September 29, 2014

Rene Siegel of High Tech Connect*, a consulting firm bringing in big names (and big bucks), came to talk to us and dish out some much-needed career advice and LinkedIn tips.

*[High Tech Connect is a $5 million consulting firm with over 1300 consultants, a genuine approach, and some kick-a** clients like Cisco, Intel, and more]

A few members had questions, and Rene had answers:

Question: What is public relations?

Answer:    Public relations has evolved over time. It’s about your relationship with the publics, which can be any one from stakeholders to employees. In fact, the most important people to pay attention to are your customers, investors, and partners – and that includes employees. It’s important to pay attention to all these people because it creates the “feedback loop” or the concept that you actually care about what people think or what the product/service does.

To be an exceptional PR professional, open up the dialogue.

Question: How important is social media?

Answer: Now that social media has come into the picture, it’s very easy for anyone to have power and flame you or your brand publicly. PR is more important than ever now. You need to be able to explain simply and passionately what something means for any type of company in any industry.

Question: Corporate v. Agency? Which one is better?

Answer: Both are equal, but do both. Doesn’t matter which one comes first. With corporate, you can join the one company and work for just them. With agency, you have multiple clients and have less of a choice in who you are working “for” but as long as you know where your values lie, it will be a useful experience.

Here are some highlights of what she had to say:

– Make the investment in PRSSA because it WILL make you stand out in your career

– Don’t take job descriptions too seriously! Apply even if you think you might not qualify – it’s worth a shot

– Be the person with integrity. Solve the problem, but solve it in a way that is human and real

– LinkedIn is important and the first place employers or hiring managers go; the second/third networks to clean up are your Facebook and Twitter accounts

– Go to professional meetings. Join PRSSA. Attend everything you can – it makes a difference in your career

– Don’t be afraid to join a smaller company – you might have a better shot and a better, well-rounded experience

– We are driven by our reputation, so fix up your LinkedIn and get to branding yourself!