The Dos and Don’ts of a Fashion PR Internship

By: Chrissy Tansey, Director of Membership

Fashion shows, VIP events, and designers galore: what isn’t glamorous about working in the fashion world? While working in the fashion industry seems like an attractive lifestyle, fashion PR is no joke. With new competition arising every day, it is up to a brand’s public relations team to maintain the brand’s image, as well as continue to make it grow. Due to the high demand for jobs in this particular industry, it’s becoming more and more difficult to obtain (and keep) a job or internship.

After accepting an internship with GUESS? Inc., most recognized for its iconic denim, I had no idea what to expect, although I couldn’t be more excited. Now that the internship is coming down to its last days, I feel very prepared for whatever the future might hold for me in the fashion industry. The secret is getting your foot in the door, as well as following a few major “Dos and Don’ts” of the industry.

Photo credit: 20th Century Fox

Photo credit: 20th Century Fox

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Presentations: How to Win an Audience in 6 Steps

By: Sean Donnelly, Director of Chapter Development

There’s nothing more awkward and uncomfortable than sitting in the audience of a bad presentation. There are many factors that are imperative to giving a successful presentation, and one misstep can butcher the hope of having an engaging performance. powerpoint

Keep it Simple: Once you begin your presentation, be clear about its mission. From the presenter’s perspective, you may feel like you’re keeping the audience in suspense. In reality, you just might be turning them off and leaving them with a sense of wasted time. Keep things simple and on target.

PowerPoint is Not the Presentation: Steve Jobs once said “people who know what they’re talking about don’t need PowerPoint.” Slides are there to enhance and not be a crutch for the presentation. Providing clear-cut information to your audience could not be stressed enough. Keep your slides cut and dry. Don’t leave the audience to read a disorganized slide while you’re speaking. In this case, less is always more.
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Moving Across the Country: Keep Calm and Intern on

By: Melissa Conrad, Director of Finance

In a world where nearly two-thirds of college graduates participate in at least one internship or co-op, it is increasingly common to feel the mounting pressure of securing an internship during the school year (National Association of Colleges and Employers). The summer internship search is a looming stress for the majority of college students, with dozens of factors to consider when applying: compensation, desire, qualifications, location, experience, the list goes on. As an aspiring communications professional going into my senior year, I decided to shake up said internship search. Location? Not a factor. Cue June 14th, 2014, and I was on a 3,000-mile flight from New Jersey to Oregon for my dream of an internship. intern moving across the country

The applications I filled out during the thick of my junior year ranged in job locations from close to home to flying-required. The farthest of them all, though, was the position I ultimately accepted at adidas America, Inc. in Portland, Ore. Going on my third week of work, I’ve narrowed down the three keys of moving across the country (or just far enough) for an internship.

Embrace independence.

It can be the ultimate anxiety magnet packing two suitcases and heading out for three months on an airplane by yourself in your early 20’s when you’re still trying to figure life out. The plus side is that the anxiety quickly subsides when you realize how liberating traveling on your own is. The world truly feels like it’s in the palm of your hands when suddenly, the bigger picture becomes clear as the experience is much more than a bullet point on your resume. Location relative to your hometown becomes obsolete.

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Corporate Fashion 101: Summer Doesn’t Mean Slack Off

By: Emily Grabowski, Co-Director of Regional Conference

While most people think of summer attire as flip flops, bathing suits, and cover-ups, PR professionals dress a bit differently. Flashing back to the winter time, interning or going into work was simple. You’d get ready, throw on a nice pair of dress pants, a blouse, and maybe even a fancy sweater. In the summer, the task of getting dressed for an office job just isn’t as simple. There are a few rules that every young professional should keep in mind as they attempt to get ready for the business day in the sweltering heat.

1. First impressions are EVERYTHING!
We all know that a t-shirt and shorts would be everyone’s go-to outfit on a hot day, but in the professional world, this is just not the case. Always remember to dress to impress, no matter what the temperature is outside.

2. There are still ways to be fashionable in hot weather.
For example, a nice sundress paired with elegant sandals would be the perfect office outfit for a hot day. For men, there is nothing wrong with a light polo shirt and dress pants. Work your outfit, literally!
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Without a PR Internship this Summer? No Problem

By: Amelia Friedrichs, Director of Regional Conference

It’s ingrained into our minds from the very start: without an internship, our chances of job hunting success are slim to none.

But what happens when the summer internship you lined up in December falls through at the last minute? How do you continue your internship search following endless interview rounds, still not receiving the internship of your dreams?

The stress involved in finding internships is indisputable; yet, many students continue to overlook simple ways to make their internship search easier.
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I learned this lesson firsthand as I desperately searched for the best summer internship I could find after my chance with the American Heart Association unexpectedly fell through. Devastated and slightly panicked, I went through endless lists of health-related PR positions still available for the summer.

There was my mistake. I was looking for public relations internships – nothing more. Desperate times often call for creativity and an open mind, so I continued on with my search looking for something different. Continue reading

Reflections on the Changing Population of College Students Since 1982

Demographers Claim Millennials Are Not What Students Used to Be. But Are They?

By: Dr. Ann Major, Faculty Advisor

I began teaching college courses in 1982 about 12 years before most of my current students were born. Several students have asked me how today’s students differ from past generations. It’s a good question and it raises the issue of demography and how it relates to the practice of public relations.

Demographers provide critical information for public relations planning. As social scientists, they study populations and generational differences focusing on “birth, migration, and death” according to Germany’s prestigious Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research.

Understanding demographics helps us communicate more effectively with our diverse audiences. However, a caveat is in order. When we review the results of demographic studies and assume that all members of one generation share the same behaviors, beliefs, and cultural values, we forget the importance of individual differences.

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Summer vacation doesn’t mean a break from online branding

By: Kristina Lintz, Director of PR

We all love summer vacation. It means we survived another brutal State College winter, gives us a break from trying to find alternative routes to class because of the construction on campus, and alleviates the stress that comes with juggling classes, clubs, and social events. But what about your online brand that can be neglected during the busy semesters? 

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More often than not, it falls by the wayside, but we have three months off now, so it is the perfect time to rebuild your online identity. With less pressure to complete assignments and projects, you can leisurely update and easily maintain a website/blog in your spare time. 

You may wonder what you can write about, and I say: anything. Do you have an internship? Write about what you’ve been learning and how you’ll apply it once the summer is over. Did you relocate for the summer? Write a short piece about how you have been readjusting, friends you’ve made, or great food in your new area. 

Even something as simple as reading about public relations or advertising news can be enough material for a blog post, check out websites like PRDaily, AdWeek and FastCompany for an entertaining spin on branding and marketing.

Sites such as WordPress, Wix and Blogger have simple, ready-to-use templates that alleviate the stress of actually designing a website while still giving you freedom to tweak certain aspects of the page and add as many or a few tabs that you’d like. You could have a static front Welcome page, or have people land on your blog, or your About Me page.

On your About Me page, which I do recommend you have, you should put basic information about yourself – maybe expand on those parts of your resume but also add color – did you study abroad? Do you love to travel? Have a slight addiction to coffee? Love a certain type of sport? This is the place to put it! You should also include a headshot. Now, my recommendation is you just put your selfie-skills to work here and take a simple picture of yourself with a clean background, or have a friend take a picture of you at the lion shrine, but in my opinion, this isn’t the place to post your Facebook pictures of you and your friends.

The point is: it’s summer, and that means relaxing and not thinking too much about school work, but use this time to the best of your advantage and create something worthwhile. The pieces you write for your website can easily be incorporated into your portfolio when it comes time to go job hunting!