend I was invited to be a speaker at PR Advanced: Be The Change event at Boston University. I was excited for the opportunity to sit on a panel with executives from other PR firms, notably Fleishman-Hillard and Edelman. Other speakers included executives from the likes of IBM, MTV, APCO Worldwide and the Boston Celtics.

The first thing I noticed about the event was the energy from the students. I sat in on a few working sessions before I spoke, and I was impressed with the students and their ideas. In one session, the students were divided into groups and assigned the task of designing, with as little resources as possible, an out-of-the-box campaign for Of Rags, a sustainable fashion organization. I watched the students brainstorm together and then present in front of the judges – and I was impressed with the number of ideas, the professionalism of the presentations and the ability to show creativity and solid plans with only a half hour of prep time. In addition, none of the students in the room had ever met each other before, and yet they presented as cohesive groups. Some professionals don’t even work together that well!

During my panel session, the moderator asked some basic questions about a career in PR, what the Boston PR industry is like, hot upcoming markets for PR and so on and so forth. Students asked questions and we answered them with both large and small agency viewpoints. Questions came through about how agencies decide who to hire, what would get the attention of a recruiting manager, what a typical day is like (answer: that’s the best part about agency life, there is no typical day), etc.

It was a pleasant panel and I think that the students appreciated the insights – or at least, the follow up conversations and thank you notes I received indicated so. If you’re a student or a new professional entering the PR industry, what questions do you have that we can help answer? If you’re already a professional in the industry, what’s one piece of advice you would give to students and new recruits so they can indeed “be the change” our industry needs to survive and thrive?


Persuasive Picks for the week of 02/21/11

nofacebook2 Four Reasons Your Brand Should Avoid Facebook
Here we find some great considerations from Small Business Trends for small businesses on the marketing value of Facebook. Make sure you do your homework first and have a purpose for being there. Lisa Barone shares insight on the top questions to ask yourself before leaping into building a presence on Facebook (or any social media marketing channel for that matter).

The Less-Tangible ROI of Social Media
We all want to ensure our social marketing efforts are matching up to the boss’s expectations for the investment, so it can help to set goals and be tracking the less obvious benefits to your brand. Danny Wong shares his thoughts with the Huffington Post about the hidden ways we are making an impact that will demonstrate campaign value to the C-Suite and build a better understanding of its potential.

Brands That Have Mastered Content Marketing
Are you infusing your marketing strategy with content? What kind of content are you producing, and how does this tie into your marketing strategy? In one of this week’s iMediaConnection posts, Rob Rose shares his insight and explores best practices from content marketers including Kodak and Hubspot. He stresses the importance of thinking of content not as a tactic, but as a new way of shaping your entire strategy.

Does Social Media Transparency Matter in the Real World?
Before you decide on your social media transparency strategy, take a look at the questions Debra Ellis proposes on Social Media Today the real value of transparency. Are you guilty of over-sharing? Will sharing too much information take away from your competitive advantage? Does it help to leave some things to the imagination?

Seven Common PR Sins to Avoid At All Costs
Seems like simple PR 101, but some PR reps still break the rules of engagement with the journalists they try to pitch. For those starting out in their careers, offers a good checklist from Amanda Marsh to keep by your desk — and a good refresher for the rest of us.