Do You Have What It Takes To Be a Public Relations Professional?

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A couple of years back, one of my Wilmington University students interviewed me for her Mass Communication course. Krista Fowler has launched her personal website to showcase her portfolio as she perpares to enter the “real world.” Here is the link to her inaugural blog:
 
http://www.kfowlermarketing.com/blog or:
 
http://kmfowler.weebly.com/blog/do-you-have-what-it-takes-to-be-a-public-relations-professional (you may have to copy and paste this)
 
and here is the link to her website (good going Krista — I am proud of you. You have a bright future):
 
  
Social media has taken the world by storm, and the need for companies to maintain their public image in today’s internet era assures growth in the public relations field. Larry Litwin, APR, Fellow PRSA, a professor at Wilmington University with 45 years of experience in public relations, provided insight for writers interested in the profession.

Litwin, author of The Public Relations Practitioner’s Playbook and The ABCs of Strategic Communication, explained that PR professionals must always be on their toes. “You can have a plan for the day, but in any instant, it could change,” Litwin commented while recalling times when he began his day focusing on media relations, but after unexpected events, quickly switched to crisis communication.

You can have a plan for the day, but in any instant, it could change.
To stay current in the PR industry, Litwin recommended continuing education. As a member of the National School Public Relations Association, he mentioned that he attends seminars to share ideas and learn about the latest industry trends.

Litwin revealed factors of public relations which caught him by surprise, and said, “I had no idea how many hours I would put in. Sometimes I work at least 10 hour days and weekends, but I still love it!”

If you embrace the profession, it will embrace you back.
The must-have skills that PR professionals need, according to Litwin, are excellent writing skills, and the ability to build relationships and orally communicate with people. For anyone entering public relations, he said, “If you do your job properly, you will gain a great deal of satisfaction. If you embrace the profession, it will embrace you back.”
 
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From a frustrated (former) broadcast journalist

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A guide to weird words your teen uses

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This from USA Today. Well worth a read. “The times they are a changin” and society had better catch up — at least those of us who teach teens and millennials.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/columnist/2017/03/03/guide-all-those-weird-words-your-teen-uses/98688930/

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Emergencies happen — here’s how to be prepared

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As warmer weather approaches, more travelers will be hitting the road, rails and airways. Not long ago, The Philadelphia Inquirer carried some hints from Shary Nassimi, creator of the UrgentCall emergency service mobile app. She offers Seven Ways to Be Prepared for a Travel Emergency:

  • Give your loved ones your emergency contact information.
  • Carry your health insurance card.
  • Set up and have medevac insurance so you can get airlifted to a medical center that can provide proper medical care.
  • Leave copies of your plans with someone at ho,e and tell someone where the copies are.
  • Carry money wisely and in multiple form. Do not just carry it all in your wallet or only as a card or cash. Mix it up. Put some money in your suitcase. Don’t just keep it on your person. Have a credit card on hand for emergencies.
  • Know the lingo. Be able to say I need help, and Please call police in the local language (or carry a card with the words in local script.)
  • Know yourself, know your locale. If you are traveling abroad, know where your embassy is and how to get there. Know where the nearest hospital and police station are.

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Cover Letters — are they less important?

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According to USA Today, only 26 percent of recruiters consider cover letters important. I respectfully disagree. Continue using pithy and effectivecover letters or cover emails. To help you please visit my website under Student Resources… 

http://www.larrylitwin.com/documents/70_ResumePackage.pdf (copy and paste)

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3 tricks for improving your body language in the office

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Your mother was right: Slouching makes you look bad.

By Vanessa Van Edwards, Monster contributor (The Philadelphia Inquirer — Feb. 12, 2017)

Up to 93% of our communication is nonverbal. This means that our body language, facial expressions and other nonverbal behavior is even more important than our verbal content. Yet most people don’t even think about what their body language is saying to others. As a result, many business people don’t ever realize how much their body language is holding them back at work.

I did body language coaching with a woman who was having a lot of trouble advancing in her career. She had all the right things going for her—great education, awesome performance reviews, successful sales, you name it—but still was not getting the promotions and upward mobility opportunities she deserved. Within the first five seconds of meeting her, I knew what was holding her back: her body language.

Her nonverbal behavior was timid, weak and disorganized, which was completely opposite of her quiet confidence and intelligence. I taught her a few of the tips below and as she adapted them, she started to get invited to sit in more high-level meetings. Then she got to represent her company at a big conference. Finally, she got an offer to head up a department in their new offices—a major promotion.

Here are a few tips you can use right now to start to improve your body language in the workplace.

Assertive body language 

Sometimes people need to show confidence and assertiveness in their opinions and points. There are a few body language techniques that are universal signs of strength.

  • Take up more space: Those who are timid tend to keep their arms close by their side and tuck their feet under their chair, taking up as little space as possible. If you want to show confidence, you have to claim space by firmly planting your feet shoulder width apart, or if you are sitting, leaning back in your chair and using the armrests during meetings.
  • Steepling: Steepling is when you press the tips of your fingers together with palms facing each other in front of your torso. This move (which looks like a steeple) is the universal sign of confidence. You can do this at a business meeting on the table or even when speaking and trying to emphasize a point.

Rapport-building body language

Building rapport is important for both men and women. It’s great for interviewing, networking and getting along with office colleagues. There are a few specific things you can do with your body language to help make connections.

  • Point your feet: Our brains actually subconsciously pay attention to a person’s feet. You will notice our feet tend to point in the direction we want to go. For example, at a networking event, someone who is itching to leave might be talking to someone but have their feet pointed towards the door. So, if you want to show you are actively engaged, point your feet and angle your body towards the person you are speaking with.
  • Mirroring: When we really get along with someone, we subtly mirror their body posture and movements. You can use this to your advantage when trying to bond with someone. Subtly (very subtly), mimic their body posture or try to speak at the same voice cadence as they do. Our brains register this as “friend,” not “foe.” 

Calming body language 

Negotiating, interviewing and tense situations in business are never easy. People need nonverbal ways to calm themselves down if they are nervous. They also need to make sure they’re nonthreatening to others who might be nervous in their presence. If you are a manager or leader in your organization, these tips are great for calming a hostile employee:

  • Uncrossed arms: When we cross our arms, we are protecting our vital organs. This is a naturally defensive position. If you want to stay calm and open-minded, be sure to leave your arms loose at your side. If someone else is crossing their arms, give them papers, coffee or even a pencil to hold. As soon as they get out of that position they will feel less close-minded.
  • Suprasternal notch: The suprasternal notch, the space in between your collar bones, is actually touched when people are nervous as a way of self-soothing. Lightly massaging this area or the back of your neck can help lower your heart rate and make you feel more calm.

Body language is a fascinating science that can only be applied artfully. The best tip I can give is to be genuine. People do pick up on inauthenticity.

Vanessa Van Edwards specializes in social and emotional intelligence research and development. The focus of her company is to combine human behavior research and tech trends. 

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CHECKLIST: Improve you credit score

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Consumer Reports suggests the following to improve credit scores in the long run.

  • Sign up for automatic bill payment. A late bill can make your credit score drop by as much as 100 points.
  • Watch the timing of your spending, especially if you plan to apply for a loan. The lower the balance, the better the credit rating.
  • Limit credit-card applications. Each time a lender inquires to view a credit report, it gets noted and can reduce the score.
  • Think twice before canceling cards. Consumers gain points if they are tapping only a small percentage of the total credit available to them.
  • Make sure credit limits are posted

From: www.courierpostonline.com

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7 Quick Tips To Improve Your Leadership Skills

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This week’s blog comes from 

Dale Carnegie Training Newsletter

By Anita Zinsmeister, President
Dale Carnegie® Training of Central & Southern New Jersey

7 Quick Tips To Improve
Your Leadership Skills
  • Word count for this issue: 562
  • Approximate time to read: 2.2 minutes @ 250 words per minute 
When a crisis hits, an executive’s instinct might be to focus on greater efficiency and productivity by tightening control.  But this is not always the best solution-giving up authority and granting employees independence can actually help improve innovation and success, even when the road gets rough.
 
So You Are A Leader At Your Company-Now What?
 
Without the proper leadership skills, you will find it hard to inspire your staff.  Below you will find 7 tips on how to brush up on your leadership skills.
 
 
7 Tips To Improve Your Leadership Skills
 
1.  Show Respect – If you want to be in a leadership position, start building relationships with people by respecting what they do.  Practically nothing is more important.   Additionally, it is important that a great leader never misses an opportunity to learn more about the people behind them.  Great leaders never skip an employee’s birthday gathering or a holiday party because they are too busy — they know that work will always be there. 
 
2.  Build on Relationships – As a leader, know who people are, what is important to them, and what motivates them.  This will help you understand everyone’s goals and how you can support your staff.  When you help people, they will care about you and your goals in return.
 
3.  Have a Good Attitude – Positive attitudes can be infectious.  As a leader, you need to find ways to stay upbeat and find the best ways to improve.  Do not expect too much from your staff — no one is perfect; while you do need to address poor performance, it is extremely important to acknowledge a job well done, which will build a positive work environment where people feel appreciated.
 
4.  Work on Your Strengths – Figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are.  While it is important to address your weaknesses, you might find it better to first start by focusing on your strengths.  This will allow you to rise to the expert level sooner than you would by working on your weaknesses.  Bottom line: Know what you are good at and keep at it.
 
5.  Find People Who Complement You – Again, we all have strengths and weaknesses.  Great leaders are aware of their weaknesses and find people who support their shortcomings.  This is not because they are weak and need to cover themselves, but because they know the benefit of having a strong team — and when the team wins, everyone wins. 
 
6.  Develop A Mentoring Program  – Mentoring someone will not only help develop that person’s career, but will also help leaders refine their skills.  It is a great way to help improve your staff members’ skills while also improving on relationships.
 
7.  Maintain Balance In Your Life – A big key to success is learning to balance work and family.  Life is too short for you to live at your job. Great leaders set career boundaries and know when to spend more time with family and friends.  Doing this will make you a stronger leader.
 
Executive Summary:  While some people are just great leaders, others have to work a bit harder to achieve the necessary skills.  Take the time to consider your strengths and weaknesses and get to know your staff; surround yourself with the best possible people to become an excellent leader. 
 
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Budgeting — beyond the basics

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This is Tip No. 16 from Larry Litwin’s The ABCs of Strategic Communication and More ABCs. Both should be part of your strategic communication library.

1.Budgets are a necessary evil.

They’re the only practical way to get a grip on your spending so you can make sure your money is being used the way you want it

to be used.

2. Creating a budget generally requires three steps.

• Identify how you spend money now.

• Evaluate your current spending and set goals that take into account your financial objectives.

• Track your spending to make sure it stays within those guidelines.

3.Use software to save grief

• Quicken®

• Microsoft Money®

4. Don’t drive yourself nuts.

Once you determine which categories of spending can and should be cut (or expanded), concentrate on those categories and worry

less about other aspects of your spending.

5.Watch out for cash leakage.

If withdrawals from the ATM machine evaporate from your pocket without apparent explanation, it’s time to keep better records.

6. Spending beyond your limits is dangerous.

But if you do, you’ve got plenty of company – but it’s definitely a sign you need to make some serious spending cuts.

7. Beware of luxuries dressed up as necessities.

If your income doesn’t cover your costs, then some of your spending is probably for luxuries – even if you’ve been considering them

to be filling a real need.

8.Tithe yourself.

Aim to spend no more than 90 percent of your income. That way, you’ll have the other 10 percent left to save for your big-picture

items.

9. Don’t count on windfalls.

When projecting the amount of money you can live on, don’t include dollars that you can’t be sure you’ll receive, such as 

year-end bonuses, tax refunds or investment gains.

10. Beware of spending creep.

As your annual income climbs from raises, promotions and smart investing, don’t start spending for luxuries until you’re sure that

you’re staying ahead of inflation.

Source: www.money.cnn.com/pf/101/lessons/2/

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