We’re Hiring: Public Relations Intern

ACPR is hiring! We’re seeking a Spring 2018 Public Relations 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 unpaid or for credit. Interns are required to work 10 hours per week from January to May (dates are flexible).

Job responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Administrative:
• Support ACPR team with day-to-day requests
• Updating internal company documents
• Manage magazine subscriptions
• On-going search of news relevant to beauty, home and lifestyle industries

Media Relations:
• Compile and submit media updates to team
• Fulfill client product mailings
• Conduct Rapid Response search
• Identify feature story opportunities
• Compile editorial calendar and award opportunities

Social Media:
• Manage ACPR blog and social media channels
• Strategically write and schedule social media content calendars on a monthly basis
• Edit and publish blog posts including ’20 Questions With’ and ‘What We’re Reading’
• 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, InDesign and WordPress a plus

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All qualified candidates should send their resumes, spring schedule and 2-3 sentences
explaining why they’d be the best intern ever to:
hello@allysonconklinpr.com
No phone calls, please.

ACPR’s Holiday Traditions and Celebrations

It’s the best time of the year! Not only is it the holiday season, but it’s the season for complete guilt-free eating and lounging around, because you’ve been on the “nice” list all year, right? 😇 We are closing our office for the holiday season to take the opportunity to read all the books we’ve been neglecting and focus on some self care and family time! Perhaps this is a forecast for our New Year’s Resolutions? Either way, we wanted to share some of our own holiday traditions and celebrations with you in hopes of learning about your holiday traditions as well! 🎅🏼

 

What’s you favorite holiday dish and why?

Allyson: My mother was never a big baker, with the exception of the holidays. And every holiday she’d make Cheesecake Tarts. They’re Nila wafters with cheesecake filling, sour cream drizzle and topped with cherry pie filling that are baked in a muffin tin. Just thinking about them makes me nostalgic for my younger days. And hungry.

Caitlin: I love ALL casseroles! If I had to choose one… it would probably be broccoli rice casserole! My granny makes the same dishes every year, but I never get tired of them. I’m from Texas, so we don’t believe in skimping on butter or anything else that makes Christmas dinner so delicious.

Tessa: This time of year we get together to roll out sugar cookie dough and bring out all of the cookie cutter shapes that are reserved specifically for Christmas sugar cookies! We burn our tongues trying to eat them as quickly as they come out of the oven! A sugar cookie every hour is what the Christmas spirit is to me. Extra sprinkles, please.

How are you celebrating?

Allyson: This year will be completely low-key. Virtually all of our family will be out of town, so my husband and I will be laying low. We’re planning on making lasagna for Christmas Day, then seeing a movie!

Caitlin: I always wake up Christmas morning and open up presents with my family before going to one of my grandmother’s homes to celebrate with my extended family.

Tessa: I’m trading the great state of Colorado for a slightly more humid one of St. Louis, Missouri. A few nights in Chicago are on the calendar as well as getting my hair and makeup done all day long by my two stylish nieces.

Do you have any holiday traditions?

Allyson: Our Christmas Eve dinner of mussels, fries and Moscow Mules. Four years ago we decided that we needed to have a “grown up” holiday tradition, so this was promptly established. Last year we expanded the menu to include crab legs and ribs!

Caitlin: My family likes to keep it old school. We aren’t allowed to go into the living room until everyone is awake and my Dad has set up the camera (which takes forever), and we always open up stockings first then gifts one by one. The whole process takes hours, but I’m for anything that prolongs the magic of Christmas morning.

Tessa: On Christmas Eve everyone opens a new pair of pajamas to wear the the next morning. Sometimes they match, sometimes they don’t, but it’s always unexpected and fun. We always watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation on loop and quote the whole thing. You can only do this once a year so we take full advantage!

What’s on your wishlist?

Allyson:
Splurge: I asked for a Proenza Schouler PS1 for my birthday. 🙊 It’s three days after Christmas, so it counts
Save: By Rosie Jane James Perfume Oil. Christmas is when my “stock” is replenished every year.

Caitlin:
Splurge: I really want a pair of Essaouira Earrings from Zoe and Morgan!
Save: I’ve been dying to try and make madeleines, so I put a baking pan specifically made for making them on my wishlist this year.

Tessa:
Splurge: Anything and everything from  Aritzia. I want to wrap myself in all their knitted sweaters and can’t get enough of their trousers.
Save:  A subscription to Wilderness magazine which I’m obsessed with and am dying for the complete digital library.

20 Questions With: Riley Sheehey

Riley Sheehey is the 28 year old watercolor artist, illustrator and founder of Make Things Co. An alumnus of University of Maryland (B.A. Art Eduction and Studio Art), Riley started off her career in a whole different space: in education. She began her teaching career as a fifth grade homeroom and middle school history teacher, but quickly found herself thriving in the role of art teacher. While she truly loved teaching, she couldn’t forgo her passion for creating art. But her career trajectory changed in the summer of 2014 when a good friend asked if Riley would be interested in designing a custom watercolor invitation suite for her wedding. Needless to say, this singlehandedly reignited Riley’s creative passions and put the wheels in motion for a jump back to art. A few short years later and Riley had left her teaching days behind to pursue freelance art full time. And since then she’s worked with private clients and big name corporations (hello, Sorel!) to create everything from watercolor portraits and paintings to wedding stationery and fashion illustrations. And you’ve probably already caught a glimpse of her on Instagram through her illustrations of the day (which is exactly how Allyson happened upon her). It would be an understatement to say we are obsessed with Riley’s style (to us it’s classic with a touch of whimsy, a tad New England and a whole lot of fun), and totally appreciate her sincerity, dedication to her craft and creative spirit. From sharing the best piece of career advice she’s ever received to her spirit animal, we’ve tasked Riley with 20 of our favorite questions.

1. What was your first job out of college?
My first year out of college, I worked at an elementary school in Bethesda, Maryland as a fifth grade homeroom/middle school history teacher. I stayed at the same school the following year, but switched positions to become the art teacher, and I held that job until this past June, when I pursued freelance illustration full-time.

2. When you were in college, what did you think you’d be doing today?
I actually don’t know! That probably sounds terrible, but I think that in college (especially my freshman to junior years), I was so focused on the present, and on having the time of my life that I really wasn’t very career-minded. My senior year, I interned full-time as an art teacher to earn my teaching degree, and at that point, I think I thought I would be teaching for at least the next ten years.

3. What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?
I have two so far, and they’re actually the opposites of one another, but I heard them at two very different points in my career. The first is to never say no to a job. This came when I’d just started my illustration business, in the Summer of 2014. I’d opened an Etsy shop in hopes of selling some hand painted mason jars (I never did sell any!), and a few of my friends saw a wedding sketch that I’d done just for fun and asked me if they could commission a few for wedding gifts. I had never been commissioned to make anything before and was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to deliver. My now-fiance told me that if I wanted to build a business in the illustration/art world, I would be silly to say no to those opportunities.

The second came a few months ago from one of my friends, who is also an illustrator. I was feeling excited but also a little overwhelmed, and scared that my career was becoming a bit of a runaway train. She told me that I shouldn’t be afraid to say no to a job, and that sometimes it’s important to say no to certain opportunities to ensure that you’re allowing room for opportunities that are better suited for you.

4. Can you recall the moment you felt like you hit a groove in your career?
I would say that there are a ton of daily moments when I feel like I’ve hit a groove in my career. Like getting an email from an exciting potential client, working ahead of schedule, or hearing from a happy customer. But then the very next moment I will be humbled by something else, like an exciting project falling through, a missing package or spilling my coffee on a commission that was almost finished! It’s a lot of ups and downs!

5. What’s the first thing you do when you get to the office every morning?
I work from home, so the first thing I do is make coffee. And on good days, I change out of my pajamas.

6. What’s one thing you do daily to stay organized?
I try to run almost every work day. It’s a different kind of organization. The organization of my thoughts! I feel like I can be so scatterbrained throughout the day that it’s one of the most important things I do to clear my head.

7. How do you sign off emails?
Best, Riley

8. What’s the one character trait that’s vital for success in what you do?
I don’t know if it’s a character trait, but I would say staying passionate about what you do. There are so, so many talented artists and illustrators out there, and it’s very easy to get caught up in their successes and beautiful artwork. I find myself comparing myself to them and then feeling discouraged, instead of feeling inspired by their work. The only reason I was able to pursue illustration full-time is because I love what I do. I love art so much, and I can’t help but to draw and paint every day, so I feel very lucky to have been able to turn it into a career!

9. Can you share a career goal for 2018?
To not sweat the small stuff. I throw myself into a panic about something at least a few times a week. In the end, even if it doesn’t turn out the way I originally planned, it always seems to work itself out. That, and to figure out a better way to achieve work/life balance. I’ve heard this is a universal struggle, but it’s easy to get carried away with work, leaving less time for everything else. I would like to be better about that.

10. What’s your favorite magazine?
Real Simple. 

11. Do you have a can’t-live-without beauty product?
Mascara.

12. What’s your go-to cocktail?
Beer. I wish this weren’t the case, as I feel like cocktails are so cute and fun, but I just can’t get into them!

13. Do you have a wardrobe staple?
In the fall/winter, I’m almost always in black leggings and a large sweater. And in the spring/summer, I prefer sundresses.

14. Do you have a spirit animal?
I love deer, and I always point them out and get excited when I see them. My mom once told me that my spirit animal would be a deer, so I’ll go with that!

15. Do you collect anything?
Dresses. I don’t really love to shop, but I really, really love dresses. I find them about a million times more comfortable than pants or jeans.

16. How do you stay healthy?
Running. I keep telling myself I’m going to start eating healthy, too, but so far, it’s just running.

17. What’s the best hashtag of all time?
My best friend created one for my wedding next year: #tilthekoughscomehome (my fiancé’s last name is pronounced “cow”).

18. What’s your decorating style?
That’s a great question! We’re moving into our first home at the end of the month, and it will be the first time we have a place that’s big enough to really decorate. I have been flipping through magazines and scrolling through the internet, and I am pretty lost, but I do love the blue and white color combination.

19. What do you eat for breakfast most days?
Coffee. I’m not a big breakfast person.

20. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be doing career-wise?
Teaching.

Want to be featured in a ’20 Questions With’ feature in 2018? Drop us a line and let us know why your story is worth sharing!

How To Become Best Friends With Your Inbox

Email. Whether you love it or hate it, it’s the preferred method of communication, making it a critical part of virtually everyone’s day-to-day. Especially if you work in PR.

But let’s get real for a second. How many of us actually like email? It can be demanding, inconsiderate, disruptive, and distracting. It’s safe to say that it can get out of control, and fast. But does our relationship with email have to be love/hate? I say no. Just like most relationships, it’s about setting boundaries. And then employing strategies for keeping that relationship harmonious. After 12 1/2 years of utilizing email for professional purposes, I’ve learned a thing or two. I do think it’s possible to become best friends with your inbox. And to stay BFF. Take a jaunt through my typical day with email to see what I mean.

BEFORE OFFICE HOURS

If you want a healthy relationship with email, you’re going to need to set boundaries. The reality is that it’s *always* going to be there, receiving messages and beckoning you to check them. But that doesn’t mean you should. In the early days of ACPR, I was too available via email. And it literally drove me crazy, made me neurotic and interfered with my personal life. So I learned to set boundaries. No checking email before 7am or after 7pm. Instead of reaching for my phone first thing when I wake up, I take time to actually wake up (yes, that’s a thing). And while I still have slip ups, I try my darnedest to stick to my boundaries. For my next trick, I’ll share how I detox from social media every week!

MORNING

Next, take my advice and upon arriving to the office in the morning, don’t start your day by immediately checking email. Instead, touch base with your team (if you have one), set your intentions for the day, take note of your appointments, and evaluate your to-do list. Then, check your email. This will ensure that you’re well equipped to take on the day. Plus it will minimize your chances of becoming derailed by a challenging email. We’ve all been there, and let’s be honest, ain’t nobody got time for that.

Once you dive into your inbox, take stock of your messages. Scroll through your inbox to evaluate what’s leftover from yesterday and what’s new today. Scan all of your messages quickly, assessing what can be handled quickly and what will require a little more work. Anything that can be handled immediately, go for it. Everything else can be tabled until you can dedicate the time to reply properly.

SIDENOTE

This brings me to a very important detail: delete your emails! I’m not saying you need to purge them from your system (I’m actually a huge fan of keeping my deleted items for a year), but once they’ve been handled, get them out of your inbox. A tidy inbox is a massive key to success. And what about those messages that you might need in the future? Stick them in folders and revisit them when you need them. I love folders. They’re there when you need them, but not in your face when you don’t.

MIDDAY

Now back to those messages that need a little more love. I like carving out “email time” in my schedule everyday. Don’t get me wrong, my email is always open and I see when emails come in, but I’m not always actively replying. I find that dedicating time to replying to the more intensive emails helps to keep me on track. It can be a little bit of time here and there, or a larger block of time once daily. Figure out what works best for you, then stick to it (hey, boundaries). Otherwise, I could easily spend 8+ hours a day *just* reading and replying to emails. And then nothing else would get done!

So what happens in between tending to emails? Work. Hello.

EVENING 

Then, as you find most days, you realize that it’s the end of the day (where exactly does the time go?). I approach my last email check of the day at the office with the objective of cleaning up. I want to clear as much out of my inbox as possible. This means that any leftover emails need to be addressed, then deleted. Think of it like tidying up your desk at the end of the day. I don’t know about you, but coming into the office and seeing a clean desk brings me joy (it’s the little things). The same goes for my inbox.

AFTER OFFICE HOURS

I *do* check my email several times after I get home, but it’s plugged into the wall in the kitchen and untouched after 7pm. I have dogs to cuddle and shows to bingewatch. So email can wait until tomorrow.

Maybe I haven’t convinced you that you too can become besties with your inbox. And that’s ok. You don’t have to be. As long as you get along, my work is complete. But aim for best friends. Trust me, it just feels good.

Until next time,
Allyson

Allyson Conklin is ACPR’s founder and chief crystal collector. Currently on her desk is pyrite, selenite, green calcite, amethyst, rose quartz, clear quartz, citrine and jade. 

Photo by Cassie Rosch, Photographer