Post Credit: The Cut
Written By: Catalina Ramirez
At First and Last PR, we believe that learning and educating yourself should never stop. One of the ways that we continue growing is by attending seminars and events that are a learning experience within our field. This summer, So when SEMGeeks hosted the 2017 Digital Marketing Conference in Belmar, NJ at the Beach Haus Brewery this summer, we jumped at the opportunity to learn more. Come on, who wouldn’t want to learn the latest in digital marketing with the waves crashing around you? The conference was filled with amazing speakers and networking opportunities. All of the speakers shared excellent tips on how to increase your visibility and exposure in your market. We’d like to share with you some of the tips from the speakers that resonated with us.
Website Must be Attention Grabbing
Speaker: Carmin Haynes - Agency Account Strategist at Google Marketing Solutions
Carmin shared that it’s not enough just to be present in the internet. Websites must be appealing with great speed and frictions kill interest. Your website should be considered an investment and not a burden as it is the first thing your potential client sees.
Don’t Duplicate Content on All Social Media Platforms
Speaker: Patrick Stokes - Senior VP of Product Management at Salesforce
Patrick suggests not having the same information on all platforms. It’s a lot more intriguing when a company has different information on all their platforms, yet with the same deliverance method and style. This encourages their audience to connect with them on all platforms.
The Media is your Partner
Speaker: Alex Cameron - Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at iHeartMedia
Alex believes that it’s important to see the media as a partner rather than a vendor. The media knows what information sells and resonates with their audience. They will tell your story in the way that will best work for their outlet.
Stay True to Your Brand
Speaker: Alex Faherty - Co-Founder of Faherty Brand, Premium Clothing
Alex Faherty shared from experience that you shouldn’t share all news around your brand because not all press can be good press. If a celebrity fan uses your product but you think they aren’t beneficial or a good example for your brand, don’t share this content with your viewers.
The tips above are just some of the points that stood out to us and that we agree with. It’s important to consider reevaluating your digital marketing strategy often as new technology arises to make sure you are maximizing your marketing efforts.
Read the following article for tips from Stephanie Scott featured in PR Couture!
We had so much fun planning this event. Glad to see we made BizBash's Top Ten Ideas of the week...
We’re proud to share that we have recently won 2 awards. We were awarded a Pyramid Award - the Oscars of PR!! - by the Public Relation Society of America in the Multicultural/Diversity Communications category and a honorable mention in the PR on a Shoestring Budget category for pulling off an amazing multi session event for under $1,000. We attended the PRSA Award Ceremony, which took place at the Basking Ridge Country Club in Basking Ridge, NJ on June 14th.
It’s such an honor for our work to be recognized by the public relations professional community. The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is the nation’s largest professional organization serving the communications community with a mission to “make communications professionals smarter, better prepared and more connected through all stages of their career.” Their membership collectively represents more than 30,000 members comprised of communications professionals spanning every industry sector nationwide and college and university students who encompass the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA).
We were also awarded the Community Involvement award by PR Couture in their 2017 Bespoke Communications Awards earlier this month.
Here are some images from our night!
Good press takes time. Brands aren’t built overnight. Really happy to have secured this press hit for our client Urban Skin Rx and thankful to the journalist to do the research. It’s important that our clients be willing to tell their stories and if you have a story to tell, we’re the ones to call.
Click the image to see the full article!
Written by: Stephanie Bustamante
We stumbled across this inspirational video via Refiner29 and quickly became obsessed. #thepowerofbeauty
"The clip in question already made the rounds online back in 2015, but has been popping up as of late for its timeless message. It's all centered around one salon in Palma, Majorca, which offered a free makeover to a homeless man. Jose Antonio was widely known by locals as Josete, an unlicensed parking attendant who had lost his job and was suffering from depression for years. At the time, his life seemed to be on the decline — until one day three years ago. The salon owner of La Salvajería knew Antonio and offered to him a free haircut and shave. According to Mirror, while inside the salon, Antonio said, “Leave the doors over the mirror open for the moment so I can see myself for the last time like this. Then close them to see if when they open again... it’s as if something else really opened up in my life, like a symbol.'" - Refinery29 Online
Written by: Stephanie Bustamante
This past Thursday, October 13, 2016 CEW hosted yet another amazing event: “Turning Social Media into Sales”. The Beauty Insider Series addressed the warp-speed changes in digital and social media and the challenges facing every beauty brand, big and small. The event featured three savvy panelists - Trendalytics’ Co-founder and CEO, Karen Moon, Tribe Dynamics’ Co-founder and President Conor Begley and MAC Cosmetics’ SVP, Global, Laura Elkins. During their discussions and presentations one major point that resonated with us was how the relationship between brands and influencers impacts social media and sales. Like most things in life, this is a cycle, and this one in particular includes having great products, relationship building, the choice of balance and authenticity. We elaborate on this in the below points:
1. Great products win. The cycle begins with brands creating amazing products for their consumers. Bloggers, vloggers and makeup artists love to try new, innovative products. This leads to them creating an authentic voice for their fans by creating content on their social media platforms.
2. Relationship building. As a brand, it’s important to keep track of these influencers who already shared a voice for your products. Create a relationship with these influencers or hire a great PR firm as we help to establish and build relationships with them for future partnerships and content development for upcoming launches.
3. Authenticity Rules! A great example for this is the relationship between popular influencer Jaclyn Hill and Becca Cosmetics - which has recently been acquired by Estee Lauder. Jaclyn started as a true fan for Becca Cosmetics and now has a collaboration with them. This authenticity increases credibility in the influencer as well as for the brand because her fans know she truly believes in the brand.
4. The choice of balance. If you're launching a campaign where you will be sponsoring posts, don't forget to factor in organic posts as well. This will keep your brand on a more relatable scale. It is also important to work with influencers who not only have a great following, but have a positive engagement level with their fans - this brings us back to authenticity!
5. Measure your success. How? Simple. It’s all about the conversation and engagements. The louder the conversation the more visibility your brand will receive. This will allow an increase of consumers education, brand recognition and eventually sales.
Have more questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org :)
Working With Bloggers, Planning Events And Other Things to Know to Maximize Your Public Relations And Social Media Plan
Written by: First and Last PR
I met the owner of a skincare brand at a recent beauty event and when she asked me what I did, I replied that I am the owner of First and Last PR, a beauty-focused traditional public relations and digital marketing firm. Then, she made the face. The face that I don’t see often but know all too well (I’ve had to make the face in the past when I was the one who was hiring agencies so understand it). It’s the face of someone who felt let down by the agency or consultant that they’ve hired to entrust with the voice of their brand. Then she confirmed it, “Unfortunately I had such a poor experience with my PR person when I launched (my line) that I am leery of repeating the same experience.” I told her that I totally understood, which I did, and to feel free to consider us down the road or just to stay in touch as a beauty friend. This interaction inspired the First and Last PR team to ask a few PR friends and one amazing blogger to write out our top 10 tips for having a successful PR and Social Media program. Here they are:
Top Ten Tips for Having a Successful PR and Social Media Program
Have a plan. Create a monthly/yearly plan and look for updates to measure the success. It’s important to have a vision for your brand and a specific guide that leads you to your PR and Social Media objectives. -Stephanie Scott, CEO and Communicator-in-Chief
Start with a Budget. “I always advise clients to determine a budget before they begin the event planning process,” says Shakira Johnson, Founder of Johnson PR & Events. “Once the budget is set all the other creative elements can fall into place. For example, knowing your budget will help narrow down what venue, food and beverage package, talent, printing, premiums, etc. you can afford. This equates to saving valuable time and money not pursuing venues, vendors or ideas that are not in budget.”
Communicate and be realistic about your goals. Trust that your PR team will help you reach your goals and communicate with them. Measure your current needs and be realistic with what you’re envisioning for your company. - Stephanie Scott, CEO and Communicator-in-Chief
Have new materials available for pitching and planning purposes. If your brand has news share (for example: new product in the works, expanding to a new store, holiday gift guides etc.) make sure to share the news with your PR team in advance to secure timely stories with long lead and short lead publications. -Stephanie Bustamante, Account Manager
Have all PR assets ready including past press releases, publishable images, company fact sheets and available bios. If you don’t have this already, ask your PR team for help writing or securing editorial worthy photographs. Having approved professional language and images will help your PR team create successful and shareable press kits for pitching purposes. -Stephanie Bustamante, Account Manager
Know your budget. When starting to work with a PR company, it’s essential to know what your expenses and budget will entail going forward. In addition to a monthly retainer, a PR budget may include: postage for editor product requests, package supplies for product mailings to influencers, blogger fees and expenses for editor and client meetings. Communicate with your team and take this into consideration when preparing your PR program budget. -Stephanie Scott, Ceo and Communicator-in-Chief
Be very clear and specific with your requests. According to Mel Burgos, Founder of popular hair blog “Rock Yo Rizos,” bloggers are sent tons of emails and it makes it easier to not only respond but, brands will get a faster turn around regarding their response if they are very clear and specific with their requests.
Time equals money. Not all blog posts require a fee but when commissioning a blogger or vlogger for a specific sponsored post, event or series, communicate your goals and budget upfront for best results. “It’s important to include the compensation package with your request when working with a blogger,” continues Burgos of Rock Yo Rizos. This will help save time and secure a plan efficiently.
Check In, Don’t Check Out. Make time for monthly or bi-weekly PR calls to update your PR Team on company and product news while receiving feedback from them. Scheduling time to have a phone call for client updates are helpful and a great way to allow the PR Team to manage best their time for media outreach, follow-up and securing stories. -Catalina Ramirez, Account Coordinator
Provide feedback early. Lastly, working with a PR company is equivalent to adding new team members to your brand. Work as a team to provide any feedback from the beggining and consistently do so to achieve better results for your PR and Social Media program. -Catalina Ramirez, Account Coordinator
Written By: Stephanie Scott
I went to bed with the shocking news that my friend Antwon Jackson passed away a couple weeks ago. For the world, he was an Emmy-Award winning hairstylist known for his amazing work as Wendy Williams’, of The Wendy Williams Show, wigologist. To me, he was kindness, positivity, wisdom, laughter at a BBQ and the holder of the brightest glow. As I searched for comfort, a mutual friend post this video of him speaking about how he found the courage to follow his dream and break into the beauty industry. I wanted to share it with you to let his light shine and live on with all of us and to share some of his strength, courage and wisdom. We work in a BEAUTY-full industry and I’m constantly asked how to be a part of it. Here is Antwon’s advice for breaking in and staying in.
- Build a genuine relationship with your contacts but don’t overwhelm them. - Even though Antwon was living thousands of miles away from New York City in North Carolina, he was not willing to give up on his dream. When reaching out to make new professional connections, he called with a purpose and made sure not to overwhelm them. “I learned how to call. Only once, every Friday.”
- Always be a professional. Don’t bring your personal problems to work. - “My issues and my problems are mine. No one else's. I did not take them through that door.” Antwon demonstrated this by being on set at The Wendy Williams show every day with a warm and inviting smile on his face. He had a way of making everyone feel special.
- Don’t listen to the “no’s” and reasons why not. Follow your dreams and make it happen no matter what - even with just $50 or less -After being so excited about getting his chance to come out to New York to show off his talent, Antwon realized that he had booked the flight for the wrong day. “So here I am with $50 in my pocket, I made the conscious decision to drive to New York. An 8 hour drive that I had never driven before.” He did this knowing that he’d only have a couple of hours before his early morning call time but was determined and stopped at nothing to follow his dreams and share his gift.
- Research, research, research. This industry is full of inspiration and endless resources to stay educated on your craft and develop your voice. - “When you see something in a magazine that blows you away, research it. Who did the makeup? Who did the photography? After that, I knew what I liked and I knew I liked clean hair and really nice makeup.”
- Always do your best and show off your personality. Believe in your Gift and be prepared to share it with others when the time is right. - “Be true to yourself, hone in on your craft, know who you are and maintain your integrity. No one has to give up their seat for you, they will just slide over for you. There is room for everyone.” I love this piece of advice because my friends and I are always looking out for each other and new beauties that we’ve just met. We don’t live in a “monkeys in a barrel” world - there’s enough greatness for everyone so be a light not a closed door.
My heart goes out to Antwon’s family. May he rest in peace and continue to be an inspiration for us all.
A few of the designs created by the Emmy-Award Winning Artist. (Image courtesy of Instagram/Memsor Kamarake)
Written By: Catalina Ramirez
This past Wednesday, First and Last PR’s CEO and Communicator-in-Chief Stephanie Scott was part of ColorComm’s “Breaking Into The Beauty Industry” Spring Spree. Stephanie was invited as a special guest speaker on a panel, where she would share her knowledge on beauty public relations to a diverse group of women and her road to becoming the expert she is now. The panel included Co-Founder and Editor-In-Chief of CRWN Magazine Lindsey Day, Estee Lauder's Marketing Strategist Antonia Dean and writer/editor Jacqueline Laurean Yates.
ColorComm is a networking organization for women of color interested in all areas of communication. They started off their amazing journey by gathering for luncheons in Washington, D.C. and have grown to invite-only events with prestigious guest speakers.
The “Breaking Into The Beauty Industry” event took place at the Inglot Cosmetics studio (a beauty girl’s heaven) located in Chelsea Market from 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM. Stephanie invited me to come along with her and what an honor it was to attend such an educational event. As you pushed through the oversized glass doors, you walked into a studio filled with makeup and in the middle of the room there were rows of chairs for all the women to sit. There was a bar set up next to the chairs where drinks were served by Made Real, a vodka brand started by women. The guest also had the opportunity to get Swivel’s (a new hair care review app for women of color) signature hairstyle done.
The night started off with an introduction made by Zoe Zeigler, ColorComm’s Executive Director for their NYC chapter and Senior Manger at Teen Vogue. Zoe introduced all the amazing panelists and then got right into asking the women questions all their ventures in their area of beauty industry and what advice they would like to share with the guests. The three key points that resonated the most from listening to all the amazing yet unique experiences were:
Put Yourself Out There!
Your dream job is not going to come looking for you so always make sure you put yourself out there and gain some exposure. If you are looking to be part of the beauty world, then you need to understand it. Be that person that says yes and take those meetings that no one wants to go to. These are occasions where you will be able to network and gain the most experience.
Be A Resource For Others.
If you are reaching out to someone for some help, make sure that there is something that they will gain as well. People will be more eager to help you out if they are receiving something in return. One of the ways that you can become a resource is by doing some friendly stalking and learn about some their interests, then update them on when the next sale for their favorite beauty products is going to be. This will help you add some value back to the relationship. Most importantly, constantly thank them for the help that they are providing you with.
Nothing will get you further than hustling your way there. Work really hard for what you want and make sure that someone is noticing.
Overall, the event was a great experience. It was a pleasure listening to and being surrounded by such dynamic women who are also excelling in our industry. For more information on the beauty industry and public relations, check out our website and follow us on Instagram!
Here are some pictures of the event courtesy of the ColorComm team!
Written By: Stephanie Scott
Where did April go? With new product launches, movie collaboration, speaking engagements and more, it seems like this month has truly flown by. This post is a quick note on the run from the ABC news van about remembering to seize every moment in life. Don’t wait for perfection – especially if you are running a beauty company or thinking about working in this amazing industry. Three points to live by:
1. Look for new opportunities. Opportunities are everywhere. Keep your eyes and ears open. Be inspired and continue to learn new things.
2. Ask for it. If you want it, you have to ask for it. Gifts don’t come from the sky on silver platters but can be served up nicely when you position yourself to receive them. People may know who you are but may not recognize all of your talents. New clients are often amazed that in addition to traditional PR, we also handle social media, events, write campaigns, conceptualize and execute editor mailings and more. Always be willing to share your gifts and if you feel that you have something to offer, don’t be shy. Speak up and say what you want, why and what you would do if given the opportunity.
3. Have a plan. Know what you’re going to do but also have the insight and flexibility to change if and when you have to. I’m a huge planner, the Queen of Lists, but always have a plan B, C and Z if needed! After working in this industry for so long, I rely on my smarts and resources to help move things faster when needed. Keep the end goal in mind but always be open to another, more BEAUTY-full route.
Be bold, be BEAUTY-full, be you.
There's no need to compromise or shrink who you are.
Written By: Stephanie Scott
For parents, it’s the extra hour of sleep but for entrepreneurs, it’s the extra hour of early. Arriving early is priceless and can feel like gold for anyone who is constantly on the grind.
The ability to accomplish in the quiet what equates to ten times what you are able to do in the noise of emails and telephones and texts and Periscope notifications (don't get me started on SnapChat) feels like a dream that you never want to wake from. In fact, it’s the quiet nap that you don’t even want people to know that you are taking for fear that the daily distractions may takeover again. There is beauty in being able to walk down the street, have your pick of parking (like a Queen!), be treated to a Venti Oprah Chai with Coconut Milk – no water – and pause to see the snow melt. That’s how my delicious day started…
I arrived an hour early to my office one morning prepared for an 8:30am conference call with the New York Women in Communcations Foundation Board, where I serve as the VP of Membership Empowerment Grants, only to find that the time changed from our standard 8:30am to 9:30am. I learned of this just after I parked my car and double-checked my calendar so that I could prepare to dial-in to our call. Rather than be upset about the time confusion, I paused, noticed how BEAUTY-full the still of the morning was, how many other people were in the midst of their busy early morning and wondered what else was happening in the world that I usually miss in my morning rush? Instead of being the overzealous entrepreneur and heading straight in, I grabbed a chai (courtesy of a well received gift card), noticed all of the people chatting in the coffee shop and then sauntered up the block to my office. My morning felt like an ease – no one knew that I was there and I wasn’t expected for an hour so I got so much done. So much!
I have come to learn that in life, you don’t always know what’s in front of you or why. It took me a while to learn to relax and have faith that everything in life will be fine and work out the way that it was planned to be. Find time or time will find you. Enjoy your day J
BEAUTY-full Disclosure: I started writing this blog post about a month ago but once the clock hit and my call started, it was back to the grind and I’m just now finishing. The hustle is real! Gotta love it!!
Written by: Stephanie Scott
In-store visits are a great way to connect to your consumer, create some buzz, hear feedback from your consumers and get to know your retailer at the store level. Here are our five simple steps to planning a successful personal appearance:
1. Contact the Store Manager before and upon arrival. Your product may be on the shelf, but you are a guest while at the store. As soon as you have dates for your in-store event selected, contact the buyer to request the day and time. Once approved, you can proceed. On the day of the event, be sure to arrive an hour early, go directly to the counter, introduce yourself and the company that you represent and ask to speak with the manager to let him or her know that you are there. Ask where you can store your coat and bag so that they are off of the selling floor. Use this time to learn from your retail partner. I like to bring any new press hits so that they can see how hard you are working to make the partnership successful and so that you can hear any feedback on their end. Store managers can share which SKU’s are selling the best and how their customers feel about the line. They may share how the customers hear about your brand. This information is valuable and helps to foster the relationship between you and the salespeople who are working so hard to promote your brand.
2. Promote in local papers and online. National placements are great but when it comes to store events, nothing beats local buzz. Ask your PR pro (or if you’re looking for one, contact First and Last PR) to contact the local newspapers, radio stations, bloggers and television outlets to announce this event in the events section. Offer interviews before the store visit and set up dial-in interviews the days before and leading up to the event.
3. Offer industry advice – Guests will show up that day to meet the founder or a brand representative for a variety of reasons. Some will want to learn more about the brand, some will want to learn from product demonstrations and others will want a selfie opportunity. This is a great opportunity to really show what the brand is about so show up and show out (as Bruno Mars says). If you’re a skincare specialist, offer mini facials. If you’re debuting a cosmetics line, offer makeovers. Give the visitors something to look forward to that they would not otherwise receive on other days while visiting the store.
4. Have something special for those who show up. – As a way to thank consumers for taking the time out of their day to attend the event and to encourage sales, offer a gift with purchase (GWP) and promotional materials that they can take home to enjoy the brand more. Make sure that you have adequate stock and request that your buyer order additional products to plan for the crowd. If allowed, consider having a DJ or lite bites that are aligned with the brand to set the fun mood.
5. Take plenty of photos – We’re living in the social age so a picture really does go a long way. Create a special hashtag for the event and ask your social media manager to follow the conversation online. Ask consumers to tag you or tag them in the photos. It’s a great way to engage and extend your presence while memorializing the awesome occasion.
Written By: Catalina Ramirez
First and Last PR’s CEO & Communicator-in-Chief Stephanie Scott was invited to speak to the Indie Beauty Network and what it an honor it was! Stephanie was given the amazing opportunity to share her immense amount of knowledge about Beauty Public Relations to the Indie Beauty Network members. We love talking about Beauty PR! Here are some of her top 3 tips on how to get started with PR:
Consider your message - what do you want people to know about your brand?
Be prepared with press releases, images and products.
Respond quickly to all editor requests for interviews or products.
To learn more about the Indie Beauty Network and Stephanie Scott's Success Call, please click on the link below.
Written by: Stephanie Scott
Legendary fashion stylist June Ambrose held her second annual closet sale on Saturday, August 21st in New York City so I thought I’d pop in to see what I could find. I’ll be honest – my intentions were purely indulgent. I wanted to enjoy a quiet Saturday off in the City and find some great digs. What better way than to shop out of the closet of a fashion icon – right?!? The unexpected bonus that I received were a few business lessons that we can all learn from so I thought I’d share them below…
1. Promote on social. Although I’m “in the industry” I learned about the sale through June’s Instagram page. So always promote your brand on whichever social media platform(s) you feel will resonate the best.
2. Involve your family or the youth – or as the saying goes: each one teach one. Upon arrival, I spotted June’s daughter’s, Summer Chamblin, lemonade stand and thought that it was brilliant. Cross marketing at it’s finest and from a kidprenuer! As women, we balance a lot and as the daughter of a successful mother, I’ve always grown up seeing images of hard working women as my role models. I loved seeing this enterprising young woman grab an opportunity and set up shop – literally.
3. Team up with a retail partner for win-win. June’s closet sale was held at Selima Optique – a designer eyewear store on Bond Street, which collaborates with June on her eyewear collection. So nice of them to host it – good location for her and us – and we also get to peak at their sunnies of which I left with a new pair. Smart.
4. ABP: Always Be Promoting. My mobile case has an image of me with @firstandlastpr on it. I’m a humble person but did this for several reasons – one of which is to never get confused with “whose phone is this?” Another is so that I can always be promoting my company. I could have polka dots (which would be cute) but instead I choose to promote my brand, First and Last PR, wherever and whenever I can so that more people can learn about the amazing services that we offer.
6. It takes a team. June was there – working – and so was her team. Some were helping with sales, others with sizing or styling suggestions. Your team is a reflection of your brand and your brand a reflection of your team so make sure that you hire people who care about it as much as you do and make sure that you let them know how much you care about them.
7. Let go. Purge. Start fresh. Clean out your closet – whatever that closet may be. I have no idea how many frocks or bags June has but can only imagine. Even though I’m sure that she was sad to part with some of them- like the gold Catherine Malandrino that I nabbed, sorry (not sorry) June – at a certain point, it’s time to let go. There may be clients who aren’t a good fit for your company or people around you that aren’t uplifting you. Whatever that baggage is, trust that it will all be fine and excited about what’s around the corner.
8. Sign autographs. Be there. It's your brand. That pretty much says it all. While I waited online, many June Fans wondered if “she’d be there” and when June came out to greet us, there was a joy in the air. She was the perfect hostess. Gracious, fun and happy that we were there as her guests. So whatever you are doing, show up and give 150% because you are there and could be somewhere else miserable.
9. Kristin Chenoweth is always with us. “Jesus Take the Wheel” was playing at the Japanese place around the corner. My friend Tracey calls me Chenoweth because we’re both tiny powerhouses and I love it and her.
10. When and where to enter. Yes, we should always promote; however there’s a time and a place for everything. The PR woman in me wanted to pitch clients to June at the sale but the other part of me knew that it would be better to separate business proposals from a deal on a dress at a closet sale on a Saturday.
Thanks for the usie June and amazing clothes. Here’s an image of the Collette Dinnigan top from June’s closet to mine that I wore to our editor yoga event and the Indie Beauty Expo a few weeks later.
Written By: Paula Niederland
Congratulations! You’ve snagged that internship that you dreamed of for so long, and you feel like you’re finally taking a step forward on your career path. But now that you got the internship, don’t forget that you have to work hard to keep it and make the most out of the wonderful opportunity you’ve been blessed with. Follow these tips and I promise that you will not only learn as much as you possibly could as an apprentice, but I also guarantee that you will teach your mentors a thing or two along the way!
I started my internship at First and Last PR through the Englewood Apprenticeship Program which matches up high school students to local businesses in Englewood based off of each student’s individual interests. I’ll be honest, I did not know a lot about the Public Relations field beforehand, which brings me to my first of seven tips:
1. ALWAYS ASK QUESTIONS
Never ever be afraid to ask questions - I sure wasn’t! In fact, I was known for constantly asking questions about both my tasks, and how the tasks I did contributed to the big picture. If you want to do a good job, know what’s expected of you, and the only way to know for sure is to ask. I was definitely able to learn a lot more this way because for every question that I asked, I received an answer that I didn’t expect.
2. TAKE YOUR TIME
With all of the homework I had to manage in school, I was trained to be time-efficient, and I always considered myself to be a fast worker. Interning at First and Last PR showed me how to slow it down a little and really take my time with whatever I do because every single task done is a process, and trust me, it’s all worth it in the end! Don’t get me wrong... don’t just take time to take time, but stop yourself from rushing. There’s nothing more satisfying than beginning something like a deck, and watching it transform into exactly what it needed to be over the course of a couple of days, or however long it takes. What I’m really trying to get at here is that you shouldn’t work just to get work done - work with the goal of getting your work done RIGHT. You know what they say, if you have to do something, do it right! And sometimes getting the job done right takes time.
3. ALWAYS LISTEN TO DIRECTIONS
Listening to directions is something we all struggle with sometimes because maybe we’re not paying attention or maybe we think we know better, but this is one of the most crucial skills to have in both an internship, and in life. If you are told to do something, it is important that you do it because there’s no such thing as busy work during an internship. There’s always a reason that you’re given a task, and there’s definitely always a reason you’re told to do a task in a certain way. Remember that the people around you know best, so listen to how you’re directed to do every task. Learn to have an eye for detail and an ear for listening, and you will be able to instantly improve the quality of your work.
4. HAVE AN INTEREST IN WHAT YOU DO
If you show a genuine interest in your internship, it’ll show throughout the office and the quality of your work will be so much better. You want to know why that is? When you like what you do, work no longer feels like work anymore, and you are able to put your all into it without any restraint. For instance, I really got into how the beauty world works and became familiar with bloggers, magazines, and even some magazine editors. This interest that I developed allowed me to delve deeper into any research I did, which always turned out to be a benefit. Sometimes, I even found myself at home further looking into beauty products and brands, becoming familiar with them and watching videos that bloggers posted on YouTube, or reading magazine articles online. Of course, the more interest you have towards something, the more research you’ll naturally want to do. And the more you know, the more ideas you’ll have! Now that we’re talking about ideas, let’s move on to my next tip.
5. DON’T EVER HESITATE TO GIVE YOUR IDEAS
Our brains are a wonderful tool. We have thousands of thoughts and ideas per day, so why not share them? Chances are, your idea will be loved and could really help the place that you’re interning at. Even if your idea was not able to be put into effect, it’s always good to put yourself out there because your idea definitely gave the people around you ideas, so something good always comes out of it. I can think of plenty of times when my ideas were able to be used, and it’s always such an amazing feeling whenever my ideas could help. There were also plenty of times when my ideas weren’t very practical, but something stemmed from it anyway, and that felt pretty good too. All in all, if you have an idea and you are too afraid to speak up about it - shut that negative voice in your head and go for it anyway! There’s always a benefit to sharing your idea.
6. ALWAYS CHECK YOUR WORK
I cannot stress enough how important it is to CHECK YOUR WORK! Check it a million times over until you are sure that whatever you are working on says exactly what you want it to, EXACTLY how you want it to be said. How embarrassing would it be to realize that you forgot to fix a typo in a really important document? We all make mistakes, but it’s okay to make mistakes as long as we do everything that we can to check over them, and fix them. You will not believe the metamorphosis that every email I wrote went through. Checking your work is imperative to do, and you will realize its significance when you compare the first draft to your final draft. I can’t lie… it’s pretty amazing.
7. LET GO OF ANY “OFFICE FEAR” YOU HAVE
As the Account Manager of First and Last PR, Stephanie Bustamante, once told me, “we all have that one thing in the office that we get a little nervous about, but all you have to do is push yourself to work at it and eventually, you get really comfortable doing it.” I couldn’t agree more with that. Personally, I was always slightly afraid to answer the phone or call other people at work because I was never sure how the person on the other line would react, or if I would be able to answer all of the questions the person on the other end had. I never let this inner fear get in the way of doing the best job that I could do, so I pushed myself to answer the phone and make calls. I think this tip may be the most important, because if you were to avoid whatever “office fear” you may have, it would carry over with you into your future career. By getting past your fear, you can develop a skill that you may carry with you into your everyday life.
Think of your time as limited during your internship! Make the most out of every moment there, don’t waste time, and when you finally do reach the end… there is nothing more important than being able to feel satisfied with what you put in and what you got out. Try to leave with a new set of skills to bring with you into life, a different perspective on the world, and a relationship with the people you were able to learn from and teach something to as well. I can gratefully say that I gained all three of those things in the end. I ended my internship with better knowledge of how the beauty industry works, the knowledge of what a presentation deck is, how to mail FedEx packages, how to turn a JPEG into a PDF file, the journey that a story takes to get into a published magazine or an article online, amongst other great things. I even learned things that I didn’t expect to learn! I thought I was pretty tech-savy prior to interning at First and Last PR, but I learned easier, faster ways of handling apps and computer programs, and even a computer itself. I felt a newfound appreciation for magazine articles after witnessing the true process of getting a story published, and I especially felt appreciation towards all of the work that goes into sending a package after preparing many during this experience. Most important of it all, I am glad to say that I’ve met Stephanie Scott and Stephanie Bustamante of First and Last PR. They have given me guidance, and taught me an incredible amount of Public Relations, and work etiquette in general, and it’s great to say that I have a connection to them in the future. If there’s anything you have to do to get out of your Beauty PR Internship, make sure you build a relationship with your boss and your team!
Written by: Emily Runzer
With contributions by: Alexandra Metzler
We love communicating with friends, editors, future clients and colleagues via social media. With so many posts being made every second, you really want your brand’s updates to stand out. Here are our top tips for how to create the perfect post on three of the most popular social media sites!
Use your letters wisely - With a 140 character limit, it is crucial to use those characters strategically and take your time. It may take a few drafts and a little practice but that extra time will be worth it when you have the perfect tweet.
Keep it short - Using websites such as bit.ly and ow.ly allows you to add a link to your tweet with out compromising your character limit.
Remember your #hashtag - Link yourself to similar posts and target audiences with strategic hashtags - just don’t go too overboard, one or two is perfect! (Extra points if you can use a trending one.)
Make sure you’re picture perfect - Using Instagram filters along with other photo editing apps such as VSCO Cam and Camera + allows you to make your photos #flawless and attention grabbing.
Caption strategically - Keep your captions short and sweet while getting all of your information out. The picture says a thousand words so your caption does not have to!
#Hashtag - Just like for Twitter, hashtags are equally as important for engagement on Instagram. Using popular ones #Beauty or your brand specific ones will drive targeted audiences to your page. (We’re guilty of over #hashtagging, but Stephanie Scott can’t resist!)
Ask questions - Facebook is the perfect platform for engaging with your audiences so make sure that your posts encourage it with questions, suggestions or fun statements.
Don’t give it all away - Facebook is a great site for driving your followers to your websites and unlike Instagram, it allows you to put links in your posts. Make a strategic post that grabs the attention of your followers and encourages followers to click the link to get more information.
Don’t forget a picture - Posts with multimedia elements such as pictures or videos grab more attention than a post that is strictly text so remember to add one to your posts.
Post videos - Mix your posts up a little with some company created footage! Post video announcements regarding new products or places to buy them, advertisements (like a commercial) or get personal and record yourself saying “Hi” and thanking your customers for their loyalty.
Pick your platform. While Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are well-known favorites, there are so many other platforms out there! Be adventurous and try new ones. Another great platform is Tumblr, but here are some other choices:
Periscope: Used for video.
Storify: Used to collect what people have uploaded on other platforms and use it to tell a story!
Pinterest: Used for uploading and saving photos and ideas.
Google+: Used to share status, photo, and video updates, post events and create polls. Similar to Facebook.
- Blogger: Used to create a blog. Similar to Tumblr.