At a recent UI PRSSA meeting on September 12, 2012, the organization welcomed speakers from two companies in the Iowa City area. The first two guest speakers of the night, Micah Kulish and Josh Krakauer, were representatives from Sculpt Social Media Marketing Agency (wearesculpt.com), based in Iowa City.
The company focuses on managing social media accounts for clients across popular platforms in an attempt to build and enhance local branding. Sculpt gave some great information to chapter members, and also advertised internships within their agency. Members interested in the opportunity were encouraged to express their desire in a tweet using the hashtag ‘#workforsculpt’.
As a final note, the speakers conveyed the importance of responding to customers who interact with businesses online – for instance, if a consumer posts about a particular business on sites like Facebook, Twitter, or Yelp, there must be a representative available to adequately address these questions and concerns.
Following Sculpt was Heather Smith Friedman, owner of de Novo Alternative Marketing Agency (thinkdenovo.com), a guerrilla marketing firm out of Cedar Rapids. Friedman touched on countless topics, beginning with job search techniques for students. Friedman explained how she almost never posts jobs online, because often times many of her respondents are either unqualified or are not genuinely interested in the opportunity.
Friedman expressed that the most appealing job applicants first thoroughly research a company, and then directly contact it, often times referring to a specific role of aspect of the company to which they believe they can contribute to.
Friedman also stressed the importance of having specific career goals as well as defining the exact expertise of one’s skills. To sum up her advice, Friedman explained to the group that they should brand themselves as possible assets to a company. In doing so, they must always be able to sufficiently fill this sentence when talking to possible future employers: “I am the for Type of Company.” Using this formula when networking or applying for jobs will help applicants effectively tailor their approach for each company.
Since an interview usually follows a job application, Friedman also shared her best advice with the chapter for presenting themselves well in such a setting. She stated that, “It is as much of an interview for you as it is for the company.” In saying this, Friedman illustrated the importance of finding a company that suits an applicant’s desires and expectations.
Friedman also recommended always sending thank-you notes to any company that members interview with, as it leaves potential employers with a great last impression.
Students know that education is valuable, but after hearing what each of the night’s presenters had to say, one thing is clear – internships are undoubtedly the best way to enhance a student’s knowledge and experience in the field of public relations.
UI PRSSA Newsletter Writer