Attending a networking conference as a student can be a harrowing experience. The nerves set in and you find yourself worrying: how do I make myself stand out?
This week, Porter Novelli is joining future PR pros from all over the Southeast at the University of Georgia’s regional, integrated communications networking event called ADPR Connection 2012. There are countless events like this for PR students all over the country.
So, there you are, at ADPR Connection or some other PR conference, surrounded by hundreds of your peers dressed to impress. How do you leave your mark on those you meet and get the most out of your time at the conference?
Below are a few tidbits on how to leave a lasting, positive impression on not only the professionals, but your peers and future colleagues as well.
- Make a good first impression
First, dress the part and do your research. Have a relevant story to tell that will leave each professional remembering your name and face. That elevator speech is key!
- Be prepared
Show up with informed questions, ready to introduce yourself to a panelist (or two!) and discuss what you enjoyed about the session. Know who’s presenting and what companies will be in attendance before you arrive. The more time you invest, the more you will get in return.
- Follow up
Write a blog post detailing what you learned at the event and share within your network. Also, be sure to send a quick, hand-written thank you note to those professionals with whom you had a meaningful conversation. A thoughtful thank you note goes a long way.
- Develop relationships with your peers
Networking with professionals is great, but consider networking with your peers as well. Get to know each other, because your peers will soon be your colleagues, and you never know how those relationships will help you in the future.
Conferences and events are great opportunities to grow as an aspiring PR pro, so just remember: relax, be yourself and be confident! As professionals, we are just as excited to meet you as you are to meet us.
- Michael Gray, Porter Novelli Atlanta
Hey y’all, I’m Nicole McClellan, the newest addition to Porter Novelli Radar. Just what in the world is that, you ask? Porter Novelli Radar is a round-the-clock monitoring service providing clients with real-time analysis of the issues most important to them. I’m happy to be a part of this ultra-savvy team.
I’m from Tifton, Ga., and moved to Atlanta to accept this incredible internship. I graduated from the University of Georgia in spring of 2012 and received a degree in public relations with minors in sociology and speech communications. Having completed nine PR internships as a full-time undergraduate student, I was excited to move into this position where I could zero-in on one agency.
I always knew that I wanted to be in the field of public relations, even though, coming in as a freshman at UGA, I didn’t know that was what it was called. I wanted a career that would allow me to write, research, network and use my people skills, but I didn’t know what options were available. It didn’t take me long after talking with my professors to discover that this profession had a name—public relations. After I discovered the field, I knew that this was what I wanted to do.
My previous internships helped me narrow down what type of PR I liked. There are so many options within the field. I had internships in sports, fashion, healthcare and consumer PR in addition to working with a newspaper, a chamber of commerce and a university.
My advice to upcoming seniors and those who are graduating soon is to take on as many internships as you can and network. Go to every open house, career fair and shadow day possible. Also, find a mentor who can give you advice. Mentors can be invaluable resources as you navigate this uncertain job market.
For me, it just clicked. It was two years ago and there I was, on the edge of my swivel chair in a large conference room, captivated by every case study and comment presented to me at a Porter Novelli shadow day. The passion, intelligence and friendliness of everyone I met caught me off-guard. I hadn’t expected to feel so connected to a firm’s values and work after just one shadow day. But while visiting the office to explore the world of PR that day, I realized that an agency like PN was exactly where I wanted to start my career.
My name is Katie Strasberg, and as a recent graduate of the University of Georgia I couldn’t be more excited to start life in the “real world” working in the consumer practice at PN Atlanta. Many internships and classes later, I like to look back on that shadow day a few years ago and realize how much I have experienced since – studying until all hours of the night, interning at what at the time seemed like the break of dawn, organizing numerous PRSSA events and reports… the list goes on and on.
But, over the past few weeks of interning, I’ve realized that even though I’ve grown since, what initially sparked my interest in PN two years ago still intrigues me and is truer than I imagined. Sure it’s one thing to hear someone present about how everyone in the office is talented, hard-working and supportive, but it’s amazing to experience it.
So for those of you in my shoes a few years ago, I encourage you to get out there and test the waters at companies, firms and organizations that spark your interest. Go to shadow days. Reach out to professionals for informational interviews. Participate in PRSSA or IABC networking events. You never know which encounter will click with you and lead you on a path to your dream internship or job.
Hopefully during my time as an intern I can give you a taste of what clicked with me here at PN as my “real world” adventure begins.
Hi! I’m Kaylea Notarthomas and I’ve been having a blast interning at Porter Novelli Atlanta since September. Aside from my professional life, I am a musician. I sing, am a pianist of 18 years, and also have experience playing the French horn, mellophone, marimba, vibraphone, djembe and viola. I’m big sister to three wonderful siblings and a proud native of Syracuse, NY (Go Orange!). A self-proclaimed nerd, I love nothing more than curling up on the couch with a good book and mug of hot chocolate.
When I was 11, I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. A year later I was told I had thyroid cancer. As a diabetic and cancer survivor, I’m a passionate advocate and strive to raise two things: awareness about the diseases and money, money, money to fight for cures. My hope is that one day in the near future, no child—no person at all, for that matter—will ever have to suffer through the challenges I faced.
I graduated from the University of Georgia (Glory, glory!) last May with a dual degree in Public Relations and Psychology. My most thrilling PR moment as a senior was winning an honorable mention as a member of UGA’s 2011 Bateman Team. The Bateman Case Study Competition is sponsored by PRSSA. To even be selected for the team is an enormous honor, especially because the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication has a history of success in the competition. Our talented 5-member team ran an entire campaign—from research through evaluation—on a small budget over the course of about five months for a national client. The experience was the perfect capstone to my college career and a great way to jump-start my adventure in the real world.
When I graduated, I knew I wanted to build a career in public relations. What I didn’t know is that I would end up embarking on a PR journey far from what I expected. The summer after graduation I got an email from one of my professors (Thank you, Dr. Jones!) asking if I would be interested in applying for a position at Porter Novelli as part of a new media “command center,” now known as PN Radar. I didn’t even have to think twice. I am thrilled to be working at PN and excited to see what lies ahead.
– Kaylea Notarthomas
What is an Omnicom-Grady Fellow, you ask?
This year, for the first time ever, Omnicom introduced a new fellowship program in partnership with the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at UGA. Fellows spend six months interning with a variety of Omnicom agencies based in Atlanta, including BBDO Atlanta, Porter Novelli, Ketchum and Fleishman-Hillard. The goal of the fellowship is to provide interns with a well-rounded, learn-it-all experience encompassing the public relations and advertising industries. (What they preach in Grady is true—it’s all about integrated marketing communications!)
I started at Porter Novelli at the end of January, first joining the Brand and Reputation Management Practice, and soon I’ll move onto the Tech practice and then to Health and Social Marketing. I cannot begin to describe how much I’ve learned in only one month—and a short month at that! From PR plans to client meetings, media monitoring, trade shows and briefing books, I feel like the fellowship has already accomplished its goal in showing me what the ever-evolving and hyperactive world of public relations really looks like.
But what I’ve loved and appreciated most about PN is its culture. In my first month, I’ve witnessed Woo Week, (during which people do crazy things* to win the affections of their secret Valentine), met Porter Novelli’s new CMO, participated in Mardi-Gras trivia and learned more acronyms than I can even remember. EOD, TOC, ST anyone?
The teamwork, passion and tenacity of the staff of Porter Novelli are like nothing I’ve seen at any of my previous jobs. Without exception, everyone here is beyond helpful, welcoming, and fun! Working at PN has made my transition from college to the working world much smoother than I ever imagined. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to start my career!
If you think you’re up to the challenge of joining the talented PN team in Atlanta, apply here!
Best wishes & Go Dawgs!
*One of those crazy things during Woo Week!
Ok, who here is a UGA student? If you said, “me!” then this post is just for you. I’m sure you’ve heard about tomorrow’s ADPR Connection 2011 at the Tate Center and if you hope to one day have a career in advertising or public relations, I hope you plan to attend. Porter Novelli is sponsoring this year’s event along with fellow Omnicom agency BBDO and UGA’s PRSSA and AdClub.
Look out for some of your favorite Porter Novelli Atlanta team members (and several UGA alums) throughout the event and be sure to introduce yourself. Jana Thomas, a senior vice president at PN Atlanta and head of the health and social marketing practice, will give the keynote during the luncheon on the future of social marketing. Yes, that’s social marketing, not social media. If you’re not sure of the difference, you don’t want to miss this!
If it’s workshops you want, PN’s media guru Jodi Fleisig (formerly of CNN) and PN alum Nicole Harris (formerly of the Wall Street Journal) will walk you through the basics of media relations in “Getting to Know the Gatekeepers: How to Establish Media Relationships.” PN-intern-turned-full-timer Michael Gray will also tell you what to expect during your first few months working 40+ hours a week in “Six Months In: The Inside Scoop about the First Six Months on the Job.”
If you want to learn more about Porter Novelli Atlanta and our internship program, be sure to visit our booth during the career fair for more information. We would love the opportunity to talk to you a bit more about who we are and to get to know you as well, so come on by!
Whether you’re at the event or following along from home, you can keep up with all of the action on Twitter with the #PNID and #PNUGA hashtags. We hope to see you there!
- Meghan Kidd