For Job Hunters

Get a Job Or Get a Business

Generation X: How to Hire Them

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Prepared for August 16, 2000 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All

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Free Press: Christie’s Publicist

When Susan Young was a news anchor at a radio

station, she would get a hundred faxes a day, most of them useless.

Maybe just three of them might get on the air. Worst of all was when

she was on minute-to-minute deadlines for morning drive news —

and the newsroom fax would get tied up by a picture of a CEO and a

caption saying the stock had jumped a fraction. At best, this fax

was futile. At worst, it could call the credibility of the publicist

into question.

Now — with the experience of 10 years in radio and three years

in the governor’s office — Young aims to teach entrepreneurs and

would-be publicists how to write for the news, effectively pitch

stories,

and handle crisis communications. Susan Young Media Relations presents

a three-hour workshop, "How to Get Free Press: Tips and Techniques

for Strategic Media Relations," on Thursday, August 17, at 9 a.m.

at the Ramada on Route 1 South. Cost: $295. Call 732-613-4790.

Young majored in mass communications at Quinnipiac University in

Connecticut,

Class of 1984, and started out in radio as on-air anchor and news

director in New Jersey and New York. "I won awards from the

Associated

Press and the New Jersey Broadcasting Association for my feature on

Dick Zimmer, who had just won a seat in Congress. I got some tape,

and he gave me such good comments that I made it into a feature that

ran in two segments," says Young.

For WMQR in Somerset, one of her favorite sources was Christie

Whitman,

then a county freeholder. "She went on to different things and

I went on to different things. I had her home number, she called me,

I called her, she was always very forthright with information. She

was always nice and still is," says Young. When Whitman was

elected

governor, Young served a three-year stint from 1994 to 1997 as head

of the governor’s office of radio and television. "We used to

call her One-take Whitman. Our office was above her office. They

scheduled

her for 15 minutes for a taping and in 60 seconds she was out the

door."

Then Young co-founded a software development company, took a

self-directed

crash course in sales and marketing, and sold the product on the

telephone

across nine states. That was an eye opener, she says, and excellent

experience for any writer, freelancer, or publicist because,

as she points out, "you are basically selling your stories."

After working as public relations director for the New Jersey ARC,

she has opened her own business (www.sueyoungmedia.com).

So what will her students learn about what makes news? "What

affects

a lot of people, what is interesting, what has a creative hook to

it," says Young. "I give them insight."

Find a creative angle. Is there something unusual about

the people, the selection process, the impact on the community?

"If

you think it is ho-hum, so will everyone else," says Young.

Use statistics. In a story about an award, say the

recipients

were selected for the honor from 1,000 applicants.

Use something current in the news. On the anniversary

of the Columbine tragedy, tell good news about good kids in our

backyard.

Relate to a date. "If it is national Save Your Vision

Week, maybe something is going on in the schools or in nursing homes,

such as a public screening. Or use a glaucoma statistic."

Learn to describe your topic or yourself in 20 seconds

in a way that will make someone want call you back. For instance,

Young’s card has the inscription "Spin Doctor," and her voice

mail says "We make headlines and beat deadlines."

Use short sentences, not rambling sentences with commas.

Key your press release to the medium. "Broadcasting

is a totally different animal from print," says Young. For radio,

use sound bites. For television, use visuals, such as an old man going

to the eye screening.

Hell hath no fury like a former reporter turned publicist, and

even as a reminder that even the most skillful publicity campaign

can go awry, Young tells — with vitriol — about a daily

newspaper

reporter who attended one of her press conferences and, says Young,

"totally destroyed" the story. "They missed the whole

point," she says. "She missed the whole lead."

In addition to samples of her work, Young’s hand-outs will include

samples of a media advisory, press release, and letter to the editor

or op-ed article, plus instructions on how to write a press release

that she says publicists should tape to their walls. What she won’t

include in the course packet is her own list of media contacts,

carefully

accumulated over the years. Says Young: "I just don’t give it

away."

— Barbara Fox

Top Of Page
For Job Hunters

Some companies offer extended job search services from

an outplacement agency to their downsized employees. Some do not.

If you are conducting your job search without the armor of expert

advice, you can sign up for free three-day workshops sponsored by

the Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Greater Mercer County.

People in managerial, technical, or professional fields can attend

these workshops taught by specialists from the New Jersey Department

of Labor at the JFCS conference wing, 707 Alexander Road, Suite 102.

The program is open to the public and is free (thanks to a grant from

the United Way of Greater Mercer County) but preregistration is

required.

To register call 609-987-8100.

The seminars are Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, August 21, 23, and

24, from 9:30 to 3 p.m. On the agenda: How to plan and conduct a job

search, how to use job-finding resources, how to cope with the

multiple

stresses of job loss, unemployment, and job seeking, and how to assess

one’s opportunities and skills.

Top Of Page
Get a Job Or Get a Business

If you are collecting unemployment benefits you may

be eligible for an intensive six-week, 60-hour daytime training

program

for would-be entrepreneurs at Mercer County Community College. Funding

for this course may be available. The Self Employment Assistance

program

includes these topics: Developing Business and Marketing Plans, Taxes,

Record Keeping, and Legal Formation. Call 609-586-4800, extension

3530 or extension 3602.

Those who do not qualify for financial assistance pay an $800 fee

for the course, and its credits can apply to the Certificate in

Entrepreneurial

Management.

Top Of Page
Generation X: How to Hire Them

In today’s job market, recruiting can be tough. No

matter

what the scale of your recruiting campaign, the basic elements of

the campaign are the same and the goal is simple: Deliver the most

compelling message to the largest concentrations of potential

employees

in order to draw them into your applicant pool, says Rainmaker

Thinking’s

Bruce Tulgan, author of a new book, "Winning the Talent

Wars,"

The four basic elements of an effective campaign are:

Try to get some news or quasi-news coverage, which is

considered unpaid media.

Advertise with a paid print advertisement, radio slogan,

or television commercial.

Mail, fax, E-mail, or telephone all possible applicants.

Try to call 100 times the number of applicants you want. To minimize

your recruiting work, think about paying existing employees cash

bounties

for new recruits.

Sponsor or have someone sponsor an event with an effective

news/publicity tie-in in order to intrigue your target audience.

Once you have a list of applicants, don’t let the right people

slip away. Create a skill or performance-based description of the

job. Ask the applicants to turn in proposals that will predict how

they will add value to your business. Get a "sample" of each

applicant’s work.

If possible, design a try-out preview, to give applicants an honest

look at what the job will be like.

"In the workplace of the future," says Tulgan, "you are

not looking for people to join the family and climb the ladder.

Rather,

you need people who bring specific skills to the table, are able to

get up to speed quickly, and can begin making contributions right

away. And you can’t trust letters of reference, because everybody

is afraid of getting sued."


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