As I come into my second month here at Moffitt, I figured I’d update what life is like in the day of a Moffitt media relations intern.
Today, for example, I picked up where I left off with my current projects. I am currently writing three releases, all different in their own right. Recently, a lot of what I’m writing is in regards to different physicians being awarded all kinds of grants and prestigious recognition and the like. Right now, I’m working on two that have to do with recognition, and one is a new hire.
When I’m not researching for press releases, I skim the local publications for mentions of Moffitt. Each week I put together “Moffitt in the News” which is part of the daily internal newsletter, What’s Happening at Moffitt. It outlines all of the stories in the news with links to each story.
I also call our media contacts to make sure they are current, and I file a lot of different stuff. Patient releases get mailed out to patient records and we keep a copy as well.
I feel like I should be doing something all the time, since that is the pace I’m used to in the restaurant industry. But here, it’s okay to have down time, which is unfamiliar to me.
That will be the hardest thing to adjust to, the pace.
I’m learning so much, it’s crazy! Now the question that plagues me: what kind of PR will I enjoy the most?
So the two areas of work I’ll ever blog about are bartending (to pay for school) or my internships (to make school worth it).
I’m new to the full-time bartender scene, but I’ve been with my current restaurant for over two years. I can honestly say that I love my job. Saying it’s work is not fair – because it isn’t. I have so much fun back there, I’m allowed to be myself, instead of all formal and uptight like I was on the floor.
In case you don’t know me personally, I work at a swanky, high-end steakhouse, so let me set the mood. Champagne, fine wine and scotches, not body shots. Just to clear the air.
Respect in the workplace. I’m earning it. There is a bartender that’s been there for 11 years. She created the clientèle we have today from scratch and that place is her baby. Monday through Thursday, she has people lining up to sit on her side of the bar (it’s a big bar). For them to promote me to full time bartender is them taking a huge chance that I could royally screw up whatever she has going on in those four walls.
I think I’m doing well. So do my managers. And so does she. Last night, and for the past couple nights, she’s been very vocal about how well I’m adjusting to the new role. Who doesn’t love a compliment? She’s very consistent, however. She’ll be the first one to compliment you and the first one to point out an error. And she always manages to do both in a way that make you feel good about yourself. I think that shows qualities of a true leader (ooh, a new blog idea).
I can’t wait until I’m able to write something similar about someone that I work with in PR. It will be then that I know that I’ve finally reached a place where my hours and hours and hours of working hard to get this degree is worth it.
I’m off to Orlando to see the doctor, then straight back to work! Love those 18-hour days!
Ooh, and Happy Halloween!
Hello world, this is my official Detroit blog. I need a break from writing a paper, so I’m writing during my writing break… Weird, but this is fun writing, not situation analysis writing ::cringes::
I wish the Conference could be summarized in a simple paragraph, or maybe even a couple of words, but that would defeat the purpose, wouldn’t it?
So, in the spirit of organized thoughts, I’ll break it up into categories; travel, fun, learning, and drama. Hopefully by the time I get to the last one I’m too tired of writing about Detroit that I’ll spare you all the details, we shall see.
Well, first lesson of this trip: don’t drink the night before you’re supposed to be on a plane at 6 a.m. By the time I got done celebrating the Rays’ victory over the Phillies (the only one they would have, mind you), it was nearly 3:30. I opted to take a nap, sure as hell that my alarm would wake me in 45 minutes to get up to go to the airport. Wrong. I woke up at 5:43 a.m., 17 minutes before my plane was scheduled to take off. In a confused panic, I finished “packing” and rushed to the airport.
Too late for the 6:00 flight, obviously, I was able to get on the 7:35 flight for $50. Let the monetary punishment begin. Since I missed my plane, I was the only one getting in around 2:00, so I had to pay the $47 cab ride all by myself intead of splitting it three ways. So after the cabby doesn’t have change and the $50 for the first flight, I’m already $110 into what I planned on spending this weekend. Super.
Fortunately the ride back went off without a hitch, thus the end of the travel segment of this program.
The first night there, I went to a Detroit Redwings game with a couple of the guys from my chapter. Good times, enjoyed a few (and by few I mean several) Molsons in the Canadian spirit, wandered around Detroit, walked home (hotel) from the Greektown Casino after demolishing the best nachos to ever go down my throat, and I woke up the next morning feeling like a rockstar. I really held it down in Greektown, too bad that trend didn’t continue.
The next night was Sydney and the guys night, as we all proceeded to root the Rays to victory (or loss, whatever). We started at a really awesome sports bar, but the rain delay was boring us so by the time we got back to the hotel the game was back on.
I went to Windsor, Canada, where I roamed around aimlessly with the girls, wandering in and out of bars, shops, haunted houses (yes, I said haunted houses) and finally: Caesars Windsor. I blew $40 bucks in about 10 minutes. Damn slots. I should have learned my lesson in Vegas – but I just love the thought of getting to spin the wheel on the Wheel of Fortune machines.
And that about wraps up the fun. Everything else as far as social stuff goes was a bore.
I really did learn a lot. Not only about public relations, but about myself as well. There were three sessions that really stood out to me as far as the speakers and their message were concerned.
At the tops of my list was Penelope Trunk, author of Brazen Careerist. This woman is so no-bullshit I thought I was looking into a time machine’s mirror. She is me in 30 years. Hands down one of, if not the best speaker I’ve ever heard. Ever. So full of knowledge and so sharp – she’s my new hero. Her session was about how to package yourself and career development.
Next was the VP of Communication for Domino’s pizza. He was the shit. Same thing – straight shooter – no garbage, just the facts. His session was on crisis management – which I’m totally interested in now, by the way.
The guy from GM, the guy from Global Development or whatever, was awesome. 40 years in automotive PR, he’s a genius. That’s all I got.
I learned a lot about myself. I know how to pick my battles now (hence, not fighting back to the sass of a 19-year-old on a power trip). I know that I am very street-smart (I didn’t get mugged!). I know that I am 23 going on 35, and I embrace it. Seriously, its a blessing and a curse.
I was cringing so much this weekend.
Like when Penelope Trunk was talking and everyone was cringing every time she said “spin”. Spin, if you aren’t aware, is a no-no in PR, it’s a very bad word. People were so caught up in the word she was saying, that they completely missed the message. She was saying you need to be able to spin yourself in any situation – more in regards to being able to sell yourself, good qualities and bad, not like lying-spin. And the thing that blew my mind was, she had the professionals from PRSA all heated – they weren’t paying attention to the message either!
I was also cringing every time one of the girls started talking about their boyfriends and why they are/aren’t engaged yet. Mind you all of the girls I’m talking about are under 21. I’m 23 going on 35 and I know that I’m not even close to being ready to think about marriage yet. I still have a lot of myself to find out – let alone someone else.
I was cringing every time the guys opened their mouths. 20-something guys, well, guys under 26 for the most part, suck at life. They’re all retarded, can’t hold their liquor and are all after the same thing. I’m okay with you all being after the same thing, as long as its packaged well. But when you haven’t had the years of experience on how to package it, it’s so transparent. And I don’t like transparent. I’m not a moron – I can see it.
I guess I kinda rolled drama into the Learning segment, which is what I figured what would happen. But for the sake of talking – I still can’t stand being around massive amounts of ill-managed estrogen. I can handle women – I can’t handle girls. I can handle people with half a brain – I can’t handle girls that do anything for attention and then whine about all the attention they’re getting.
All in all, I’m not letting the age gap get in the way of what I learned this weekend. I can honestly say that I walked away from the airplane having learned something – which is better than my original expectations. I didn’t plan on making it home from this trip after everything everyone had said about Detroit. But I live to tell about it – with a few new tricks up my sleeve, so it’s a great day.
Pics will be up as soon as I get my poor computer screen fixed. Until then, LOVE YOUR FACE!
Over and out, you know you love me,
So the PRSSA National Conference in Detroit was an experience and a half. I learned a lot, dealt with some drama reminiscent of high school, and explored a new city and a new country (Canada). More on that later, and probably not here.
The thing that struck me as odd however, is the man next to me on the plane on the way home. He was older, bad teeth, borderline smelly and was on his way back from Philadelphia. Great – as I don all of my Rays gear on the plane. We skipped right over baseball and talked about how happy we were to get back to the Sunshine State (which I called home with no hesitation this week, but again, more on that later).
The man asked what I was doing in Detroit and I said, “Oh, a conference,” not really wanting to get into it. But he probed on. I explained it was with PRSSA and PRSA and we had some joint events and separate ones. He said to me, and I quote:
“Isn’t that a bit redundant? A conference about … conferencing?”
Apparently, as a future PR practitioner, I am redundant, and a conferencing guru. I told him, “no, not really, it was a lot about networking and getting to meet people from all over the country and learning about different areas of PR,” to which he replied,
“a redundant conference for a redundant profession.”
First of all, may I please copy and paste a definition of redundant? Yes? Okay well here it is,
1. characterized by verbosity or unnecessary repetition in expressing ideas; prolix: a redundant style.
2. being in excess; exceeding what is usual or natural: a redundant part.
If you’ll refer back to Hazelton and Long’s definition of PR as a communication function of management, I’m not seeing anything redundant about it.
For the first time, I was annoyed about the perceptions of PR. Then, I woke up and I didn’t care about what they think – because chances are this guy cleans porta-potties and his opinion doesn’t matter anyway.
I am not going to be a bitter PR person and try to prove myself to everyone that what I do is meaningful. You’ll see that it’s meaningful when I save your company (porta-potties or something more … important) from a major crises or when I get that celebrity to endorse your new product or whatever, or when I go overseas to promote your company globally.
On a lighter note, I met Penelope Trunk this weekend, and if you know what’s good for you, you’ll check her out: blog.penelopetrunk.com
Her speech changed my life. Seriously.
DO IT, she’s my hero.
For those of you that don’t yet know, I was selected for the media relations internship at Moffitt Cancer Center. I have orientation on Monday and start bright and early Wednesday morning. WOOHOO!
And though I wasn’t chosen for Bateman, I am marketing chair for PRSSA – so I help out Mr. Nate with all of his super special marketing efforts.
And I’m going to Conference in Detroit in like a month!
More on that as it comes up!