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.
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!
Photo from: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1280072
By Amanda Coppock
In my time as an intern at Porter Novelli, one of the areas I came to love was media relations. While some enjoy this function of PR more than others, at one point or another it is a skill that we will all have to master. Like any skill, with media relations, practice makes perfect. Sure, at first it can seem like an overwhelming and daunting task, but once you begin establishing relationships with reporters, it becomes more comfortable.
Through my experience with media relations, I have developed a few key steps for writing pitches:
Developing a Tailored Pitch
1. Identify reporters and outlets that have covered similar stories in the past.
2. Develop a pitch that is specific to the reporter, especially if they have covered a similar story in the past. If the reporter has covered a related story, call it out at the beginning of the pitch to let them know why your pitch is relevant to them.
3. Identify the story idea from the beginning of the pitch – do not make them search for it by placing the information too far down in the pitch.
4. Make the pitch work for the reporter – let them know why it is relevant to their audience, what interview opportunities exist and how they can get more information.
Developing a General Pitch
1. Start with the story idea – let the reporter or editor know what you want them to do from the opening of the pitch.
2. Grab the reporter or editor from the beginning – use statistics, provide an interesting fact, make a local connection, etc.
3. Don’t forget the important stuff! – see number four above
The pitch is where you catch the reporter’s attention and make him interested in what you have to say. I find that the strongest pitches are those that are tailored to a reporter or outlet with an interest or recent coverage related to your topic. Sometimes, tailoring a pitch to a previous story may not be possible, so a general pitch will be the route you have to take. Either way, you have to hit the high points and grab the reporter’s interest.
Your internship is a time for you to gain a wide variety of experience, and pitching is likely to be a part of it. One of the reasons I was able to do a lot of media relations as an intern was because I expressed my interest. Don’t be afraid to let your manager know what you enjoy and to ask to do more in that area – you might just become an expert along the way!
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
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
Picture credit: wandee007 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Okay, so the title’s a little cheesy. I’m here to provide tips on creating an impact at your internship that will stick even after you leave. In this economy, the best you can hope for is that you leave your boss and colleagues impressed with:
- Your work.
- Your skills.
- Your (smiling) face.
Here are some tips from me (and from my role models and fellow PN colleagues) that I have already used and plan to take with me as I swim into the sea of real-world public relations.
- Be friendly to everyone in the office, even those you don’t know. Introduce yourself. Ask them about their job and background. It’s an easy way to get to know people and build relationships.
- Get connected on LinkedIn with your co-workers. That way, after you leave your internship, you still have an easy way to contact them. Plus, if you keep your resume section updated, they’ll see what you’re up to.
- Ask different co-workers out for coffee. When I found out a few of my co-workers had a Spanish background, I asked each of them to coffee. They explained to me how they found a niche for Spanish in each job they had- and that was inspiring. If somebody has a similar background as you, they’re likely a goldmine for information on how to use your skills in specialty areas.
- Get career advice from somebody at the top of the heap. Even if it’s a quick 15 minutes in their office, speaking to execs that have worldly experience may be the best decision you’ve made yet. Be sure to write up questions beforehand and talk them over with your advisor.
- Be open to doing anything and everything, even if it’s not something you’d list as a hobby, and pay close attention to detail. As my former boss said, “the devil is in the detail”. The small things you do will make a BIG difference in the end.
- Stay in touch with your boss and colleagues after you leave. Making lasting connections gets you places. And be sure to write (hand-written, Millenials!) thank-you cards before you walk out the door.
To close off my advice saga, I’d like to relay some advice from some of the brightest public relations professionals I know: Remember to always keep yourself one step ahead of the game, stay flexible, and don’t singlehandedly try to cure cancer. Just talk about it like a pro.
“Part I Brand You: Market Yourself and Secure that Internship”
How many times have you spoken with someone and then come up empty handed when asked for a business card? During my first month here, I was invited to attend a mobile healthcare conference sponsored by Porter Novelli. Everyone assembled to network and swap business cards after the speaker’s sessions. Being new to Porter Novelli I didn’t have one, and at that moment realized how vital having a business card was, particularly in a business where relationships are as important as they are in PR.
A business card is probably one of the most essential items a professional can have on hand and if you want to kick start your professional career, be sure to have one. Since my start at the New York office, I have found business cards very useful for interns, students and recent grads looking to secure an internship or potentially expand their network.
Keep it simple. Include your name, number, email (be sure to us an appropriate email that you check daily) and a link. The link could be your Twitter or LinkedIn handle or even promote your own website, blog, or e-portfolio.
If you want to get creative you can create a business card with a Quick Response or QR code, a two-dimensional barcode that is readable by applications available for most smartphones, and add a link to your resume or website. Just remember, longer URLs make the code more complex and difficult to scan, so use a URL shortener like BIT.LY and make sure to send people to a site that works well with mobile devices. Some QR code generators also offer to input contact info, so that a new contact could scan your card and immediately save your contact info to their phone or pass it to a colleague. Don’t forget to test the QR code on multiple phones before hitting ‘print’. If you’re looking for a place to start creating cards check out Moo.com and Marketsplash.com, they’re great!
Having a business card is a great way to start marketing yourself. If you’re wondering about how to approach someone for their business card, here’s a fantastic blog post from PN’s own Danny Devriendt. MeetUp.com is a great place to start networking. You can find local MeetUps with industry professionals that get together to discuss issues. Find a local MeetUp and bring your business card, a positive attitude and you’ll be surprised to find what you can accomplish.
- Timothy Torba, Porter Novelli New York
Hello beautiful people!
I joined the Porter Novelli Atlanta technology practice a few short weeks ago, following my big move back from New York City.
After graduating from Virginia Tech [GO HOKIES!], I moved to Brooklyn to intern with the Porter Novelli office in Manhattan. I then took a detour from PR and worked with Shecky’s, an event marketing company. While there, I assisted the company’s president and handled event promotion for the largest consumer event in the nation, “Girls Night Out.” After living and working in NYC for just under 3 years, I decided to come on back down south with the goal of getting back into agency PR.
Since beginning my internship in mid-February, I have had the opportunity to help out with tech clients such as Vitrue and Level 3 Communications, and with new business research and proposals. As part of the PN internship program, I will also be working with the Jack & Jill Late Stage Cancer Foundation, our pro-bono client.
I look forward to sharing my story with you all. Keep your eyes peeled for intermittent wisdom – the PR version of “Where’s Waldo.”
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
Being an Intern within the Porter Novelli family allows you to undertake a variety of experiences while developing as a professional. We get to work with a wide range of great clients from several different industries. However, there is some work that feels different. For us that work revolves around our pro bono clients, such as the Jack & Jill Late Stage Cancer Foundation.
The Jack & Jill Late Stage Cancer Foundation (JAJF) is a non-profit organization that provides vacations for children and families who have a mom or dad with late stage, limited life expectancy cancer. These WOW! Experiences, as they are known, create strong memories of a special time together that will last long after the parent has passed away. Their goal is to allow families to take a time out from cancer to create memories, treating the family and not just the cancer.
The important work that this group does has affected me greatly. A couple of years ago a family member of mine was diagnosed with cancer. Fortunately it was treatable; however, looking back on it the hypothetical questions that I was dealing with at that time are the unfortunate reality for the families involved with JAJF. How is life going to go on without a family member there? How am I going to be able to handle this? Why must I lose a family member? What about the future? Luckily I haven’t had to answer those questions. The families that JAJF works with are going to have to, much too soon.
The emotional charge inherent in a pro bono client leads to people being passionate about the work they are doing. The interns here in Atlanta want to execute high quality and high impact projects for JAJF. The personal connections we feel to JAJF’s mission inspire each of us to deliver exceptional work, just as JAJF delivers exceptional opportunities to underserved and underappreciated families in our community. We are proud to be able to work with an organization as important and impactful as the Jack & Jill Late Cancer Foundation, and I hope they are proud to be working with us.
If you would like to find out more information about the Jack & Jill Late Stage Cancer Foundation, or would like to share how your family has been affected by cancer please visit their website at http://www.jajf.org and/or their social media sites at http://www.facebook.com/JAJForg and http://twitter.com/#!/JAJForg.
-Kevin Goreham, Porter Novelli Atlanta