Category Archives: J398 Social Media Strategy

Social media strategy for news and public relations professionals in training.

Deadline Day is Approaching Fast

Greetings J445 Job Hunters.  We’re 25 DAYS to graduation! And, 4+ days until your Online Portfolio, video Elevator Pitch and Cover Letters are due.

Amazing how time is flying by!

In Monday’s class we’ll be highlighting your work on the big screen. We’re definitely going to watch the video elevator pitches. If time allows, we’ll dive into your portfolio work samples too.

I have office hours tomorrow from 9:30 – 11 a.m. if you need assistance. This is your last chance before the assignments are due to get my help.

Some articles that may be helpful:

LinkedIn note: while you’re polishing your work for the online portfolio, don’t forget to place your best pieces inside your LinkedIn profile. And, be sure to update the website link in your contact area. You want to make it as easy as possible for potential employers to view your skill sets.

I look forward to seeing your online sites in the next few days.


How to stand out from the job-hunting crowd

Happy Wednesday J445 Job Hunters. Standing out in positive ways from your competitors is the focus of our next class session.

Our guest speaker is Kristina Richmann who graduated from our program in 2011. Kristina is now a senior account executive with Vantage PR. She specializes in public relations and social media marketing. Her clients have been featured in top technology and mainstream publications, including ABC News, FOXBusiness, The Wall Street Journal, Ars Technica, GigaOM, Lifehacker, Engadget and more.

During her 8 a.m. chat she’ll identify specific things you can do during the job hunt to separate yourself from the competition. We’ll also have time for questions you have about the job-hunt process.

At 9 a.m. she’ll be in TGC discussing crisis PR and working with journalists to secure media coverage. Everyone is welcome to attend this session if you’re interested.

Be sure to check out the course Guest Speaker Policy if you have not already done so.

Also, your big project — portfolio, video elevator pitch and cover letter — is due in 19 days. Are you making solid progress on it? If not, come see me next week during office hours for whatever assistance you need.




The Ins & Outs of Interviewing

Greetings J445 Job Hunters. I hope you’re enjoying the short week.

We have a guest speaker in Monday’s class. Danielle Salvato-Earl is an account manager at Kulesa Faul PR in the Bay Area. She’s also an alumna of our program.

Danielle is going to discuss interviewing — how to do it well, pitfalls to avoid, preparation and how to follow up with a potential employer after an interview.

Be sure to pull together a list of questions you want to toss her way. And, check out this article from Fast Company, “How to Nail Your Next Phone Interview.”

Be sure to review the class Guest Speaker Policy as well.

Have a great weekend.



We’re 48 Days from Graduation. Is time flying or dragging?

Happy April J455 job hunters. With only 48 days to go I can’t seem to decide if time is flying by or starting to drag its feet. Tell me how you’re feeling about the speed with which we’re headed to graduation May 18:

We’ve got a jam-packed month ahead of us. Here’s what’s on tap:

April 7: Guest Speaker Danielle Salvato-Earl
Danielle is an account manager at Kulesa Faul PR in the Bay Area. She’s going to discuss in the ins and outs of interviewing.

April 7 is also the start of Mandatory Advising Week and open applications for Tehama Group Communications’ fall team.

April 14: Guest Speaker Kristina Richmann
Kristina is a senior account executive at Vantage PR where she works with technology clients focusing on mobile, advertising, interactive TV, music, connected car, smart grid and telecom sectors. She’ll be sharing how to stand out in positive ways during the job hunt process.

April 16: Crocker & Crocker Summer Internship Info Session (see last week’s email).

April 18: San Francisco site visit trip.

April 21: SETs & Walt & Co.
8 – 8:50 a.m.: Student evaluations of teachers and Q&A for the portfolio assignment.

9-9:50 a.m. Guest Speaker Ian Twamley from Walt & Co. will be discussing what to expect in your first six to nine months on the job.

10 – Noon: Ian will be conducting first round interviews for Walt & Co.’s paid summer internship program. See my post on the department’s Facebook page for more info. Resume should be submitted to Walt & Co. before the end of this week to be considered for internship spot.

April 28: Portfolio Deadline
The big assignment is due: online portfolio, cover letter and video elevator pitch. We’ll be doing class presentations of your work.

Let’s take a collective deep breath, then dive on in!


Ready to Negotiate Your Salary?

Greetings J445 Job Hunters.

Monday’s class session is going to focus on a very important topic: MONEY!

We’re going to have a guest speaker who will teach you how to negotiate your salary. This topic definitely covers money, but as you’ll soon discover, there are other elements of your compensation package that you can negotiate with a potential employer.

Our guest speaker is Jodie Rettinhouse, career adviser with Chico State’s Career Center. I often get emails from alumni who tell me they got more starting pay or other perks in their first job because they followed the tactics that Jodie outlines.

The Daily Muse has a nice collection of links to articles about how to ask for a raise, negotiate your salary, and the homework you need to do before you start the process. Check those out here.

Money is often a challenging topic for soon-to-be professionals to cover. Last year, Forbes produced this piece, 11 Essential Money Tips for New College Grads, which you might find helpful.

Jodie is going to be the first of five guest speakers we’ll have in the coming weeks. Be sure to review the Guest Speaker Policy and come prepared to engage.



Learning to Pitch About Yourself

Good morning J445 Job Hunters. I hope you’re enjoying this nice RAINY morning in Chico, California. I had a wonderful time jogging in Bidwell Park with my dogs in the rain. It felt like such a novelty.

We have an action-packed class session lined up for Monday. We’ll be covering elevator pitches, cover letters and lining up your references. All incredibly important elements of your job-hunting tool kit.

Check out each assignment sheet in the homework tab before class. And, take a look at the following online resources:

Elevator Pitches: SHIFT Communications has a great piece about networking with professionals while you’re still in college. Take particular note of the entry about elevator pitches, which are useful in situations like this Friday’s site visit to Sacramento PR agencies, career fairs hosted on campus, in-class opportunities to network with alumni (we have five coming soon!), etc.

Cover Letters: I like to think of cover letters as mini-feature stories that connect you to a company. However, many students feel challenged to craft a cover letter that goes beyond the templates you can find online. The Daily Muse has an interesting piece which might help, The Mind Trick That Will Change the Way You Write Cover Letters Forever.

References: Sometimes references can make or break your ability to get a job offer. Oftentimes, students don’t think about the time and effort it takes to line up the right group of people to be your reference, the key questions you need to ask them BEFORE you put them on your list, and how to manage the relationship during the job-hunt process.

Check out this blog from The Ladders to help get your reference search off to a good start: Three Ways to Kiss a Job Offer Goodbye.

LinkedIn Profiles: I’m slowly making my way through these. I’ll be emailing your critique sheets once I’ve got them all done.



Forbes: Go Big or Go Home with LinkedIn

Happy Friday J445 Job Hunters. I hope you’re looking forward to the weekend.

Reminder that your LinkedIn profile is due 8 a.m. Monday. I must have your invite in my email before then to receive credit (if we’re already linked, then you’re good to go).

Before you finish your profile, check out Forbes, Your LinkedIn Profile: Go Big or Go Home. Some very nice insight here, in particular check out the comments regarding head shots. It also addresses several points from our previous class discussion: The issue of customizing your invitation to link with someone, and why you might not want to link with just anyone.

Monday’s Class Focus: Portfolios

We’re going to dive into your next job-hunting tool, which is your portfolio. We’ll cover formats, content, packaging and details of the assignment including deadlines. In preparation for Monday’s class be sure to read:

  • The Online Portfolio
  • PR Daily, “10 Things Every PR Portfolio Must Have.” Note that most HR staff I work with, tell me #8 is not needed (they’d rather TALK to references), but job candidates that have the rest of the items on the list typically get strong consideration.



Identifying Your Achievements

Greetings J445 Job Hunters.

Most of you have already retrieved your resumes. For those who have not, I’ll bring them to class Monday. I wanted to highlight some content from Amanda Locke’s resume, which I think can benefit many of you.

One of the challenges with describing your experience is to identify achievements that you’ve accomplished. In class I mentioned it’s fine to identify that you wrote and distributed news releases, but a sign of an achievement would actually be working with a reporter to secure news media coverage.

We’ve also discussed grabbing your baseline metrics in any social media work. This is where Locke’s resume comes into this discussion. Last semester she was doing PR for The Orion and helping to launch The Orion’s new smartphone app. One of her entries on her resume is this:

  • “Increased app downloads by 120 percent among Chico State students within four months.”

That statement clearly shows an impact of her PR efforts. And, it gives a potential employer a nice range of interview questions to toss her way:

  • Tell me how you made this happen?
  • What specific tactics did you employ?
  • How did you track the results?
  • When you spotted weaknesses in your efforts, how did you adjust your plan?

She can now practice the STAR approach to answering these types of questions: Situation, Task, Action, Result.

Achievements are not always easy to quantify, but it’s worth your time and effort to figure out how to identify accomplishments vs. just focusing on the tactical elements of your experience.

As always, I’m happy to brainstorm with you individually to uncover ways of identifying achievements in your work endeavors.


Socializing Your Job Hunt

Happy Friday J445 job hunters! Only 93 days to graduation.

You should be wrapping up the final edits to your print resume, which is due at 8 a.m. Monday. Now, we’re going to turn our attention to social recruiting and how to get your digital tools into job-hunting shape.

When you come to class Monday you must have a basic LinkedIn account ready for analysis. But, social recruiting is much, much larger than just LinkedIn. For some perspective, check out this Mashable article, How Social Media Could Land You Your Next Job.

While you start reworking your LinkedIn content, you should also evaluate the personal profiles you developed thus far across all of your social channels.  See my Tuesday post for great resource links on this front.

Last note regarding LinkedIn for today… STOP making this bone-headed mistake.



Start Crafting Your Professional Bio for Social Platforms

Hi J445 Job Hunters. I hope you got a lot out of yesterday’s whirlwind resume class. Just a reminder that I’m happy to go through resume drafts with you during office hours, which are:

  • Today: 11 a.m. – noon
  • Thursday: 9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Since we’re focused on resumes now and diving into LinkedIn Monday, I thought I’d share a few interesting sources with you. Yesterday, I recommended The Daily Muse. These two articles I originally found there:

The New Resume Tool You (and Recruiters) Will Love

How to Write a Professional Bio for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+

One more gem about professional social bios is this one from CNN, Twitter Bios: Don’t Be A Rock Star Guru.

Regardless of your political beliefs, you have to admit that Hillary Clinton has a pretty sweet Twitter bio. I’m going to be reworking mine, which is accurate, but dull. Let’s see what you come up with in the coming weeks.

Best, @DebraJChico