The One Thing That A College Degree Won’t Give You (But Every Employer Is Looking For)

Experience definitely takes you to places.

Thought Catalog

In 2010, I received my bachelor’s degree from Cornell University. I was a triple major (in English, History, and Italian) and was on the Dean’s List for four semesters. I was also involved in extracurricular activities: I wrote articles for two student magazines, campaigned in the 2008 presidential election, and created a comedic webseries that I organized, wrote, directed, and acted in.

Since graduating college four years ago, I have sold watches at Macy’s, answered e-mails from digital newspaper subscribers, and entered hospital patients’ contact information into billing software: all honest and respectable work, but nothing that required a college education that took four years to complete and thousands of dollars to afford.

Starting a career in this economy has been the most frustrating and demoralizing thing I have ever attempted. I’ve applied to entry-level positions in writing, editing, social media, public relations, publishing, and marketing, yet I was lucky…

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“First Kiss”

Twenty strangers to kiss for the first time…

“I couldn’t decide if it was the best idea I’d ever had or the worst. It was probably the human vulnerability that touched people watching the possibility of love play out in front of your eyes.”

– Tatia Pilieva

Labels are for Clothes: Dispelling PR Stereotypes (Part B)

We had the first two PR stereotypes in the Part A. Now, let’s begin…

The B*tch and the Bunny

Stereotypical PR practitioners – the fluffy and anti-fluff – are often referred to as the so-called PR B*itched and Bunnies.

If you are a fan of tough love and have a no-nonsense attitude then you’re probably be pegged as a PR b*tch. A PR b*tch is fierce and confident (sometimes overconfident).

Kelly “Cutthroat” Cutrone

The ultimate role model for a PR b*itch is Kelly “Cutthroat” Cutrone, founder and head of PR fashion firm People’s Revolution and author of If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You. For these people the industry that requires its players to be competitive and tougher. Being competitive, at times, is not all bad. One should always strive for excellence.

A PR bunny is a young, PR practitioner characterized by a pretty face and a lack of management competence. Like a bunny, they are fluffy and cute and despite of their ability to throwing great parties, and flirting with clients, they are not good at much else. According to this stereotype, PR work is all glamorous. This is highly debatable since it is a must for PR practitioners to dress up. One should be presentable in front of their current and prospect clients. The flirting, on the other hand, is a subjective matter. Both parties simply have to be professional.

If only the knowledge of the Public Relations industry is based from shows like Sex & the City, The Hills and The City, it can be concluded that these stereotypes are true; however, these portrayals of PR practitioners are inaccurate.


Catty Industry

The PR industry may resemble high school cliques as far as being catty is concerned. The reason for these is the nature of the industry and the fact that there is such a tight competition for clients. You have to “fight” for every single position, promotion, and work from the moment you start working. That is why the PR field is known for cattiness.

Cattiness is also associated with the number of females in the industry. However, this must not be the case. Always remember that the industry is not self-regulating. Anyone can enter the industry and clients can hire anyone, making the competition tougher. Some practitioners go too far to get coverage, which could be construed as catty. Another is that there are influential individuals that have catty personality and it works with their specific line of PR.

However, the competition when women are involved is different because it is not women trying to prove that they are better that their male colleagues but that they are better than the other women competing in the industry. The “mean girl syndrome” can be observed if there is any truth to it.

Most stereotypes are directed to female PR practitioners. Dr. Larissa “Lauri” A. Grunig said, “Because PR is mostly female; the negative impacts associated with being female also impact negatively on PR.” While we all want to think public relations is as easy and as glamorous as it seems, there is really more to it. Labels are for clothes. It is high time for people to think out of the box that confines public relations.

Genuine PR professionals think critically and strategically. They do research, planning, implementation and evaluation in order to guarantee effective communications and positive outcomes. Above all, PR professionals are truthful, and practitioners maintain utmost professionalism, which includes respect and confidentiality. The notion of spin, b*tch, bunny, and catty implies something false, which good PR professionals detest. Good PR skills are taught in school and honed through experience, not by watching Sex and the City.




Labels are for Clothes: Dispelling PR Stereotypes (Part A)

Youthful, vibrant, and sexy.

Ever since Samantha Jones of Sex and the City graced our TV screens in 1998, public relations practitioners have not been able to lose the stereotypes associated with the character. Samantha changed the image of public relations for the 21st century. The stereotypes from media portrayals seemed to carry over into real life, thus, tinting the reputation of the people in the PR industry.

There are many misconceptions and stereotypes about public relations. These stereotypes are not only for PR professionals but also for the whole industry as well.


The Spin Doctor

Being labeled as a shameless spin doctor is the worst for a PR practitioner. According to this stereotype, PR professionals are downright dishonest. They “spin” or make up the truth.  Claims are said to be made without evidences and contradictions are thrown against facts.

As a PR practitioner in world where you cannot test everything for yourself, it is up to your judgment to validate the claims of your client. You must be able to identify points would prove that what the clients are saying is true. For some, it is very easy to be caught up with the excitement of doing a big campaign for a known corporation, thus, diving immediately to work without proper research and validation of facts. This can be very risky since the industry operates under the principle of truth, trust, and integrity.

The practice related to this stereotype is the “pig in lipstick,” where PR practitioners revamp the truth so it would be palatable that it actually is. This is very unprincipled. A half-truth is still not the truth.


Who Run the World…? Girls, Girls!

Another stereotype is that the PR is a female profession. Based on studies, the industry is currently female dominated. A stereotype like this was bound to happen because there are just so many women.

Despite the fact the females outnumber the males in the industry; there are more males in the PR academe, thus, making the PR instructions male-centric. Aside from this, male PR practitioners are portrayed more positively in media than their female counterpart. Females are usually shown, if not negatively, in neutral light.

Spin Doctor and Girls running the industry.. Do you agree? Let me know what you think and watch out for the part B to learn more of the PR Stereotypes.


♦ PR – A Female Dominated Industry
 Biography for Samantha Jones
Break Free from PR Stereotypes
Will PR break down the glass ceiling?
Are Stereotypes Holding Women Back? (Part 2: PR Bunnies) 

AWKWARD!! Good job, HBO GO!

You’ve been there. YES, I know that one point in time you’ve experienced an epic awkward moment while whatching TV with your folks.

SS+K’s hilarious “Awkward Family Viewing” ads for HBO recreated that  perfectly, withparents who just can’t keep those embarrassing comments to themself while watching TV with their teenage son and daughter.

The tagline: Get HBO Go, and enjoy it all “far, far away from your parents,” aimed at millennials  much like myself. It worked because the attack of the video was not only to show what HBO Go is but  it was also a reflection of how open HBO is whit this kind of humor.

These collection of awkward video really are one of the best of 2014. 🙂

WAIT! There’s more.

There’s much much more. See all seven videos here.

Understanding the Machine Metaphor


Metaphors are used to learn about an organization by comparing it to an object considered to be like that organization. They are important in emphasizing functions that may sometimes go unnoticed.  One of the most popular metaphors, I presume, is the machine metaphor. In the late 19th century, during the advent of the industrial revolution, the society began to change. The world was moving from an agrarian society to an increasingly complicated one. As a result, classical organizational theorists used this metaphor as a guide in all their theories.

There are four (4) aspects of the machine metaphor that are of importance in my discussion: specialization, standardization, replaceability, and predictability.

Specialization. Think about a machine like it is a computer. Every part has its specific role in the totality of the operation process of the computer. It has the hardware–the monitor, keyboard, and computer processing unit (CPU) among others– and the software like operating system (OS), the RAM, and ROM. Each plays a specialized role that is essential for a computer to properly run. In relation to how humans operate, the specialization of tasks equates to division of labour, for example, our government. The division of labour are the three branches of the government namely the executive, legislative, and judiciary. There are scope and limitations to what and how things are done in each branch, nonetheless, they are co-dependent and interrelated. Each does (/should do) check and balance of each other, thus (/to), maintain smooth operations. On the smaller and more personal scale, the tasks and roles of the people in the government are specialized and are given to those who are qualified and/or voted into authority. The president, vice president, senators, house representatives, chief justice and the other justices are just few of the specialized parts of the machine, I would like to call our government.

Standardization. Machines are designed to have the same parts as machines similar to them. For example, the motor of your electric fan suddenly overheats and burns, you can easily buy a new one. Humans are considered as cogs of the machine. Thus, if something goes wrong, those cogs are standardized, interchangeable, and replaceable. Relating this to our government, this is the standards or qualifications of the leaders. One must be able to meet the qualifications before they can be considered viable for a certain position. Standardization also pertains to how our government operates. The Constitution is one form of standardization. The laws are made based on the provisions set by our Constitution. Hence, limiting and defining the actions of all (leaders and citizens) to what is acceptable and appropriate according to the standards.

Replaceability. A concept related to standardization is replaceability. Since parts are standardized, they can be easily replaced. Applying the principle to humans, if a worker quits, the organization can replace the worker. In our government, recently, we have witnessed several changes with the line-up of the regime. The former chief justice was plucked out of the ranks and was replaced. In a less coarse way, the election organizes this concept. Each leader are expected to serve his or her given term (considering extension and re-election) and then replaced.

Predictability. There are rules that govern the ways in which a machine is made and the rules that govern the ways in which the machine operates and perform its functions. If a machine breaks down, there can be a number of reasons to why it broke. However, if the problem would be given enough thought, it can be fixed. A manual can contain all the things that you might need. Our government operates on the same way.


Don’t let Public Speaking be the Death of You


At work, I have been assisting in a series of manager’s training sessions on “How to Present Your Ideas Confidently.” Miss Gigi Resurreccion of The Mentor Group Philippines showed this video during one of the session. As I watched the video, I remember the things that happened to me as I was growing up. I have a really bad case of stage fright. I used to just freeze or end up crying. However, I had to step up. Until now, I get the chills and my memory blacks out but I fight back. I try to maintain the compose and I breathe. And if you’re like me, I hope the 3 P’s of Public Speaking can help you. 🙂