Friday, June 12, 2009

PR is a way of life

I have always loved to write. Even those academic papers that so many students dread – I’m the kid that looked forward to meticulously crafting my words to signify meaning. So, during my freshmen year of college journalism seemed to be the most logical major.

Selecting a major is a huge leap of faith. You select what you trust and what you feel is right, knowing that if you’re wrong you could screw up your potential career (and drain lots of cash down the toilet). Looking back I’m confident in my choice, but journalism is hugely different than what I ever imagined it to be – and I've really reconsidered my future career ever since.

I didn’t have some huge revelation, it was more of a slow realization that this area called public relations makes so much sense for who I am. In selecting public relations, I understand that I get to write a lot. I understand that crafting words and communicating are essential. I understand that building trusting relationships are the backbone of this profession.

My realization percolated throughout various odd jobs I held in college. Oddly enough, these jobs have helped me understand that building relationships, being honest and communicating are not just essential in public relations, but important in living a fulfilling life (I don't mean to get philosophic).

I worked at a casual Southwest Grille as a server during my freshmen year of college. Most of the employees were college students, so I looked forward to fitting in and making new friends. But I went about it the completely wrong way. I had some issues with a few co-workers and felt the need to made a rude comment to one of them my first month at the restaurant. Turns out this person had been at the restaurant a long time and was highly respected among her co-workers.

This person uttered words to me that I will never forget, words that I now frequently preach, “It's not a good idea to burn bridges with people.” The following months at the restaurant were miserable because I decided to burn a bridge with the wrong person. My co-workers thought I was arrogant, short-tempered and disrespectful. I soon apologized, but I could tell the damage had already been done.

From that moment on, I understood how important building relationships and respecting people can be. At the time I didn’t think it was a big deal but looking back I understand the huge lesson I learned. Building and maintaining relationships the right way can really advance your career in ways you have never imagined.

In my next post I’ll discuss how relationships can positively impact your path to success. I’ll talk about how NOT burning bridges and holding your tongue can really help you move toward your goals and help you be successful. I will discuss some of the benefits of relationships and how they can positively impact you as a student and as you enter the workplace.

What motivated you to pursue a career in public relations? Why is public relations the career for you? How did you make up your mind to pursue the career you are pursuing? What is the significance of building and maintaining relationships in public relations?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Is Twitter time useful time?

My journey on Twitter began about three or four months ago when I signed up for an account and tried to figure out how to use the site. After poking around for the first week, I became bored.

LinkedIn and Facebook had so many more useful features that held my interest. But after noticing that everyone at my internship was using Twitter and seeming to enjoy it, I decided to give it a second try.

Now I have jazzed up my profile page by adding a custom background and a main picture, but I am still looking for ways to use Twitter to my benefit. I am aiming to update my twitter at least once per day for now and see where it goes from there.

I have heard some talk about different topics related to Twitter like TweetDeck, searching Twitter using (#search terms) and sending @replies – but I am pretty unfamiliar with these topics. What is the purpose of the aforementioned tools on Twitter?

What do you use Twitter for? How can it help an individual grow professionally and network? What are some ways to spice up a Twitter profile?