In the spirit of giving thanks due to the holiday season I’m going to start early and say that I’m thankful for the opportunities that I’ve had to talk to a few professionals in the public relations world.
As part of my own curiosity and school assignment I reached out to a person of interest to conduct an informational interview. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve talked to various people from various positions in the public relations world such as agency work, literary agents, and other who work in the film industry. A couple of interviewees were connections that I had made from University of Oregon and ones that I’ve made while working at my internship. Through these interviews I’ve learned a lot especially about how to interview.
From these interviews I’ve learned three things:
1. Use your time wisely: I found that you could bypass a couple of obvious questions that you’d already know by reaching out to them. Also, this may be the only time you get with this individual so ask the big important questions!
2. Have your next question ready: Sometimes I would be so nervous about getting a chance to talk I would lose track of what I wanted to ask next. Thankfully the flow of conversation would fill the void because of the third point. Have ‘em locked and loaded!
3. Let them talk: I learned at University of Oregon that when conducting an interview it’s important to keep quiet even though it’s tempting to make a comment about everything that your interviewee makes. Any moments of silence would in turn be filled with more important information by the interviewee. Don’t fear the silence!
After talking with these various interviewees I’m starting to get a sense of where I want to go after my internship. I’ve also learned how to follow up thanks to the guidelines that we’ve all learned going through the journalism program. Some of the feedback that I’ve received has proven that handwritten thank you letters are much appreciated and never go out of style.
Now that the term is winding down I hope everyone takes the time to enjoy some pie and be thankful! Happy Holidays everyone!