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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Break Through the Interview: A Recap of the Interview Skill Slam

The word ‘interview’ often makes people cringe. Interviewers can be intimidating, stressful, and can make you rethink what you should and shouldn’t have put on your resume. People walk into interviews never fully knowing what to expect, and never fully able to figure out whether the words “we’ll be in touch” mean you got the job, or that you’ll never hear from the interviewer again.

However, thanks to PRSSA-UD’s skill slam on Monday, March 23, entitled “Break Through the Interview,” planned by the pre-professional organization’s Vice President of Professional Development, Laura Hepp, some of the PRSSA members had the opportunity to receive feedback from PR professionals on their interview skills, and their resumes.

I was fortunate enough to be allowed to sit through members’ interviews and take notes on the feedback professionals provided, as well as, listen to what they said are dos and don’ts for any interview. What I learned from sitting through these interviews was always expect a behavioral based question, and don’t let it frazzle you. Possible employers want to know that you can think on your feet, especially when they ask you a question such as “give me an example of a time you tried to accomplish something and failed.” This kind of question sends people into panic mode, but no need to panic. Turn a negative into a positive. Admit to the failure. We all have them, but make sure you end with how this failure bettered you in some way.

Also, always maintain eye contact and shake an interviewers interviewhand. It seems simple enough, but in the heat of the moment a lot of people tend to forget about this simple gesture. Don’t let that be you. A handshake and steady eye contact make you seem confident and they differentiate you from someone who is so nervous they almost seem unsure about their own abilities.

Always make sure to sound enthusiastic about what you love, and be able to verbalize how you’d be an asset to the organization whose position you are interviewing for. It’s nice that you enjoy your profession, but interviewers don’t care about why you think a given position is the best fit for you they care about why you are the best fit for them.

Lastly, as for resumes don’t be afraid to get specific. Explain in detail how you personally have positively impacted the places you have worked for and make sure to put the most important and relevant thing you’ve done at the very top of your resume.

This was my first PRSSA skill slam and based on what I learned, I encourage everyone to jump at the chance to participate in the next skill slam. Who knows, you might just take away from it.

By: Stephanie Pinilla

Stephanie Pinilla is a junior Psychology and Interpersonal Communications double major, working toward a Women’s Studies minor. She is currently a general member of PRSSA-UD, and works as a media planner for Now Hear This UD public speaking competition. Stephanie hopes to end the year by becoming an Oral Communication Fellow and by becoming a more active member of PRSSA-UD. Follow her on Twitter, @lilpinil.

#UDPRIntern: Learning over the long-haul: How to grasp new opportunities at a long-term internship

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Let’s face it—as ambitious communication students, we plow through internships with a “what’s next” mentality. We want something bigger, better and more boast worthy to add to our resumes once we conclude our current internship. I get it. But what if we decide to stay right where we are? Does this derail our practically perfect resume?

I have spent the last year working as the Communication & Development Intern at The Journey, a rapidly growing nondenominational church in Newark, Del. I originally signed on for a five-week winter internship…but life had something else in store for me. I ended up staying, all because I loved what I was doing and who I was doing it with.

Over the past year, I found that professional development only flourishes when you plant roots in some great soil. Here’s how you can stay fresh and fruitful at a long-term internship:

1. Overachieve on and off the job

Go above and beyond to learn about your industry. Listen to pod-casts on your way to work, follow key influencers on social media, skim through articles and blog posts from industry innovators and read books about leadership. Uncover potential opportunities, and then go after them!

2. Connect with your coworkers

Stop hiding in your cubicle. Seriously. Do not allow those three walls to imprison you and your success. Start talking to others in the office and ask them about how their days are going. Ask them about their jobs. Ask them how you can help. Just start asking—new and exciting projects (and connections) could start coming your way. Hello, networking.

3. Ask for feedback

Build a relationship with your manager and start regularly asking for honest feedback. It might not feel great or it might even sting at times, but this is essential to sharpening your skills and growing as a person and professional. You can’t improve if you don’t know where to start.

Best of luck with your internship endeavors, and remember: it’s not about checking a box; it’s about soaking in the experience.

By: Laura Hepp

journey2Laura Hepp is a junior mass communication major with minors in advertising and theatre performance studies. Aside from interning at The Journey and performing in various musical theatre productions, Laura loves running, laughing, and eating far too many vegetables. She serves as Vice President of Professional Development for PRSSA-UD.

#UDPRintern: 4 Easy Ways to Make The Most of Winter Session

Winter Session at the University of Delaware (also known as #UDWinter) is a great way to get ahead of the game. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to take a class. The most important part of Winter Session is making the most out of your time, whichever way you choose to spend it.

Here are four major Winter Session paths to choose from:

  1. Take Classes

Aside from the obvious, being a student at the University of Delaware is extremely advantageous to one’s overall success, due to Winter Session. As students, we are given an opportunity to earn up to seven credits while on winter break. These credits can abate the course load for the coming semester, or help to ensure that one graduates on time or even early.

  1. Study Abroad

A traditional study abroad excursion puts one away from his/her home for as long as four months. While this is bearable for some, many students find this to be too overbearing. Lucky for students at the University of Delaware, there is an option to study abroad for one month during its winter session. Additionally, students are still offered a broad range of destinations during this time.

  1. Intern

Whether it is through the University of Delaware or an independent opportunity, finding an internship for Winter Session is an extremely productive use of one’s time. Due to the fact that UD’s Winter Session is two months, companies are more inclined to hire a student who can be there for a longer duration. Even still, during this time period, students can network and prove their abilities in order to attain a summer internship, as well.

  1. Self-improve

For some students, Winter Session is a time for utmost relaxation instead of being completely focused on schoolwork. Winter Session is a great time to give one’s brain a little detox; however, there are many productive activities that do not come with stressful baggage! Working a part-time job, improving one’s overall fitness, volunteering or participating in resume building activities are all great ways to have a dynamic, yet peaceful, Winter Session.

Whatever you choose to do this Winter Session, there is a way to make the most out of it!

By: Morgan Pudimott

Morgan Pudimott is a freshman Communication Interest with a minor in advertising. She is passionate about the field of Public Relations. Morgan plans to continue to become more involved in the blog, and PRSSA itself.

5 Reasons Why Everyone Should Be on LinkedIn

Last week, I connected with yet another social media-marketing consultant on LinkedIn. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities LinkedIn has provided me in helping carve out a niche for myself in the public relations and digital marketing industry. Yet, I have friends who do not understand how LinkedIn can be beneficial for them.

“I don’t need a LinkedIn.”

“I’m a science major. People only look for communication majors on LinkedIn.”

“You sell yourself on LinkedIn; it makes you look cheap.”

These statements were like nails on a chalkboard to my ears. Although I admit I’m biased towards all things social media, LinkedIn can do nothing but help anyone, whether you’re a a chemical engineer or a theatrical performer. Brace yourself, college kids. If you are not on LinkedIn, there are 5 reasons to get on it as soon as possible, or risk falling behind in landing the career of your dreams.

1. ALL companies look for it

Everyone’s heard that potential employers look up their job candidates on social media before even considering them. More importantly, they are looking to see if you have established a professional presence. One source informed me that a chemical production company  (I’m talking to you, scientists and engineers) specifically looked to see if job candidates had a LinkedIn before even reviewing the rest of the resume. You don’t have one? Well… guess you really don’t care that much about professional development.

2. You are not a Red Solo Cup, You are a Passionate (Insert Job Here)

Nothing on social media is meaningless. Every single picture, status, and shared link on any platform contributes to the development of your online identity. As aspiring professionals, it’s time to start considering how you want to define yourself to employers. What are your goals? What are you looking to accomplish after your get your degree? How do you feel your experiences have contributed to your overall goals and personality? A LinkedIn profile answers those questions. Posting pictures of your sorority’s formal on Facebook does not.

3. One Page Limit? What One Page Limit?

It irks me how you can never put every single experience and accomplishment on your print resume without going over one page. Before I joined LinkedIn, I wished there was a way I could show employers that I have done X Y and Z on my resume, but I’ve also done A B and C that I consider to be of equal value to my successes. Then I found out, oh wait, on LinkedIn there is no page limit! Your profile acts as a resume where you can add anything — publications, causes you care about, links to research you’ve conducted — that you want without worrying about lack of space. Everyone needs a resume; everyone wants to showcase every success that contributed to their development. LinkedIn gives everyone the chance to craft their identity using as much or as little information as possible.

4. Networking Just Got That Much Easier

While LinkedIn is a place to establish your professional presence and brand, at its core, it is a social networking site. Students are at an advantage here: you have the power to reach out to people you admire in your industry without fear that it’s impolite. Why? People on social networking sites want to meet other people, and successful people love when students reach out to them to ask for advice. Successful people get excited to meet students who are interested in their work, and students get to meet people they may have been scared to approach through email and build their network in ways they never imagined possible.

5. On That Note, Job Searching Just Got That Much Easier

Job searching can be overwhelming with so many search engines and options to consider. LinkedIn can help you specifically target opportunities in the companies you specifically want to work for. On LinkedIn, you can follow a company, join an alumni network, and find groups that are talking about fields that interest you. People post job opportunities in these groups. There could be a potential perfect job out there for you where the employer is specifically looking for members of a certain group, and you could never know about it. Unless you join LinkedIn.

People may not think that LinkedIn doesn’t apply to them, that it’s not useful, or that it makes you look cheap. But I assure you, if you invest the time into creating a simple profile, LinkedIn will take your career places you never thought possible. I look forward to connecting with you all in the future!

By: Paxton Mittleman

Paxton Mittleman is a sophomore communication interest and English double major who is passionate about public relations and social media marketing.  When she’s not attending PRSSA meetings, Paxton is tweeting from her @BlueHenPaxton Social Media Ambassador account, volunteering with the sisters of Gamma Sigma Sigma, or planning events as a Senior Fellow for the UD Honors Program.  You can find her on Twitter and, of course, LinkedIn.

 

How Political Views are Impacted by Your Sense of Humor & Social Media

Social media can become an addiction, especially when you have run out of shows to watch on Netflix or when you find yourself stalking anyone/anything imaginable.

Although contrary to popular belief, social media does dominate significant ideals and morals in our lives, including our political views. I will not discuss how solid statistics and facts read on new media (like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest) are more likely to influence your personal views and future attitudes on political candidates, rather than opinions. Instead, I’d like to explain how your political view relates to your sense of humor, which in turn effects how you view social media. Social media is not only a symptom of a need to see an outsider’s view in order to create your own, but it also is a side effect of a changing technological world.

Conservatives tend to use exaggerated jokes that could be repeated several times and contain very clear punch lines. However, liberals tend to use jokes that incorporate sarcasm and irony.  tweet

So, lets break it down. Your sense of humor ultimately defines what you find intriguing, and thus influences your social media searches and “likes.” Conservatives are looking for more “breaking news” stories, like a hot scandal on how Florida’s 29 Electoral College votes should have been given to Gore, and the votes must be recounted. Conservatives’ exaggerated news will change their attitudes to more intense and possibly instantly view changing, depending on the media’s emphasis or importance.

On the flip side, liberals’ ironic sense of humor can have them more infatuated with ironic news, such as a Harlem doctor who is trying to help cure Ebola patients, but cannot detect his own Ebola illness. What’s more ironic than a doctor trying to save Ebola patients, while potentially spreading that epidemic to America’s largest city? It provokes thought.

With these different senses of humors come different social media cravings and disputes, because you read it on the Internet, so it MUST be true. The overall problem is that we all find different things humorous; it’s that simple. If only there was a joke category all people always enjoyed and could fall back on. However, if that were the case, there would also be no need for persuasive social media tactics. Then what would we do on our unproductive procrastination Sundays?

By: Alexandra Chiodi

Alexandra Chiodi, sophomore bachelor of arts in mass communication and bachelor of science in marketing, with a minor in advertising. She is currently the Co-Founder and Co-President of Pencils of Promise at UDel. Follow her on Twitter: @chiodii2 and @udelpop.

Research: “Fundamentals of Communication: Theory Readings and Exercising,” by Dr. Steven Mortenson.

How Lena Dunham Sets the Standard for Women in the Workplace

As the producer, writer, director and main character of HBO’s hit show Girls, Lena Dunham has developed a large fan base for her confident, uninhibited spirit on and off the screen. As a fan myself, I was thrilled when she came out with her memoir, “Not That Kind of Girl.” Like so many other avid Girls viewers, I was curious to learn what seemingly twisted, yet intriguing, things influenced Dunham to become the carefree screenwriter she is today. By advocating for what she believes in and sharing life stories in her book, Dunham has demonstrated that it’s easy for women to be their own publicists without having to conform to what the media expects of them.

One of Dunham’s essays that really resonated with me explained how she was working at a high-end baby’s clothing boutique after graduating from college. Although she was paid decently under the table and worked with some of her best friends, Dunham realized she was bored of scanning items and folding clothes every day. She missed the creative side of her work that she had fallen out of touch with. “But ambition is a funny thing,” she writes. “It creeps in when you least expect it and keeps you moving, even when you think you want to stay put. I missed making things, the meaning it gave this long march we call life.” I realized, like Dunham, I have the power to set my own standards for what I want out of life and will always push myself to exceed those expectations. Beyond that, I will never settle for a job that reduces my creative drive or makes me feel like I’m not making a difference in the world.

Dunham also describes feeling envious of men in o-NOT-THAT-KIND-OF-GIRL-facebookthe workplace who appear to be unapologetically at ease, while she feels the pressure to be a people-pleaser just because that’s what is expected of women. Dunham writes, “It’s a special kind of privilege to be born into the body you wanted, to embrace the essence of your gender even as you recognize what you are up against. Even as you seek to redefine it.” This quote encompasses a major theme that seems to motivate Dunham as a female artist. She contradicts this envy of the male population by being unapologetic in her own words and actions. Her authentic, autonomous personality and work ethic proves that women don’t need to be people-pleasing robots to be successful in the real world. They just need to be themselves.

By: Michelle Sachs

Michelle Sachs is a sophomore communications major and advertising minor. She is an active member of PRSSA-UD and is a member of Spoon University UD’s marketing team. Follow her on Twitter: @michelle_sachs and @spoonu_delaware.

Photo credit: The Huffington Post