Young PR Pros podcast (general)

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

Direct download: 85_Episode_85_-_How_to_Navigate_Your.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:17am EDT

This week, Kristine D'Arbelles and Julia Kent share their experiences of good and bad meetings. Public relations and communications is a people industry, so get used to a lot of meetings in your careers.

In this episode we concentrate on in-person meetings - conference calls are a whole other story. As a young professional you might not be the one calling the meeting, but there are certain things you can do to ensure the meetings you attend are efficient and productive.

We pull some of our ideas and advice from an excellent article from lifehacker.com called How to Have a Meeting That Isn't a Complete Waste of Time. The author, Mihir Patkar, gives an extensive review of the good, the bad and the ugly of holding meetings, and offers concrete advice to hosting productive meetings.

We want to here from you. Tell us your horror stories, what was the worst meeting you have ever attended? We also want to hear the good though, what was the best meeting you ever attended?

Also, Young PR Pros will be in Ottawa, Canada on May 28 for Navigate Your PR Career hosted by CPRS Ottawa-Gatineau. If you are a PR or communications student or you have joined the profession in the last five years, then this event is for you. Navigate your PR career gives you insight on searching for a job, both full time and summer internships, and building your career once you are in. Get a chance to meet and network with senior professionals as well as young professionals who can share their experience of the current job market.

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: YPP_84_FINAL.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:35pm EDT

This week, Kristine D'Arbelles and Julia Kent review an article in Canadian Living by Jackie Middleton called 8 social media mistakes that could damage your career.

Middleton writes:

Social media has made information very accessible, and the worst kind of information can hurt you professionally. One expert shares etiquette tips when it comes to your social media streams.

We explore all eight mistakes and give our own experience and opinion on each. Everything from the obvious rule of not posting nude pictures to the grey areas of adding colleagues on Facebook.

We want to hear from you. Would you add to the list? Is there anything on this list you agree or disagree with?

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: 83_Episode_83_-_Social_media_mistake.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

This week Kristine D'Arbelles and Julia Kent continue their conversation with Tara Lapointe.

Tara is a dynamic marketing and communications strategist with more than 15 years experience in the arts and entertainment industries. She is currently the Head of Marketing Communications at the Canada Council for the Arts, Canada's national arts funder, where she leads the public relations, brand and content strategy and translation team. Tara is also the recipient of the "40 Under 40" Award. She is wrapping up a year as VP, Marketing Communications of IABC Ottawa and has recently announced that she is accepting the role of incoming president for the Ottawa chapter.

We asked Tara:

What are your interview pet peeves?

Tara's main pet peeves are:

  1. Disqualifying yourself even before the interview.
  2. No cover letter - no job.
  3. Not telling the hiring manager why you want to work for them.
  4. Mistakes in your cover letter.
  5. Not reaching out to the hiring manager after sending in your resume or job application.
  6. Not doing any research before an interview and coming unprepared.
  7. Not asking questions during an interview. Need ideas for questions, re-listen to episode 20.

But find out why they bug her so much by listening to the entire episode.

We want to hear from you. What are your interview pet peeves? Are there things on Tara's list you agree or disagree with?

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: 82_Episode_82_-_Interview_Pet_Peeves.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT