By: Jordyn Miller
Recently, the Public Relations Professionals of Long Island (PRPLI) held its annual Meet and Pitch the Media event at the Hilton in Melville. This evening gives public relations professionals the opportunity to not only meet local Long Island media, but to also pitch their stories in person and receive constructive feedback on the spot. As an intern, pitching in person for the first time was extremely nerve-wracking, but Meet and Pitch the Media night was an incredible learning experience. Here are three things I learned just at this one event.
- Have confidence in your pitch!
While I was sitting at my table anticipating giving the pitch, I was anxious. I wondered what my criticisms would be, and the fact that I was the youngest professional there did not help. However, once I decided to stand up and volunteer myself for my pitch, I decided to not let my nerves overshadow my delivery. I confidently read the pitch, made eye contact with the panel, and finished the pitch in my allotted amount of time. The panel was extremely receptive, and they only had helpful comments about the pitch. They told me what they liked and what they would tweak, but at no point did I feel like my pitch was not good enough. Confidence really does make a difference.
- Don’t wait for someone to introduce you—do it yourself!
After the dinner concluded, all of the professionals in the room had the opportunity to speak to the media. My coworker who attended the event with me encouraged me to introduce myself to the media professionals and follow up on my pitch. It is important to remember to try to find something unique or something you have in common to begin the conversation. This helps sway the awkwardness while also making yourself memorable in their minds. Confidence is definitely applicable in this case as well.
- Take advantage of these opportunities!
Throughout my time at Zimmerman/Edelson, I have had multiple opportunities to meet media and network with other professionals. All of these events have made me eager to start my career in public relations, as well as reassured me that I will have a successful future. This PRPLI Meet and Pitch the Media event just reinforced the importance of these opportunities for me, and reminded me to never stop asking to tag along to events or gain any possible experience that I can.
The PRPLI panel at the Meet and Pitch the Media event.
By: Jordyn Miller
My second PRSSA networking dinner was a much less stressful event than the first.
When I walked into my first ever networking dinner, I was completely overwhelmed. As any student would, I looked around at all of the professionals in the room and thought to myself “What am I doing here?” I was only a sophomore, barely knowledgeable from my one public relations class, and I could not imagine myself speaking to the professionals while all of these older and more experienced students would be sitting right beside me. Thankfully, one of my senior friends came up to me (I looked incredibly nervous) and he told me to just be confident. He said confidence is what stands out the most to anyone when you are speaking.
During the dinner, I slowly became more comfortable. I began to ask questions to the professionals sitting at my table, and the more questions I asked, the more confident I seemed. I soon realized that confidence can be created, and this is an important skill to have in any communications field. While I was still very nervous, I forced myself to speak and ask these questions to prove to the professionals I was speaking to that I am capable of confidently speaking to those I do not know.
This skill also came into play while I was interviewing for internships. Rather than timidly introducing myself to the interviewer and showing that I was nervous, I chose to confidently smile, shake the hand of the interview and introduce myself. This initial confidence will leave a wonderful impression of you on the interviewer, as they will be pleasantly surprised to see how prepared you are for the interview.
On my first day at Zimmerman/Edelson, I adopted this same concept. I walked into the office, and rather than show how overly nervous I was, I tried to introduce myself to everyone. I made myself known by speaking at the first staff meeting, participating in office conversations. I am not sure my Zimmtern experience would have been the same had I acted differently on my first day.
This confidence mentality has helped me when answering phones, sending my drafts to coworkers for the first time, meeting clients at events and just feeling like a part of the Zimmerman/Edelson team. I am confident that this will continue to benefit me throughout my public relations career.
By Greg Stengel
After months of applying to countless public relations internships and traveling all over New York to make interviews, I was confident I had finally found my home as a “Zimmtern” at Zimmerman/Edelson, Inc. I could not have been more excited or relieved to know I had finally taken my first step into the real world. I anxiously waited throughout winter break for the first day to arrive, mentally preparing myself for the unknown world I was about to encounter.
Winter break passed and it was finally time to get started. As if I wasn’t nervous enough for the first day, Mother Nature decided to pound the New York area with one of the biggest blizzards in history. All weekend the only thought on my mind was if I was even going to be able to trek through the snow to make it to Great Neck for the first day. But after surviving the blizzard, the other interns and I finally made it on time to our first day as Zimmterns.
I walked into the office both extremely nervous and excited. Almost immediately after finding my desk and meeting the staff I was instructed to attend the weekly staff meeting. There I was shocked to find out that I was going with Jill, one of the account executives, to a press conference with her client New York American Water where Senator Chuck Schumer would be speaking. Within 15 minutes into my first day as a Zimmtern I was out in the field learning about the industry from a real-world perspective, which is something you simply cannot do in a classroom.
Having such an exciting first day really set the tone for the rest of the internship. On top of learning about the public relations industry on my first day, I’ve learned that as a “Zimmtern” you should expect the unexpected and come into every day with an open mind. I look forward to more exciting learning experiences as the semester continues.
Stay tuned for Greg’s follow-up post about the press conference!