Professional Goals for a Portfolio

Posted by Rachel Esterline on Oct 18, 2008 in Portfolio, Public Relations

I’ve been working on my portfolio this weekend (my hard copy, not my Web site). It is due in my public relations writing class in November.

In the front, I am required to state my professional goals, which has proven more difficult than I thought it would be. Where do I want to be in five or ten years? I know I want to work in PR, but I’m not sure in what industry. Agency? Corporate? Non-profit?

Since I don’t know where I’ll be, I wrote goals that are flexible to fit into any industry. Although I’ll probably edit these again, here are my current goals:

· Become accredited in public relations after five years of full-time experience
· Be an active member of a local PRSA chapter upon graduation
· Hold a leadership position in a local PRSA chapter after three years of membership
· Attend a PRSA International Conference
· Start and run a public relations firm after 15 years experience

Tags: , , ,


Creating An Online Portfolio

Posted by Rachel Esterline on Oct 13, 2008 in Guest Post, Portfolio, Public Relations, Uncategorized

Karen Russell’s blog features my guest post, Creating an Online Portfolio. Be sure to check out Karen’s blog!

Here is the post, as it was posted on Karen’s blog:

Guest post: Rachel M. Esterline (Central Michigan University)
Rachel Esterline is the second student to participate in my series of guest posts from students. Here’s her post:

Creating an Online Portfolio

An online portfolio can be a useful tool for a public relations student. It can assist in finding internships and jobs by showcasing writing samples and other skills related to the field. When writing copy for your portfolio, write it in AP style and be sure to proofread it before posting to the site. Below are other suggestions for creating your online portfolio.

Finding a design

It works well to sketch out how you want your page to look before designing it. To design your site, try a program such as Microsoft FrontPage or Adobe Dreamweaver. If you have no experience with Web design, find a template online (search “free HTML template”) or ask a design student to help you.

The home page

A good home page should serve as a brief introduction to who you are and why you have created the site. You may want to include a professional photo of yourself, a personal logo and other items conveying your personal brand.

A bio

Consider including a short bio on the home page or on a separate page. Ideally, your bio will include an introduction on who you are, details about your education, and what you are doing to advance your career in public relations.

The portfolio

The portfolio section of your Web site should contain the best examples of your work. Organize it so it may be easily navigated. Consider including the following items in your portfolio:

  • Resume
  • Writing samples
  • Design samples
  • Research samples
  • Published work
  • Contact Information

The most important information to include on your Web site will be your name and e-mail. Optional information might include your LinkedIn profile or Twitter account. You might not want to include your phone number or address.

Web address

For the most professional look, purchase a domain name from a hosting provide such as HostMonster.com. For a more affordable option, try a free hosting service like Freewebs.com. Although you won’t have a professional domain name or other paid benefits, you can still have a clean and useful online portfolio.


Here’s Rachel’s Web site/online portfolio. Impressive!

Tags: , , , ,


Ten Things I Learned As A Publications Intern

Posted by Rachel Esterline on Aug 29, 2008 in CMU PRM, Internships, Portfolio, Public Relations, Uncategorized, Writing

It feels weird not to be working for CMU Public Relations and Marketing every day. I miss it already. I’m really thankful that they are continuing my internship into the fall semester.

Here are ten things I learned as a publications intern, and I would like to thank every person at PRM for helping me learn so much over the past four months.

1. Adobe InDesign. When I started working with PRM, I had no idea how to use this program. I’ve now put together CMU Welcomes You, a tabloid for potential students and two flyers for the CMU/United Way Fund Drive.

2. Storytelling. I had been taught basic news writing in JRN 202. I could efficiently tell you the who, what, when, where, why and how. I could place quotes throughout the story. Dan constantly encouraged me to improve my writing by “telling the story.” Make it real. Make people go, “Wow. I want to know more about this person in the story.”

3. Write tight. Don’t waste any words. If you don’t need them, cut them. By removing the clutter, you can make the remaining words mean more to the reader.

4. Interviewing. What makes this person tick? How are they unique? I learned to ask questions beyond what the story required and then to listen to what people had to say to me. You’d be surprised at the number of the puzzle pieces of storytelling that would fall into your lap if.

5. Multiple entry points. People have busy lives. Write so they can scan the story and get the gist of what’s going on and introduce multiple entry points. Pull-quotes, boxes and subtitles are all easy, but effective ways of doing this.

6. Print it. I don’t know many hours I stared at a computer screen, trying to catch errors or rewrite a story. When you have a hard copy in front of you, you see the story in a new light.

7. Thin and trim. Quotes are a vital part of the story, but trim them down to the real meat. It will make it much more impactful if you paraphrase the less important information preceding the good quote.

8. Be active. Writing actively will engage your readers.

9. What’s next? Keep your writing relevant to your audience. Get them to ask, “What’s next?” and then give them the information they need.

10. Keep an open mind and be enthusiastic. I don’t know how many great portfolio pieces fell into my lap because of my positive attitude. Did I know how to design a tabloid and place ads, articles and photos? Certainly not. As a PR major, do I have much experience coming up with ad concepts? I didn’t, but I do now. I accepted any project they asked me to do, from writing copy to transcribing interviews. Some were certainly more fun than others, but my attitude, enthusiasm and drive is what opened doors for many great projects.

Tags: , , , , , , ,


Online Portfolios

Posted by Rachel Esterline on Aug 21, 2008 in Portfolio, Public Relations, Web site

On the Personal Branding Blog, there is another post on how to brand yourself: a portfolio.

In public relations, it seems that it is expected of you to have a portfolio. Earlier this summer, I created an online portfolio.

My top five tips for creating a portfolio online:

1. Buy your own domain. It looks much more professional and shows employers that you are a serious candidate.
2. Make everything easy to find and easy to navigate.
3. Create an online identity – blogging and Twitter are great ways to get started.
4. Don’t link to everything you’ve ever done. Showcase the pieces proving you are good at what you do.
5. Keep the copy short.

Also, get feedback. I’m going to be redoing my Web site soon. Please check it out and tell me what you think.

Tags: , , ,

Copyright © 2018 A Step Ahead All rights reserved. Theme by Laptop Geek.