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'Be Your Own Publicist'

By Jeena Liriano, Special to the Chronicle

On Thursday, public relations professionals Meryl Weinsaft Cooper and Jessica Kleiman revealed five tips from their book Be Your Own Best Publicist to Hofstra students. The pointers from their book help guide readers to outshine their competition in the public relations field during America's tough economy.

The first tip the authors revealed was to master how to communicate effectively. "Sound natural and not overly rehearsed," said Managing Director of the Home & Lifestyle Division at DeVries Public Relations, Meryl Weinsaft Cooper. "Find out your strengths when communicating with other professionals," she continued, "there is only about 30 seconds to impress."

The authors expressed the importance of "it's all about who you know." Cooper and Kleiman suggested that, when going to events, self-publicists should make a goal to meet at least three people and expand one's network.

"Relationships are a two way street," said Public Relations Vice President of Hearst Magazines, Jessica Kleiman. "Building a strong network is important in any industry."

Cooper and Kleiman recommend future PR professionals to toot their own horn but not too loudly. "It's important to express your accomplishments, but to remain humble at the same time," said Kleiman.

"Hiring managers are ‘googling' you," said Kleiman. "Anything you say or post can be held against you." Social networks are extremely popular and recommended to have in the PR industry, she added, but be aware of postings that can be detrimental to your career.

The last tip Cooper and Kleiman revealed from their book was that during every crisis, opportunity strikes. The authors said to, "explore whether there's a way to turn lemons into lemon sorbet." Crisis happens to everyone, they said: it is important not to panic and to think of ways you can turn the crisis into an opportunity.

TV That Matters: 11/17 The Office, The Walking Dead

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