What Would Mad Men’s Peggy Olson Do? 12 Tips for Finding a Job in PR
By Mary Ellen Miller, MarketingMel
If you’re a recent college graduate looking for a job in marketing, public relations or advertising, ask yourself, “What would Peggy Olson do?” If you follow the Mad Men TV series you’ll know that Peggy is Don Draper’s former secretary-turned-copywriter. Her character is based on the real-life Jane Maas, a pioneer copywriter at Ogilvy & Mather in the 1960’s, and author of Mad Women: The Other Side of Life on Madison Avenue in the 60′s and Beyond. I recently had the opportunity to interview Jane, now 80, and sought her advice for new communications graduates in this short video interview.
Here are 11 more tips for today’s job seeker.
- Think strategically: What is your end goal? How can you get there? Have a plan. Write it down just as you would a business plan and then work it.
- Follow journalists: Media relations is part of public relations. Follow your favorite journalists and engage with them. I often chat on twitter with our local morning news anchor via twitter. She and I are both early risers and our friendship has deepened with our regular tweet banter.
- Seek internships: Be sure to have an internship on your resume; they often lead to jobs. Furthermore, they’ll help you to understand if this business is really for you. (It can be very stressful at times!) Treat an internship as if it’s a job. Be ready with a professional resume and photo. Be prepared with questions and skill sets you to have offer.
- Set yourself up for success: Play up your accomplishments. Example: MarketingMel’s former intern Sarah Rowan was an award-winning P.R. student at her community college before heading to the local university. She sent me a professional resume and photo as soon as she heard I needed an intern (through her friends and social media connections.) Her assertiveness and professionalism impressed me.
- Communicate with communicators: Communicate on their terms through their channels (and be sure to identify yourself.) If you want to see what the pro’s are doing monitor tweetchats like # soloPR and #journchat and say “Hello.
- Study the thought leaders: Look who’s leading the way in your chosen field, in your community, and in the world. (I treasure my virtual friendships with my international communications friends.)
- Innovate: Use the latest tools and learn about new ones. The field of communications changes daily. Be sure you are running at all times to keep up with it. Is your Facebook, twitter and LinkedIn up to date? Today 95 percent of all headhunters are on LinkedIn so you need to be there as well. Use YouTube to present yourself on video to a future employer. Be sure you have a personal brand on Pinterest.
- Parlez-vous francais?: There will never be a better time in your life to pick up and move somewhere and do something different. While you’re at it, consider going abroad. It’s never too late to learn a foreign language and you’ll be exposed to a new way of thinking.
- Show kindness: Put the phone away in class and share some real (not virtual) Face-time with your teachers and friends. Others can tell when you genuinely care about them.
- Know your strengths and weaknesses and focus on your strengths: Now Discover Your Strengths by Buckingham and Clifton is a book well worth reading with an easy-to-take online quiz that will help you determine your top strengths.
- Create your Personal Brand: Put some thought into this one and again there are some great books available (see Tom Peters and Brand You.) Remember your personal brand will follow you from job to job throughout the rest of your life.
What suggestions do you have to add to this list? I’d love to hear from you and will incorporate your ideas into upcoming posts for CommProBiz.
Mary Ellen Miller is founder and President of MarketingMel an innovative marketing, public relations and social media strategies firm for business professionals. She is a monthly columnist for Out ‘N About Magazine and has been a communications commentator on television, radio, BlogTalk radio, the Pulse Network and at numerous public speaking venues. Connect with her at www.marketingmel.com or via email, maryellen [AT] marketingmel.com.
Published: August 5, 2012 By: