With PRAdavanced:#FuelTheFuture is just a few days away, there is no hiding there are some great speakers on the roster. From breakout speakers to keynote speakers to career fair attendees, PRAdvanced: #FuelTheFuture will have some of the best names in the public relations industry represented.
Has any ever asked you, “What is your personal brand?” and you have no idea what the answer is? Many of us feel that way. And that’s why Tamsen Webster (@tamadear) is going to change your mind about that in the Content Creation breakout session. Instead, ask yourself “What’s your story?” Because that’s what’s important. Webster’s session focuses on the power of content creation as a branding tool, as well as what your individual strengths are within this important topic.
Follow Tamsen on Twitter @tamadear, and register for her session at PRAdvanced: #FuelTheFuture on Saturday!
Haven’t registered for PRAdvanced: #FuelTheFuture yet? Register here!
In the world of public relations, more and more emphasis is being placed on diversity in both the organizational and personal setting. In college, that means taking more than just some random elective or going to the museum every now and then. It means getting involved in extracurricular activities on campus that widen the scope of your interests. The most unexpected club or organization could lead to success later in life.
For example, I joined Model United Nations (Model UN). This group is essentially a simulation of political bodies. It doesn’t always have to be a UN committee that you’re simulating, though. I’ve seen terrorist organizations, national cabinets and consulting firms—even the Board of Directors for Google— simulated as committees. In order to compete and succeed in Model UN, you need to know how to win over your fellow competitors to get them to work with you on passing resolutions. In short, you need to learn how to network. You also need to prove that you’re a person that people want to work with by making passionate and convincing speeches on the topic of discussion. Not everyone can elicit an emotional response to the Eurozone crisis, but I’ve seen it done. When staffing a conference, you quickly must learn how to command the respect of a room full of your peers. In crisis committees you must learn to adapt quickly to a multitude of situations and guide your committee in the direction you believe is best for them.
So without even knowing it, I was learning some of the fundamental components of being a good PR practitioner. I can now network efficiently, speak confidently in front of others and communicate my ideas in a way that will advance my goals. This is what happens when you branch out and join new clubs in college. However, the important thing to keep in mind is that you want to expand your horizons and do it with activities that interest you. I’m also a Political Science major, so Model UN was a natural fit. To the PR student interested in medical communications, Peer Health Exchange might be a nice choice. Not only do you expand your mind, but you might unknowingly expand your resume as well. So, in short, never discount an organization or club that may not seem to fit you as well as you’d expect it to. Because maybe you fit it better than you think.
This past summer, I spent my days with leather samples, die-cuts and handbags. I had the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in fashion PR while working with Brynn Capella, a Chicago-based handbag designer who sells products online and through various boutiques. As the only intern in the public relations department, I quickly learned the ins-and-outs of the jobs and tasks related to the field.
A large part of my job as an intern revolved around handling social media and product promotion. Brynn is an independent designer who produces all of her products in the United States to ensure high quality and customer service. Another important part of my duties were to get the brand more involved in philanthropic groups around Chicago. We were able to partner with a local animal rights group, PAWS, for black tie events on Lake Michigan.
Working with Brynn, I was also able to learn about the fashion business, aside from the PR side, as well. I was able to gain first hand experience for what goes into preparing and executing a fall photo shoot as well as understanding HTML coding. When coding with HTML, I helped reformat the company’s blog and website, outfitting it with modern updates. These were both areas that I had no experience with prior to starting the internship, but with Brynn’s help I was able to quickly learn how to effectively plan for a photo shoot and learn the language of HTML.
Another large part of my summer experience was focused in working on upcoming events. It was extremely important to promote events and trunk shows to let customers know where they could purchase Brynn Capella handbags around the Chicagoland area. The largest event we participated in was Chicago’s Annual Sidewalk Sale, which featured various local designers who came together to share their designs with the city. During the event, a fashion show was also presented to showcase featured designers. Prior to the event, we made sure to promote the Sidewalk Sale to our friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter. Even during the event we tweeted and shared photos on Instagram, which helped remind our customers to stop by.
By the end of the summer, I had learned so much about the fashion industry as well as the challenges that an individual business owner faces each day. Expanding beyond PR, I also gained experience with marketing, sales and design. Overall, the internship encompassed a variety of fields that helped me to get a better grasp of the industry as well as my role in the brand. The skills I learned were invaluable and have even helped me succeed in my current internship.
Feel free to tweet me at @jenprobst23 if you have any questions about the challenges or experiences with fashion PR.