Tag Archives: job searching

Finding value in an internship

Our current interns, Erin and Dan, are busily working on their projects for the week.

You just graduated from college, maybe even summa cum laude. But, if you don’t have experience in your field, finding a job can be a daunting task. The easiest way to get that much needed experience is to find an internship. In fact, it’s best if you have a few!

In public relations, interning at a nonprofit, corporation or agency will give you very different experiences.  If you are searching for your first internship, check out 4 tips for breaking into the world of public relations.

At Franco, we look for interns who are at least juniors in college and have already had a couple internships.  It’s an invaluable experience that could lead to future employment. It’s the longest job interview you’ll ever have – take it from two previous interns!  Here are a few skills you’ll pick up while interning with Franco:

Learn how to manage your time

Agency work is very fast paced, and you’ll rarely have down time. Franco interns have the opportunity to take part in agency and account team meetings, visit clients, sit in on conference calls, draft news releases and build media lists. A Franco internship is not a “coffee internship.” You’re given real responsibilities and serve on account teams, which is why and how you’ll learn to manage your time.

Improve your spoken communication skills

As Michelle Zdrodowski noted in her blog on interpersonal communication, sometimes it is better to pick up the phone than it is to send an email. If you need to provide urgent information, sometimes it’s quicker to make a call than to type it out. Phone calls are also more personable, so it’s easier to convey your message.  At Franco you get to talk to a lot of people — clients, media and suppliers.

Improve your written communication skills

A huge part of public relations is communicating a message through the written word. Our interns have the opportunity to draft media materials including press releases, media advisories, executive biographies and speaking points. Franco’s experienced account team members edit and provide feedback.

Build relationships with the media

Franco interns have the opportunity to contact the media with client news.  While it can be nerve-racking the first few times, after you’ve had some practice it comes naturally.  And you always have Franco’s media relations experts guiding you along the way. From creating a media list and pitching the news to attending TV segments and clipping the results, you’ll see how media relations work from start to finish.

What do you think are the most valuable things to learn from an internship? We’d love hear your thoughts.

Joe Ferlito is a senior account executive at Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach him at (313) 567-5031 or ferlito@franco.com.

Marie Stawasz is an assistant account executive at Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach her at (313) 567-5201 or stawasz@franco.com. Follow Marie on twitter @MarieStawasz.

4 tips for breaking into the world of public relations

A resume should include a bulleted list of your education, work experience and (when appropriate) personal interests. Photo Credit: Flickr.

You’re fresh out of college with a degree in public relations. Now you need a job. Public Relations is all about connecting people, but do you know how to connect yourself? Scoring your dream job doesn’t have to be hard as you think. Here are a few tips that will help you stand out in that pile of resumes.

1. Construct a fluid resume. A resume should include bulleted points of your education, work experience and (when appropriate) personal interests. Be descriptive and use action words. Think outside of the box when listing your experience. If you were involved in any projects or programs outside of school or work that are relevant to your field, be sure to list them.

2. Draft a cover letter, and edit it thoroughly. Think of a cover letter as your opportunity to demonstrate your written communication skills and your personality.  Be clear and concise, explaining why you are contacting the employer and why they should care. Be specific to the position you’re applying for. Expand upon points in your resume. And proofread the letter carefully to catch any typos. Since PR is all about details, a typo in your cover letter could cost you the interview.

3. Provide work samples. The proof is in the pudding. If you present a potential employer with samples of the work you produce, the more likely you are to grab their attention. Provide press releases you’ve written and subsequent placements they may have resulted from your outreach. If you have not had an opportunity to conduct outreach on your own, provide writing samples from college classes.

4. Apply for internships. Experience is possibly the most important part of a job search. Employers want to know the individual they hire has practical experience in their industry, and the best way to gain that experience is through an internship. Apply for more than one. You’ll learn about different aspects of PR at a nonprofit than you would at an agency or in a corporate setting.

Now that you know how to land your dream job, are you looking for an internship? We’re looking for two summer interns. Learn more on our Facebook page.

Marie Stawasz is an assistant account executive at Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach her at (313) 567-5201 or stawasz@franco.com. Follow Marie on twitter @MarieStawasz.

The privacy debate: Keeping your audience in mind when posting online

Be careful what you post if you’re connected with co-workers, clients or employers on social media. Photo credit: Microsoft Office Images

Social media can feel like your own personal paparazzi is splashing your name across web pages and into the hands of well, quite literally, everyone and your mother.  Even if you don’t use social media for business, the warning to clean up your online image and avoid potential scandal has become constant, often directed at college-age students and budding professionals.

What was once considered a personal site filled with 700 of your closest friends, certainly won’t damage your chances of being taken seriously in the job market, right? This, of course, is the great debate. Should sites like Facebook and Twitter be limited by the buttoned up realm of the professional world?

Well, no, not exactly. The sites are personal yet, the world can see them. With our increasingly public lives, lines need to be drawn to keep the balance. Potential employers or clients can walk into our lives with a simple Google search. So instead of letting everyone in on the intimate details of your social life, give them a little taste of your personality but keep it classy.

How much can be revealed? How much is too much? Some sites, like Linkedin, have clear a purpose. It’s strictly a business zone reserved for creating and honing your professional networks.

Facebook profiles can be much more personal. So, if you don’t want people peeping through the windows of your personal life, close the curtains. Use the privacy settings and stop friending everyone you meet.  Or, post as you like, but amp up the security settings and zero in on your audience. Just remember your grandma is probably on Facebook and if she’s not, then someone else’s grandmother is.

Twitter is quite another beast. It’s an open space decorated by you. Sort of like the front porch to your social media house. It’s okay to pin up personal décor but try and keep a positive image for your followers. While you can limit who follows you, everyone can see your tweets.

If you’re willing to sacrifice sharing the latest Vegas vacation pics and keep your online image strictly professional, good for you. But, if you want to make it a personal space to share your life, just remember to keep your posts appropriate for your audience.  Be careful what you post if you’re connected with co-workers, clients or employers on social media. Utilize advanced security and list building settings and keep up with changing privacy policies, check out this article on Facebook privacy concerns.

Really, how you portray yourself online is up to you but once Google finds you, there’s no turning back. So if you think posting something could potentially damage your hard-earned reputation, think twice and don’t post it. Show your best side on social media and remember, all eyes are on you.

Amanda MacCormick is a PR Coordinator at Franco Public Relations Group. She can be reached at maccormick@franco.com or connect with her on Twitter @AmandaMickMac, Connect with Franco PR Group on Facebook and Twitter@FrancoPRGroup.