A Day In The Life Of An ACPR Intern

I’ve reached my halfway mark here with ACPR (time goes by SO fast) and that means it’s time to reflect. I had wanted to apply for this internship for a long time, and I sprang at my chance when my schedule finally opened up for the summer. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, besides the glamour, girlboss vibes and getting to work with someone as successful as Allyson, but I’ve been nothing but pleasantly surprised with what this role has provided me. Keep reading if you’d like to learn more about the day-to-day adventure that is being an ACPR intern!

I learn. I am not exaggerating when I say that I have probably learned more about PR at my two months with ACPR than I have in the past three years of college. The value of working with real (amazing!) clients and incredible PR professionals is huge. Every day I get questions answered from people who really know what they’re talking about or I tackle a new project where I get to see PR in a different perspective than I have before.

I work hard. Everyday I have a packed task list where I tackle everything from press hit sweeps to influencer research to looking through magazines for feature story opportunities. I have had internships in the past where I wasn’t a very vital part of the team, and I just did little things like running errands and watching others do their job and maybe getting a small independent task from time to time. At ACPR I am actually getting to play a part in the work that contributes to the bigger picture and I get to do a lot of hands on learning, which I think is the best way to learn.

I ask questions. This one’s important, especially with my role as an intern! Yes, I am here to be a part of the team, but I am also here for the purpose of learning, as I am still in school and am very new at this. Lucky for me I have some great teachers! They’ve taught me that it is always better to ask if something is unclear, than to end up making a silly mistake that could have been avoided.

I follow deadlines. One of the most valuable lessons I have learned at ACPR so far is that deadlines are huge in the PR industry. I must set time limits for every task I have throughout the day and try my absolute best to stay under the allotted time. I’ve found if I am running late on one task, then the rest of my tasks for the day are running behind, having a direct effect on when the rest of the team can complete their own tasks. I like to call my fifteen hours a week that I am here my ‘power hours,’ because having a team, and clients that depend on my work getting done means timeliness is crucial.

Cheers to interns!
Colette

Colette Wray is the ACPR Summer 2017 Public Relations Intern. An Amarillo, Texas native, she’ll be entering her senior year of college at Colorado State University this fall where she studies Journalism & Media Communications with a focus on Public Relations, and minors in English. Colette loves dogs, the color pink, and carbs.

Photo courtesy of @allysonconklinpr

We’re Hiring: Fall Intern

ACPR is hiring! We’re seeking a super savvy hustler to join our Fort Collins, Colorado team as a Fall Intern.

All applicants must be currently enrolled in a four-year college program at the senior level with previous internship and work experience, a self-starter, savvy communicator, go-getter, and interested in working in the communications field after graduation.

This position is paid ($10 per hour) or for credit. Interns are required to work 10-15 hours per week from August 21st to December 15th.

Job responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Administrative:
• Support ACPR team with day-to-day requests
• Compile and submit daily press hit sweeps
• Review and submit Google Alerts to ACPR team
• Updating internal company documents
• Manage the ACPR blog: What We’re Reading, regular posts, etc.
• Manage magazine subscriptions

Media Relations:
-Fulfill client product mailings
-Identify feature story opportunities

Social Media:
-Manage ACPR Facebook page
-Strategically write and schedule social media content calendars on a monthly basis
-Upload client press hits to Facebook

Basic job requirements:
-Be enrolled in a four-year college program at the senior level
-Have a passion for beauty, home and lifestyle brands
-Have excellent communication skills—verbal and written and a strong understanding of both AP and creative writing styles
-Be a self starter, highly organized, have the initiative to start and maintain projects, be able to multi-task and work well with a small team
-Be a pop culture junkie! Know what’s hot in the press and to consumers
-Experience with Cision, Hootsuite, InDesign and WordPress a plus

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All qualified candidates should send their resumes, fall schedules and 2-3 sentences explaining
why they want to work at ACPR to: hello@allysonconklinpr.com.

Photo courtesy of @allysonconklinpr

How to Maximize Your Annual Review

Like them or not (let’s be honest: not), reviews are a necessary part of any job, both for the employee and the employer. In a perfect world, the you would know how you’re performing at any given time. But with huge teams, multiple layers of management, a lack of company transparency, and busy schedules, it’s not always the reality. Here lies the beauty of formalized reviews (yes, the words beauty and reviews are in the very same sentence). So whether your company reviews you on the industry standard of once a year or maybe more frequently, trust me when I say that you need to see this opportunity as much more than just an awkward conversation where your achievements are celebrated and your shortcomings are called out. Your review is a prime opportunity to really find out where you stand, how you’re progressing in your role, and what you can do to grow at the company. You gotta make the best use of it! If you’re preparing for a review in the near future, I have some insight for you on how to maximize that conversation, both for you and your employer.

Thoughtfully prepare
If this isn’t your first go-round at the company, lucky you, as you have a leg up. Ask your employer for your last review and take some time to go over it. Evaluate where you stood then and where you stand now. Put yourself in your employer’s shoes. How would you rate yourself? Highlight your biggest accomplishments over the last year. Identify some areas that could stand improvement. Be ready to talk about your future at the company and where you hope to be in the next year, two years, five years, etc. Take some notes and bring them with you. Above all, be honest with yourself. And if it’s your first review at the company, don’t panic. Ask yourself the same questions to prepare.

Leave your emotions at home
I get it. Reviews get a bad rap. But they don’t have to be that way. This isn’t a place to get emotional, and you shouldn’t be upset or offended at any point during your review. Remind yourself, then remind yourself again if you feel your emotions creeping up, that everything is coming from a good place. Your employer truly wants to see you learn, grow and thrive, and this is their way of helping you do so.

Take notes
Bring your notebook and a pen to your review. It’ll swoop in as a backup when you’re asked the given “how would you rate yourself?” (here’s where that thoughtful preparation comes in). And you’ll want to ensure you’re taking notes throughout. That feedback will come in handy, I promise you! If you’re given a specific action plan for improvement, be diligent about your notes. They’ll serve as a roadmap for you over the next year as you grow, and they’ll be a good reference point when you’re prepping for your next review.

Ask questions
Just like an interview, a review is a conversation. Don’t let it be one-sided. Stay engaged. Ask questions. Make suggestions for how you can do better. Offer insights for your action plan. Don’t be afraid to dream big when you talk about your future at the company. Be an active participant in your review, even during the tough parts. This not only proves your investment and dedication to your own career, but to the company as well.

Now go put on your game face, and nail your review!

Do or die,
Allyson

Allyson Conklin is ACPR’s founder & principal. Born in California (but considers Fort Collins her true home), she’s a dogmom, natural skincare obsessee, blue and white ceramics collector, and strength training devotee. 

Photo courtesy of @allysonconklinpr

 

20 Questions With: Heather Anderson


Heather Anderson is the 33 year old esthetician and founder of WildBloom Skincare, a natural anti-aging skincare line formulated with the purest botanicals and therapeutic-grade essential oils. The Fort Collins based entrepreneur is an alumni of Colorado State University (B.A. Journalism & Technical Communication), licensed esthetician, and certified yoga and spin instructor who made it her life’s mission to create clean skincare products that are designed to fight aging, naturally. After graduation, Heather shifted her focus to fitness, first starting out as the Public Relations Coordinator for Miramont Lifestyle Fitness, then moving onto personal training, group fitness, spin and yoga (which she still does today). Her lightbulb moment came when she found herself coming up short with skincare options that were safe for her loved ones battling cancer, autoimmune disorders, and severe allergies to use. Armed with years of spa industry experience, an esthetician license and a passion for pure, high quality ingredients that perform, she dove headfirst into the world of business ownership, opening the doors to WildBloom Skincare in 2016. And since then she’s formulated products that, speaking from personal experience, we can’t (and don’t want to!) live without (Allyson swears by her French Clay + Vitamin C Renewal Cleanser). Heather is a super fit (inside and out) #MomBoss, who’s a wealth of knowledge about beauty (which you know we love) and a champion of green and mindful living. From sharing the best piece of career advice she’s received and how she stays organized to her favorite podcasts (take note!), we’ve charged Heather with 20 of our favorite questions. 

1. What was your first job out of college?
Public Relations Coordinator for Miramont Lifestyle Fitness in Fort Collins.

2. When you were in college, what did you think you’d be doing today?
I’ve worked in the spa industry since I was 14. I started out as an assistant/receptionist when I was in high school, and I always knew I wanted a career in the industry. In college, I envisioned writing beauty stories for a magazine. After college, I went on to earn my skincare license and have practiced skincare for the past 7+ years. And now, having my own skincare line, with a blog where I talk about skincare every day, I feel like my vision has come full circle, but even greater than I could have imagined.

3. What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?
Jennifer Watson of Watson Wellness said, “If your fears and your dreams were in the same space…would you go there?” Starting a business is a huge venture filled with both fear and aspiration. If you let your fears stop you, you get nowhere. If you confront your fears, you learn and grow. You may stumble along the way, but if you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. There is a divine spark in each of us that we must follow.

4. Can you recall the moment you felt like you hit a groove in your career?
The day I was approached by British Vogue to feature a product from my skincare line, I would say my inner seed flourished. ☺ ☺ ☺

5. What’s the first thing you do when you get to the office every morning?
First, coffee with almond milk. Next I mist my face with Vitamin C Quench Face Tonic (while breathing deeply). Then I check email.

6. What’s one thing you do daily to stay organized?
I organize my computer desktop! Before my husband stepped in, I had random screenshots and files bombarding my screen like a solar system off orbit. He was appalled, and instantly reorganized my files into folders. It was one of the best things that has ever happened to my psyche.

7. How do you sign off emails?
Whatever feels right in the moment.

8. What’s the one character trait that’s vital for success in what you do?
Transparency. I believe in my product line 100%, and I believe in my company radiating pure intentional goodness. One of my favorite things to do is to educate customers on proper skincare and choosing the right regimen for their skin type. I am not just here just to sell a product. I want WildBloom users to have success in achieving healthy skin and to have an experience where they are taking care of their body, mind and soul.

9. Can you share a career goal for 2017?
I want to start a YouTube channel with educational skincare videos and tips!

10. What’s your favorite magazine?
domino Magazine.

11. Do you have a can’t-live-without beauty product?
Face oil! I swear by my Essential Glow Face Oil. It is my on–a–desert–island–couldn’t–live–without-it  product.

12. What’s your go-to cocktail?
Fresh squeezed grapefruit juice.

13. Do you have a wardrobe staple?
Black skinny jeans! Or yoga leggings by ALO Yoga. Anything taupe. Vans.

14. Do you have a spirit animal?
The ram. I am an Aries so technically the spirit animal is a hawk, but I identify as a ram. Traits that represent me well are passion, independence and loyalty.

15. Do you collect anything?
I am a minimalist, but I love collecting artwork made by my kids, ages 3 and 5.

16. How do you stay healthy?
I work part-time as a yoga and spin instructor. Teaching is one of my favorite pleasures each week and keeps me going. I love playing uplifting music and encouraging others to be healthy.

17. What’s the best hashtag of all time?
It’s hard to choose just one, but…#mindful. To me it means taking time for what matters, taking care of ourselves, our families, our friends, our communities, and the Earth.

18. What’s your decorating style?
West Elm meets Joanna Gaines. All the whites, grays, natural woods, and succulents!

19. What do you eat for breakfast most days?
I eat a gluten-free bagel from Canyon Bakehouse in Loveland every day!

20. What are some of your favorite podcasts?
Yoga Coach Podcast with Ange Stopperan, Gurl Gone Green, and Walk the Talk Show on elephant journal. It’s all about the mindful life for me.

How to Make Media Connections When You’re New to PR

Working in public relations is not only daunting because of the pressure for constant creativity and the expectation of superb writing, but the need to have all the media contacts. Because at the end of the day, you can’t do PR well without them! So if you’re like me and are a few years out of school and wondering how to succeed in the world of PR, I have three tips to help a future #PRgirlboss out.

Connect on social.
It’s one thing to tell a media contact that you love a story they wrote, but to cite something you saw on social media really proves that you’re paying attention to them (and in a totally non-creepy way). Commenting with emojis on their Instagram doesn’t count. Only comment when you can really engage and add to the conversation. So now is the time to offer up a restaurant recommendation or let them know you’re coveting their new lipstick. They’ll appreciate that you want to connect with them beyond your jobs.

Never assume that you don’t know anyone.
When I started back at ACPR last month, I took stock of mastheads to see where folks I already knew were working. While this list is pretty minimal, looking at LinkedIn and Facebook actually shows me that I’m more closely connected to many than I initially thought! Noting that they went to the same school as your sibling (and are still friends with them!) is something to keep in mind. It’s a degree of separation that could prove to be handy in the future when you’re forging a connection with that person.

Rely on your company’s network.
I’m fortunate to work for someone whose name really means something in the PR world (Allyson’s note: Awwww!), especially amongst media contacts in the home, beauty and lifestyle worlds. Allyson’s name gets me more responses than anything, and as I slowly grow my own network, she’s the best resource I have to lean on when getting an editor’s attention. And I’m not afraid to use it! So don’t be afraid to use your network to help you build yours.

So the moral of the story is, don’t fret if your rolodex of contacts isn’t quite stuffed yet. We’ll get there with the right guidance, advice and passion for PR! I can feel it.

#WeGotThis,
Kelly

Kelly Tafoya is the ACPR Public Relations Coordinator. A Fort Collins native, she has a penchant for shoes, obsession with swans and a serious case of wanderlust.

Photo courtesy of @allysonconklinpr

We’re Hiring: PR Assistant

ACPR is growing! We’re seeking a savvy professional to join our team as a Public Relations Assistant. This position will report directly to the Founder & Principal. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications or another relevant area with both internship and work experience. Ideal candidates will have a solid understanding of public relations (with an emphasis in media relations), vast knowledge of media outlets, proven track record of success in their career, and a basic understanding of how to market beauty, home and lifestyle brands.

This is a full time, salaried position that includes benefits including: paid time off, paid company holidays, holiday bonus, 50% health, dental and vision insurance, mobile phone stipend, fitness stipend, annual enrichment trip and conference, regular team building activities, and employee meals.

Job responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Administrative:
• Support Founder & Principal with day-to-day requests
• Achieve monthly objectives set by Founder & Principal
• Update and maintain all company lists: media tracking, press coverage, monthly pitches, monthly focuses, etc.
• Compile and submit daily press hit sweeps
• Manage the ACPR blog: What We’re Reading, 20 Questions With, regular posts, etc.
• Management of magazine subscriptions
• Writing projects

Client Relations:
• Develop strong relationships with clients
• Act as backup to Public Relations Coordinator as point-of-contact for clients
• Attend in-person meetings with clients when appropriate

Media Relations:
• Develop strong relationships with media
• Identify, pitch and follow up with media
• Create and distribute high impact and creative media email blasts
• Rapid Response daily pitching
• Identify and pitch feature story opportunities
• Secure press hits: long lead, short lead, broadcast, awards, etc.
• Assist in the creation of press materials (fact sheets, bios, press releases, media alerts, pitch letters, etc.)
• Schedule media visits and appointments
• Fulfillment of client product mailings
• Management of editorial calendars and awards
• Identify other client exposure opportunities: sponsored posts, gifting, trade shows, events, etc.
• Attend in-person meetings with media when appropriate

Social Media:
• Management of ACPR social media channels
• Strategically write and schedule social media content calendars on a monthly basis
• Upload client press hits to Facebook

Basic job requirements:
• Bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications or a related area
• Prior PR internship and work experience
• Be committed to building a fat rolodex of contacts
• Demonstrate knowledge of how to land press hits, and maybe even have a few existing hits to share
• Be an excellent communicator—verbal, written and beyond—with a strong understanding of both the AP and creative writing styles
• Be a strategic thinker with endless amounts of creativity
• Be a self starter and multi-tasking master that’s highly organized, have the initiative to start and maintain projects, and be willing to go above and beyond the job description
• Be a pop culture junkie and know what’s hot in the press and to consumers
• Be passionate about the beauty, home and lifestyle categories
• Proficient in Microsoft Office programs, Cision, InDesign and WordPress

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All qualified candidates should send their resumes and a short description explaining why they want to
work at ACPR to Allyson Conklin via email. Local candidates only. No phone calls, please.