Archive for the ‘Public Relations General’ Category

I am currently a senior at Georgia Southern University and I would be lying if I said I am not constantly worried with thoughts about post college life and my future. I know that many of my fellow classmates feel the same way as well. There are some things that I have found helpful in working through these feelings and fears.

The CreativeCareer.com is very helpful with its podcasts of PR professionals and their experiences and helpful tips to entering the career world. I stumbled upon this website when I had an assignment do for my PR class and found myself listening to more podcasts than I was required to just because I was interested in what they had to say.

LinkedIn is also a good website that has been created to focus on professional relationships and can be a helpful tool in gaining contacts for your professional life. I recently linked with my uncle who lives in Washington D.C. for my first “friend” and he has about 60 contacts in the public relations industry that I would have never known about had I not linked up with him.

Twitter can also be a useful tool. I recently saw an article about 30 PR experts you should follow on Twitter. By doing so you could connect with them and see the steps they took upon entering the workforce and request any tips they would have.

Most of all, I have found that having a positive attitude and a strong desire to succeed will get you far. In reality, we can do anything we put our minds to. If you work hard and you want to get far, you will. There are many resources out there for us to take advantage of and it is up to us as the wave of the future to do so!


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I conducted a face-to-face interview with PR professional John Potesta on Tuesday, June 8th. Potesta works for E&J Gallo Winery as the Field Marketing Manager for the state of Georgia. He does public relations work across the world marketing his company’s wines. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Georgia and has been a good friend of my family’s for many years.

Q 1: What’s a typical week like in your career?

A: I do a lot of traveling to the distributors that carry my product in Georgia. I am a liaison between the winery in California and the distributors in Georgia that carry my products. I meet with management and sales reps of distributors weekly to pass on necessary information about my brands, setting up pricing, deals, and revenue and profit goals. I work directly with the distributor to insure that necessary communication has been made and both the winery’s business and their business are growing.

Q 2: Tell me about a project you worked on that you are specifically proud of.

A: Our Premium Business, which is our premium wines, volume was way down at -10% within a 3 month period. I put together a group of brands with special deals implemented in order to increase the volume of my markets with my distributors. The -10% went to +30% within a month.

Q 3: What do you do to keep current in the PR industry?

A: My Company (E&J Gallo Winery) is one of the top 5 technologically advanced companies in the world, which provides me with many programs relaying current information to me, keeping me updated in the industry. I use these programs sufficiently and maintain constant communication with the people I work with and for.

Q 4: What do you wish you would have known before starting a career in PR?

A: I wish I had a greater understanding of the importance in being able to adapt to all personalities. I learned to respect everybody, because good or bad, you can learn something from everyone.

Q 5: How important is writing in your career?

A: E-mailing and electronic communication is extremely important! I use my blackberry to access my e-mails primarily and it is very important to me. It keeps me from having to make phone calls.

Q 6: What three tips would you offer someone just starting out in PR?

A: Listen and learn from everybody you talk to. Smile when speaking to people because it makes them feel comfortable. Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know the answer, but make sure that you follow up and find out; as opposed to making something up you don’t know to be true.

Q 7: Did your education prepare you for PR?

A: No, I don’t believe that anything directly prepares you for the corporate world. College just makes you a more well rounded person and teaches you responsibility and time management. I found my career at a job fair that was being held at UGA my senior year. Majoring in economics did not prepare me for the work I do in public relations, however, it did provide me with a stronger business sense.

Q 8: How does technology affect your daily work?

A: Technology affects my daily work in a major way. It seems that everything I do is done electronically now.

Q 9: When your company is hiring an entry level PR position, what makes a candidate stand out?

A: A good communicator, confidence, a quick thinker and competitive.

After conducting this interview, I am more confident that a career in public relations is the path I wish to take. Potesta expressed to me that he enjoys his job and that he does well for himself. I would love to travel as much as he does and do something that I truly enjoy.

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