PR Through The Eyes Of A Young Professional

It’s All About Your PITCH!

In Uncategorized on November 2, 2011 at 1:29 pm

In the short time that I have been in the real PR world I have learned that there is more to PR than just what you may have learned in the classroom , at a seminar, or even during an internship. Other fields have lessons to teach those of us who think we know all about PR. To be  a PR practitioner you must know how to and be comfortable with speaking in public. Giving a presentation or PITCHING to the media is key.

Warm-Up in the Sales Room

Taking a part-time job or even starting out in a sales position right out of college is not only a way to improve your pitch but a way to enhance your resume. Being in an sales oriented environment gives you the skills to work under pressure and to work towards a very tangible goal. In PR our goal may be to close a deal with a client or vendor, present to a journalist or complete a press kit, etc. In sales it is all about your product and how you present that product. A “NO” answer can swiftly turn into a “Sure, why not” if you have the ability persuade a client to purchase the product you are selling.


Tele-marketing, B2B and Retail sales are all advantageous avenues to travel down to improve your presentation skills. Making the best of all of the skills you can acquire from an experience in sales is a very commendable way to boost your resume and prove that you  think on your feet and adapt well in a fast-pace environment.

A No-Hitter

So, don’t be afraid to take that sales position you applied for in waiting for the dream agency gig. Take it and give it all you got. Employers know valuable experience when they see it. The learning process never ends. The more well versed you are in sales tactics the better practitioner you will be. If your pitch is perfect you can strike out the opposition.


-Samantha Manuel

Since graduating from Northern Illinois University in 2009, Samantha has worked with the Chicago Blackhawks, Joffrey Ballet and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She recently launched her own consulting and event management boutique agency, called Center Stage PR and Event Management. In tandem, Samantha is currently employed by JVS Chicago as a Program and Social Media Coordinator for the IL-SBDC Duman Entrepreneurship Center.


It’s NOT a Hobby, It’s Freelance!

In Freelance, Jobs, Lessons Learned, Public Relations on August 18, 2011 at 10:52 am


In my previous posting I discussed how freelance work contributes to your ability to strengthen your skills and credibility while on the job hunt. Now the question becomes, “How do I put this on a resume?” This issue can be overwhelming for applicants. While you don’t want it to seem like the job you are applying for isn’t your main focus, you also don’t want to underestimate your experience in your field. From my experience it is important to let employers know that you are driven and dedicated to your field. Many employers will be impressed by your proactive approach to stay connected to the field. Here are a few tips on how to list your experience.

List infrequent projects cautiously

If you pick up freelance projects infrequently and do not intend to make freelancing a full time career, omit them from your resume. The only time you would list occasional freelance work is if it allows you to fill any gaps in your professional experience.

If you freelance regularly, have worked as a contractor for a period longer than three months, or have ever owned your own business, indicate that experience on your resume. Highlight those attributes of the job experience that qualify you as a perfect candidate for the job that you are seeking.

List your job responsibilities in the same way that you would for any other full-time job you’ve held; focus on those responsibilities which best meet your career objective and quantify your achievements when possible. Exemplify your self-starter attitude under the Qualifications section of your resume. Make sure to list any employable skills you have acquired or strengthened while you were self employed.

Be prepared for the following questions

Even after you have listed the details of your employment on your resume, you may still get several questions from your potential employer about them. Questions may be along the following lines:

  • Were you self-employed because you were in between jobs, or because you wanted to start your own business?
  • Are you still working on your own, as a freelancer or a consultant? If so, do you intent to continue this work in addition to your full time job?
  • Is your self-employment presenting a conflict of interest for the company?
  • Are you working as a freelancer or a contractor on part-time basis, and never intend to have this replace full-time employment?
  • Does your long-term career goal include owning your own business?

You can see that all of these questions are valid from your potential employer’s point of view. Companies don’t want to spend the time and resources to hire you, train you and provide you with benefits only to have you quit after a year to start your own business.

Show your commitment to the job

As a final indication of your commitment to the job you are seeking. Make sure that your cover letter or email addresses anticipated concerns of your potential employer. Make references to anything on your resume that may raise questions. If you still own your own business, but are looking for full-time work, for example, make sure to let your employer know what your long-term professional goals are and how you intend to balance your roles at both businesses.

Avoid apologizing for how you make an income. Your resume and cover letter should present you as a credible and passionate professional. Focus on the positive experiences and skills you have acquired as a freelancer, and make sure to let the employer know how these will benefit the company if you are their chosen candidate.


Group Discussion: Help, I’m Trapped! or Am I?

In Uncategorized on August 12, 2011 at 3:16 pm

Every month, the New Kids on the Block writers will ditch the traditional blog posts and open the floor for discussion to our readers.  We will present a topic or issue that commonly conflicts public relations professionals and allow YOU to offer your best advice to fellow practitioners.  We are only one voice. Sometimes 10 heads are better than 1. So jump in!

Here’s this week’s  discussion topic: