Young PR Pros


This week, Kristine SimpsonJulia Kent and Molli Megasko revisit a series called Expertise that Matters, where the ladies share skills that will help build and advance your career.

During the opening of the show, Kristine talks about a Forbes article called Five Ways to Land that Post-College Job (Even if You Graduated Years Ago). The article offers some great tips that the ladies of Young PR Pros have mentioned in past episodes. The article also serves as a nice recap of some of the great tips shared on this show.

The conversation this week was sparked by a comment left by an avid listener, Sherrilynne Starkieshe asks:

I liked your discussion of important soft skills. But which hard skill do you think are most important for starting a career in PR?

Molli starts off by saying knowing how to work around a content management system is a great hard skill to have. Molli says it is especially important for our generation. She spends a lot of time working on client's websites.

Kristine encourages young pros to learn a little bit of HTML code. This helps format and structure information on a webpage. With everything merging online, this is a skill that will definitely come in handy. Molli adds Facebook coding, or FBML, as an added bonus. Although FBML is being deprecated, learning similar tools that work on Facebook pages such as JavaScript and Social Plugins will put you ahead of the game.

Julia thinks young pros should learn how to use Photoshop or any other photo editing software. Julia and her company use GimpShop a freeware version of Photoshop. These tools are also good to use when wanting to scale down images for web or for email.

Kristine adds audio editing to the list. Although she says it is not an asset, it is a great unique skill to have. Editing audio can help if you are interested in podcasting, or if you want to send a radio journalist a quote from your spokesperson, etc.

Word processing skills are a mandatory hard skill, especially for our generation. Julia says you are valued even more if you are an expert in Word processing tools, that is, really knowing your way around equations in Excel, table of contents in Word, and slide transitions in PowerPoint. A working knowledge is mandatory, but don't put it on a resume, it is assumed and expected you know them.

Finally, Julia mentions languages as a great hard skill to have. We live in a global world. If you can save a company from having to go through another agency due to language barriers, you will be greatly valued. Also, if you plan on working in Canada, the majority of government jobs require you speak both English and French.

Any of these skills can help you stand out among the crowd.

We want to hear from you. What do you think are some good hard skills to have as a young PR pro. Share your opinions by writing a comment on our blog, or on our Facebook Page, or on our Google+ page, or send us an email at, or send us a message on Twitter @youngprpros@kristinesimpson@kentjulia or @mollimegasko.

Direct download: YPP_09_FINAL.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EST

Young PR Pros: Episode 8 - Interview Tips

May is almost over, which can only mean one thing: panick among young professionals to land a job for the summer. 

Kristine Simpson, Julia Kent and Molli Megasko get together this week to discuss tips and suggestions to help the young pro make it through the many interviews this season. 

For example, research the company. Who works there? Have they been in the news? Not only will this show off you have taken the time to know the company it also showcases your research abilities. Molli adds researching your interviewer, ask who is interviewing you and then Google them. What have been their recent accomplishments? This can help you find common ground with your interviwer, and again it showcases research skills, a very important skill in PR. 

Julia shares her experience with hand shakes, how does your hand shake measure up? Are you communicating confidence? 

Kristine encourages young pros to practice in front of a mirror. It will help get your message across smoothly and build confidence. And don't forget to check your social media accounts before you walk in to an interview. In communications, it is important to have a professional presence online and employers check for that, so be prepared. We suggest you check out the Ellen Degeneres Show as she audits her audience members and finds incriminating photos of them on Facebook. If she can find them, so can your potential employers. 

When all is said and done, the interview is over, don't forget that personalized thank you note. It is just one more chance to get your name and make an impression on your interviewer. Plus, it is just a nice gesture. 

Finally, if you are in Ottawa, Canada on May 30, make sure you check out the CPRS Student program called Dress4Success, a fun and informative evening of presentations by industry experts, topped off with a stylish fashion show by Suzy Shier. Presentations range from resume tips to online branding. there will be a special presentation by Sherrilynne Starkie, and trust us, you do not want to miss a lesson from her. Register online

We want to hear what you think. Share your comment and opinions. What are your tips for a young pro going in to an interview? Write a comment on our blog, on our Facebook Page, on our Google+ page, send us an email at, or send us a message on Twitter @youngprpros, @kristinesimpson, @kentjulia or @mollimegasko.

Direct download: YPP_08_FINAL.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EST

This week on Young PR Pros, Kristine SimpsonJulia Kent and Molli Megasko get together over a Google Hangout to discuss how students and young professionals can use LinkedIn to connect and potentially land a job.

But first, check out the TED video we saw by Richard St. John's called “The 8 Traits Successful People Have in Common: 8 to Be Great”. The three minute video talks about eight traits successful people have in common, a lot of which we mentioned in last week's episode. If you want to know more, check out Richard's book on Amazon.

Also, thanks to Sarah Bustard, an interviewee in episode 1 and an avid listener. She shares with us another interesting internship recruitment campaign similar to the Maverick campaing we talked about in episode 5. Check out Sarah's song she wrote about her social media skills. Kristine uses this example to remind our listeners that we don't need a recruitment campaign to be unique. Make a video, write a song and share it with potential employers and you will be sure to stand out.

In this week's episode, Kristine catches up with Mitchell Friedman, a professional and leadership development consultant, trainer, and coach in the San Francisco Bay Area. He shares his great tips to using LinkedIn to land a job.

Mitchell talks about three aspects to using LinkedIn:

  1. Developing a profile
  2. Establishing and growing a network
  3. Using your network

Julia and Molli chime in, saying you should only add people you know or have interacted with. Molli encourages us to tailor our message when inviting someone to connect, because in PR and communications we meet new people every day and we may not remember you if you send us a generic invite.

Kristine on the other hand encourages students to take advantage of their position as curious students and reach out to strangers they may want to know better, be it CEOs or managers. Nevertheless, she still agrees that each message should be tailored. For example, in your message say why you want to connect with that person, what do you want to learn from them?

We want to hear about your advice and tips on how to use LinkedIn to build your career. Share your opinions by writing a comment on our blog, send us an email at, or send us a message on Twitter @youngprpros@kristinesimpson@kentjulia or @mollimegasko.

Direct download: YPRP_8_FINAL.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EST

Young PR Pros has a huge announcement to make this week... Kristine Simpson wants to welcome Julia Kent and Molli Megasko to the Young PR Pros family as permenant co-hosts. YEAH!

To debut their new official titles, Kristine, Julia and Molli discuss the expertise or skills young PR pros need to advance their career in PR.

Apart from the obvious skill - writing, Molli says that public speaking and confidence are important skills to advancing a career. Be it in an interview or a business pitch, if you are a good public speaker you will separate yourself from the rest.

Julia says responsiveness is important. She says she has faith in people who respond to emails right away, even if it is to say "got it". Kristine goes off on a tangent and warns people of inundating others with email and finding other ways to respond. Regardless, all three ladies agree, responsiveness is a must have expertise.

Finally, Kristine ends the show by suggesting adaptability as an important skill to have. Communications and PR professionals work in all different environments, with different people using different tools. It is important to be able to adapt on a dime.

Again, we want to thank BethStephanie J Woods and Julia Fauteux for sharing their comments and advice on episode 4.

Also, check out Molli's blog post on Saving the Millennial Workforce from Bad Perceptions. The conversation is an interesting one, we suggest you follow it.

Direct download: Young_PR_Pros_episode_6_FINAL.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EST

This week Kristine Simpson is joined by two wonderful guest hosts, Julia Kent and Molli Megasko. They start off by discussing a unique internship program at Maverick PR and wishes Heather Leigh, an Algonquin College student, good luck in her endeavors to being the next Maverick PR Girl. The ladies touch on video resumes and how they would work for a young PR professional.

Next, they discuss a Forbes article talking about employers and their use of social media. In two words: be professional. The article states one in five employers is turning away potential employees because of their unprofessionalism on social media.

Then, Kristine catches up with David Gauthier, and eager young student ready to take the PR world by storm through blogging. The ladies talk about good tips to making a blog successful, everything from consistency in posting to editing your blog posts to ensure the utmost quality.

We want to hear about your advice for David and other young professionals looking to blogging to build their career. Share your opinions by writing a comment below, send us an email at, or send us a message on Twitter @youngprpros or @kristinesimpson.

Direct download: Young_PR_Pros_episode_5_FINAL.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EST