All posts by Carley Kelly

3 Reasons to Intern at a Small Agency

Six months ago when I graduated from college I felt what (I assume) every recent college graduate feels: excitement, fear, nostalgia, enthusiasm, along with every other emotion under the sun. I had finally gotten the piece of paper that I spent the past four years striving for and stressing over. I moved the tassel to the left and drove away from campus for the last time as a student, and of course then came the big question. Now what? I immediately started to search for the first position I would hold as a college graduate and soon after I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to intern at Yearick-Millea. I could not have asked for a better experience over the past few months. I have learned more during the duration of my internship than I ever would have thought possible and while other types of organizations have there benefits as well, I believe that interns get the most valuable experiences out of working for small agencies. There are many reasons why interning at a small agency is better than interning at a large corporation but listed below are the top 3 reasons.

  1. Flexibility

Working for a small agency also really allows for flexibility and for new ideas to always be brought to the table, which of course, is vitally important for an industry that is constantly evolving. It also really allows interns to gain the experience that would otherwise not be given to them. This flexibility allows for interns to be given more responsibility and they are able to see what a real work environment feels like.

2.  Learn More

When interning at a small agency, you are going to learn a lot more than at a large corporation. Not only will you get the chance to fulfill the duties that fall under your intern title, but you also get the opportunity to branch out and complete other assignments that will be something new and exciting. As an intern, learning as much as you can during the time of your internship is very important. Your internships are supposed to allow you to gain experience so that when you enter the job market you have a vast knowledge of what is going on around you with minimal additional training.

3.  Well Rounded

In a small agency, it is very difficult for one person to just wear their assigned hat. Each person does some things that reach above and beyond their given responsibilities. By being able to perform any task that is given to your company, you become a better-rounded individual, then once your internship is over you have a vast variety of skills that make you a better candidate for any position.

 

What other reasons can you think of to intern at a small agency? Let us know in the comments!

6 Reasons Why All Feedback is Important

No matter where you are or what you are doing, you will most likely receive some feedback. Whether it’s direct, nonverbal, positive or negative, feedback is a good thing! Here are 6 reasons why any and all feedback is important:

  1. The best way to measure overall satisfaction

If there was no way for others to provide their input, you would never know if they were satisfied with your performance. Companies always want their clients to be satisfied with their performance so that they continue to come back for other projects. If the client was unsatisfied and had no way to communicate that, you wouldn’t have a chance to resolve issues and/or redeem yourself.

  1. Provides insight on what can be changed

No matter how well done, every project or presentation can be improved upon. Feedback allows you to see what can be changed so that your performance can be taken to the next level.

  1. Boosts motivation and confidence

Feedback does not always have to point out what could be better. It can also provide insight into things that are working perfectly. Positive feedback often shows what you are excelling at and when it is pointed out to you, it motivates you to continue with what you are doing and makes you feel like you can accomplish other projects with the same confidence.

  1. Shows strengths and weaknesses

Your strengths and weaknesses are something that you should always be aware of. When you know what you do well and what you can improve upon, then you can be more cognizant of your ability. When you’re starting a new project, taking your strengths and weaknesses into account should help you stay focused. It can also help you determine whether you need to bring someone new on board who can fill certain voids.

  1. Shows that you value other people’s opinions

When you ask for feedback, it shows that you value the opinion of others. It shows that you are trying to improve your skills to become better. People generally respond well to being asked to give feedback because they feel like their opinion matters.

  1. Improves your overall skills

By accepting feedback and not dismissing it, you open yourself to improvement. When people provide feedback, use it as an opportunity to listen and grow.

Can you think of other reasons why feedback is important? Tell us in the comments below!

What Makes a Brand Influential

We come across thousands of brands every day. Our daily lives have become so saturated with them that it is impossible for individual brands to get noticed. Every brand wants to stand out and be influential among consumers, but only a few have ever been able to achieve this. So what does it take to make a brand influential?

  • Trust: Your audience has to be able to trust you. If your brand breaks promises or lies to consumers, no one will be willing to come back for more. Eventually, everyone will stop listening to what you have to say.
  • Engagement: You must actively engage with your consumers and allow them to actively participate. Make a name for yourself by getting your audience to participate in something they wouldn’t normally do.
  • Storytelling: Tell a story that catches people’s attention. Show that you have something different to say and they will be more willing to listen. Coca-Cola, for example, has always shared stories about spreading happiness along with promoting togetherness, which has made people want to listen. With so many brands spreading negativity by putting down their competition, Coca-Cola’s positive storytelling approach causes their audience to pay attention to what they have to say.
  • Leading the Pack: Make the people see that you are ahead of your time and give them something to watch. You can’t do what every other brand does and expect different results. Think outside the box and look toward the future.
  • Relevance: Don’t find something that works for you and continue to just do that. People will get bored and stop listening. You need to stay up to date and continue to change so people will wonder what you’ll do next.
  • Presence: Consumers will never know who you are unless you create a strong presence for yourself. You can’t be heard if you aren’t seen. Be present across all different platforms so your brand becomes easily recognizable.
  • Interaction: Create contests, get opinions and answer questions for your followers. Make them feel as if they are a part of your team and they will listen to what you have to say.

Do you have any other ideas on what makes a brand influential? Tell us in the comments below!

Our Favorite Pittsburgh Things: Lawrenceville

Less than three miles away from downtown, Lawrenceville has quickly become one of the most popular areas of Pittsburgh. With its always-changing atmosphere and its vibrant energy, it is no wonder people have begun to flock its streets.

There is something to do for everyone, with a wide variety of shops and restaurants, like Mid-Atlantic Mercantile or Industry Public House.

You can feel the creative atmosphere of Lawrenceville with art galleries lining the streets and view local artists’ work. There is an event in April called Art All Night where local artists create works all night long while you watch. If you don’t want to just watch the action and want to try your hand at creating something, stop into Paint Monkey or Pinot’s Pallete and make your own masterpiece!

If you are interested in music, the Thunderbird Café always has local or touring musicians stopping in to play a set.  There is also an annual outdoor/indoor walking concert event called R.A.N.T. (Rock All Night Tour) where bands play at different venues in Lawrenceville for 14 hours.

Or, maybe you just want to relax and take in a great cinematic classic at the Row House Cinema where they show a different selection of classic movies every week, chosen around a singular theme.

What are your favorite things to do in Lawrenceville? Let us know in the comments below!

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How to Take Your LinkedIn Profile from Beginner to All-Star in 7 Steps

LinkedIn is the largest professional networking service on the Internet. It can help users explore job opportunities, be seen by potential employers and network in their field, but it takes more than just signing up for a profile to get results. Here are seven tips to help you take your profile from beginner to all-star to make the most out of your profile.

  1. Have a professional picture. It is important to remember that LinkedIn is a professional platform, not a social one like Facebook where your picture can be casual.  Your picture should portray you in a professional light and make future employers take you seriously – no selfies or beach pictures please! Also make sure that you are the only person in your profile picture so there isn’t confusion about which person you are.
  2. Make an in-depth header. Fill in every field in the header with specific and accurate information so your profile stands out to the right people. Include your industry and location, as well as current position—highlight other previous positions if you’ve been in the industry for a while. If you’re new to the working world, include your education and/or internship experience.
  3. Create an interesting summary. The summary is one of the most important parts of your profile. Its job is to interest the reader enough that they want to learn more about you. Spend time determining what you want your connections to know about you and what you think your strongest characteristics are.
  4. Sell yourself. It is important that everyone looking at your profile knows your skill sets and accomplishments. When creating your skills and experience section, add all of the programs you have worked with and all of the characteristics you have. You should have at least three skills listed, but once you get started you will see how much more you can do.
  5. Make connections. The entire website is dedicated to making professional connections. If you don’t make a network for yourself, no one is going to see your profile. If there aren’t many people you know to connect with, try joining groups and participating in discussion boards. Get your name out there and you will have more connections in no time.
  6. Include attachments and visuals of your past work. When listing past job or internship experiences, add a project you are specifically proud of. If you want to include an uploaded version of your resume and references, then go ahead! These are the kinds of things that will set your profile apart from the others.
  7. Publish posts that interest you and that are relevant to your field. When you publish posts, it is another way to get your name out there and get people to see what you are an expert in.

Even if you make an all-star profile, you’ll need to be active to remain relevant, so make sure to frequently update, connect and post to get the most out of your account. Can you think of any other ways to improve your LinkedIn profile? Let us know in the comments below!

6 Ways to Make Your Day More Productive

It’s not always easy to stay on task and accomplish everything that needs to be done. Sometimes it feels like no matter how hard you work, there is still a pile of paperwork you need to get through. Here are some productivity tips to help make the most out of your day:

  1. Make a to-do list. List all of the tasks that you have to do in order of importance or deadline. It helps to have a clear outline of everything you have to do and when it needs to be done by so that you don’t start to panic thinking you need to accomplish everything in one day.
  2. Don’t put off until tomorrow what could be done today. Procrastination may seem appealing, but in the end, it will come back to haunt you. If you have the compulsion to procrastinate, just think about everything else that will soon begin to pile up. You will then have to spend your time completing the pile of work you avoided, leaving less time to work on other projects that could easily be finished now. Try to finish the hard stuff first so you can move on to easier tasks later, give yourself periodic breaks and try to keep yourself motivated by thinking about how happy you will be when you finish.
  3. Avoid distractions. There will always be distractions taunting you from every direction. Sometimes they are hard to avoid, especially during those times when you are looking for a way to distract yourself. Turn off your cell phone, block distracting websites like Facebook, stay away from people who try to engage you in conversation and work in a quiet environment.
  4. Be realistic with your time goals. Realize that tasks always take longer than you originally intend for them to. Set aside enough time to finish your work—include some buffer time, if necessary.
  5. Find time, or make time, to sleep. Sleep is a key factor to productivity. If you don’t get enough of it, you won’t be able to function as fully as you would if you had gotten enough rest.
  6. What would you like to accomplish tomorrow? Before ending your day, make a list of what you would like to accomplish tomorrow. By setting a clear list of goals for the next day, you’ll have a strategy allowing you to enjoy your evenings and be ready to go in the morning.

How do you make the most out of your work day? Let us know in the comments below!

 

How to Keep Readers Interested

How many times have you started reading something and then, before you were even finished with the first paragraph, became disinterested and stopped? I will throw my guilty hand in the air, and I know I’m not the only one. Something made us interested enough to look at it in the first place, so why were we turned off by the content as soon as we started reading, and how do we stop ourselves from writing articles that do the same?

    • Make sure you are interested in your subject. If you don’t care about the subject you are writing about, it will show. There needs to be some passion or spark behind the words on the page or a reader will be just as bored reading it as you were when you wrote it.
    • Approach the topic from a different perspective. Think outside the box and come up with something that doesn’t sound like every other article covering the same topic. People will always be more interested in reading something from a perspective they have never heard before, even if the topic is being written about often.
    • Make it relevant. If no one can relate to your topic, chances are that they won’t continue reading. To keep the reader engaged, it should feel like you are talking directly to them.
    • Think of your audience. What group of people you are trying to reach? When you try to make an audience too diverse, you lose relevance and the ability to relate to what you are trying to say. Narrow your audience and you are more likely to have a better turn out.
    • Make them laugh. Humor is always risky however, when used correctly it can make all the difference. People like to read something that makes them smile and if you are able to manage that, your reader should definitely make it to the end of your piece.
    • Keep it short and sweet. Try not to ramble. Have you ever closed out of an article because it looked like a long read? People are increasingly multi-tasking, and they typically only browse articles online. The fewer words it takes you to prove your point, the better.
    • Stay on task. Don’t write about several different topics all at once. If you get to the end of what you were writing and you see that the end result has nothing to do with the title of the article, go back and see where you started to stray. If you can pinpoint the moment you started to get off topic, it will be easier to go through and take out the unnecessary information.

Any additional ideas on how to keep your readers interested? Tell us in the comments below!

Meet The Team: Carley Kelly

My name is Carley Kelly and I am the newest member at Yearick-Millea. I’m joining the team as the Account Coordinator Intern. I have lived in the suburbs of Pittsburgh my entire life and have always loved the atmosphere of the city.

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Some fun facts about me are:

  • I love to go on adventures, even if they’re small! Driving around and finding somewhere new to explore is one of my favorite pastimes.
  • I have been in over 20 plays and musicals since high school. Through theater, I have gotten to know myself better and meet some really incredible people in the process!
  • I can always be found with a book on hand. Reading is always how I pass the time.
  • I also love to draw and create things. I‘m working on so many DIY projects that I have officially run out of space for them at my house.

I want to travel more than just about anything else in life! I want to go to different places—like Thailand, Cappadocia and everywhere in between— and see things that I never would have thought possible. My family and friends mean the world to me and I wouldn’t be where I am today without all of their support.

I just recently graduated from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown this past April with a degree in communications and writing, and I am beyond excited to learn everything I can during my time at Yearick-Millea. I cannot wait to get to get started!