3 Books to Read for Aspiring PR Professionals

In the public relations field, writing is one of the most important tools we have. However, instead of creating content, we can turn to books from some leaders in the field for meaningful advice. Here are only a few of the inspiring and informational books that the PR world has to offer. Each one of these books has a new way of looking at business and the way people build relationships.

1. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

This book has been called the PR bible and is one of the first best-selling self-help books. Although released over 75 years ago, it still contains extremely relevant step-by-step information about how to be a leader, make people like you and win people to your way of thinking. The ability to create and maintain relationships in public relations, whether it is with your professors, peers or co-workers, is a necessity and an immeasurable quality. His timeless advice is definitely worth reading.

“Success is due 15 percent to professional knowledge and 85 percent to the ability to express ideas, to assume leadership, and to arouse enthusiasm among people.”

2. All Work, No Pay by Lauren Berger

As aspiring PR professionals, we know the importance of an internship. However, obtaining one is easier said than done. Berger, known as the Intern Queen, had 15 internships while in college and uses her expertise to help students find and make the most of their internships. With information ranging from how to write a resume to turning an internship into a job, it contains invaluable advice for students. It also includes a great section on practice questions for interviews to prepare. This is a great resource for PR students at any level.

“While an internship does not guarantee a job with an employer, it does guarantee an experience – an experience that takes you one step closer to where you want to be after college.”

3. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck

For those interested in psychological side of business, this book is for you. Dweck found that people have either a “fixed mindset” or a “growth mindset” about our character, intelligence and talent. With a “growth mindset”, you believe that with hard work you can thrive in a challenging situation and learn from criticism. This is a mentality that we should adopt because those with this mindset are more creative and resilient. It is an empowering and motivating look at our behavior.

“No matter what your ability is, effort is what ignites that ability and turns it into accomplishment.”

I hope you find these books as motivating and inspiring as I do and you continue to keep reading!

By: Jennie Osber

Jennie Osber is a senior mass communication major with minors in advertising and psychology. Along with PRSSA-UD, she is a member of Gamma Sigma Sigma, the national service sorority and Lambda Pi Eta, the communication honors fraternity. Follow her on Twitter: @JennieOsber

Link used for research: http://www.businessinsider.com/must-read-public-relations-books–the-required-reading-list-of-pr-books-and-marketing-books-2011-9

Picture from: Google Images

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#UDPRintern: A Winternship to Remember

My name is Amanda Schuman and I’m a sophomore communications interest major. I have been a member of PRSSA-UD since fall semester of my freshman year, and as someone who wasn’t entirely sure what to be when I grew up, it was a great organization for me to join. PRSSA introduced me to many aspects of the public relations industry, which led me to pursue my first internship in the field this winter.

I currently intern at my old highschool, Golda Och Academy, in its alumni relations department. On my first day, I tweeted about my #winternship. The school’s principal took note of this term, enjoyed it, and now it is sticking. My job involves contacting alumni (my friends) through social media to rally involvement with fundraising and keep the alumni society updated with their accomplishments and milestones.

My first major task was to help promote and plan an annual basketball game of ahashtaglumni vs. the current high school team. This event invites back the last four graduating classes to have brunch with their former teachers and then watch the game. A couple weeks in advance, I was in charge of sending out emails to both alumni and faculty informing them of the event, making a Facebook event and managing the giveaways that were to be handed out.

While discussing the event, I remembered how during the PRSSA-UD networking event, Night With the Pros, a Twitter contest was held to encourage participant engagement on social media. I applied that to the basketball game and created a contest using a hashtag that got alumni talking about the game through social media. My colleagues were impressed with the results and I have PRSSA-UD to thank for that.

On game day, I was in charge of the school’s Instagram account. While I took time to catch up with my friends, I also snapped pictures of alumni and faculty mingling, as well as, action shots of the game. I then had the idea to recreate the famous ‘selfie’ of Ellen Degeneres and other celebrities by having the principal of the school take a selfie with the entire alumni section of the game. This photo managed to get more ‘likes’ than any previous picture on the account.

In the end, it was a win for the alumni team and a win for my winternship.

By: Amanda Schuman

A beginner’s guide to making the most of Night With the Pros

“Whenever and wherever you can, network.” Stephanie Mantegna, a PR professional, gave this advice to a room of excited students at last year’s Night With the Pros. As this year’s #NWTP approaches our Chapter, there are a few networking tips for beginners you should know to ensure you stand out from the crowd.

Often the beginning of a conversation is the most difficult, especially when approaching a professional. Have a question in mind to open up a dialogue after shaking their hand and introducing yourself. “Can you tell me more about what you do?” and “Where do you work?” are simple open-ended questions that bring up more conversation points. Remember to actually listen
to what they’re saying; don’t be too concerned with your next line that you stop paying attention.

Networking is not just about giving and getting information, or even about building a superficial contact list. Networking is about truly connecting with other people, learning more about them and about yourself. Don’t panic. These professionals all started out where you are right now and every one of them will be happy to help you.

IMG_4190To ease your mind ahead of time, there are many things you can do before the event that will give you an impressive edge on the rest of the crowd. Research the presenters ahead of time; Google their names and find their LinkedIn profiles, and follow them on Twitter. When you meet them later on, it would really stand out to mention a blog post or article they posted.

Practice your handshake with your friends ahead of time. Last year before #NWTP, I went around my floor in a hyper state of anxious excitement, shaking peoples’ hands and asking if my outfit was appropriate. It made me feel much more relaxed for the real thing. Plan your outfit ahead of time and feel free to ask any questions you have to the PRSSA Executive Board. As a general rule of thumb, if you have to ask if the skirt is appropriate, it isn’t.

Once you’ve conversed with the presenter and feel like you’d like to move on, some exit strategies to use are “May I have your business card?”or “What advice might you have for me?” This shows interest and professionalism and allows for more information for a follow-up if you truly connect. When you’re finished, shaking their hand and saying “It was great talking to you, thank you” is a perfect exit.

If Night With the Pros will be your first networking event of your college career, get excited! You are in for an inspiring night. The public relations speakers are always welcoming and happy to talk to passionate and excited young students. We are the future of the field, after all.  🙂

By: Julie Millisky

Julie Millisky is a UD-lovin’ sophomore with a passion for the environment, human rights, and public relations.  She is pursuing double majors in Interpersonal Communications and Public Policy. In addition to being an engaged member of PRSSA-UD, Julie is very involved in the Blue Hen Leadership Program and is a mentor for incoming freshman students. Connect with her on Twitter, @Julie_Millisky.

Fall Field Trip: PRSSA-UD Visits iHeartMedia

One of the biggest challenges in most people’s lives is choosing a career path. In fact, there are a ton of different jobs out there that most people are unaware of. That’s why when a select few PRSSA members, myself included, had the chance to go behind the scenes on November 3 and visit iHeartMedia’s office in New Castle, Del., the opportunity to meet with a handful of individuals with unique and fulfilling careers was a true blessing.

A personalized “welcome” sign greeted us in the waiting room where we were then whisked IMG_7987away and taken on a tour of the office. Starting the day off by viewing multiple recording studios, we were all pleasantly surprised when Sky Phillips, host of the Sky & Christa show from 94.7 WDSD (Delaware’s Country Radio Station), was in-between work and still had time to show what he does most days. Sky explained the technology behind radio stations and recording, answered all questions, and even allowed PRSSA-UD to pick a song he played live on the spot!

Next, Anastasia Kincaid, the office’s Digital Content and Promotions Director, finished up our tour of the station and led PRSSA-UD into a boardroom. With printed out packets full of coverage maps and “At-A-Glance” notes detailing each main station’s information for everyone, members couldn’t help but feel professional. For a brief moment, it felt like we were a part of their team.

Anastasia and the head of the iHeartRadio’s traffic analysis for the Delaware region graciously answered our questions for a half-hour. It was wonderful to hear about their job descriptions and what a typical day for them in or out of the office could be like. They informed us about the company’s events hosted year round for a variety of different charities, and how they went about keeping things interesting and new with each coming year. However, what was most inspiring of all was getting to hear about how both women loved their jobs. Both described a passion for what they do each day and how genuine joy results from helping people with their philanthropy events and daily work. It was also refreshing to hear that the radio station is actually women-dominated and you can really feel like you are making a difference.

The day concluded with advice to PRSSA-UD members about how to get their “feet-in-the-door.” Most workers at the station started from just an internship! We were advised that any opportunity is a starting point. You can work your way up to anywhere you desire if you try hard enough, you just have to start somewhere and make as many networking connections as you can along the way!

All in all the Fall Field Trip was a success and members couldn’t be more thankful for Katerina Vlitas, PRSSA-UD’s Assistant Program Director, for making the whole experience possible. iHeartMedia was full of kind and insightful workers, and each person we came in contact with taught us many lessons we will be sure to take with us as we go on looking and working for our dream careers.

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By: Brittany O’Connell, freshman communications interest with a hopeful minor in advertising. She is currently a new member of PRSSA and hopes to broaden her horizons, step out of her comfort zone, and help many throughout her first semester at UD.

General Meeting Round Up: What You Missed on 10/6

At last week’s general meeting on October 6, we discussed the PRSSA 2014 National Conference in Washington D.C. which was attended by representatives from our Chapter, including executive board and general members. At this conference, our e-board had the opportunity to meet and interact with their counterparts from other universities in different activities and workshops.

Before we were introduced to the speaker, the fall field trip was revealed! One of the perks of being a paying member is being able to go field trips that are related to communications and public relations. This past spring some very lucky PRSSA-UD members travelled to Buzzfeed. Buzzfeed is one of today’s hottest and most culturally relevant websites so this trip was truly a once and a lifetime opportunity. This semester, paying members will have the chance to go to iHeartMedia, the parent company of iHeartRadio, located in Wilmington, Delaware. The field trips and other opportunities PRSSA-UD provides leaves the potential for relationships to be formed that can lead to internships and careers after college. prssa1006

Monday’s speaker was Jim Delorenzo. Jim started doing PR work while he was a junior in high school in New Jersey. He would write reviews of his high school’s sport games and give them to his local town papers to run. At Villanova University, Delorenzo became involved with sports information and the athletic department and he began covering sports that he previously had no experience with. By the time graduation rolled along, he found himself with the opportunity of being the Direction of Sports Information at Villanova – where he remained for 11 more years.

In 1999, left Villanova and started his own business. Delorenzo continued to work with sports, but he began to expand his services. To date, Jim has worked the sport industry, entertainment industry, companies, and law firms too. During his presentation, the audience was given important tips and pointers including “you’re only as good as your last good deed”. In addition, Jim advised that when you take on a new client that it is important research your client and make sure that there is a target audience for them. In addition, Jim also pointed out that in order to have good PR, you must take responsibility of your actions.

As a pre-professional society, PRSSA-UD brings in speakers who are involved in different types of PR. Jim Delorenzo was a great guest speaker to have and he provided great insight for those who are interested in sports PR.

Make sure you continue to check out meetings so you don’t miss out on one of our great speakers!

By: Brett Blee

Brett Blee is a sophomore communication interest major and journalism minor. On campus, Brett is a member of PRSSA-UD and is a writer for Spoon University. She is also a sister of Kappa Alpha Theta. Follow her at @bblee13 for all things pop-culture and at @BrettBlee for all COMM/PR related matter.

Photo credit: Katerina Vlitas

Social Media Safety Tips for Young PR Professionals

With social media being such a great outlet for people to speak their minds, it also has created an issue—what is too much to be put online? What is okay to be shared, and what should not be?  Sometimes, it is hard to determine, but it is important for students looking to enter the world of PR (or looking to become any professional, really) to understand their limits.  Within the last year, I have learned that I need to take more precautions with my social media accounts after realizing that they really are important in representing you as a brand to future employers, and that your representation online can really help or damage your chances of landing that internship/job. Here are a few social media tips I found online that can help you utilize Facebook or Twitter to give you an edge over another student.

  • Conduct a “social media sweep” every month.

Make time every month to go through and check your accounts, making sure to delete anything that does not portray you in a positive light.  Un-tag yourself from Facebook pictures that might not be too flattering, and even check what pages you are “liking.”  Other people can usually see these, too, and what you like says a lot about you.

  • Make sure your profile picture is professional.

This may seem like common sense, but your picture is the one feature anybody can see regardless of your privacy settings.  Just remember to keep it relatively classy, because your profile picture will also come up on Google when your name is searched.

  • Consider your Facebook page your live resume.

Ask yourself:  Would you print out your Facebook page and hand it to a potential employer?  Would you be proud of what you have posted?  It is always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to posting if you are not sure of its level of appropriateness.  Even if you delete things, it is not necessarily gone forever—Google and Facebook can keep track of what you have posted, and it is better to keep in mind that an employer will potentially be able to see anything you have posted.

  • Find an honest friend to look at your social media profiles and tell you what should be removed.

Find someone who has your best interests in mind and is willing to look through your sites for you, and ask them what are the top three pictures on your profile that should be taken down.  Once they tell you, at least seriously consider deleting them.  Same goes for posts and likes, if you are not sure.

  • Set your Facebook profile so that everything is private.

This shows that you are smart with social media, and you know how to control your own profile!

  • Don’t air frustrations and concerns for all to see.

No offense, but no one really wants to see a bunch of passive-aggressive “sub-tweets” or Facebook statuses about other people.  It damages your social media presence, and ultimately does not accomplish much.  You would be much better off by having a private conversation with the person you are having a problem with.

These are just a few tips to help you manage your online presence.  You use Facebook and Twitter everyday anyway; why not use it as tool for getting a job, too?

Written by: Allison Knouse

Allison Knouse is a rising junior Mass Communication major with a minor in journalism.  Along with being involved in PRSSA-UD, she will be the Vice President of PR for the National Society of Collegiate Scholars at UD starting fall semester.

PRSSA- The Reason I’ll Be Successful

One word to describe the first day at your first internship?

Horrifying.

Walking into Needham Partners on my first day of my first ever internship was one of the most nerve-wracking  days of my life. I was so scared I wasn’t going to be good enough, that I wasn’t going to be the intern they were hoping for.

After my first few days, I started to realize that I had nothing to be nervous about because I was prepared for whatever they would throw my way.

Why was I prepared? I owe it all to PRSSA-UD. eboard

I couldn’t be happier that I joined PRSSA at the beginning of my freshman year because I have already learned more than I would ever learn in a classroom. First, I learned about all of the do’s and dont’s of resume making in PRSSA I learned that when applying for specific jobs/internships, you have to change your resume to appeal to the people at that company. When applying for my internship at Needham Partners, which is a marketing and public relations company that organizes large conferences for huge corporations and important people, I knew some of the things on my resume wouldn’t be relevant when they were reviewing my resume so I took them off.

Second, during PRSSA, we had a meeting dedicated to making and perfecting our LinkedIn profiles. Having a LinkedIn that is updated and descriptive is very important for employers when they are looking for new employees. Having a LinkedIn came in handy when getting my internship because I have been using it very often in all of the work that I do in the office.

Another great thing about PRSSA is all of the trips that we go on. Every semester we take trips to talk to professionals in all types of industries. They tell us about how they got to where they are today and they give us tips about  what we can do to be successful. This year I went to Tipton Communications, a PR agency in Newark, DE and Hunter Public Relations in NYC. I learned so much from the people working at these two companies and they gave me so many great tips that I have been using at my internship and that I can use in the future.

Lastly, because of PRSSA I feel that I have matured professionally. Being able to watch all of our Executive Board this year, and having the amazing opportunity to be on the Executive Board next year, I feel that I have matured a lot. If I had started my internship a year ago I would not only have been very un-prepared but I wouldn’t have been as emotionally ready or as mature as I am starting my internship now. I am so fortunate to have been given the opportunity to intern at this great company and I owe all of my success at this internship and in the future to PRSSA-UD.

Written by: Katherine Bartell

katherineKatherine Bartell is a Sophomore at the University of Delaware and is from Nanuet, Ny. She is majoring in Communication Interest and minoring in Spanish. Katherine is so excited to be apart of the PRSSA Executive board. She loves the beach and spending time with family and friends. Katherine’s favorite place she has ever traveled to was Rome, Italy and she hopes to be able to return to Italy and travel in Europe after she graduates college. She has a crazy obsession for Disney and loves the Netflix series Orange is the New Black. Katherine hopes to have a career in PR agency when she graduates college. She is extremely proud to be a Blue Hen and feels so lucky and happy to attend UD.