Posts tagged Networking

3 Things I Learned At a Pitch the Media Event

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

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The PRPLI panel at the Meet and Pitch the Media event

The Importance of Confidence in Public Relations

By: Jordyn Miller 

My second PRSSA networking dinner was a much less stressful event than the first.

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.

A Proud Moment for #ZimmCasters and the Girl Scouts of Nassau County

By Marisa Drago and Marissa Kelly

This year was the 100th Gold Award Ceremony for the Girl Scouts of Nassau County, and we were lucky enough to cover the event in our new role as #ZimmCasters! When we were presented the opportunity to attend, we weren’t sure what to expect. We were Girl Scouts when we were younger, so we knew a bit about the organization, but never made it far enough to earn the prestigious Gold Award. We were excited to attend the ceremony and learn what the award was all about.

The two of us are currently interning at Zimmerman/Edelson Inc (Z/E), a public relations firm that has the Girl Scouts of Nassau County as a client. This summer, as part of our season-long intern project, we were tasked with becoming “ZimmCasters.” This means we must challenge ourselves by becoming reporters and social media handlers for Z/E and several of its clients. As #ZimmCasters, we wanted to experiment with live steaming videos at different events. When we found out about the 100th Gold Award Ceremony, we recognized that it had great potential to be shown live on social media.

Before arriving at the ceremony, we came up with interview questions to ask some of the Girl Scouts, emcees, and the executive director of the Girl Scouts of Nassau County, Donna Ceravolo. We compiled possible tweets to send out, ideas for footage and interviews, and taught ourselves how to use the live-stream app, Periscope. When we reached the US Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, where the ceremony was held, we were fully prepared and extremely excited to cover the event.

First, the two of us took a tour of the facilities at the Marine Academy that were being used for the event. Throughout the night, we would be traveling back and forth between two buildings: Wiley Hall and the auditorium. Wiley Hall is where this year’s Gold Award projects were on display for families and friends to observe. We held several interviews in this building, some of which were with Girl Scouts Bianca, Maribel, and Chloe, all of whom were receiving their Gold Awards. The ceremony took place in the auditorium, where we caught footage of the 101 Girl Scouts receiving their Gold Awards, the Girl Scouts of Nassau County’s Chorus performing, and several speakers proudly talking onstage.

We were lucky enough to sit down with Donna Ceravolo and ask her some questions. She opened our eyes to what an accomplishment the Gold Award truly is, and she beamed with pride speaking about the girls earning their Gold Award this year. Her evident passion and excitement for the event and for the Girl Scouts of Nassau County showed us how remarkable the girls who complete their Gold Awards projects truly are. “This project is a symbol of the tangible steps that girls have taken to make the world a better place,” said Ms. Ceravolo.

This ceremony was nothing like we have ever experienced before. Both of us were blown away by the extensive and thoughtful projects put together by the Girl Scouts of Nassau County. Each Gold Award Project, along with the girl who created it, was more amazing than the last. As we sat in the auditorium and watched every girl cross the stage we recognized their true leadership qualities, and every single one of the girls should be incredibly proud of their accomplishments. The Girl Scouts of Nassau County gave us an opportunity to learn, not only about their incredible organization, but about what it’s like to be behind the scenes of such a meaningful event like this one.

We extend our true congratulations to all of the girls that earned their Gold Award this year and would like to thank the Girl Scouts of Nassau County for letting us be a part of this wonderful event!

The Hofstra PRSSA 2016 Regional Conference

By Jessica Avenia

Check out Jessica’s previous post about networking at the Hofstra PRSSA ‘Welcome to NY’ Mixer

We are constantly reminded about the importance of interning while at school and I agree; students should always look for opportunities to grow and better themselves professionally. I also believe students should be encouraged to join professional organizations just as much as they are encouraged to look for internships. Recently, I attended the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Regional Conference at Hofstra University, and I hope my experience will inspire students to find additional ways to be involved outside of the classroom, aside from getting an internship.

The PRSSA 2016 Regional Conference was an all-day event with the first workshop starting at 9:00 a.m. and the conference wrapping up around 5:00 p.m. To kick-off the weekend, the Welcome to New York Networking Mixer was well-attended the night prior. Several workshops were held throughout the day featuring panelists from various industries, including fashion, technology, entertainment, travel and tourism, international, nonprofit and more. There was definitely something there for everyone!

I chose to attend Live from NY! Entertainment PR in the City; Eat, Sleep and Travel: PR in the Food and Travel Industry; and Como se Dice PR? workshops. I was most excited about the travel PR workshop because I plan to work in the travel and tourism industry. I did, however, discover a new interest by attending the Como se Dice PR workshop. Despite being fluent in Spanish, it had never occurred to me to pursue a career in this fast-growing market, which shows how joining a professional organization and attending events like this one can help you define your interests and guide you towards the right career path.

All the panelists offered great insight on their industry, their own perspective on how to break in and many helpful PR tips. In addition to all the amazing panelists, the luncheon was accompanied by an encouraging keynote speech delivered by Edelman Vice President Ashley Chauvin. Mrs. Chauvin addressed the changing landscape of the PR industry, and stressed the idea that to be a great PR practitioner we must learn to be great storytellers—we must be aware of our surroundings and capture the moments that make a story connect with our audience.

Overall, my experience at the Hofstra PRSSA Regional Conference inspired me to work harder by meeting successful individuals who did more than just go to class when they were in my position. I’ve learned that it is important to stay connected and join professional groups that will support your career goals.

Networking at the Hofstra PRSSA “Welcome to NY” Mixer

By Jessica Avenia

Recently, I joined fellow public relations students at Hofstra’s PRSSA Regional Conference, which kicked-off with the “Welcome to New York” Networking Mixer. It was the perfect way to launch the conference because it gave us a chance to connect with young professionals in a laid-back atmosphere next to the Empire State Building, a novel experience for students visiting from out of state.

As graduate committee chair for the Hofstra PRSSA chapter, I was in charge of securing the venue and executing the final details of the event. This responsibility gave me hands-on experience on the event planning side of public relations. It also allowed me to take a step back to observe the interactions taking place with plenty of networking tips to takeaway.

I enjoy meeting new people and consider myself a friendly person, but I absolutely dread going to networking events and having to talk about myself with strangers. The pressure can be overwhelming, as though somehow you don’t fit in because you’re still a student.

That right there is the wrong mindset to have.

Remember, every professional started where you are. Some might be natural networkers, but they most probably learned through experience until they got it right. The key is being confident in what you know, asking questions about what you don’t know and listening to your peers. At the mixer, I actually encountered someone with whom I had a few mutual friends. Once you find that connection, you go with it, engage in conversation and just be yourself. Experiences as a student are interesting and valid, as long as you express passion and eagerness to learn.

Networking can be intimidating for students who are breaking into the field and lack work experience to share. I think school events are the perfect place to build confidence and get accustomed to comfortably introducing yourself to professionals. A few students and I noticed others missing out on this great opportunity by not approaching any of the professionals. We decided two of us would make introductions throughout the night to ensure each student connected with at least one professional. Once they realized most of the professionals were recent Hofstra graduates who not long ago were in the same shoes, they started to let their guard down and enjoyed the rest of the night conversing, asking questions and even exchanging business cards.

The Hofstra PRSSA “Welcome to New York” Networking Mixer was undeniably a wonderful learning experience, and I am thankful I was able to be a part of it. The guests were friendly, approachable and very excited to share their PR stories with us. I now feel that I can go to any networking event and present myself with confidence and not be intimidated by going up to a professional and introducing myself.

5 Ways to Network Like a Pro

By Saralynn Kupperberg

Network. Network. Network. You’ve heard it so many times from professors, family, and professionals in the field, but how do you master the skill that is so essential to public relations? Here are 5 tips to network like a pro.

1. Don’t be afraid.
Networking seems like an overwhelming concept, but like all things in life practice makes perfect. Come up with a quick elevator pitch describing yourself, as well as a few questions that you can ask any professional, and you will be ready to network with anyone that you meet.

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2. Put your reporter hat on.
Everyone loves talking about themselves. Put your reporter hat on and ask them the questions. Some great question to ask are: how did you get your start? What are some major issues in the industry today? As well as, where do you think the industry is going. There answers will allow you to dig deeper, and make connections to your life and experiences. After using this method you won’t realize how much time you have spent networking.

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3. Say thank you.
Make sure to get a business card at the end of your networking experience, and then send a thank you note. This is a an essential part of the networking process. Even it is only an email, this step will help plant the seed for creating a contact and a professional relationship.

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4. Let’s keep in touch.
Don’t let the thank you letter be the last time you ever talk to them. Keep in touch. A few weeks after your networking experience, send that person an email letting them know that you were thinking of them. You can send them an interesting article related to the industry, or a specific aspect of the job, or something that they mentioned during your conversation. This contact helps turn that networking experience into a professional relationship.

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5. You can help them too!
You can be as much of a resource to a professional as they can be to you. While you may think that you can’t offer anything to a professional as a college student, you never know what they are looking for. In your thank you note, let them know that you are available if there is anything that you can do for them. This creates a reciprocal relationship, rather than a one-way street.

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