Lauren Pruner is the author of one of my favorite blogs, PR Blonde and a PR Senior Account Executive at the global PR firm, Weber Shandwick. Her voice and personality shine whether she is writing about the PR industry, career advice, or The Bachelor. She has unique insights as someone who manages her own successful blog and also helps to connect bloggers and influencers at Weber Shandwick. I’m thrilled to share her advice with you today!
What are your roles and responsibilities at Weber Shandwick?
I’m a PR Senior Account Executive responsible for connecting brands with influencers across the digital and social media space. I love what I do. I think finding something you’re passionate about is one of the keys to a happy life and, more importantly, a long lasting career.
You can learn media relations, project management, and social strategy on the job. What you can’t learn is passion, hunger, and a willingness to learn – that starts with you.
What is your favorite thing about working in public relations?
I love that PR is a business based on the strength of relationships. It’s about building your PR arsenal from editors, to managers, to brands, to bloggers. There’s always someone new to meet.
Get an internship! Not to make it seem like you are joining the army, but your on-the-ground experience will trump anything you learn in a classroom. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t pursue a major in PR or Communications – there are foundational concepts I learned from my professors I am so thankful for. But someone once told me that you go to college to become an educated person – what you do with that educated brain out of college is entirely up to you.
You help brands connect with bloggers. What advice do you have for bloggers who hope to work with brands?
Funny you should ask, as I tackle this subject frequently over on PRBlonde.
I think three quick key things:
1. Know your worth.
2. Don’t wait for the brand to reach out to you. If you want to work with them, reach out to the them.
3. Own your voice. The way bloggers grow, succeed, and ultimately get a brands attention is if the brand knows you have an engaged audience. That will come from championing a unique voice that only you can bring to the table.
What advice do you have for bloggers who hope to monetize their blogs?
Never endorse or monetize anything that you don’t believe in. From the PR gals side – the reason why we look at a blogger in the first place is because we think you’re a fit for our brand. You have just as much power to ask yourself the same question. Do I fit with the brand? Do I use it? Would I buy it? Chances are high that bloggers are coming to the site because of you, not because of your amazing boot choices. (Okay may be a tiny bit for the boots…).
What is one thing that you wish you had known when you were starting out your career?
That internships were the gateway to a job! There’s nothing wrong with having one, two, or even three internships in PR post-college before landing a full-time 40K a year job.
What advice would you give to someone who is in the first five years of his or her career?
I’ve been in the business just over 5 years, and I was recently given a nugget that I wish was hammered home a bit more when I was a newbie.
Don’t just be a sponge. Actively absorb other people’s communication styles. Do they yell and scream? Are they straight and to the point? Do they love the story? Use these cues to figure out the best way for you to communicate with that person. This lesson is invaluable whether in your first year or twenty-fifth.
What is on your desk right now?
My laptop (+ two screens); my obsessive collection of Moleskine notebooks where I keep my notes, ideas, and deadlines honest; and of course coffee! All Day er’day!
I love this question! Those that know me best know that I have a habit of dancing while shopping. (To those that have endured my moves – apologies!) Give me a good song and a rack of clothes and bring on the moves!
What advice do you have for other young professional women?
The first is to be patient. I still struggle with that – but if you work hard, ask questions and are eager to learn, things will happen.
Second, forget comparison. By comparing yourself to anyone else you’re wasting time – time that you could spend investing in yourself, your career, and developing the skills you need to realize the hopes and dreams for your career.
What is your favorite quote?
From my professor whom I owe my career to, “You have infinite powers to do good and infinite powers to do bad. The functions are the same. The only thing that differs is the soul of the communicator.”
Thank you, Lauren!
All images are courtesy of Lauren Pruner and PR Blonde.