Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Beating the Summer Heat with Frontgate at Fox 4

We arrived bright and early to the headquarters of FOX 4 in Dallas. Loaded only with groceries, equipment and a burning sense of responsibility, we set out to create a truly captivating segment for the average morning news. As the intern for C. Pharr & Company, I was thrilled to visit the newsroom for the first time and experience what it was like to organize and operate an entire segment behind the scenes. I was eager to meet Shannon Murray, FOX 4 reporter and Amy Kroll, Frontgate's visual merchandise manager.

Luxury home retailer, Frontgate, was about to open a giant flagship store in Plano and it was our job to showcase some of the amazing products they sell. Our focus for the segment was items useful for beating the summer heat while hosting parties on the patio or by the pool. The products ranged from the Riviera Aruba Designer Umbrella to a stainless steel Optima Chill Beverage Dispenser, but the biggest hit was the LED Floating Bluetooth Speaker, which plays music as it floats.

Setting up the segment, we hurried to unload all the equipment. We meticulously laid out shrimp and quiche, fanning out fancy lettuce and peppering them with parsley. Everything went smoothly apart from a few hiccups along the way. Who knew grapefruit juice would be too murky for live television? We rolled with the punches and used what would suit our visual needs much better (a.k.a water with sliced fruit). Also, the umbrella happened to be a little too big, but we worked out that kink too. All in all, after a few finishing touches, we were ready to roll.

I was amazed by how the staff collaborated with us and fluidly operated the equipment and merchandise to orchestrate this segment. The segment was set to air in a couple days, but they taped the recording like it was live- just like that, all in one take. Despite this, Murray and Kroll expertly demonstrated the utility of Frontgate's goods. As my first time helping run an event like this, I was thrilled to meet everyone involved and see the operations of a real newsroom. I can't help but be thankful for being a part of it.

Check out the segment here and all the items you might need at your next summer bash! 


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Intern's World: Five Months at C. Pharr & Co.

A job and an internship aren't very different. The basics are still there, from the interviewing process to the day-to-day. Yet, one distinct difference stands out among all the jobs I’ve ever had: On my first day at C. Pharr & Co., I was asked what three tasks I wanted to accomplish by the time I left and how they could help me achieve those goals.

At my previous jobs, I worked in serving, house cleaning, data entry and publishing. However, this was the only place where someone asked me what they could do to help me grow as a professional.
That is what makes C. Pharr so different. They care about their intern's experience. I learned so much under the team’s tutelage, and if I could go back in time and do it all over again, I most certainly would. They each taught me something new and different, and for that I am forever grateful.

Here are five things I discovered during my five months at the agency:

1. If a task takes longer than you expected, ask if there is a better way
Agency life is fast-paced. If it takes you an hour to do a routine task, a more efficient method is probably out there, so just ask. Your boss is more than willing to help you succeed.

2. Communication is key
Always make an effort to share status updates on projects, and speak up when you feel overwhelmed or bored. If you're bored, then ask if you can help with something. This is key to leaving a lasting (positive) impression.

3. Be prepared - always
Always have a pen and a notebook on hand! If you are attending an event, don't forget your padfolio. Also, bring a spare charger for your phone, because live tweeting can drain a battery quickly.

4. Time management and project management are crucial for success
Working in a smaller agency is one of the best experiences you can get in public relations because you get the opportunity to work on so many different projects. You will need to quickly adapt to changes and manage your time effectively, so be ready. If you're ever unsure of what needs to be done first, (again) ask how to prioritize.

5. Classes can only teach you so much about public relations
As an intern, you will experience the learning curve of working in the real world. Though you learn press releases and pitching and all those wonderful tasks in the classroom, you will never experience them firsthand until you get out there in the field.

Don't take your experience for granted and enjoy every opportunity you are presented with because this is where your future begins.

This post was written by Holly McCleary.