Currently: Favorites with Emily Kopchak

Emily Kopchak

Welcome back to Currentlya series from FACTEUR PR where we share the latest favorites of our staff and clients here on our blog! In this edition, get to know Emily Kopchak, FACTEUR PR Intern. Emily is a senior at Kent State University, majoring in Fashion Merchandising with a minor in Fashion Media and Visual Communication Design. Cheers!

Currently, my favorite...

Book I recently read or am reading:
I haven’t had much time to set aside for reading recently, but I am excited get around to reading Michelle Obama’s new memoir, Becoming. I love reading the stories of inspiring women!

Part of my job:
This internship has been the best opportunity to add to my portfolio! It is such a great space to learn as well.

PICTURE VIA AMAZON

PICTURE VIA AMAZON

Album or song:
Mumford & Sons released a new album in November! Delta has a number of great jams and is overall a good road trip choice, as I usually find the folk rock band to be.

Place I visited:
Though I could talk all day about the places I went during my study abroad semester last year, I thought it would be better to mention somewhere I travelled to within the last month or two. My family trips are often oriented around visiting a National Park. This fall break, we went to Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor, Maine. It was cold but absolutely beautiful, with a number of great hikes!  

PICTURE VIA THE BUBBLIST

PICTURE VIA THE BUBBLIST

Magazine I read:
The Gentlewoman is a nice step away from Vogue and has recently featured some good artist stories. I also quite like their minimal layout designs.

Blog I read:
I honestly don’t keep up with many blogs. The main one I do enjoy is Pretty Little Fawn. She has a lovely warm and natural aesthetic. Consistency and honesty accompany her beautiful photos, which is always a plus.

Clothing/accessories/shoes I bought:
I had some good luck recently finding an excellent navy wool blazer on the consignment site The Real Real.

Event I attended:
Also something for the future, I look forward to visiting the new Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern exhibit at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Back in July in New York, I saw a small exhibition with pieces from her trip to Hawai’i in 1939. I am quite interested in seeing a different perspective on her life, particularly one that analyzes how both her clothes and her art changed over time. 

PICTURE VIA KATIE RODGERS

PICTURE VIA KATIE RODGERS

Instagram account:
 I enjoy seeing what projects artist Katie Rodgers is working on. On her Instagram account @paperfashion, she is known for “shadow dancer” figures but also does beautiful florals and scenic pieces. She is also great at sharing her materials of choice and filming process videos.

Drink I tried:
In Kent, there is a quality coffee shop I frequent called Tree City Coffee. Their seasonal menus are always good, with one of my favorite autumn items being an Apple Harvest Tea. Ginger tea and a cinnamon stick are steeped in steamed apple juice. How genius!

PICTURE VIA RADIO TIMES

PICTURE VIA RADIO TIMES

TV show or movie I watched:
This year, I gave the show The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel a try, and I am obsessed! I love a good period piece appreciate the smart comedy woven in. The characters are dynamic and perfectly casted. The attention to detail in making the 1950’s setting is amazing too!

Thing overall I'm obsessed with:
Lastly, I am sure I am not the only one that falls down the rabbit hole of YouTube every once in awhile. One of my favorite series is Actors on Actors that Variety puts out. Every awards season or so, pairs of actors and actresses discuss their current film project and often fangirl over each other’s work. I will always have a spot in my heart for Hollywood, so I am all ears for a little behind-the-scenes!

Yield better results on Instagram with a little curation and cohesiveness

Instagram curation

We all want to create those beautiful Instagram pages that bring in new followers that turn into clients and customers. We know the pages I’m talking about — the ones that have all the pictures that are so beautiful, edited well and content that is well-curated.

Mav Social recently published an article on creating a feed on Instagram that matches your brand and looks cohesive. Their helpful articles explains that while “your photos look brilliant when viewed individually, they could be a jumbled mess when seen together,” which is one reason to create a beautiful feed. Nobody wants their first impression to be a messy one. Brand recognition will also help people remember you! If you have a beautiful page, people won’t have to even look at your handle to know it’s your content, automatically knowing in their mind that this picture belongs to you!

@FACTEURPR

@FACTEURPR

How do these brands do it?

Well, I wanted to share some insider tips! This blog post was inspired by FACTEUR's own Instagram feed. I am amazed by how well Reena, the founder of FACTEUR, puts together each Instagram post to tie so well into the rest. She makes sure the colors are cohesive and that everything is on-brand and is recognizable for our audience.

Knowing your audience is super important when launching a brand as well as when marketing one. I run a personal blog, and I can definitely attest to this. I run an Instagram page as well, and I know that my audience would be thrown off if I all of the sudden started posting a black and white photo when the rest of my pictures are very colorful and highly saturated. I know my audience enjoys and expects bright colors and through researching other Instagram influencers they follow, they engage with similar pages.

While it may sound boring to post content that all matches, it actually becomes very appealing to the eye of the follower.

In the Mav Social article I mentioned earlier, they shared this photo as an example from Fossil’s Instagram feed. It shows that they choose consistent colors to focus on, but so followers don’t get bored, they switch up the hue every nine photos.

@FOSSIL

@FOSSIL


While the content may not be exactly the same in each individual photo, overall it still looks cohesive and their photos are always of high quality.

A new website that I recently learned about and saw that was given also as an example in this article is  the blog on Design-seeds.com. This blog offers  a great way to figure out a color palette for your brand/company. Here are some examples of the ways they help inspire you:

@INSOMNIA

@INSOMNIA

 

As you can see in this photo that @In_somnia_ used on their Instagram, they were able to pull out these beautiful six colors. Out of these six colors, they could decide to continue using a few of them in their upcoming Instagram pictures!

Imagine if this picture was randomly thrown into one of the color schemes from Fossil. It would look out of place and if a follower was looking at the Instagram page, some followers may be turned off by how out of place the picture looks and leave, meaning you would lose out on a new follower, sale or future customer.

A sense of unity, even on your Instagram feed, makes your audience feel part of your brand.

Visual Psychology

Streamlining the look and feel isn't about deceiving your audience. In fact, with so much noise on social media, it's helpful to post things that are only relevant (and save the fun, on the fly stuff for your Stories!). Photos can create an emotional response to your audience, so make sure you are helping to create the right ones!


Apps to help you edit your pictures

There are so many options out there today for you! Choosing the right one for you may take a couple of tries!

My top three suggestions for apps to help you edit your pictures:

  1. VSCO: great for creating each picture with the same filter

  2. Lightroom: awesome for editing details/specific colors in pictures

  3. A Color Story: fun and creative filters as well as editing functions like Structure, Curves, and more

Now, don't forget that photos aren't the only thing you need to developing an engaging Instagram presence. Once you create eye-catching and on-brand visuals, you need relevant and powerful captions, as well! 

Need help on ideas of what to post? Check out FACTEUR's Instant Resources section and get your hands on some content calendar worksheets for a year's worth of ideas to get you inspired and started! 


Danie Minor is a recent graduate of Kent State University, where she studied public relations. She is passionate about all things having to do with social media and influencer relations.

How to take on event planning & marketing to college students

marketing to college students

I recently took over the marketing department at my university’s bookstore. As a primarily commuter campus, our store’s goal for marketing was “outreach, outreach, outreach.” This meant creating and executing events that would bring more students into the store and create an elevated awareness of our presence in the university population.

When you throw an event for a company you work for, whether you’re in charge of the marketing department or were just given the opportunity to pull something together, there are a few things to keep in mind that could help you to go from just throwing an event to succeeding at it.

There is no event if no one shows up.

Merely planning an event is not enough, you have to effectively market the event to your audience for it to be truly successful.

In my experience, trying to captivate the attention of anyone, especially college students, is very difficult. More than ever, people are moving and sifting through messages faster and faster. The American Marketing Association reports that people’s attention is the most scarce resource of any modern marketing plan. Whether it’s email, signage, flyers, or even word of mouth, people are capable of seeing and instantly dismissing any message. This means that whatever message you are putting out there has to be something worthy of their extended attention.

When I am marketing for the college campus community, I keep those statistics in mind. Because of the fact that my college student target audience have lives where they are constantly busy and merely skimming through every message they see, my goal is to get my message to them in as many ways as possible.

It is only because I have identified the habits of my target audience that I know this works best for my brand. You should take time to do the same; identify who your audience is, and then, how, when, where, and why they consume their media.

Every student has different media consumption habits; some delete all their emails and spend all day on social media, some will only ever see an email, some will only see signage, etc. So, I will do my best to cover all of those bases, repeatedly. (This includes any social media, the university weekly Events Calendar email blast, paper signage/handouts, and digital signage which is projected on screens around the Student Center.) I find that if I update every single possible place with messages about my event (starting about a month to three weeks beforehand) the majority of students will see it, and I will have the most success. Because I repeatedly hit up these things with posts and graphics, they will see my message more than once, driving some familiarity and curiosity about it.

This tactic of coming at the consumer from all possible angles is not the best for every target audience. In fact, with some target audiences it might drive annoyance more than anything. It is only because I have identified the habits of my target audience that I know this works best for my brand. You should take time to do the same; identify who your audience is, and then, how, when, where, and why they consume their media.

When you are faced with the task of getting the word out about an event, come up with an exact plan that you can see through to the end. Identifying your target audience will help you compile a list of every place you want a message to be. Finalizing this list should be your first step.

This list turned into my most critical organizational tool as it kept me focused and aware of every outlet I wanted during my entire planning process. Once you have identified your outlets, your message should be finalized. Customize the message for each outlet and then track progress in your original list. The more places your message appears, the more likely people are to start recognizing it and gaining interest in attending, which, leads to my next point:

Incentivize

College students often are looking out for number one: themselves.

In order to get people interested in coming to my events, I create some sort of incentive. People, and students especially, are extremely busy, so they won’t come to an event unless they benefit or they see the potential to benefit.

The most effective incentive for a store event is a discount on your merchandise. If your company is able, offer anywhere between 5-15% off one item when they come to your event. If this doesn’t apply to your company or brand, consider having guests be able to enter a drawing when they attend an event. I recently had success doing a giveaway for a $100 gift card to an upscale restaurant which brought people in because they wanted to win, and then ended up staying for the actual event.

If giveaways aren’t your thing, bring something to the event which will benefit your guests. As crazy as this sounds, one of my most successful incentives was when I brought in dogs from a local animal shelter for a stress relief event. My target audience go crazy for adorable dogs so I knew having some at my event would inspire a lot people to come. The best part about having something out of the ordinary like this is that word-of-mouth marketing comes into play. People texted and Snapchatted their friends when they saw an opportunity to play with some adorable puppies and encouraged their friends to also enjoy the experience. Therein lies your success: When people step into your space and see what you have to offer them and they like what they see. So, make sure what you’re offering is clear, obvious, and noteworthy. 

Interaction

Interaction with guests is absolutely critical to building a clientele and leading to more success in the future.

When you throw an event, introduce yourself and your colleagues to new faces and old. Whether you’re representing a large corporation or a small family-owned business, connections between people make a huge impact. Customer interaction is now more important than ever, with 54% of some companies rating customer interaction as being in their top 5 list of priorities, and half of those rating it their #1 priority.

You build trust when your guests can identify a face, voice, or attitude that they automatically can associate with your brand. One successful event will only lead to more successful events if you have made your attendees want to come back. This doesn’t mean leaving them happy, but leaving them happy AND wanting more.

Measure your success and identify your weaknesses.

Once you’ve thrown your first event, you will have a much better idea of what to plan for in future event planning. I’m not ashamed to say my first event didn’t go over that well because it enabled me to identify what I was doing wrong. If your attendance is low, you didn’t market or incentivize enough. If people came but seemed less than impressed, you didn’t plan or interact well enough.

With each event you plan, what works best will become more and more obvious and you will be able to expand and focus on those things that will create effective and successful events for your brand. And remember, marketing is an ever-changing field, so always try new things in order to be more successful.


Hannah Krisinski is a junior at Cleveland State University, where she studies Journalism and Promotional Communications and minors in Digital Design. She currently handles marketing, promotional work, and event planning for the CSU bookstore, where she is able to use creativity and innovative ideas to engage in campus life nearly every day.

Be Perennial: Three tips from PRSA Georgia’s 2018 conference

PRSA Georgia 2018

“Bloom where you are planted,” Elyse Hammett, APR, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, says. “Plant your seed, dig hard, take on every single thing you can from every single direction because the more you dig, the more you bloom. You want to be perennial.” The room full of aspiring public relations professionals is silent as everyone listens to her speak on how to find your path.

This advice comes from a panel of impressive speakers discussing the differences between Nonprofit, Agency, and Corporate career paths at Public Relations Society of America Georgia’s 2018 Braving the New World Annual Conference on March 23.

Conferences offer ways to grow professionally while also being able to connect with likeminded people during an engaging event. I represented my local PRSSA chapter at Braving the New World and would like to share three of the major takeaways from my experience at the conference that benefit both students and professionals interested in public relations and marketing.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Companies are expected to be more than just companies in today’s market. Simply having a good product and supplying it aren’t enough anymore. Businesses need to be engaged with their audience and enact what is known as Corporate Social Responsibility, often abbreviated as CSR.

CSR is a business’ recognition of and implementation of environmental or social wellbeing causes. Research regarding Gen Z and the types of companies, products, and corporations they chose to support points toward a growing preference of social responsibility in business. Young people today are more likely to support businesses who act in part as activists and use their product or wealth to benefit causes outside of themselves.

It is no longer a recommendation but an expectation.

Businesses should brand themselves as fans of their content, with consistent personalities and voice to stand apart from the standard advertisements people avoid and scroll past on their feeds.

Building Brand Voice on Social Media

How do you brand and advertise your company in an authentic way?

In a world where social media is so prevalent, people are becoming more aware of and are producing negative reactions to advertising and losing trust in corporations. How do you brand yourself or your business in a way that reaches people? Today, businesses are not just competing with other businesses online but with friends, family, and interests consumers hold. They have to find a way to stand out against competing forms of content the average person finds more important or engaging than a typical ad or corporate social media page.

Josh Martin, the senior director of digital and social media for Arby’s, spoke about the importance of being bold and targeting niche communities online. By creating fun, visual content that feels very personal to specific groups of people, your content has a bigger impact on those specific consumers. While not everyone will get the joke or reference you are trying to convey, those that do will feel a more personal connection to your brand which strengthens the voice of that brand across all platforms.

Essentially, businesses should brand themselves as fans of their content, with consistent personalities and voice to stand apart from the standard advertisements people avoid and scroll past on their feeds.

Bloom Where You Are Planted

Public relations and marketing change daily. These fields force professionals to constantly adapt to new trends and information. With this in mind, it is important to take hold of the work you do and cultivate your craft. The best way to get better at something is to do it over and over again. PR and marketing are no different.

Focus on blooming year round in everything that you do. Maybe that means taking on a new client in an area you aren’t exactly familiar with or taking a fresh take on the work you do for current clients.

Whatever it is, bloom where you are planted. Be perennial.


Chloe Taylor is one of FACTEUR's Spring 2018 interns. She is a junior studying Public Relations and Mass Media at Valdosta State University, where she's also an executive board member of its PRSSA chapter. 

Takeaways and trends from SXSW

Marketing trends from SXSW

Every year, South by Southwest (SXSW) springs upon us, and feels like it flies by. During each conference panel, festival, exhibition and networking opportunity, there is greatness that happens, and new ideas and trends that we in the creative fields need to be aware of!

This year from March 9 through 18, SXSW dedicated itself to helping creatives achieve their goals, whatever they may be. Throughout the conference, there were some definite trends that were talked about that we need to keep our eyes open to and consider so we can stay relevant in this crazy world that we live in.

SXSW covered some of the trends that they thought were most relevant from this past conference, and I want to highlight some that I think are the relevant when it comes to marketing.

The Maturing VR Market

We’ve seen Virtual Reality enter our world fast and mighty, but throughout this past year, it’s really making a name for itself. What may have been thought of as a trend or a fad, was wrong. SXSW reports VR has really matured into a potent tool in the arts, medicine, business and entertainment fields and is really accelerating into mainstream technology now.

So, what’s next after VR, you ask? It’s MR, which is Mixed Reality.

Mixed Reality is going to allow you to created environments and overlays. It is going to give you a really immersed feeling and becoming more of a mainstream technology tool.

Inclusion in Business and The Arts

During a time where the country has never felt more divided, we have seen a rise in inclusion in brands and throughout marketing. It’s 2018, so we should expect this, but now it’s actually happening and is going to continue!

We are seeing a rise of empowerment of women, people with disabilities and people from various backgrounds. It is part of our jobs in PR/marketing to further these messages.

The Rise of the Short Documentaries on Social Media

Social media is the new form of journalism. We get our news and learn new things from social media. For example, on Facebook, there is a page called 60 Second Docs. These short documents do a story about someone/something in 60 seconds.

With our short attentions spans, these short documentaries are a quick way to learn a lot about something! In PR, we are constantly looking for a way to grab someone’s attention through all of the noise, and video content is the way to do it!


Danie Minor is a recent graduate of Kent State University, where she studied public relations. She is passionate about all things having to do with social media and influencer relations.
 

Quick tips: social media for retailers

Traveling in London.png

With a crowded social media space, it is hard to stand out amongst the competition online, but it's essential to try your best. Posting content that is relatable, eye catching and relevant to your audience are just a few of the tips to practice when using social media for retail. Let's dive deeper.

Seven social media tips for retailers: 

1.     Be relevant. Be sure to stay true to your brand and your audience. If you're a fashion retailer, stick to content that will appeal to your customer who is looking for trends and stylish clothing rather than posting images of your lunch (a little off-topic content is OK, just make sure it fits into your overall strategy). Use the right hashtags, too.

2.     Show! Don’t just tell. Social media is all about the visuals, so have high quality photos and videos. While not all of your followers will see your content due to algorithms, those that do will see your images first, and then perhaps will read your caption. Always keep in mind the image you use in your post is catching the interest of your viewer first thing.

3.     Consistency is key. Readers will respond better when they are seeing quality posts from your business on a regular basis. If readers see your business posting every day, that consistency will help to build more of a personal relationship with them. That relationship builds trust, and trust builds sales.

4.     Pay attention to detail. Every post should be well thought out and intentional. Most of the time your followers will only spend a few seconds on your post, so make it count! 

5.     Make it personal. Whether it's on your website or in your store(s). you are selling to people, and on social media, you are selling to people as well, though not always through a direct transaction. Make sure your communications are personal and thoughtful, creating a two-way engagement, not just using your posts to sell. 

6.     Change up content. The great thing about social media is you can always experiment with your strategy. One way to do that is to switch up your content types. Try posting beautiful photos, but also videos, Boomerangs, Stories, coupons, contests, behind-the-scenes posts and more. This will keep readers engaged and interested. Just about ever retailer is on social these days. So change up your content to keep those customers coming back for more!

6.     Have fun. Remember, people don't just buy products, they buy the lifestyle that comes with it. Show how much fun they will have with your products - inspire them and have fun!

social media for retailers

pin this!

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Anna Huff

Contributing blogger
Anna is FACTEUR PR's Digital PR intern for Fall 2017.

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Behind-the-scenes of a PR internship: how to search for one you want, secure it, and succeed at it

how to get a PR internship

Julie Hong has been an intern with FACTEUR PR since May 2017. She is beginning her fourth year at University of Georgia, where she studies Public Relations and New Media and has experience in community relations, media relations, social media, event planning, and more. During the school year, she is part of the Publicity Committee at her school’s PRSSA chapter and the occasional staff writer for seasonal publications. A California girl who moved to Atlanta at age 16, she loves to say ‘y’all’ but still gets confused when she hears ‘fixin ‘to’. She is personal, positive, and a people-person who feels strongest when she is a part of a team, and she has been a joy and privilege to have her on our team! (So much so, in fact, she is staying onboard through the fall!)

Now that it's back to school season (and a time where many high school and college students will begin their fall internships), Julie is sharing her experience and advice for searching for and securing a public relations internship, as well as what it takes to make the most of it and succeed.

julie hong

julie hong

On finding the right internship...

My internship search wasn’t very intensive, actually! Usually, I would get bored of whatever I was doing, and figure I might as well be productive instead. I’m very fortunate to attend a university that has a ton of resources to help with job/internship hunting!

I found out about FACTEUR’s internship almost by luck. In the beginning of the school year, I made a commitment to learn more about the PR world. This included following sites like PR Daily, PR Girl Manifesto, and PR Couture. It was through PR Couture’s “PR Girls We Love” series that I found out about FACTEUR PR. I loved FACTEUR’s overall aesthetic, and that was all it took for me to follow their Instagram. Not long after, they posted a call for digital interns!

In short, I made an effort to keep up with the PR news cycle. Getting “plugged in” to the PR world helped me get used to the culture and the conversations of the industry, and in this case, led me to an awesome internship!

On applying and preparing for the interview...

FACTEUR’s application was a lot different from the ones I was used to in a good way! Does anyone remember those fun surveys you would fill out and post on Myspace, or mass e-mail to your friends? It felt like that, and I had a lot of fun answering them. I didn’t prepare a ton for the application, if at all. I answered the questions as if I was talking to a friend, which was a risky move that I was willing to take. I wasn’t sure if it would work out well, but I’m so glad it did!

Of course, what really makes the difference is the interview. Getting your foot in the door is difficult, but the interview is what seals the deal. I prepared a lot for the interview. I researched maybe more than I even needed to. Here’s a short list of the things I researched:

  • Values. I wanted to intern for an agency I cared for. I wanted to be proud of not only my work, but my employer. I wanted to know what set FACTEUR apart from other agencies, and I also wanted to know what I liked specifically about FACTEUR. For example, I loved that FACTEUR had creative clients. It spoke to their values and complemented my own, and I made sure to mention it in the interview!
  • Branding. I familiarized myself with FACTEUR’s overall voice and message. Were they more casual, or formal? What aesthetic did they go for? How did they frame their posts and who were they reaching out for? What hashtags were they using? How could I contribute, and how can I improve their social media presence? Which leads me to...
  • Opportunities. At the time I interviewed, FACTEUR didn’t yet have an official list online of clients like some larger agencies do, so this took more time than I anticipated! Once I found a few clients that I could focus on, I researched hard. My goal was to prove throughout the interview that I knew about their previous work, could effectively find opportunities for their clients, and that I was already thinking like a FACTEUR intern. Plus, this kind of research showed I cared enough! For my interview with FACTEUR, I zeroed in on Chill Pop Shop and brainstormed potential PR opportunities in the future.

I also prepared a list of questions to ask, including:

  1. How and what feedback will be given?
  2. What is the main communication methods of the internship?
  3. Which clients/projects would I be assisting with
  4. How do you measure success for clients?

The most important part of the interview prep, personally, was the list I made of my own strengths. I listed every software I was familiar with that could benefit the agency, every personal quality that I could bring to the table, and short anecdotes of times I measured up to the challenges against me. I didn’t mention everything on this list during the interview, but writing it down boosted my confidence! It’s important to know your own worth to communicate it to someone else.

Julie's handwritten notes from her facetime interview.  (Photo: Julie hong)

Julie's handwritten notes from her facetime interview.  (Photo: Julie hong)

What were your biggest challenges of the internship?

The real challenge of this internship was learning to manage myself. Interning remotely is just another way of saying working from home, and it’s really easy to begin internship work on the couch and somehow end up on Netflix, binging the new season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. There were some days when all I did was look at the list of things I had to do. There were also some long workdays when I realized how much I had put off, and dedicated myself to finishing all of it in a single day.

I had to get in the habit of being my own manager. For example, I committed to leaving my apartment every morning to work. It’s all too easy to convince myself that I can do just as much work from my bedroom, but it’s never as easy as I want it to be. Now, I always get out of my pajamas and get out of my comfort zone if I want to be productive!

Also, coffee helps. So does a really good (and eclectic) playlist that includes Frank Sinatra, Sylvan Esso, and The Japanese House.

The most surprising thing about this internship...

I was most surprised by how long a single pitch could take me. It wasn’t just the writing itself; of course the actual writing took awhile, but that didn’t surprise me. I like to get things right when I write, and I expected to take my time.

But the research! That, I was not prepared for. Maybe this is just me being a newbie, or maybe this is me over-preparing, but gathering research for a single outlet took me hours. I wanted to be familiar with the outlet’s content, editor, voice, style, audience, growth, etc. I expected a lot from myself, and so I put in that much extra work.

Now that I’ve done it enough, I hope it won’t take me so long to familiarize myself with an outlet… but only time will tell!

How did this internship help you grow, and what will you take into the future?

This internship has given me so much that I don’t know where to begin. I learned so much! I came into this internship with very little PR experience. I’ve taken a bunch of PR classes, and I’ve done a little bit of media outreach here and there, but nothing as concrete as what I’ve done at FACTEUR.

FACTEUR gave me the chance to prove, mostly to myself, that I could practice what I had learned. As valuable as technical skills are, it’s the confidence I’ve gained that I’m most thankful for. It’s the knowledge I now have, of my strengths and weaknesses, my interests and disinterests. Internships guarantee at least some growth in skills and experience, but you don’t always get personal growth from an internship, too. I’m glad, and very lucky, that FACTEUR’s given me both.

when working remotely, julie says that dedicating time at a location other than home helped her focus on her assignments oh, and coffee!. (Photo: Julie hong)

when working remotely, julie says that dedicating time at a location other than home helped her focus on her assignments oh, and coffee!. (Photo: Julie hong)

Favorite part of interning at FACTEUR?

My favorite part… that’s really hard!

I love that every job feels like a new challenge. I love that there is so much more opportunity for me to get my feet wet and tackle as much as I can. I love the little tips that Reena gives me each week: the best days/times to pitch an editor, phrases to include in e-mails, even programs that made sending messages easier! I love feeling like an actual PR practitioner, with real experience under her belt. The things I learned in class aren’t just theories anymore; they’re skills, and I think that’s what the best internships do for students. They turn lessons into real practices, they bring life to concepts you only know in your head.

What were your "keys to success?"

I came into this internship with a few technical skills that may have helped me land the internship, but what helped me succeed at the internship were the “soft skills:” things that you don’t learn in class, the personal touch to everything you do. Anyone can complete a to-do list. Anyone can do what they’re told. What differentiates the good from the great is their attitude.

My keys to success, I think, were my positivity, enthusiasm, and drive. I came to the table with a smile on my face, eager to learn, and ready to go the extra mile. I wanted to do things well, so I did my best with everything I was given! You don’t learn that in class. You can’t take a Lynda course to teach yourself that kind of mindset. You have to work very hard in other ways (most often introspective and personal) to accomplish that. For me, what helped was meditation, long walks, and a lot of laughter!

Do you have any advice for someone interested in public relations? For students?

I have tons, but I tried to keep this short. (I failed.)

For those interested in public relations:

  • Get in the habit of thinking critically as you consume the media. Why do you think companies targeted specific influencers for sponsored content? What kind of message is the organization trying to send through their Tweets? How do they engage with their followers? Start thinking like a PR professional early, and it will get easier as you go along.

  • Whatever you’re interested in, pursue it. Keep up with the news in whatever fields you love, whether it be fashion, sports, or books. Find blogs and articles and even podcasts. Participate in the conversation whenever you can, but at least familiarize yourself with the vocabulary!

  • Start thinking about your network. Is there a PRSA/PRSSA in your area? Is there an agency around you that you can connect with? Do you know any PR professionals who might become mentors? Very few of the connections I’ve made are accidental; most of them, I actively sought out, because I knew I would learn so much from them!

For students in general:

  • Spend a lot of time learning yourself. What are you passionate about, and why? What kind of worker are you? What values do you have, in the workplace and in life? It’s a long, neverending process, but the more time you spend getting to know yourself, the easier it will get! A year ago, I had a feel for these things, but could never put it into words. Now, I can tell you specifically that I work best in collaborative environments and I cannot stand being micromanaged. It took me a handful of part-time jobs and two internships to understand that concretely!

  • Ask for more. Challenge yourself, push yourself. Bite off a little more than you can chew. Personally, I do my best to live up to people’s expectations, so it helps me to have those expectations high from the very beginning. Besides, there’s no way to grow if you remain stagnant! Remember that it’s not some innate, don’t-have-it-unless-you’re-born-with-it quality that makes you successful; it’s hard work and drive. Don’t back down from it! You are capable of accomplishing everything given to you. Own it.

  • Of course, know your limits and don’t stretch yourself so far that you snap. Learn to ask for help when you need it. It doesn’t make you a failure, and it doesn’t make you a wimp. It doesn’t mean your work ethic is lacking. It takes a great deal of bravery to admit when you need help, and the best kinds of people will understand.

  • Last but not least, I strongly advise against saving happiness for later. You won’t be happier when you’re out of school, or when you’re finally in classes you like, or when you have this job and that car. You will always be saving happiness for later, so break the habit and be happy now! Be satisfied with what you have, and be excited for what comes next.

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Julie Hong

Contributing blogger
Julie is FACTEUR PR's Digital PR intern for Summer/Fall 2017.

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Julie Hong

Julie Hong is FACTEUR PR's Summer Digital PR Intern. She is currently finishing her third year at University of Georgia, where she studies Public Relations and New Media and has experience in community relations, media relations, social media, event planning, and more. During the school year, she is part of the Publicity Committee at her school’s PRSSA chapter and the occasional staff writer for seasonal publications. A California girl who moved to Atlanta at age 16, she loves to say ‘y’all’ but still gets confused when she hears ‘fixin ‘to’. 

Currently: Favorites with Julie Hong

julie-hong-facteur-pr-currently

Welcome to Currentlya new series from FACTEUR PR where we share the latest favorites of our staff and clients here on our blog! Julie Hong, our digital PR intern extraordinaire, kicks off this series this week! Read on...

Name: Julie Hong
Job: Digital PR Intern
Location: Athens, Georgia
College you go to/went to (and major): University of Georgia, studying Public Relations and New Media!

Currently, my favorite...

Book I recently read or reading: Hunger by Roxane Gay is a recent read that I really, really loved. Currently, I’m reading (and enjoying) Every Time I Find the Meaning of Life They Change It by Daniel Martin Klein. I’ve been getting knee-deep into nonfiction lately after a long love affair with fiction, and it’s wonderful!

Part of my job: The challenge of never doing the same thing twice! There’s always something I can learn, or something I can be better at. Even if the task seems similar (like pitching), I’m researching and personalizing and exercising my creativity. It’s engaging, and sometimes it’s difficult, but it’s always rewarding.

Album or song: I haven’t been able to stop listening to the album Ctrl by SZA, or the song Just Dancing by Sylvan Esso!

Magazine I read: Local Wolves. Their content is thoughtful, vulnerable, and authentic. Plus, I’ve discovered quite a few artists through their playlists.

Blog I read: This question is probably the hardest of this bunch, because I don’t follow blogs anymore! I used to be an obsessive Bloglovin user, but the websites I browse now are article-based, with a variety of featured writers and editors. The only blog I follow now (which I’ve followed since 2011) is Neon Blush, a personal style blog.

Place I visited: As much as I loved visiting New York City this summer, there is a special place in my heart for Cannes, France, where I studied abroad to attend the Cannes Lion Festival of Creativity!

"There is a special place in my heart for Cannes, France, where I studied abroad to attend the Cannes Lion Festival of Creativity."

"There is a special place in my heart for Cannes, France, where I studied abroad to attend the Cannes Lion Festival of Creativity."

Clothing/accessories/shoes I bought: This summer has become my season of thrifting. Recently, I went into a vintage store for a pay-what-you-can sale. Yep, it’s exactly what it sounds like, and all the profit went to help someone in the community! I bought a pair of black denim shorts for half-off, and laughed about how shameless kids can be with the owner. I strongly encourage getting connected to local businesses, wherever you go!

Event I attended: I recently attended Roxane Gay’s Hunger book tour, and laughed my butt off at how insightful, witty, and honest Roxane Gay was in person. I actually got to get the book signed by her, which was really exciting! 

Instagram account: My own, obviously… Hehe. Just kidding! One of my recent favorites is masa_tattooer, who has very whimsical, romantic, and dreamy designs!

Food I ate/restaurant I tried: Soft-boiled eggs! I don’t know what it is about them, but I recently fell in love with eggs. I can have three for dinner and feel happy and full — but only if I can dip them in soy sauce. No soy sauce, no eggs!

Drink: I feel like my answer should be an alcoholic drink, since I am 21… but secretly, I’m still seven years old, and my favorite drink has been lemonade for years now.

TV show or movie I watched: I’ve watched Wonder Woman in theaters three times so far… so that probably takes the cake. 

Thing overall I'm obsessed with: Bullet journaling! It was my New Year’s resolution for 2017, and I’ve miraculously kept going with it. I never thought I would become a person who could actually organize their life, but bullet journaling has changed the game for me.

Advertising, marketing & public relations: teamwork makes the dream work

Whenever my roommate talks about her marketing classes, I feel a weird blend of familiarity and bewilderment; it’s like I can only catch every other word she’s saying. I recognize the language, but I’m not quite fluent. 

I once told her, “I don’t know how to think like a marketer.” I study public relations, not marketing! The two are closely connected, but not quite the same. 

So what is the difference between marketing and public relations? How does advertising fit in? I wanted to know, so I began asking at school and researching online. 

Here's what I uncovered!

Advertising

Advertisements want you to notice them. At the focus of every advertisement is a product or service. “Here I am,” it says, “Buy me!” 

With the rise of AdBlocker and a growing distrust of self-promotion, advertising often gets a bad rep. Information is readily (and literally) at our fingertips; most of us need more than a few seconds of a banner ad to be won over. The best advertisements are about more than the product alone; they also communicate value. Take, for example, this NIVEA DOLL video advertisement. It promotes sales, absolutely, but it also raises awareness for sun protection!

Think of advertising like a math equation: it takes the right product, expressed in the right way at the right time, delivered to the right audience, to produce a direct result.

Above: the relationship between advertising, marketing, and PR.   FACTEUR PR Instagram

Above: the relationship between advertising, marketing, and PR.  FACTEUR PR Instagram

Target: Potential customers
Message: “I am fantastic, and this is why you should buy me!”
Great for: Creating buzz about a product/service, driving sales, targeting specific audiences


Marketing

Marketing might seem similar to advertising, but think of marketing as a cake. You don’t usually eat a cake whole; you cut it up into slices. Advertising is just one slice of the marketing cake!

If we’re talking about strictly business (and not a cake), then marketing is the strategic implementation of tactics that brings together the buyer and the seller. It is a map that leads to the target audience — and marketing is all about the target audience. “Who am I targeting?” it asks, “And how can I appeal to them? Why should they choose me over the competition?” 

Marketing is me sending you a love letter of how you mean more to me than anyone else. It’s me writing a sonnet about how you are perfect for me, and I am perfect for you. 

Target: Current/potential customers
Message: “This is how I add value to your life, so you should buy me!”
Great for: Creating brand recognition, persuading target audiences, driving target audiences to action and purchase


Public Relations

Advertising and marketing both aim to sell, whether it be the product or the brand. Public relations, however, aims to build a relationship (hence ‘relations’). “This is who I am,” it says, “And this is how we can connect!”

A big part of public relations is media coverage.  Advertising and marketing “speak” directly to their audiences — but public relations enhances a brand through the media and word-of-mouth. You might read an article about a product launch, or you might watch a review on YouTube of a product, likely facilitated by PR people.

The end of the tunnel for public relations is not necessarily a sale or a purchase. Public relations is about creating and fostering relationships, about building credibility and trust, and about sharing a story. While sales aren't the first priority of PR, they can (and often happen) as a result!

Target: All stakeholders, including customers, influencers/editors, internal audiences, and shareholders
Message: “This is who they say I am and why I am worth talking about, so we should be friends!”
Great for: Building connections with media outlets and audiences, creating a positive image

Advertising, marketing, and PR. See how different they all are, despite how similar they seem? Each field has its own perspective and way of planning and executing! Each one on its own can produce great results, but together is when they really work best. Teamwork makes the dream work!

Pin this!

Pin this!

Contributing blogger
Julie is FACTEUR PR's Digital PR intern for Summer 2017.


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Julie Hong

Julie Hong is FACTEUR PR's Summer Digital PR Intern. She is currently finishing her third year at University of Georgia, where she studies Public Relations and New Media and has experience in community relations, media relations, social media, event planning, and more. During the school year, she is part of the Publicity Committee at her school’s PRSSA chapter and the occasional staff writer for seasonal publications. A California girl who moved to Atlanta at age 16, she loves to say ‘y’all’ but still gets confused when she hears ‘fixin ‘to’.