Be aggressive. This was the advice given to NUPRSSA by Nicole Fecteau, the International PR Coordinator for PUMA . Nicole came to last week’s meeting and gave PRSSA members innumerable amounts of guidance about entering and succeeding in the PR field.
Nicole received her undergraduate degree in Communication Media from Salve Regina, and then went on to earn her MBA in Marketing, PR, and Advertising from the University of Hartford. Nicole was able to weigh in on a question that many PRSSA members have asked in the past: is a Master’s degree necessary for a successful career in Public Relations? Nicole told us that while it may not be an absolute necessity, her MBA is something she is very proud of and that graduate school was a fantastic experience.
Some other tips Nicole gave us were: make sure your résumé is up to date, never accept a position you feel you are overqualified for and finally, network, network, network.
To do so, Nicole suggested using LinkedIn, alumni websites, and even making cold calls to employees at companies you are interested in working for. “People love talking about themselves,” she laughed, “so they’ll love talking to you and helping you in whatever way they can.”
Some of Nicole’s other pieces of advice were to maintain good relationships with professors and previous employers, to take as much as you can from every job and class, and to maintain a strong personality. To succeed in the industry, she explained, “you have to be energetic and friendly, but also sort of a badass at times.”
As we all know, PR is very writing intensive. So, Nicole suggests, keep a blog. Even if it’s informal, employers will be impressed that you are taking the time to write on your own. And, it will be great practice for pitching and writing press releases when the time comes.
Nicole’s techniques have certainly paid off. So well, in fact, that she has not applied to the past four jobs she has held. She reached out to PUMA when there wasn’t even a position available, simply to get her name in. Five months later, when a job opened up, they contacted her.
Now, Nicole serves as a support base for PUMA’s employees and markets around the world, and travels to events as far away as Hong Kong. No two days are the same. She may be working on a project for the Olympics one day and making a ping pong table the next for PUMA’s After Hours Social Campaign.
Nicole is a strong believer in (and testament to) the idea that if you network hard enough, and make the right connections, employers will eventually be the ones coming to you. “Stay busy,” she advises, “and, most important of all, be aggressive.”
– Libby Kober, NUPRSSA Secretary