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Nine Simple Strategies to Help You Land a PR Job

By: Guest | August 16, 2011 | 
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Today’s guest post is written by Laura Click.

In the past few weeks, I’ve been asked by a number of PR and marketing professionals for advice on their job search in this tough market.

Although the economy has made finding a job difficult, there are number ways to give yourself the edge and help you land an awesome PR job.

  1. Ramp up your digital footprint. If you don’t have a Web site or blog, get one now. And, reserve a URL in your name (i.e. lauraclick.com). You want to own that space instead of someone else getting to it first. It also helps to have a Google Profile and be active on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, which all rank really high in search results.
  2. Build a digital resume. LinkedIn offers a great way to showcase your experience. Fill out your profile completely and ask your contacts to write recommendations for you. Gini Dietrich recently offered some great LinkedIn tips that will help. You can also use DoYouBuzz to build a slick online resume or Carbonmade to create an online portfolio.
  3. Start blogging. More and more businesses are creating content through blogs, so you must know how to write for this medium. Look at what Christina Pappas is doing, for example. Blogging not only showcases your expertise for your job search, but it also offers great SEO benefits, which may help you get found when companies are searching for someone to hire.
  4. Read, read, and read some more. Spend some time every day reading the news, industry publications, books, and smart blogs (such as Spin Sucks). And don’t be afraid to comment on blog posts – it’s a great way to learn more about a topic and help you get noticed.
  5. Connect with industry leaders online. Connect with the leaders in your community by asking questions on blog posts, replying to them on Twitter, or striking up a conversation on Google+. You never know where it might lead. Don’t be shy about the fact that you are on the job search. In fact, my friend, Courtenay Rogers, recently found a marketing job in two weeks thanks to her Twitter connections. Pretty amazing.
  6. Go to meetups in your community. Although online relationships are fantastic, you can really cement those connections when you meet people in person. If your community is like mine, there are all sorts of after-hours events and meetups where you can can hang out with the people you talk to online. And the good news is that many of these events are free! Ask around or check out meetup.com to find events in your city.
  7. Do your research. Before contacting a company, prove you know what they’re about by thoroughly reading their blog (not just the most recent post) and following their brand and employees in social networks. You can also use LinkedIn to see if your friends have any contacts within the company you’re targeting. If they do, ask them to make the introduction.
  8. Pay attention to your social stats. Many employers are now basing hiring decisions on Klout scores and social media stats. Don’t believe me? Check out Mark Schaefer’s recent blog post. I’m not saying you should spend all of your time trying to get a high Klout score, but you should be aware of this growing trend and that many potential employers may consider this.
  9. Volunteer. Reach out to local non-profits to offer your skills for free. Not only does this help you flex your PR muscles, but it can also strengthen and extend your network of contacts.

Now it’s your turn. What tips would you add for job seekers?

Laura Click is founder and chief innovator at Blue Kite Marketing, a Nashville-based marketing and social media strategy firm that’s passionate about helping small businesses reach new heights.

64 comments
lauraclick
lauraclick

Ok - I'm not sure if it would be appropriate to share here or not, but I know of two different job openings for the folks who are looking....one in D.C., one in Nashville. I'm going to tweet them and post on my Facebook page.

Or, if @ginidietrich and @Lisa Gerber give me the word, I'll post the links here.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

I have something to add to this, from a business owner's perspective. Because I'm so approachable on the social networks, people feel like they know me. So they don't always do their homework before they interview with us. I don't hire well - I tend to hire people I like, not people right for the job, necessarily. So we had to create a big company process around interviewing. I'm the very last interview, after about six interviews with people they'd work with, my assistant, and HR. If you can get to me, you're probably going to be hired, unless you say something really offensive to me (it happens).

You know why most people don't get to the second interview? Because they think they know me through 140 character bites. But they've never read the blog. They've never even been on the Arment Dietrich site. And they say things like, "I just love Gini! I would love to work with her. You're so lucky!"

If you were on the receiving end of that, and you weren't Gini, how would that make you feel?

Do your freaking homework. Read the company's blog. Subscribe to their newsletter. Learn about who you're interviewing with. Find out about the clients. In today's digital world, it's REQUIRED.

C_Pappas
C_Pappas

Thanks so much for the mention! I am pretty much doing everything on your list here (although I am looking for a position on the lead gen/mktg side vs. PR). Since I am out of work, its extremely important to keep up with the trends and what brands are doing and how they are reaching their audiences. Also, as you mentioned, keep refining your skills (I blog and write a lot!) so perhaps your in out-of-work PR professional, you could volunteer at a non-profit in your town and provide PR services. That way you are still 'working' while work towards securing a position.

Kevin James
Kevin James

Excellent post! I would add that shortly a new service in the reputation space is launching called http://kirb.com will be a must have for jobseekers. Namespace will go fast here I am sure.

Adam | Customer Experience
Adam | Customer Experience

Laura at Gini's house -- so sorry I missed this yesterday! I think your advice on the digital/blogging issues is really timely. Not a PR person I am surrounded by them online -- and that's the point. If someone is looking for a PR, they will look online. Excepting perhaps some major agency cred, I would think that anyone is this industry not following your first three points is not going to stack up well against those who are. Good stuff Laura!

Ryan Critchett
Ryan Critchett

Hey Laura! @lauraclick - Cool seeing you here ;) All solid stuff, especially responding and interacting with industry leaders. It's cool having Carol Roth ask you to guest post for her blog. Sweet post.

lauraclick
lauraclick

@xcutpr Thanks for sharing my post from @spinsucks! I appreciate it.

lauraclick
lauraclick

I just want to thank @ginidietrich and @lisagerber for sharing the Spin Sucks community with me today - I'm thrilled to be here!

Also, I think it's high time we get the party started here, don't you think? So, dive in, why don't ya? What sage advice would you offer to folks looking for a PR/marketing job right now? And, what do you look for when you're hiring?

If you're looking for a job, what questions do you have? Maybe the smart folks here can help.

So, let me have it! I'm here and listening! :)

lauraclick
lauraclick

@ginidietrich Clap! Clap! Clap!!!! This is me standing here and applauding, Gini! Well said. No matter what kind of job you're interviewing for, you have to do your research before you go into an interview. If you don't, you're toast.

You know, it's funny - while it's important to connect with people through social media, a couple of tweets doesn't make a relationship. It takes a WHOLE lot more than that. It's amazing how people tend to jump from 0 to 60 so fast you can hardly blink. I'm sure you get this A LOT more than me, but it's crazy how after ONE TWEET with someone, they start asking me for things. Drives me nuts. Yes, I respond to people, and yes, I want to help, but that doesn't mean I owe them anything. Develop a relationship first. And that takes time. I think that's true whether you're looking for a job or just wantig to develop a business relationship.

lauraclick
lauraclick

@C_Pappas You're very welcome! I discovered you through @ginidietrich 's #FF post about you a few weeks back. The way you're going about your search is really smart - especially since you're out of a job right now. Oftentimes, holes in a resume can cause red flags to go up. But, if you show what you've been doing in that time, it shows you have initiative. I would be WAY More likely to hire someone who's been hustling with a blog or volunteering than someone who just sits around and sends out resumes all day.

Good luck with your search - I hope you find something soon!

themadancer
themadancer

@lauraclick You're most welcome! The digital/online advice is simple but very overlooked by candidates these days

lauraclick
lauraclick

@Adam | Customer Experience Hi Adam! Thanks for coming over to say hello! :)

You're right - for PR folks I think it's critical to have a digital footprint. While there might be some firms or companies who only want traditional PR experience, I think that world is shrinking by the day. Being versatile and having an understanding of the digital space only makes you that much more desirable!

RyanCritchett
RyanCritchett

@lauraclick My absolute pleasure - Good, learning a lot. Really into social, growing blog, launching stuff. Still running?

rjfrasca
rjfrasca

@lauraclick Absolutely. I'll be putting every one of those 9 tips into my arsenal over the next few months too :) Have a great night

Lisa Gerber
Lisa Gerber

@lauraclick Hi Laura! Whew, took me all day to get over here. :) i think this is CRITICAL advice. Those that submit resumes and hope to get callbacks may be waiting a long time. It's all about using your network.

Cultural fit is so important and is something that wasn't emphasized, I don't know, maybe 10 years ago? More? At Spin Sucks/Arment Dietrich we almost always hire people we are already connected to or know in our social networks. Not from a blind resume. Thanks for the post and I think I'll invite @soulati back to guest post on how to troll for comments on Spin Sucks! :)

lauraclick
lauraclick

@RyanCritchett Good to hear. And yes, I'm still running. I just ran a couple of miles this evening, in fact. :)

lauraclick
lauraclick

@Lisa Gerber@soulati You're right - the resume submitting days are over. For my last two jobs, I only submitted resumes as a formality - someone had already made the introduction.

I agree that cultural fit is huge. If you find someone through your network, someone you know is going to vouch for that person. You can almost guarantee that will improve the likelihood of the person being a good fit.

And yes, I need to go @soulati 's school on trolling for comments! I attempted that, but clearly haven't been nearly as successful as she was! ;)

themadancer
themadancer

@lauraclick Sadly its not just the candidates who are oblivious; many employees don't seem to gasp the imp of digital/online either

lauraclick
lauraclick

@RyanCritchett I do - I use CardioTrainer through my Android phone. I love it - plays music, gives me my pace, calories, time, map, etc.

RyanCritchett
RyanCritchett

@lauraclick Wohooooo! Awesome - Do you track it at all through anything? Nike + or something? I use Nike+, darn cool!

Ryan Critchett
Ryan Critchett

@lauraclick@ginidietrich Ahhh. Facepalm! Never heard that one before. Totally (with your permission) going to use the crap out of that!

It's all good, it wasn't too clear on my comment. And, THANKS!

lauraclick
lauraclick

@Ryan Critchett@ginidietrich That IS awesome, Ryan! FACEPALM. Sorry about that - I misread it. We'll call it a blonde moment. Thanks for clarifying. Kudos on the guest post!

KacyTheDude
KacyTheDude

@lauraclick Pretty good. Thinking about our next #Nashburger. We should probably get that on the calendars.

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  1. [...] 20th, 2011 | Business Tips, Resources | Laura TweetLast month, I had the distinct pleasure of being a guest on Gini Dietrich‘s blog, Spin Sucks, a blog for PR and marketing pros. I know there are a lot [...]

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