Let's Talk

Weber Shandwick is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, public relations and communications management firms in the world. With office locations overseas in Europe and locally in 24 locations throughout the US and Canada. Some of their accounts are with Snickers, General Motors, got milk?, Microsoft, Monster, and Electrolux
Friday afternoon in Chicago, I met with Lindsay Richards, the Account Executive at Weber Shandwick. It was a cold day in the Windy City but we sat down at Starbucks, each a warm grande coffee drink in hand, and just talked. What did we talk about? Everything from internships, her career, families, PR, agencies, corporations, college degrees, holiday destinations, and weekend plans. 
Lindsay Richards has worked at Weber Shandwick for three years now. After she graduated from college, she started off as an intern over the summer. Her advice for a freshman PR student is to research. "Find what's more comfortable," she said. "Talk to people at large and small agencies--get different information." She has only worked at a large PR firm, but she said that coworkers have told her there is a big difference in size. She also mentioned that I should understand agency vs. corporation life. PR has a wide variety of paths to take and knowing what I like, understanding the different paths I can take, I will gain a better experience. 
A path that has been hard to decide which to follow is my specializations at Ohio University. Journalism is my major, PR is my sequence, but then I also have one or two 'specializations' to choose from. I don't have to decide right away, but I have been debating between Spanish, Psychology, Sociology, Business, and Marketing. I want ones that go hand-in-hand with my PR sequence, but also ones that are most interesting to me. Lindsay gave advice that a second language is always good; marketing is a good choice because a lot of time you work with people in the marketing field; and she uses Psychology everyday because she deals with different people on a day-to-day basis. All good advice to consider. Right now, I am leaning towards Spanish for one specialization because I would love to speak another language. 
One question she couldn't quite answer is what her usual day is like. She said, "No two days are ever the same." This is what attracted me initially to PR--it's exciting!
Needless to say, I learned more than how to take the train downtown all by myself. 

Got any advice? Keep in touch. Leave a comment or e-mail me at nicolebersani@gmail.com. Thanks. 

Lots To Do

Over fall quarter, I wrote down a list of To-Do's for winter break that I did not have time to finish at school. The list consisted of: reading certain books such as Twilight, Life's a Campaign, and Permission Marketing, catching up on TV shows, reviewing my Spanish, looking for scholarships, joining LinkedIn and other social networks, and starting a blog. 

Do you ever feel pressure to get certain tasks done? I am only a freshman and I started off in the broadcast sequence at E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, then I moved to Public Relations within a week. And I do not regret my decision. However, I will admit that since I am becoming more and more interested in social media, my head is spinning more and more each day. So many sites, blogs, news, opinions, networks--I sometimes have as many as ten windows up on my computer. Many tweets marked as favorites and many sites saved in my bookmarks. 

I remember the first few PRSSA meetings. I felt the pressure to start a blog, have a Twitter/LinkedIn/PROpenMic account that day. No one of course said I had to--I put that pressure on myself. On the other hand, the day of my first Journalism 101 class, my professor told us that the one thing we should take away from his class, the advice he stresses upon the most, is to start a blog right away. 

Obliviously I didn't dive right into creating a blog that day--I wanted to do a little research first. Since then, I have found many sites that help social media entrepreneurs get started. Lately, I have been on the computer for hours finding useful information. Many of the sites/blogs that I found most useful are listed below:



Ever find yourself saying that you're just going to check your e-mail really quick--no intention of spending more than a few minutes on the computer? But you open your e-mail and it's from CNN, 'Governor Blagojevich has been arrested." You find that interesting and you click on the story. You check Twitter. Many people have commented on it and you reply back. You then see a blog post on Twitter titles 'You Need a Blog Strategy." Seems interesting, so you read the post. Click on the hyperlink. Remember to check the score of the Bears game. Read other sports new stories. Tweetdeck Notification. You click more sites on top or more sites--you don't even know how you got to this point. You might not even realize it but three hours have passed by while you were on the computer. This has been happening to me a lot the last few days (hence the ten windows open on my screen that stated before and all the while I am marking favorites and saving sites in between). 

Even though I feel pressure to create a blog, I want to create a blog--i was just nervous. What do I write about? Are people going to want to read my blog? Where do I even start creating/writing/posting it? I always have questions (as Paul Matson, a great help to all my social media crisis, may know). I am constantly finding more about networking/social media/PR/blogs. It's exciting to say the least.

Each day I get closer to finishing that To-Do list. 

Next week sometime I hope to post about my meeting with Lindsay Richards, a PR professional at Weber Shandwick in Chicago. I will tell you how that goes. 

Got any advice? Keep in touch. Leave a comment or e-mail me at nicolebersani@gmail.com. Thanks.