shannonsloan

PR insights

Soon graduation… May 22, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — shannonsloan @ 4:48 PM

Soon graduation will be here and we will take the next step in the journey and pursue our desired careers. This term I have been coming to the scary but liberating realization that I may not want to work in the public relations field. 

When I came to the University of Oregon in 2007, I had intended on getting a business degree but wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do after graduation. In looking for other degree options I came across public relations and thought it sounded like a perfect fit for me. In my PR classes I was engaged and finally enjoying what I was learning. Working in the PR field has been a different experience.

 

I was told that PR was a writing intensive field but I didn’t realize just how much of your day to day tasks are writing assignments. I love my internship and have learned so much in this short amount of time but I am not sure this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.

I always thought I would be perfectly content working a 9 to 5 desk job, now that I’ve tried it, I am not so sure. This is the scariest thought ever. I’ve spent so long working toward this goal, how can I just give up on it? I can’t just completely change my plan, right?

If there’s one thing I’ve realized this term it’s the fact that I am not sure what I want to do with my life, even though just a few short months ago I was sure I did. I’ve decided that what I need some time to reevaluate my life and what I want to do with it. There is a good chance that I will come back to the public relations field but I’ve decided that it’s OK if I don’t.    

What have your experiences been this term? Have you realized your field is exactly where you want to be or have you discovered that it may not be for you? Do you ever see yourself switching careers down the road?

Shannon Sloan

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Getting Started April 12, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — shannonsloan @ 8:18 AM

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So I’ve settled into my new place, found the grocery stores and figured out the TriMet system (at least my routes) without any major hiccups. I knew adjusting to a new city wouldn’t be easy but I was more worried about the transition from student to intern.  I told myself there was no point in being nervous (it didn’t help, I still was) and that I would go in to work each day and do the best work I could do and learn as much as I possibly could.  It’s only my second week but I’ve learned a lot already.

My favorite aspect of my internship is getting to learn more about the nonprofit world. It’s been great to see all the different parts of the organization and how they work together.  I saw this first hand when I sat in on a meeting the development was having with an email marketing specialist.  He had some great tips about segmenting our donor list, as well as, when and how often to reach out to different audiences. I was fascinated with the way each team member was involved and took into account their respective specialties.   The program systems specialist would ask questions that I could barely comprehend and the database assistant could come up with a response to almost any question asked when it came to facts and figures.

I learned so much from sitting in on that meeting and was thankful that my boss had invited me to do so. My PDXSX experience is off to a great start. I look forward to learning more about the non-profit world and taking advantage of every opportunity that presents itself.

Shannon Sloan

 

Getting Started

Filed under: Uncategorized — shannonsloan @ 6:50 AM

Image

I’ve settled into my new place, found the grocery stores and figured out the TriMet system (at least my routes) without any major hiccups. I knew adjusting to a new city wouldn’t be easy but I was more worried about the transition from student to intern.  I told myself there was no point in being nervous (it didn’t help, I still was) and that I would go in to work each day and do the best work I could do and learn as much as I possibly could.  It’s only my second week but I’ve learned a lot already.  

My favorite aspect of my internship is getting to learn more about the nonprofit world. It’s been great to see all the different parts of the organization and how they work together.  I saw this first hand when I sat in on a meeting the development team was having with an email marketing specialist.  He had some great tips about segmenting our donor list, as well as, when and how often to reach out to different audiences. I was fascinated with the way each team member was involved and took into account their respective specialties.   The program systems specialist would ask questions that I could barely comprehend and the database assistant could come up with a response to almost any question asked when it came to facts and figures. 

I learned so much from sitting in on that meeting and was thankful that my boss had invited me to do so. My PDXSX experience is off to a great start. I look forward to learning more about the non-profit world and taking advantage of every opportunity that presents itself. 

Shannon Sloan

 

Getting Started

Filed under: Uncategorized — shannonsloan @ 6:50 AM

Image

I’ve settled into my new place, found the grocery stores and figured out the TriMet system (at least my routes) without any major hiccups. I knew adjusting to a new city wouldn’t be easy but I was more worried about the transition from student to intern.  I told myself there was no point in being nervous (it didn’t help, I still was) and that I would go in to work each day and do the best work I could do and learn as much as I possibly could.  It’s only my second week but I’ve learned a lot already.  

My favorite aspect of my internship is getting to learn more about the nonprofit world. It’s been great to see all the different parts of the organization and how they work together.  I saw this first hand when I sat in on a meeting the development team was having with an email marketing specialist.  He had some great tips about segmenting our donor list, as well as, when and how often to reach out to different audiences. I was fascinated with the way each team member was involved and took into account their respective specialties.   The program systems specialist would ask questions that I could barely comprehend and the database assistant could come up with a response to almost any question asked when it came to facts and figures. 

I learned so much from sitting in on that meeting and was thankful that my boss had invited me to do so. My PDXSX experience is off to a great start. I look forward to learning more about the non-profit world and taking advantage of every opportunity that presents itself. 

Shannon Sloan

 

Filed under: Uncategorized — shannonsloan @ 6:49 AM

 

Filed under: Uncategorized — shannonsloan @ 6:49 AM

 

Transparency Pays December 2, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — shannonsloan @ 4:00 AM

In How to embarrass the embarasser, or how transparency turns the tables, Gerald Baron highlights the importance of transparency and how it builds trust with the public. He tells the story of the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE) and the bold pre-emptive tactics used by LAANE Executive Director, Madeline Janis.

When Janis found out  the organizations’ records were being looked into by her opposition, she decided to beat them to it. She requested copies of every file and made them available to the public.  The buzz built and LAANE ended up receiving positive coverage in the LA Times op-ed article by Jim Newton, even though the article did point out some of the organizations imperfections. Including the fact that “In 2008 and 2009, it underreported the amount of time and money it spent on lobbying, but it corrected those figures in its 2010 tax return.”

There is no doubt that LAANE came out as the winner of this battle. As Newton points out in his article, “the inquiries were almost certainly aimed at unearthing some embarrassing tidbit that would, at best, make LAANE look bad or, at worst, cast some doubt on its tax-exempt status.” By promptly addressing the issue they were able to turn potentially disastrous media coverage into good publicity.  Turns out there wasn’t anything too incriminating in the records and they had already addressed the issues that were uncovered.

According to Baron, the article “ends up making LAANE and its executive director positively virtuous, while the research firm who requested the records ends of looking pretty sleazy.” I don’t know if I would go this far.  Whoever requested these records obviously is not pleased with the results of their efforts or the money they wasted on the attempt. But I wouldn’t say they come off looking sleazy or embarrassed.

However, I do agree with Baron when  he says that the moral of the story  is that “transparency builds trust.” I also agree that  “if you have something bad to reveal its a heck of a lot better coming from you.” That is a good lesson to learn. Its good public relations, and its good personal relations. Just something to think about.