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November 15, 2016

Making Time for Yourself

By John Reynolds, 3:22 pm

Many of us in the PR industry have faced this issue at some point: you just finished up a few projects, and looking at your to-do list, you notice that you need final approval from your clients before moving forward on anything.johnny-nov-pic So, what do you do now? Oftentimes, we are so focused on our clients that we rarely take time for ourselves. Instead of clicking around social media or finding out if you would survive a zombie apocalypse on Buzzfeed, try some of these ways to pass the time while remaining productive.

Organize your desk. Don’t wait for “spring cleaning” to organize your desk. While a lot of what we do has moved to the virtual world, there are still some instances where we work with physical sheets of paper. Are you still saving that status report from June? Go through your files and clear out anything that is outdated. Even if you normally keep your desk in tip-top shape, you may discover some old papers you can get rid of to clear space. You’ll feel much better when your desk and files aren’t messy, both now and in the spring!

Watch a webinar. When you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, it’s easy to get stuck in the same routines rather than taking the time to learn new and better ways to do things. Luckily, there are tons of webinars available online that you can watch at any time…for free. These can be especially helpful with some of the tasks on your daily to-do list. For example, getting lazy with building media lists is an easy habit to form, but a hard one to shake. However, watching a webinar could offer new ideas on how to build these lists, including more effective ways to find reporters’ contact information and identify the proper person to contact at an outlet. We may be professionals, but that doesn’t mean we know everything.

Plan ahead. Most of us PR professionals usually have very busy schedules, leaving very little room for any free time. As a result, it’s always more efficient to be one step ahead of the game so you can be fully prepared for any unforeseen challenge. Take a look at your calendar, review your status reports and browse your clients’ websites. Are any major events or projects coming down the pike? Come up with a plan now, so that when your to-do list is jam-packed, you’ll know exactly how to attack it.

Read the news. Whether it’s current national news, client-specific industry news or trend stories, it’s never a bad idea to keep yourself educated on what’s happening in the world. You may discover a new social media trend that you can capitalize on for a client, or uncover a unique pitch angle. Even if you don’t find something you can use for a client, you’re still taking the time to learn more about current events or your clients’ fields, which is certainly not a bad thing.

Write. You know what they say, “practice makes perfect.” While we get plenty of practice writing for our clients every day, we don’t always get the opportunity to write what’s on our mind. Whether it’s for a company blog, personal website or one of the many sites accepting contributors, you will only strengthen your writing abilities by continuing to write in ways other than for a client.

How do you remain productive in your free time? Let us know in the comments.

November 9, 2016

Making a Sleek PowerPoint

By Staff, 2:40 pm

– Laura Tabbut

You need a PowerPoint presentation as soon as possible, and there is no designer available. What do you do? Here are a few tips to keep in mind when creating a professional and sleek presentation that you can proudly present instantly.laura-nov-pic

Size. The widescreen ratios (16:9, 16:10) for a slide show will be beneficial, adding a lot of space for your presentation to breathe and offering a more appealing and dramatic effect than the standard size. Most screens today will easily fit this size and it won’t have those ugly black bars on the sides of your presentation.

Less is more. This is common knowledge when creating a presentation, but I’d like to reiterate it. Even if you have a lot to cover, find ways to break up the information into smaller pieces. It will look better and also allow the audience to stop reading the slides and actually listen to what you have to say.

Pacing. Just like in a book or a magazine, pace is important. If you can’t get away from filling a slide with information, make sure the next slide gives the viewer a break, either with a large image or white space. This keeps the presentation moving and fresh, because if every slide is full of text, the audience will become overwhelmed and bored.

Typographic hierarchy. This refers to the organization of the information using typography, which includes things like differentiating types of information and highlighting the most important details. Microsoft does a pretty good job of this with their built-in settings, but if you’re venturing out on your own, remember:

  • Keep it consistent. Whatever you come up with, you must carry that throughout the entire presentation.
  • Keep it simple. Try to only use two fonts maximum, one for the header and one for the body copy.

Imagery. There are so many presentations with blown-up and grainy images. Avoid this at all costs; it just looks bad. Google has Search Tools in images that allow you to filter images by size, which comes in handy so you’re not rooting through hundreds of images looking for one large enough. Imagery is so important to a presentation; try to spend a little time to curate what you want to use.

Color contrast. Make sure that the colors you select are easy on the eyes and easy to read. Try looking at your presentation on different screens, and if you can, on the projector on which it will be displayed. Many times, color looks okay on your screen, but then is washed out on a projector. If you can’t test, the best way to know if your colors are working is to imagine your slides in black and white. The values of the colors must differ enough for the text to stand out. For example, if you have bright orange and bright blue, these colors will not read well together.

Animations/Transitions. Try to avoid animations at all cost. Your audience will know when you’ve switched slides (especially if you have good pacing). If you want a nice slide transition, I recommend the fade transition. Slide animation comes across as cheesy and elementary. If you’re going to use it, keep it minimal and use it sparingly.

Happy presenting!

November 1, 2016

Why PR?

By Staff, 11:42 am

– Katie Tangney

As I approach the end of my senior year of college, I find myself faced with that big, looming question on the horizon – what will I do when I graduate? I will be graduating with a degree in communication and a minor in economics. This experience gives me a pretty broad range of opportunities to pursue. As Dr. Seuss would say, “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” But what direction is that?

I have concentrated my communication degree on the study of public relations. This specialization requires me to take courses such as public relations writing, public relations campaigns, and even a course that considers the development of the profession throughout history to prepare me for a career in PR – if I so choose.

katie-nov-picAfter getting first-hand experience in public relations during my time as an intern at Buchanan, I have come to experience some of the many reasons a career in public relations might be just what I am looking for following graduation. I have learned so many more valuable lessons about this field throughout my internship than I have in the classroom, and they all point me in the direction of public relations.

  1. It will never be obsolete.

With technology becoming an ever-growing threat to many people’s livelihoods by replacing jobs that humans have been doing for years, it is wise to consider a career that is not in danger of extinction. Organizations will always need to maintain positive relationships with the public, as well as come up with new and exciting ways to build a great public image. A computer cannot generate the ideas needed to help a client establish their desired reputation, not to mention understand a client’s needs and wants or respond to a crisis in an individualized and personalized way. The services of public relations firms will always be in demand.

  1. It is constantly evolving.

Public relations leverages the evolution of technology and social media to its advantage. Advances in technology and social media trends bring more opportunities for PR firms to promote their clients and help them reach their goals. There are always new ways to learn how to communicate, and doing so is essential to giving your clients a competitive edge.

  1. It is dynamic.

I have found PR to be a very integrated discipline. You use many different skills and interact with multiple fields, including journalism, marketing, advertising and more. You are essentially the jack-of-all trades for your client. A well-structured PR campaign will use many different forms of promotion to provide the target market with specific information to benefit your client.

  1. You never have the same day twice.

The dynamic nature of this profession ensures that you will never have the same day twice. The myriad projects that are unique to each client will keep you on your toes, and your mind open to new ways to publicize your client’s mission. Not to mention the potentially diverse group of clients with whom you get to work. No two tasks will ever be the same!

  1. You can unlock your creativity.

I would consider public relations to be an art. A public relations specialist must be creative and innovative. The scope of what you can do within a public relations campaign is large, and there is no limit to the tools you can use to accomplish your goals. While many other jobs lack the opportunity to think outside the box, public relations allows you that flexibility when serving your clients.

  1. It is rewarding.

Being able to work directly with your clients on a personal level to understand how you can help them is extremely rewarding. Your success depends on the success you bring your clients, and that is the best motivation.

What are some reasons you chose public relations?

October 25, 2016

It’s time for your client’s closeup: video in PR

By Amanda Mueller, 1:32 pm

As a former broadcast journalist, I never put much thought into the function of video outside a news room. I worked with video every day, but I took the marketing and public relations potential for granted. In fact, while the viewership of TV and conventional broadcast dwindles, video is booming in the marketing and public relations arena. Firms are starting to use video as a powerful tool to generate buzz around their clients and their stories. Below are just some of the many uses for video within the PR workplace.

1. Client project videos. Oftentimes, clients may want a video for a special company event or as a tool to reach out to potential investors and customers, offering a personal look at their company’s philosophy. There’s no limit or rule to this type of video, as long as you sit down with the client and develop a clear vision for the final product. It’s also possible that your clients will want to post it to their website. For a recent client video done by Buchanan Public Relations, click HERE.amanda-oct-pic

2. Media clips. This type of video is versatile and will vary depending on your target audience and client. These will be short, approximately :45 second clips that will help to introduce your client and their speaking style to the media. The clips can accompany press statements, be set up in an online portfolio, or made available upon request.

3. Promotional videos. Simple video and music can be combined to create a powerful message to promote your event. Click HERE for a sample of this type of video produced by Buchanan Public Relations.

4. Vlogs/internal promotion. A wildly popular use for video in PR is to promote your agency internally. Instead of a conventional blog, agencies are now utilizing video blogs to allow their followers the ability to step inside the inner workings of their agency and “meet” the people and environment behind their product.

So, how are agencies approaching video? There is no one “right” way to produce a quality production for your clients. Firms across the country are finding what works best for them based on their individual needs and office capabilities. Some of these options include:

1. Building a studio in-house. This is a great option for agencies that want to invest long-term in client video services and have someone with a broadcasting or videography background on their staff. The process is long and on-going, but once agencies secure the correct equipment and cameras for their studio, they will be able to produce video on-location and on-demand for clients and self-promotion alike.

2. Outsourcing to a production company. This is the best option for agencies that would like to offer a video option to their clients, but don’t have the manpower, time or resources to invest in building their own studio. This is significantly cheaper for the agency, since the client will cover the cost of the video and there is no need to invest in staff or equipment internally. However, this does drive up costs for the client.

3. Renting equipment. The third option that agencies can consider is renting camera and production equipment on an as-needed basis. If your agency is not planning on advertising your video capabilities or will be using basic equipment such as iPhones to generate video content, then this may be the most cost-effective option. This strategy is also great for firms that are looking to start their own studio, but want to try out different types of set-ups first.

Are you part of a PR agency that offers video services to your clients? Tell us about it in the comments below!

October 18, 2016

No Internship, No Experience, No Problem

By Staff, 11:07 am

– Stephanie Barber

Congratulations, college graduate! You’ve got an outstanding grade point average, a killer cover letter, and the recommendations of your favorite professors – time to go land the job at Google and demand your corner office in HQ, right?

Not so fast. You’re missing one vital item on your checklist – an internship.stephanie-oct-pic

Welcome to the big world, recent college graduate. The most common misconception I have seen throughout my exposure to higher education is, “College will give you all that you need to land the job.” Internships have increasingly become the deciding factor in whether an employer will even give your resume a second glance. From first-hand experience, I would like to take a crack at a few internship myths. Let’s discuss why we need them, why we may think we don’t need them, and everything in between.

1. Check Your GPA at the Door

Sorry college kids, but having only that piece of paper that you will pay tens of thousands of dollars for and a stellar resume won’t land you that job on its own. Employers want to see experience for multiple reasons. Knowing you have real-life experience within the field, combined with the confidence that you want to remain within said field, allows employers to feel confident in whom they are hiring. Internships will not only instill confidence in your own skills and knowledge, but will also build confidence among potential employers.

2. I’ll Have a Grande, Sugar-Free, Vanilla Latte with Soy Milk

Believe it or not, internships aren’t always code for “professional coffee-runner.” Most internships are created because businesses actually need help with real work their full-time employees are doing. When you interview for an internship opportunity, it is the perfect time to also interview them! Make sure that you will gain useful knowledge and skills while making a contribution to the business – that’s what an internship is for.

3. Get Out of Jail Free Card

Many college students think that internships are only for those who know exactly what they want their profession to be upon graduation, and lack benefit for students with undecided majors. On the contrary, if you are unsure about your future profession, an internship is going to be incredibly beneficial to you. Take time to explore the fields that interest you, especially as an undecided underclassman preparing to claim a major.

4. Once Time is Lost, It Will Never Be Found Again

“I do NOT have time for an internship with my crazy schedule!” I entered college with the classes of a double-major, a Division I sport that required me to wake up at 5am every morning, and the perspective of an overwhelmed freshman. I convinced myself I had no time for an internship, not now, next year or ever. That was my mindset, and it’s one you do not want to have.

You usually have only four years to openly explore your options within various career paths. Take the opportunity, whether it means you take a part-time internship with minimal hours, or find a virtual internship to conduct on your own time. Many students join sports, clubs and organizations while also finding time for an internship. Remember, you may be having a hard time finding the perfect internship, but employers may be looking for someone just like you! Don’t give up, you’ll benefit in the long run.

5. May Your Grades Be Ever in Your Favor

If you fear the need to fulfill your credit requirements and think taking an internship will cause your grades to suffer, I’ll let you in on a little secret. Employers and academic advisors are more than happy to work to get you credits in exchange for your time at an internship. Not only will you gain real-life experience within the field of your choice, but you can benefit academically from the experience. Two birds with one stone.

6. Millionaire? More like Nillionaire

Students are known to pull the “I’m living on a college-student budget” card. Getting a job that will support your lifestyle and living expenses is a priority over finding an internship that can be unpaid. But, did you know there are a lot of incredible internship opportunities that are paid? In fact, there is a high probability you will get paid more when you graduate if you have held one or more internships! Employers take into account the value of an internship and are usually inspired to express that through your pay.

7. I Know “People”

You may have some strong connections already established in your aspiring career field, but you can never network too much. During your internship, everyone you meet becomes a possible connection. Whether it is an individual you can contact for advice or someone you go to for a referral, networking could be the reason you land your dream job.

8. Time Management Is Life Management

“I can’t handle 17 credits, how am I supposed to manage an internship on top of that?” Internships will teach you better time management as a college student. They give you a sense of structure beyond your spotty class schedule and daily nap in the back of the library. It is an unspoken addition to your resume – showing that you were able to balance a loaded class schedule successfully with an internship.

9. You Did It, So What

Congratulations on finishing your internship, but it does not end quite yet. You may think putting your internship on your resume is good enough, but we can find something better than that for you. Ask your internship supervisor for a letter of recommendation. A reference directly from the source speaks volumes to future employers.

10. Do It, I Dare You

Most schools have online resources to help you find and filter through internship opportunities to best fit your needs, whether it’s a paid internship or a credit-exchange opportunity. You have the ultimate power to decide whether or not you’re going to go out there and get that real-life experience. So now that we’ve debunked most of the excuses you have been using, get creative and start searching!

October 11, 2016

Finally Capturing the Unicorn

By Nicole Lasorda, 12:01 pm

A few weeks ago, the perfect HARO (Help A Reporter Out, for those of you uninitiated) came through from a very high-level reporter who’s something of a Unicorn at the Buchanan PR offices. Many have pitched her; no one has ever gottenUnicorn a response. This new HARO wasn’t for a client, but for Buchanan PR itself and I decided to take my chances.

So, off I went, drafting my pitch and rewriting it at least five times, mulling over the subject line for a solid 10 minutes and then hitting send with much hesitation. When I didn’t hear back, I thought, “Oh well, another one down the tubes.” Then, like magic about a week-and-a-half later, a reply appeared in my inbox that said, “Nicole, I’d love to speak with Anne. Can you set it up?” I immediately told my coworkers who were shocked and excited. When Anne was interviewing with the Unicorn, we learned a few things: She will only cover a company once, she gets between 50-100 HARO responses each time she posts one and she loved my pitch so much she had to tell Anne. Anne asked to see my pitch – I was a little nervous, I mean I liked my pitch, but I didn’t think it was Oscar-worthy or anything. Anne agreed with the Unicorn and asked me to share it with the team.

Fast forward to last week, when another HARO comes through from the Unicorn and this one is  a great fit for a client. Even though I have somewhat of a relationship with her now, I was still feeling the pressure to come up with a pitch that was worthy of her praise.  I went through the same routine of writing, rewriting, mulling and hitting send. Again, I didn’t hear from her until yesterday, a reply came through that said she’d like to speak with my client and she was glad I reached out again. I felt like I’d hit the jackpot…a second time!

So, why give you all of this background? Because I want to offer some tips on the way I pitched the Unicorn and why I think it worked:

1. I was completely on-target: This goes without saying, but when you’re responding to a HARO or ProfNet, you should never send something that’s not 100-percent what the reporter is requesting. When I see something that’s “kind-of” right, I’ll usually make a note to add that person to my future media lists, so he/she is receiving all of the appropriate client’s information.

2. The subject line: If the reporter is getting 50-100 responses to a query, your subject needs to stand out. I decided to go with witty in both cases. My subject lines pulled out what was most important about my ideas, but weren’t boring.

3. I let my personality shine through: When I tell stories, I inject a little humor and fun into them. I tried to do that in the first pitch (which was a more feature-y topic). The second pitch was more business-oriented, but I still kept it conversational. Reporters are people and I think sometimes we’re so focused on making sure they have the information that we forget to be human with them.

4. I kept it short: I’m a huge fan of brevity in pitches. In fact, my most successful pitch ever (until now) was only three sentences. So, in both cases, I kept it brief and to-the-point. I included only enough to interest her and have her request more information.

Now that I’ve established a relationship with the Unicorn, I feel confident that I can pitch her without a HARO, when appropriate. And, I’ll use the same style of pitching again.

Do you have a Unicorn? What’s worked for you when pitching high-level reporters?

October 4, 2016

(PR)oject America

By Staff, 10:24 am

– Justyna Wierzba

I’m sitting in the Buchanan Public Relation office, writing this post and still can’t believe how it happened. But, maybe I’ll start at the beginning.

My name is Justyna Wierzba and I am from ‘exotic’ Poland. I am double majoring in Economics and Communication Management at the University of Wroclaw. Throughout my life, one of my biggest dreams was a trip to the United States of America. The first step which I have taken to realize my dream was joining the ‘Camp America’ program. And this was the beginning of my adventure.justyna-oct-pic

On May 30, 2016, my American dream came true. I was sitting on the plane to USA, twice as scared as normal, because it was the first flight in my life. First stop – New York. My first view of the city was breathtaking. I couldn’t even believe that I was walking through Times Square or Central Park. After three hours of walking with my head in the clouds and drinking a Coke (which had much less bubbles and much more sugar than in Poland), I took the train to my next adventure – to work at Deer Valley YMCA Camp in Fort Hill, Pennsylvania.

I was looking out the window of the train anxiously and wondered, “What’s next? What should I expect? What kind of people will I meet there?” When I arrived to the Camp, all my fears just disappeared. It was amazing, even my English became better and better. Thanks to this, I could talk freely, participate in the life of the camp, explore culture and make friends. And so, it happened! The most valuable thing that I achieved is the people whom I’ve met and memories which I’ll remember to the end of my life. Honestly, I didn’t expect something like this at all. My new friends support me and bring cheer with everything. This was clear, especially after working at camp – which of course was an amazing experience. After three months at camp, I started the trip of my life.

I decided to travel with my friends – more fun and pleasure. The first stop of our trip was Washington D.C. We just wanted to start from a very important place for citizens of USA. Then we went to Pittsburgh, where I could feel like a real student, because I took Slovak classes at the University of Pittsburgh with my friend. After that we flew to Las Vegas, which was our starting point for further travel, especially to see the Zion National Park and the Grand Canyon, but it wasn’t the end of National Park tour. During our trip to the West Coast, we also went to Death Valley and Yosemite National Park. After our nature trail, we finally arrived in San Francisco. To be honest, I can’t say which park was my favorite, because every single park was totally different and, at the same time, amazing. San Francisco welcomed us with rainy weather, but it didn’t disturb us from making our dreams come true.

From a very chilly place, we flew directly to the ‘tropics’ – Miami. And again it happened – a completely different world. What captivated me in this city is the Wynwood district – a place of street art. In general, I love every single piece of art and architecture. During the seven-day stay in Florida, we went to Naples and Orlando and were met with heat and sunburn. After two weeks of life at fjustyna-oct-pic-2ull speed, it came time for New York. There, I spent a week of sightseeing, exploring architecture and fantastic places. I even tried my first Pumpkin Spice Latte (I heard that I had to try this coffee during Halloween season. For sure, I won’t forget this coffee- for three days I have not eaten anything sweet 😉 ). Personally, I fell in love with Brooklyn, and even though it may seem that NYC is so huge and totally different from the Polish cities, I felt at home there (I even know how to use the subway!).

After a wonderful time in NYC, I went to Philadelphia to see the city, and also, it was the home of my friends from the Camp — Anne Buchanan and Jon Ericson. When we first met, we found out that we are interested in the same area – PR and Branding. Anne offered me the opportunity, if I travelled to Philadelphia, to take me to her office and show me what PR looks like here. I was so excited because this was also one of my dreams. And so it happened. After one day at her office, I literally fell in love (again) with her PR agency, and I realized that this is exactly what I would like to do in the future. The atmosphere which prevails here is amazing. The team creates one big family, and at the same time, everyone is working hard. Even I, after this short time, felt like a family member.

I’ve never expected that my trip to the United States would affect so much of my life. I met lots of great people, made my dreams come true. These are things that I have never even dreamed, and now … now I realized that if you want something, you have to be determined and never give up. If you do this, you can achieve more than you think.

Justyna is a friend of Anne Buchanan. She is considering a career in public relations, so Anne invited her to spend the week at the Buchanan PR offices to learn about the profession in the U.S.

September 28, 2016

Dear Writers, Lose Your Style

By Megan Keohane, 4:03 pm

As PR professionals, our career is so heavily focused on writing – news releases, pitches, emails, blog posts like this, etc. We are all “idea people” full of creativity. But sometimes, as creatures of habit, we can get caught in the monotonous routine of writing in the same style for each client. It is great to have a system that allows us to write quickly and efficiently, but sometimes that comes at the cost of our underlying creativity. And after all, isn’t that supposed to be the bread and butter of what we do?

So what do you do to keep from falling into a routine? Answer: Don’t limit yourself.

When meg-sept-picdrafting content for a client, we educate ourselves as much as possible so we can write knowledgeably on the topic – especially complex ones. While this is a necessary step, we often have much to gain by exercising our writing chops beyond the subject matters covered by our day-to-day client base. Believe it or not, writing a movie review or sending a handwritten letter to an old friend can help renew a whole different layer of creativity that may have been hiding beneath your standard writing style.

As writers, we must continue finding new ways to stay fresh and keep the juices flowing. Here are some ideas every writer should consider.

Write for another outlet. Recently, I started writing for The Odyssey. I love this because it gives me an outlet where I can write about almost anything, express my views and get published. If you find yourself with the opportunity to contribute to an existing outlet, go for it. But, creating your own blog is equally as good – even better if you hold yourself accountable to regular, consistent posts. This forces you to stretch your brain in a way that it is not used during the day and think outside the box.

Make use of LinkedIn Pulse. If you do not have the time or resources to maintain your own blog, another option is to share content on LinkedIn Pulse. LinkedIn Pulse serves as a blog platform and news aggregate where you can share your own posts and follow the posts of others. The content you write and share will be visible to your connections, as well as to a broader industry network, based on the topic.

Keep a daily journal. Or weekly – whatever works for you. This could be about anything from a food log to daily happenings. For some, this may be less pressure than writing something that will be published. However, it is still a great way to put pen to paper and keep stretching your brain.

These are just a handful of creative outlets where writers can express their style and continue strengthening their talent outside of the daily work grind. Writing in all sorts of ways helps keep us on our toes and can make it easier to bring new ideas to the table at the office, too.

Fellow writers – anything else you recommend trying?

September 20, 2016

Hey Future PR Professionals, This One is For You

By Lesley Amy, 11:30 am

Landing a full-time job right after college graduation is the ultimate goal of students today, and I was fortunate enough to do just that.  I graduated from Drexel University in March, accepted an internship at Buchanan Public Relations in April, and joined the staff as its newest full-time employee in July.

After being a full-time team member for a few months now, I am looking at the potential intern interviews through a new lens. As a former job-seeker, I know what it’s like to want the big, full-time job right away. My greatest piece of advice? Take the internship.

lesley-sept-picThe only reason I am a full-time employee with Buchanan today is because of my decision to take an internship, and it was easily the best decision I could have made for myself and for the beginning of my career. Here are some reasons why you should accept an internship, too.

  • You obtain real-life experience. Internships provide the real-life experience you need to see before going out and doing it yourself.  Classwork teaches you the basics of WHAT is done, while an internship teaches you to apply what you’ve learned in the professional world and learn HOW it’s done.
  • You receive really great advice. Some of the best career advice I received was during my internship. Everyone you talk to is genuinely interested in seeing you succeed and wants to provide you with every little tidbit of helpful information to get you there. Whether I chose to stay at Buchanan or not, I felt like I was equipped to be successful anywhere.
  • You build an amazing contact list. Once you get to know the people you work with, they become great contacts to help you after you leave. My previous internship was with the Philadelphia Eagles, and I’m still in touch with my former co-workers there from time to time. LinkedIn is a great way to stay connected, as well. I learned that the Eagles were a previous client of Buchanan a few years ago and having your contacts overlap really helps to strengthen your professional network.
  • You can get your feet wet. An internship is the perfect opportunity to see what your college major looks like as a well-oiled machine and if it is the right choice for you. You can take this time to really fall in love with what you want to do, or figure out what your next step is going to be.

Entering the job market is intimidating for a new graduate, but an internship can take the pressure off by allowing you to see what the job requirements will be, and if you are really happy with it. And if I can believe what I’m told, your happiness is the most important thing because if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life!

Do you have some great reasons to take an internship? Leave them in the comments below.

September 15, 2016

Honesty is the Best Policy

By Jen Tedeschi, 11:47 am

One of the first lessons I remember learning as a child was that honesty is the best policy. It may or may not have taken getting grounded a few times for it to sink in, but my parents made sure that I knew it’s always better to tell the truth, even when I’ve done something wrong.

Fast forward to 2016, and several people in the spotlight seem to have forgotten this important lesson. With recent scandals ranging from Ryan Lochte’s fabricated robbery story to the Wikileaks debacle and Donald Trump’s upinocchio-5nending string of dishonest statements, it appears that more public figures are choosing to lie than admit their faults.

When it comes to crisis communications, owning up to your mistakes right away is almost always the best course of action. While it’s never easy to admit that you’ve screwed up, the backlash you’ll endure is much more manageable than the often irreversible damage caused by getting caught in multiple lies.

If you’re feeling stuck and unsure about how to respond to a crisis, here are some tips for how to admit the truth gracefully and help your brand recover:

Act fast. When a crisis strikes, it’s crucial to have the facts ready to share with the media before the story goes public. Staying silent about the issue creates the impression that you have something to hide, and can offer reporters the opportunity to fill in the gaps themselves. Being proactive about sharing a clear, concise message allows you to regain control of the narrative before it gets out of hand.

Take responsibility. Although placing the blame on someone else may deflect criticism momentarily, the truth will catch up to you eventually. Taking full responsibility not only shows that you are truly sorry about what happened, but also helps the public remember that we all make mistakes. You are far more likely to be forgiven for a genuine error than for intentionally lying.

Show what you’ve learned from the issue. Regain trust by showing how you’ll move forward from the matter. Creating and implementing an action plan to prevent the situation from happening again proves that you care about doing the right thing.

Although no one wants to have a crisis happen, responding in an honest, empathetic way is a true display of bravery. Mistakes are inevitable. It’s how you react that makes a difference.

What other tips do you have for responding to a crisis?

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// // Commented by Jon Ericson, 29Feb2016 // // // //