Personal PR portfolio

8 May

Portfolio Recruitment consultant Melanie Lawn, writing in PRBusiness (4 May 2006) advocates the development of your PR portfolio at all stages of your career (except perhaps at the most senior levels).

It’s something we require of all of our PR students, so that each year they write letters for publication, handle media announcements, run events, create publications, promote charities and gain work experience in the public and private sectors. We still require large artists’ portfolios, and the best efforts are highly impressive.

At what point do we make this work electronic and online? The interview format still suggests that the physical format is best, but the idea of an e-portfolio is intriguing. What might it contain? I suggest: evidence of Google juice, a website or weblog with a PageRank of at least 4/10, different styles of writing, citations (clippings), evidence of design work, research, networking, teamwork and management skills. Can I cite an example? At risk of being repetitive, take a look at Forward and tell me if it doesn’t tick all the boxes.

The story’s even better from a recruitment perspective. When Edelman hired the student behind this group blog, they felt they already knew about her (word was out on the web). That’s one huge advantage over a physical portfolio.

6 Responses to “Personal PR portfolio”

  1. Richard Bailey 08/05/2006 at 11:57 am #

    I can immediately see one problem: the portfolio contains a CV (resume). Yet I would discourage students from publishing too much personal information in a public space.

  2. Erin Caldwell 08/05/2006 at 6:01 pm #

    Richard, this is very interesting to me! At Auburn, they give NO guidance in developing a portfolio. Actually, the only direction we receive is in Robert French’s class, as developing an online resume/portfolio is a large part of the final project. However, we take that class toward the end of our education, and if students haven’t been thoughtfully collecting work samples over the years, there’s usually a scramble to pull together material for the portfolio. Ideally, one’s portfolio should be a meticulous and thorough representation of his/her capabilities, not something thrown together for a single class assignment. At any rate, I find it very exciting that you require that of your students. (I hope they realize how valuable that is!)
    Um, and this might be shocking, but I actually didn’t have a hard copy portfolio until about about six weeks ago. It was all online.

  3. Richard Bailey 08/05/2006 at 6:23 pm #

    Thanks, Erin. We have the hard copy version as a core component of our PR course, but I’m finding it hard to encourage an alternative, online approach. That’s why I keep citing you as a role model. I’d love to stop, for fear of repeating myself and embarrassing you. But there it is: you’re the best role model we have.

  4. Lauren Vargas 09/05/2006 at 2:42 pm #

    Take a a listen to The Hobson & Holtz Report – Podcast #135: May 8, 2006:
    There is a discussion relating to if a portfolio is even necessary. I believe the discussion started with show #134.

  5. Richard Bailey 09/05/2006 at 4:11 pm #

    Thank you, Lauren. I’ll make sure I listen.

  6. Erin Caldwell 10/05/2006 at 4:15 pm #

    Oh, we cruised right on past “embarrassed” a long time ago. (Haha) I’m adjusting. Thank you for your compliments, though. Now what would be great … is if I make a big mess-up somewhere, because that would provide some great learning material!

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