The Five PR-Now Tips

Image Credit: GIRLS HBO

Image Credit: GIRLS HBO

The feeling of fear has been a constant companion of mine for the past couple of months. However, I realized that I have been experiencing fear because I have been letting my regrets took control of me. My regrets have been regarding my career choice, but not in the way you are thinking. I wish I would have found PR sooner. I am completely in love with it, but with one more year of college left, I do have a lot of catching up to do. I’m talking PR classes, internships, business cards, building your brand, making connections, etc. THERE’S A LOT! But it is so much fun that it is all worth it. So, for all you young bucks who are thinking about declaring PR/Communication as your major and career, these 5 PR-Now tips are for you. And for all you veterans with about 3 years of school under your belt, and just switched to PR, I feel for you, my friend, and this is especially for you.

1.) REGISTER FOR CLASSES NOW: Now this is probably the toughest thing to do. You’re not sure if declaring your as Communication or PR is the right bet for you. You don’t want to register for all these classes, find out you don’t like them, and realize you wasted a whole semester. My theory is that you have always known that Communication or PR is the right choice; you just haven’t realized it yet. I knew in high school I was great at public speaking and just simply talking to people. I was good at communicating with others. Did I know then I wanted to become a PR expert? No, I just knew my strength was in this area and I wanted to pick a major similar to that. My college offered a B.A. in Communication and a B.A. in Mass Communications & Journalism with a option in Public Relations. I knew that I was strong at communication so I went with a B.A. in Comm, but I still was not sure if PR was the correct field for me. A B.A. in Comm was broad, a good start, and the fact that a B.A. in PR was so specific, that kind of scared me. So I want to tell you, and what I wish I could tell my college freshman-self, DON’T BE SCARED AND JUST SIGN UP FOR AT LEAST ONE CLASS IN PR. Don’t get me wrong, I love my major! A communication degree is considered a valuable degree, I have gained great friends, my professors are amazing, and those 10-12 page papers have definitely forced me to become a better writer. But if I would have signed up for a PR class like I thought I should, I would have discovered PR was the right field for me in the very beginning.

2.) START INTERNSHIPS NOW: I knew the communication field was right for me, but I still hadn’t found my passion for PR yet. Even if you think this field might be right for you, GO AHEAD AND LOOK FOR INTERNSHIPS NOW! I made the mistake of waiting until I was sure about PR and then started looking. A big no-no! Landing an internship, at least for me, has been extremely difficult. The search is long and tough, and living in a small city does not make it any easier. If you feel like “maybe I should research into PR,” then go for it! Gaining internship experience earlier on is important because you figure out if this field really is for you. If it is, AWESOME! If not, at least you tried, now you know, and gained some type of experience.

3.) MAKE CONNECTIONS NOW: I also knew PR was the right field for me because I’m that girl on the first day of school who will strike a conversation with you because I enjoy meeting new people. Now, some people may not be like that, and some may even think “Ugh, don’t talk to me! I just want to come to class, pass, and leave.” BUT! The students I met in my comm and PR classes were the exact same way as me and I knew I found my place. Go out, shake peoples hands, and introduce yourself. Even introduce yourself to your professors! Professors are impressed by students who take that first step. And remember, it’s not what you know, but who you know! What if you’re wanting to get into entertainment PR and the girl sitting next to you in class has 2 uncles working for Fox News and Warner Bros (which really did happen to me)?! YOU NEVER KNOW! So be friendly and say hello :)

4.) THE TIME FOR SOCIAL MEDIA IS NOW: Social media is no longer just about staying in touch with childhood friends over Facebook. I mean, it still is, but social media has evolved. You probably already have a Facebook, but you should have a Twitter, LinkedIn, and personal website as well. I love Twitter! Start building your network and establishing yourself now. I’m making so many connections and learning so much from all my PR peers. However, I believe LinkedIn is crucial! I regret not setting up my LinkedIn account sooner, so do not make my mistake. LinkedIn is a social media platform that highlights your work experience, education, groups, etc. It is clean, simple, straight-to-the-point, and when applying for internships, the first thing employers search for.

5.) LASTLY-ASK FOR HELP NOW: If these previous tips do not help or you are still stuck on what to do, ask for help! Talk to friends, parents, counselors, etc! My favorites are my parents and professors. Professors, the good ones, at least, are there to help. Schedule an informational interview or go during their office hours. Explain to them your confusions, interests, and what you think you want to do. I am a huge supporter of talking to your professors, especially the ones in your major department. They have real-world knowledge, are experts in their field, and have connections. Go in and pretty much say, “Will you help me? I’m seeking advice on where to go in my field.

I hope these Five PR-Now Tips help you out!

A guest post by our Director of Public Relations, Selina Pichardo

Our New Executive Director: EMMALIE CASTRO

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Meet TALK’s new Executive Director Emmalie Castro! Besides her strong passion for Public Relations Emmalie enjoys attending music & art festivals. The picture above is at Outside Lands, a music & art festival in San Francisco, Emmalie’s most recent adventure. In the blog below she tells us all about her traveling wishes!!

Thanks for sharing Emmalie :)

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5 Tips on How to Balance Your School, Work, and Social Life

Tip #5: Your email is your new best friend

Checking your email should be a daily routine. I check my email every morning to check for any class cancellations, postponed club meetings, or even personal emails. I can assure you that frequent email checks will make your day a lot smoother.

Tip #4: Create and maintain a monthly calendar or daily to-do list

            I must admit, this a newly found love of mine. Like most college students I was having a lot of trouble with my time management until I started creating and maintaining a calendar. I have found even if plans change it is good to at least have something to plan off of. If you’re not a fan of calendars, I would suggest a goal or to-do list. On my busy months I do both.

 Tip #3: Don’t over exert yourself

            Full time students shouldn’t work more than 20 hours a week on average. Make sure to dedicate some time for your schoolwork everyday, but don’t overdue it. Once you feel like you are mentally exhausted put the books aside and take a few minutes, then go back later if needed. School, work, and life in general can get hectic, so remember to take some time for you. It is most important to take care of yourself; your health is the most important thing.

 Tip #2: Dedicate your time according to your location

            What I mean by this is: when you’re at school dedicate your time to schoolwork, when you’re at wok focus on just work, and when you’re out with friends just relax and have a good time, don’t worry about everything else. This will give you time to breath when things are hectic, which is majority of the time as a college student.

Tip #1: Reward Yourself

You work hard, so when you reach your weekly goals you should reward yourself for all that hard work. I have specific days that I have requested off from work and after school I take the rest of my day off. Whether it is going out with friends, hanging out with family, or some time to yourself, it is always good to make time for you. Find rewards that work for you and help motivate you to complete your goals and cross off your to-dos!

 This is a guest post by Account Executive Emmalie Castro

Looking to Get Crafty?

Whether you are a crafty person or not, Do It Yourself projects are a great way to be creative and also find different ways of saving money. I personally love getting crafty as just a creative outlet but also because I love making my own creations. I get many different ideas from, you guessed it– arts & crafts heaven– Pinterest. Many times I pin things that I can’t make right away then use them later.
I really love to make things that pertain to seasons and holidays. This allows for me to use different themes for my ideas and make things in a manner that will benefit me the most. I currently am working on knitting beanies and scarfs for the fall and winter. It is very simple to crochet many different things once you have the main basic knit step down. (There are many tutorials available on YouTube.) once you know the basic step you can build to anything. All you need is yarn and a crochet hook to make all of your season’s favorite colored scarfs, beanies, and even blankets.
I’m a big fan of using recycled products and making new things with items that may not be reusable in practical ways. Wine corks are a great example of a reusable product. Once uncorked, wine corks aren’t very useful for what they are made for, but they can be reused in different ways that can be quite decorative. With Christmas right around the corner, I have collected enough wine corks throughout the year to make a Christmas reed it of them. All I need now is fishing wire to weave them all through in the order that I would like them to be. Another touch I add to my festive wine cork reeds is felt or ribbon to make the reeds look more festive.
Wine corks also make great collages or have other very practical uses, not only practical but decorative as well. I have made coasters, picture frames and other fun projects with corks.
Do it yourself crafts are a great way to give your home a nice decorative touch without going completely broke. Being a college student with such a busy schedule can make it difficult to have your place perfectly decorated. Little crafts can give your house a complete makeover with little effort and very little cash.
For those who like to entertain a creative side, crafts are a great way to keep busy and be artistic at the same time.
This is a guest post by Senior Account Manager Mayra Alvarez

Talladega, The Chase changer

This Sunday Talladega, the world’s largest speedway hosts the 5th chase race of the year. With only 5 races left in NASCAR’s playoff season, Talladega will provide drama and excitement for 500 laps. 43 race cars, reaching speeds well over 200 mph. The racing can only be described as bumper-to-bumper rush hour traffic, at 200 mph.

With 13 drivers still in the playoffs, in reality, only 5 drivers have a real chance of winning the 2013 Sprint Cup. In 5th place the wild and crazy Kyle Busch is 37 points back of 1st place. His Chase hopes have taken a hit these last few races, but no one ever counts out Kyle in any race. If he can control his temper on the track, he can easily find his way back into contention.

Jeff Gordon, the surprise of the Chase filed, only because NASCAR expanded the Chase filed from 12 drivers to 13 after Jeff was robed of a Chase spot earlier in the year. Jeff has shown everyone he deserved to be in the playoffs and has raced his way into contention for his 5th NASCAR title. Was there any doubt a legend like Jeff Gordon wasn’t going to be a contender for the title.

The man that is never in contention for a race win at the beginning of a race, but always finds himself there at the end, Kevin Harvick is only 29 (like his car number) points back of 1st. It would have been easy for Kevin to give up on this lame duck season after he announced his was leaving this team at the end of the year. Quit and giving up in not in the Bakersfield natives blood.

In 2nd place, and only 4 points back is 5-Time champion Jimmie Johnson. After a late suspicious caution flag at the end of last weekends race, cost Jimmie the win and point lead. Jimmie is determined to capture the flag at Talladega this Sunday and take over the point lead.

Matt Kenseth, the point’s leader heading into this weekend. Matt hates racing at Talladega, because racing Talladega is a game of luck. Like Matt, sometimes your lucky, miss the crashes and win like Matt has done before. Other times, you get caught up in a wreak 100 yards from you and your race is over, maybe even your season.

After this weekend race, I’m sure we will have a clearer picture of who the title contenders are. We have seen crashes at Talladega that have taken out half the field in seconds. In other races the big wreck never happens. No matter what happens, we should see the true champion contenders emerge after this weekend. I put my money on Jeff Gordon to take the win Sunday.

This is a guest post by Account Executive Patrick Moorman

Are Your Photo’s Professional Online?

Google-logo-retargetingHere’s something you should do right now: Google yourself. Why? Because a lot of people Google your name! Employers, family, classmates, guys and girls — all of them. I do it. If there is a girl I’m interested in I’ll look her up on Facebook or see if she has a twitter account. Just to see if she’s available, among other things. You could call it a little bit “creeperish”, but I can guarantee that a significant, if not majority, of people do the same thing. And it’s something entirely natural, that if you meet someone who catches your eye, you want to know more about him or her.

If you’ve ever seen The Social Network, you probably remember the scene where one of Mark Zuckerberg’s classmates runs around the lecture hall asking if some girl is single. After Zuckerberg sees that he runs off and adds an iconic feature of Facebook: your relationship status. All people want to know.

Curiosity isn’t limited to dating either. There was some heated debate only one or two years ago regarding employers demanding access to their employees Facebook accounts. But the fun fact is that companies are already researching the online presence of their applicants. Again, it’s perfectly natural. During an interview, are you not presenting an idealized, immaculate image of yourself? Your online identity is a much more accurate barometer of a person’s character, and employers want to see that.

This is why it’s critical to know what image of yourself that you have presented to the world. Images of you drinking and partying won’t bode well for you. And what is even alarming is that every tweet, post, and image might remain on the Internet indefinitely. Things don’t go away. I Googled myself, and I saw images from my MySpace account from seven years ago. It was mostly trite, but my sixteen-year-old self easily could have posted something much more egregious. And I know that high school classmates did indeed post things that were embarrassing at best and damning at worst. Guess what? They’re still there. They don’t go away. Your online footprint might just last for the rest of your life. So, you should treat every post as if it will. Any image of you, ask yourself, “is this tasteful?” Every seemingly controversial post; ask yourself, “is it necessary for me to say this?” Treat everything you post online as if your parents might see it, because they just might — prospective employers might, future boyfriends or girlfriends might, and depending on how the internet goes, your children might.

This is a guest post by Julian Paredes