customer-loyalty_retention.jpg by enriqueburgosgarcia.For this assignment, you will choose and interview a public relations professional, and then write about this interview at your blog. This post will be a minimum of 500 words. Post your recap on your blog, and in the Assignments area in GeorgiaVIEW, you’ll need to provide me with the PR professional’s contact information (name, title & company, phone number and e-mail address).

Wondering how to find a PR professional to interview? Join PROpenMic, where there are hundreds of pros willing to help students.

Though a face-to-face interview is preferred, a phone or webcam interview is acceptable. An interview that is e-mail or text-based only is not acceptable.

Schedule your interview at least a week before this assignment is due, preferably two. PR professionals sometimes have unpredictable schedules, and it’s possible that you may need to reschedule.

Include an introductory paragraph that introduces the PR professional, including title and company, educational background, etc. Mention your connection to the professional (how you found him/her) and how you conducted the interview (face-to-face, phone or webcam).

Questions/Topics you need to include:

  • What’s a typical week like? (If no week is typical, then what was last week like?)
  • Tell me about a project you worked on that you are especially proud of.
  • What do you do to keep current in the PR industry?
  • What do you wish you would have known before starting your career in PR?
  • How important is writing in your career?
  • What three tips would you offer someone just starting out in PR?
  • After interviewing this person, are you (the student, not the practitioner) more or less likely to want to have a career in PR? Why?

Some questions you may wish to ask:

  • Did your education prepare you for working in PR? How?
  • What has surprised you the most about working in PR?
  • How has PR changed since you entered the field?
  • How does technology affect your daily work?
  • When your company is hiring for an entry-level PR position, what makes a candidate stand out?
  • What professional organizations are you involved in? (For example, PRSAIABC, etc.)
  • Ask for feedback on your resume
  • More informational interview questions

Some things you may wish to do:

  • Include a photo of your interviewee. (This can be a photo he or she provides or one that you take yourself.)
  • Link to your interviewee’s LinkedIn profile and/or blog.

Questions?

barbara_is_listening

[NOTE: This must be a new informational interview that you conduct this semester. Do not “recycle” an interview that you conducted during a previous semester.]

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An Interview with Kneale Mann

On March 23, 2010, in Nixon's Classes, social media, by Barbara Nixon

View on screencast.com »

Kneale Mann shared his thoughts with me on social media, solid writing skills, the importance of commenting on others’ blogs and more.

As stated on his blog One Mann’s Opinion,

“Kneale is a twenty-six year marketing and media veteran who provides business, marketing and social media strategy for small to medium sized private sector clients through YouIntegrate.

“He is also a marketing and social media strategistic with the Centre of Excellence for Public Sector Marketing for public sector, not-for-profit and association clients.”

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Use Technology to Land Your Next Job

On March 17, 2010, in job search, by Barbara Nixon

Today I was invited by the Tampa Tribune and TBO.com to share my expertise regarding social media and the job search. Here’s a transcript of the live chat we held at noon, using CoverItLive.

Many thanks to Chris Taylor, AKA @TBOChris, for inviting me to the studio, to Daniela for moderating the chat, and to my longtime Twitter friend & Tampa Tribune writer Jeff Houck (@JeffHouck) for inviting me to lunch at The Taco Bus after the chat session.

Use technology to land your next job
11:51
Daniela:

Welcome to today’s chat. Thanks for being a part of the TBO.com/Tampa Tribune/News Channel 8 project “Putting Tampa Bay back to work.” Please post your question and we’ll get through as many as we can in the time allowed.

11:54
Daniela:

Answering your questions today is Barbara Nixon. Barbara B. Nixon, Ph.D. (ABD), teaches at both Southeastern University in Lakeland (face-to-face) and Georgia Southern University (online). After working in human resources in Fortune 500 corporations, she created all of the content for WinWay Resume, a resume writing and job interviewing software program.

11:55
Daniela:

Thanks for joining us, everyone! We’ll get started now.

11:55
[Comment From Sharon]

Hello Daniela. What is the best format,ie: Word, ASCI, etc. ,to use when submitting on-line to a company’s website?

11:57
Barbara:

Hi Sharon. I recommend sending your resume in PDF format, unless the employer has asked for it differently. Using PDF ensures that the resume will look the same when the employer opens it as it did when you sent it. Sometimes Word will change fonts or page breaks without warning, making your resume look odd. With the latest version of Word, you can easily Save As PDF. And ALWAYS open the PDF yourself, preferably from a different computer, for your own quality assurance.

11:57
[Comment From Andrea]

How can I best use Twitter to land a job?

11:58
Barbara:

Hi Andrea. There are a few ways you can use Twitter. Let me talk about a few of them for you.

11:59
Barbara:

One thing I highly recommend is for you to start following pros in the field in which you wish to work. See what they’re writing about. Respond to them. If they post links to their blogs, comment on the blogs.

12:00
How did you find out about this chat?
TBO.com homepage

( 14% )

News Channel 8

( 57% )

Tampa Tribune

( 0% )

Facebook

( 0% )

Twitter

( 29% )

Other

( 0% )
12:00
Barbara:

Another idea for using Twitter in the job search is to post a link to your resume. (I recommend creating a profile at LinkedIn, and link to that rather than your resume itself — just so that you can keep your address, phone, e-mail private).

12:01
Barbara:

You can connect Twitter to LinkedIn, so that your tweets also show up in LinkedIn, but do this judiciously. Most people don’t want EVERYTHING they tweet to appear on their professional profiles in LinkedIn.

12:03
Barbara:

If you’re a blogger, be sure to post links to your blog posts to Twitter — that is, if you think theese posts will help create a professional appearance for you in the eyes of a potential employer.

12:04
[Comment From Lauren]

If I were to sign up for ONE social site to try to get a job- which one do you recommend?

12:04
Daniela:

Thanks for the questions, folks. Keep ’em coming!

12:05
Barbara:

Hi Lauren. The one site I recommend more than any others for job searching is LinkedIn. Not only can you post your own profile/resume there, you can easily network with others. Your LinkedIn profile can be longer than the traditional, one-page resume.

12:05
Have you been using LinkedIn in your job search
Yes, I use it all the time.

( 17% )

No, I don’t even know what it is.

( 33% )

Sort of.. I created an account but don’t use it.

( 50% )
12:08
Barbara:

Lauren — here’s a link to a blog post I wrote earlier this year about using LinkedIn in the job search. The post was aimed at college students and recent grads, but others can benefit from LinkedIn as well. And feel free to connect with me at LinkedIn.

12:08
[Comment From Sharon]

Is this the same answers for Facebook, too?

12:09
Barbara:

Hi again, Sharon. Facebook… this can be both a blessing and a burden for job seekers.

12:12
Barbara:

Unless your Facebook profile is marked as Private to all but your closest, in-real-life friends, you’ll want to scour through everything you have out there and think “how could a potential employer possibly misinterpret this?”   Photos are especially problematic in Facebook. Just think about how much personal information you are showing a potential employer simply through what you’ve chosen to post in your photos. Most of this information (children, hobbies, night life) has no place in a hiring decision… yet it may be in the employer’s mind when/if you make it to an interview.

Also think about any Facebook groups that you have joined, perhaps on a whim. Some of them have names that are not conducive to making a professional impression.

12:15
Daniela:

Every week, we ask people to send questions to us so we can ask the expert.

David asked: I’m 49-year old owner of a small environmental consulting company that is barely afloat. I’ve been looking for a job to supplement my income. How can I use technology and social media to find something?

12:16
Daniela:

Barbara is working on this question right now.

12:17
Barbara:

Hi David.  If you’ve not joined LinkedIn yet, you should consider doing it now. Besides being able to post your profile there, you can also go into the Answers area and answer questions in your field. This will help promote you as an expert in your field.

12:18
[Comment From Sharon]

Good question from David!! I’m a newbie to all these social media sites!

12:19
Barbara:

Also, David, if you don’t yet have a blog, you might want to consider starting one. You could write something every week or so about a topic in your field.

12:21
Daniela:

Another one of our users, Melanie, asked this question: Where do you go online to find openings for truck drivers?

12:24
Barbara:

Hi Melanie. Though I don’t have a specific site that I would recommend for seeking truck driver positions, I have a contact in the field who I can ask. I’ll get back with you via e-mail about this. If you’re a Twitter user, you might also want to connect with @TruckerDesiree. She’s a good source, especially for women who are interested in joining the trucking industry.

12:26
[Comment From Sharon]

Do HR interviewers check all these sites when considering you for an interview? I’m not in a degreed professional field…I’m in Customer Service ,Call Center worker. Will this technology benefit me too??

12:28
Barbara:

Hi Sharon. Yes, you WILL be Googled. (Just think, a few years ago, that wasn’t even a word.) Employers will check online to see what they can find about you before determining whether to call you in for an interview. Your goal should be to have any information they find about you to be positive and professional. The more you write in a blog, add to LinkedIn, etc., the better it will be for you — especially if you have a common first and last name.

12:30
[Comment From Sheila Surla]

I’m not exactly a professional, I have done administrative work and it doesn’t have to be tied to any particular field. How do I market myself and set myself apart from the 100’s of others who do what I do?

12:34
Barbara:

Hi Sheila. If you’re a top-notch administrative assistant, there is a market for you. Try to think about which two or three fields interest you most, and focus your efforts there. I’ve mentioned LinkedIn here several times, and I’ll mention it again. Create a profile for yourself there, and go to the Answers area. See what questions people have that you can help with. Make a name for yourself there, and who knows, you may land a role as someone’s Virtual Assistant.

12:35
Daniela:

Martha, another one of our users, asked this: How do you use technology to find out when job fairs will be happening?

12:36
Barbara:

Hi Martha. If you’re looking for job fairs in your area, Google will help you more than almost anything. Type in “job fair” and the name of the city where you’re seeking employment. If you’re here in the Tampa Bay area, check out TBO.com or read the Sunday Tribune classifieds section. You may come across some ads for job fairs there.

12:36
Do you have a twitter account?
Yes, and I use it all the time.

( 50% )

Yes, but I never use it.

( 25% )

No, I need to create one.

( 0% )

No, and I don’t plan on creating one.

( 25% )
12:37
[Comment From Sheila Surla]

To add onto my previous question, I have no schooling for what I do, I’ve basically been picking up skills along my career path. I think this hurts me through my resume, will linkedin help show my skills better?

12:38
Barbara:

Hi again, Sheila. It sounds like you might have a traditional, chronological resume. You may want to consider using a functional resume instead.

The functional format organizes your skills and accomplishments into job task groupings that support your stated career objective. If you must pull together certain skills and accomplishments from a variety of past experiences to show your preparation for what you want to do in the future, then the functional format is probably for you. People who have been out of the workplace for several years —  for example, those people who choose to stay at home to raise a family while the children are young — benefit greatly from this format. It draws attention to what you did rather than when you did it. Another advantage of this format is that it allows you greater flexibility in presenting skills gained through personal experience or through low-paying or volunteer jobs.

12:42
Daniela:

We’re about to start wrapping up the chat, but Barbara’s going to give you all a few more helpful tidbits before we leave.

12:43
Barbara:

If you’re looking for some more advice on resume writing, you may want to take a look at Resumes That Resonate, a post I wrote at my Public Relations Matters blog. One of the keys I mention in that blog post is to pepper your resume with key words / terms that an employer might be looking for. And if you are writing a resume for a position where you know what the job description is, use as much of the specific terminology in the description as you reasonably can. It will help make you look tailored for the position.

12:44
[Comment From Sheila Surla]

I’m on the linkedin website now and it’s pulled up a bunch of people I’ve maybe just e-mailed about a job, should I go ahead and connect to them?

12:44
[Comment From Sharon]

Thank you, Barbara. You have given extremely good advice today.

12:44
Daniela:

Barbara’s going to take this last question from Sheila, then she’ll give you her follow-up before we sign off.

12:45
Daniela:

*follow-up information

12:46
Barbara:

Hi again Sheila. Absolutely… when you send the connection request to potential employers in LinkedIn, be sure to mention in the e-mail that you’re seeking employment with the company — rather than using the generic e-mail that LinkedIn provides. It’s always smart to provide context when you are asking to connect in LinkedIn (or elsewhere).

12:48
Barbara:

Thanks for all the great questions today. I’ve enjoyed chatting with you here. You can find me atLinkedInTwitter, or my Public Relations Matters blog.

12:48
Daniela:

Thank you all out there for participating! And thank you, Barbara, for being our resident expert today. Join us next Wednesday at noon for the next installement of “Putting Tampa Bay Back To Work.” In the meantime, good luck to all of you on your job search.

12:49
[Comment From Andrea]

Thank you!!

12:50
[Comment From Sharon]

Thank you. Good bye all —and good luck!!


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Martin Waxman, president and co-founder of Palette Public Relations Inc., took 25 minutes out of his hectic pre-SXSW schedule to chat with me this morning about life in a PR agency, the importance of a traditional PR background (along with social media knowledge), and our digital footprints.

View on screencast.com »

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How *NOT* to Celebrate Getting a New Job

On March 9, 2010, in Nixon's Classes, by Barbara Nixon

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For this assignment (for PRCA 3711/4711 & COMM 2322 only), you will choose and interview a public relations professional, and then write about this interview at your blog. This post will be a minimum of 500 words. Post your recap on your blog, and in the Assignments area in GeorgiaVIEW/BlackBoard, you’ll need to provide me with the PR professional’s contact information information (name, title & company, phone number and e-mail address).

Though a face-to-face interview is preferred, a phone or webcam interview is acceptable. An interview that is e-mail or text-based only is not acceptable.

Schedule your interview at least a week before this assignment is due, preferably two. PR professionals sometimes have unpredictable schedules, and it’s possible that you may need to reschedule.

Include an introductory paragraph that introduces the PR professional, including title and company, educational background, etc. Mention your connection to the professional (how you found him/her) and how you conducted the interview (face-to-face, phone or webcam).

Questions/Topics you need to include:

  • What’s a typical week like? (If no week is typical, then what was last week like?)
  • Tell me about a project you worked on that you are especially proud of.
  • What do you do to keep current in the PR industry?
  • What do you wish you would have known before starting your career in PR?
  • How important is writing in your career?
  • What three tips would you offer someone just starting out in PR?
  • After interviewing this person, are you (the student, not the practitioner) more or less likely to want to have a career in PR? Why?

Some questions you may wish to ask:

  • Did your education prepare you for working in PR? How?
  • What has surprised you the most about working in PR?
  • How has PR changed since you entered the field?
  • How does technology affect your daily work?
  • When your company is hiring for an entry-level PR position, what makes a candidate stand out?
  • What professional organizations are you involved in? (For example, PRSA, IABC, etc.)
  • Ask for feedback on your resume
  • More informational interview questions

Some things you may wish to do:

  • Include a photo of your interviewee. (This can be a photo he or she provides or one that you take yourself.)
  • Link to your interviewee’s LinkedIn profile and/or blog.

Questions?

barbara_is_listening

[NOTE: This must be an informational interview that you conduct this semester. Do not “recycle” an interview that you conducted during a previous semester.]

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The 5 Rs of Prepping for a PR Writing Test

On December 15, 2009, in job search, writing, by Barbara Nixon

One of my former students at Georgia Southern University found out recently that the job interview she secured also involves a writing test. She asked for some advice on how to best prepare. So . . . here we go.

  1. Read several of the company’s recent news releases to get a feel for the company’s style.
  2. Re-read Strunk’s The Elements of Style. Though it was written long before most recent grads’ grandparents were born, its principles of simplicity and clarity still ring true.
  3. Register for one (or more) of Poynter’s News University courses, such as Cleaning Your Copy or The Lead Lab.
  4. Review your The Associated Press Stylebook 2009, and use Post-It flags to mark sections that are problematic to you. Maybe even take some of the online AP style quizzes.
  5. Refresh yourself on common editing marks. You may also be asked to edit a story someone else wrote.

What additional suggestions would you recommend?

barbara_is_listening

(Many thanks to John Kraft and Sherry Carr Smith for their suggestions.)

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Clouds with sun peeking out by you.It’s now the start of fall, even though it doesn’t really feel like it here in the Savannah area, and many college seniors’ minds are turning to “how will I get a job when I graduate.” Over the last year or so, I’ve written several blog posts on the job search. Here are a few that might be helpful. especially for public relations majors:

Are there other blog posts that have helped YOU in your job search? I’d appreciate it if you could share them as a comment here.

Thanks!

barbara_is_listening

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? by Oberazzi.For this 50-point assignment, you will choose and interview a public relations professional, and then write about this interview at your blog. This post will be a minimum of 250 words. (It’s likely that it will take ~500 to answer these questions fully.)

Though a face-to-face interview is preferred, a phone or webcam interview is acceptable. 

Include an introductory paragraph that introduces the PR professional, including title and company, educational background, etc.

Questions/Topics you need to include:

  • What’s a typical week like? (If no week is typical, then what was last week like?)
  • Tell me about a project you worked on that you are especially proud of.
  • How important is writing in your career?
  • What three tips would you offer someone just starting out in PR?
  • What do you do to keep current in the PR industry?
  • After interviewing this person, are you (the PRCA 2330 student) more or less likely to want to have a career in PR? Why?

Some questions you may wish to ask:

  • Did your education prepare you for working in PR? How? 
  • What has surprised you the most about working in PR?
  • What do you wish you would have known before starting your career in PR?
  • How has PR changed since you entered the field?
  • How does technology affect your daily work?
  • When your company is hiring for an entry-level PR position, what makes a candidate stand out?
  • What professional organizations are you involved in? (For example, PRSA, IABC, etc.)

Additional recommended questions, crowdsourced on Twitter:

  • Bruno Amaral: do you feel today’s students are prepared for the challenges of new PR?
  • Jessica Lawlor: what’s your most and least favorite part of your job?

Some things you may wish to do:

  • Include a photo of your interviewee. (This can be a photo he or she provides or one that you take yourself.)
  • Link to your interviewee’s LinkedIn profile and/or blog.

As we discussed in class, you can feel free to use a Q / A format.

Questions?

barbara_is_listening

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The ONE job interview question

On February 12, 2009, in COMM 2322 Spring 2011, Nixon's Classes, by Barbara Nixon

Last spring, I asked Edelman Digital’s Phil Gomes : “What’s the one question you almost always use in a job interview?” He not only shared his thoughts, he also interviewed several of his colleagues at Edelman Digital. Here’s what they had to say: 


Find more videos like this on PROpenMic

So, what’s the ONE question you almost always ask (or have been asked) in a job interview, regardless what the position is?

barbara_is_listening

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