Author Archives: JosephMartelli

Does Doing Good Business Matter? Lessons from PR Advanced

PR Advanced should be regarded, by far, as one of the most invaluable experiences that a public relations major canurl-3 take part in. This past weekend, budding practitioners had the opportunity to listen to speakers from many big names in the business as well as network with individuals from some of the most prestigious firms. Cone Communications sent their very own Simon Bowers to deliver a breakout session on corporate social responsibility titled Does Doing Good Business Matter? It most certainly does! According to Simon, and Cone—who just so happen to be leaders in CSR—, it’s not called a responsibility for nothing.

While some may still argue that CSR takes away from the economic role of business, companies now have a duty to their clients and to their publics. Simon, who graduated from Washington State University before spending time volunteering in Latin America, understands fully the value of this principle and could not have been better matched to head this workshop—or to Cone, for that matter! Cone has been awarded quite a few distinctions over the years, the least of which is their recent awarding of PR News’ Midsize PR Firm of the Year. Regardless of the level of interest in CSR, everyone in the breakout session on Saturday should have taken away at least enough valuable information to be able to apply to future practices, in whichever sector they may end up. After all, it’s not a fluke that Cone places such high premium on this principle. Corporate social responsibility is becoming, if it has not already become, a necessary component of smooth practice by any firm or agency. Hopefully, with more witty presentations like Simon’s from this past weekend, more and more companies will place greater emphasis on CSR, thus ushering in a new generation of practitioners as well as a better era for PR as a whole.

The Road Less Traveled

With this year’s PR Advanced conference approaching quickly, it is crucial to at least start to think about url-1what can be gained from this experience and what pieces of the day will make the most difference to you. Trying to decide which road to take can be tough, but what if the decision weren’t all that difficult after all? What if the best road to take was the road less traveled?

In the world of public relations, taking the road less traveled can refer to taking jobs at places that aren’t necessarily considered traditional, such as at a corporate or entertainment firm. While it is certainly a worthy goal to want to someday be a PR big-wig with lucrative clients and an office overlooking the New York City skyline, some practitioners are opting for more off-the-beaten-path positions that may fulfill their sense of accomplishment more than any mainstream job would. By attending this breakout session, you will see the benefits of taking the road less traveled laid out in front of you in the form of three exceptional speakers who are all Boston University alumni. Some have joined startups funded by mega corporations like Google, while others have chosen to move outside of the country in order to pursue their goals in the field. Whether you’re a part of the next big thing in social media, or traveling the globe, the point is that you will still be taking part in all of the things that everyone else in the PR industry takes part in. By taking this road and choosing this path you are in no way limiting yourself or stifling your chances for success. You are simply acknowledging that there are a number of options and a number of pathways for rising practitioners to take when plunging into the world of PR—so why not start taking the first steps down the road less traveled this weekend at PR Advanced.

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Interview Wardrobe: Your Strongest Public Relations Tool

As I sit staring at my inbox waiting for an email to pop in, guaranteeing me a second interviewfor a summer position I am applying for, I can’t help but worry that I have been knocked out of 2Men-thumb-632x529the running…because of my outfit. As a prospective public relations practitioner, it is vital that I keep in mind the fact that I am not yet in the door, and until I am I must market myself as best I can. Before entering the world of PR and establishing a name for ourselves, we are all about as marketable as a pair of flats in a blizzard. During interviews, it is crucial to remember that the first thing a potential employer is going to notice—before you even open your mouth or extend your hand—is what you decide to wrap yourself in. That’s right, your outfit is one of your strongest public relations tools until you have landed an internship or a job.

The first thing to think about is what kind of job you are applying for and, if possible, who or what kind of person you will be interviewed by. The goal of a PR practitioner is to not only serve the organization they are working for, but to interact with relevant public through open two-way communication. Remember that you are advocating for yourself in an interview, and your potential employer is your relevant public. You are never guaranteed a second interview, so you really have no time to adjust what goes wrong with your first outfit fiasco. Do research before putting yourself in that situation. If you are interested in working for a certain organization, you should already know the basics of what they are all about, so keep those in mind when digging for more abstract elements that you may be able to weave into your outfit choice. If the company is a bit more on the conservative side, and the CEO is someone notoriously known for being a bit of an uptight hardliner, then it may be a good idea to overdress a bit. For females, a pantsuit or formal suit jacket and skirt with neutral heels would be best—probably a good idea to save your sequin-encrusted blazer and platform pumps for another time. For males, a basic suit-and-tie combo—staying away from flashy ties—is a safe bet.

Remember, the goal is to market yourself well enough to land the job, just like your job is, someday, going to be to paint a nice enough picture of your company, product, cause, side of an issue, etc. You don’t necessarily want your potential employer to remember what you wore twenty minutes after an interview. You want them to remember you and what you brought into the room. Your outfit should only leave a fleeting impression on the interviewer as to who you are both as a person and a PR practitioner. There is a time and place for cool and crazy brand-name outfits, and it is a time in which you have, hopefully, already made a cool and not-so-crazy name for yourself in the world of PR.


This is a post by Joseph Martelli, a sophomore in Com studying Public Relations. Follow him @JoeyMartelli