PMG Seeks Entry Level PR Associate

September 10, 2010 by

PMG Public Relations is looking for the next member of our growing team.  This assistant account executive will be supporting two PMG associates on existing client accounts.  Duties would include: building media lists, pitching story ideas to journalists, assisting in execution of social media tactical plans, writing press releases, etc.

The ideal candidate will have:

  • a degree in communication, journalism, and/or marketing
  • have completed an internship in public relations or a related field
  • have experience using social media tools
  • is a competent writer
  • is a self starter
  • is an all-around nice person

Salary range: 30 – 35K based on experience.
PMG offers a competitive benefits plan including: health plan, three weeks paid vacation, paid time off for community service, seasons pass to local ski resort and more.

PMG is a boutique PR firm located in Burlington, Vermont working with socially responsible clients. Please email a resume and cover letter to jobs@peoplemakinggood.com. NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE.

Please do not apply if you do not have a strong interest in pursuing public relations as your career.

PR Best Practices for Social Media at SXSWi

August 12, 2010 by

Each March thousands of web and digital strategists, social media “experts”, flacks (like me!), media, and many from other professions flock to Austin, TX for the South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) conference. I attended the event last year and learned a lot.  It was a fun, overwhelming, stimulating, engaging and highly educational experience.

Upon returning home from the event, I started to think about how I might contribute to one of the sessions.  Well, with the help of some friends – I figured it out!

In March 2011 for SXSWi I hope to be part of a four-person panel with Sarah Evans, Ryan Osborn, and Jason Kintzler.  The title of the proposed panel is: Spin Doctors: PR Best Practices for Social Media.

The process to have your panel chosen to be part of the event is three-fold. And is weighted as follows:

30%            Staff Choice

30%            Crowdsource – via PanelPicker

40%            Advisory Board

To vote, log onto the PanelPicker site and register.  Registration is free and is only a few steps.  After you have confirmed your registration, please consider giving our panel a “This idea rocks”-thumbs up.  You do not have to attend the event to vote.

Thanks for your consideration.

Welcome Tom Kupfer!

July 22, 2010 by

We’re really excited to welcome Tom Kupfer as a PMGer.  Tom started at PMG two weeks ago and has hit the ground running.

Tom was previously employed by Okemo Mountain Resort as communications coordinator and at Liberty Sports Magazine as a contributing editor.  He holds a Masters of Science in Communication from Drexel University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Fordham University.

I’ll Pencil You In…

July 20, 2010 by

But, you only get 45-minutes of my time.

The next time you set a meeting with someone consider setting aside just 45 minutes in your calendar rather than the typical hour.   After reading this blog from LifeHacker.com, I decided to do just that.  It is incredible the amount of time that I seem to have recovered in my day as a result.

I found that if you stick to what needs to be discussed and accomplished in the meeting and each party leaves with a clear idea of what the next steps are, you can spend less time meeting and more time doing.  In a service based business, like mine, the results is what gets you paid – and to achieve those results you have to do… not just meet about what you want to do.

Photo by: Steve Grosbois, reproduced courtesy of Creative Commons Copyright.

Hold on Cobbler’s Kids…

July 15, 2010 by

I have been know to say (often), “The cobbler’s children have no shoes” when it comes to the work that we do on PMG’s behalf.

As we work on our client’s behalves, our own brand takes a back seat. While that is certainly necessary at times, it is hard to grow your business and scale appropriately when you don’t give your own brand some loving attention.

We have re-jiggered how partners at PMG work on the business of PMG in the past few weeks to make the organization more efficient and effective for our clients. So far, we have seen some immediate results in the earned media we have been achieving for clients and from a less chaotic system. This has allowed us to take a hard look at what we’re doing to promote ourselves as well.

Over the next few weeks, you’ll see PMG become one of, well, PMG’s clients. We will actually start to practice what we preach and share the results – bad and good – along the way.

In keeping with how one of my clients ends many of his emails (I like it!)…

Onward!
- Nicole

Note to the Cobbler’s Kids: I called Zappos and your shoes are on the way!

Welcome, Interns…

April 19, 2010 by

It’s quite amusing to me that there is such a sudden outcry and debate over the fairness and legality of internships. Point blank: if I (and many others) didn’t have the opportunity to intern, there would probably be no Iza the PR Gal… it would be more like Iza the cook, or Iza the electrician (I was an “apprentice” with my dad throughout breaks in college), or even Iza the lifeguard going on almost a decade.  Ahem…

Although I loved and respected waitressing, lifeguarding and working alongside my father because I learned in all of these instances, I can wholeheartedly now admit that those things seem uncanny in my path of life.  The most important point however, is that I would never be able to realize this unless the businesses that took me in as an intern took the chance of teaching me the ways of their businesses.

So think about this: A professor makes a profit because you pay them to teach you. Why then, does a business owner suddenly have to pay an intern (aka student—all the same) when they are completely inexperienced and sometimes tough to deal with?

Not to sound like a broken record, but everyone has struggled in this tough economy and if many small businesses had to pay cash to inexperienced interns and dedicate their valuable, productive time—I believe that they would simply decide to not even deal with internship programs and this would be a disservice to the future workforce.

Bureaucracy has gotten in the way of the basic point of internships: to learn if a certain field of work is compatible with a student’s future ambitions. Even if you are a college graduate with a degree, it’s not like a business owner forced you to take the internship, you chose that path to learn. The piece below is taken from the Employment and Training Administration Advisory System from the U.S. department of Labor, included in the New York Times article, The Unpaid Intern, Legal or Not by Steven Greenhouse.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has developed the six factors below to evaluate whether a worker is a trainee or an employee for purposes of the FLSA:

1. The training, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to what would be given in a vocational school or academic educational instruction;
2. The training is for the benefit of the trainees;
3. The trainees do not displace regular employees, but work under their close observation;
4. The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the trainees, and on occasion the employer’s operations may actually be impeded;
5. The trainees are not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the training period; and
6. The employer and the trainees understand that the trainees are not entitled to wages for the time spent in training.

As stated in the article (I’m also not denying that some employers might take advantage of interns as a supplement to hiring a full staff, because I have heard horror stories from friends along the way), these six factors seem hard to misinterpret by the average person.

I believe that unpaid internships are completely fair, and students need to be prepared to sacrifice their few months and, simply, suck it up. Apprenticeships, internships, whatever you want to call it, have been around since the beginning of time. You signed up for it! As for employers, don’t make your interns get you coffee or clean your bathrooms because if you do—I can positively say: FAIL.

I’d love to know: What do you think of internships? Did you have a bad or good experience? What could have made it better?

Are Embargoed Releases Dead?

March 17, 2010 by

Note: My first draft of this blog basically listed reasons why I think that the embargoed press release is dead.  After passing the draft around to get some opinions and edits, I was starting to hear, “Nicole, this is great, but I don’t really agree with you.”  So, here I sit with the second go at the entry… and I hope that it sparks some lively discussion from both sides!

When I first started my career in public relations embargoed releases were something that we discussed with clients and within our agency on, at least, a weekly basis.  In my first year of agency life I distributed five embargoed releases on behalf of clients with “breaking” news for next week.

Looking at public relations and the media today, are embargoed releases even necessary?  I think that they are less important than before, and here’s why:

  • Technology. In the mid 90’s email was just coming on line. Agencies used to fax or mail press releases to media outlets.  Publicists used to have to work the phones (gasp!) to pitch media, who were always on deadline and would be anxious to get you off the phone. Setting up a story and sources used to take hours (if you were lucky) and lots of coordination. In today’s world, use of email and mobile applications have sped this process up.  Most of my media contacts appreciate a well-written, concise pitch via email – NOT a traditional press release.  Response to the email can take time, but if your news is time sensitive (read: breaking news) you can reach the media quickly.  A call to the assignment desk if necessary, with a follow-up email if they have requested more information is easily done.
  • Social Media. Sure, it is great if you can get a network evening news program to break your client’s story – but if you are not getting the traction you need, you can break the news yourself via social media.  Stowe Boyd made the “twit pitch” popular. PitchEngine, made an easy platform for creation and distribution of social media releases (SMRs).  These are just two of the many examples of how you can get the message out to traditional and non-traditional press… and go direct to consumer.

Bottom line is getting the story out in a “controlled” way – avoiding information leaks before your client is ready for the news to break.  I have had experiences with a major news network jumping the gun by 20 hours and pushing my story out – Hooray! I got the press for the client, but we were just not ready yet.

So, what do you think? Are embargoed releases still an important way of how we do public relations today? Why or why not?

The Art of the Press Conference

February 26, 2010 by

Over the past two weeks there have been several press conferences that have drawn national, and in some cases international, attention.  Though there seem to be fewer press conferences called by companies than when I first started in PR, they still do exist.

Typically sensationalized or tragic news bring in larger audiences for media – so with that comes more questions and interest from media outlets to the parties involved.  The easiest way to disseminate information to the press? Gather them in one spot and talk to them.

In most cases, the talking heads of companies have been formally coached by their publicists to stay on message, communicate the prepared remarks clearly, and manage the questions/audience. For those who do not have to speak publicly or at press conferences often, this can be daunting.

I watched the SeaWorld press conference today with great interest.  Here is a really unfortunate situation that happened and now a well-respected company has to jump into crisis pr mode.  At the top of the conference, the press is told what the flow will be, how to obtain the written information and who will be available for one-to-one interviews post event.

And then Dan Brown, CEO of SeaWorld began to speak.  He made a brief statement and read prepared remarks from the victim’s family, and then opened it up to questions. Questions from the press ranged from soft balls (when would various attractions re-open?), to very pointed questions that were asked repeatedly in a variety of ways (is this same whale has apparently killed three other people?). Brown managed the questions well.  He answered each question, and for those that he was unable to discuss he stated that he would not comment on until after an investigation was complete.  His message was consistent and clear.

Of course, there are others in the media and the general public that think this event was a disaster.  But, purely from a pr perspective, it was a success: 1.  SeaWorld communicated their message clearly and, 2.  They have now set the stage for communicating out their findings after the investigation.

Kudos to SeaWorld and their PR team for handling a tough situation with grace and professionalism.

South By

February 26, 2010 by

I am headed to Austin for SXSW in two short weeks. When talking to a client and friend who is also attending, I was corrected and told that “people in the know do not call it South by Southwest, rather South By.”

Ok. Clearly I have a lot to learn, this being my first time to South By, and not just about what to call the event!

Here’s what I am scheduled to do (scheduled to change without notice and often!). In addition I will be part of the PR and media focused Tweetup with Sarah Evans and PitchEngine’s Jason Kintzler. I am really excited to hear many a social media rock stars speak and share what they have learned, but my real interest in going is network with others who do what I do and learn from them.

If you are going, drop me a line or connect with me on Twitter. If you have been to “South by” before and can share some tips – bring it! I’ll be sure to post a blog upon my return about the trip highlights.

Hey! We’re looking for YOU!

January 30, 2010 by

PMG is, once again, hiring.  We are looking for talented public relations professionals for the following full-time, salaried positions:

  • Assistant Account Executive (AAE): Entry-level position. The ideal candidate will have a degree in communications, public relations or similar and have completed an internship with a PR firm or similar.  A good understanding of social media and strong writing skills are essential. This is a growth position.
  • Account Executive (AE): Two plus year’s agency or in-house public relations experience.   The ideal candidate will have strong media relations skills and an excellent understanding of social media.  Strong project management and client relations abilities are mandatory.

Think you have what we are looking for?  Send us your resume, cover letter and salary requirements to jobs(at)peoplemakinggood.com.

NO PHONE CALLS, please.


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