From the Desk of a PR Intern …Week Ten

…a blog series by Anthony Cogswell

Fearey Group Sign Pic

…a blog series by Anthony Cogswell

Today, “From the Desk of a PR Intern” is transitioning to become a new blog series. I am pleased to announce that for the next four weeks, I will be co-writing a mini blog series with Kelly Potts, the intern at HMA Public Relations in Phoenix, Arizona.

Both The Fearey Group and HMA Public Relations are member agencies within the Public Relations Global Network. PRGN is a worldwide public relations think-tank, comprised of top PR agencies from every continent. This organization creates global partnerships which allow agencies to work together produce quality work for clients all over the world, without regard to proximity. Essentially, PRGN means public relations without borders. It also provides a platform for agencies to consult one another as resources, fostering innovation & creativity.

In this case, our connection and partnership with HMA Public Relations through PRGN is what allowed a couple of interns from very different locations the opportunity to put our heads together and share our experience with what it’s like to begin a career in this industry. I am very excited to be working with Kelly and I hope you check back each Thursday for “A View from Two Interns’ Desks”

 

Media Monday: Maxine Frost, KING FM

Each Monday, we’re giving readers a chance to get to know the media a little better.

With a little flair.

Our goal is to give readers some insight into the work and work style of area journalists, and get to know a little bit about the person behind the byline. Start your week off with an online networking opportunity through our Media Monday blog post.

This Week: Maxine Frost, KING FM

ImageMaxine Frost is Classical KING FM’s midday host and Evergreen Channel announcer. Prior to taking the position in 2008, she worked as a radio host, voice talent and producer in Portland. She studied theater and music in college, and is also a freelance illustrator and cartoonist. Her work was recently exhibited at Cartoonage 2013 in Berlin. Maxine lives with her husband and cat in downtown Seattle.

Q: What’s the best thing about being in the Seattle media scene?

A: The arts-music-culture scene is incredible in Seattle! I love our audience, and knowing that people I’ve never seen are turning on the radio and looking forward to hearing me every day. And I love the music we play! I’m a classical nerd from way back. Another amazing thing about my job is the access we have to music artists, performers, and other celebrities, some of whom I’ve admired for many years and never dreamed I’d meet. As a classical format, we’re a bit different from other radio stations and media. But just like them, we’re all about people. The minute you forget that, you’re toast!

Q: How has social media changed what you do?

A: Radio used to be a one-way medium, but no longer. Social media is vital to radio. I’m an announcer, and that means I have a special responsibility to the audience.  These people invite us into their homes and live with our voices. We’re real to them, and it’s important to spend a part of each day chatting with our fans over email and Facebook. Doing public appearances and taking time to connect with people at events is also critical. As a public station, we depend in a very real way on the contributions of our listeners/supporters. And staying in touch with my fans and friends on Facebook is a kick!

Q: If you could have someone else’s job, what would it be?

A: I studied music as a kid and wanted to be a concert pianist – I still wonder what it would have been like. I would love to be a full-time interviewer like NPR’s Terry Gross. And I would really enjoy being an on-air commentator for a symphony orchestra broadcast series.

Q: Press releases: Love them or hate them?

A: I suppose we all get too much promotional email, but occasionally I’ll see something in a press release that I would never have found out about otherwise. Seattle Public Library and Seattle Arts and Lectures have wonderful guests. And I always pay attention to press releases from our regional performers, orchestras and ensembles. You do what you can!

Q: What hidden talent or skill do you have that viewers/readers don’t know about you?

A: I’m a freelance artist and cartoonist. My husband is also in radio – he’s younger than me and much smarter. I love dive bars, and I eat way too many noodles. I’ve never been out of the country, but we’re hoping to make it to Hawaii in a few months. And I’m dying to see Europe!

The PR Pro Takeaway: When you turn on the Evergreen Channel and hear this journalist’s butter-smooth voice, you know why she is where she is. Pay special attention to her thoughts on press releases and look for her in your neighborhood noodle bar. One of her favorite cartoon pieces is below. You can reach Maxine at maxinef@king.org.

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From the Desk of a PR Intern …Week Nine

…a blog series by Anthony Cogswell

Fearey Group Sign Pic

I’ve spent a fair amount of time throughout this blog series analyzing the importance of networking. I think that the reason why this topic continues to surface is that I am being reminded on a daily basis of how critical it is to foster relationships and how positive the outcome can be when you actively focus on making connections in the world of public relations .

In the wake of my involvement in last week’s life science conference, my belief in this principle has been solidified. Reigniting old business relationships and creating new professional contacts at the event has already led to a wealth of new possibilities.

While staffing our tradeshow exhibit at the conference, I had the opportunity to share some downtime with Jack Faris, former CEO/President of the Washington Biotech & Biomed Association and senior consultant to The Fearey Group. Jack has experience in a wide breadth of professional ventures involving higher education, advertising, the aerospace industry, internal communications at UW, the development of the Gates Foundation, among others. Needless to say, I seized the opportunity to use his knowledge as a resource.

Over the course of our conversation, Jack shared a number of insights on building a successful career in the professional world that were eye-opening for me. He mentioned one idea in particular that has resonated throughout the last week and I don’t think I will ever forget it.

People always say, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Jack articulated that this phrase cynically implies that even if you offer little value, knowing the right people will get you where you want to be in life. He said that a more accurate and constructive outlook would be, “It’s not who you know, but who knows you.” I took this to mean that professional connections are only useful when people know who you are, your work ethic, and your ability to produce unwavering results.  Making superficial relationships and merely exchanging business cards or adding people on LinkedIn is a far cry from what it takes to actually produce a mutually beneficial connection. At the end of the day, building your reputation as a trustworthy and effective individual or agency is the best way to achieve success.

These ideas are representative of the very principles that The Fearey Group operates on as a foundation for business. This firm is known for producing measurable results through its dedication and ability to exceed the expectations of clients and partners.

Jack pretty much summed up what it takes to be successful in this industry. I’ve taken this idea to heart and will continue to strive to use it as a guiding standard in my public relations career. It’s all about making people aware of what you are capable of.

Media Monday: Michael Harthorne, KOMOnews.com Crime Reporter

Each Monday, we’re giving readers a chance to get to know the media a little better.

With a little flair.

Our goal is to give readers some insight into the work and work style of area journalists, and get to know a little bit about the person behind the byline. Start your week off with an online networking opportunity through our Media Monday blog post.

This Week: Michael Harthorne, KOMOnews.com Crime Reporter

Michael HarthorneMichael joined KOMOnews.com as a community reporter in 2010 and switched to lead crime reporter this February. Prior to that, he spent a few years as reporter, editor and photographer for the Ballard News-Tribune. Michael was born and raised in Seattle and graduated from Western Washington University with a degree in journalism in 2008.

 Q: What’s your favorite story you’ve done in the last week?

A: Last week was a little slow for me for major crime stories (I have a few coming up this week, I swear), so I’m going with a simple story that demonstrates why I love reporting on crime. “Police: Man rips off door-handle ax from downtown store” combines my two favorite things in this job: odd crimes and the completely matter-of-fact way officers report them (“…the manager and his employees were replacing the missing ax with an old frying pan…”).

Q: What skills do new journalists need?

A: I think new journalists need to be able to find and develop their own voice. This was something that took a lot of practice for me, but it’s the reason I have the job I do.  Having a voice and personality in that readers connect with in your writing gives them a reason to seek you out in the very crowded world of online journalism. Still, it’s important to know the rules of traditional journalism before you start breaking them.

Q: If you weren’t working at your current job, what would you be doing?

A: I would probably either still be working for Ride the Ducks, or I would be living in Los Angles while trying to make it as a TV writer and working for whatever Los Angeles’ version of Ride the Ducks is.

Q: Finish this sentence: “A good PR person is…”

A: …someone who will actually dig a little bit to help a reporter out with a good answer or unique story idea instead of just giving them a canned line or the most recent press release.

Q: What hidden talent or skill do you have that readers don’t know about you?

A: I was a mathlete in middle school. But, I try to keep my mouth shut and just nod sympathetically when other reporters get together to talk about how bad they are at math. I also have an extensive list of Steve Pool puns.

The PR Pro Takeaway: Michael is set to take the crime reporting world by storm. Good tip to PR Pro’s about presenting him with unique stories, and possibly ideas on a Steve Pool pun. You can follow him on Twitter at @MHarthorneKOMO.

From the Desk of a PR Intern …Week Eight

…a blog series by Anthony Cogswell

Fearey Group Sign Pic

When I started this internship in May, it never occurred to me that I would be writing a blog tonight after managing and producing an entire live streamed broadcast.

Over the course of the last two days, I’ve spent a great deal of time at the Washington State Convention Center for the 2013 Life Science Innovation Northwest conference. I’ve loaded and unloaded production equipment, set up our fully functional live stream set, coordinated with event staff, networked, attended presentations, and managed the live stream broadcast from start to finish.

Now that I’ve finally had a chance to take a breath and collect my thoughts, I thought I’d take a moment to reflect on my experience thus far with project management at this conference.

As a public relations intern, Executive Producer is clearly a title that I’ve never held. But for the last three weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to take the driver’s seat and allow a simple follow-up phone call to evolve into The Fearey Group’s role as a full-fledged sponsor and the exclusive live stream broadcast team at this conference.

With three weeks of lead time, I conducted media outreach, designed a tradeshow exhibit, developed content, secured interviewees, coordinated support with equipment, dealt with schedule shifts and cancelations, managed a production timeline, handled all of the unending details, and built a successful live stream program from the ground up.

The one irrevocable lesson that I’ve learned throughout this experience is that no matter how much effort you put into organization and planning, nothing can fully prepare you for the constant challenges and unexpected obstacles that arise in a project. When dealing with such a complex and multifaceted endeavor, I think that what’s most important is to take it all in stride, do whatever it takes to beat deadlines and produce quality work, while remaining relentlessly dedicated to the smallest details. Although it was easy to feel overwhelmed at times, thinking fearlessly and proceeding with confidence was the only way to get the job done.

The live stream program went off without a hitch today. Production was smooth and the presentation was nearly perfect. I was able to breathe easy once the final interview had concluded and we turned off the stage lights. I enjoyed the remainder of the day as I networked and staffed our exhibit. Meeting life science professionals and exploring potential new business opportunities felt like the cherry on top of this achievement.

Even with such success, I spent the entire day noting areas with room for improvement and ways that the production could be expanded in the future. I am truly proud of the quality of work that was delivered today and I believe that it exemplifies what this agency is all about. The Fearey Group brings added value to clients and partners. It’s about developing creative, compelling, and effective ways to think outside the box and produce results using more than just traditional public relations services.

So far, this internship has allowed me to push my limits and take on more than I thought possible. I can’t wait to meet new challenges that will continue to expand my abilities and provide additional experience in the industry.

Media Monday: Jack Broom, The Seattle Times

Each Monday, we’re giving readers a chance to get to know the media a little better.

With a little flair.

Our goal is to give readers some insight into the work and work style of area journalists, and get to know a little bit about the person behind the byline. Start your week off with an online networking opportunity through our Media Monday blog post.

This Week: Jack Broom, The Seattle Times

Jack BroomJack is a Seattle local. He’s been working on newspapers since the 1960s, starting at the school paper, “The Miter,” at Blanchet High School. He attended Western Washington University, was editor of the campus paper, “The Western Front,” and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1974.

Between his last two years at Western, he did a summer reporting internship at The Seattle Times (1973).  From 1974 to 1977, he was a reporter at The Wenatchee World.

Since March of 1977, he has worked at The Seattle Times as a reporter and, for several years, an assistant city editor.  He has received regional awards for spot news, feature writing and humor writing. As a general-assignment reporter, he has covered a wide range of stories and topics: Crime. Politics. Features. Public-opinion polling. Death penalty.

Q: What’s your favorite kind of story?

A: I like stories that tell us something we don’t know about something we do know.  This could be a behind-the-scenes look at a local activity, organization or person.

Q: If you could have someone else’s job, what would it be?

A: Though I am thoroughly unqualified for the position, I would love to run MOHAI, the Museum of History & Industry.

Q: Finish this sentence: “A good PR person is …”

A:  a) Honest b) Well-prepared (Sends out media info with a much lead time as possible) c)   Not a carnival barker – does not say “You would be the perfect reporter for this” – especially when I can sense I’m the third or fourth reporter they’ve tried d) Able to help translate a client’s jargon into plain English

Q: What skills do new journalists need?

A: The ability to work as part of a team. The ability to use current technology and to adapt to technological changes.

Q: What hidden talent or skill do you have that viewers/readers don’t know about you?

A: I write song parodies — even had one recorded.

The PR Pro Takeaway:  The most surprising tip from Broom is his advice to use current technology and adapt to changes. That’s what makes him a skilled veteran, an award winning journalist and a brilliant song parody writer, Weird Al Yankovic beware!