KC PROJECTS PR IS ACCEPTING SPRING 2017 INTERNSHIP APPLICATIONS

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KC Projects PR is looking for PR interns to start for the upcoming season. We are looking for candidates who are extremely organized, motivated, and hard-working. Candidates must have great interpersonal and phone skills, be able to adapt to a fast paced working environment. We appreciate a passion for presentation, social media and creativity. You should have a college-level understanding of communications and the desire to learn more about the PR industry. Knowledge of Word and Excel are required.

Roles and responsibilities include, but are not limited to: 

  • Assisting with general daily administrative duties

  • Relationship building and networking with colleagues, clients, and the media

  • Working as part of an account team to implement media plans

  • Creating media lists

  • Researching and writing press releases

  • Tracking print, broadcast, and new media for ideas and coverage

  • Assisting in the strategic development of PR plans for all clients

  • Preparing press kits, which include bios, fact sheets, menus, recipes, press clips, and photos

  • Updating press kits as necessary, tracking and creating clips

  • Working with images, including reducing size, cropping, and lightening

  • Scanning and archiving editorial placements

*Needed 2 to 3 days per week. Hours are flexible; however, interns must be available a minimum of 15 hours per week. Internship is unpaid.

Please apply by sending resume to: LaceyRae@kcprojects.net

GOING VIRAL: MAKING IT IN THE MASSES

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By: Taylor Lewis, Public Relations Coordinator

The Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches campaign, the “Straight Outta” meme, and how could we forget the black and blue vs. gold and white dress debate of 2015. Each one of these viral sensations captivated the masses of the social media realm, but you have to wonder why and how they gained so much popularity? Was it the content, the visuals, a lot of luck, or a combination of everything?

Having a social media campaign go viral is dream come true for a social media content creator, but there are rarely any prior indications of what will go viral and when. So, one could argue that there is really no way to predict that something will reach such a level of popularity. However, there are several elements that are not mutually exclusive and proven to increase the chances of your content going viral when use in the right ways.

Audience over everything.

Have you ever heard the saying “quality over quantity”? Well, when it comes to going viral, those words have never been truer. Just because you put amazing content in front of tons of people, doesn’t mean they will care or engage with it. You can get to know what your audience likes through gathering insights on their demographics, what content they like the most, or just asking them questions through an Instagram story. However you gather this information, It is important to know your audience and develop content that they will be drawn to, thus increasing the likelihood that they will interact with it enough to go viral. 

Let others do the work for you.

Going viral is definitely a blessing and a curse. It increases engagement, followers, website views, but it is also a lot of work on the social media manager’s part. When developing something to go viral, you should aim for your audience to do some of the work for you. Encouraging people to “share” or create user-generated content is a great way to ensure that your reaching a larger audience and people are engaging with your content. Influencers can be extremely influential as well. So, find some key influencers among your audience and encourage them to engage as well.

Timeliness is the name of the game. 

Although there is no perfect time for something to go viral, it helps to follow a few simple tips. 

-      Stay up to date on the latest events and trending topics. 

-      Know when your audience engages the most.

-      Use trending hashtags when possible.

Timeliness is all about knowing the perfect time to interact with your audience. Finding the right time will make a huge difference on the amount of momentum the content will acquire and propel it to go viral. 

Keep up the momentum.

Your content goes viral, great! But now what? It is vital that the social media manager continues to engage with their audience through reposts, liking comments, replying to comments, etc. Keeping up this interaction will keep your content “alive” in the social media world, which will only serve to further benefit your social media pages. 

Utilizing these tips will be extremely beneficial in the quest to go viral, but a little luck won’t hurt either. So, good luck!

 

DO'S & DON'TS OF PROFESSIONAL EMAILS

By Victoria Morris, KC Projects Summer 2018 Intern

Do you ever write and rewrite, read and reread, and simply overthink the email you’re trying to send? It is so important for professionals to learn how to email appropriately. Emails are how the business world communicates. These messages can make or break you. It’s typically your first impression to a future boss or company, potential employer and more. Here’s the chance to increase your response and success rate! 

The Must Do’s:

  •  Identify your audience. 

  • Usually six to ten words is an appropriate length for your subject line. 

  • Paragraphs should be written in short sentences (one to three). 

  • Open with what you’re emailing about. Introduce yourself later. Get reader’s attention! 

  • Make it easy for your audience to read: numbered or bulleted list. 

  • ·Common business endings: Best or Best Regards

  •  If formal: use full name; if unformal: first name is acceptable. 

  •  Encourage creating email signature.  

The Please Don’ts: 

  • Do not assume gender or relationship statue. *

  • Do not type one big paragraph. It makes it hard for the average reader to read and they might just give up half way through or even before they start. *

  • Avoid immediately introduce yourself. *

  • Do not start by disclosing that they don’t know you. “You don’t know me but….” 

  • NO SLANG: Sup fam, that’s lit, Gucci, salty or throw shade. 

  • NO TEXTING ABBREVIATIONS: Ngl I’ll be smh & tbh u will get nc back. 

Make It or Break It!

The first thing your reader sees is the subject line. This determines whether your emails get read or avoided. Think BUSINESS: Be Unique & Specific In Not Eleven but Six or Seven. 

One of the ‘must do’s’ is to keep it between six and ten words for an appropriate subject line. First things first: identify your audience. This will help you establish whether your email should be formal or informal. In my opinion, it’s better to be formal in an informal setting, then informal in a formal setting.  

Meet & Greet!

Salutations can be one of the trickiest elements. If the relationship status or gender is unknown, a big ‘please don’t’ is using titles like Mrs. or Ms. Instead, resort to using their full name. For example, “Dear John Hancock”, followed by a comma and an inserted space between the greeting and introduction. However, if you have no information on the reader, add a simple greeting with no name. Good greeting options that don’t include a name would be: Good Morning/Afternoon, Greetings, Hello all/everyone.  

WHAT OUR INTERNS WISH THEY KNEW BEFORE ENTERING THE PROFESSIONAL WORLD

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By: Elizabeth, Bethany, & Victoria, Summer Interns 2018

During our last week with KC Projects PR, we were asked to list the things we wish I would have known before entering the professional world. Applying for internships, and moving into the business world from the college lifestyle is hard so here is our list of things to help students feel more prepared. 

  • Try to always make your mornings count. Although it may be tempting to lay in bed until last minute, get up and exercise, make breakfast, drink coffee, or do whatever gets you prepared for the day. You will be much more energized and prepared to take on the day.

  • Start transitioning your wardrobe weeks/months in advance from college attire to professional dress. It can be overwhelming to try and buy an entire professional wardrobe in a short period of time, Next time you are out shopping, keep an eye out for work appropriate clothing and start picking up a few items here and there. That way, you have one less thing to stress over when your graduate and/or get your first internship.

  • Start building your resume early. Start developing your resume as soon as you enter college so by the time you are graduating you will have a fully developed resume that you are proud to send out. You will thank yourself later!

  • If you don’t know how to send an professional email, learn now. This is something you should have under your belt before you begin applying for job interviews, internships, etc. You will email constantly and it’s important to be professional while doing so.

  • Building relationships with employers is so important. Always remain professional and never skip an event/opportunity to meet with an employer.

  • Develop and practice your elevator pitch, Identify strengths and weaknesses, have an interesting fun fact about yourself that stands out. 

  • Surround yourself with people of similar goals and work ethic. 

  • Join clubs in your major. Go to club meetings and interact with other students/teachers in your major. This is a great and easy way to make connections that could potentially end in an interview/internship/job. 

  • It’s said all the time, but after graduating college (or before applying for internships) it is so important to do a social media purge. Things that college aged kids post on their social media accounts don’t always translate well with future employers and most adults. Making albums private on Facebook is a thing, use it! 

  • For college students there are FREE resources on campus that will help you with a resume and cover letter. This is the last time you might have the opportunity to have free professional help on two things that are so important to your career. It would be insane not to take advantage of this opportunity. 

  • Before accepting your first job know that you can negotiate your salary, and should ask about insurance and benefits before accepting a job. If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

IHOP --> IHOB --> IHOP?

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Lessons communications professionals should take away from IHOP’s name change campaign.

By: Bethany Pappas, Summer 2018 Intern 

At the beginning of June, IHOP made a huge and surprising announcement: it was changing it’s name to ‘IHOb.’ The announcement resulted in an outpour of media attention and left thousands across social media and news outlets guessing what the “b” stood for. After nine long days of speculation, IHOb released a statement that the “b” stood for burgers, which are now part of the regular menu.

Opinions on a pancake house selling burgers aside, ‘IHOb’ certainly raised the awareness it needed to with this campaign. Let’s take a look at the important lessons all communications professionals should take away from the ‘IHOb’ campaign. 

1.     It’s import to promote your campaign across multiple media channels

IHOP first announced the name change campaign with some mysterious posts to it’s Facebook and Twitter profiles. In addition to the original announcements across it’s social media platforms, the company renamed it’s verified Twitter account @IHOb and purchased the domain name ihob.com. The company also released a commercial to encourage social media users to make their guesses before the new name was revealed.  Shortly after these media changes and announcements, multiple restaurant locations changed their signs from a “p” to a “b.” Although these were physical changes, customers were quick to snap photos and post them online which only fueled the social media uproar. 

2.     Engage your audience—give them a powerful voice

As part of it’s campaign strategy, IHOP’s social media team immediately started interacting with the thousands of confused individuals online. The team actually turned the campaign into a guessing game by posting multiple prompts asking social media users what they thought the “b” stood for. By letting it’s audience do most of the talking, IHOP transformed an announcement into a space of user creativity and therefore active engagement. With at least 30,000 replies in the first 24 hours of the announcement, you could say the interactive campaign strategy was a success. 

3.     Always have a backup plan

 Unknown to the average social media user, the name change is only temporary. The heading of IHOP’s initial press release reads, “IHOP® CHANGES NAME TO IHOb℠.” As you can see, the company uses “SM,” which is a service mark. The use of a service mark instead of a brand name itself ensures the change is not permanent. In addition, although the company did purchase the domain name ihob.com, IHOP.com remains the companies official website. These relatively unknown aspects of the campaign are incredibly smart on the company’s part because they ensure an escape route. 

Big risks can equal big rewards.

To celebrate the brand’s 60thbirthday, IHOP officially confirmed the name change is not permanent after all. In another genius marketing technique, IHOP uncoincidentally dropped this admission while simultaneously promoting it’s 60 cent short stack birthday promotion. In the tweet confirming the name change as a marketing stunt, the brand actually said “That’s right, IHOP! We’d never turn our back on pancakes (except for that time we faked it to promote our new burgers),” meaning all the fuss was over a marketing stunt, and a powerful one at that.

In addition to IHOP’s admission across twitter and other social media channels, Darren Rebelez, president of IHOP, confirmed the change was only temporary. The point of the campaign was to get people talking and draw attention to the company, and IHOP knew exactly how to do that. Rebelez also added, “But we want to convey that we are taking our burgers as seriously as our pancakes” and with a campaign as shocking as this one, I think we can all agree there is no doubt about that. 

 

 

 

THINK YOUR BUSINESS DOESN'T NEED SOCIAL MEDIA?

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By: Michael Tyner, Spring 2018 Intern

A good social media presence is not just helpful, it is essential for any business to find success when marketing themselves and their brand. If your business does not have a powerful social media presence it is not too late! You can build your brand by learning why using social media as a marketing tool is so important.  

1.    Social media isn’t going anywhere; showcase your brand

Social media platforms continue to expand and reposition themselves. If these platforms have proven anything over the years, it is that the internet is a place where evolving and changing with your audience is a necessity. This furthermore proves that the future impact of social media on your client base is only going to grow exponentially. The majority of individuals with active social media accounts get information concerning brands through said accounts. Many of those users are more likely to recommend an account to others if they experience good social media service. The time is now for you to take advantage of this growth and find your target audience using social media. Use this opportunity to showcase your brand, tell your story, and make yourself stand out from the rest of the world. 

2.    Creating engaging content expands your audience

Creating content that is engaging and interesting pertaining to your brand gives individuals a reason to build a connection with your business. This is the first major step to forming that key following that your brand has been missing. In order to find this audience, your content should focus on the user. Make an effort to find out what they find interesting and engaging. Social media gives you the opportunity to create content that is accurate and provoking while still being actionable. This also gives you the opportunity to network. This means that you have the ability to exchange ideas with like-minded individuals who can help improve the way that you do business. Always remember that your target is constantly changing, that is why it is so important to begin building content today.

3.    You can interact with your audience

It is always great to receive compliments from your customers and clients. Some would argue that is is even better to receive criticism from them. The most beneficial part of having a strong social media following is that you are able to listen to your audience. The ability to hear your audience’s opinion can be favorable, constructive, and agonizing. Whether the are good or bad, these opinions benefit you and your business by saving time. You now know what works, what doesn’t work, what your customer likes and dislikes. This is one of the many assets that your business gains by building a social media presence. 

4.    Social media generates and saves you money

The most obvious opportunity that comes with creating a social media presence is generating revenue. You now have the ability to market and advertise your services or products through your specific platforms. Larger businesses typically use a direct sales approach using social media. This means that they advertise a specific product or service to their audience and then direct them to where they can purchase it. Smaller businesses typical use indirect advertising and marketing promotions. This means that instead of advertising for a specific product to their customers, these smaller businesses give their audience another reason to look at the products and services that they provide. Almost as if you are pushing them towards your entire business rather than giving them one specific product or service. While there are many more approaches to advertising and marketing, these two are the most evident as it applies to social media. Both have the potential to raise sales and revenue exponentially without having to spend money purchasing social media ad space. 

5.    Success is visible

Implementing social media to your business plan is not only easy, but it is necessary. The majority of businesses say that social media positively influences revenue, sales, and brand awareness. Users believe that seeing a business or organization through a social media platform builds a sense of trust and credibility which eventually leads to brand loyalty. A strong social media presence displays that your business or organization is strong, current, and active. This is necessary when attempting to build your brand and expand your business beyond your basic target audience. It is not an easy feat to achieve, but having a strong social media presence across numerous platforms makes it much more accessible to create and maintain a successful business and image. Whether you are attempting to increase revenue, locate your target audience or just expand your brand, having a social media account across numerous platforms is the first place to start. All social media accounts can be compared to a plant. When left unattended, it simply withers away and causes your business to slowly do the same. However; when it is constantly active and updated, you can watch your business grow and thrive before your own eyes. 

 

WHY INTERN?

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By: Taylor Glow, Spring 2018 Intern

As a college student, I would often find myself wondering, “Does it really matter if I have an internship?” Not that I didn’t mind working or being a part of extracurricular activities, but the idea of finding an internship seemed like a daunting task. It’s kind of intimidating when you are surfing LinkedIn sifting through internships in your area, and you feel under-qualified for every single one of them. I had to make myself realize that the point of an internship is to help assist you to become qualified for the job you apply for after graduation and to gain experience in your field. Internships are an incredible tool for you to learn the ropes, make mistakes and be taught under qualified people who have been in your shoes.The foundation that has been set from my past couple of internships over the years has created a launching pad for my future careers. Here is some advice on how to get a great internship and be well prepared for your job after graduation.

Establish your name.

We are in PR for goodness sake! In a saturated market, we have to make ourselves stand out among the rest. You can start by making a cohesive brand for yourself by building a professional resume and portfolio. Be sure to become well versed in using LinkedIn and have a page that reflects what is said on your resume. On LinkedIn, you can start to network with locals in your area that can eventually help provide you with an internship or a job. Not only should you be active finding connections on LinkedIn, but also start meeting professionals in your area at local events or on your college campus. Get your name out there!

Sell yourself.

This can sometimes feel awkward. I get it… you don’t want to be “braggy”. Maybe don’t do this at a dinner party, because that’s when it becomes annoying, but in this scenario it is totally fine to sell yourself and showcase your skills and talents. Like I said before, the public relations world is a saturated market, so you have to be sure to stand out among the rest. When applying to an internship or a job, make sure to look over the job qualifications. If you are qualified for that position, then list specifically what you have been able to do that makes you a great candidate. What can YOU add specifically to that position and why does this company need YOU? Sell it. Own it.

Be open.

Of course, you want internships that have something to do with what you are interested in. It’s obvious that the point of an internship is to better prepare you for your future careers. However, I do think there is value in having well-rounded experiences. What I mean by this is that another important reason to have an internship is to gain experience. If you are able to have a couple of them throughout college, then make sure you aren’t doing the same thing every time. You are going to be much more marketable to an employer later down the road if you have been able to do several different types of jobs. Be open to new experiences because you never know what you could gain from them!

Hope that’s a little boost of encouragement. You might not enjoy every internship you end up having but that’s okay. That is why you do them, to figure out what you like and dislike. The experiences you can gain and the people you get to meet are all worth every second of your time. Okay, go apply now!

 

MEET THE INTERNS: SPRING 2018

Kat Best, Taylor GLow, Michael Tyner

Kat Best, Taylor GLow, Michael Tyner

Three bright, passionate, and hard-working individuals joined the KC Projects team as interns in January. We are thrilled to welcome and work with Kat Best, Taylor Glow, and Michael Tyner. Meet our KC Projects Spring Interns!

“Every beginner possesses a great potential to be an expert in his or her chosen field.” – Lailah Gifty Akita.

Kat Best

Hometown? I’m originally from Nashville, TN and moved to Birmingham a few years ago. Currently, I’m a Public Relations major at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).

Fun Fact: In my free time I sing in a classic rock cover band and also pick up small acting roles here and there. I also love to travel and explore new places and have been to 25 of the 50 states and 3 countries.

Why KC Projects? When thinking about my career, I’ve had a few different ideas about in which direction I want to take my career and agency life is one of my top choices. I am thrilled to have this opportunity to learn the ins and outs of PR in an agency setting and work with a number of different clients. Variety is the spice of life!

 If you could meet a celebrity, who would it be? Barack Obama. 

Taylor Glow

Tell us about yourself: I am from a small town called Albany, Ga. I am a senior, Journalism and Mass Communications major at Samford University. My focus track is in Public Relations and I have a minor in General Business. 

Fun Fact: I am technically an only child, but my family has had a girl from Kenya live with us for almost six years now. She is through a non-profit organization that wanted to help her come to America for school. She is now one of my bests friends and is definitely a part of our family.

Why KC Projects? I have had experience working and doing “in-house” pr for an organization, but I wanted to have experience working for an agency as well. When searching online and on social media, KC Projects was the one that stood out to me as the best place to work and gain the best professional experience. 

If you could meet a celebrity, who would it be? JK Rowling. 

Michael Tyner

Tell us about yourself: I am originally from Birmingham but grew up in Montgomery, Alabama. I am a senior at the University of Alabama pursuing a degree in Communication Studies with a minor in Public Relation.

Fun fact: I want to visit a zoo in every state… I am currently at 2 / 50.

Why KC Projects? I have quickly learned that giving back to your community is the most beneficial and rewarding thing that and individual can do. KC Projects has a tremendous impact on the entire Birmingham area. Interning here gives me the tools to learn and help my community all at once.

If you could meet a celebrity, who would it be? Albert Einstein. 

KC PROJECTS PR SPRING INTERNSHIP

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KC Projects PR is looking for PR interns to start for the upcoming season. We are looking for candidates who are extremely organized, motivated, and hard-working. Candidates must have great interpersonal and phone skills, be able to adapt to a fast paced working environment. We appreciate a passion for presentation, social media and creativity. You should have a college-level understanding of communications and the desire to learn more about the PR industry. Knowledge of Word and Excel are required.

Roles and responsibilities include, but are not limited to: 

  • Assisting with general daily administrative duties

  • Relationship building and networking with colleagues, clients, and the media

  • Working as part of an account team to implement media plans

  • Creating media lists

  • Researching and writing press releases

  • Tracking print, broadcast, and new media for ideas and coverage

  • Assisting in the strategic development of PR plans for all clients

  • Preparing press kits, which include bios, fact sheets, menus, recipes, press clips, and photos

  • Updating press kits as necessary, tracking and creating clips

  • Working with images, including reducing size, cropping, and lightening

  • Scanning and archiving editorial placements

*Needed 2 to 3 days per week. Hours are flexible; however, interns must be available a minimum of 15 hours per week. Internship is unpaid.

Please send resume &  witing samples to: LaceyRae@kcprojects.net

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A KC PROJECTS INTERN

By Daley Henson, KC Projects Summer 2017 intern

In the past two months that I’ve been interning at KC Projects PR, so many friends have asked questions about my first steps into the real world. From the sleek office vibes to the clients we work with, interning at KC Projects is just as cool as it looks. The question that I get asked most often is, “what does your typical day look like?” So here I am with details on my day-to-day activities, to give insight into why interning with KC Projects PR is unlike any other opportunity.

9 AM: To start my day, I catch up on news and see what’s trending on social media. In between sips of my first cup of coffee, it’s Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat (usually in that order). My favorite email newsletter, The Skimm, makes it easier to keep up with the headlines.

Upon arrival to the office, I check in with our intern supervisor, Lacey Rae, and recap my completed tasks. I’ll also check out my to-do list for the day and get started. If it’s short, I make note of what others are working on and follow up to see if I can help out. There are two other amazing interns working with me, and we each have assigned clients to focus on this summer.

10:45 AM: Write, edit and repeat. Between social content, email blasts and blog posts, my keyboard gets a workout. I usually spend mornings writing or scheduling social content for my assigned clients. The feeling when that perfect caption comes to you is priceless! I often switch between multiple clients and industries, so brand voice differentiation is key.

At KC Projects, planning ahead for content is always our strategy. Every photo or video executed for clients started in a brainstorming session with plenty of caffeine or La Croix. As a long-term planner, I love creating content calendars and finding any excuse for a weird holiday. For example, Full Moon Bar-B-Que is celebrating National Hot Dog Day with their Moon Dogs!

12 PM: Time to eat! Just one of my favorite things about KC Projects is the prime location in Homewood. Local favorites like Urban Cookhouse, Real & Rosemary and Slice Pizza (one of our clients!) are all just a short drive away. I usually meet a friend for a quick lunch date.

1:30 PM: Intern Classes are when account executives at KC Projects invest in us, teaching practices or methods that we may not have experienced yet outside the classroom. These intern classes are a source of valuable wisdom, and have taught me so much about agency life already! I’m confident that the skills we’re learning (and engaging now) will carry into my career. Some of my favorite classes have focused on digital content and media pitching.

3 PM: After lunch, I finish up any morning tasks I didn’t quite get around to finishing. Then I’ll take a look at the rest of the week: are there any blog posts I need to write (hello!)? Am I on track to finish a project on time? There’s never a shortage of things to do or help out with.

5 PM: As the day starts to wind down, I usually spend my afternoon researching articles for our clients. I also check the calendar for the next few days to see if there are any upcoming events. Finally, I wrap up a few e-mails, check in with account executives and head home for the day.

This definitely isn’t the usual summer internship. You’re not running to get coffee or just watching from the sidelines. Interns are deep in content development and strategy, with major campaigns and projects to complete. There’s also no such thing as a “typical” day in the life at KC Projects, but that’s the best thing about working in a public relations agency. As Forrest Gump once said, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.”