Friday, June 29, 2007

Tips for international student job searches

Not long ago an international student asked me for some tips on searching for jobs in the United States. I consulted another former student, George, who was then working in California (but has since moved back to Japan), and he provided some good advice that I thought might be useful to other students.

1. Don't limit your search geographically. George applied for a job in Atlanta but was sent to the company's California office.
2. Look for jobs in the want ads in the foreign language press and on Websites for people [from whatever country you're originally from] now living in the U.S. If an organization is looking for a bilingual speaker, that's where they'll advertise.
3. Search for jobs in cities that have large international populations -- they are more likely to be open to international employees.
4. Do all the things an American student would do: post your resume on the Internet, use the career center, etc.
5. Make sure the job offers visa support before you get too far into the interview process. You can work on your student visa for only a short time before you need a work permit. George says most recruiters are knowledgeable about this.
6. Check with the international student office of your college; they can also provide help with visas.

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Save the date: PR and social media conference

We're just in the preliminary stages of planning, but mark your calendars now: Grady College's conference on PR and social media, which will bring together professionals and educators, will be held on Oct. 19-20, 2007, in Athens, Georgia.

In various sessions we'll include basic "how-to" information, talk about what research tells us about social media, exchange ideas for using social media in the classroom, and discuss how social media can change PR practice.

To add your name to the conference mailing list, send an e-mail to GradySocialPR (at) gmail.com.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

BlogHer as a resource for academics

Thanks to Rohit Bhargava's post on social media sites and tools for women, I just registered on BlogHer -- for some reason I knew it was a conference but that's all. Anyway, already found an interesting post in the Research, Academia and Education section with a link to a Chronicle story on MIT's new pre-orientation Second Life island for incoming students. As with any of these sites, I'll have to read it for a while before I decide if it's worth the time investment, but my first impression is good!

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Monday, June 25, 2007

The Week's Best, 25 June 2007

There's a theme to most of this week's selections: new media tools that can have an impact on PR's ability to build relationships. Think about it!

PR Podjots, Sarah Wurrey
"Discontinuous Conversations"--Does Digg "Steal" Community?, Todd Defren
What Has Changed for Communications Professionals, David Phillips
The Future of PR is Participation, Not Pitching, Steve Rubel
Warts and All: Showcasing a Lighter Side of Your Business on YouTube, Jon Harmon
Government of Tanzania at the Forefront of Public Relations Management, Toni Muzi Falconi

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Friday, June 22, 2007

PR academics may be smarter than you think

Following the PRWeek/Edelman academic summit, Julia Hood's column (subscription required) in PR Week suggests that students can push academic programs, and employers, to understanding new media behavior. She suggests that students "are their own best focus group, or laboratory, for how the environment is changing."

But they also need "direction in order to understand how these things apply to the wider PR world." She charges both academics and employers with being active in making sure these things happen. "I've spoken to a few colleges recently and have been a little surprised that some of the classes are not touching on new-media platforms in greater depth," she writes.

Well, she hasn't been to UGA. Not only do our students use social media -- YouTube, Facebook -- but they also recommend it to many of their clients (last semester, for example, my Campaigns students set up a sample blog for the Home Depot Foundation and showed the UGA Department of Intercultural Affairs how to use Facebook for a student promotion). I assign students to do research on blogs in PR Comm and have them post comments on PR blogs in PR Administration. Kaye Sweetser asks them to design pitches for bloggers in her sections of PR Comm and is teaching a Social Media class for people who just can't get enough this fall. And, let's not forget the 30 students who spent 3.5 months keeping up their PR blogs in my Campaigns class. (By the way, 2 more have posted -- Kristina on the Peabody awards and Kelly on her new job at Coca-Cola Enterprises -- so we're up to 1/6 of the class.) Lynne Sallot attended the academic summit, so I'm sure she's got a lot to talk about in her classes next fall. And the New Media Institute, which is part of the Grady College, offers a certificate program that many of our PR majors complete.

So Grady's ahead of the curve. Big deal. Josh Hallett makes the point that a lot of people are behind the curve--and not just in the professoriate. The more important point is that there IS a curve.

Academics will "get it" when it becomes important enough to the practice for us to invest the time and energy to learn about it. Bill Sledzik blogged about PR professors (not) blogging, and I made the point then that there's no external incentive for learning about social media -- no money, no tenure, not even a certificate (what academics usually give each other when there's no money). I'm being a little snide here -- of course PR professors want to keep up with the field so we can teach their students well. But we have to balance a lot of competing demands on our time, and social media just haven't reached the proverbial tipping point yet.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Salute to Grady's Silver Anvil award winner

You probably know her as a researcher of social media, but Kaye Sweetser, Grady College faculty member, is also part of a team that won a PRSA Silver Anvil award in the crisis management (government) category. As a member of the U.S. naval reserve, Kaye worked with the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command in the Middle East last summer.

Kaye (her blog here) was based in Bahrain as the acting Media Officer when she was assigned to the public affairs team during the evacuation of American citizens from Lebanon. Kaye says it was the largest sea-borne evacuation in U.S. history and tells us it "turned into an experience I often draw on when teaching my PR classes."

I'd say that one goes on this year's "Pride of Grady" list. :-)

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Monday, June 18, 2007

The Week's Best, 18 June 2007

Tip of the Hat to the Father of Public Relations, Eric Eggertson
How the Internet Disorganizes Everything, RU Sirius
Revamping a Blog, Jessica Hoffman
Shell Has a Eureka Moment, But Sends Wrong Message, Rohit Bhargava
Does PR Have a Future?, Heather Yaxley, and Lessons from the Edelman New Media Conference, Bill Sledzik (be sure to read the comments)

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Friday, June 15, 2007

Work, efficiency, and motherhood

A couple of months back, Lauren Vargas recommended Working Mother magazine. I bookmarked it. Last week, Kami Huyse also listed it as something she regularly reads. When two of my most respected bloggers both read the same magazine, it's time to give it a look.

An article in the current issue focuses on "Eleven Reasons to Love Being a Working Mom," and reason #9 really hit home-- "I'm more disciplined now." And how! Lauren recently posted on Kami's superwoman tendencies, but--although I'm not in their category of superwoman--I can probably speak for all three of us in saying that motherhood can (doesn't always) lead to better focus, organization, time management, and self-discipline. I had to learn to prioritize, which means thinking about what's most important to me not just at home but at work, and to be as efficient as possible in order to achieve what is to me an acceptable level of success at work and home. I'm not saying you have to be a mom or even a woman to have this experience, but for me it was catalyzed by becoming a parent.

One of my colleagues commented not too long ago that I was amazingly productive considering that I have a small child at home -- but it's not in spite of, it's because of.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

More neophytes

Well, it seems I missed a few. If I'd've waited a few hours longer, I'd've included these neophytes on my list, too:
Blogging Me Blogging You, Ed Lee
Into PR, Owen Lystrup
The PR Place, Rich Millington
Communication Strategy, Josh Morton
Inside the Cubicle, Jeffrey Treem

In fact, I'm adding a neophyte section to my blogroll and hope you will check these newbies out.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

New Voices: PR Neophytes in the Blogosphere

Over the past few days, I've been delighted to find new posts in the Campaigns folder of my RSS aggregator-- a few of my former students are still at it, even after their grades are in. (You can't see it, but I'm grinning from ear to ear.) I read about Nikki's job search, Allie's thoughts on the Webby awards, and (another) Nikki's reflections on confidence and her new career.

This inspired me to look for and at PR blogs written by students and new practitioners from around the globe. It seems that, like 90% of my Campaigns class, many start but few continue; once they get a job they've got other work, sometimes even other blogs, to consider (Erin and Flackette come to mind).

My picks for the most interesting PR neophyte blogs:
Observations of Public Relations, Luke Armour
Student PR Blog, Chris Clarke
PR Blogger, Stephen Davies
For Budding Public Relations Professionals, Adam Denison
Indian and Global PR -- Student Blog!, Rajiv Harjai
PR Newbie, Jessica Hoffman
Young PR, Paull Young

Add them--along with PR, It Depends, Spinnan, and Beyond the Press Release -- to your RSS aggregator. They've got things to say!

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Monday, June 11, 2007

A post we should all read

Here's a manifesto from Brian Solis that we should all -- students, educators, practitioners -- read. Some key quotes:

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The Week's Best, 11 June 2007

PowerPR Index (revised here), The Friendly Ghost
How to Measure Social Media, Katie Paine
jetBlue Bounces Back, Andrea Morris
How NOT to Use PowerPoint, Todd Andrlick
Social Media: An Indelible Reputational Tattoo?, Gerry McCusker
What It Takes to Succeed as a New Media Pro, Geoff Livingston
Weighing In on the Ghost-Blogging Debate, Shel Holtz
Second Life Vice, Sherrilynne Starkie
Forward Podcast 25, An Interview with the 2007 PRSSA Bateman Champions (shameless plug for my students)

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Summer is for research

Maymester officially ended this morning when I submitted my grades. Woo-hooooo! Vacation time, right?

Nope. I'm in the office working on a paper that I'm co-authoring with a colleague. Can't say anything about it without violating the sanctity of the blind review process. But I didn't want anyone to think I'm slacking.

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Still more Bateman news

Those Bateman girls are still raking in the publicity. Here's UGA's news release, a story from New Jersey , and one from our campus paper, the Red and Black. PRSA also interviewed me, so stay tuned...

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Monday, June 04, 2007

The Week's Best for PR Students, 4 June 2007

Music is More Fun without Record Labels, Scott Baradell
The Dawn of the Hyper-Networked PR Era, Steve Rubel
10 Characteristics of Generation Me, Gary Schlee
This Is Really A Quantum Leap!, Toni Muzi Falconi
Video: Wikis in Plain English, Lee LeFever
Why Public Relations Needs Real Public Relations, Heather Yaxley
Top 25 Blogs about Blogging, Daniel Scocco

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Saturday, June 02, 2007

UGA grads featured on Forward Podcast

Kaitlyn Bagnato, Anna Harrison, Nikki Kay and Molly McFerran, four-fifths of UGA's winning Bateman Competition team, were interviewed a couple of weeks ago for the Forward Podcast, now available here. (Janna Gay had to return to Atlanta and missed the interview -- hi, Janna's dad.)

I was also interviewed at the end, which explains why I haven't listened to the podcast yet. :-P

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Friday, June 01, 2007

Paull Young's virtual visit to UGA

After my lecture on social media, Converseon's Paull Young visited my PR Administration class today via Skype. We had a great conversation about social media, public relations, and the future-- everything from Twitter to Facebook and from Wal-Mart to Second Life. My students, some of whom were enamored by his Australian accent, are fortunate to be able to hear from the experts because of technology -- a virtual guest lecture.

This weekend they've been given an assignment to post comments on at least three PR blogs, so don't be surprised if they find you.

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"More important than the curriculum is the question of the methods of teaching and the spirit in which the teaching is given" --Bertrand Russell

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