John Richardson is one Samford University grad who definitely jumped through his window of opportunity. After graduating from Samford with a degree in business, John played the drums in a band for several years. It was that time after college that John noticed a window of opportunity. Web design, thanks to the advancement to Web 2.0, was just taking off, and having an eye for graphic design and a mind for advertising lead John down the tech-savvy road to his current position. John currently works for Forte Marketing Group as their Digital Director, but does a little bit of everything to say the least.
Lots of people in the field of public relations say they do “lots of different things” and can usually encourage students to be good at “lots of different things.” But what does that list of lots of things entail? Well, thanks to John, here’s your opportunity to catch the details, and maybe find your own window of opportunity to jump through.
What does John DO? …the abbreviated run-down.
1. STRATEGY – John described creating and organizing strategies as his main responsibility. Any message you need to communicate will flop without having the backbone of a solid strategy.
2. RESEARCH – You can’t sell something if you don’t know what you’re talking about. Simple. As. That. So, John spends time researching new clients, researching audiences…researching, it just isn’t going away.
3. SOCIAL MEDIA – Social media has become a fixture in the PR world, because it is an effective way to reach a variety of audiences quickly and effectively.
4. SEO – Search Engine Optimization, is a very important component in PR today. John wants his clients to be the most effective as possible and that means getting the best results online.
5. “Do it new and cool first” – His words, not mine. And he made it a point to express that this is a step in his job that he simply cannot over look. He needs to constantly be asking how he can take a brand somewhere new and interesting. How can you spark interest? Here’s an example of Forte’s new and cool approach seen in the Jimmy Hale Mission video spot.
What’s his ADVICE? …for those of us looking to pursue a career in this field
1. NETWORK – No we are not too young, and it is never too early to start networking, in fact, the sooner the better. Put yourself in positions to meet the right people and make an impression on the right people.
2. USE SOCAIL MEDIA – Get on twitter, get on LinkedIn, have a blog, all of these things enhance your presence in the PR world. Plus those people you want to network with are on twitter, they have LinkedIn accounts, and they read blogs.
3. SELF-PROMOTE – Hey, it’s just gotta happen! John’s advice is to self-promote on social media sites 1 out of every 5 times. Shameless self-promotion just may get you some attention from the right people!
4. WHATCH FOR TRENDS – Potential employers want to know that you are up on the trends in the PR world, and up to date with tools and tech—perfect example of lifelong learning.
5. 3 B’s – John quoted Ike Pigott with this 3 B’s list of must-do’s: Be Human, Be Humane, and Be Honest. Simple truths that never change.