Young PR Pros

In 2013, Forbes reported that one in five Americans work from home. That is almost 30 million people who work and live in the same area. For some working at home is a dream come true - you can make your own hours, no pressure of adhering to office politics and you can wear whatever you want. For others, working from home can be a complete disaster, no structure can cause stress and lack of productivity.

Regardless of where you fall, it is important to keep in mind the possibility of working from home as you hunt for a job. More and more public relations and communications agencies are going office-less, take Arment Dietrich as a good example. And with an uncertain job market, a lot of young professionals are starting out their careers as consultants working for themselves.

This week, Kristine D'Arbelles and Julia Kent discuss a few good tips for working at home. We get our inspiration from Cupcakes and Cashmere. Blogger Emily Schuman shares her experiences and top 10 tips for working from home.

They are:

  1. Get dressed every day.
  2. Create a designated work area.
  3. Set hours and stick to them.
  4. Get outside.
  5. Be smart with your money.
  6. Schedule things with other people.
  7. Take advantage of your flexibility.
  8. Keep healthy snacks around.
  9. Have a to-do list.
  10. Keep things tidy.

Catch the entire episode and see which points Kristine and Julia agree with - and see which points can apply to those working in an office setting too!

Share your opinions by writing a comment below, or on our Facebook Page, or on our Google+ page, or send us an email at youngprpros@gmail.com, or send us a message on Twitter @youngprpros@kristinedarbell, or @kentjulia.

Direct download: YPP_95_FINAL.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm EDT

We all get a lot of email every day. Doesn't matter if you are a student or a professional, our inbox fills up very fast. This week, Kristine D'Arbelles and Julia Kent discuss a few simple rules for emailing that will help you get through your inbox faster and more efficiently. We get to hear about some of Julia's pet peeves for fun too!

We get our inspiration this week from an article on Time.com by Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg called 9 Rules For Emailing From Google Exec.

The nine rules for emailing are:

Respond quickly.
When writing an email, every word matters, and useless prose doesn’t.
Clean out your inbox constantly.
Handle email in LIFO order (Last In First Out).
Remember, you’re a router.
When you use the bcc (blind copy) feature, ask yourself why.
Don’t yell.
Make it easy to follow up on requests.
Help your future self search for stuff.

Listen to this episode to learn more about the nine rules and find out which ones Kristine and Julia live by.

We want to hear from you! What are your email rules? Are there any of Eric Schmidt's rules you agree/disagree with?

Share your opinions by writing a comment below, or on our Facebook Page, or on our Google+ page, or send us an email at youngprpros@gmail.com, or send us a message on Twitter @youngprpros@kristinedarbell, or @kentjulia.

Direct download: YPP_94_FINAL.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:07pm EDT

This week, our hosts Kristine D'Arbelles and Julia Kent talk about some good PR and how blogger relations made it happen.

Although not a completely new concept in PR and communications, blogger relations has grown into an excellent way to get your message out through a non-traditional gatekeeper. Back in the day, your only gatekeeper was journalists. If you wanted to be featured on the 6 o'clock news, you had to build relationships with the right journalists, editors, producers, etc. Today bloggers can be equally as powerful gatekeepers. In fact, some bloggers have a stronger and more dedicated followings through website hits and social media followers than the local newspaper. As a young professional entering their new career, don't discount the possibilities of a good blogger relations strategy.

To demonstrate the possibilities, Kristine and Julia share their experience as bloggers. Julia shares her experience as a book club blogger and how it landed her an interview on TV as a subject matter expert. Kristine shares her Cardel Homes story. Cardel, a local home builder, invited bloggers and their spouses to truly experience what a Cardel home has to offer - and what better way then to host a small get together complete with wine and delicious food. Bloggers got to experience first hand the versatility of the home. The Cardel example shows PR professionals and communicators that using blogger relations can go beyond the basic "pitch" and the online world.

The other lesson learned here is that young professionals are encouraged to take advantage of the blogger relations trend in PR and communications to make a name for themselves as they build a career. Improve your writing skills and get experience in social media strategies by building your own strategy to gain new followers and readers.

What about you? Have you started a blog to help build your personal brand? Do you have a good blogger relations story to share?

Share your opinions by writing a comment below, or on our Facebook Page, or on our Google+ page, or send us an email at youngprpros@gmail.com, or send us a message on Twitter @youngprpros@kristinedarbell, or @kentjulia.

Direct download: YPP_93_FINAL.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:08pm EDT

In this week's episode hosts Kristine D'Arbelles and Julia Kent talk about how a listener of the show went from podcast listener to career star. We tell you Sharon Cheung's story.

Some of you might recognize Sharon's name. This is not the first time she is mentioned on Young PR Pros. Sharon was the mastermind behind our popular Take uOPRA to Work series in 2013. The series followed four professionals in different PR and communication roles and industries to help new and returning students to the University of Ottawa understand the opportunities available to them after graduation. The series even won a local IABC Ottawa Excel Award in 2014.

Now Sharon works with Kristine at the Canadian Automobile Association. Kristine sits down with Sharon and asks her questions about the interview process. What did she do to put together a compelling resume and cover letter? What did she do to prepare for the interview? What did she include in her portfolio?

This episode is about a real success story. Sharon offers excellent advice on how she went from Young PR Pros listener to career starter.

We want to hear from you! Do you have a success story to tell? Don't be shy, your experience and advice could help other listeners! Share your opinions by writing a comment below, or on our Facebook Page, or on our Google+ page, or send us an email at youngprpros@gmail.com, or send us a message on Twitter @youngprpros@kristinedarbell, or @kentjulia.

Direct download: YPP_92_FINAL.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00pm EDT

This week, Young PR Pros welcomes new listeners from the FIR podcast network. For our regular listeners you don't need to change anything, you will still continue to receive new weekly episodes through iTunes or Stitcher.

For those who don't know, the FIR podcast network, run by internationally acclaimed communicators Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz, is a collection of business podcasts on niche topics that appeal to communicators in different countries around the world. The anchor show, For Immediate Release: The Hobson and Holtz Report, is the longest running communications podcast, broadcasting business and communications advice for more than a decade. In 2013, Hobson and Holtz expanded their podcast and created a network of a dozen shows, including the popular Canadian social media podcast Inside PR, hosted by Martin Waxman, Gini Dietrich and Joseph Thornley.

For our first episode on the podcast network, we discuss the definition of the word spin. Some people see this as a four-letter bad word and want it eliminated from our vocabulary. Others see it as a flexible word with the opportunity to bend and change - or spin if you will - the definition.

Hosts, Kristine D'Arbelles and Julia Kent bring in two experts to weigh in on this debate. The first is Elizabeth Gray-Smith, Social Columnist at iPolitics. We caught up with her earlier this year at the uOPRA Let's Grow Together conference and asked her how she felt about the word spin - spoiler, she doesn't think spin needs to be a four-letter bad word.

The second expert is Gini Dietrich, CEO of Arment Dietrich and who is no stranger to the podcast, offers her view on the word spin. If you know Gini at all, you can guess what her opinion was. Here is a hint, she runs a blog called Spin Sucks.

As our hosts easily discover, there is no easy right answer. The good news is that having this conversation is important to making our industry a better place. We have come far from the days of Mad Men, but there is still more work to do.

So what can young professionals do today? Be curious and ask questions. Don't be afraid to stand up to your boss if you are uncomfortable with the task they have given you. Remember, no one gets fired for asking a question. Sometimes that is all it takes, one curious person asking the right question.

What do you think? Do you think we can change the definition? Or should we get rid of the word? Or do you have another solution? We want to hear from you. Share your opinions by writing a comment below, or on our Facebook Page, or on our Google+ page, or send us an email at youngprpros@gmail.com, or send us a message on Twitter @youngprpros@kristinedarbell, or @kentjulia.

Direct download: YPP_91_FINAL.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:11am EDT

With the first week of back to school almost complete, Kristine D’Arbelles and Julia Kent share a few back-to-school tips and advice for the young PR pros.

You can read about all the tips in detail in this morning’s blog post entitle 4 Back to School Tips for the Successful PR Proo.

If you have something to add to the list, we would love to hear about it. Share your opinions by writing a comment below, or on our Facebook Page, or on our Google+ page, or send us an email at youngprpros@gmail.com, or send us a message on Twitter @youngprpros@kristinedarbell@kentjulia or @mollimegasko.

Direct download: YPP_90_FINAL.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30pm EDT

This week, our hosts Kristine D'Arbelles and Julia Kent are on vacation. We thank our listeners for their patience and understanding while they take some time to relax, rejuvenate and spend time with family.

So while they soak up the sun, please enjoy this encore presentation of episode 9, which aired on May 29, 2012. A lot of the advice you will hear still applies to the changing PR and communications industry we live in today. Also, enjoy the voice of our past host Molli Megasko, who is still rocking it in New York City! We miss her dearly, but know she is doing awesome work.

Hard skills that matter

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 below, or on our Facebook Page, or on our Google+ page, or send us an email at youngprpros@gmail.com, or send us a message on Twitter @youngprpros@kristinedarbell@kentjulia or @mollimegasko.

Direct download: YPP_89_FINAL.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:28am EDT

When was the last time you reminded your boss about a good project you ran? When was the last time you asked for constructive criticism on your writing? How often do you talk up your teammates and colleagues?

This week, Kristine D'Arbelles and Julia Kent discuss mistakes young professionals might be making that are holding back their careers.

Our inspiration this week comes from Fast Company's You're probably making these five mistakes at work. This is not to make you paranoid, in fact, you might not be doing anything wrong, but for peace of mind it is still important to periodically look back at our job and see what we are doing - or not doing - to improve our careers.

Kristine and Julia discuss everything from handling upsets poorly, to the importance of asking questions, to walking the line between self-promotion and team work. Our hosts share their experiences and reveal what mistakes they were making at the beginning of their careers.

We want to hear from you. Will you admit to making any of these mistakes?

Share your comments below, or on our Facebook Page, or on our Google+ page, or in our LinkedIn group, or on Pinterest, or send us an email at youngprpros@gmail.com, or send us a message on Twitter @youngprpros@kristinedarbell or @kentjulia.

Direct download: 88_Episode_88_-_Self-Promotion_Team.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:54pm EDT

This week, Kristine D'Arbelles and Julia Kent talk about corporate social responsibility or CSR. For those who are new to this term, CSR is the voluntary activities undertaken by a company to operate in an economic, social and environmentally sustainable manner. CSR not only does good for mother earth and our communities, it can be a great opportunity to emotionally connect with your audience - with the ultimate goal of increasing your bottom line.

Julia kicks it off by sharing what her company does in the realm of corporate social responsibility. MHPM's CSR is not just a communications tactic, but contributes to their service offerings and corporate brand. We find out that the work they put in to CSR directly contributes to increasing their bottom line.

Kristine then shares some examples of other organizations across the world that have embraced corporate social responsibility and have been recognized for their efforts through the 2014 CSR Awards at the National Press Club in Washington. The awards recognized CSR A-List and the latest inductees to the CSR Hall of Fame. Together, these organizations represent top quality work in the domain of CSR communications. If you are ever required to do some brainstorming for your boss around CSR - this is an article you want to read!

We would love to hear from you. What CSR projects have you participated in?

Share your comments below, or on our Facebook Page, or on our Google+ page, or in our LinkedIn group, or on Pinterest, or send us an email at youngprpros@gmail.com, or send us a message on Twitter @youngprpros@kristinedarbell or @kentjulia.

Direct download: 87_Episode_87_-_CSR_and_its_importan.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:59pm EDT

Customer service shouldn't be a foreign word to public relations and commuications professionals. Although we might not always be face to face with our organization's customers, their happiness often decides the fate of your communications department and organization.

This week, Kristine D'Arbelles and Julia Kent explore the old saying "the customer is always right" and how it applies to PR and communications.

We got our inspiration from one of our favourite podcasters, Terry O'Reilly, host of CBC's Under The Influence. On Under the Influence, Terry explores the critical shift from a century of overt one-way messaging to a new-world order of two-way dialogue. Most recently, Terry did an episode called Tales of Customer Service. He talked about an amusement park that delivered such superior customer service that other corporations asked for lessons, a shoe company you can order a pizza from and a store that actually accepted a returned product they didn't even sell just to keep their customer happy.

Not only are the stories in Terry's episode fascinating, but it reminds us that good customer service equals good communications, and vise versa. People remember people, not products, so what better way to solidify an emotional relationship with your audience than through good customer service.

We would love to hear your thoughts? Do you have a good/bad customer service story? How do you incorporate customer service in to your strategic plans?

Share your comments below, or on our Facebook Page, or on our Google+ page, or in our LinkedIn group, or on Pinterest, or send us an email at youngprpros@gmail.com, or send us a message on Twitter @youngprpros@kristinedarbell or @kentjulia.

Direct download: 86_Episode_86_-_What_does_customer_s.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:02pm EDT