Each month we have been reaching out to notable communications professionals to ask them a few questions about their experiences and interests, with the goal of providing some insights to others in the industry. For our latest Questions for the PR Industry we spoke with Ashley Archer, Work Experience Coordinator for the Public Relations program at Mount Royal University.
Work Experience Coordinator, Public Relations
What PR/communications initiative have you done that you are most proud of?
In 2011, I had the opportunity to lead the social media for the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship taking place in Edmonton and Calgary. This was the first time Hockey Canada was active on social media for a World Junior Championship so I was really able to take ownership of a project and create and execute a strategy from the ground up. This involved content development, content planning, video features and meeting growth and engagement targets using zero to little budget. I built a team of 11 volunteers between Calgary and Edmonton who assisted with community management for Facebook and Twitter during the event and the months leading up to it. We grew the Twitter account from 40 to almost 10,000 followers by the end of the event, Facebook likes increased by 65% and the event hashtag, #2012WJC reached 36.7 million impressions.
As Work Experience Coordinator at MRU, what is the most common mistake you see students making during the internship application process?
The work experience process can be a stressful time for students. The biggest mistake I see is students getting caught up with an idea of what their dream job looks like and in return, missing out on other great opportunities because they are so focused on one job. I often see students only apply for one or two jobs, certain that they will be called for an interview and ultimately hired. Students need to be open minded about what different companies and industries can offer in terms of experience for their career moving forward. A job posting might not look like your dream job on paper but you don’t know what it will be like until you meet with the team in person and are actually working in that role.
What is your best piece of advice for someone trying to break into the PR industry after post secondary?
The MRU PR program puts an emphasis on volunteer experience and I am a firm believer in the value that comes from this. Volunteering allows you to find out what type of public relations you excel at, while building your portfolio and networking. I also suggest getting involved with IABC and CPRS and taking advantage of the student membership opportunities they offer. This is another great way to network and learn about the different types of public relations work that is available.
Thank you for chatting with us, Ashley!
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