Monthly Archives: February 2008
Like many of my readers are, or once have been, I am a waitress. I work at East Side Mario’s on Front Street approximately 20 hours a week while going to school obtaining a postgraduate degree. I love my job, and have been a waitress since I was in high school. Its a great way to make money, meet a lot of people and have a lot of fun.
When writing my resumes, I was trying to think of transferable skills from a serving job to a career in PR. Now, I can’t put this on a resume, but anyone who can handle serving tables in a busy restaurant I think is the best candidate for a job in public relations.
First, it’s all about the clients. It is my job first and foremost to make sure my tables are happy. I can advise them on what to order, make suggestions to increase the check (bigger bill generally means bigger tip), and ensure that they are looked after in every way possible. Now, I have to do this to four or five other tables at the same time. I have to remember who ordered what and which tables needs more salad. If a problem occurs, I break into crisis communication mode and try to resolve the problem without the table knowing. Its all about time management and the ability to multi-task. You have to be able to read people within a 30 second greeting and treat each table accordingly.
I work in a team of 20-30 people, communicating with cooks, hosts, bar staff and busers who all who together to create a effective and efficient work environment. We all get along and after a long day at work we often sit at the bar for a nice cold refreshing beverage.
So, in a part time job that really has nothing to do with public relations, I have learned skills that will help me better understand my clients. I had a hard time of coming up with transferable skills for a resume, but come watch me work and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
I was pretty impressed today with my PR class. We were asked to remember everything we knew about how to structurally write a news release, and we came up with a pretty long list. Having not written a release since last semester I surprised that we remembered as much as we did. We then applied this list to study product news releases students found online. We learned the basic structure to writing product releases, bu when we applied that knowledge to what we had brought in there were very few similarities.
I find that often in class we learn something and then find it is done differently among PR professionals. Do people just forget how to write a release? I know that I forgot in just a semester time. So to help me remember, I found this site from the Nano Science and Technology Institute (NSTI) that gives some excellent details on how to write a release. They suggest the follow format:
Headline – Be creative. One sentence. Use proper title case, capitalizing every word except for the following articles: of, it, the, a, an, from, and, is, by …
City, State (PRWEB) Month Day, Year — Grab their attention here. A strong introductory paragraph should cover who, what, when, where, why and how.
Put the body of your press release here. Expound on the information provided in your introductory paragraph. Include quotes from key staff, customers or subject matter experts.
The body of your press release should contain more than one paragraph. The final paragraph should restate and summarize the key points of your news release.
For additional information (or sample, copy or demo), contact: (include contact information here)
You can include details on product availability, trademark acknowledgment here.
About XYZ Company
Include a short corporate backgrounder.
http://www.YourWebAddress.com (if applicable)
NOTE: Do not include e-mail address here. We have a special place for your e-mail address.
Include safe harbor statement (if applicable).
I definetly recommend the site for anyone wanting to get back to the basics of writing a news release. There is tips on formatting, editing and content. Check it out, How to write a press release.
Also, is it news release or press release? What’s your preference?
I am so excited to be a part of the Easter Seals Conn Smythe Sports Celebrities Dinner & Auction this Wednesday evening. As a part of our program at Centennial we are required to do free PR work, and I am fortunate to work with the Easter Seals. I have been involved with events at school such as Talk is Cheap, but nothing as major as something like this. I will be working with the communications team signing in media, which I think is totally exciting. In class we did a mock news conference where we had fake media sign-in sheets, but this is something else.
The event (in its 57th year) is Canada’s longest running sports celebrities’ dinner. More then 1000 will attend in support of Ontario’s kids with physical disabilities.
I am slightly intimidated by the whole process to be quite honest. Not just participating in the event, but doing real PR work. Its one thing to hand in a news release to an instructor, but I would be writing pieces that could potentially turn up in the news!
So I hope that over the next few months I will be able to share my experiences with you and that you will do the same.
Internships are also fast approaching…anyone else incredibly nervous about interviews???