Brazen Careerist Site Launch: From A PR Perspective

Posted by Rachel Esterline on Aug 25, 2009 in Public Relations

Brazen Careerist launches its new, updated Web site today, completely reimagining how to the online community can function to benefit the users. I was able to get a sneak preview of it and interview Doug Haslam, account director at SHIFT Communications, the firm that helped with the launch.

Below are the questions I asked Doug about the launch from a public relations aspect. Feel free to ask questions for Doug to address by commenting.

1. From a public relations aspect, what is being done to promote the launch of Brazen Careerist?

Even though we are promoting a social network, getting attention through traditional media channels is still important. We are looking at publications that face general consumers (e.g. newspapers), human resources, and Internet beats, among others. Add to that the many blogs that cover careers and Generation Y issues, and the help of the Brazen Careerist community itself on their own blogs, and there are many potential touchpoint for people to hear about this launch.

2. What has been SHIFT’s approach in pitching to traditional media?

Our approach is to make sure pitches are customized, that we know who each person we pitch is, what they write and why we are pitching them. We do not subscribe to the “Spray and Pray” tactics that are still too prevalent in PR.

We are scheduling “pre-briefings” to take place shortly before the August 25 announcement date with any media person that we feel will honor the embargo. The rest will get the news as it is released (or perhaps shortly before), so that no one goes out before the embargo date.

Another important factor has been Penelope Trunk’s relationships with editors due to her long career as a columnist. We are being careful not to tread on her relationships, and in a number of cases she is making the introductions.

3. What has been SHIFT’s approach in pitching to social media? Has it been easier to pitch to social media rather than traditional?

Pitching bloggers is a lot like pitching the rest of the media, in that pitches must be customized, and we must show every one pitched the courtesy of knowing something about their blog or podcast. The difference with social media is that we (actually, Brazen) can be content creators as well, from commenting on blogs to using the Facebook page or Twitter account to communicate with them.

The other big difference is that many bloggers are not trained journalists, and we have to keep that in mind when pitching, especially as it comes to established journalistic tactics such as the embargo or even the press release itself.

4. Aside from media relations, what other tactics is SHIFT using to promote the launch?

As mentioned above, Brazen Careers has outlets, including their own site content, but also their Facebook Page and Twitter account, to communicate news. Brazen’s staff actually manages these accounts, but we are a consultative voice in helping them use these channels.

5. How many team members are working on this launch?

We have a total team of five people. There are three members doing the bulk of the media pitching (and therefore the bulk of the work), and as Account Director I am not one of them. They get all the credit for the success we hope to achieve.

6. Approximately how much time has been spent planning for the launch?

We began our engagement with Brazen Careerist in mid-July, giving us about six weeks to plan and execute.

7. Are there additional details you would like to share that a public relations student or young professional might be interested in learning about?

I have been happy in the past year to see that PR students are getting more social media in their education. It’s important, as the media world is changing, and now social media is an important concept of virtually all PR campaigns.

The thing to remember is that the industry will continue to evolve. 1999 PR was unrecognizable to the 1989 Fax/Mail/phone set, and 2009 PR, with disparate social media channels supplementing email and phone, is stranger still. You have no idea what communications and media will look like in 2019, and neither do I.

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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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Brazen Careerist Tips

Posted by Rachel Esterline on Nov 11, 2008 in Blogging, Branding, Career, National Conference, PRSSA, Public Relations

2008 PRSSA National Conference

PRSA General Session
Penelope Trunk, author of “Brazen Careerist: The New Rules For Success”

Trunk, a business advice columnist for the Boston Globe, gave some really interesting advice to PRSA and PRSSA members at the conference. Here’s the short list:

  • Money does not equal happiness
  • Focus on optimism
  • Mentoring is the new currency, so ask to be hooked up with a good mentor and be a mentor to others
  • Job-hopping is a good thing
  • Breaks are good too because they allow you to have time to think
  • Blogs are a tool for career stability

Right before going to the conference, I was accepted as a blogger for Penelope’s site. See my profile of Brazen Careerist!

What type of career success advice do you offer to others? Do you agree with Trunk’s advice?

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