My Inspired Experience Interning for PKE Marketing and PR Solutions

By: Sherona Edwards

As a student at Florida Gulf Coast University (Go Eagles!) entering into my senior year, this past semester has been one of the most challenging semesters I’ve ever gone through.  But, it was well worth it. Being that I was a transfer student I can happily say that I successfully completed my first year at FGCU with high honors. Throughout the year I was able to meet new people and learn from amazing teachers. They were the ones who brought me out of my shy quiet shell; I did not know anyone but they pushed me to go out and meet new people. By doing so I was able to network with people in my major and make connections allowing me to land an awesome internship with PKE Marketing and PR Solutions.

When starting my internship I must admit that I was a bit nervous. Being that this was my first internship ever, I didn’t know what to expect and I felt like the “jitters” were getting the best of me.  However, once I entered into my internship on May 9, 2013, I felt my nervous jitters slowly fading away and a sense of happiness and calm spread over me. When I walked through the door of PKE the first person to greet me was my internship supervisor and the principal of PKE Marketing and PR Solutions, Mrs. Phyllis Ershowsky.  To me, Mrs. Phyllis is a sweet, gentle, caring soul who is also fluent and well versed in her career field. After giving me a tour around the office and making me feel more comfortable and at ease we had the chance to sit down and tell each other a little more about ourselves. I must say that while listening to her share some of the amazing experiences she’s had throughout her career, I was honored to have Mrs. Phyllis as my Internship supervisor. Through her guidance I knew that I would be able to effectively grow in the PR field.

The next person that I met was PKE ‘s public relations & marketing coordinator, Kate Walter. To be honest, Kate is one of those rare, “one in a million”, PR geniuses whom despite being young in the field of PR, definitely knows her craft. Being able to communicate with Kate about PR and whether I should continue my education once I earn my bachelor’s degree, inspired me to take the next steps in furthering my education. By listening to and observing Kate, I now know that if you focus and concentrate, you can successfully execute your plans to reach whatever goals you desire, no excuses.

Now, after having the opportunity to be mentored by two amazing PR professionals at the same time, I feel that the bar has been set high when the time comes for me to join the workforce and embark into my desired field of public relations. My standards are set, my plans written and there is no allotted room for excuses. In PR terms, “I’ve determined my objectives and I’m ready to implement my strategies in order to accomplish my goals.”

Etiquette and Protocal: How social media has turned into C3PO

By: Kate Walter

There has been a lot of talk lately on public relations forums about the etiquette of social media. Most recently, I read an article by Kevin Allen on PR Daily News. Although I agree with his main points about maintaining professionalism on LinkedIn, there were a few interesting comments he made that garnered my interest. Most notably, when he stated, “It sounds ridiculous, but people can really lose respect for you if you post things that are generally reserved for more informal social media outlets. Although we’re all saddened by the tragic events that took place in (insert location here), LinkedIn just isn’t the forum for sending your thoughts and prayers their way. Those expressions, however benevolent, should stay on Facebook or Twitter.”

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I admit, that my opinion on this issue may have something to do with the fact that I was one of the early adopters of Facebook back in 2004 and remember how the social media site used to function. Yes, I remember the days when you had to have a college email address to sign up. Back when your aunt, your Mom, your neighbors and every business owner in the world weren’t able to look at your posts and tagged photos from last night’s Frat party. Social media was safe. You existed in a cocoon of your peers. You were surrounded by like-minded individuals who weren’t judging you on your level of professionalism or whether they might potentially hire you. Things have changed.

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To get back to Mr. Allen’s comment, it’s interesting how he differentiates LinkedIn as being strictly professional and says that on Facebook and Twitter you are allowed to be more open, more empathetic and more ‘you’. I agree that LinkedIn is considered more of a professional social media site and there are different rules. However, I would argue that even Facebook and Twitter have become forums where self-expression is stifled, as one must consciously be aware of who is viewing your content. Yes, some of this depends on who you’re ‘friends’ with or who ‘follows’ you. Some of this depends on the nature of your job. Another part of this comes down to your settings and what you allow others to see on your social media page and what content you choose to share. But in truth, despite Facebook and Twitter being more accepting of creative posts, personal opinion and benevolent expressions, these social media sites aren’t the same entities they were when they first launched.

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Also, when you consider that most individuals connect with the same people across all three of these social media platforms, this differentiation between the social media sites becomes even more blurred. Despite LinkedIn having the pretense of being more professional, if you have access to the content of a persons’ Twitter, Facebook as well, you’re still going to see the professional and ‘unprofessional’ content. And, therefore, your overall view and opinion of this person will still be affected.

It’s a definite conundrum and one that continues to grow as social media continues to grow and change. In addition to Mr. Allen’s tips about using proper etiquette on LinkedIn, I suppose my two cents of advice would be to use the same etiquette on Facebook and Twitter. Or learn how to change your privacy settings.