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Hello All,

I am writing to say that I have landed a job here in Atlanta! I got a gig with AIM Marketing Solutions as an account coordinator (doing what they tell me).

My internship in Nashville helped as one of AIM’s accounts is with an event called Sound and Speed, which incorporates country music and NASCAR. I will be working on that account only when I start on the 24th.

Just wanted to update all and let you know what’s been going on! Hope all is going well with everyone who checks in here.

Let’s hope the football team will learn how to play again, because honestly, I am ashamed to wear my Auburn shirts around town.

Tyler

Bright Lights, Big City

Hey guys! Hope all is well with everyone.  Chicago has been great so far, and I am learning tons.  Always remember yall have a place to stay if you ever want to come to the windy city!  You have a few more months until the coldest weather I will ever experience begins…I am seriously nervous.

I’m not sure if you saw my post at Marcom, but wanted to let you guys know that Christi is now a proud resident of New York City! She is working at Converseon with Paull Young and Constantin Basturea. She seems to really be loving it. Visit her blog and give her a shout out.

I personally am super glad she is up there, because I love to visit NY.  I say reunion in NYC soon everyone!

What’s with the lack of AU PR kids on Twitter? Be social media nerds with us and join- it is addicting, and you will not regret it!

Let us know what you guys are up to! Miss you all!

Here’s to hoping our offensive line will get together!! War Eagle all – MK

Ok, so I know when you got an email or a Facebook message or a shameless plug from me or MK, most of you probably thought we were crazy for still blogging and totally geeky for setting up this site and expecting you to get in on it. Neither of those assumptions would be totally off base. But nerdy confessions aside, there are some great reasons why you should get back into blogging. And PR Grads is the perfect place to start.

  1. Because it could get you a job! This one should be reason enough for most of you. Whether you have one now or are still looking, getting a respectable, enjoyable PR job is no easy task. Participating in online communities and displaying your internet savvy and casual writing skills through blogging are a great way to set yourself apart. Just ask MK, who is working for Edelman (due largely to her mad social media skillz).
  2. Because it’s the perfect networking opportunity (and it’s more respectable than Facebook). Let’s face it. A huge part of what we do as PRs goes back to networking. The success of a campaign can hinge on the relationships you’ve cultivated. As cheesy as it sounds, we all have a sweet little War Eagle bond as AU PR grads. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to keep that going throughout our professional careers and have instant support for things that we do?!
  3. Because not only do you make the relationships you already have stronger through conversing regularly, you also form new relationships through blogging. And while these relationships may seem a little silly or sketchy (like the thought of online dating), they actually are real. I tested it out myself earlier this week when I went to NY for a job interview (that I got through my blog) and got to connect in real life with some of my blog and twitter friends. I had a blast.
  4. Because you stopped learning when you graduated (some of us did before we graduated), and it’s about time you started back up again.
  5. Because no one here will judge you for your lapses in AP style or a spelling oversight. But we will help you hone your arguments, generate new ideas you wouldn’t have thought of, and offer insight on how to deal with work problems or challenges…many heads are better than one.
  6. Because our business is changing by the second these days, and the only way to keep up with those changes is to be a part of them.
  7. Because conversation is the future (and the past) of PR, and you need to be having more of them.
  8. Because you secretly want to know where all of your former classmates are working, what kinds of projects they are doing, how much money they are making, and if there are better opportunities out there for you.
  9. Because you need a healthier addiction than smoking.
  10. Because Robert would be so proud (and the more attention AU PR gets; the better we look).

So there you go. At least 10 reasons why you should be blogging. I’m sure there are many many more out there, so to kick off my and MK’s little campaign to get everyone excited about this, add any reasons that you can think of as comments. Also, get brave and add your own post. Plus, if you decide to pick blogging back up on your old prblog (or on a fresh new one) add the link in the side bar, so we can all follow you. Happy blogging!

There has been a lot of negative sentiment lately about PR, first in this article and now in the fallout from BlogHer (which I did not attend, but have been reading about). While the former can be easily refuted on the basis of lazy/crappy journalism, which Shel Holtz eloquently does, the postings from BlogHer should be given more credence, even if they do stereotype us. Ironic though, isn’t it? The practice well known for its ability to shape public opinion and remake bad images has an image problem of its own.

So what then? Do we give ourselves a necessary image makeover? Truth be told, we’ve been trying to do that for some time now. While there are the occasional ethical hiccups and set backs, the PR blogging community has done its best to bring transparency and good practices to the forefront. We call each other out on questionable strategies and tactics and push for a constant progression toward honest, mutually beneficial conversation. There will be bad apples in every profession. But like Susan Getgood, I don’t feel like I need to apologize for my career choice. I’ve always hated “pitching” anyway.

My chat with a friend this morning further solidified my position. All we can do is continue to do what many of us progressives already are — reading, participating, talking, and challenging (daily) the way we do things and why. Brian Solis says it a lot prettier in his post on a related example of unsocial media (follow the link; read the whole thing):

Social Media is about community, which is ultimately about people. Whereas, the PR industry (in a broader sense) is associated with deception, hype, spin, and sales, and as is in major need of an overhaul and some PR for the PR in order to change this crippling reputation.

All service providers within the PR industry need to rethink how they approach Social Media and stop selling it as the next big thing. Walk before you run. Think before you act. Social Media represents the opportunity for PR to put the “Public” back in Public Relations and shed our reputation for BS and spin. It changes the game for everyone, and most PR people and existing services, are not welcome as they exist today. Change and evolution are critical and absolutely required in order to participate.

As we discussed this morning, it really all boils down to finding a way to be PR people, to connect in a sincere way with real people (not markets or audiences or users), and to engage in conversations that make our clients happy as well as the real-live people we are talking with (notice: not “to”).

All of this in theory is really good for young PR people, like me. In practice, well, maybe not so simple (sometimes it’s hard to stand up to the one who signs your tiny paycheck). My first priority — finding a company that appreciates my “social” mindset and not just my trendy Web capabilities. I’ll let you know how that goes.

[An additional note: I decided to post this here for all of my fellow grads, because I hope it will be inspiring. Think about the kinds of things that you stand for before that first day of work. Chances are the PRs sending out those impersonal, ineffective pitches mentioned above are newbies like you and me. Before you follow blindly what your superiors say and do, do a little research and questioning of your own. Don't be afraid to speak up for yourself and back up your claims with proof. Let's bring the public (or better yet, people) relations back to PR. Sorry this is so cheesy. I'm just a little fired up about people always calling me a "spin doctor" or a "media whore." PR is more than media relations, pitching and crisis management!]

As you can see, PR Grads blog has a new look. The old one was great, but it didn’t identify who the authors were beside the time stamp. This proved to be a little confusing, as some of you noticed. Luckily, Tyler wrote about liking women in his last post, and, by process of elimination, it wasn’t too hard to figure out. But as more and more of us leave Auburn and go on to bigger things, I thought it was a necessary change.

Don’t forget, all of you administrators, that you have access to the site and can make a change yourself if you hate my selection. Also, don’t forget to keep everyone posted on your job hunts, career successes and thoughtful insights. If you’re not an administrator and you have something to share (and you are an AU PR grad), shoot me or MK an email, and we’ll get you signed up. Happy job hunting everyone!

Displaced in Chicago

Well…So I thought I would fill you guys in on my life up here in the Midwest.  Definitely never thought I would live in the midwest, but hear I am completely loving it.

I work with pretty much the smartest people in the world.  I work with people we studied in school like Steve Rubel from Micropersuasion. I am amazed every day how my colleagues (weird to say that word) apply social media into businesses that I would never think would have anything to do with it.  Who knew joint replacements could gain popularity online?

Although I knew it all along, I am a huge dork who is completely loving learning about new technologies, playing Quark with my colleagues on Friday afternoons but of course still enjoying the bar (yes Tyler that is a bar stamp on my hand), except now they are used for brainstorms led by none other than Rick Murray.  He is a dream boss.

I hope all of you are well…PLEASE come see me!  Chicago is an awesome city with great people, great weather (only because November hasn’t arrived), great music and great food.  You know you always have a place to stay so come on up!

I have been done with classes for a little over two months now and I can’t explain how much I think about Auburn — not only the amazing campus, the crazy nights, the endless number of beautiful girls, but I even miss the classes, the random people you meet, the mornings where you wake up feeling terrible, the walk downtown for nights at the bars, but most importantly, the feeling of knowing you have all your friends at your fingertips and they are always a phone call away.

I have yet to graduate (which will happen Aug. 4th, God willing), but I am pretty much done with my days at Auburn.

Everyday, I am thankful for having a great four years and would not trade it for anything in the world, but I have come to learn that Auburn spoils you in every way possible. No longer will you have such a connection with so many people in such a small community. No longer will you find an apartment for $274.28 (I love you too, Logan Square). No longer will you walk on a campus with so many good looking people (I’ll admit, compared to what I have seen, Auburn, by far, has the best looking girls to date and even has good looking guys too and no, I’m not gay) No longer will you be able to take a nap whenever you want, or sleep in all day. No longer will you feel so at home when you are so far away from your real home.

I miss the Fall days before football season when the air just started to get cool and beer tasted that much better at night. I miss the early days of Spring where no one is in class and girls break out the shorts. I miss the football games and of course, tailgating (this coming from a guy who wasn’t as die-hard of a fan as most of my friends). I miss walking on campus and seeing my family of friends. I miss the drive from I-85 to Auburn, knowing that I was “going home.” I miss the smell of whiskey and sweat in the student section of the football stadium and the smell of cigarette smoke and perfume at the bars. I miss the inside jokes that I will never remember. I miss the trips to the library and seeing people hopped up on coffee and adderol. I miss the girls who treated me good, even when I was an idiot (that could be a whole other note). I miss trips to Wal-Mart to buy nothing. I miss the feeling of knowing everything.

I am glad for the people I met. I am glad for my friends who always made every night fun. I am thankful for all the people who listened to me with my guitar. I am thankful for the girls who treated me like crap — you know who you are — and I am glad it happened the way it did, now I know what I don’t like in people. I am glad for the bad things that happened, the failed tests, the missed days in class and the times I made a fool of myself. I’m learning.

This note could go on and on about what I miss and what I will never be able to relive, but that is a part of growing up and having great memories.

You hear people say that Auburn is a place you can’t describe to others, you can only experience. I agree. I will never be able to replicate anything that happened while I was there and I am content with that. It would never be the same.

When I was finishing up school, I was told there is one worse thing than leaving college — not being able to leave college. I think those words are perfect. I don’t want to hang around and see all my friends off and try to relive my glory days, I want to keep them where they are.

I will miss the sights and sounds and smells of my four years at school, but I will never forget them. Those were the best four years of life.

I’ll end here, but let it be known that I find things every day that I miss and took for granted. God, I love that place. Have fun and live it up.

-War Eagle-

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