You look pretty today.

Compliments are constantly tossed around at my internship at Toussaint Law Firm every Monday and Wednesday.  Everyone seems to make it a point to brighten someone else’s day with a nice compliment.  The office that I work in is filled with down-to-earth employees that are always looking for ways to boost others’ confidence.  Whether it’s comments on clothes or feedback on ideas, drafts of writing, or work ethic, everyone at Toussaint Law Firm is positive.  I’ve loved working at TLF for the past six months and I’m excited about my continuing internship into the spring.         

Since 2009 year is coming to a close, I wanted to re-cap the amount of knowledge that I’ve learned.  Not only have I discovered new things about myself by working independently on marketing/public relations projects, but also by working with my six wonderful colleagues that made my experience so memorable. 

I was hired in July of 2009 by Scott Toussaint as a Marketing Director/Intern for Toussaint Law Firm in Seneca, S.C.  Since TLF had never had a marketing sector of the office, I met with Scott on my first day of work to discuss my duties.  Together, we devised a marketing plan that singled out each area of law that TLF practiced and how we were planning on bringing in more clients to each one of those areas.  One area of law that TLF specializes in is special needs law.  Not being familiar at all with special needs law, I did research through the Internet and through Jeremey Poindexter, our special needs law attorney. 

I began a major project after researching special needs law.  After discussion, Scott and I decided that sending out packages to special needs advocate groups in South Carolina would be the best way to reach our audience.  I created brochures, drafted an informational letter, created an advocacy list, and sent the packages.  In the informational letter, I let the advocacy know that Jeremey Poindexter would be more than happy to come speak at meetings to inform others about the area of special needs law.  A week after the packages were sent, I already had four advocate groups secure Jeremey for a speaking engagement!  Another four groups want Jeremey to speak at their meetings in early 2010.  The response to the packages was awesome and the feedback boosted my confidence. 

I also worked on designed advertisements, drafting copy for the Web site, managing the Toussaint Law Firm Facebook account, securing speaking engagements and lunches for the attorneys, and wrote news releases about new employees.   

Through the first part of my internship, I’ve realized what really excites me: creating things.  I really like taking something from scratch and building it into something great.  I’ve loved working independently as well as in a group at my internship because it’s helped me grow.  I’m hoping to continue to learn and grow throughout the next semester.

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Introduction for Public Relations Class

Hi Everyone in Professor Vargas’ class!  My name is Madison Fisher and I am a senior communications major at Clemson University.  I am currently enrolled in Professor Lauren Vargas’ Principles of Public Relations class.  I have held a few internships in public relations and am very interested in pursuing a career in this area. 

I started interning at the Verizon Wireless corporate headquarters in Greenville, S.C. for North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee after my freshman year of college and continued the same internship during my next summer as well.  I worked under Carly Culbertson, the then public relations manager for the Carolinas/Tennessee region.  While interning under Carly for two summers, I also interned at  Jeff Dezen Public Relations (JDPR) in downtown Greenville, S.C. for a few days a week. 

This past summer, I strictly interned for Jeff Dezen Public Relations and worked mainly on the Verizon account.  I also began interning at Toussaint Law Firm in Seneca, S.C. as their marketing director.  I’ve enjoyed all of my internships and have gained valuable experience that I hope will help me in the future. 

Last semester, I took Dr. Mihaela Vorvoreanu’s public relation stakeholder communication class.  It’s interesting to see how my classes at Clemson have actually helped me in my internships.  I’m looking forward to learning more basic theories and practices of public relations through this semester’s Principles of Public Relations class.

I’ve had my blog for about 9 months now and I can see that my blog posts have slowly matured.  I hope to continue to learn and add more ideas and thoughts about public relations through my blog.  Let me know if you have any suggestions!!

A Luz de Giselli

For the past two summers, I have interned at Verizon Wireless in their public relations department and Jeff Dezen Public Relations in Greenville, S.C.  While there, I wrote a variety of news releases and helped distribute them to the correct media.  Last week, in my stakeholder comm. class, we discussed news releases.  We also discussed how to figure out who to send certain pitches and releases  to and how to create media lists.

We were given a PR challenge in class to pitch an artist from Seneca, S.C. who makes interesting light  bulbs.  Our team assignment was to make up our artist’s name, background, and story.  We decided that our artist’s name was going to be Giselli Dias and she was going to be from Brazil.  Our imaginary artist moved to Seneca after meeting her husband while he was doing research in Brazil for his new restaurant.  She makes one of a kind, moderately priced light bulbs.  Our artist’s business is named “A Luz de Giselli”, which translates to: The Light of Giselli.

We also needed to create a media list of 15 media sources and 5 bloggers.  Our team’s strategy was to mainly look for South Carolina print media who specifically wrote about the home.  We each searched individually and collaborated our findings in a folder on Vocus.com.  It was really easy to navigate the Web site and figure out how to search for journalists with a certain niche.

Our group assignment was to draft two pitches: one to a specific blogger and one to a specific journalist.  It was good working with a group because everyone had a new idea to contribute that made the pitches better.  After researching the blog that we pitched to, we molded our pitch to appeal to the “home decorator blogger”.  We made our pitch short, sweet, and to the point.  We also explained that the blogger hadn’t posted about home decorating with lights and that featuring lights would be a good idea.  For our journalist pitch, we decided on a writer for the South Carolina Home and Garden magazine.  In this pitch, we made sure to mention that the light bulbs were made in the state of South Carolina so that it was relevant to their magazine.

I feel as though my internships have helped me in my stakeholder comm class because of the experience that I have gained through hands on practice.  Before we talked about media lists in class, I knew what they were because I created many of them over the past two summers.  Instead of Vocus, I used MediaAtlas.com to make media lists at JDPR.  After using both Web sites, I’ve noticed that they are very similar and give just about the same information.  To me, it is interesting to learn how to pitch stories to certain journalists or bloggers because pitching wasn’t one of my responsibilities during my internships.

I like putting my past experiences to use… especially when they have to deal with class assignments.