What immediately comes to mind when you see a picture of:
Chances are, your immediate thoughts were something along these lines:
- Ryan Lochte – Olympic medalist, party boy, “ladies man,” hot body, not always articulate (JEAH!)
- Nicki Minaj – singer/songwriter, rapper, wild, over-the-top, colorful, crazy fashion sense
- Angelina Jolie – adoptions, philanthropic, global, actress, Brad Pitt
If you Google these people, the stories and pictures that come up in your search results will likely support these perceptions. Am I a mind reader? No. Has Google started tapping into your brain waves to give you the results you expect? Maybe.
The perceptions we have about these people stem from the fact that they have – either purposely or accidentally – developed clear personal brands. Their actions, fashion choices, relationships and words have built what we see as their personal brand. Over time, this personal brand can easily evolve based on your actions, sometimes turning into a perception that is different from what you intended.
Does Ryan Lochte want to be known as a not-always-articulate party boy? From where I stand it appears the answer is JEAH! But chances are he’d rather be known as an incredible swimmer and an Olympic champion instead. Sure, we know the boy can swim, but our immediate perception goes beyond that now (party boy, “ladies man,” etc.) and speaks more to what his brand has become.
If you’re like me, you aren’t famous (YET – we have to keep hoping, right?), and the masses likely wouldn’t be able to list off what comes to mind when they see your picture. But you still have a personal brand. If you haven’t already, think about what you want to be known for. You should know what you want your personal brand to be, so that you can embody it and so people begin recognizing your brand.
Don’t be shocked by your Google results!
Image courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreedigitalPhotos.net
At the beginning of my internship, I listed one of my goals for the summer as improving my writing skills. Now, I know what you are thinking: shouldn’t I already have strong writing skills as an intern at Porter Novelli? The truth is that you always have room to improve your writing, no matter how fantastic your skills. Don’t believe me?
After my first month here, I joined a writing workshop with all the members of PN’s technology practice. Senior VPs and interns alike turned out to refresh their prose. I walked out with plenty of tricks and tips, and pulled out four key pieces of advice to help you out:
1 & 2: Keep it concise; don’t use jargon. I clumped these two together, because excluding jargon and “life sucking” words keeps writing concise. After a few weeks here, I was attached to anything with an “ize” at the end. I wrote about customers utilizing solutions to optimize results. The writing seminar made it clear that unlearning this jargon was the only way forward. There is plenty of marketing speak you will pick up within your first week as an intern, but be careful what you repeat. Every word needs to have meaning and purpose and if there is a simpler way to say it, use that word instead.
3: Find the active voice. Basically, the action is completed by the subject of your sentence. This also helps keep sentences concise. Avoid “to be” verbs, which generally lead to passive voice. To better explain, here is an example from Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style.
“The active voice is usually more direct and vigorous than the passive:
I shall always remember my first trip to Boston.
This is much better than
My first visit to Boston will always be remembered by me.
The latter sentence is less direct, less bold and less concise.”
Side note – a great verb does not need an adverb.
4: If you are stuck, take a walk. Writing is like any other skill; you need to “stay in shape” to perform your best. Try writing every day and don’t multi-task when you write. Focus. If you are focused and still can’t seem to get a word on paper, take a walk outside. Moving around will get you thinking again.
If you are looking for more positive feedback on your next assignment, try these four tips. Afterwards, let me know how it goes. Do you have any additional tips to add?
– Brianna Wagenbrenner, Porter Novelli Atlanta
PR News editorial intern Danielle Aveta recently offered sound advice for future interns on getting the most out of PR internships, and how to make a positive mark in the process. The article featured advice from current PR interns in a variety of organizations, compiled into “7 Tips to Make the Most of Your PR Internship”.
“On a Roll” © June 24, 2012 <rs> snaps’ photos, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license
Since the Porter Novelli Intern Blog features real world advice from interns around the Porter Novelli network, I thought this was a great opportunity to expand the list. Why leave it at seven tips, when it could be 10? So, I’ve put together three more to help interns stand out and grow in that oh-so-important PR internship.
- Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference. Winston Churchill was not speaking directly to aspiring PR pros, yet his axiom applies to you. Many of you will graduate with impressive grades, work experience and student leadership positions. This is a good thing, and worth striving for, but do not let these accomplishments spoil your attitude as you enter the professional world. No longer are you the king or queen of campus; you are now playing on a much bigger field full of veterans. As millennials, we have been accused of bringing a not-so-endearing sense of entitlement into the workplace. Don’t perpetuate this stereotype: show up ready to work, add value and learn from those around you. Now, reference Danielle’s first and fourth tips – don’t be afraid to bring new ideas and show your personality. But, let a positive attitude guide your actions. Be confident, not cocky, and earn the respect you expect.
- Show up early, leave late. A well-known American actor, director and comedian (among other professions) famously said, “80 percent of life is showing up.” Well, I don’t believe that 80 percent of an internship is just showing up, but when you arrive and leave can certainly set the tone for your work. It surprises some new interns to discover that many of the best learning opportunities pop up on the periphery of the 9 – 5 workday. This might mean setting the alarm extra early so you can still snooze, meeting friends a bit later on Friday night or even missing the first pitch of the baseball game. However, those extra hours show you have the desire and the drive to be a part of the team.
- Dress the part. One thing new interns occasionally struggle with is appropriate business attire. Stepping into the buttoned-up office environment can come as a shock to those who, just a few months earlier, rolled in to their final exams sporting sweatpants and hoodies. Research shows dress is critical to establishing positive first impressions…and maintaining them. Don’t forget that an internship is essentially a two or three month interview, so this tip matters from your first day to the last casual Friday. Need help? CBS News and Forbes have some pointers to get you started.
Hey everyone! I’m Patrick. I was born in and raised just outside of Washington, DC. I went to the University of Maryland (GO TERPS!) and studied Psychology and Public Health, which were tough to translate into a job in 2009. I knew I wanted to study public health at the graduate level, but had no idea where, so I took some time off and went here:
When I received an invitation to study behavioral science and health education at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, I took a gulp and left my much beloved city for Atlanta. It wasn’t easy to move to a new city (where as far as I knew, was just that place that once hosted the Olympics), but there are some opportunities you just don’t ignore.
When an offer came to join Porter Novelli’s Health and Social Marketing practice as a summer intern, I jumped at it. I had taken a social marketing class at Emory taught by two PN’ers, and they made the choice a total no-brainer. Much like Emory, I could not be happier with my decision. I am having a complete blast here and learning so much about things like media and client relations, advocacy and campaign management. I have come to understand why PN’s work is so impressive: the people are impressive.
My advice to anyone starting out is to plan as best you can. Then take solace in the notion that you could quite possibly end up deviating from said plan. Embrace that uncertainty and ride that wave until it takes you somewhere great. Yes, it might feel uncomfortable, even silly, but it can be so much fun.
Come back and read about all the fun I’m having this summer!
Going back to the campus where you spent your college life can be a strange thing. It still feels the same, except everyone looks younger than you remember and there is now a building where there used to be a green field. After spending two days speaking about social marketing at my alma mater, the University of Florida, I leave invigorated and excited for these students. They face an uncertain employment world with passion, enthusiasm and a great education. I remember those fears during a job hunt too well; that nagging suspicion you’ll never find a job and will wind up back at your parents’, using those communication skills to ask “Do you want fries with that?” Never fear Gators (and all other students), the job market is getting better and a great job will be yours with a little hard work and some patience. Below are some tips to set you up for success.
- Everybody starts somewhere. The Catch-22 of building a resume. You need a job to get experience, but everyone wants you to have experience before they’ll give you a job. Use internships at smaller companies or organizations to build up to your dream job. Think about your club or volunteer experience. These can be valuable resume builders that have both applicable skills and show your leadership potential. How do your extracurriculars provide you with event planning, organization, recruitment, or materials development skills? Highlight these as you begin your internship career.
- Apply, apply, apply. What’s the worst that could happen? Nobody calls you back? You’ll be in exactly the same position you are now. Think you’re under qualified? Let the company make that decision. Every application, cover letter, and interview makes you better at the next. Think of it as practice for that dream position that’s waiting on you.
- Beyond spell-check. Read and reread your cover letter and resume. Then have someone else read them. It may be a cliché, but it’s true. A typo on a resume tells an employer that you’ll also make typos on their important documents. They’re easy to make, so have someone else read your work. I still do (thanks Kristina!).
- Network. Take advantage of those speakers or guest lecturers to learn more about what they do. If you’re interested, introduce yourself and ask for advice. People coming to campus genuinely care about the students and want to help. Making a good impression can help your resume rise to the top of the stack.
- Be patient. It always takes longer than you’d like. It’s frustrating, exhausting and stressful. While waiting for the phone to ring, know that you’re not the only one. Instead of staring at the phone, get online and look for some new jobs or call a friend or mentor to see if they know of any openings.
– Wendy Ruben, Porter Novelli Atlanta
In case you haven’t heard, Porter Novelli Atlanta will be the premier, Summa Cum Laude sponsor at this year’s PRSA|GA Real World Conference, which welcomes students interested in PR from throughout the Southeast.
Look out for us during Session Two of the Conference in “Get the Interview. Land the Job,” with Tia Jackson, human resources manager, who will give you great pointers on interviewing techniques, salary negotiation and business dress etiquette.
In “Campaign Storm,” Kristy Grulikowski, vice president of Strategic, Planning & Research (SP&R), will be joined by Fuzebox in an interactive brainstorm to create a tactical PR campaign for Fuzebox’s upcoming documentary on cyber-bullying while showing off Porter Novelli’s SP&R best practices.
If you want to learn more about Porter Novelli Atlanta and our internship program, visit our booth during the Career Expo to get to know Tia and several interns-turned-full-time-employees working in both the Technology and Healthcare practices.
And, if you’re really just coming for the freebies, we’ll also be raffling off promo items with our new transformer logo in the booth.
Whether you’re at the conference or following along from home, you can keep up with all of the action on Twitter with the #PNID and #RW2011 hashtags. We hope to see you there!
- Katherine Mason, Porter Novelli Atlanta
In November, I posted two columns of advice from my interviews with Porter Novelli Atlanta HR Manager Tia Jackson. Besides sharing tips on preparing your portfolio and resume, Tia outlined basic steps for building and strengthening your professional network. In this final installment, we’ll review some interviewing basics that—believe it or not—some young PR professionals just seem to miss.
Eight MUSTS for Interviewing
- Dress appropriately: clean, pressed and proper
- Mirror the tone of the interview
- Be confident, positive, enthusiastic and genuine
- Listen to the questions that are asked…then answer
- Get a business card from all the interviewers
- Do not mention salary during your first interview
- Send a “Thank You” note within 24 hours of the interview – hand written cards are much preferred
- Have appropriate follow-up on your application status: try a call or email once every 2-3 weeks to follow-up
I hope this series is a useful resource for college students or young professionals looking for that next PR opportunity. Be sure to check out parts 1 and 2:
- SEAL THE DEAL: Start Building Your Resume and Portfolio Now!
- SEAL THE DEAL: Perfect Your Professional Network!
—Mark Avera, Porter Novelli Atlanta
While I was in college, I always knew that I wanted to pursue a career in Public Relations, so choosing PR as a major was an easy decision. However, choosing a major can be a daunting and overwhelming process. It is entirely possible that you might realize late in your college career or just after you have graduated that you want to work in PR, but did not major in any sort of communications field or have much PR experience. An internship is a perfect opportunity to test out PR and see if it is really something you would like to pursue.
Do not let your major or degree deter you from applying for a PR internship. Tia Jackson, Porter Novelli Atlanta’s Human Resources Manager, provided some tips for those of you who may be interested in PR, but did not major in it:
Join a Club.
- If you won’t be receiving a degree in PR or have not completed any PR internships, look to gain experience in clubs and organizations on your campus. Some good places to start are the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC).
Sell yourself in your cover letter.
- When you apply for internships,make sure you indicate all of your transferable PR skills in the cover letter.
Network, network and then network some more.
- The more you put yourself out there and network with people already working in the PR industry, the more likely they will be to advocate for you when you are applying for internships.
Two of the current PN Atlanta interns do not have communications degrees. Various educational backgrounds bring diversity to an office, so regardless of your major or degree, never hesitate to apply!
-Mary Featherstone, Porter Novelli Atlanta
I’m an LA girl, born and raised. I even attend college within half an hour of my parents’ house.
Every year, though, I venture east to visit friends in Chicago and New York. This year, my pilgrimage to the Big Apple had a special stop planned: a visit to Porter Novelli headquarters!
Since starting at PN in May, I have worked with some staffers in the NY office, so I recognized many of the names and faces as I strolled through the office.
Notably, I got to sit down with both Amy Inzanti (VP of Strategic Planning and Research) and Erin Osher (VP Consumer) and talk to them about their careers. It was great to hear about their rise up the ranks in PR – and to hear their insight into where the industry will go. They were so gracious, even though I was an intern that had never spoken to them before, and made me so proud to be part of a forward-thinking organization.
As an added bonus, I sat in the office’s lively staff meeting, which, in true spirit with PN’s commitment to diversity, celebrated the unique backgrounds of every employee in the office with heartwarming videos, spotlight interviews and fun skits.
The meeting, which was “The View” themed, only dubbed “La Vista,” pointed out professional achievements, exceptional experiences and the distinct personalities that make PN so special. Everyone was in such good spirits to hear about successful events for clients such as HP and Timberland, share insights into new business as well as the stories of their colleagues. At one point, everyone in the conference room rose to practice bhangra, a spirited folk dance from India.
I left the office wide-eyed and beaming. To be able to listen in to such a vibrant community so receptive to my questions and to see a side of PN I had only heard about and emailed was nothing short of surreal.
As the end of my internship at PN looms, it was just so rewarding to see all the way up to the top. The visit truly inspired me with big city – and big career – dreams.
-Clare Sayas, Porter Novelli Los Angeles
The fall 2010 interns have arrived. We think it’s only necessary that we officially introduce ourselves before adopting this blog as our own. We look forward to giving you a glimpse inside Porter Novelli and the life of a Public Relations intern!
Barbara Ann Luttrell:
I graduated from the wonderful Auburn University in May 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a minor in French.
Prior to my position at Porter Novelli, I interned with NASA’s Environmental Programs Branch and had the opportunity to study abroad at both Cambridge University and the University of Paris.
I am now a member of Porter Novelli’s health and social marketing practice. Since starting my internship, I have had the opportunity to provide assistance to various clients such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Piedmont Healthcare and the Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals.
I am excited about the coming months and hope to provide you with some helpful insight!
Hello everyone! I hope you will join me and my fellow colleagues on our journey as Porter Novelli interns for the next few months. My name is Christin Clay. I’m originally from Houston, Texas but graduated from the University of Miami with degrees in Public Relations and Psychology.
Prior to my position at PN, I interned at ESPN, Inc. supporting the event marketing department on various hospitality programs. I also interned in the public relations department of Ideal Lifestyle Concierge, an on-demand personal assistance service for business professionals.
At Porter Novelli, I work in the technology practice, focusing on HP. I moved to Atlanta with the hope of finding a PR position that was both challenging and rewarding, and within a short amount of time this is what the Porter Novelli internship has already given me. I’m excited for this opportunity, and I can’t wait to share it with you.
I joined Porter Novelli in September of 2010 as a member of the consumer and digital practice. I will have the pleasure of providing support across several varied accounts as well as the Jack and Jill Late Stage Cancer Foundation.
Before coming to Porter Novelli, I hadn’t had any pure public relations experience. I have done quite a bit of public affairs work through internships at various elected officials offices both in Atlanta and Washington D.C. I am pretty sure it was those experiences as well as my past research and work with digital and social mediums which allowed PN to take a chance on me.
I majored in International Affairs and Spanish at the University of Georgia and finished a master’s degree in International Affairs at Georgia Tech this May. During my educational experience I was able to study in Cuba, Spain, Belgium, France, Germany, the Czech Republic and Poland.
As you can see I am operating a little out of my normal field. However I am excited to be able to try something new at this stage of my life and do some good work for Porter Novelli.
I joined Porter Novelli Atlanta in September 2010 as an intern in the technology practice. I support a variety of clients, including HP, Manhattan Associates, Strategyn, the Consumer Electronics Association, SK C&C USA and Jack and Jill Late Stage Cancer Foundation, our pro-bono client.
Prior to joining Porter Novelli, I served as a PR intern at Cox Communications and US Lacrosse. I was also an active member of PRSSA at the University of Georgia and the PR Chair for the UGA Women’s Lacrosse Team.
I am originally from Warrenton, Va., but attended UGA, where I graduated in May 2010 with degrees in Public Relations and Political Science. I love my friends and family, reality TV, Mexican food and my dog, Penny.