10 Ways I’m Being Brazen

Posted by Rachel Esterline on Feb 15, 2009 in Books, Career

First of all, I think Penelope Trunk is a fantastic writer. She’s the kind of writer that makes you think.

You can check out Penelope’s blog here. She’s down to earth and doesn’t mince words. She’s not scared to write about controversial subjects or her personal life.

I read her book Brazen Careerist in early January. Even though there were some parts I wasn’t sure of, there were a lot of points she made that got me thinking. Her book has inspired me to change 10 things about myself.

While everyone was making new year’s resolutions, I was inspired to come up with 10 ways to work on my career and life after reading her book.

10 Ways I’m Being Brazen:

  1. Accept uncertainty. Since I don’t know where I will be in five years, I am focusing more on how to develop the skills I will need to have perfected in five years.
  2. Be adventurous. There are so many opportunities to try new things. I’m heading to New Orleans in March to go to the PRSSA National Assembly. That will be an adventure in itself!
  3. Work on marketing. My Web site, blog and resume are all tool that market me and my brand. In mid-December I had launched a new design for my site. Now I plan on reevaluating my blog and resume so I can market myself better.
  4. Study harder. I’m not talking about school here. I’m studying the PR industry harder so I can be more knowledgeable when I get my summer internship.
  5. Become a negotiator. In order to get what I want, I need to be able to negotiate. Penelope offers great tips on negotiating salaries, which can be applied to other situations as well.
  6. Solve problems. I think Penelope said it best when she said, “Your success depends on your ability to get control of a problem and solve it.”
  7. Clean up the inbox. A few weeks ago, I had more than 250 e-mails in my inbox. I’ve followed Penelope’s advice on getting a “real to-do list” and have been able to keep my inbox organized by filing away and deleting messages as soon as I get them.
  8. Make time. When my schedule is packed, I don’t have time to think. When I do start thinking about stuff, I don’t have time to work on the ideas I have. This semester I’ve squeduled all evening meetings on Monday and Tuesday. I now have more time to breathe, think and blog.
  9. Be organized. According to Penelope, having a messy desk makes you look incompetent. I’m usually fairly organized at my desk, but not at home. I now have a better system of keeping things together at my apartment, which has made me more productive.
  10. Delegate. I used to say, “I might as well do this myself so it gets done right.” Since I have committees and teams in the various organizations I am in, I have started to delegate work more. Not only does this give them experience and portfolio pieces, but I also have more time to do things that matter more.

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Public Relations Book Group: Learn it, Live it, Love it

Posted by Rachel Esterline on Jan 17, 2009 in Blogging, Books, PRSSA, Public Relations

The Public Relations Book Group

Since posting about my idea for a public relations book group, I have received many comments on the post and via Twitter.

I’ve decided to call the book group “Public Relations: Learn it, Live it, Love it.” It’s a saying I’ve always liked (I even created a shirt in my store with it) and I think it tells exactly what I am trying to accomplish with the book group.

Read on to find out more about what the group can do for you, how to join and where the group blog has been launched!

Learn it.

To “learn it,” public relations students and professionals who join will increase their knowledge by reading books on public relations, professional development, social media, business, career, writing, advertising, marketing and more.

Live it.

Through blog, forum and chat the book group members will discuss how the book and the knowledge they’ve learned can influence their careers and lives. The “live it” aspect is learning to apply it to real word situations.

Love it.

I feel like every PR professional and student I know is passionate about their careers. They “love it.” In addition to enhancing their careers through knowledge, members will be able to network with each other and discuss share their passion for public relations.

How does it work?

One member will post to the blog about the book. Other members will comment to continue the discussion. The forum and chat will be additional tools to the conversation.

Where is Learn It, Live it, Love it?

Check out the blog at http://www.learnitliveitloveit.wordpress.com.

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A Public Relations Book Group For Students and Professionals

Posted by Rachel Esterline on Jan 14, 2009 in Blogging, PRSSA, Public Relations

Over my winter break, I started working on a new project:

A public relations book group.

The idea stemmed from a discussion I had with the PRSSA president at CMU, Christine Kunde. Since then, I’ve been brainstorming ideas with Nick Lucido, the PRSSA president at Michigan State University.

The book group would be open to PR students and professionals and they would discuss the book online, through chat, forum or blog.

Book selections might not specifically focus on PR, because professional development, writing, business and career-related books also would be helpful to read.

Through Twitter, I found several people who were interested in joining, including Meg Roberts, @jrdbryan and @LJZuber.

A group like this would not only offer professional development, but also an opportunity to network among our peers. I’m thinking that PR instructors, like Teaching PR and Public Relations Matters, might also be interested in joining or encouraging their students to join.

So I have several questions:

1. Are you interested? If so, please comment.

2. Do you have any suggestions or comments?

3. Can you think of a good name for this group? (“Public Relations Book Group” just doesn’t have a ring to it!)

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8 Tips to Finding Good Stories for the Media

Posted by Rachel Esterline on Dec 13, 2008 in Books, journalism, Public Relations, Story Pitching, Writing

Earlier this week I was at the library looking for some books on advertising for a final paper. I came across The Confessions of an Ink-Stained Wretch by John Persinos.

The book intrigued me. Although I have a good amount of writing experience, I don’t have a lot of story pitching experience. I’ve heard a lot of my peers say that we don’t get enough experience in this area, therefore I felt it would be a good idea to read this book.

With the recent cuts in journalism jobs, I think PR will be very important. With less staff on hand at publications, the remaining journalists will need quality press releases and sources to make their jobs easier.

I would like to take note of a few good tips Persinos offered on thinking like the media. Although his tips were mostly about money, some of them can be applied to general stories as well.

8 Tips to Finding Good Stories for the Media

1. Money matters. Have you ever heard of the term “CREAM?” It means, “Cash Rules Everything Around Me.” If there is a lot of money to be lost or gained, then you’ve got a story.

2. Localize, localize, localize. Things tend to be more important when it affects the local people. CNN has had a lot of coverage on the automaker bailout recently, but it’s much more compelling to me when they relate it to how it will affect the people I grew up with.

3. Remember your audience. Don’t use financial jargon that only bankers understand. Most of your readers, unless you write for the Wall Street Journal, aren’t going to get it. Write the story so they can understand it.

4. Check your work. Remember hearing that in fifth-grade math? It still applies. Make sure you got the numbers right.

5. Tell what’s really going on. So, there might not be an automaker bailout, right? GM goes bankrupt. That’s about money. But what’s the real story? How about the story about the man who won’t have a job to support his five kids?

6. People love rags-to-riches stories, especially when they are localized. Tell the media about how your client was homeless and on the streets before he became a billionaire (well, only if that is true).

7. Use money language that people can relate to. They will relate better to “gas prices denting their wallets,” rather than “oil prices continue to rise.”

8. Namedrop when you can. People know brand names. If you say, “Teflon accused of…” people will pay attention more than if you said, “Some companies that manufacture cooking utensils…”

You can go to Persinos Web site, Ink-Stained Confessions, to get a copy of the first chapter or to download his podcast. I will write a full review of the book once I am done.

Related Posts:

Alternative Story Forms

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