Interview with Best PR guy EVER

I had an interview with a new comer to the PR world, who actually just fell into it. He is one of the best guys I know, he’s my brother. He originally went to school studying science and through a couple of odd jobs he became a key part of marketing for GeoAge in Jacksonville, Florida. On a trip home I was able to sit down with him and ask a few questions on how he feel about PR and how his job is going. This is what he said:

What’s a typical week like? (If no week is typical, then what was last week like?)

I have several tasks to work on during the week which I divide up throughout the day.  Some of the tasks include, managing the company’s social marketing (facebook, myspace, youtube, twitter, and the company’s blog, working on a new website for the company (which is about to be finished), optimized the website’s SEO, writing and editing case studies from clients that have used our software, finding new blogs to spread knowledge about our software, calling possible new clients to gather contact information, and maintain the website’s “ask a live person” function in case anyone has a question about the company or software problems.  Other than that, I have several brainstorming meetings throughout the week and do software testing from time to time.

Tell me about a project you worked on that you are especially proud of.

Recently I am proud of two things.  I was sent to Atlanta to give a presentation to the CDC by myself.  This was my first presentation, and it went very well.  It was a short company PowerPoint then an hour and a half Q & A.  The other project I am proud of is how the new website is coming along.  The president of the company and I have rewritten and redesigned the entire site.  The problem was that it was previously entirely in flash and flash is not accessible to most smartphones.  I also created some of the animations on the site as well as new graphics like charts and diagrams.  The new site also features a new video which I helped script and act.


What do you do to keep current in the PR industry?

I am new to all PR and marketing.  I have a background in science.  To keep current, I think of my own ideas and run them by people and friends. So far this method has been a success.  Marketing seems relatively easy if you just stop and think.  For ideas, I read blogs, watch webinars, critique competitors, and scan through books.  The problem with books is that they very rapidly become outdated.  More helpful books are ones that make you think and analyze thinking.  My biggest inspiration as been Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell. I have ordered the counter to this book Think!: Why Crucial Decisions Can’t Be Made in the Blink of an Eye by Michael R. LeGault. The number one thing I am doing to stay current is listen to everything (good or bad) and learn.


What do you wish you would have known before starting your career in PR?

I wish I would have known more in psychology, sociology, anthropology, and philosophy.  Business classes are pretty useless because they are 100% common sense.  These areas of study are how people think, react, and respond.  I have only taken basic classes in all of these and if I would have known I would have a job in PR and marketing, I would have taken more in depth classes.


How important is writing in your career?

It is pretty important.  I have to write blogs, email, case studies, ads, and short paragraphs.  The trick is that there is a different audience for each of these so you must have a different writing style for each.  You also need to change your words according.  I may need to use more “techy” to one audience and then use more general basic words to another.  Finding a writing tone is also important.  You need to know what subconscious message you want to relay.  Your word choice, sentence structure, general appearance, and sentence length all work together to create a writing tone.   To improve my writing, I am forcing myself to read more.  I have always hating reading, but it is something you must master in this field.


What three tips would you offer someone just starting out in PR?

1. Make and use as many contacts as you can.  You never know when someone can help you.

2. Learn as much as you can on computers. You have to be able to use a wide range of programs. I probably use excel, word, notepad, visio every day.  I have a strong base in computers and use that to my advantage.  Learn computer jargon, all the operating systems, and the major programs for each OS

3. Be confident in everything you do. Don’t tell anyone you are new or don’t know anything. If you don’t know a word or how to do something then write it down and look it up later. It’s not what you know; it’s what people think you know. Confidence projects intelligence.  The projection is important. A Dumber person can look smarter just by the way they act. Listen to everything and learn as much as you can.


What has surprised you the most about working in PR?

How simple and logical it is.  Just like the movie BIG, a child could do this as long as they have good ideas.


How has PR changed since you entered the field?

I am too new to answer this personally, but the answer is that marketing has moved to the internet.  Internet used to be the third area of spreading knowledge. This year it is projected to pass tv and become the number one medium of advertisement.  Blogging and optimizing SEO are becoming more and more important every month.

How does technology affect your daily work?

Technology is my work. I use it for everything. My office is basically a laptop and the internet. I work at a software company; we make software for mobile devices, smartphones, PDAs, and phones that use windows mobile

We have always been told from the beginning of college that connections will get you very far. Lately as I’ve been getting closer to graduation I’ve found that the degree you hold or will hold isn’t everything, it depends a lot on personality and individual skills. My brother is a prime example of both of these being true. He is doing great as a PR rep for his company, going on conferences and doing the work that we have all learned to do.  As you can see, he also expressed how important social medias are becoming and how important it is to stay current in what is going on in the PR world.

A BIG THANKS TO MATT TIDMORE FOR TAKING THE TIME OUT TO INTERVIEW WITH ME!!!!!! I LOVE YOU!!!

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~ by matidmore on 04/03/2010.

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