Three reasons marketing and PR students need to read Spin Sucks (if they want jobs)

Three reasons marketing and PR students need to read Spin Sucks (if they want a job)

Sunday morning Spin Sucks

 

Finding a job can still be tough out there for marketing and PR professionals, especially for students who are just finishing their degrees. Even here in the San Francisco Bay Area, where unemployment is relatively low and there are lots of jobs available in both disciplines, there is still fierce competition for each available role.

But here’s the good news — there’s a new book out that will give marketing and PR students a leg up when they start looking for internships and jobs. Enter Spin Sucks: Communication and Reputation Management in the Digital Age by Gini Dietrich.

Here are three reasons why reading Spin Sucks is one of the best things you can do for yourself if you’re looking for a job in PR, marketing or communications right now — especially if you are a student with relatively little experience.

You’ll learn things they didn’t teach you in class.

This book, along with the Spin Sucks blog, gives you the opportunity to learn from Gini’s experience. Sure you read and discussed case studies in school, but they were probably several years old by the time they reached your classrooms. A challenge that can arise in job interviews if you don’t have a lot of experience is finding ways to demonstrate deep knowledge and opinions about the profession. Spin Sucks helps by providing very recent cases that are directly related to the disciplines of content marketing and the new public relations.

And in this brave new world of a democratized Internet, SEO and content marketing have taken a place at the forefront of marketing and public relations. I was lucky to study them in my public relations course at San Francisco State University, but I have a feeling that some more traditional courses may not touch upon them. You need to understand them as a communicator, and this book will point you in the right directions.

You’ll get a blueprint for building your own personal brand online.

Here’s something else they don’t teach you in school — how to build and manage your own online reputation. This is an essential part of preparing for a career today. You can easily adapt Gini’s techniques for researching what your online persona looks like right now, and she provides a clear blueprint for creating content to tell your story in your own words across several channels. And that’s what employers are looking for these days.

Let me just say this — you need to be blogging about topics in the career you have chosen. If you aren’t, you are already two steps behind. But you can start right now! It’s how you will be found. You want potential employers to easily find evidence of your passion and thoughts when they inevitably type your name in a search engine. Especially if you are going to work in marketing communications or public relations, you need to demonstrate that you understand how things work online. The best way to do that is by approaching your own brand like your most precious client at your own agency. Tell your own story!

You’ll gain inspiration and insight.

It’s easy to say, “I love marketing!” But it’s quite another to be in the presence of someone who is really passionate about their work.

Gini Dietrich is one of those people. Reading her book is like hanging out with her for a couple of hours listening to her tell stories. And this is the same kind of energy you need to bring to your interviews. In today’s job market, you have to have passion and be prepared to show why you want to work in communications as well as demonstrate qualifications.

Reading this book will not only help you understand the current state of the industry and give you things to talk about in interviews, but Gini also points you in directions where you can do your own thinking about what you think the future holds for tactics like search engine optimization and content marketing.

Yes, you still have to take responsibility for your career search and do the work. In addition to the book, you can join the conversation at the authoritative and respected Spin Sucks blog. Joining the community in conversation there played a big part in my decision to make my own transition into marketing communications several years ago. I knew I wanted to be in marketing, but once I started reading posts by Gini and the guest writers, I thought, “Wow! I want to do that! I want to be just like these people! I think I feel the same way they do!” Learning from the people there and interacting with them gave me confidence that would have taken a very long time to develop otherwise. And now I’m working in marketing communications!

My wish for you, dear reader, is that you too will be inspired by this book, or another, and that the lessons in Spin Sucks will lead you to success in your job search. You can pick up your copy online.

Are there any other books you would recommend for job seekers in marketing communications, public relations, or communications in general? What books or techniques have helped you?

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6 steps to publishing a blog post about your internship experience

A post about my internship on the Concur corporate blog.

A post about my internship on the Concur corporate blog.

You took the time to apply for that internship you really wanted. You got the interview, you knocked it out of the park, and you got the job!

Now you’re giving it your all and getting good feedback from your managers. What can you do to kick it up a notch?

Blog about it!

In an earlier post I outlined the reasons why you should blog about your internship, and now Read the rest of this entry »


3 reasons you should blog about your internship

Hanging out in the courtyard of the SF office. Photo by Amy Higgins for the Concur blog.

Hanging out in the courtyard of the SF Concur office. Photo by Amy Higgins for the Concur blog.

Summer is in full swing in San Francisco!  And that means fog, fog, and then a little fog on the side … plus some more fog.

And for many of us college students, it also means internship season!

Are you interning this summer? Here’s some advice for you — definitely consider blogging about your experience. Taking the initiative to write about your internship is a smart thing to do in the long run, even if it means Read the rest of this entry »


Marketing Must-Read — “Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind”

a classic book -- the title says it all

a classic book — the title says it all

As a student, it can be tough to get time to read above and beyond your course materials. I mean, it can be a challenge just to read everything that your professors prescribe for you, much less anything for pleasure or your own self-directed education.

But sometimes, you just have to explore a tangent that invites you, and you’re very glad you did.

One tangent for me this semester was to dabble a bit into the concept and history of positioning. I wish I could remember Read the rest of this entry »


Let’s talk about textbooks, baby! Online, rental, used — or at all?

Several hundred dollars of textbooks.

Several hundred dollars of textbooks.

I was talking with a fellow non-traditional student about textbooks recently, and he said, “You know, back in the 90s I was so excited I could go to junior college in California for such a cheap price — and then I saw how much books cost and I couldn’t even believe it.”

The cost of books and supplies is a significant component of the cost of going back to school.  It’s not exactly a hidden cost, but Read the rest of this entry »


LIFE ON THE INSIDE — how to maximize return on your school investment

Students enjoy time outside between classes at San Francisco State University.

Students enjoy time outside between classes at San Francisco State University.

If you’re thinking about going to back to school, I bet you’re full of excitement  — mixed with a little bit of uncertainty. I know I was when I went back in 2010 after a good decade in the work force. What is life on the inside going to be like? How am I going to manage all my responsibilities? But it needn’t be so daunting an experience. Read the rest of this entry »


Four li’l nuggets of truth no one really tells you about going back to college

Books aren’t the only thing you’re going to be exposed to at school.

Thinking about going back to school to finish your degree?  Maybe you have a soon-to-be student in your life and you’re wondering how things have changed since you went to college? Read the rest of this entry »