Marilyn's Life From East to West


*PR Professional Interview*
April 6, 2009, 5:41 am
Filed under: PR Connections

I have to say first of all, this has been my favorite assignment in the class.  I thought originally, that it might be intimidating but it is such a great idea!  I really enjoyed getting to see what a real PR job is like.  Being interactive with people is SO KEY in public relations and learning to network with people through Twitter, Facebook, etc is the perfect way to do so.

I interviewed Brett Pohlman, who I connected with through Twitter, which has also become very helpful.  He works in the social media aspect of public relations and does his work online which is great since it is continuing to grow.  Here is the interview that he was so nice to do:

What is a normal week like?

I only wish I knew! That’s why PR is so exciting. I never know what to expect when I get to the office the next day. Many things happen throughout the day to alter the course of a day’s work. I often start a day with a long list of to do’s and end the day with a completely different completed list. PR is a high stress, high concentration and extremely high multitasking environment.

2. What type of PR are you involved in?

As the Social Media Coordinator at Schneider Associates, I do PR completely online. I plan and execute client’s online social media initiatives. Typical outlets are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Digg, Delicious, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), blogging and marketing initiatives. Social media allows companies and brands to engage directly with their consumers. This has never been done in the past before and the online space is changing everyday.

3. What is your most memorable/proud project you have done?

I am really proud of the Baskin-Robbins Facebook Fan Page. I started managing the Page when it had around 40,000 fans. Today, the Fan Page has over 315,000 fans from all across the world. Content is key in social media. Baskin-Robbins is always encouraging my colleagues and I to engage with consumers in new and revolutionary ways.

4. How important is writing in your career?

Extremely important! A successful PR campaign is brought about by careful messaging and thought-out strategy. All materials surrounding these elements (e-mail, pitch letter, blog post, etc) must be drafted in order to reflect this messaging. These pieces are often part of the make-or-break point that determines the likelihood of a resulting story and therefore must contain succinct, interesting writing. Writing for PR entails attracting the audience, selling the idea of your client, and giving them an interesting news hook.

5. What is your most/least favorite part of your job?

The best thing about my job is: the direct interaction with clients.

The worst thing about my job is: the long hours.

6. Is there another PR job you would like to have in the future?

It’s hard to imagine another job right now! I enjoy my current job and I would love to see social media practice expand.

7. Do you wish there was anything you did in school or otherwise before your first job?

I am so glad that I made the decision to go to Auburn University. My college career at Auburn prepared me for anything that has been thrown at me. With that said, I wish I had more experience in real world situations. Also, I believe that students should do more than one internship.

8. Do you have any tips for me?!

– Get online! Make Google do the work for you. Any public relations student should be able to Google themselves and have the first couple pages when they graduate.

– Update your profiles. Don’t let them have old information in them. Keep feeding the Google “machine.”

– Use all of the social media tools to your advantage. Conduct research and engage in conversations. I found my job here in Boston because of Twitter.

– Network! Network! Network!

brett

This interview was so helpful to me because I was not personally familiar to many people in the PR business.  One of the tips that was reasuring and important to hear was that internships are a necessity.  I have an internship lined up for this summer and hope to continue to browse other internships following this one.  Another strong point was how important writing is.  I think that practice makes perfect, so it is important to keep it up!  Everything in the interview was enlightening and the tips are ones that I will absolutely remember!

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