Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Pro Am Day 2014

Pro-Am Day 2014
Students Enjoy Day of Public Relations

PRSA Dallas Pro-Am Day was a huge success this year, with several collegiate members in attendance for a day packed with helpful information for those beginning their careers in public relations. 

By spending two hours with a designated PR firm in the Dallas area, students took this opportunity to network and gain as much information as they could about entering the workforce from a broad spectrum of agencies.

This year, C. Pharr welcomed Baylor University Student Sahara Price to join the team for a morning of coffee, bagels and insight into the world of PR. Our team was able to speak to Sahara about her goals and job aspirations, and we provided job searching and interview tips that she will be able to use in the future. We talked to her about normal daily activities in an agency, about B2B and B2C public relations and about helpful social media tactics for generating media content. 

Here are some of the tips we shared with Sahara that all young, aspiring PR professionals should keep in mind when searching for a job:

  • Try to keep your resume to one page of relevant experiences and skills. Including “hobbies” or high school accolades isn’t usually necessary.
  •  Seek out internships that will expose you to different aspects of PR and communications. You won’t know what you like (or dislike) until you get hands-on experience.
  •  Network. Many students are scared to utilize valuable industry connections to secure internships or jobs. Maximizing and building your personal network is one of the fastest ways to enhance your professional life.

We had a great time getting to know our student, and we hope she had fun learning about C. Pharr and our industry. 

After meeting with agencies from around town, students and agency guests made their way to a luncheon at Seasons 52 at Northpark, where panelists Amanda Lam, the public relations manager for QMobius, Lauren Butler, vice president/group manager of Ketchum Public Relations, and John Hoffmann, senior vice president and corporate communication of Nationstar Mortgage made an appearance to answer some hard-hitting questions.

The panelists took turns focusing on topics such as how to maintain relationships with reporters, when and how crisis communications come into play and additional advice for those entering the workforce. Each panel member also shared insightful information on what they believed distinguished the good PR professionals from the great ones. 

QMobius’ Lam used the opportunity to invite aspiring PR pros in attendance to “love what they do above all and to always be continual learners.” As Lam pointed out, technology and industries are always changing, making it critical for communications professionals to constantly hone their craft and develop their skill set.

Butler, Ketchum’s vice president and group manager, shared the importance of maintaining relationships at every level of the industry and reminded  attendees to cultivate respect and to gain trust not only from media members, but their coworkers and clients as well. Trust on all levels is an important part of communications, especially in times of crisis. PR teams, clients and journalists need to be able to trust each other in order for the relationships to be mutually beneficial. She also shared her belief that “the most curious people are the best at PR.”

Hoffman, the current vice president of corporate communications at Nationstar Mortgage, reminded students what public relations is truly about at its most basic level – people. He encouraged listeners to become great writers and story tellers, but to ensure that the story their client or company was telling was always about people. Topics and subjects of interest will always evolve, but through it all “you have to be a great story teller.” In order to effectively do this though, one must be a dedicated student of human behavior, according to Hoffmann. Understanding your audience and being able to pinpoint what matters most to them is critical to the success of any PR campaign in today’s industry.

The day came and went too quickly, and the C. Pharr team is excitedly looking forward to what Pro Am Day has to offer in 2015.

This blog was contributed by Emily Chandler (@Emily_PharrPR) and Kristen Crosby (@KristenCrosby11)


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