Job Hunting Tips For PR Students


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With graduation beating down the doors of the class of 2015, we have some words of advice for those young guns eager to be the next big thing in PR and marketing. While job searching has mostly remained status quo, there are ways that recent communications graduates can set themselves up for success. Here are a few tips on how to get your foot in the door. Closing the deal is a whole ‘nother matter.


First Things First: Check Your Digital Footprint


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Google search yourself and make sure those embarrassing photos you took at the Phi Beta Kappa party are long gone. Consider setting your Facebook/Twitter/Instagram profiles to private and clean up that LinkedIn page.


Where To Look For Jobs


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Now that you’ve made sure you don’t look like a walking nightmare online, it’s time to job hunt. Besides asking all of your friends, friends of friends, friends of friends’ parents and their cousins for potential opportunities, you’ll likely look on the usual job site suspects: LinkedIn, Craigslist, Monster, Indeed. Look for PR/Marketing-centric headhunters (PRTalent, TalentZoo, AdOne, are a few usual suspects). Join one of the professional organizations (PRSA) and attend their networking events. You should also check directly on the websites of companies that you’re interested in. Another valuable job resource is Twitter. Use the right hashtags (e.g. #PRjobs) and search for the right job posting accounts and you’ll find a goldmine of job opportunities. Still, networking remains the #1 way most people find a job.


Proofread, Spellcheck, Proofread, Spellcheck, and Then Proofread More


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My USF PR students can attest to this: Typos will be your undoing. I can’t tell you how many résumés I’ve received that boldly states “I have great attention to detail” and then promptly has 2-3 typos. Don’t be that person. Many hiring managers will view these errors as sloppy and irresponsible and you might not even be considered, despite your qualifications. Eric Ripert wouldn’t serve his food on paper plates and you shouldn’t present your skills in such a haphazard fashion.


Do I Need A Fancy Designed Rèsumè?


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While the rèsumès of art directors and graphic designers are very nice to look at, we’d recommend focusing on the content of your rèsumè, rather than disguising a lack of experience with pretty fonts. Don’t get it twisted – presentation is definitely important (see above about proofreading and spellchecking) but overly stylized rèsumès aren’t yet a requirement in PR. Knowing design skills and having a striking visual style are critical skills in today’s visual-centric PR world (Why do you think every brand wants to be on Instagram and Pinterest) but it’s more important to know what your PR experience is in plain old English.


Don’t Write Like You’re Texting Your Friend


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Found a job you want? Now that you’ve got your résumé and cover letter ready and typo-free, send that baby off exactly the way the potential employer requests. If an employer requests that you fax it, then fax it. If they want you to answer 5 questions in your cover letter, answer those 5 questions. Follow the instructions TO A TEE. When we’ve posted jobs, we’re looking for those applicants who pay attention to the details. If you’re fortunate enough to get a response, don’t respond like you’re texting. You know what I mean. Writing “ur” instead of “your,” “thx” instead of “thanks,” etc. is off-putting.


Be As Flexible As Possible For Interviews


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Sure, circumstances might make it difficult for you to be available at any given time for an interview, but you really should try to move heaven and earth to secure an interview. Remember that recruiters are busy and if you’re not available at a certain time, they might not be able to fit you in, or they do it a day after they’ve found the best candidate. Don’t miss that boat.


Interview’s Set! Now What?


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Research! Read EVERYTHING you can about the company and the people that you’ll be meeting with. Memorize details and common interests. Show up and be able to discuss the company’s vision and how you will contribute to it. Don’t ever go into an interview cold. Dress professionally and show up ON time. Give yourself an extra hour to get to your location and get yourself mentally prepared before you walk into the doors. Smile, make eye contact, shake hands like a grownz up, don’t swear, don’t burp, don’t fart and be respectful to everyone you walk by.


Follow Up


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Most recruiters hate a phone call follow-up so send a very nice email or even an old-fashioned letter, if you’re so inclined. Make sure you reiterate anything interesting that you and the interviewer discussed, and emphasize how excited you are to work for them and how you will contribute to their success. Remember that there’s a fine line between being aggressive and proactive and being annoying and rude.

Be sure to thank anyone who helped you get the interview in the first place. Then, wash, rinse and repeat. Job searching is equal parts luck, timing and skill. The most important thing to remember is to stay positive on your search, be grateful and humble and always keep an open mind. Something that might not sound immediately appealing might end up being a fantastic opportunity. Lastly, there’s no such thing as a dream job. So stop searching for it. The only dream jobs are ones that you can make for yourself.

Good luck, job seekers!

By Katy


“Drawn Together” Brings 4 Bestselling Children’s Book Authors Together For Public School Libraries

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Did you know that California currently has no dedicated funding for its public school libraries? Without access to books and a safe, inviting place to read them, public school children are being left behind in the Golden State. Private citizens and nonprofit organizations like Access Books are forced to pull the state’s weight and do their part to help public school children.

On June 20, 2015 at 1pm at the Disney Concert Hall, one such fundraiser has been organized by “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” author and artist Jeff Kinney. The philanthropic Kinney has gathered 3 of his equally popular children’s book author friends – Dav Pilkey (“Captain Underpants”), Lincoln Peirce (“Big Nate”) and Stephan Pastis (“Timmy Failure”) – along with host Julie Bowen (ABC’s “Modern Family”) for a benefit fundraiser for Access Books.

Not only will parents and their children get to meet their favorite authors and cartoonists, they’ll also get to hear a panel presentation from the talented scribes, as well as participate in an audience Q&A. Fans can have books and posters autographed, all for one great cause.

100% of the ticket sales will go to rebuilding and revitalizing public school libraries in the LAUSD. Just one $35 ticket enables the purchase of 5-7 new books for one student.

Purchase a ticket to support public school libraries, or donate directly to Access Books.

Read why actress Julie Bowen is supporting “Drawn Together” and Access Books in Variety

Donate to Access Books and follow them on Twitter and Facebook 

The Must List: The 5 Best Articles We Read This Week

Remember when we went on and on about how writing is the most important skill in PR and then we continued to proselytize how you can get better at it by reading, and reading A LOT?

Here are the 5 best articles we read this week:

The cover story everyone's talking about
The cover story everyone’s talking about

The whole world’s talking about Caitlyn Jenner, and with good reason. There’s been so many articles about her – good, bad, annoying, provocative, thoughtful, and everything in between – so we decided to go with one that focuses on how she handled her announcement. Yes, we chose the PR angle. We’re shameless. Josef Adalian at the Vulture goes in-depth into her press strategy. h/t to Peter Himler for sharing the link.


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Mary Meeker, the OG Digital Prophet


Speaking of reading A LOT, do you have a couple of hours to spare to dig through Kleiner Perkins’ legendary Internet seer Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends report? It’s worth every second you’ll spend soaking up Meeker’s considerable expertise. If Meeker told us to wear white after Labor Day, we’d listen!


Lyft's search process isn't fooling Rupal Parekh
Lyft’s search process isn’t fooling Rupal Parekh


If, like us, you want to see the agency search process completely overhauled, you’ll find former AdAge editor Rupal Parekh’s criticism of Lyft’s “wildcard” agency RFP stunt of interest. Parekh brings up that underdog startup Lyft is courting tried-and-true big name advertising agencies instead of scrappy shops that might better fit their own image. This is the startup that plastered giant fuzzy pink mustaches on people’s cars and insisted on “fist bumping” as a greeting, after all. Yet their agency search process appears to be as boringly rote as everyone else’s, while under the guise of throwing a bone to the little guys. No fist bump for you, Lyft.


You'd be smiling too if you were Walt Mossberg or Kara Swisher
You’d be smiling too if you were Walt Mossberg or Kara Swisher


Last week’s news that highly respected tech media outlet re/code (founded by the two most powerful tech reporters Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher) was being acquired by Vox Media surprised many industry insiders. Business Insider’s Alyson Shontell convincingly lays out the reasons why re/code made their decision. In light of Gigaom’s shuttering, combined with the proliferation of good tech reporters leaving to become venture capitalists or start their own startup, what can tech media do to maintain eyeballs, quality reporting and their overhead?


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Finally, this last link isn’t an article but very worth checking out. Apparent “Entourage” hater, Wendy Molyneaux Drake, came up with a very clever, funny way to raise money for nonprofit CureSearch. Drake didn’t dump ice cold water but instead leveraged her amusing (and some might say, completely rational) hatred for the HBO brofest to shed spotlight on a very worthy cause – children’s cancer research. She raised a whopping $30k for CureSearch – amazing. Congratulations/Sorry, Wendy! h/t/ to our pal Pamela Ribon for sharing the link.


Why Writing Is the Most Important Skill in PR

A must read for any PR practitioner
A must read for any PR practitioner

There are many skills attributed to good PR practitioners (including the ability to wear many, many hats) but the most important skill that never gets enough mention is writing.

With the evolution of PR, the skills that used to take you far (being good in a room, smooth-talking on the phone) have been de-emphasized. They’re still important, but when everyone (including and especially media) are communicating over text, your ability to quickly pitch a bored reporter over the phone becomes your least relevant skill.

The style of PR writing has also evolved.”PR writing” is no longer translated to “lame, boring, jargon-filled press release that no one cares about.” PR writing now means tweets, blog posts, Facebook updates, Instagram one-liners, Vine clips, Pinterest boards.

If you can’t communicate via the written word – whether in email pitches, 140-character tweets, or interesting Facebook status updates – you might as well be riding your dinosaur to work. The ability to compel the public, and reporters, with a few short words has become paramount.

The social media posts that tell the most succinct, brand-relevant stories are what’s setting companies apart, and what will help the next generation of PR professionals succeed. Brevity is the soul of (social media) wit.

It all comes down to storytelling, and if you can’t tell a story in an age where “Vine celebrities” are a thing (a huge, multi-million dollar thing), you’ll be left standing with a fax in your hand, wondering who to send your 3-page press release to.

Can’t write? Well, you’re not hopeless. Practice makes perfect. Read read read. Read every blog, every website, every magazine and every book you can get your hands on. Read Stephen King’s brilliant “On Writing” and savor the art of storytelling. It’s also the art of PR. Now get writing.

You can start by sending us a tweet @ChangePR or posting on our Facebook


Union Square SF hosts 2nd Food + Art June 4

The only thing that we like more than food and art is FREE food and art. Our client, Union Square SF, is hosting its second showcase of the popular neighborhood’s exciting food and art scene on Thursday, June 4 from 5-8pm. And yes, it’s free. You just have to RSVP to get a wristband.

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So here’s what you have to do to take advantage of Union Square’s generosity.

RSVP on EventBrite

– Check out the lineup here and make a note of which places you want to hit up

– Read about the event on Hoodline and listen to Union Square rep Jeani Hunt-Gibbon chat with the always entertaining Joel Riddell on Dining Around (Union Square segment comes around the 9:18 mark but listen to the whole segment because Joel’s awesome).

– Grab your best pair of eating and drinking shoes.

– Show up at 5pm at Emporio Rulli on Union Square and get your wristband and map. You’ll also get the opportunity to enter to win a Union Square gift basket.

Emporio Rulli on Union Square - Official headquarter for Food + Art 2015
Emporio Rulli on Union Square – Official headquarter for Food + Art 2015

– Use hashtag #SFFoodArt to document your exploits


This could be you.
This could be you.

We’ll see you there.

If you’re a reporter/blogger and want a media badge, shoot an email to katy(at)