Monday, June 30, 2014

The Post-Internship Phase?

By: Megan Quinn
What is the first thing that comes to mind when searching for a real-world, post-college graduation job?

If you instantly think of internships and/or job experience, you are in the ballpark. Internships are great for giving college students a taste of what their future job responsibilities will be, depending on their major of choice. College students are constantly hunting for the next best opportunity to learn from the professionals they could be one day.

Believe it or not, public relations internships are the most popular kind according to PR Daily. I used to think that finding a public relations job would be the easiest thing in the world. Every company needs a public relations point person, right? Or so I thought. The job market is tougher than it looks for recent graduates. Even though we have heard this time and time again, that is probably the worst possible thing you could say to a recent college graduate with no job offers. PR Daily gathered findings from InternMatch's recent study, the 2014 State of the Internship Report. After polling more than 9,000 students from universities nationwide, they concluded that only 16.6 percent of seniors received job offers as of April 30, 2014.

That being said, one piece of advice I can give to recent college graduates is to be open-minded about the opportunities that come your way. If you find a job in your field - even if it is the lowest position on the totem pole of your profession - take it, and pay your dues. It could turn out to be an amazing opportunity to set up your future. If an internship doesn't pay you while you are still in college, that's okay. The majority of internships in America are unpaid. Only 48.3 percent of the 9,000 interns polled through InternMatch reportedly were paid.

You can learn a lot from internships, and if you take unpaid one while in college, find another way to benefit from it besides just “the experience.” Apply to have your internship count as college credit. Seek out opportunities in your internship to showcase your skills or ask to take on larger tasks or projects. The difference your attitude can make at an internship is incredible. Your supervisor will thank you and notice the amount of responsibility you wish to have.

It is important to note that internships are not just for your college years. InternMatch also concluded that 39.3 percent of graduates have done two or more internships. This is normal; don’t let yourself feel like internships are a thing of the past once you have your degree in hand. Until a full-time position in your field comes along, internships are your new best friend. You can make connections, get a feel for the “real world” and gain an edge in the job market over other recent graduates.

Always keep your eyes open and don't be afraid to reach out to the people on those business cards you've been stockpiling for upcoming internship opportunities. Remind those contacts where you met them and what you last spoke about. Preferably it is a good idea to email new contacts the same day and say what a pleasure it was to meet them. Meanwhile, mention you are internship hunting and ask if they can keep you in mind in case an opportunity comes up.

Good luck and happy hunting!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Her Ride Through the Atmosphere Helped Us Break Through the Glass Ceiling

By Rose Strong
Nothing makes me feel my age more than listening to a news report about a story that happened in my own lifetime, one I clearly remember witnessing as it unfolded. A recent NPR report recounted the story of Sally Ride, the first American woman to fly in space – 31 years ago. Do you remember where you were when the space shuttle Challenger, carrying Ride and four other astronauts, took off on June 18, 1983? By the time the rocket booster separated from the shuttle, they had reached an altitude of more than 30 miles at a speed of more than 3500 mph.

Ride, who died nearly two years ago this July, is an American icon. What an exciting time. I’m sure the many women and girls who watched her take flight out of this world and into what is still a relatively unknown place knew they were witnessing something truly special. Sally Ride refused to be held back by the glass ceiling that has limited women’s aspirations because of their gender. Ride crashed through the glass ceiling that day, leaving behind her an opening for other women. I wonder if she knew the weight of this event as she left gravity behind that day.

Never much of a space enthusiast, I still saw Ride’s historic flight as a milestone in our feminist landscape. Young girls now knew that they could set their sights on anything and gender wouldn’t hold them back.

Lately here at Furia Rubel Communications, there has been much talk about women in the legal field. Even in 2014, 31 years after a woman first flew into space, it still can be difficult to wade through the waters of any profession that has been largely dominated by men. Our CEO, Gina Rubel, is writing a three-part series for AVVO Lawyernomics about the challenging path women have had to walk in the legal field.

My partner became an auctioneer in 1984, a traditionally male-dominated field, and for a few years had struggled with the male mind-set within the industry as well as the bidders who didn’t want to buy from a woman. It has gotten easier over the years as she honed her craft, learned about the items up for bid and made friends who came to auction each week, but she still faces some backlash on occasion from those whose ways of thinking leave them many decades behind.

Not many people I know have had the opportunity to work at a business that is wholly or mostly owned by women. Although women have owned businesses as far back as the mid-to-late 1700s and often they were businesses where being a woman was advantageous, it is only recently that it has been a true boon to the economy as this article from the National Women’s Business Council details.

Furia Rubel was recently re-certified by the Women’s Business Enterprise Council for the eighth consecutive year as a woman-owned business. To qualify for this notable recognition, a business must, at the very minimum, be at least 51 percent owned by women.

It is hard today to imagine that women in business and women-owned businesses were once a rarity. When reading the history of this topic, I feel fortunate to have been raised by parents who never discouraged any of my dreams when I was a little girl.

Did you ever feel held back by your gender or did you feel you could fly like Sally Ride no matter what you chose to do? Do you have a woman from the past who inspired you by her moxie to be whatever you wanted to be?

Friday, June 20, 2014

Saying Good-bye to a Furia Rubel Team Member

By Sarah Larson
The Furia Rubel team bids farewell to Maggie Quinn, second from right.

Today, we bid farewell to a member of the Furia Rubel team, and are reminded that in business, as in life, change is constant.

Maggie Quinn has been a valuable addition to the Furia Rubel family for nearly a year. She took on a wide range of tasks – from writing press releases, to filing, to compiling media lists, to formatting email newsletters – with efficiency, professionalism and a willing attitude – an attribute that, most managers would agree, can make or break a team.

A 2013 graduate of Penn State, Maggie is just setting out on her career. Like so many newly minted college graduates, she is embarking on a journey that could lead her just about anywhere, both philosophically and geographically.

For now, that journey is taking her to California, where she will become an Account Coordinator at Access Communications.

Of course, Maggie’s departure from Pennsylvania means that Furia Rubel has been in hiring mode. After weeks of sorting through resumes and interviewing candidates, we have welcomed a new face to our team.

Her name?

Megan Quinn. No relation.

Because sometimes, life just works out that way.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Quick Tips on Basic Organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Websites

By: Laura Powers

What goes into search engine optimization (SEO) for a website?

There are a lot of moving parts – some of which come in at the planning and building phase but most of which are ongoing, long-term efforts post-launch.

The art of being found on Google is a science that takes many steps. The first is to identify the keyword phrases that your audience will use for search. These should be phrases such as "Philadelphia PA marketing firm" and can even be questions such as "what is search engine optimization for a website?" You may be able to do this based on your knowledge of your audience and your product, but research will help you know what they are really searching for – rather than just assuming you know. When we perform this task for clients, we use online keyword research tools.

There are two main approaches to help your business appear on Google.

You can pay for placement at the top of a search result page. These are the links that show up in the yellow area at the top of a Google search results page and on the right hand side bar.

“Organic” search results require a concerted effort over time to make a difference in search engine results. There are many factors that go into having Google see your website as a valuable site but the most important thing is good, relevant and useful content for your audience. A blog helps support this, but you need to be thinking constantly about the keyword phrases you are incorporating into the body text on the site as well (among other things).

The paid approach is instantaneous. However, its results also end after the paid contract expires. The organic approach is a long-term investment that takes time and effort. Furia Rubel does not recommend the paid approach unless you have already thoroughly invested in the organic approach first.

A few quick things you can do right now that may help improve your placement on search engine result pages:
  • Review and improve your online profiles at Google Maps and Google Places
  • Set up a Google+ page for the business. 
  • Review and add keyword phrases and information to your firm's social media profiles such as your LinkedIn Company page and your Facebook company page.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Where will technology take you this summer?

By Kim Tarasiewicz

Summer is officially here and with that comes travel. Many of us make an attempt to go “off the grid” while enjoying personal travel, but there are many ways to use technology to enhance your experiences, whether it be for business or pleasure.

As our team begins to enjoy vacation time, we are sharing travel ideas with each other and thought there are a few ideas that others might enjoy. Check out these travel apps for:

Concur – This App organizes, tracks, saves and submits travel expenses and can even send them back to the office while you are still on the go.  Compatible with iPhone, iPad, Android, and Blackberry. Free for 30 days, then minimal monthly subscription fee.

Transport by car:
Uber – If you need a car service, this app will work in over 100 cities around the world and will send a car for you, text you with a photo of the driver and the arrival time, then charge your credit card after the service – no cash needed. Note: Uber uses “surge” pricing, which can make rides more expensive during periods of high demand. The app is free for iPhones and Androids.

Air travel:
Seat Guru – This site / app allows you to see the pros and cons of airline seats before booking, showing everything from which seats have overhead storage to how often flights are late. Free for Apple and Android users.

Car travel:
Waze – Great traffic app showing traffic jams, accidents and detours along with gas prices and rest stops for your road trip. Free for iPhone and Android users.

XE Currency – Automatically shows up-to-date currency rates with conversions. This is a free app for use on most smart phones and tablets.

JWire – App shows where to find access to WiFi hotspots in 140 cities around the world so you can stay connected. It shows addresses, directions and phone numbers. Free on all WiFi enabled devices.

Sleep Sounds HQ – For those who have trouble sleeping on a plane, or in hotels and noisy cities, this app holds 500 sounds including soft rain, rustling leaves, waterfalls or white noise such as a rhythmic train. Minimal fee at the App Store.

Moms Maps – Find family friendly places such as kids’ parks, playgrounds, restaurants, museums and indoor play areas. Minimal fee but could be a lifesaver when traveling with kids.

Keep in touch:
Touchnote – Use your own travel photos to upload from your phone and have a printed postcard or greeting card sent anywhere in the world. App is free for iPhone, iPad and Android, cards are $2-4 including postage.

Just for fun: (My personal favorite)
The Roller Coaster Guide – For those looking for adventure, this holds a database listing more than 5,000 rollercoasters, 2,000 parks and 40,000 photos, and all can be sorted to customize your search. Free for iPhones.

While we don’t have any connection to any of these companies, we always find it interesting to try new technologies. And of course, we always want to make our lives easier for work and fun. Wherever your summer takes you this year, we wish you all safe travels!  Let us know if you try any of these apps and which one you like best.