Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A young PR pros' aspirations for entreprenuership

Is it just me or do other young PR professionals want to start their own business? It’s exciting to look ahead and hope that some day I’ll have the knowledge, resources and support to do so.

A long-term goal of mine is to open up my own boutique PR agency or consulting firm and I constantly think about how or if this could happen. I feel like I would at least need to get a master’s degree in business or mass communication, possibly both. And have some rock-star partners (especially a stellar accountant).

One of the things I worry about is building a client base. Getting and retaining clients seems like one of the most challenging aspects of beginning a business although I’m sure there are tons of other things to worry about. Here are a list of online sources I found that might spark the interest of you future entrepreneurs.

What are your thoughts?
Current entrepreneurs: what was the hardest thing about starting your business? What do you wish you would have know before you started? What advice would you offer young PR professionals with aspirations of starting their own business?
Rising PR stars: what is your dream startup business?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Goal setting: founding and following my PR path

Looking back on four years of college, I now understand the power of setting goals. Yes, goal setting is empowering. When I was young, I kept things pretty simple in the goal-setting category. After being accepted to the University Honors program at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, I immediately set my sights up graduating with a GPA of 3.5 or above. This number is the cutoff criteria for graduation from the program, so it seemed like a great baseline.

I wrote this goal down and began my mission. Each and every academic step I took and decision I made reflected this goal. Some classes I knew my highest potential was a B, others I knew I was slacking if I didn’t get an A; but each end-of-semester grade report exposed my measuring stick and told me how I was doing.

My next big goal became clearer as I progressed on the path of becoming a young PR professional and demanded more out of myself. After being cemented at three different PR internships, I set my sights on the best. My goal was to land a PR internship at a world-leading, prestigious and global public relations agency. Heck, look back at one of my first posts at on the PR path.

Landing an internship at Burson-Marsteller, a top ten PR agency worldwide, was my ultimate goal. I got to the final stages of the long interview process in 2009, only to be rejected due budget shortfalls. I could have pouted or been mad, but I used the rejection as a motivator to continue working toward my goal.

Landing an internship with Burson became my mission, my goal and my passion. I set up Google alerts to follow the company every day, and constantly brainstormed ideas for how my application might stand out from the 800 other young PR professionals who applied.

A year later in 2010, I applied and was accepted into the program. I start June 7 in Chicago’s public affairs practice. What an amazing feeling to follow a goal, dedicate yourself to making it happen and realizing that goal. Fulfilling goals is a feeling unlike any other and just when you think a goal might be out of your reach, it may just be closer than ever. Set goals, work hard and never doubt your determination. By the way, I did graduate with above a 3.5 GPA, checking off another goal on my professional pursuits.

What goal-setting success stories have you had on your path to becoming a young PR professional? Please share!