In my very first blog post As likely to find a job as a school leaver? Not if I can help it! I promised as my blog developed, I’d be sharing with you hints and tips from employers about exactly what they’re looking for in a potential employee.
Well, I like to think I’m a woman of my word and after weeks of planning, badgering PR pros and liaising with the CIPR, I’m pleased (and a little proud) to bring you my #raisingtheprofile focus blog post series.
Here’s how it’s going to work . . .
Over the next few weeks I’ll be publishing posts with real advice – the do’s and don’ts – from the people in the PR know. I’ve spoken to all sorts of pros at different points in their career, ranging from managing directors of well established (and well awarded PR agencies), to the MD of a start up agency searching for her first employee, to the big-wigs of the CIPR – I’ve got ‘em all!
I’ll be publishing the post on a Monday and this bit is split into three parts; a biography of the pro, a potential employee profile – it’s a bit like a lonely hearts advert but for a PR person rather than a perfect partner – and a quick-fire five question interview.
Then two days later – on the Wednesday – the featured PR pro will be available for a Twitter chat between 7pm and 7.30pm using the hashtag #raisingtheprofile. This is your opportunity to ‘probe the pro’; ask questions, get advice and make yourself known to some of the most influential people in the industry! Then, on the Thursday I’ll be posting a transcript of the previous day’s Twitter chat, with a short summary of the advice given and lessons learned.
I really hope you’re as excited as I am about this project, and I can’t wait for you to get involved too! So without further ado, let me introduce you to this week’s PR pro . . .
Sandy Lindsay (FCIM, MCIPR, DipM) is Group Managing Director of Tangerine PR in Manchester. Named Northwest Businesswoman of the Year (Creative & Digital) in 2010, Sandy started her marketing career 20 years ago, moved into PR consultancy five years later and launched her own PR consultancy – Tangerine PR – in 2002, which is the current holder of the CIPR’s national Outstanding PR Consultancy Excellence award.
With more than 40 people, Tangerine offers strategic PR Consultancy, national and pan-regional media relations, social media – via its social media marketing sister agency, Juice Digital – and crisis/issues management support, to a wide range of clients across the UK including Dulux Trade, Mars UK, Atkins (diet), Wilkinsons, Ross Burgers, Turtle Wax, Soreen and Peugeot UK.
Sandy is also Project Director of Manchester Masters (a graduate retention and job creation programme), North West Chair of the PRCA and Vice Chair of the Community Foundation for Greater Manchester.
Here, Sandy gives us her Potential Employee Profile and Five Quick-Fire Questions. Please remember, this is not actually a real-life job advert. If you are interested in a job with Tangerine PR, please visit the jobs page of their website.
Potential Employee Profile:
“UK’s number 1 PR agency seeks premier league team players. No wallflowers need apply. Must have GSOH, massive appetite (to learn) and desire to succeed, while maintaining professional and personal ethics to ensure long term, mutually-beneficial relationships with colleagues and clients.”
Five Quick-Fire Questions:
In your opinion, what’s the best (and maybe even worst) bit about working in PR?
Variety. No day (or sometimes hour) is the same and there’s always something new to do and learn BUT if you need to know everything there is to know about everything, it’s definitely not for you – you have to skip about and learn enough about a lot of different markets/subjects and then move on. This doesn’t suit everyone.
How did you first get your foot on the ladder of a career in PR?
Completely by accident – as did most people of my ancient generation. I was working at the British Amateur Gymnastics Association and getting bored; started doing a type of marketing (by accident) and so was placed on the CIM Diploma course and was hooked.
If you were a PR student about to graduate, what would you be doing to raise your profile and ensure you’re noticed by potential employers?
If you’re not on Twitter (and I mean positively active and tweeting useful/interesting information, and not just talking about your weekend exploits) you’re missing a massive trick. Take part in things like #CommsChat and follow #PRJobs and other useful hashtags. You should also be doing good, old-fashioned networking, in person. Attend the opening of an envelope and get speaking to people – you never know who you’ll bump into and a lot of events are free.
In the Potential Employee Profile, you told us about the type of graduate you would want to recruit, but what’s a big ‘turn-off’ for you in a potential employee?
‘To whom it may concern’ There’s nothing that bugs me (us) more than someone who just wants us to do all the work in finding them a job! We always have jobs on our website and it’s very clear who people should email with enquiries/CVs, but so many people (mainly students I’m sorry to say) come via the wrong access point and ask IF we have any jobs, thereby making it obvious they’ve not spent even the most basic amount of time doing their homework. #fail
And finally, any last minute words of wisdom or advice you’d like to share?
Just make an effort. We get a minimum of 10 CVs a day from students and most of them just haven’t done any homework. I know they’re wanting to apply to lots of agencies, but they need to make me think I’m the only one – it’s just like dating!
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And so there you have it – the very first of the focus blog post series! My sincerest thanks go to Sandy for agreeing to take part and taking the time to put all of her answers together – some really great advice!
And now it’s over to you . . .
It’s your job to have a good read through Sandy’s advice and if you’d like to find out a little more, you’ve got two days to have a think and formulate your questions. Then, join us on Twitter – Wednesday 25th April at 7pm – using #raisingtheprofile to take part in the conversation.
Follow me (@AM_Bailey) and Sandy (@SandyLindsay) – we look forward to chatting with you then!