That’s not to say I think I’m above them. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth – click on one of the above if you don’t believe me (dare to click = increased influence).
Yesterday I discovered my Klout score was only 30, and so I set out on a mission to improve that. One of the ways of doing that is to have more people “act” on things I say. Given that Klout can’t measure how many people paste Kony 2012 posters underneath the Richmond rail bridge on Punt Road, I’m assuming that means they have to click on links in my tweets and stuff.
Ergo, some link bait (five tips) attached to something that some of you may want (a job in PR, otherwise known as #PRjobs). Clever, non? Also, actually useful if you’ve ever thought about coming to work for the Melbourne office of a multinational PR firm.
Warning: this blog post contains the use of language.
Tip 1: Nothing beats being really fucking good at your job. I’ve stolen this as a quote from the internet’s @alexlefley, who in turn I’m sure stole it from someone else. However, to quote The West Wing‘s Sam Seaborn: “Good writers borrow from other writers. Great writers steal outright.” That’s a really convoluted way of padding out what is actually a really simple point. Be so good it hurts.
Tip 2: Have amazing attention to detail. Years ago I worked for a formidable individual who very clearly stated his point of view on job applications: “At the time you’re writing your application, what you’re doing should literally be the most important thing in the world to you. If there’s a typo in it, I know you don’t give a shit.” Attention to detail is so important to us, the last time we went out to market on a recruitment drive we actually tested it – and found someone awesome as a result. If you have typos in your email, I have to assume you’ll have typos in the email you send to a journo…and that’s not cool.
Tip 3: Understand typography, and that it’s not all about you. Ok, so this is really a tip and a half, but the two things are linked. In plain English, don’t start written correspondence with the letter “I”. Don’t start consecutive paragraphs with the same letter, particularly if it’s the letter “I”. The human brain looks for patterns where they need not exist – be creative in the way you frame your email/tweet/blog post or whatever it is so that you’re talking about the value the company can expect to get from you, and then what you’re keen to get from the company. This is consistent with the kind of advice you’ll find in something like What Color (sic) is Your Parachute?.
Tip 4: Do not, under any circumstances, address a cold approach with any of the following:
- Dear Sir
- Dear Sir/Madam
- To whom it may concern
The fourth bullet point is intentionally blank because about once a month I get something through that’s clearly a broadcast email, as evidenced by the fact all the recipients are clearly pasted in the BCC field. As for the rest…well…let’s be honest. There’s a whole page of the Edelman Australia website devoted to our individual offices. If you can’t spend 17 seconds finding it (I just did it to get the link above and timed it) then you’re not serious. Otherwise, you’d see that it has my name, my email address, and a photo I hate.
Tip 5: Capture our attention. This doesn’t have to just be directed at me, and it doesn’t have to involve video CVs (although they’re great for demonstrating technical skills), personal media kits (although these are also great for showing creative thinking) or commenting on my blog/retweeting something/connecting on LinkedIn (I also don’t accept most connection requests unless I’ve met you in real life and feel safe that you’re not going to find out where I live). Every time we bring someone new into the business we’re looking to find a different type of thinking. Whether that’s different skills, different experiences or just a different perspective, we’re a team that values new ideas. I’d give you some examples, but I don’t want to dilute your options!
There are plenty of other tips I can give you if you’re interested, but here are two free ones that you’ll only get if you’re interested enough to get this far down.
Tip 6: There’s an element of luck. Yes, we sometimes create roles for people, and yes, sometimes jobs come up out of the blue. However, we’re a small business, we don’t recruit 365 days a year, and sometimes it’ll be a while before something that’s right for you becomes available. So like any sensible company, we’re constantly on the lookout for who we want next, on the off chance that they become someone who we can bring into the business now. I know it sucks, and trust me, we work every day to make it easier for you to join us.
Tip 7: You actually really need to know what you want to do, and why you want to do it. For more on this, particularly if you’re interested in working in digital PR, you can read this excellent post by Stephen Ellis on 10 reasons not to work in digital. Do your homework.