Let’s get innovative

By Olivia Witherite (@oliviawitherite)

Before we dive into talking PR, allow me a second to introduce myself. My name is Olivia Witherite, and I am Innovations’ firm director. This fall semester marks my last at Liberty University before I head off into the real world. I am excited to start my career doing what I love: social media marketing in the sports field.

After more than three years in college (studying advertising, public relations and broadcast journalism,) countless public relations conferences and meetings, years of internships, full-time work and a recent trip to Philadelphia for PRSSA National Conference, I have learned one main thing: I still have so much to learn.

PRSSA National Conference 2013 in Philadelphia
PRSSA National Conference 2013 in Philadelphia

Public relations is a constantly evolving profession, and there are so many opportunities to keep learning. As stressed by many prominent speakers during my recent trip to Philly, if you want to be a public relations specialist, you must be a lifelong learner.

The intent of this blog is to showcase what we are learning through Innovations. While this post mainly serves as an introduction, I hope that I can start off this semester’s blog with a few pieces of wisdom that I have learned over the last few years.

1. Keep up.

If you’re not staying involved and updated with the current news and technologies, you’re behind. Read up on the latest industry news, watch the news and keep up with what your friends are sharing on social media. Some good places to start are Mashable, Forbes and the good, old-fashioned local news. Also, I wholeheartedly suggest signing up for Google Alerts.

2. Clean it up.

If your social media isn’t clean, you better go fix it now. You may think that your posts are set to just your “friends,” but people will see what you want to keep hidden. And while I’ve never personally hired someone for full-time employment, from personal experience and from others’ stories, I know that people are looking at potential employees’ profiles. Watch what you share, retweet, like and pin. Is the possibility of three retweets from your snarky subtweet really worth jeopardizing your future career endeavors?

3. Live it up.

OK, so maybe No. 3 sounds a little cheesy (or like a slogan for a teenage clothing company.) Regardless, I really mean it.

College and your early career are great times for learning and for establishing relationships. Take advantage of both.

If there’s an opportunity to go to a public relations conference, volunteer to go! You’ll learn a lot and be able to network with professionals in the industry. Also, it won’t be easy, but try your best to balance your social life with your work. We’re only young for so long, and the one thing I don’t want to leave college with is regret. Have fun because your current stage of life will be over before you know it!

Best of luck in your endeavors, and if you have any questions, leave a comment below or tweet me.

For more on me, check out my LinkedIn and my about.me.

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