By: Amanda Malinchak, Account Associate for ParkingBee
Image Credit: Just Jared
When fall arrives, you always know. The leaves change, the weather gets colder, and your social media pages suddenly only consists of pictures of girls picking pumpkins in their flannel shirts while drinking Starbuck’s pumpkin spiced lattes. Fall brings many of our most beloved seasonal features, including fall clothing, pumpkin spiced anything, the World Series, and football season. However, many of these aspects overshadow the one important date in fall: Halloween. This holiday is often overlooked and not celebrated to the fullest. Yes, here at Penn State we like to dress up for a night or two. However, I have found that many people do not take enjoyment in the day.
Halloween is the only day in the year that you can be anything you want. It is also a day to be creative, have fun, and share your costumes all over social media. Which leads me to my case of why Halloween should be any PR girl’s favorite holiday:
Anyone who has taken a class in PR knows that planning is key. Whether you are building a media kit or writing a news release, there is a premeditated format that you develop. The same goes with Halloween. If you want to execute the day well, you need to plan ahead. First, you need to decide on a costume. Will you impersonate a celebrity or your favorite cartoon character? Do you want to incorporate your friends? Is your theme going to be scary, funny, or cute? There are a lot of decisions to make before your Hallo-weekend. In PR, we know that planning, scheduling and organization is vital to make any client happy.
In the PR industry, you are constantly working within budgets. These can be multi-million dollar deals or low-budget projects. However, no matter what the price tag is, you have to make the deal and execute the task perfectly. The same goes with Halloween. When planning your costume or a Halloween themed party, you have to consider the pricing. If you resort to buying an outfit from the store, it can be expensive. However, if you choose to create your own, the supplies can also add up. Therefore, if you are a broke college student (like myself) budgeting your costume is very necessary.
To be successful in PR or advertising, thinking outside of the box is imperative. In this industry, much of the job is pitching your ideas to clients. Whether it is a new rebranding plan or an ad campaign, the ideas need to be fresh, innovative and on-trend in order to win the deal. The same goes with Halloween. If you want to really “wow” your friends or social media followers, you must be creative and original. There is no fun in being the fifth person at the party to dress up as a cat or a schoolgirl. The winning costumes, like the winning campaigns, are the ones that have never been done and really catch the eye.
Many public relations jobs require a lot of research. This consists of prospecting competitors or possible new clients, finding information about a certain brand you are pitching to, and also looking into on-going trends. Researching is also a key strategy when planning your costume. For instance, when planning costumes, people often look at websites like Pinterest for inspiration, ideas and trending costumes. Analyzing and comparing prices is also an important tactic used in public relations. The same goes with Halloween. Many of us want to find the best deal possible and investigating your many options is how to accomplish that.
The Social Media:
When Halloween does arrive, you will know. Your Instagram and Facebook’s will be full of pictures of your friends in their costumes. The social media takeover is consistent with almost every holiday and big event happening. As social media is an important aspect in any type of PR or advertising job, it is good to know when certain topics and themes will be trending. The media platforms are increasingly being used by agencies to raise brand-awareness for their clients. As millennials, many of us are constantly on our social media platforms. Therefore, for students aspiring to work in PR or advertising, this is a good quality to have!
Happy Halloween everyone!