Flash Communications

Tales from a student-PR agency at Kent State University


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4 Tips for PR Students to Get Noticed

Shannen Laur

Shannen Laur provides four valuable tips for PR students to get noticed.

Public relations is a competitive field that requires up-and-coming professionals to make a name for themselves. Majoring in PR requires us to do more than go sit in a lecture hall and memorize information for exams. Rather, the field gets us up and moving in a way that other majors may not. We must have connections with people outside of the university, such as alumni and professionals, as well as building an online presence, networking and gaining experience.

With that being said, here are a few ways I have been working to make sure I am creating a name and gaining valuable experience for my future career:

PRSSA

PRSSA, the Public Relations Student Society of America, is a respected network of public relations students across the country. Many universities that offer public relations sequence have their own chapters of PRSSA, ours being PRSSA Kent. PRSSA is a way to meet professionals in the field, to learn about the PR field and to network with students in the major at your university, as well as across the country.

Network and Attend Events

Networking events are extremely valuable and fun. At Kent, we are given many of opportunities planned by PRSSA, faculty members or individual schools. Networking events allow us to meet professionals in the field in a less stressful environment. I’ve been told time and time again that these professionals you meet at the events will remember you and may even be the person to give you first job, so attend.

Build Relationships with Professors

Most professors have worked in the field, and can offer insight to real-world experiences, meeting professionals and job opportunities. It is in the best interest of the students to get to know their professors and build relationships that will help out in the future. Not only could a professor help you meet someone in your dream job but also, it is simply beneficial with classwork if they actually know who you are.

Online Presence

Since public relations can be heavy on social media, it is important to make sure you have some sort of presence on the web. Talking with professionals in the field, I have learned that it is okay to not be on every single social media platform and site that exists, but having a few can help. If anything, LinkedIn is the number one social media account a PR student should have. LinkedIn allows you to connect with professionals, students and professors. After meeting a professional at a networking event, it is a great idea to go and connect with him or her on the site – just make sure you create a professional, complete profile. This will help them remember you and may also lead them to contact you with job openings. Think of LinkedIn as your professional Facebook, posting information related to the PR industry that shows you are paying attention and have some thoughts about it – as well as your own interests.

I believe that following these tactics can help any up-and-coming PR professional get engaged and ready to work in the field. Public relations is all about staying connected, communicating and gaining valuable experience, so remember to put yourself out there!

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So, what is that Pinterest website, anyway?l

Trent Chavez

Thank you to guest blogger Trenton Chavez, a junior public relations major, for writing this post about Pinterest. Trent started working at Flash Communications this semester.

THE GIST – Social mediums are constantly popping up everywhere, it seems. Usually, they do not pick up, and Facebook and Twitter quickly stomp them down. Pinterest, the new kid on the block, is attracting attention from social media lovers with its image collection design.

So, what is Pinterest, anyway? Pinterest is a website that contains collaborative “online pinboards.” The new medium allows users with similar interests to attach pictures to these pinboards for others to see. Categories range from art to fashion to recipes to wedding ideas.

So, why has Pinterest received praise, while other mediums quickly fail? Personally, I believe it comes down to people liking to feel they’re contributing to something. Because the pinboards allow users to add personal or inspirational pictures, a sense of contribution is evident.

THE PR SIDE OF THINGS – Being a public relations major, I’m always thinking of things from a communications standpoint. “How can Pinterest be used in a PR aspect?” was the first question that came to my mind when I began writing this post.

For organizations, gaining attention on a website with many images may be a difficult task – the competition of attracting viewers’ eyes; however, with Pinterest picking up momentum, PR professionals need to start thinking creatively.

The statistics of the social medium are impressive. Pinterest is the 60th most-visited website in the United States; Its page visits jumped from 10 million to 17 million last month; And its Alexa rank is 129. Alexa rank is a web ranking system based on visits. What does all this mean, you may ask? It means opportunity.

To be successful, public relations professionals must shape ideas to the target audiences’ interests. Need help generating ideas of how to use Pinterest to highlight your organization? Check out 7 ways to use Pinterest to promote your business on PR Daily.

Part of Pinterest’s success can be attributed to its invite-only signup. By keeping the registration invite-only, the medium is able to keep the user-base contained to target audiences. Exclusivity also makes Pinterest’s users feel special. Success is all about making the audience feel special, right?

Along with the exclusivity, Pinterest’s website used to state, “Pin thoughtfully.”  This statement ties back to the importance of re-pins. Only relevant pins will be on the page of your interest. Bryan Landers of Quora also named Pinterest as a “community-centric” website, which I believe is very fitting.

A social medium wouldn’t be complete without the ability to respond, now would it? Like other social platforms, Pinterest allows users to comment and like pinned items.

IN CLOSING – Like I said before, to be successful, communications teams need to remain current on ways to reach key audiences. Pinterest allows its users to come together as a community and build pinboards. Because of the community-driven atmosphere and ability to select interests, the medium is a great way to target audiences.

Pinterest is gaining momentum fast. It is even picking up some steam in the Flash Communications office. Get to know some of the staff better by checking out our pinboards board

I always find it interesting when a newcomer is able to “make it” in the digital world. New ideas, creative thinking, passion, and a lotta’ luck will take a new online tool far.

Why do you love Pinterest?