Monthly Archives: June 2009

How to get a job and work the LA PR scene: June Meeting Recap

Last week we gathered 30 young professionals at GolinHarris in downtown Los Angeles to learn how to navigate the LA PR scene – and get a job!  Panelists included Alan Weatherbee, Director of Recruitment for CMG, Jonalyn Morris, President of Jonalyn Morris PR, and Ron W. Roecker, President and Chief Enfluencer of Enfluence Group.

Whether your goals include rebounding from layoffs, making a lateral or horizontal career move, breaking into PR with that first job or internship, or ongoing networking, Alan, Ron and Jonalyn provided an entertaining and educational evening full of information, tips and real-world examples to help you feel confident pursuing the job you want (today or in the future).

Check out below for a hearty list of tips for job seeking, networking and interviewing!  For ongoing conversations, musing about the recruiting and the LA PR scene you can follow our panelists: Alan on his blog or @alanweatherbee, Jonalyn @jonalynmorris and Ron on his blog.

Networking:
  • Everyone you meet (personal or professional) is a potential networking contact. Remember information about them and keep them for future contacts.  The more networking you do as a young professional, the broader your reach when you’re in management.  You can also get job opportunities through bizarre connections, so make it known what you do – and what you want to do in the long run
  • Never burn bridges.  The PR scene (in LA and outside) is a very small world. Everyone knows everyone, and there’s always less than six degrees of separation
  • Be proactive.  Put yourself, your interests, your personality out there at networking events and on social media platforms.  For example, if you’re job hunting opening and currently unemployed – put a status update on LinkedIn including buzz words you would be interested in
  • Talk about your desire for your job
  • Keep your profile up-to-date and flaunt your achievements on networking sites, including LinkedIn.

Job hunting:

  • Seek and establish a list of the top ten agencies you’re looking for, regularly check in with HR to gauge interest and availability
  • Professional social networks vs. personal: LinkedIn is professional. It’s your call on Facebook, but BE CAREFUL. Your online profiles are your personal brands, make sure they sell you appropriately
  • Optimize profile for key search terms and source recommendations, such as ROI and social networking

Resume building:

  • Spell check your resume!! (Have someone check it for you.) You can also start reading from the bottom up to make sure you’re catching everything.  (A typo in a resume goes straight to the trash.)
  • Include recent wins or accolades
  • Skill summary at top (new trend); objective section is “old school”
  • Adding value through social networking, new media tools
  • Entry level: much of your work is presenting documents to the client, be sure to promote your ability to polish work
  • Balance your hard skills with your soft skills.  There is a balance you have to strike.  Soft skills should be highlighted in your skill set summary at the top and demonstrate who you are as a person.  Hard skills are accomplishments and things you can do, but you need to set yourself apart
  • Highlight how your skills have created wins for your client – even small wins (when they’re big in supervisors or clients minds) are good. Any kind of results or metrics you can take credit for and incorporate in your resume will sell to a recruiter / hiring manager far above what you did to create a media list or review a document. (This also demonstrates ROI for your work.)

Interviewing:

  • Know about who and where you are interviewing before you go in. It’s a must to  demonstrate interest and knowledge of what they do and why you’re there. (Don’t waste anyone’s time, yours or theirs.)
  • If you’re not looking for a job, don’t go in for an interview.  Rather, set up an informational interview to manage expectations from the get-go
  • Presentation and perception are huge in PR
  • It’s always better to over dress then under dress
  • Take a personal note from an interview and be sure to show personality with follow up meeting
  • Sit forward and reach eye level
  • Always ask for a glass of water.  A glass of water will help you in any situation: need a minute to think of an answer, take a sip.  Get a scratchy throat from talking to the fifth of eight people, take a sip.  You’ll eventually need it so ask for it up front
  • Receptionist and assistant to the president have the most power in the organizations, be nice and polite!
  • Know the hierarchy in the interview process and tailor your conversation to who you are talking to.  If you are talking to a potential direct boss, he/she will want to know what you will do for them.  If you’re talking to an executive, he/she may want to know how you would represent the company and react to odd situations.
  • Maintain a personal touch on resumes but keep it relevant
  • Cover letter: why you should be hired and why you’re interested in the company. Don’t reiterate your resume.
  • Look around for common ground: photos, screen saver, personal mementos
  • Smart questions: What are you looking for?  Questions that offer clues to help you
  • Recap to why you’re a fit at the end of the interview, especially if they ask you the open-ended question: “Do you have any more questions?” Never say no to that question – our jobs are about answering, asking and listening to questions
  • Treat the interview as a new business proposal with prep and research to support your worth
  • Be cautious about titles – different agency positions and in-house opportunities are genuinely different and come with different job titles
  • Always send a thank you letter.  Always.

Look for an invite to the upcoming July event!

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June Event: How to Get a Job & Working the LA PR Scene

Whether your goals include rebounding from layoffs, making a lateral or horizontal career move, breaking into PR with that first job or internship, or ongoing networking, the PRSA-LA Young Professionals June meeting, How to Get a Job – Working the LA PR Scene, will provide you with the base of knowlege you need to feel confident pursuing the job you want (today or in the future).

Join us as we learn to navigate the LA PR scene from Director of Recruitment for CMG Alan Weatherbee and other seasoned PR veterans.

June 17, 2009

6:30 – 7 p.m. networking
7 to 8 p.m. program

GolinHarris
601 West Fifth St., 4th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90071

Light refreshments will be served

Parking:
Parking is in the building and can be accessed from Fifth Street. Parking validation will be provided, just tell the attendant you are attending the PRSA-LA YP event at GolinHarris.

Directions:
FROM PASADENA:
Take 110 South
Exit at Hill Street (Chinatown).
Turn right on 1st St., left (south) on Grand.
Turn right (west) on 5th Street.
JUST AFTER you turn onto 5th St., turn right into the surface level valet parking facility.

FROM SAN FERNANDO VALLEY/HOLLYWOOD:
Take 101 east to the Harbor Freeway (110) South.
Stay in the right lane to exit at the Fourth St. off- ramp.
Follow off-ramp to the east. Move quickly to the right lane.
Follow up-ramp to Hope.
Make a right (south) turn on Hope and follow as it turns (east) behind our building onto Grand.
Turn right (south) on Grand.
Turn right (west) on 5th Street.
JUST AFTER you turn onto 5th St., turn right into the surface level valet parking facility.

FROM WESTSIDE:

Take San Diego Fwy (405 north) to Santa Monica Fwy ( 10 east) to Harbor Fwy (110 north).
Exit at 6th St.
Turn left on Olive.
Turn left on 5th St.
JUST AFTER passing Grand, turn right into the surface level valet parking.

Cost:
$10 for PRSA/PRSSA members and $15 for non-members/guests.
For your convenience you may pay online by visiting our PRSA event page. Please note that a $1.50 processing fee applies for online payment.
As always, you can also pay with cash or check at the door.

RSVP:
Please RSVP by Monday, June 15.
To RSVP and pay at the door, please contact Kristin Wood.
To RSVP and pre-pay online, please visit our PRSA event page.

If you have any questions, please contact Kristin Wood.

We Hope to See You There!

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PRSA- LA Young Professionals’ 2009 Mentorship Program

PRSA-LA’s Young Professionals (YP) group is excited to announce the kickoff of the 2009 Mentorship Program! This free YP/PRSA program provides a fantastic opportunity for public relations students and those who are just starting a career in public relations to seek a mentor, as well as a chance for current professionals of all experience levels to share what they’ve learned with a mentee.

Mentors and mentees will be matched, as closely as possible, according to their fields and experience levels within the public relations industry. YP looks to connect mentees with public relations practitioners who are eager to provide professional development tips and tools by bringing tangible skills and expertise to the relationship. Mentoring allows both parties the opportunity to expand their perspectives and build a larger network of industry contacts.

Time commitment: Time commitment will be determined by the mentor and mentee, based on need and availability of respective parties.  We suggest mentors and mentees meet once per month, but timing and frequency can be tailored to fit individual party needs and schedules.

Application process: Copy and paste the application below into a Word document and e-mail it to Andrea Nowack at andrea.nowack@gmail.com.  Once you have been matched with a mentor or mentee, YP will make an e-mail introduction and send suggested relationship guidelines, and it will be up to mentors and mentees to find a time and place to meet, as well as frequency thereafter.

Deadline: There is no deadline for completing and submitting applications; we will accept applications and match mentors with mentees on an ongoing basis according to need and availability.

Mentor/Mentee Application

APPLICATION TYPE___________________________________

_____     Mentor
_____     Mentee

PERSONAL PROFILE___________________________________

Name:
Organization:
Title:
University:
Major and graduation year:
Phone:
E-mail:
Years of experience:
Are you a PRSA or PRSSA member?
Tell us about yourself (personal/ professional goals, hobbies, interests):

AREAS OF INTEREST_________________________________

Please select areas you would be interested in discussing with your Mentor or Mentee:

Career Development
_____     Career Transition                  _____    Professional Development
_____    Furthering Education            _____    Internship/ Work Experience

Managing PR Function
_____    Community Relations/ Non-Profit   _____    Corporate PR
_____    Government/ Public Affairs               _____    Media Relations
_____    Event Planning                                      _____    Entertainment PR
_____    Agency                                                     _____    Consumer / Lifestyle

Thank you for your interest in YP’s Mentorship Program. This program will be as effective as you make it. The information provided on this application will help us match you with a PR Mentor/ Mentee. Please return this completed form to Andrea Nowack, PRSA-LA Young Professionals Collegiate Outreach Chair, via e-mail at andrea.nowack@gmail.com. There is no deadline; mentors and mentees will be matched on an ongoing basis pending interest.  You will be notified by email once you have been matched with your mentor/mentee and contact information.

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Not yet a member of PRSA-LA? Check out these deals!

Stay Competitive, Stay Smart with PRSA

There is a PRSA special membership promotion during June (you’ve got three weeks left)!

Join PRSA in June and have your Initiation Fee waived (a $65 value)! (This brings the cost of national membership down to about $225.) And, you can get more out of your membership when you join your local PRSA-LA Chapter. For Young Professionals, PRSA-LA Chapter membership get’s you into the Young Professionals group.

Click here to see details.

Why join PRSA / PRSA-LA?

  • Stay on top of emerging trends and industry news
  • Extend Your Network While Increasing Your Knowledge
  • Find Answers to Your Most Pressing Public Relations Questions
  • Keep Learning
  • Accelerate Your Career
  • Expand Your Options With Members-Only Offers
  • A full list of membership benefits can be found here

Hardship Plan for PRSA Members

In addition, there is currently an offer for membership via the Hardship Plan for those who are unemployed and could use PRSA-LA and YP’s resources to finding a job:

PRSA is pleased to offer a financial hardship plan to our me mbers who are unemployed or temporarily disabled.

Members who renew with the hardship plan will still receive all PRSA member benefits.

To apply for the hardship program, members must complete and sign a short application on which they attest that they are unemployed or temporarily disabled and must submit any applicable dues.  The application can be fond on the PRSA.org Web site.

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Young Professional Profile #7

KerryMeet Kerry Slaughter

Kerry Slaughter is your Trevett Award Chair – You can contact her @KerryNicoleS for more information about the prestigious young professional award.  (Being her friend could even increase your chances of winning the Trevett Award and prize money $$$. Well, not really, but you will find out how to win!)

She has several years of experience in public relations in the planning and implementation of public education campaigns, community outreach, media relations and event planning.  Currently a Team Member at Chandler Chicco Agency, Kerry has worked exclusively in the health care arena for more than three years and has experience with products in several unpleasant disease states.  Eek!

A true Los Angeles native, Kerry snuck away to the East Coast after college to attend grad school. While there, she worked for Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide in both the Washington, DC and Boston, MA markets.   She didn’t last long in the cold winters, so she came back and has vowed to never leave the palm tree-lined beaches of Los Angeles again.

Kerry has a master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communication and a bachelor’s degree in political science from UCLA.   Go Bruins!

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