Designing When You’re Uninspired

Designing When You're Uninspired Chart

Creating when you’re uninspired happens to the best of us. At times, it’s not easy to get out of that mundane funk and you either let it get the best of you, or you try your hardest to combat it. Here are four simple ways to get the creative juices flowing again.

Designing When You're Uninspired Chart

Written by Kaila Garcia, Graphic Designer

My Top 5 Fashion PR Agencies

To most people, choosing a career path has taken all of college and beyond to decide, but that was never the case for me. For as long as I can remember I have always had a true “passion for fashion” and still today, I know that I want to have a career in the fashion industry. This industry fascinates me because it is constantly changing and there is always something new and exciting going on.

Being three short weeks away from graduation, the reality of my future and the career that I will embark on is right in front of me. I feel lucky to be leaving college with a degree in journalism with a focus in public relations that I can apply in the industry that has always been my dream. Although it may take some time for me to get my foot in the door in this fast paced, ever-changing industry, I am confident that I will be doing something that I love. There are many fashion PR agencies that I aspire to work for, but I wanted to showcase my choice for the top five in the industry for other aspiring fashion PR pros.

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  •      San Francisco based boutique public relations agency
  •      Specializes in fashion, lifestyle and design
  •      Founded by Jessica Mullens Engelman in 2000
  •      Services include: strategic planning, special events, social media solutions and influencer marketing
  •      Some clients include: Burberry, ELLE, Donna Karan, J.Crew and Levi’s

Mannfolk Public Reltaions

  •      Offices in Los Angeles and New York2fb3e6e
  •     Specializes in fashion, lifestyle, beauty and social media
  •      Delivers integrated communication campaigns designed specifically for the client
  •      Services include: brand image development, creative direction and copywriting, media representation, press liaison and product integration, special events, social media support, hollywood showroom, account management, advertising and marketing
  •      Some clients include: American Apparel, Allen Edwards and Lyla Jarn

Factory PR

  •      Offices in Los Angeles and New Yorkny
  •   Specializes in   Fashion, Lifestyle and Celebrity communications agency
  •      Specializes in launching and repositioning brands, tailored to each client
  •      Services include: public relations, events, creative, digital and marketing
  •      Some clients include: Steve Madden, Sam Edelman, Macy’s and BillaBong

Big Picture PR

  •      Offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New Yorklogo
  •      A boutique consumer PR and social media agency focused on fashion, lifestyle, design, consumer technology and health brands
  •      They are a start-up agency whose approach is about storytelling
  •      Services include: product placement, media relations outreach, social media strategies, digital PR, events, launch strategies, brand liaison and many more!
  •      Some clients include: Conde Nast, Lucky Magazine, Guess and GQ Magazine

imgresNow and Zen PR

  •      Offices in New York and Los Angeles
  •      A boutique marketing communications agency focused on fashion, lifestyle and celebrities
  •      They develop and manage multi-platform strategies to build and expand brand awareness to increase sales for clients
  •      Services include: celebrity adoption, product placement on tv and film, media relations and social media marketing
  •      Some clients include: 7 for all Mankind, Express, Nautica and Desigual

by Rebekah Miller, assistant account executive

Study Abroad and Job Outlook – How to leverage your study abroad experience in an interview to land the position

Anyone who studied abroad knows the experience is truly life-changing. Living and studying abroad helps you develop and test your abilities on the deepest level.

Although studying abroad is an incredible life experience, very few U.S. college students are able to make the trip. Only 1 percent of U.S. students studied abroad during the 2012 to 2013 academic year. This is understandable, considering the potential cost and time commitment of studying abroad.

Since so few students have the opportunity to study abroad, this experience can be a great resume booster or an additional area to draw upon when answering interview questions.

Resume Essentials
Although study abroad experience makes you more marketable in the U.S., you must communicate the experience on paper as it pertains to a job you want.

Some things to highlight on your resume about your study abroad experience include:

  •      Language skills. It’s one thing to have studied a language for several years, and another to have actually lived in a country that speaks the language. Even if you went to another English-speaking country, familiarity with different sayings or spellings can be helpful when marketing yourself.
  •        Global work/internship/volunteer experience. There is a common misconception that studying abroad is actually partying abroad. It is easiest to battle this stigma by showing that you have actual work or volunteer experience during your time abroad. Additionally, this is a good way to show that you are passionate about getting involved and immersing yourself in the local culture.
  •        Blogging experience. Study abroad blogs are great for multiple reasons. Not only do you have the chance to chronicle your experiences and growth, but a blog is the perfect opportunity to show your personality to potential employers. Including your blog on your resume allows employers to get to know your personality and assess your writing skills.

Interview Success
Making yourself look good on paper and then delivering on that in an interview are two very different skillsets. After you land an interview, it is important to review key points you would like to emphasize about yourself as an applicant.

This is another great opportunity to incorporate your study abroad experience, and expand on points you may or may not have included in your resume.
In particular, try to:

  •       Emphasize your adaptability. It is not easy to move across the globe and adjust to a completely different culture. It is important to mention how you were able to adjust to the changing environment and work with a diverse range of new people..
  •        Connect your experience with the company. Many companies operate internationally. With appropriate background research on the company you are interviewing with, you can find potential ways to connect your study abroad location with one of the company’s locations or clients. Someone interviewing you may even have travelled to that same location, and that is an easy way to build a lasting bond.
  •      Focus on your accomplishments. Studying abroad is full of challenges, and interviewers love to hear that candidates are able to overcome problems. When possible, turn a struggle into an accomplishment to convey your perseverance.

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Infographic Credit: Course Hero

by Alek Irvin, account executive

5 tips for getting started with social media analytics

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Examining social media analytics can be an intimidating task for anyone who first attempts to look over them. It’s almost like navigating through a vast, dark forest. However it’s important to understand how to interpret and use data to help get a grasp on how to better communicate and satisfy your publics.

To help you navigate through the world here are my five tips for getting started with social media analytics.

  1. Establish Goal

Before you can begin looking at any analytics, you need to establish goals for your social media campaign. In other words, what are you looking to achieve through social media?

A goal can be as simple as increasing brand awareness or increasing visitors to your website. Having a clear goal will help you get started on understanding which social media metrics are important to your overall goal.

  1. Establish a potential strategy

Brainstorm a potential social media strategy that will help you achieve your goal. I use the word ‘potential’ because after looking through your analytics you might find information that could inspire a different, or improved, strategy.

Your initial strategy will help you pinpoint what metrics you need to measure or examine. One common strategy is to create a posting schedule that follows a consistent posting pattern. To create an effective posting schedule you need to examine the number of impressions and reach your posts are receiving and what days seem to be the most effective.

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  1. Research analytic tools

Social media platforms all have numerous analytical tools you can use, however, not all tools are built the same. Facebook and Twitter offer their own free social media analytics tools that present great information. But for other social media platforms you will have to rely on third party apps and websites, that might cost money, to gather analytics.

It’s important to research these tools and make sure they offer the information you will need to carry out your strategy.

  1. Gather and organize data

Once you have chosen which tool to use and have the information in front of you, it’s time to organize this information based on the metrics and measures that will help you achieve your goal and carry out your strategy. I highly recommend organizing or exporting your data into Excel spreadsheets.

  1. Conclude and rethink strategy

After looking over your data, write up a report of key findings and things you didn’t expect to find.  Also, reevaluate your initial strategy and see if you can improve with your new set of data or maybe even create a different strategy.

I hope my five tips have offered you direction on your social media analytics examining path. This can be a timely and intimidating task, but if you get through it, you will find great information that will help your overall communication plan.

by Alan Cuevas, assistant account executive

Public Speaking: It’s not that scary

It is often said that people fear public speaking more than they fear death, and honestly who can blame them? Fear of public speaking is real and its technical term is Glossophobia.

I am lucky. Public speaking has never scared me, or made me nervous, and I hope it never will. This could be credited to years of theater as a child, or just sheer luck.

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I know multiple people who are terrified to speak in front of an audience, no matter how small, and picturing the crowd in their underwear doesn’t seem to help.Everyone has tips and tricks that work best for them when public speaking. Here are a few tips I find helpful:

  1.     Be confident:

Regardless of how terrified you are to get up and speak, confidence will outshine any fear that you have. Think the audience is going to notice you’re nervous? They’ll notice your confidence and knowledge of the topic first and nerves won’t even cross their minds.

  1.     Tell yourself that everything is going to be fine:

This is similar to confidence. Tell yourself that you are knowledgeable about the topic at hand. If you tell yourself that you are going to give a great speech or presentation, you will.

  1.     Just start:

Starting is the hardest part. In theater I would sit backstage with my stomach in knots before going onstage, but as soon as the bright theater lights hit me in the face, every bit of nerves would leave my body. Once you start speaking, it’s hard to concentrate on nerves as the task at hand should require all of your energy.

For more suggestions, Forbes has a great list of tips that, although unconventional, are super effective in overcoming fears of public speaking.

There are endless amounts of articles online with tricks to help with public speaking. Public speaking can be very rewarding and once you’ve mustered up the courage, you’ll be proud that you did it!

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by Juliet Reingold, editor and assistant account executive

5 common misconceptions about PR

As an aspiring public relations professional working in a student-owned PR agency for a year, I have received several questions from people such as “Is PR like advertising? Marketing?” or “So, do you meet celebrities a lot?” I don’t know where people get these ideas, but I am here to set the record straight. In reality, I spend most of my time at the office writing, pitching, managing social media, building websites, and editing photos behind the computer.

According to PR Daily, there are 10 common misconceptions about PR. The following are my top five myths about public relations.

  1. PR and advertising are identical.

While there are definitely crossovers between PR and advertising, they are not the same thing. Advertising is focused on consumers while public relations focuses on building relationships with publics. Take a look at the following infographic or read this article for more differences between PR and advertising.

blogInfographicJihyun

  1. PR pros distort the truth.

People often think PR pros spin information toward the sunny side of things. However, I’ve learned that one of the most important things to remember while working in the PR field is “Don’t lie and be honest.” PR crises happen when a company starts to lie and to cover up the truth.PR pros are dedicated to telling the truth and building trust with clients and their publics.

  1. PR pros only care about media placement.

People often say PR is all about writing press releases. While writing and media coverage are still a huge part of public relations, PR pros nowadays use plenty of platforms such as social media, blogging, content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) for storytelling.

  1. PR pros work 9-to-5 and spend most of that time at parties.

When you see PR pros on TV shows or movies, they spend quite a lot of time partying, shopping and drinking. But in reality most practitioners go in early and go home late at the end of day in order to complete tons of deadlines and meetings. PR is a lot of hard work that can’t be done at parties.

  1. PR pros get a lot of attention

I think this misconception is related to budding PR practitioners. Don’t get too excited about media coverage. What is being covered by the media is not you, but your clients. If you like the idea of helping your clients’ message be heard,which will get your clients paid and continue the working relationship you have with them, you’re fit to be in PR. It’s not about being seen; it’s about getting others seen.

by Jihyun Shin, online communications director

Five Essential Things You’ll Need at a Music Festival

If you ask me why my bank account is so low, it is probably because all my money is spent on music festivals. Ever since I came to college, I have been trying my best to attend all the festivals I possibly can on the West Coast. My festival map starts in Southern California for HARD Summer and Beyond Wonderland, and ends all the way up in Washington for Paradiso. My next goal is to go to a festival somewhere on the East Coast, or even one outside of the U.S.

No matter the type of festival, there are five things I believe are essential items that will make your experience that much better.

WaterTGCBlog1. Water

One of the most important things when attending a festival is to stay hydrated. While not many festivals allow you to bring your own water bottle in, most allow Camelbaks and have water refill stations inside. This way, even if you do not own a Camelbak, you can purchase a water bottle inside and go back to the refill station for more.

 

MyShoesTGCBlog2.Comfortable shoes

I cannot stress how important comfortable shoes are at a festival. You are most likely going to be on your feet anywhere between six and 12 hours dancing and walking from stage to stage. My choice of shoes are my high-top Vans, they give me plenty of ankle support and are lightweight, making them easy to wear throughout the day.

 

ShortsTankTGCBlog3. Weather appropriate clothes

Wearing weather appropriate clothes is an absolute must. I’ve attended festivals with varying temperatures, from 100 degrees at HARD Summer in LA, to 5 degrees, at SnowGlobe in South Lake Tahoe. It is important to wear weather appropriate attire because it will not only make you more comfortable, but also makes sure you won’t be risking your health.

 

BackpackTGCBlog4. Backpack/fanny pack/drawstring bag

When you are running around a festival, keeping track of your phone, wallet, keys, ID and anything else you brought can be a hassle. Carrying all that in your pockets often leads to it all falling out, so you need something that is going to keep it all together. A backpack, fanny pack or a drawstring bag works perfectly. Take note that some festivals don’t allow large backpacks like the one shown in the picture, so a smaller option is always safest.

 

CashTGCBlog5. Cash

Last, but not least, make sure to bring cash. Cash is always great to have on you in case of emergencies. Festivals will usually have food vendors and always sell water, so in case you are in need of some extra energy you can go buy something. Cash is also great to buy merchandise or any other cool things for sale at the festival.

 
I hope you take my suggestions into account the next time you attend a festival. They will  make your life that much easier. If you want to find me at an upcoming festival, catch me at Northern Nights in July!

by Shane Smith, account executive

The basic do’s and don’ts of filming a video

When it comes to filming a video there are many things you must take into account if you want to make your video look professional. Below is a simple list of things to do and things not to do when shooting a video.

The most common mistake when filming a video on your cellphone is shooting the video vertical;the same way you would hold your phone when texting. Make sure to rotate the phone and have it aligned horizontal. This will create the correct aspect-ratio when filming.

Headroom: Make sure to never cut off a subject’s head with the camera space when filming but also make sure not to give too much space. Too much space causes the viewer of your film to feel uncomfortable or enclosed.

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  • Nose room: Nose room is similar to headroom but has to do with the horizontal space you have when filming. If your actor on screen is looking off the screen make sure not to have their face squished against the wall of screen. When they are looking give them lead-space to look off screen.

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  • Moving the camera: A common mistake when filming is to move the camera around a lot when filming a shot. Make sure to keep the camera steady and still to make one fluid movement for each shot you take.
  • Tripod: To keep your shots and movements steady try to always use a tripod. This will allow your film to be less shaky and will make your audience less nauseous.

These are some simple techniques to help you on your way, but there are many more to learn as you want to feel more advanced with your techniques. Remember that these are basic rules. As you become more advanced, professionals will use the do not’s on purpose to break boundaries and change the rules. I recommend sticking to these basic rules if you are a beginner in film.

by Austen Schumacher, photographer and videographer

 

Writing for the Web, Successfully

Did you know, according to Microsoft Research, the average Web reader will spend 10 seconds deciding whether to stay on a page or click “back” and go on to the next Google result? Well, if you did not, now you do!

As the ever-changing world of journalism shifts from copy on paper to type on a website, so does the way in which we, journalists and public relations professionals, must write. Understanding how an individual reads on print versus the Web is crucial when structuring content.

From blogging to news stories, organization and placement is key to maximize readership and readability. Also, knowing how to write for the Web is even more important for those soon-to-be graduates, like myself, as the job market becomes more competitive.

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Here are a few things to keep in mind when writing for the Web:

Scanabilty:  Because Web readers do not stay on a page for very long, it is important to structure your content to ensure it is scannable, meaning you are effectively getting your point across through a quick scan of the content.

  • Headlines: Your main idea should be within your headline. The reader should understand the message they will receive solely through the headline.
  • Subheads: Once you have your main idea in your headline, use subheads for your main points. Think of this as the structure or roadmap of your piece.
  • Bullets: Do you have a list or information that you want to easily disseminate to your readers? Put it in bullets! It will also add visual appeal to your website.

Most Important Information First: Word-for-word reading rarely happens on the Web, so follow the inverted pyramid writing style and put your most important information first.

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Please the Non-Readers: Like I said before, those on the Web don’t read! So make sure you are writing to please the lazies. What does this mean? It means short sentences and paragraphs, getting to your point quickly and easy to read copy.

Use Pictures: Pictures are a great way to break up text heavy copy. There are some great ways to use pictures too! Infographics, diagrams, graphs or pictures are all useful when writing for the Web and keeping your reader on your page.

Hyperlinks, Use Them: Hyperlinking text within your story or blog provides readers more information about a specific topic or subtopic within your story. It is also a great way to provide your source or back up an opinion you state. One thing to keep in mind when embedding hyperlinks is to link words that tell the reader where he or she is going, rather than just linking “click here.”

Writing for the Web is no easy task; it takes time, energy and some brainstorming. However, like all things, it comes with practice! So go forth, and create that blog or write that story you’ve been thinking about!

Check out these websites for more useful information on writing for the Web:

9 Simple Tips for Writing for the Web

A Link is a Promise

F-Shaped Pattern For Reading Web Content

 By Mallorie Hayes, editor & assistant account executive