By Schuyler Rosson
It can be overwhelming attempting to navigate an industry that seems daunting and unattainable. These are the top podcasts public relations students must listen to in order to understand the ins and outs of industry operation as well as stand out among others. These episodes share advice, break down the industry stigma and provide insight into what it takes to truly be successful in PR.
“Working Title”: “Do as Ben and Jerry Do” - Margot Lee ft. Christian Navarro
Margot Lee is no stranger to personal branding and online brand development. In 2017 she got her start as a fashion and lifestyle YouTuber, documenting her journey studying marketing while at Syracuse University. Margot has since expanded her presence across multiple online platforms and operates a personal website, blog, various social media accounts and now … a podcast. In January 2021, she launched “The Working Title,” a podcast about the ins and outs of content creating and influencing, while working to break down the stigma about life after college.
In this episode, Margot is joined by marketing guru Christian Navarro to debunk myths surrounding online branding. Chris currently serves as the senior creative director of Soul Cycle and has worked to build massively successful organizations, such as Spotify.
The pair discusses the secret to successful online brand growth and explains how to build a personal brand online while maintaining a healthy relationship with social media. Margot and Chris confirm that you do not necessarily have to be the most creative person to run a successful content platform; all you must do is find a way to reflect inward values externally. According to Chris, every brand boils down to values; this is what creates a brand that is not only reflective of oneself but also reaches an audience. The duo talks about innovation in personal branding and how to set yourself apart from others, ensuring competitiveness in the workplace. Chris reveals that the stronger your personal brand is, the better.
For incoming public relations students, having an understanding of content creation and brand growth is a must, and building a brand starts with yourself.
“PRessing On: Real Life in Public Relations”: “Confessions of a PR Intern” - Rachel McGuire & Liselle DeGrave
With internship applications upon us and start dates looming, this episode is the necessary piece of humble pie that we all could use going into internship season. “PRessing On” is a refreshing shot of girl power hosted by the PR powerhouses Liselle DeGrave and Rachel McGuire. The podcast is dedicated to providing an authentic look into navigating a career in PR.
Liselle DeGrave is an award-winning public relations consultant and president of DeGrave Communications, a Los Angeles-based communications agency specializing in public sector government organizations and nonprofits. Rachel McGuire, APR, is the founder and CEO of RGM Communications, a top-tier communications firm dedicated to nonprofits and the public sector.
In this episode, Rachel and Liselle reflect on their time as public relations interns and share thoughtful advice as well as their internship faux pas. The pair outlines the do’s and don’ts of summer internships to maximize your time as an intern and make the proper steps toward growing your network. Every intern will receive constructive feedback; Rachel and Liselle explain how to accept that feedback with grace and implement it appropriately. The number one tip to interning success is to show up and accept every task without hesitation, even if you think it is below your skill set. Ask questions and voice opinions, but know your place as an intern; advisors and executives will notice. After all, any experience is a good experience.
For incoming PR practitioners and interns, this episode is your guide to navigating the industry from the bottom up. Everyone starts somewhere.
“Pitching in PR”: “Multicultural PR Media Maven” - Lesley Luce ft. Alexis Davis Smith
“Pitching in PR” observes trends, documents advances and debriefs improvements with the industry’s most well-known leaders and trailblazers. In this episode, host Lesley Luce meets with PR powerhouse Alexis Davis Smith, CEO and founder of PRecise Communications. Alexis got her start working for Ketchum Inc., assisting in spearheading the first ethical communications programs in the Southeast. In early 2000, Alexis left Ketchum to found PRecise Communications, a fully integrated communications consultancy that has worked to expand multicultural consumer marketing with companies like Coca-Cola, Toyota and Pfizer.
In order to break out in the PR industry, Alexis explains, one must find a niche, offering unparalleled expertise while still executing as a fully functioning communications professional. As Lesley says, you must be able to wear all the hats. Alexis demands that there is an expectation to be met: Consumers deserve to be an integral part of the organization reflecting history, culture and the multicultural consumer. The biggest opportunity for growth comes from super consumers, a group that includes African Americans and Latinos. What makes PRecise’s work stand out is that the it creates organizations that reflect multicultural consumers’ needs and “just get it.” Alexis explains that millennials offer a unique perspective: As the age group with the most buying power, we have a huge impact on how organizations operate. According to Alexis, finding your niche in the PR industry revolves around finding an approach that is culturally relevant and sensitive, while practicing cultural and historical implementation.
As an incoming PR professional, you need “to get it.” You must offer a perspective that enlightens, empowers and includes.
Schuyler Rosson is a Northern Californian-turned-Alabama girl. She is currently a junior at The University of Alabama majoring in public relations with a minor in political science. Outside of PRSSA, Schuyler serves as a junior media coordinator for UA’s student-run PR firm, Capstone Agency. You can find more of Schuyler’s work on her personal website and online for Alice Magazine. You can connect with Schuyler on Instagram and LinkedIn.