PR & Communications Jobs in Philadelphia

From Tipton Communications

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Do The Work

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S-P-E-L-L It Out

Think about the last interview you went on and how you prepared for it.

You probably spent a couple days studying up on the firm or company.

Reviewed and changed your resume, if needed.

If you really have your head in the game, you compiled shining recommendations from your past employers and professors.

As for the actual interview, you spouted off your career achievements and made sure you listened attentively as your interviewer answered your carefully curated questions. And if you’re a little advanced, you made sure that the interview was a conversation where both interviewer and interviewee had equal stake in the process.

What if I told you that you went about that process all wrong?

We all read about the monthly jobs report, so I’m not going to bore you about how competition for available jobs is reaching critical levels.

But taking that into consideration, you have to be willing to go above and beyond and be the most capable prospect an interviewer has come across. How, pray tell, do you do that?

You stop looking at your interview as an ‘interview,’ and start looking at it as a project.

I have to thank the veritable Harvard Business Review and its article “Projects are the New Interview,” for enlightening me.

You cannot just say of what you are capable. You have to show you are capable. Spell it out and show your work to your interviewer.

Want a job as a graphic designer?

Build new graphics and a website for one of the company’s clients.

Want a job as a communications practiitioner for a non-profit?

Write a new communications and media relations plan for said non-profit.

Spell it out.

It seems harder than the standard interview prep we’ve all been told. It seems like it take more time. That’s because it is harder and it does take more time. But taking the time showing your capabilities has many rewards.

People have mad respect for that.

Not to sound like a corny infomercial, but it worked for me. I had a second interview at a strategic consulting company and I brought in a two-page plan about how I was going to integrate myself into the firm and expand the bottom line.

I got the job.

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Back To School Already?: My 2 Cents on the Eternal Grad School Debate

Seriously? It’s July…

So you made it to the end of your undergraduate journey and your Public Relations/English/Communications is mere moments from being transferred.

 

You’re probably thinking, “What next?”

 

You know first hand that you gotta have experience to get a job and get more experience, so the job search odds are not in your favor quite yet.

 

And maybe your parents are pressuring you. Maybe you’re looking at your friends that have decided to further their education and go to graduate/professional school straight away.  But, you’re most likely stressing yourself about the future and how to get ahead. You are deeply considering a grad program to aide in The Takeover (No Hov) of the Media World.

 

So I’m here to give you my advice, even though you never asked for it.

 

There’s a ton of things to take into account with going back to graduate school:

 

The most important thing in climbing the career ladder is WORK PLACE EXPERIENCE, especially in these lean economic times. Employers want to know that you are able to do the job for which you were hired as efficiently as possible. Grad school is not the cure for this problem.

 

Look at it this way, If Company A is hiring for a Communications Specialist position and Candidate X has been working at Company B as a Communications Specialist for two years and Candidate Z has her MA in Communications with no experience, who will get hired? Here’s a hint, there’s a 90% chance Candidate X will get hired at Company A. Actually, that wasn’t a hint at all. That was the answer. But, Anywho…

 

Most grad school programs are focused on theory and research, in order for students to ascend to the next academic step, the PhD.  Therefore, most programs are less focused on providing practical skills for the work world.

 

And lastly: Money, money, money. (Also, time is money.) School isn’t free. It costs a lot of money and you will most likely go into debt to acquire a higher degree that may or may not help you achieve your higher goals. And you will be signing away a significant portion of your life to acquire this degree.

 

The reasons listed above make it seem like I’m vehemently opposed to getting a Masters degree. Couldn’t be further from the truth. I highly value education of any sort.

 

“Who Run The World?” Masters Graduates??

 

Here’s my suggestion for a grad school plan of action for my Comm/PR peeps:

  • Get your undergrad degree. (Lemme raise a hand for my college grads!)
  • Work, in any way that you can, in your profession of choice, in this case, communications and/or PR. I know it’s easier said than done. Take internships and part-time jobs. Be focused on acquiring skills. The skills WILL help you down the line.
    • NOW, while working, be cognizant that life is an on-going learning process. So, continue reading about your profession, attending networking events and scheduling informational interviews with people in your field.
    • ALSO, start researching grad schools. You don’t want to go to just any school, but one that is best for you.
  • Continue this process for 2-5 years. Longer, if you can stand it.
  • Apply to grad school. Get a ton of acceptances because you have experience and passion that is demonstrated through your gap years.
  • Go to grad school AND KEEP WORKING. Don’t think for a second that grad school should be a respite from the cold, hard world of working. A degree should ADD to your work experience. Not be a reason to completely abandon work experience. Refer to the example above for clarity.
    • Keep meeting as many people as possible (students, professors, people in the industry) to add to your network. An overlooked aspect of grad school is that there are so many people in your chosen industry to build the ever-important relationship with sitting next to you in class!
  • Graduate and have employers falling all over you and throwing you jobs. (Results not guaranteed!)

 

These article are quite helpful on the grad school debate:

Grad School Vs. Real Life Experience – Brazen Careerist

Why Going Back to Grad School is a Bad Idea – Brazen Life

Pick A Grad School For the Right Reasons – Culpwrit

The Grad School Option – Culpwrit

 

In short, grad school degree + work experience = a truly standout communications professional. Don’t skimp on either factor.

 

 

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“A Hard Battle”

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Steve Jobs and the (Un)Importance of Being Kind

Several times, I would walk by the Steve Jobs biography in the bookstore, eye it for a second from afar and walk away. His iconic gaze intrigued me, but there were a number of things that triggered the “Ehh…” lever. It’s thick. And lately, I’ve been having trouble with ADD-like tendencies. When I was a child, I would delight in gigantic tomes. But I couldn’t see myself getting through a book that long anymore. Also, since I lived during the Age of Steve Jobs, I thought I knew everything I needed to know.

 

For one reason or another, I finally decided to upload the book onto my iPad (the irony of using Jobs’ invention to read about his inventions was not lost on me). And I devoured it in five days flat. His story is greater than fiction. And it smashed the myth that I already knew the deal regarding Jobs.

 

I would highly suggest that you read it, because it was one of the most engrossing books I’ve read in some years.

 

One of the most surprising things that I’ve learned is that Jobs was kind of a… jerk. And he was open with and had accepted his jerkiness.

 

He would berate employees, telling them they were idiots.

 

He would tell waiters, in detail, why their chosen restaurant was terrible.

 

And the stories involving his rival, Bill Gates, are epic.

 

He would hurt people’s feelings and not give a care about any of it.

 

See, Jobs had a singular notion of his world. He wanted the best. He had a very narrow notion of what the best was, if he didn’t know what it was at the outset. He wasn’t a big fan of compromises, because he knew his way would make the world a better place in the long run.

 

I effing love that.

 

Why do we bend our ideas so easily in the attempt to be people pleasers?

 

Why is the focus on placating those around us rather than getting the job done and achieving the best results?

 

I learned so much from Steve Jobs. The most important thing being, if you have a vision that’s going to make the world better, hell, even yourself better, you better be willing to fight for it. And be okay with hurting some feelings, too. A lot of people are unwittingly ecstatic at the concept of mediocre (that’s not meant to be a dig, just an observation), but that doesn’t mean that you have to be, too.

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Walts Words pt. II

I’ve been thinking a lot about a post that I wrote about a quote from Walt Disney that inspires me. Here’s the quote:

“Somehow I can’t believe there are any heights that can’t be scaled by a man who knows the secret of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four C’s. They are Curiosity, Confidence, Courage, and Constancy and the greatest of these is Confidence. When you believe a thing, believe it all the way, implicitly and unquestionably.” – Walt Disney

Even though he highlights confidence as the top special secret to success, constancy has been a theme that constantly gets brought back up to the forefront, in my life at least.

Let me lay it out on the table… No one likes a flake. No one likes someone who doesn’t do what she says they’re going to do.

Constancy is a big part of our reputation. I’ve learned recently that our reputation is based more on how people feel about what we do, rather than what we’re actually doing.

The best way to get those around us to feel a certain way about us, whether good or bad, is to do the same thing consistently.

I wasn’t born with the constancy gene, unfortunately. I have to work hard to be more consistent, because I’m realizing how necessary it is to have this quality.

You can have confidence in your abilities/reputation, but making others believe in these things is important, too. Constancy is the key.

How do you work on becoming more consistent or reliable?

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