Linky Love: Prepping for a PR Career

Dia Dalsky, Associate Consultant for PR 20/20, recently posted about how graduates can prepare for a career in PR. I am currently getting into creating my own Netvibes dashboard and I found it interesting that Dia suggested to monitor for names of companies that you are interested in working for. Smart idea, I’m going to try it!

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When the Internet Becomes the Playground: Teens and Social Media Bullying

I spent part of this Memorial Day Weekend at home, enjoying some time with my family, specifically my 13 year old sister, Sara. Being a rainy weekend, we spent most of our time hanging out, watching movies and catching up.

At one point, I noticed she was spending an unusual amount of time on Myspace. Intrigued, because I personally had a Myspace for about 5 seconds in the 10th grade, I asked her to show me her profile. What I found was… interesting to say the least.

She showed me an awfully designed background, her status feed and her “Top 8” of kids all doing some variation of a peace-sign-bathroom-mirror-pic. So all in all, not much had changed since my 10th grade bathroom-mirror-pic days. It was my sister’s commentary that shocked me.

She clicked on a girls page, let’s call her Brittany. “Brittany made out with so-and-so, so another girl, let’s call her Ashley, made her status about how certain girls need to ‘calm down’.” This, coming from the mouth of my thirteen-year-old sister, made me all sorts of awkward, uncomfortable and mostly concerned.

Teen cyber-bullying has been on the rise. Recently, cyber-bullying was blamed in part for a 17-year-old Long Island, NY girl’s suicide. Anonymous social media websites like Formspring.me are allowing teens to bully each other without having to be accountable by giving their name or information. Harvard recently released a study  controversial that claims that cyber bullying is now more prevelant than online predators. I was surprised and saddened to learn that 42% of children say they have been bullied online.

How can you keep yourself and your children safe from online bullying?

  • Talk about it. Open communication with your kids about online bullying.
  • Set-up Google Alerts using your child’s name. Use a modifier, such as their school name or nickname to narrow down if the name is common.

There is a bill being passed around Washington D.C. right now to make online attacks punishable by law.

I had a long talk with my sister when I caught on to her friends’ online cattiness. Being a teen is hard, but being an online Mean Girl makes it a lot harder… I hope she gets it!

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Linky Love: Mashable’s Most Social Companies

Mashable recently posted awesome infographics depicting the most social companies. This is the first time that the social media habits of companies have ever been looked at comprehensively. I was not at all shocked to see the heavy hitters like Microsoft and Google at the top. I was also pleased to see my personal weakness and shopping Mecca Nordstrom made the list for their Twitter efforts. I find their Twitter account to be super helpful and responsive! Check them out on Twitter here!

Photo from Mashable.com

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Capitalizing on Current Events

I’m about to make a confession: I, Samantha Luthra, am a journalism student who DOES NOT have the New York Times as my home-page. Shocking, I know. An even worse confession, when I do check out the New York Times, I jump straight to the Style section. Oh, the horrors. Trust me, I already know I am an atrocity to the Journalism school, I’ve accepted it. Moving on…

That being said, I would like to make it clear that I still get news on current events, just not in the typical way.

This morning, I was delighted to learn that today was the 30th anniversary of Pacman. Did I learn this from the news? Nah, I don’t have time for T.V. in the morning. Did I see this in the paper? Pshh- the only thing I am reading in the morning is the Starbucks coffee menu. It was, of course, a Tweet that delivered this information. I think it is safe to say that I have first been exposed to every major news story in the past year via Twitter. Maybe, this is because the way young people consume news is changing. Or maybe this is because I am obsessively addicted to my Tweetdeck. Who knows?

I think Google’s use of the iconic Pacman game on its home-page was spot on. Twitter was abuzz with comments like “Welp, not getting any work done today. Thanks Google and Pacman ;)”. In a time when competitors like Bing are making waves, Google took a golden opportunity to capitalize on a current event, in this case Pacman’s 30th anniversary, and drive traffic to their website. Not only did they drive traffic, but they also created conversation on social media sites like Twitter about their brand. Did you take a little time out of your day to play Pacman? I know I did! And thanks to Google and good ole’ Twitter, I was caught up on the fact that it’s Pacman’s 30th anniversary, without having to consume any news. 😉

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Linky Love: 7 Ways A College Student Can Start Becoming A Professional Now

Blogger David Spinks recently wrote a post on how students can shape themselves into professionals while they are still in college. I found this article helpful and I was delighted to find that I already did many of the things he suggested. Here’s what has (hopefully) been working for me:

  • Networking I have joined PRSSA and Allen Hall Public Relations at the University of Oregon. Both have been great ways for me to meet other PR students and build strong working relationships with them.
  • Social Networking I have positioned my Twitter and PROpenMic profiles as networking tools to connect with professionals I admire and also communicate my ideas with my peers. I also have an online portfolio and a blog that show my PR skills.
  • Internships I have been involved with a variety of internships that have helped my build skills and foster relationships with PR professionals. I think it is important to hold different types of internships so that you get a feel for the different kinds of PR jobs that are available after graduating.

Crenshaw Communications recently posted a similar article. Hope this helps!

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AHPR Guest Speaker Pamela Cournoyer’s Interview Tips

Rocking resume? Check. Killer cover letter? Done. Perfect professional outfit? Of course. You have the essentials to apply for a job or internship- now all you need is the confidence and knowledge to shine in interviews. Pamela Cournoyer, founder of Communicate with Class, recently spoke with Allen Hall Public Relations about how to perform well in interviews. Here are some of her tips that I found the most helpful!

The Handshake The handshake can be a little awkward when you are nervous. Here’s what you should do:

  • Make your handshake firm, don’t show weakness.
  • Look your interviewer in the eye.
  • Relax!
  • As soon as the interviewer stops shaking, you stop shaking.

Take Notes It’s okay to take notes during the interview- it’s even impressive!

  • Write down the names of the people interviewing you.
  • Jot down things that stand out to you about the company.
  • If you think of any questions, write them down so you don’t forget!

Tell Me About Yourself… This does not mean to give the interviewer your life story. Tell the interview what you have that can benefit them.

  • Keep it short. This is a personal elevator pitch.
  • Research exactly what the position requires and tie your skills to those requirements.

What Is Your Biggest Professional Weakness? This is my most dreaded question- and sure enough, I have been asked it in almost every interview.

  • Take a former weakness and talk about how you’ve overcome it.
  • Be honest, but don’t sabotage your interview!

I hope these tips help. Happy interviewing!

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Linky Love: The Intern Hiring Index

It’s that time of year again, spring term at the University of Oregon. While spring term brings sunny days, outdoor activities and barbecues, it also brings the dreaded job search for seniors. Gone are the days when summer means 3 months of vacation. It’s time for UO seniors to face the real world, starting with hunting for a “real job”. Ben Jacklet recently wrote an article for OregonBusiness about the impact that the recession has had on the hiring/retaining of interns, specifically in the world of journalism.

I have been watching my older sorority sisters and friends who are graduating in June search for jobs, and I have seen a lot of them opt for internships at companies that they really want to work for rather than taking positions at companies or jobs that they are not as interested in. They take the internships in hopes that the “foot in the door” will be the right opportunity for them to highlight their skills and prove that they can be of value to their dream company. Is it worth it to put off getting paid for a chance at a job you really want? I think so, but you have to be financially stable and ready to work hard to show the company why you belong there. You also have to be prepared to not be offered a position, in which case it is back to the good old job search.

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