Posts tagged ‘informational interview’

November 17, 2010

Becoming a Jack (or Brittany) of All Trades

Always looking to expand my personal brand and career portfolio, my conversation yesterday with McKenze Rogers, a public relations/marketing professional, revealed a new opportunity and challenge— getting published.

Photo Credit: Katie…B, Flickr

PRSA recently examined the importance in becoming not only a PR expert, but moreover an industry expert. In her article, PR expert Sherrie Bakshi identifies the importance of positioning in a competitive industry. Her tips include:

  • Find your niche. Public relations is a large field, and by far the most competitive.  So, you need to find your niche, whether it’s in health care, food and nutrition, or nonprofit communications, focus on understanding the ins and outs of specific industries. In addition, hone your public relations skills by developing relationships with media who cover your industries; create partnerships with key organizations, community leaders and partners that will help elevate your client‘s position within the specific industry; and seek out opportunities to expand your thought leadership by getting published, speaking and getting involved with organizations that will be of value to your clients and your career.
  • Seek out opportunities to enhance your knowledge. You will never stop learning, especially in today’s world where the explosion of social media has changed the way we communicate with each other and the media, and also has allowed people to share an enormous amount of information in just minutes. In addition, take advantage of volunteering your knowledge and skills with local nonprofit organizations, because you will be able to learn from the experience and utilize these skills at work.
  • Network beyond your professional circle. We all network within our professional societies such as PRSA, but look beyond your professional circle and reach out to specific organizations and individuals, and be sure to attend events that you feel would be of value. Also, thanks to social media, we are able to converse with people in our industry, network beyond on-site activities and events, participate in Twitter chats and Linkedin discussions — just to name a few things.

My point? A public relations professional is only as valuable to an organization as their words are to an audience. I can insist that I’m a competent, entertaining, effective writer until I’m blue in the face, but to this point, I have no tangibles to support that claim. So, with a fire lit below me, I’m now on a mission to get published.

I’ve reached out to Indianapolis Woman Magazine, a local publication targeted toward— you guessed it— women. The organization speaks of the importance of educating, inspiring, and motivating readers in a proactive way, and I’m confident, if given the opportunity, I can fit the bill. I indicated, in my email of interest, that allowing me the opportunity to expand my portfolio would be educating, inspiring, and motivating a local Indiana woman — their mission in action!

I’ll continue to seek out other avenues I can utilize. At the end of the day, I’m a girl with a lot to say— I’m simply looking for channels to get my thoughts out there!

What Do You Think: What other publications might I pursue?

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Source: It’s Not Just About Being a PR Expert— Become an Industry Expert, Sherrie Bakshi

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November 17, 2010

Get in the Know with an Informational Interview

I’ll be tragically honest— until about two weeks ago, I never even knew informational interviews existed. Rather, I didn’t know informal, interactive meetings with professionals was considered an informational interview, nor did I realize the importance they play in the good old networking game.

My previously mentioned, much-adored personal cheerleader and academic advisor, Bob Dittmer, a few mere weeks ago, put me into contact with three young professionals he thought could offer me information and pep in this, my time of need. I had the pleasure of meeting with one of these individuals today, and the conversation we had was invaluable to me.

McKenze Rogers, a recently APR-accredited public relations/marketing professional, was willing and eager to meet with me upon my initial contact regarding an informational interview. As a recent graduate herself, she was certainly sympathetic and supportive of my meeting with her for professional and personal advice. We covered the gamut, from personal hobbies, to career goals and aspirations, and a little fashion talk (her coat was cute— it had to be said!). I respected her insight so much, as our personalities were strikingly similar. In fact, who knew someone else in this world appreciates calendars…for fun!

She suggested some very specific recommendations, including organizations to research and approach, organizations to volunteer with and network within, and individuals to reach out to. Then, and maybe most valuable to me, we had a rather candid discussion on the transitions ahead of me. And although I already knew it to be true, it was nice reminder for an objective party to tell me it’s okay to be okay— things always work out, and I’ll always be okay.

It was a wonderful experience, and I really enjoyed the opportunity. I see so many of my own traits in McKenze, and I admire her so much for traits I hope to continue to develop.