By Shayna Rogoff, Account Executive 

With summer internship season underway, it is time to get down to business and start working on being a star intern! During your internship, you will develop skills, gain experience and have a great opportunity to network with people working in your field. To help make the most of your experience, here are six ways to stand out and be the best intern you can be.

Have a “Can-Do” Attitude

Employers want to work with people who have a strong work ethic and make their lives easier. Strive to always have a positive attitude, be involved and go the extra mile. Don’t just talk about taking on an extra task – actually volunteer to do it!

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions  

As an intern, employers do not expect you to know everything about the job. From time to time, you will probably be instructed to do several assignments at once and you may miss a detail or two. It is no help to anyone when assignments do not get handled properly and time gets wasted, so ask right away when you are confused. Internships are a great learning experience and the more questions you ask, the more you will learn.

Stay On Top of Assignments

Make sure when you are assigned a project you jot down details and deadlines. It is easy brush aside an assignment when you are unclear on what to do. As mentioned before, don’t be afraid to ask questions when this happens! If a project seems overwhelming you could ask, “Is there a specific amount of time I should aim to spend on this project?” In addition, make sure to provide project status updates to your boss– don’t wait to be asked.

Stay Focused

Refrain from playing on social media and other phone activities until your lunch break! You are interning to learn, so devote your time to developing your skills and gaining valuable experience. Remember, social media is not going anywhere – it will be there when you are on your time, not your company’s.  

Network & Socialize

It is important you make a conscious effort to build quality relationships and make connections with fellow interns and co-workers. From the janitor to the CEO, make sure you exhibit a friendly attitude to everyone in the company. Interning is a great opportunity to meet new people you may never had has the opportunity to meet otherwise. Your supervisors and co-workers may be immersed in projects and deadlines and not take notice that you are new to the company; so make sure you take the initiative to introduce yourself! Also, try to take time to socialize outside the work environment, but remember to behave – you are treating the internship as a real job, so always be professional.

Ask For Feedback

Last and definitely not least, don’t be afraid to ask for feedback throughout your time with the company. This shows your employer you are eager to do a great job and improve yourself. In addition, you will discover what your strengths and weaknesses are going forward.

These six tips will set you on track to a great internship experience and potentially a full-time job. Good luck and happy interning! 

By: Sophia Nitsolas, Account Executive. Sophia was a Social Media Coordinator Intern at Philly PR Girl during the summer of 2016.

“There was no stopping it,” said entrepreneur, Kate Marlys.

A Jersey girl, who graduated from a small suburban high school in the southern part of the state, Marlys went to college up north by the Big Apple. Her first job lead her to travel from coast to coast, yet she was still in love with one city and one city only–Philadelphia.

Just looking for a way to channel the stress of the cold, corporate world, Marlys began to blog.

Little did she know that a minuscule blog on her favorite places to wine and dine in the city would be a redefining catalyst to her future.

“The blog took off, and I was being asked by many for event planning and PR help,” said Marlys.

Hiring her cousin as her accountant, her other cousin as her lawyer, an editor, and an intern or two, Kate began to embark on a new career path–heck, a new life path.

Drawing from the success of her special events blog, Philly PR Girl LLC, a full time public relations firm for event planning, social media management, marketing and promotions, was born.

Its roots were planted in rich soil from the start in a 20 ft by 20 ft office space in the Philadelphia Building, which lies in the heart of Center City. Beginning with only a handful of employees but with a network of hundreds of connections locally and nationally, Kate Marlys, 5’6 with her highlighted brown hair, piercing blue eyes, warming smile and driven nature, transformed into the Philly PR Girl.

“Is this really happening?” said Marlys throughout the entire process.

Philly PR girl is now a home for about 20 employees and interns and 50 clients.

Still located in the Philadelphia building, but now in a larger space, Marlys and the company can’t even begin to fathom when it got the chance to expand so fruitfully.

Although there are over 20 competing firms in the area, Marlys believes it is their social media presence that sets them apart.

“I always say there’s enough work for us all,” said Marlys.

Brandon Szecker, working alongside Marlys as a PR manager at the firm said, “We’re a team who’s super local and very connected with various people in the city. We have a firm pulse on everything going on.”

Missing only the time off and bonuses of the corporate world, Marlys expresses that being an entrepreneur is no easy task, but can lead to irreplaceable happiness.

Helping with the PR for the PA Conference for Women was a huge career moment for her. Her favorite event is Preakness in the Piazza, a Multiple Sclerosis (MS) benefit where guests attend with their best hats and fun suites to watch the Kentucky Derby rain or shine.

“When you work for over 6 months and pour your heart and soul into an event and then it rains, no down pours the minute your event starts,” said Marlys, “that sums up last year’s Preakness at the Piazza- but guess what? It was an amazing event that raised over $150,000 for the MS society.”

Marlys is described by one of her PR student interns, Stephanie Rocha, as someone who does not let anyone take her down. Her company has thrived on supporting other women entrepreneurs just like her.

Every day in the PR world is different, but Marlys shares that working events and being on site is her favorite part of her day. With humility and great success, Marlys credits mentoring college students to being her greatest accomplishment.

 

By Caitlin Gailey, Director of Staff Relations

In the public relations industry, who you know is sometimes just as important as what you know.  Throughout the course of our careers, we are fortunate enough to meet dozens of talented people in our industry. These incredible opportunities are something to take advantage of, not to waste. While networking can feel awkward at times it’s never as bad as you think! Here are a few things to remember when networking your way to the top:

LinkedIn Is Your Friend

Don’t overthink things and grow your network through LinkedIn. After meeting with someone at a company event or through a mutual friend, a great and professional way to keep in touch is through LinkedIn. Asking to connect with someone is always more intimidating than it seems, but it’s a great tool to utilize in your networking toolbox.  

Master The Email

Mastering emails is crucial to building your network during and after college. Whether you are updating a previous employer, introducing yourself to a potential one or thanking someone for your time, email is the way to go. It’s a short 15 minutes out of your day, but it can mean a lot to someone who wasn’t expecting it.

Everyone Wants You To Succeed

The best thing to remember when walking into a networking opportunity is that everyone wants you to succeed. Whether you are meeting someone for the first time or reconnecting those in the public relations industry want to share their knowledge with you and see you put it into practice. Their kindness is your key to success and something that you should never be intimidated by. When you walk into a room realizing everyone wants you to do well, it makes introducing yourself to strangers a lot easier.

Branch Out

Networking with people outside of your inner bubble is a great way to make unexpected connections and experiences. Reaching out to those outside of your internship department or team is a fantastic way to expand your skill set and take advantage of unique opportunities others may never have.

If you have learned nothing new about networking at least think about this. Remember back to your first day of college freshman year. Moving into a new building, a new town, potentially a new state was intimidating. However you put your best foot forward, put yourself out there and made an entirely new life for yourself in just four short years. If you can do that, you can do anything, so get out there and network.  

5 Ways To Make The Most Out of Your Internship

By: Samantha Lassen, Account Associate for What’sPoppin

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Image Credit: Pexels

According to a recent article in the New York Times’ Education Life, more and more companies are hiring internally when they need to fill open spaces. They are starting to draw from their intern pool, because they have already worked within the business and have an understanding of its culture and operations. In my personal experiences, interviewers stressed the idea that they they think long-term when hiring interns. This means that how you act/perform throughout your summer internships could potentially result in getting hired or not. Here are five ways to make the most out of your summer internship:

1. Volunteer to Help with Additional Projects

Although many times interns are typically assigned to a specific team or department, it is crucial to volunteer and offer help in other areas. If you have a light work day, explore projects that are occurring throughout the office and see if they need additional assistance. This makes you seem interested and eager to learn about the entire company. It also shows that you are a go-getter who is diligent and dedicated to the organization. In addition, it helps you form connections with employees that you may not have previously known.

2. Build Your Network Within the Company

While most internships are about eight weeks, it is important to get to know as many people as possible in that short period of time. Walk around the office occasionally and introduce yourself to employees in other departments. You can chat with them or set up an informal interview to talk about their department’s work. It is important to share your goals with them. You would be surprised at how many people are connected due to networking. This could potentially open you up to more opportunities within your company and outside of it. You might also explore an area that may not have been of interest to you previously.

3. Get to Know Your Fellow Interns

It is important to become friendly with the other interns within your company. You will be working as a group throughout projects, presentations and other day-to-day operations.  You can help each other grow and succeed within the company, so don’t always treat it like a competition. Your fellow interns will also be entering the industry or field of interest at the same time as you. It is important to network with these people so that every door possible can stay open. You never know who may know who. Plus, you want summer to be a fun and enjoyable experience.  

4. Be Diligent

When completing any work or task, it is important to put forth your best effort. Ask questions if you do not understand or need something clarified. You need to stay organized and manage your time wisely to ensure that you are clearly communicating and completing your assigned work. You should arrive to the office on time and stay for the full day. It is courteous to check in with your supervisor before leaving to see if they need help with anything else.

5. Show Your Passions

Your attitude and behaviors within the office tell your bosses and fellow employees a lot about you. Be happy to have an internship, because many other students are not as lucky. When you are passionate about something, it will show how much you love what you are doing. Enjoy your summer and learn as much as you can within these few short weeks.

Your First Job Isn’t Your Forever Job

By: Lauren Haag, Account Executive for What’sPoppin

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When I was growing up, I used to dream about working for a Fortune 500 company one day. Don’t get me wrong, that is still my ultimate goal. However, I have come to the realization that it may be a longer process than I had originally planned and that is okay.

Now that I am a senior in college, the pressure to graduate with an impressive job and move away from home into a beautiful city is very overwhelming. With each passing day I see more and more of my friends and peers posting about their exciting new job opportunity.

If you are in the same situation that I am, you can understand the pain. Trying to balance academics, school commitments, internships, social life, AND apply for jobs is exhausting. However, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t get discouraged because looking for a job is like a full-time job. Graduating without a job is not the end of the world, and in hindsight it may even allow you to find a better opportunity down the road.

We also have been guilty of sending out resumes and cover letters as quickly as possible, with the hope that this may help us to beat out the competition, but it won’t. Your resume will be sent to an automated system that will filter you out depending if you meet the qualifications or not. So where do you go from here? The answer is networking.

The only way to ensure that your resume is personally received is if you have a contact within the company. Take the time to seriously network with professionals and get a better understanding on their job responsibilities. This may require more work, but the end result will be worth it.

I understand having a job secured after college is very crucial for some. However, it doesn’t need to be the “perfect” job. Don’t be afraid to apply for a lower paying job or even a post-graduation internship. Nowadays, internships are the gateway into many corporate companies.

If your favorite company never calls you for an interview and if your first job isn’t what you envisioned–don’t get discouraged. Your first job is not forever. It is just a stepping stone in acquiring that dream position you always wanted.

Lessons to Learn from United Airlines’ Crisis

By: Zack Jones, Account Executive for Phospholutions

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Image Credit: ABC Local

We all watched with dismay as security officers forcefully dragged a man off a United Airlines flight earlier this week. As information became available throughout the day, it became very clear that what happened was extremely wrong and a terrible display of professionalism, organization and public relations.

The incident occurred on United Airlines flight 3411, which was waiting to takeoff at Chicago O’Hare Airport for Louisville, Kentucky. Passengers were allowed to board the flight before being told that four individuals would need to volunteer their seats to allow four United employees to travel. When no one volunteered, the manager told the passengers that they would randomly select four passengers and ask them to leave. The man, David Dao, a doctor who had patients to see the next morning refused to leave the flight. Security was called and Mr. Dao was forcefully removed from the plane in the infamous video that instantly went viral on social media.

While the incident as a whole is horrible, there are lessons public relations practitioners can learn:

1. Never Blame the Customer

When United released its statement, it seemed to place the blame on the passenger for the series of events. In a follow-up email sent to employees that was leaked on social media, Oscar Munoz, United’s CEO expressed regret for the incident, but still applauded staff for what he described as employees who “followed established procedure.” In situations like this, it is best to be introspective and analyze ways you as a company could have addressed the incident differently rather than placing blame, or having the appearance of deflection from the issue.

2. Don’t be Afraid to Apologize

The best course of action for United yesterday would have been to profusely apologize for the situation. Then, it should have taken active, public steps to express that apology to Mr. Dao and other customers who witnessed the event take place on the flight. An apology with a free flight or refund for the flight would have been sufficient for most. If you wanted to do more, you could launch an official investigation and create a task force to examine the company’s so called “established procedure,” to ensure they are in the best interest of the customer. All communications, both internal and external would bear the same messaging to avoid the appearance of being two-faced. There’s nothing wrong with an apology, and an apology can end a public relations crisis faster than you think.

3. Lead by Example

While this incident has been a crisis for United Airlines with it losing customers, a bad image on social media and plunging stocks, there is still time for the company to turn things around. The incident launched a public conversation on the airline industry’s tactic of overbooking flight in effort to “compensate” for no-shows. Many customers voiced their disapproval of this tactic and called for government regulation of the industry. Without regulation, this was and still is the perfect opportunity for United Airlines to review that policy and possibly eliminate it in an effort to not only make up for the incident, but to make active steps to listen to the customers and acknowledge their concerns. The narrative of the story would shift and United could repair its image within no time.

April The Giraffe, A Public Relations Gold Mine

By: Caitlin Gailey, Account Executive for First Pick

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Image Credit: Inquisitr

If you haven’t heard about April the giraffe, you must be living under a rock. The 15-year old giraffe resides at the Animal Adventure Park in New York and is currently the subject of the biggest baby watch of 2017. April is 16 months pregnant with her fourth calf and is projected to give birth any day now.

Now, this miracle of life isn’t what makes April so special, but rather the immense following she has acquired. She has taken news outlets by storm, providing Animal Adventure Park with an unexpected and impressive amount of media attention. Her fame has caused the park staff to create http://www.aprilthegiraffe.com, which includes a live webcam to track April’s progress 24/7. Her popularity has gone global and her passionate followers have formed their own deeply invested community.

April is almost two months past her due date, which has added to the suspense surrounding her delivery. On an average day, April’s live stream attracts thousands of viewers and comments being published faster than once a minute.

April and her calf are a public relations goldmine for Animal Adventure. Every day that she is overdue she provides the park with invaluable publicity. The park sells official gear, has a “giraffeemoji” and has partnered with the local Hilton hotel to create the “Exclusive April the Giraffe Overnight Package.”

Animal Adventure has taken advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity, and rightly so. Even once April delivers her calf, there are countless other publicity opportunities like a contest to name the baby and selling merchandise to commemorate the event.
When customers/spectators feel personally invested in an animal and their narrative, it is a recipe for success. The attention following April is something that can be duplicated by any zoo or animal park across the country. Those who are looking to attract a similar following should take note, and hope they have their own version of #babywatch coming soon.

Snap Story, Insta Story, or Face Story?

By: Alexis Komatsu, Account Associate for Visionese

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Image Credit: Business Insider

Facebook just rolled out a new feature on its mobile app that allows users to post photos and videos to their profile that disappear after 24 hours.  

Sound familiar?

Facebook is the latest social media platform to integrate the “story” feature that originated on Snap Inc.’s Snapchat. Stories allow users to immediately share short videos and pictures of what they are doing at any given moment.  Instagram integrated this tool back in August 2016 and it has now become an integral component of marketing and social media strategies for countless companies, brands, and celebrities.

Similar to Snapchat, Facebook has multiple special filters like masks, frames and backgrounds that can be applied to photos. Another very similar feature is the direct messaging element that allows users to share disappearing photos and videos to specific Facebook friends.

With similar features across all three social media platforms, the challenge of differentiating content for each social channel arises. Companies typically use Instagram to post photos and videos while they turn to Facebook for more wordy content. Now that both platforms have the “story” feature, how do you pick which one to post on?

First, you should consider the purpose of what you’re posting. Are you directing your followers to buy something, participate, or share?

Also, think about your audience. Facebook users tend to be a little older in age, while Instagram and Snapchat users consist of a younger demographic.

Facebook “stories” are a very new feature so there isn’t a lot of data on how effective they are yet. It will be exciting to see how companies use the feature in their social media and marketing strategies! Will you be using the Facebook stories feature?

Avoiding Rookie Intern Mistakes

By: Amy Walker, Account Executive for Trafika Europe

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Image Credit: Flickering Myth

As college undergraduate students, the thought of full-time internships or jobs can be borderline terrifying. Semesters allot time off between summer and winter breaks, allowing for endless Netflix binges and zero stress. The “real world”, however, is filled with never-ending work, adult responsibilities, and a maximum of 14 vacation days. In these professional environments, it’s difficult for young adults to navigate the proper procedures necessary to succeed. After completing two full-time, ten week internships throughout the course of my college career, I can confidently say that I learned countless lessons in how to thrive during a summer internship.

Keep Emails Concise & Professional

Looking back on the first few weeks of my most recent internship, I shudder at the thought of the emails that I sent other employees. A lot of millennials write emails as they would text messages: with excessive exclamation marks and emoticons. I suggest only using one or two exclamation marks maximum in any email and only rarely use smiley faces, unless you know the recipient extremely well. Overusing either of these can be perceived as incredibly unprofessional, especially if you’re contacting someone you have yet to meet in person.

Stay Curious, Ask Questions

With both of my previous internships, I was initially timid when asking my bosses questions. Whether it was clarifying an assignment or just wondering something about the company out loud, speaking up seemed annoying to me for one reason or another. In reality, however, bosses appreciate an employee more when they ask for elaboration as opposed to doing a project incorrectly the first time.

Don’t Go On Facebook

Avoid distracting social media sites at all costs. It can be tempting to quickly check the latest Tasty video or share a post to your friend’s wall, but bosses definitely notice when their interns are distracted. It’s obvious both in the moment and when assignments aren’t getting handed in on time. When I felt like I was hitting a wall, I walked around the office once or twice to briefly get a change of scenery before tackling my next task.

Speak Up, Give Feedback

Being the new member of any organization makes expressing opinions extremely intimidating. The first few weeks of my internships I didn’t want to make suggestions for fear of seeming overly critical. I would sit in a corner during meetings avoiding being noticed, and I remember panicking when the director of my team would ask me questions. During an evaluation with my manager, he told me he wanted more input from me in terms of what could be done better with my internship and even company procedures. As long as you address the situation appropriately and in the right manner, your boss will recognize your willingness to make a positive impact and contribute to the company.

4 Essential Business Skills: A Recipe For Getting Ahead

By: Shayna Rogoff, Account Associate for Visionese

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Image Credit: Media Cache

In our society’s candidate-driven job market, the competition and the expectation of basic business skills is high. Here are four essential business skills to help you succeed in your career and set yourself apart when job hunting

Strong Professional Communication Skills

According to Bloomberg’s 2015 Job Skills Report, most employers are looking for candidates with strong communication abilities. Although communication skills are consistently emphasized throughout our lives, employers in the report found the skill relatively hard to come by. The ability to communicate effectively is not only extremely effective in the business world, it is an essential life skill.  Whether you’re not so great at writing, you don’t feel like you’re very persuasive, or anything in between, challenge yourself to work on one thing at a time to improve your professional communication.

Leadership Abilities

You might assume that having strong leadership skills only becomes important once you start managing people. However, leadership abilities are important to your success even when you’re the most junior individual on the team. Every time a group of people comes together, they need to choose what to do, when, and how to do it. Understanding how to unify the group and make decisions quickly and without conflict will make you incredibly valuable. Sometimes, this may mean not getting your way.
An Understanding of Marketing

 

It doesn’t matter what profession or industry you belong to—at the end of the day, your success depends on the customer. That’s why it’s essential to understand why consumers make the decisions they do and how you can use this information to your company’s advantage. Marketing is the ways in which a business communicates its value to potential customers. It is important that you understand and practice that type of communication in the business world. In order to excel and advance in your career, you should display a deep understanding of how to effectively market your company to stand out amongst its competitors.

An Understanding of Finance

 

An important part of any business organization is the money that comes in and the money that goes out. No matter your profession, understanding basic accounting is important to everyone. In order to know the language of business and understand our current economy, you need some general knowledge of finance. For example, before accepting a job you would want to have an understanding of the company’s financial health. Work life aside, your personal finances will benefit, as you will know how to make the most out of your money. There are plenty of books and online resources to help you build an understanding, you can even follow some experts on twitter.

No matter what you do, growing in these four areas will help you build relationships, think strategically about your company, and be seen as a leader. All in all, that’s a recipe for getting ahead.