Category Archives: Uncategorized

Getting What I Want

graduateThe end is near. I am finally graduating in just a few weeks. I tackled a summer job working as a waitress at a restaurant near my parents house in Portland. Yes, that means I will be moving back home and working at a job that does not require a college degree. I wanted to find something that I knew would allow me to save up money for a few months, and oddlyenough I really enjoy working as a waitress.

I love working with others and communicating with a new group of people every day. You meet so many people and have a variety of different interactions on a day-to-day basis. I love that. I also love being busy, and I know working at McMenamins will keep me extremely busy.

I do have goals for my future though. I would absolutely love to get into the wine industry. I found a company, Benson Marketing, that specializes in marketing and public relations for the wine industry.  Now how do I get in contact with this company? How can I make this job a reality for me? 

I attended an event put on by the career fair a few weeks ago titled, “So, You want my job?”.  It featured individuals that had non traditional jobs.  They talked about how they got to where they are today.  All of them said you need to go after your dreams regardless of the circumstances.  There are plenty of jobs out there and I know I can find my dream job.  I am going to continue contacting PR/marketing agencies that specialize in wine and tourism.  I even applied to a few vineyards as a harvest intern in order to learn more about the wine industry and the process of producing wine. 

I want to find a job that I am passionate about.  I finally know what I want to do in my future now I just have to find out how to get there.  I will continue to follow my dreams.  I am ready to pack up and move when I find an opportunity.  It’s all about taking risks and believing in yourself and your future.  I hope you’re ready for me 🙂

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop.com

Being new to the blogosphere, I haven’t come across too many gwyneth-paltrow-picture-1celebrity blogs that I enjoy to read.  I can’t say the same for Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP.com.  Her website is a combination of personal matters, fashion and beauty, and special hobbies and interests.  Each week shes posts something different that falls under the topic of make, go, get, do, be, or see.  This week her post fell under the “make” category.  She describes a meal she had Mario Batali’s house a few months ago.  She includes details of the meal with recipes.  Her writing style is very personal and fun to read. 

I wish more celebrities hosted websites like GOOP.  You not only get an incite on her lifestyle but she gives great advice and tips.  Paltrow is engaging in great public relations.  She is creating a better relationship with her fans and engaging in conversation with them.  She is introducing them to new ideas and insights that they wouldn’t get without reading this blog.  What sets GOOP apart from other popular lifestyle sites is the personal messages she adds to each weeks entry.  This is very refreshing when compared to other news that circulates in Hollywood. 

My favorite section of the website is the “get” section.  She reccommends accessories from Urban Outfitters and Tod’s and affordable clothes from American Apparel mixed with designer collections from Juicy Couture.  She posts pictures of her favorite outfits and then picks them apart and tells you where she gets each piece. 

This website is very easy to follow.  It is not overloaded with pictures and video clips.  She has compiled her extremely successful acting career into her own brand.  The motto for the website is, “nourish the inner aspect.”  That is exactly what the website does for its readers.

Working Against The Economy

economy-postI know a lot of us are wondering how we are going to find jobs in a poor economy when many people are struggling to keep their jobs.  My dad gave me some good advice that I use to keep myself motivated.  He said, ” you need to create a job for yourself, and prove that the company needs your skills.”  Thanks dad 🙂

It is a difficult time to graduate and enter the job market.  A lot of people are struggling to stay afloat.  Ryan Anderson wrote a blog post recently on his blog, The New PR, about keeping your job as a junior employee.  I really appreciated his advice, and think that he not only pointed out skills for junior employees to put to use but also skills for people searching for jobs to use and uphold to.

He suggested that we should be reliable.  We are learning a lot of great skills in school and some of people in high management might not be so familiar with these skills (social media) or the tasks just might be monotonous.  We can show we are reliable and can get these tasks done.  If we are available and are willing to help out people will realize they need us, and our presence in the office may even make their job easier.

Add value.  Pay attention to your projects.  When you turn a project in, make sure it is error free and it is your absolute best work.  As students, we should always do this with our school projects.  These projects can be used in our portfolios in order to showcase our work and our attention to detail.

Figure it out on your own.  Anderson noted that many things can be discovered through a quick Google search and it is not necessary to interrupt your boss to figure something out.  I always make sure to ask tons of questions in class.  I don’t want to make a mistake on a project just because I don’t fully understand the details of the assignment.  This is something we can work on once we get hired.  Make sure to get all the details and necessary information once you get the project.

Enjoy the grunt work.  This is something we will be stuck with for a while.  I have gotten used to it through my internships and I really don’t mind it.  When you are handed an easy assignment that something else just doesn’t have the time to do you should do it to your best ability and make it near perfect.  I’ve been given a few compliments on the perfect copy’s I make 🙂

I’d like to add that if you are looking for a job, increase your presence on-line.  Create a blog, professionalize your Facebook, have a presence on Twitter, and read important influential blogs.

Take this tips to heart if you’d like, but I believe they can be very helpful for people who are looking for a job, and also for people that are in fear of loosing a job.

Important Social Media Questions

Social Media is a very large topic.  People who are new to the idea have a lot of questions about the functions and the importance of social media.  Joel Postman is the writer of Socialized.  In a recent blog post he raised some interesting questions about social media.  A few questions sparked my interest.

1. The “conversation” is not taking place on corporate websites.  Where is it happening?

This question has a simple answer to me.  Personal blogs.  This is why it is so important for corporate websites to monitor blogs and other types of social media.  Many people are starting conversations on their personal blogs that are relevant to large corporations. Corporations are having to join conversations rather than start them.

There are corporations making this transition and are developing their own blogs in order to start the conversation.

Whole Story: Whole Foods blog combines business news with the whole foods philosophy.

The Chatter: The official Ebay blog.  It covers Ebay as both a company and a community.

Check Out Blog: The official Wal-Mart blog.  This blog discussed latest trends and keeps consumers up to date on Wal-Mart.

The Fast Lane: GM’s blog.  This blog discusses the company and what is going on with the economy.

These are just a few of the corporate blogs out there.  But Joel is right.  These blogs are not directly on the corporate website.  These conversations are not being started on their website, they are being started on their blog.

I was also very interested in the 10th question he asked.

10. Do consumers trust social media? With the frequent social media hoaxes, like the case of the fake ExxonMobil account on Twitter, do we need better ways to authenticate corporate social media?

This question relates to his first question.  I think corporate blogs are helping consumers trust social media.  They start conversations, rather than just the corporation telling the consumers information, the blogs listed above create conversations with the readers.  I am not sure if we need better ways to authenticate corporate social media.  I think this questions relates to ethics, and shows the importance of ethics in corporate communication.  Blogging can be very powerful either for or against a company.  If the conversation is not being started with the specific corporation, then someone else will be sure to start it themselves.

Ethical Images and Public Relations

ethics1I am currently enrolled in a class called Psychology of Gender at the U of O.  This class is really interesting.  Last week we talked about ethical images and women in the media.  This was interesting to me because last summer  I took a class that was about digital images and digitally altering images.  There are so many pictures out there that have been digitally altered, and these images really have an effect on women and create numerous body/self image issues for women.

This makes me realize how important it is for me to work for a company that has clients with strong ethics.  I think this is something that PR professionals should stand up against more often.  How can we support companies that put out unethical images?

In Public Relations most of our conversations around ethics is about the use of words.  I think it is almsot just as important to talk about the use of images as well.  Images are very powerful and can be absorbed a lot quicker compared to words.  It is extremely easy to alter images.  They can be posed, digitall altered or enhanced, and the process of choosing certain photographs and how they are reproduced.

I came across a website that lists famous altered photos throughout history.  It made me think if the use of public relations took place when deciding to alter these images.  A lot of the images on the list are from top journalistic stories.  You would think that famous journalists would decide not to edit a picture, but supposedly a good story is more important then staying within ethical guidelines.

Facebook Faces The Truth

I’m sure you have all heard about the privacy issues that Facebook has been dealing with.  For about a week my Twitter stream was filled up with articles about Facebook’s new policy.  Thankfully, Facebook listened to all of the complaining clients.

Facebook is a public social network.  If you don’t have a lot of privacy settings on your account virtually anyone can get a hold of your information and pictures.  Just this idea scares me, hence the reason why I have a lot of privacy settings in place.  I don’t want anyone saving my pictures, or using them without my permission.  It really freaked me out that Facebook created a policy where they could “own” them.  But would I delete my account?  I know many college students that are addicted to checking their Facebook multiple times a day. I don’t think the majority of Facebook users would delete their accounts.  I believe that many people would monitor what they put on Facebook though.

A consumer advocate website, The Consumerist, noted the initial change to Facebooks terms of service policy.  Following this, many people deleted their accounts or joined a group called, “The People Against The New Terms of Service.”

I was very happy that Facebook made note of peoples frustrations with the new policy and decided to change their policy back to the old version.  It makes me wonder why they decided to change it in the first place.  Did they expect users to be alright with the new policy?  Bulldog Reporter explains what happened in great detail in their blog.

Build Your Brand

personal-brand-carevolution3Looking for a job can be stressful, time-consuming, and frustrating.  How do you set yourself apart from other candidates competing for the same job?  It’s simple, build your personal brand.  When I first started college my resume was a joke.  I had a few of my part time jobs listed on it, and the few awards I won while in high school.  I have developed my resume over the past 4 years in college, and am still continuing to work on it. I am currently working at my second internship, and hope to have another internship in June after I graduate.  My first internship was not paid but I learned a lot and really enjoyed the experience.  I interned at Clear Channel, working with 4 different radio stations in the Eugene area.  My title was a promotions intern.  I learned a lot about how the stations operate, and how different groups within the station work together.

Sometimes it can be difficult to get an internship as a younger student, but you can still work on building your personal brand.  Over the past few weeks in my advanced PR writing class I have learned a lot about social networks.  Create your own Twitter account, join LinkedIn, set up your Facebook in a professional manner, and create your own blog.  All of these things will show you up when someone “googles you,” and that looks very good to employers.

All of these things set you apart from other people applying for the same job.

Dan Schawbel, the author of Me 2.0: Build A Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success listed the top 5 personal branding tips for recent graduates in his blog:

1. Go through your network strength pyramid.

– Family is your strongest network followed by friends, and then acquaintances.  Being aware of your personal networks can save you some trouble when submitting your resume to employers.  Be aware of you you know and do not be afraid to use these netoworks.

2. Change your mindset.

– Working conditions are rough right now.  Think of yourself as the CEO of your own brand, and learn to market that brand.  The economy is working agaisnt us right now, and in a way, we have to create our own jobs.  Be the commander of your career. Schawbel writes, “Forget about getting a job title; make your own job title.”

3. Collect everything you’ve already done and put it to work.

– Organize everything you do in your classes and in your internships.  Something you have done might apply to your future job and you can use that in an interview to better market your skills.

4. Are you an entrepeneur or a corporate employee?

– This will help you make the decision of what to do after graduation.  If you are an entrepeneur you can work on creating your own business, but if you are a corporate employee graduate school might be a good decision, or an internship at an agency with the goals of moving up on the ladder.

5. Use social media to build personal equity.

– This has to do with what I talked about earlier.  Start a blog, and talk about new ideas and thoughts.  Create a twitter account, and follow people that are of interest to you.  Link to other people and form relationships with social media.

Image: Nirav Mehta