Why We Had a Meeting About Meetings

A meeting about meetings. Sounds silly, right? Recently, we decided it was time to have an open discussion about the way we conduct our internal meetings – how long should they last? Who needs to attend? Are devices permitted? Should we enforce “no meeting” blocks? What seems like a superfluous meeting topic at first is actually quite tactical. Here are a few reasons why it may be beneficial for your business to touch base on your meeting culture.

The point of having internal meetings is to come together, collaborate and hopefully, come up with solutions. In order for these things to happen, meeting participants need to 1) come prepared 2) come ready to focus. It’s difficult to come to a meeting prepared and focused if you’re slammed with other meetings all day, on top of other work that needs to get done.

To ensure that we’re able to come to meetings well-prepared and focused, we’ve implemented a few new meeting guidelines. Firstly, we decided that for formal meetings that need to cover a lot of ground, agendas are a must. Setting an agenda prior to a meeting helps to maximize the time spent in the meeting by keeping everyone on track and focused on the topic at hand. The more focused your time, the more productive your meeting. In addition to helping focus the meeting, a pre-set agenda helps everyone come ready to discuss each topic. By pre-determining the flow of the meeting, we also hope that this will help us spend less time in meetings as well.

In addition to time management, we’ve decided to spell out whose attendance is required and whose is optional. Meeting invitations will indicate who must attend and who is encouraged to attend. This keeps interested parties in the loop with the understanding that they can decline the invitation if other work needs to take priority during that time. Those who do attend are permitted to bring their devices with the expectation that they will only be in use if it’s relevant to the meeting.

We toyed with the idea of implementing a “no meeting day” once a week. Proponents of this measure argue that it allows for a solid day of uninterrupted work. While many of us were initially drawn to this idea, other team members who have previously worked in environments with “no meeting days” found that this resulted in a couple of days a week where they were slammed with meetings.

To strike a balance, we’re trying out “working blocks” instead. We agreed that for the time being, we will designate the first half of our Mondays and Tuesdays to “working blocks,” as well as the second half of our Fridays. Our hope is that this will result in a balanced meeting schedule throughout the week, with plenty of time to execute on client work.

By employing these simple guidelines, we are optimistic that our internal meetings will become more efficient, more collaborative and more productive. Work smarter, not harder!

Intern Tips: Do’s and Don’ts

Internships – the gateway to the real world and beyond, where you make lasting connections and learn the ropes of the industry. If you’re just entering the internship world, it can be very daunting and stressful. But don’t worry, we’ve got your back with these do’s and don’ts of internship life.

Read More “Intern Tips: Do’s and Don’ts”

3 Important Interview Tips

Ah the interview process – it’s an exciting, albeit nervous time for most people. The simple fact is every single interviewer is different and searching for different things. Combine that with the pressure of having to come across as the best candidate while staying true to yourself and not being too cheesy is a professional minefield. That being said, here are three simple tips for absolutely rocking it at your next interview.

  1. Dress The Part– As a rule of thumb, we always suggest you dress a little bit dressier than the place where you’re interviewing requires. Our office usually dresses casually, but that doesn’t mean we want an applicant coming to interview in jeans and a V-neck. Step it up a bit – you’re there to impress!
  2. Breathe– Seriously, just breathe. Silence is not your enemy. Don’t be terrified to pause and collect your thoughts. When you don’t breathe and collect your thoughts, you run the risk of talking yourself in circles and nobody will remember what the question (or answer) was.
  3. Be Prepared– Give yourself plenty of time to get to your interview. If you show up too early, just sit in your car and run over your information one more time. Have a copy or two of your resume, cover letter and any work samples that you have. We also suggest you have a copy of you portfolio just in case. And, for the love of all that is good, have some questions prepared to ask at the end of the interview.

Think you’re ready to put your interview skills to the test? You’re in luck! Wellington Group Marketing & PR is hiring our next rockstar intern. Interested? Send your resume, cover letter and writing samples to Sarah Smith at sarah@wellingtongrouppr.com.

Social Media Tips From The Pros

Ah social media, there’s no doubt that it’s made a tremendous impact on our culture and has been a defining factor for our generation. Look around you and you will find people of all ages scrolling, tapping and buzzing away. Because social media displays our world through filters and hashtags it’s sometimes easy to forget what your online persona really says about you. Here are some of our social media tips for making sure that your online presence represents the kind of person that you want to be publicly known for.

Stay Professional
Think before you post and stick to “tea party etiquette.” That means try to stay away from politics, religion and anything construed as vulgar or possibly offensive. Now, those rules can be smudged a little, but we suggest sticking to them for the most part.

But not too professional…
Don’t put on a façade. Nothing screams “phony” more than someone who only posts industry articles. Show your personality and your fun side without crossing any lines. Be yourself and don’t try to make yourself look like someone you’re not.

Don’t hide
A red flag typically pops up when someone has their social media profiles on private. When we see that we typically wonder what they’re hiding and then imagine something worse than it probably is. This rule is especially important if you plan on working, or currently work, in a position where you deal with social media.

Flaunt it
The times are a’ changing so go ahead and put your Twitter and Instagram handles on your resume if you feel so inclined. Show off what you’re proud of! Just make sure your online persona fits with the first two tips in this post.

Network! Network! Network!
Follow professionals that you idolize, talk to people with similar interest and use social media as a networking tool. Follow your favorite bloggers on Twitter, ask to connect with the cool journalist you met that one time and follow places where you would like to work. Getting your name out there and making connections is a great thing and social media has made it too easy to not utilize.

Use these tips as a general outline for your online presence and you’ll be pretty set the next time someone “creeps” on you. Do you have any additional tips for using social media? Leave us a comment below!

Words of Wisdom for PR Students

College is the perfect time to prepare for your future. From our experience, you have a good amount of free time and aren’t too sure how to spend it productively. While binge watching Netflix sounds like a good choice, you could use that time to get ahead of your peers for the job market! If you’re a student majoring in public relations or another media related field, we’ve got some tips to help you be prepared for your first job out of college. It’s tough to find a job nowadays, but if you get a head start by using your time in college wisely, we think you’ll be in a pretty good position for life post-graduation. Here are some words of wisdom for those of you preparing for your future as a PR professional.

Know The News – This one is pretty easy and we know you can do it. We can’t stress enough how vital it is to be aware of what’s going on in the world. Working in public relations requires you to keep up with the news so that the work you do for your clients is relevant and timely. As a PR professional, it’s part of your job to be the most informed person in the room. Trust us, you don’t want to be clueless when a client wants to know your opinion on current happenings. Here at Wellington Group Marketing & PR we love reading The Skimm before we hit the ground running!

Intern Intern Intern – Intern a lot, and make it a priority to blow your supervisor’s socks off. Make the most of your internships by getting involved in any task your boss will allow. Internships are where you are going to make valuable connections because they’ve seen the work you put out, along with your work ethic. Also, don’t save interning until your last semester. Get started early in college!

Write Well – If we had to choose which tip is most important, this would be it. Working in PR means you will be writing for the greater part of your day. Whether it’s key messages, pitches, emails, blog posts or social media content, you’ve got to be a strong writer. Not sure how to practice your writing? Our advice is to start a blog! Employers will love seeing that you value blogging, but they will also think it’s awesome to see that you spend so much time writing.

Be Smart On Social Media – Alright, it’s time to really clean up your social media persona. Get rid of all the pictures that are the result of a few margaritas too many and make sure you look hireable. Be yourself, but be professional. Trust us, employers are watching.

Learn To Be Nice. Always. – Your clients hire you to cultivate relationships with the media and get their story covered. You can’t accomplish this by being short and unfriendly. When you sign up to work in PR, you sign up for the duty of being nice at all times. You know how you get annoyed with your parents? Practice being nice to them so by the time you land a job, you have mastered the art of being friendly and patient, even when it’s tough.

Apply For Jobs You’re Underqualified For – After graduation you are going to find yourself reading job descriptions that you know you aren’t yet qualified for. We advise you go ahead and apply for those jobs that are just out of your experience level. If they really like you, they could possibly create a position for you. This is how our awesome Account Coordinator, Sarah, landed her first job out of college here at Wellington Group Marketing & Public Relations. She’s proof that shooting for the moon instead of the stars can totally work!

What advice would you have for current PR students? Leave us a comment below!