Public Relations Students & Networking

April 3, 2008 at 4:12 am (college, new media, PR, PRSSA, public relations) (, , , , , , , )

I have recently joined PR Open Mic. It is a social networking website for public relations students and faculty. Professionals are also welcomed.

Networking has recently come up within my chapter of PRSSA. I had a meeting Tuesday night with the Professional Development Committee. One member brought up the point that we needed more networking. You never know who might end up knowing of a good job available or have resources you might need. Networking is a very important aspect of PR. Because of this, we have decided to put together a networking book, containing the contact information of our members. We will be selling them for $1 at our annual spring picnic.

I also suggested speed networking. It is actually something I thought of several months ago, but I wasn’t sure what other people would think of the idea. I did mention it at the meeting Tuesday night and the others seemed to like the idea. Basically, it would be like speed dating. You get to sit down and talk to someone you might not have ever had a conversation with. Maybe I’ll talk to someone who, like myself, wants to have their own public relations agency someday.

I hope that PR Open Mic becomes active with many new members. There are forums about many different subjects, gadgets to add to your page, groups (you can also form your own group, PR-related videos, and PR podcasts.

Networking is important in our industry. I might just be the person to tell you about your next job. You might be the person who will have tips to give me in a major PR crisis. You never know…

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Business Dinner Etiquette

March 26, 2008 at 4:18 am (PRSSA) (, )

This evening I attended the Etiquette Dinner put on by CMU Career Services with several other members of PRSSA.

I felt that this would be a very useful event to attend. What if I am required to attend a formal dinner with clients in the future? Before this event, I had no idea why I would need three forks!! Now I know that one is for salad, one is for dinner, and the one at 12 o’clock is for dessert.

Images and impressions are important, especially in public relations. I would encourage every student to take advantage of learning experiences such as this. You want to appear competent and professional to your superiors, peers, and clients.

So here’s the top ten tips I learned while eating dinner:

1. Put your napkin in your lap as soon as everyone is seated.
2. Wait for everyone before beginning (ordering, eating, moving onto the next course, etc.)
3. Start on the outside and work in.
4. Cut one bite at a time.
5. When passing “community” items, offer to the person on your left and then pass to the right if you initiate. Pass to the right at all other times.
6. Bread goes on the plate on your left and you have to rip off one bite-sized piece at a time, not make a “bread and butter sandwich.”
7. When eating soup, move the spoon away from you and sip the soup from the side of the spoon.
8. When the host is done, so are you.
9. Coffee is for after you have eaten dinner.
10. The host or person who invited you out pays the check. If you are the inviter, you get the check. This may change in other cultures.

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