Young PR Pros

This week, we wanted to help you learn about the different jobs available to young PR professionals in the world of public relations, communications and marketing.

There are so many titles out there: internal communications, marketing manager, digital engagement, account coordinator, project manager, etc. It can be confusing to figure out what exactly job to look for.

So, your hosts Kristine Simpson and Molli Megasko drill Julia Kent with questions about her job. We dive deep in to the day-to-day activities a skills needed to be successful in Julia's job.

This week, we also debut our new monthly series called the Outrageous Minute of Young PR Pros brought to you by Sarah Bustard. If you have been following Young PR Pros since the beginning you will remember Sarah from episode one. We interviewed her as a student using social media to find a job; months later, she is a graduate with a full time job with the Government of Canada.

The Outrageous Minute of Young PR Pros will air once a month and showcase unique and interesting stories of young PR pros looking for a job. This week, we profile Jan Huang, an MBA candidate from Harvard Business school who is using Pinterest to apply for a job at Pinterest.

We want to hear from you. If you have any additional questions for Julia about what she does or if you have any ideas for future episodes share your comments by leaving a comment below, 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_13_FINAL.mp3
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A few weeks ago, Young PR Pros attend the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS)’s Dress4Success. Roving reporter, Kristine Simpson was able to catch Claudine Wilson, founder of the public relations program at Algonquin College. Claudine presented: Resumes designed to succeed.

Kristine and her two fabulous co-hosts, Julia Kent and Molli Megasko discuss Claudine's presentation and ask the following questions about building a resume:

  1. What is the job of a resume? Contrary to popular belief, a resume is not designed to get you a job, it is designed to get you an interview.
  2. What is the point of the objective statement? Claudine says there is no point, so scrap it. Molli agrees. Julia and Kristine offer up an alternative, an introduction paragraph explaining what you can bring to the team.
  3. How do you include key words? The Government of Canada is probably the only entity that requires you to copy and paste a job description. For the rest of the world, read the job description, understand what the employer is looking for and include key words such as "social media", "online engagement", "bilingual", etc. throughout your resume.
  4. What is the best length of a resume? Molli says one page. Julia and Kristine say maximum two pages. They all agree, however, that regardless, a resume needs to be concise and relevant to the position you are applying for.

Thank you again to CPRS and to all the students who welcomed Kristine with open arms. Make sure you check out Young PR Pros at the next student event in Ottawa.

What do you think is the most important part to a resume? 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_12_FINAL.mp3
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A few weeks ago, Young PR Pros attend the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS)’s Dress4Success. Roving reporter, Kristine Simpson was able to catch none other than the very smart and talented Sherrilynne Starkie Branding: Leveraging social media to maximize your job search (see below for full presentation).

Sherrilynne makes three very important points that Kristine, Julia Kent and Molli Megasko discuss.

  1. Design your profile for impact: Recruiters scan a profile for 5 seconds. They look at your photo and job title. Make sure they are both memorable. Also ensure your profile is key word rich to optimize search.
  2. Participate in online conversations with people and organizations you are interested in and with the companies you want to work for.
  3. Be creative and think out of the box when creating a resume. Just check out resumes on Pinterest for some unique and creative ways of highlighting your skills.

After the presentation, Kristine got the chance to get some one-on-one with student attendees Asim Zaidan, Famia Lawluvi, Genevieve Brisson, Laura Kidd, Mary-Anne Diebel and Nadia Vixamar. She asked the question: what is the one social network tool you cannot live without during your job search.

The common answer was LinkedIn. However, one student mentioned he wasn’t on social media yet. Kristine, Julia and Molli discuss the next steps for young professionals who have yet to venture to the online world.

Thank you to CPRS and to all the students who welcome Kristine with open arms. Make sure you check out Young PR Pros at the next student event in Ottawa.

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_11_FINAL.mp3
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This week on Young PR Pros Kristine SimpsonJulia Kent and Molli Megasko chat about a subject that touches every young professional searching for a job: Where do I want to work?

Kristine caught an article by Bill Barnett on the Harvard Business Review called When Choosing a Job, Culture Matters.

Here is a quote from the article:

Some organizations will excite you. They'll stimulate your success and growth. Others will be stressful. They may lead you to quit before you've accomplished much or learned what you hoped to. With the pressure (or excitement) of finding a new job, it's all too easy to pursue a job opportunity or to accept an offer with only a hazy view of how the institution really operates. The path to an institution you'll like is to investigate the culture you're thinking of joining before you accept the position.

The article sparked a very interesting and engaging conversation between our three hosts about what a young pro should do when starting their career. Is it working at a small boutique firm, says Molli? Is it learning about the different fields in communications/pr/marketing and figuring out what sounds good for you, says Kristine? Or can we really control our career path, sometimes it just happens and we need to roll with the punches, says Julia?

You do not want to miss this conversation! Once you have tuned in let us know what you think. How do you think a young pro should build their career path? Can you really perfect this skill? Or do you just have to build on a map as you travel through the life of your career? 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_10_FINAL.mp3
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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 EDT

This week on Young PR Pros, Kristine Simpson and her guest host Julia Kent in Ottawa discuss the best advice they have ever received.

Julia’s father, Paul Kent told her to meet new people and build a professional network. Kristine’s mentor Stephen Heckbert told her to just relax and everything will be fine.

Molli Megasko chimes in from New York and sends in her advice given to her by her mother, be an actor.

All great advice for young professionals who may be looking at graduation this month and are nervous to see what is on the other side.

We want to hear about the best advice you have ever received. What has made you successful? Share your opinions. Write a comment below, send us an email at, or send us a message on Twitter @youngprpros or @kristinesimpson.

Direct download: YoungPRPros_4_FINAL.mp3
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