Education is Empowering

I love professional development.

I would spend my whole life traveling to different conferences, conventions, and workshops and drinking in all the industry knowledge I could if I had the time and money. Who knows, maybe down the road I will have a position that allows me to do plenty of that. For now, I take what opportunities I can.

Today, as the public relations intern for Girls Inc., I had the pleasure of attending a “mini-training” hosted by one of Indianapolis’ biggest advertising and public relations agencies, Caldwell Van Riper (CVR). The workshop was specifically geared towards social media and media relations for nonprofit relations, so I got to spend the afternoon sitting among some incredibly passionate people. Also, any event that has cake pops as the hors d’oeuvres is a win, regardless.

We got to hear from the Kelly Young, the Director of Public Relations, and Dustin Thompson, the Director of Social Media for CVR, on their best tips and tricks for media relations and social media, respectively. While I won’t sit and reiterate everything that I learned from Kelly and Dustin here, I will share my favorite piece of advice, which came from Kelly’s discussion on media relations:

Paint a picture. When you’re pitching a story to the media, tell them how the story could look if they covered it. What are the visuals? Are there any good soundbites you can try to guarantee? Remember, it has to be a big deal to the reporter, not just to you or your organization.

As someone who has experience pitching stories but knows that I can always use improvement, I wrote that advice down fast.

I believe that part of being successful is to never think that you’ve learned it all.

Luckily, that mantra coincides with my naturally avid pursuit of new learning opportunities. I have spent a lot of my time lately looking for more of those as I look ahead to the summer of 2018.

I cherish the feeling of optimism and satisfaction that comes with completing an application (job, internship, or otherwise). Though I may not have a perfect cover letter – I’m working on it! – I enjoy the craftsmanship that goes into telling my story to others. I am in such constant pursuit of new growth opportunities that it has almost become a hobby. I spend a great deal of my time searching for the right position, reading its description, drafting a good cover letter and putting my skills out in front of someone for them to critique.

I just submitted an application to a particularly cool fellowship program that I would love to be a part of, so hopefully I will be able to come back here in a few weeks with positive news. Either way, I am still looking forward to seeing what’s in store for me! Also, if anybody knows of any more events where I can geek out over PR, social media, advertising or media relations, hit me up.

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