Email Etiquette

Public Relations is all about communication, which is why those who intend to pursue PR careers study and take an in-depth look at people’s behavior and interactions with others. In the growing age of technology, we still engage in the same behavior and interactions, just in different ways. Email is one of the main forms of communication that has proven to be trustworthy overtime.

 

An email is a classic way to introduce an individual to a reporter, potential employer, brand ambassador, or onboarding client. Many take a step further by calling or meeting in person after initial contact. For now, review these tips and tricks to ensure your emails are successful and professional:

 

  • Be friendly: When opening or closing an email, it takes an extra few seconds to type “I hope you’re doing well!” or “Enjoy your weekend!”. These brief statements are an easy way to leave the reader in a more amicable mood. “Please” and “thank you” are also valuable assets, but don’t overdo it. Even in thank-you notes, don’t use the phrase “thank you” more than twice. Once at the beginning and once at the end is enough.
  • Be transparent: In the subject line and email, be clear about what you are emailing about. This makes it easier on both parties, so no one has to wade through inarticulate language or send more emails back and forth to clarify. Especially when sending pitches, subjects lines and emails need to be coherent and consistent to save time and to develop the relationship between you and the client (which hopefully ends with your pitch used as a press release).
  • Be succinct: PR is typically time sensitive and, chances are, if you have a pitch, there are a plethora of competing pitches already sitting in your recipient’s inbox. Don’t drag out your emails; a few short paragraphs will typically suffice. People will appreciate your brevity, so long as you hit all the points you need to cover. Quality over quantity every time!
  • Use the right signoff: Did you just say “thank you”? Then don’t sign off with “thanks”. “Best”, “sincerely”, or sometimes just your name can work just as well. If you’re sending a more casual email to coworkers about an upcoming event, feel free to be more casual and go with a hearty “cheers”. Read your audience, and understand boundaries.
  • Include your signature: A default signature is a great way to cut down on your email content, and eliminates the need to write out your phone number out every time there is a follow-up email. A signature with your position, company, phone number, and even a link to your LinkedIn profile are great resources for other individuals. It also adds that extra bit of professionalism and ethos to your email.
  • Check your spelling and grammar: Use spell check, read your email out loud and use outside apps to check your writing. With so many options to check your work, it’s easy to take a minute to ensure your work is correct. Another thing to look out for: how often you use exclamation points. Unless you just accepted a job offer (and sometimes even then), limit your exclamation points to sentences that really need that extra boost.
  • Check your attachments: Yes, naturally check your spelling and grammar, but also check your attachments. Are they confidential? Is your sender correct? Does the hyperlink work? Many companies have switched over to using cloud backups, and now send important files by way of Dropbox to ensure user privacy. This way, the links can be timed, and access can be revoked at any time.
  • Put the sender in last: By typing in your recipient after you type the email, you can avoid accidentally sending your message before it is finished. However, even if you do, Google has up to a 30 second “undo send” option in its settings. For those using templates through HubSpot or similar software, that require you to input a sender before constructing the email, consider putting in your own email. This way, even if the email is prematurely sent , it won’t do any harm.
  • Follow-up: Speaking of HubSpot, many tech services offer tracking and monitoring for emails sent and opened. This is helpful when constructing follow-up emails, as it allows you to tailor the email to the amount of information the recipients need. And, if the recipient gets back to you, make sure to respond as soon as possible, typically within 24 hours.

 

Emails can be annoying to send, but they are crucial when initiating potential relationships and have the ability to reach a large audience with just a few clicks. Knowing how to confidently and successfully send a professional email will help make your life easier in the long run, especially for students going on co-op.

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As Seen On Instagram

A picture is worth a thousand words. Cliche, but words to live by for the real estate world. Home buyers and renters alike typically visit many places before deciding where to live. Much of the decision process is based on aesthetics: from cleanliness and style to color and the exterior architecture.

And the rate at which we take in these staged first impressions is becoming a much more rapid vortex, with the often fabricated descriptions an attempt to draw a larger audience. With the ever present millennials who all want a home but can’t afford them, it’s no wonder Instagram has gained popularity as a marketing platform, especially in the residential real estate sector.

An Instagram “like” translates into an important key to your information: valuable intelligence on your consumer base, real-time data on what content is popular, customer engagement, and, eventually, sales. On Instagram, followers are synonymous with brand loyalty, whereas “likes” represent content approval, and comments a snapshot of customer engagement.

Instagram’s features make it easy for businesses to be involved on what is considered a more casual and fun social networking app through accessible customer awareness and interaction. Hashtags, mentions, tags, locations and comments allow for efficient quantitative data on how to attract new individuals and gain a following.

Users can search hashtags, which pull up photos with captions including said hashtag. They then show up in lists according to “most recent” and “most liked”, allowing the user to quickly see what is timely and relevant for them. Just as easily, the company can search hashtags to find competitors. Mentions, tags, and location allow customers to gain a shoutout on your account, or vice versa. Clicking on a location immediately brings you to a page filled with other posts from the same location.

Gaining features on other accounts, direct messaging, and contests serve as other sources of communication. Niche or popular accounts create a valuable opportunity to showcase your brand or building, and through this usually free promotion, see other types of accounts and their success through past posts. Direct messaging boasts an easy method for current and potential customers to immediately get in contact, and contests can encourage followers to promote your company on their own account. With a low opportunity cost, winners can receive some small form of compensation, while the company has now received free PR and content to then use later.

Real estate is an extremely visual field that, by replicating the intimate feeling of a potential home through a screen, provides an economically beneficial marketing opportunity. Print ads have a shorter reach, even if it is an effective tactic, but it has a steep price. By turning online media into an essential form of promotion, a larger market can be accumulated, transforming “likes” into deals, and those carefully selected deals into lasting residencies.

 

The Purge: Lasting Impacts of Digital Media

media

For those keeping up with the news, popular YouTube vlogger Felix Kjellberg, known by his pseudonym PewDiePie, was dropped from working with Disney and YouTube. He was previously contracted with the two media giants to produce content for a large consumer base featured online and his own spin-off video series. The decision to cut this YouTuber from future projects by these companies is due primarily to racist and anti-semitic notions repeatedly found within his content.

A recent video sponsored by PewDiePie showed two men holding an anti-semitic statement. Before it was taken down, the video was seen over six million times. It was at this point following an investigation that Disney and YouTube announced their decision to withdraw support and discontinue working with him further.

The importance of branding here is obvious: Disney and YouTube have strict brand guidelines and reputations that they do not want associated with anti-semitic or racist statements. Disney’s primary consumer base is young children whose values are still being formed by the society we live in.

Alternatively, the negative effects of poor branding choices are clear. In choosing to promote racially charged and anti-semitic messages, PewDiePie set himself up for negative feedback. But what can you do in order to save face in moments like these?

Here’s where we can take a note from the successful YouTuber. He responded with a formal apology, stating that he does not support these ideas and that the reason behind the video was to show the extremes of people on the internet.

In this day and age, now more than ever, it is important to ensure that what we post online is a representation of ourselves that we are comfortable with allowing potential employers to see. An increased number of recruiters search online forums and sites to examine potential employees, and over half have reconsidered these candidates after the search. Posts with incorrect spelling or politically inclined remarks are among the most detrimental content employers can find.

With so many opportunities at Northeastern University, and just as many students, it’s important to make sure all aspects of your personal brand are presented appropriately. Having a strong and positive online profile can make the difference in securing a job.

So take another look at your social media accounts and ensure that you are only associated with those of reputable esteem. While we can’t completely erase our online data, we can minimize its damage and be aware of where we stand.

For more tips and tricks on how to create your online brand, be on the lookout for our next post and make sure to hit that follow button to get notifications!

Making it Through the Co-op Process: Positivity Goes a Long Way

Courtney’s back to share another tip on making it through the co-op process!

5. A Little Positivity Goes a Long Way

Since you only get 3 co-ops and you want to make each one count, it’s easy to become a stress-case in the search for the perfect co-op. Although being nervous about it shows that you care, it is crucial that you don’t let the co-op search get the best of you.

First of all, stay calm and know that the co-op process is more about timing than anything else. Unfortunately, not all companies call for interviews at the same time, and you may have to decide if you’re willing to turn down an offer in the hopes that you’ll get called for your top choice co-op. Yes, these choices are extremely stressful (trust me, I know!) but in the end, everything will work out and you just have to weigh your options. I think it’s best to have a few top co-op choices instead of just one, so if timing doesn’t work out or you have a rough interview, you can still be happy with the co-op that you end up choosing.

Keep in mind that not only is the company helping you by giving you a job but YOU are helping them by working for them. Be confident in what you have to offer them, even if you’re nervous, so that the interview goes well and you feel better overall. In our field, sometimes it’s your personality that gets you the job, not your qualifications! 

If the conversation during the interview is all personal, it’s up to you to show the employer that you’re serious about the job and get the conversation onto a professional level. A good interviewer can find any reason to talk about how their skills relate to the qualifications necessary for the job position. In the end, know that you will get a co-op, and timing will effect which one you end up with. You get to decide which co-ops you accept and don’t accept, so make sure that the decisions you make are what is best for you!

– Courtney Byer, member

Check back soon! Courtney has one more useful tip to share with us!


NUPRSSA Tips: Transitioning into a Leadership Role

Wait a minute, this is already the end of the semester? How did that happen?! With April right around the corner, we’re gearing up for elections and our end of the year party! So, to send you off for the summer and help you prepare for next semester, here are a few tips on how you can transition smoothly into a leadership position.

1. If you’re taking on your first E-Board or leadership role, sometimes starting small and working your way up is he best way to go. This way, you can get a feel of your new responsibilities and see after the semester (or year) if you’re ready to take on more.
– Katie, president

2. Go above and beyond the role you are currently in. Taking on side projects really demonstrates your potential to take on a leadership role!
– Kristina, vice president

3. Act like the leader you are. Show your ability on day one by being competent, eager to learn and considerate of your peers and those you lead.
– Jessica, secretary

4. Remember that even though you hold a specific position, you are still working as a team with the rest of your executive board. Keep lines of communication open with the rest of your board!
– Gabi, social media

5. Be sure to be a good teacher- don’t just give assignments, explain their importance. This will help people around you understand time management and what tasks deserve their attention first.
– Kerry, fundraising

6. When transitioning into a leadership role try talking to the person who held the position before so you can ask any unanswered questions
– Marlana, outreach

Have a great summer everyone!

NUPRSSA Tips: Applying to Co-ops/Jobs

We’re back again with a few helpful tips from some of our executive board members!  As the application makes its way back around, keep in mind some of this advice:

1. Try and get a gauge for the office culture.  Whether it’s at your interview, through LinkedIn, or described on the company’s website, this is wildly important when deciding where you want to spend 40 hours of your week.
– Jessica, secretary


2. Utilize your search skills!  Find out as much about the company as possible and tailor your resume to match what the company is looking for in its employees.  This will help your resume to stand out, and you’ll also be prepared for the rest of the application process should you be invited for an interview!
– Gabi, social media

3. If you can’t get an interview for an open job position, reach out to the HR department of the company and ask if they participate in informational interviews.  This is a great way to get your foot in the door and to make an impression on your industry peers!
– Kerry, fundraising


Make sure to come back next month for more tips from the executive board!

NUPRSSA Tips: Adapting to New Work Environments

We’re one month into the spring semester of 2013 and we’ve already had a few great meetings with new and returning NUPRSSA members.  To help everyone making the transition from classes to co-op or from co-op to working in the “real world” a little bit smoother, the executive board offered up a few of their best tips for you!

1. There is always a learning curve – getting used to a new situation can be stressful and overwhelming.  Give yourself a break and remind yourself that you’ll get the hang of things eventually.  Everyone is new at some point, and they learned from it just like you will.
– Katie, president

2. Let your first day set the tone for how the rest of your time there is going to go.  Set a great first impression for your boss and colleagues by being on time, well prepared, and excited to get started.
– Jessica, secretary

3. Talk to previous interns/co-ops.  This is the best way to see how someone who previously held your position adjusted.  They will have great tips about who to go to for help, how to do your job, good lunch places, etc.!
– Shannon, treasurer

4. Be prepared! Go into your first day at work having already researched the company, its organizational structure, and anything else you can think of.  If your company or organization has been in the media, read up!  It’s always better to be overprepared than underprepared.
– Gabi, social media

5. A good way to integrate into the workplace is to proactively introduce yourself to your coworkers.  If it is hard to find time to sit down with them, shoot them an email and ask if you can schedule a time to connect.
– Kerryfundraising

6. Stay positive and don’t be afraid to ask for assistance.  Your co-workers can be surprisingly helpful and for the most part, everyone wants to see you succeed, especially as a new employee.
– Marlana, outreach

Make sure to stop by next month to hear more tips from the executive board!