Category: Public Relations Practicum


  1. “As If!”: Body Language and the Interview by Shannon: This post is great. Your tips for phone interviewing is on point. Being prepared by dressing the part does help make you feel more professional. Your situation of meeting your employer through a mocktail on campus is a great example of why students should attend the event on campus. As Georgia Southern students we receive a lot of opportunities that other student do not. The problem is that these amazing opportunities are not being taken advantage of. Students should learn as freshmen that attending these events are going to make them readily prepared for their future. Most seem to learn this at their junior or even senior year. Hopefully, you have encouraged others to attend these events.
  2. Dressing for an Interview by Stephanie: I am glad that you mentioned having your shoes polished. There are still people who judge the character of someone based upon their shoes. To me clean shoes means a person is concerned with details and that he or she is out to impress. What employer does not want an employee who pays attention to details? Having polished/clean shoes is a good, subtle sign that many people miss. It is also one of the most important ones. Having fresh breath is imperative. No one wants to smell bad breath, but it is important to throw the gum out before you walk into the office. You are right about looking nice without spending a lot of money. There are plenty of stores and sites that have cheap professional wear. Not having enough money for something presentable is not an excuse.
  3. The Ups and Downs of Social Media by Sarah: The boom of social networking has changed a lot of standards recently. I heard that some schools are beginning to check out the pages of potential students who are high school seniors. These sites can benefit or negatively impact a person. I like that you are honest when you say that you do not believe that your Facebook will help you get a job. Many people lie and say they have the most professional page, but in reality it is truly unprofessional. I enjoyed your last statement, ” don’t forget to clean up those wild Saturday night pictures on your Facebook!”
  4. 10 Things I Learned in PR Practicum by Lauren: Your tenth thing you learned is something I learned also. Think outside of the box. In public relations it is an asset if you are able to think out of the box and fast. You are right, there is no limit to what we can do. I have learned a lot from practicum and other public relations classes. The one thing that I have taken from each class is to think creatively. A creative mind along with being quick on your feet are essential in this field. Creativity is really tested in the workforce, because their is a broader range of opportunities that we can get a handle on.
  5. Career Service Event: LinkedIn by Eryn: It seems that a lot of people went to this Career Service event. Reading the blogs about it is filling me in and I no longer feel like I missed out. Your post is very informative. I have mentioned on other people’s blogs that I am not up to date on my LinkedIn account. All the information I have been receiving from these posts is encouraging me to get on the ball. I had no idea that Georgia Southern had a group on the site. Thanks for all the advice and I will be applying it to my account as well.
  6. Pros and Cons of Social Media by Ashley: Managing a networking site does take a long time. It is amazing to hear how many hours students spend on these sites. It makes me curious if there were no social networking sites then how would their grades look. Spam is a big problem within all networking sites. Now it is going to the extent of viruses being attached to the spam. The constant rise of social networking sites is slowly decrease the interpersonal communication of younger generations. I believe our generation is fine, because we did not have all these social outlets at a young age. Now these 6 year olds know more about these sites than I do. They can text faster than they can talk and comprehend verbal conversation. This is going to be a major problem for the rising generation. Our generation will be employing these young kids when they get older. Hopefully someone will take a stand and teach them better interpersonal communication skills.
  7. PR Connection-Tiger Woods… Still Like Him? by Emily: Tiger Woods is the most talked about man of the year. It is crazy because these other stars and athletes have done and are doing the same thing but have not been caught yet. If you are not a star and you are doing this it is not a national scandal. I do not agree with what he has done, but his poor family has been turned upside down by his actions and the media’s constant stalking of their private life. His endorsements are still getting judgments because of his actions. I think the main problem is when these famous people do something bad it affects the brand they represent and they do not seem to think about that when they are in the action of wrong doing.
  8. Dress to Impress by Meghan: Out of the many blogs I have read about dressing the part for an interview this is the only post that mentions taking your time so you will not feel rushed and look sloppy. Deciding what to wear before the day of the interview helps, but it is still important to give yourself time for minor or major wardrobe malfunctions. Hopefully people will read this and realize taking your time and paying attention to details when preparing can make you look, feel, and act professional. No one should walk out of the house in a wrinkled blouse because they did not take the time to pay attention to details. Good advice!
  9. Oh, Do I Stink? by Meg: For those who sweat using baby powder is a great way to absorb moister. I never thought of it as being used for armpits, but if it helps then go for it. Those yellow pit stains are disgusting, unattractive, and most of all it is distracting. If you wear an old shirt that has pit stains then it will even give the illusion that you stink. Take the cautionary steps to not look like or actually stink in an interview. Most likely the interview will take place in a small room. It is not nice to literally stink up the place. Smoking is another big no no. Personally, when someone sits close to me in class and they smell like an ash tray I get up and move. I am not trying to be rude, but the smell of smoke is irritating and very very distracting. I am trying to hold my breath and breathe less instead of paying attention in class. Imagine what that can do in an interview.
  10. Social Media in a Job Seekers Life by Lindsey: Your approach to adding your mom on Facebook was a great idea and way to look at it. Mose people freak out when their parents add them on Facebook, because they have inappropriate thing on their site. Having your mom as your mediator is a great way to keep your site clean. I agree with you Facebook and Twitter are not the devil, if used appropriately. These sites can be used to make job connection, but it is imperative that you are careful of how you present yourself on these sites. I really enjoyed your post
  1. Internship Advice by Allison: That is really great advice. I agree with your friend who told you to make as many connections as possible and stay in contact with them. The past two summers I have worked a few internships and I was able to make a network of connections in the PR field and the media. I even had the chance to be familiar with the judges in Atlanta. Having a large group of connections can help you get a job, receive helpful advice, and you can receive assistance when you need it. Your posts proves that having a network is essential, because your friend connected you to an employer. It is great that you have an internship at a magazine. I hope you enjoy yourself there and thanks for the advice!
  2. LinkedIn by Meghan: LinkedIn is something I am behind on. I have an account, but I am not up to speed on it. It is great that you have 39 connections so far. You are right about having a wide range of connections. Having connections can land someone the job they have always wanted. You have encouraged me to stay in tune with my LinkedIn account and discover different connections. This is a good way to get people to look into my resume and see my strengths and possibly offer me a job when it comes time to graduate. Thanks!
  3. Internships by Bixby: I really enjoyed your post. Internships as a transitional stage is a great way to interpret them. We do get a chance to apply what we have learned from classes in an internship. I feel that an internship is a way to prove to ourselves that we can and are willing to do the work to become successful in our careers. It is a whole different experience when writing press releases and pitching ideas when it is in the “real world” and not a class assignment. The employer is not going to hold back his or her opinions of your work; a professor may unless you ask specifically for his or her opinion. As students we are fortunate to receive internship opportunities and in my opinion a lot of students do not take that advantage. Your post encourages students to take that leap and apply for an internship.
  4. Internship Advice by Meghan: It is great to hear internship tips from someone who is currently interning. A positive attitude is a priority. Most people are not going to like the journeys that lead them in an internship, but if they do it with enthusiasm then that will reflect them positively. It could also give them a job offer after graduation. My last internship I had to make hundreds of phone calls to the presidents of home owners associations. I hated it, but I did it with a great attitude. This task got me hung up on, cursed at, and I even received too much information from the elderly community. It was a true experience. Experience is the main point in an internship. As students we are going to experience different things that are not possible to experience in a classroom. Thanks for your helpful advice!
  5. What to Wear to a PR Job Interview by Jessica: I really enjoyed the second set of attire advice. It is upsetting that many people do not know these things and they are constantly dressing inappropriately to an interview. Then they want to wonder why they did not land the job. These tips should be second nature. As generations age I feel that individuals forget or do not learn the essentials when it comes to job interviewing. Hopefully, with our go getter generation we will be the ones to change to standard and be the most professional group of adults. Then we can teach the younger generation (who wear their pants on the ground or skin tight clothing) what is appropriate in the workplace.
  6. Social Media: Is it a Job Seekers Best Friend? by Jeff Carter: It is crazy to know that social networking has gotten to the point where it is affecting people’s personal life. I heard of a story that a woman called out of work because she was “sick” and the next day her Facebook had pictures of her from the day she took off drinking and partying; she lost her job for lying. I feel that your social networking sites need to stay separate from your work. So it is important no to bad mouth your job or co-workers and to project yourself in a positive light. On a personal note, when I got hired at my job they searched me on Facebook before interviewing me; I am thankful that my page was appropriate. It amazes me what college students put out on their sites, it makes me concerned for their professional careers. They need to take the advice from your post.
  7. Internships “The Golden Ticket” by Phillip: Finding your niche in a field is vital to how long you will last. Public relations is a high paced field so the burn out rate is high. Discovering what you are interested in helps you remain engaged to the field. This field has many categories within it and it is important to find out what fits you best. It is great that you found what suits you through an internship. I found my interest through an internship and working with an organization on campus. Overall I feel that people discover their interest through out of the classroom experiences. Like you said, internships can teach us things that we cannot learn in a classroom.
  8. What to Wear to a PR Job Interview by Candice: Wow I think that the thong showing over pants is one of my biggest pet peeves! Let Victoria stay a secret! Your advice was great. One thing that people seem to forget is to not be too flashy at an interview. It would give off the impression that the person is trying to use their appearance to cover up for their lack of credentials and qualifications. When it comes to wearing heels the office of career services believes that if you do wear heels they should be closed toed and no higher than two inches. I agree with you about panty hose; they are really uncomfortable and in the back of your head you have to be concerned if there is a run in them. I defiantly would prefer a nice navy blue power pants suit.
  9. Career Fair by Jacqueline: It is our job as an individual to put ourselves out there. These professionals are not going to approach us at a job fair. The point is for us to approach them and seem interested in the company and impress them so they want to offer information on upcoming positions. I think that many students do feel that the person will approach them, but it is the other way around. The career fair that was held April 14th in the Center for Art and Theater was dedicated to communication art students. There were many employers there; even PR companies who had open internship positions that they were looking to fill. I hope you attended this event and that you were able to have a better career fair experience.
  10. Cover Letter Tips by John: I enjoyed your post. Thinking of my cover letter as a commercial for myself is a great way to look at it. In the past I have had trouble writing cover letters because I did not know what to say. I figured I would write it as if I was trying to sell myself. This was very effective. Marketing myself as a brand helps a lot also. If I can market and sell a product then I can do the same with my professional skills. It is important to personalize the cover letter by remaining on topic of the position that is being applied for. Many people create one general cover letter, but it is not personable. It should be clear that you are applying for a specific position and the skills you possess would be the best qualifier to fill the position. Thanks for the advice!
  11. Are you LinkedIn? by Kristen: The information in this post is great. I created a profile on LinkedIn for class, but I do not know much about it or what to do with it. I know it is a great site for my resume and getting myself out there in the world of business. I had no idea that there were groups to join. My connections are at a very low number, but now I am going to work to make that number higher. After reading your post I want to go back and edit, upgrade, and search groups and connections. Thanks for the helpful tips!
  12. What Comes Up when You are Googled? by Sarah: Social media is now at the point where it can make or break us. It seems that our generation is losing the battle when it comes to social networking. As students we should know what to post on our sites and what to keep posted on our personal files for our eyes only. Everybody should be careful what they post; more specifically juniors and seniors should tip toe on these social networking sites. As we are entering the workforce we need to understand that times are changing so our social life is becoming an examining factor in our work life.
  13. The Good, the Bad, the Ugly… by Ally: Your list of the ten tweets that would get someone fired is hilarious. People actually post these types of things and think it is okay to do. It is funny when you read a compiled list of these things, but it is sad when you see someone you follow or you are friends with on Facebook say these things. You would think that they know better, and maybe they do, but they seem to get reprimanded for the public display of hatred towards their job. The economy sucks and people are doing careless things to lose the jobs that they need.
  14. Career Services is a Great Place to Begin by Lauren: I recently discovered what I was missing out on in Career Services also. Attending just one career service event let me know that I was not taking advantage of what our campus has to offer. I still have a year left and I will be showing my face and getting more familiar with the Career Services Office.  Since you are on your way to graduation and getting prepared for multiple interviews you should utilize the mock interviews that the office provides. It is a great way to learn what your non-verbal strengths and weaknesses are. Good luck and I hope you continue to use the Career Service office until you walk across the stage in less than two weeks.
  15. How to Stand Out as an Intern by Marilyn: Having fun is one tip that I think a lot of people forget. Even though it is a work experience it should still be fun. This is the opportunity where you have the chance to explore what you are interested in and learn as much as possible about the field. The worst part about an internship is that most of the time it is unpaid, but the experience and having fun with what you are doing makes up for it. Also, getting to know the other interns is important too. The person you are working beside can become the next big thing in public relations and they may need employees. Be nice and make connections that can help you out in the long run.

What is the office of career services? Here at Georgia Southern University there is a department that is dedicated to students and their upcoming career search. Their mission is to, “guide members of the Georgia Southern University community in establishing their career objectives through comprehensive programs, which provide opportunities for individuals to learn strategies useful in reaching their career goals.” Their objective is to, “assist students with choosing their major and career interests, gaining relevant work experience, as well as providing guidance in their full-time professional job search, through three distinct areas: Career Exploration and Education, Experiential Education, and Professional Employment.” For more information on the Office of Career Service check out their website.

Last week, career services hosted a student worker appreciation week. As a student worker I was able to benefit from the different programs through out the week. They hosted a resume and cover letter workshop and an interviewing skills discussion. I attended the interviewing skills discussion, which was hosted by Stephanie Saunders, the career advisor. The discussion took place on Thursday, April 15th, in the Union. The information was presented in a PowerPoint along with some helpful tips on handouts. Here are a few things that were discussed:

  • Have your resume reviewed and critiqued
  • The components of a resume
  • Prepare for the interview by researching the company
  • Know your strengths and special skills
  • Behavior based and informational interviews
  • Making a good first impression
  • The importance of a firm handshake
  • Appropriate attire
  • Most common question
  • Questions that should not be asked
  • Thank you’s go a long way

Attending this discussion taught me a lot I did not know about interviewing and the different opportunities that career services offers. Here are a few things that I learned:

  • Career services offer a mock interview. They gather information about the interview you are “practicing” for and they act as the interviewer. There is an option of videotaping the interview. This is helpful because it can prepare you for your interview and uncover some bad habits, such as using your hands too much when you are talking. These mock interviews need to be scheduled three to four days in advanced and they are open over the summer. Monday through Friday 8:00 am-5:00 pm.
  • When researching the company there are sites available to assist. Company website, Hoovers On-line, Reference USA, and Internet searches. Researching whom the interviewer is and their title shows interest and that you are prepared. Also, researching the company’s credit score gives information on how the business is succeeding.
  • You have thirty seconds to impress an employer with a resume. So it is important to S.O.A.R. (Stand Out Among the Rest).
  • 91% of executives listen to their assistant’s opinion of a potential employee. The interview begins when you walk into the door.
  • The most common question that is asked during an interview is “tell me about yourself.” This question seems simple but can be hard. It is important to remember to keep your answer professional and focused on your strengths as a potential employee. Your response should reflect positively to the position that they are hiring for.
  • There are questions that the interviewer should not ask. Anything regarding your personal life should not be asked. The interviewer should avoid asking questions pertaining to marital status, children, family, age, and other similar questions. If these types of questions are being asked you should ask the interviewer what the questions have to do with the skills they are looking for.

This career service event taught me many things about interviewing and about the office itself. Hopefully, this post has taught you a few things and will help you ace the interview and land the job you want. If you are a student at Georgia Southern University I encourage you to check out the office and take advantage of the services they have to offer. The office is located on the first floor of the Williams Center in room 1047. Hours are Monday through Friday 8:00 am-5:00pm.

Phone: (912) 478-5197

Email: careersv@georgiasouthern.edu

Email Stephanie Saunders (Career Advisor) directly: ssaunders@georgiasouthern.edu

Thank you to Stephanie Saunders and the Office of Career Services!

As my time at Georgia Southern gets closer to an end I continue to learn more about the field of public relations. Knowing what to expect in the public relations, “real world” work force will help me not catch the recent graduate unemployment blues. I have conducted several informational interviews to figure out what to expect when I dive head first in the business. This specific interview stood out and was very informative.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Holiday Johnson. My aunt, Joyce Swinson,gave me the connection with her (thanks auntie!). Johnson made the interview more comfortable in a high intense situation. The conversational flow was very relaxed.  The personable Johnson graduated from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland with a degree in communications and psychology. She is currently employed as the principal at M&J Communications. Ms. Johnson answered a few questions about the public relations field; the questions and her responses are below.

  • Did your education help prepare you for working in public relations? If so, how?

Johnson does not feel her education prepared her for the field. Foundations, theory lessons, developing interpersonal skills, building relationships, and interacting in a professional environment are the things school taught her. Johnson was once employed with the Air Force as a public affairs officer. This is where she learned the most about the field. She was taught the field from the ground up and was able to learn real world applications. Her duties gave her a large amount of responsibility at an early stage of her career.

  • How important is writing in your field?

“Critical!” Johnson believes when writing you should have a system of checks and balances. The more people in this system the more likely errors will be recognized before publishing your work. She also believes that good writing is essential in all fields of communications.

  • What professional organizations are you involved in?

Currently she is not active in any organizations. Johnson realized that overloading herself was not the way to go, but she believes in maintaining a strong network. She has been involved in Women in Communications, Women in Film and Video, and the Chamber of Commerce.

  • What is a typical week like?

“It depends, dealing with emails, meetings, reviewing projects, ad layouts, and critiques from a public point of view.”

  • What do you do to keep current in the industry?

Social networking trends are starting to affect business. Johnson said she used to have the television on constantly for news updates, but now she remains on the internet to read the news headlines. “I would like to attend classes (social networking and internet) to remain current.”

  • How does technology affect your work?

Smart phones! The Internet and texting are Johnson’s preferred features. “Texting gets straight to the point.”

  • Is there a project you are proud of?

Johnson does not have a particular project, but she does the job and moves on to the next task.

  • What has surprised you the most about working in public relations?

“Public relations is a very political field and it is an operating arena.” Johnson’s experience in the Air Force and receiving the opportunities she had were a surprise to her. She was trained to be a “jack of all trades” and know everything about the field; but in corporations a person can pick a specialty. Also, the burnout rate is high. Since public relations is a high paced, busy field the burnout occurs at high rates.

  • What do you wish you would have known before starting your career?

“There’s nothing, because life is a journey; you learn as you go. Certain things are going to happen and you’re going to have to be quick on your feet and there’s certain things you won’t know until you go through it.”

  • What three tips would you offer someone just starting out?

“Find a good mentor, maintain a relationship with your professors, and go into a situation offering, not with a hand out (in life also).”

  • When your company is hiring for an entry-level position what would make a candidate stand out?

“Someone who takes the initiative with a go getter attitude. It is someone who is time conscious with good time management skills. They must know what has to be done and be a trustworthy person. Time is of the essence and we don’t have time to tell someone what to do.”

  • What would you look for in a resume or portfolio when hiring a recent college graduate?

Johnson would look for the classes that were taken, amount of internships, writing skills, professional e-mail address, and the presentation of the person and their resume or portfolio.

That concludes my interview with Holiday Johnson. I want to take a moment to thank her for all the helpful information. If you would like more information check out her website.

The first consideration or judgment someone makes about someone when they are observing others; first impression. As most of us know a first impression is everything and could make or break a person in human communication. It would be nice if we, as a human race, can say I don’t pass judgments on people, but reality is that we all do. Interviewing for a job prevails on first impressions. It is an impression of your resume, cover letter, application, references, and of course you are an impression. If you really want this job or client you want to impress them and stand out in the crowd. But for the purpose of this blog we are going to concentrate on interview attire.

I’m going to share a personal story. My first interview was for a Macy’s seasonal employee. I was sixteen years old and I walked into the human resource office with plans to complete an application. When I walked in there were many people around my age and a little older in line for the electronic application. I wore a pair of black slacks and a striped tan and black button up shirt with my only pair of heels. Yes, my mother made me dress professionally for filling out an application. Everyone else was there in their school clothes or everyday clothes; jeans, tennis shoes, tee shirts, and etc. It’s easy to say that I was very embarrassed. When it was my turn to fill out the application I breezed through it. I stood up to walk out and I heard my name being called in the main office. So I spoke with someone at the desk and it felt like a casual conversation. But, little did I know that I was being interviewed! I walked out the office with a kool-aid smile, because I was anticipating filling out the application and ended up walking out with my first job! I was the only one that was called for this unexpected interview.

I’m sharing my personal story to show you that first impressions can make or break an interview. So let’s review some dos and don’ts of interview wear.

Dos

  1. When simply inquiring about a position dress professionally. What do I mean by professionally?
  2. If you own a two piece business suit, wear it!
  3. Shoes should be clean and scuff free. Women should wear heels that are 3 inches or under.
  4. Women: Skirts are preferred over slacks, but if you wear a skirt wearing panty hose is a requirement!
  5. Panty hose should be skin color, fit properly and with no runs. It helps to bring an extra pair.
  6. Minimal jewelry and a watch would be appropriate.
  7. Women: Simple, natural skin tone make up.
  8. Men: A tie that is not a clip on is a must.
  9. Men: Belt that coordinates with the suit.
  10. Men: Slim pockets.

Don’ts

  1. Smoke before the interview
  2. Have on heavy cologne or perfume
  3. Men: Have bulging pockets.
  4. Fold your resume
  5. Dress flashy.
  6. Poorly groomed
  7. Women: Short skirts and revealing blouses.
  8. Men: Too small suit
  9. Women: Bulky hair accessories
  10. Men: Wear tennis shoes, just because you saw Robin Thicke with tennis shoes and a suit.

These tips were gathered from my personal experiences and from Seeking Success

I am very interested in human communications, which includes non-verbal communications. In every day life nonverbals have more meaning than verbal communication. It is especially important to be mindful of your non-verbals. According to the College Journal reports, non-verbals are 55% of the hiring process. The moment you step out of your car be ready to have good non-verbal communication. First impressions are everything and that includes non-verbals. Non-verbal communication is defined as the non-verbal communication that includes pitch, speed, tone and volume of voice, gestures and facial expressions, body posture, stance, and proximity to the listener, eye movements and contact, and dress and appearance (business dictionary). The business dictionary also suggests that, “research suggests that only 5percent effect is produced by the spoken word, 45 percent by the tone, inflexion, and other elements of voice, and 50 percent by body language, movements, eye contact, etc.”

There are many sites that are dedicated to informing people of interview settings. Many of them highlight the importance of non-verbal communication and how it can make or break an interview. I used a few of those sites to help me write this blog. Check them out at College Grad, Ezine @rticles and About.com: Job Search.

Below is a list of some do’s and don’ts of non-verbal communication.

Here’s some don’ts

  • Smell of smoke
  • Wear too much perfume/cologne
  • Unprofessional attire
  • Being on your cell phone (whether it is talking, texting, or on the internet)
  • Listening to a media device while waiting for your interview to begin
  • Chew gum or eat candy
  • Fidget
  • Stare into space
  • Eating lunch while waiting for the interview to start
  • Primping in front of a mirror in the front office
  • Having an attitude is a huge negative. If you act like you are too good for the job then you will not get the job.

Here are some Do’s

  • Dress professionally
  • Eye contact is required
  • Firm handshakes show confidence
  • Sit up straight
  • Listen, pay attention and be interested in what is being said
  • Be polite
  • Don’t let your hands get excited. Relax.
  • Go prepared with a notebook, pen, resume and any other required materials
  • Be personal. If you see something of personal interest in the room it should be mentioned.
  • It brings emotional connections into the interview and is shows who you are as a person.
  • Facial expressions should remain positive
  • Remain conversational; it is an interview not a test for your vocabulary.

If you remember these non-verbal rules then you are a third of the way to acing your interview. The next steps are appropriate attire and having the qualifications for the job.

Recently I have been curious about creating resumes. I am in search of scholarships and many of them require scholarship resumes and cover letters. Then I received the assignment in class to research tips for creating cover letters. Unfortunately, Winway Resume does not run for Macs so I searched tips online. Advanced Resume Concepts and Resume-Help are the two sites I used to get information for this blog. Having an outstanding cover letter along with a 

I also figured if I did not know a lot about cover letters there is a lot of other students who don’t know much about it. Here are a few tips on creating and personalizing the perfect cover letter.

  • Explain what you can do for the employer. It is important to meet their needs and not your own.
  • Impress employers with your qualifications and relevant experiences, not with fancy language
  • The cover letter should have a natural flow with a conversational tone, but it should stay professional
  • It should stay one page and between three to five paragraphs, which means…
  • brevity and keeping it to the point is key
  • A summary of the resumé in the cover letter is unacceptable. It should be an introduction and argument why you are the best candidate for the company and the position
  • Don’t forget to address the letter to a specific person.

Hopefully, these tips help you land the dream job!