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Aneya Fernando

Tips on Scoring an Internship in Sports PR

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Sports PR is a specialized field. But it can be a highly lucrative if you’re interested in combining a love of sports and communications. In a competitive job market, scoring a coveted internship can help you stand out from the crowd and is a critical first step in launching a successful career.

In the next round of Mediabistro’s Profit From Your Passion series, we asked three PR veterans to break down the steps of how to nab an internship, how to make the most of it once you’re inside the door and how to turn this into a full-time position. One of the most important steps is choosing the best internship for you:

Nearly everyone would love to intern at ESPN, but sometimes students have to be creative in locating their ideal opportunity; the biggest names aren’t necessarily the best. [Arthur Triche, former vice president of media relations for the Atlanta Falcons] says, “You might have to take a position with a company that wouldn’t necessarily be your first choice in order to get your foot in the door.”

“Getting quality work experience with a smaller company can be just as beneficial for some,” adds [Mike Soltys, senior vice president of communications at ESPN], who has heard “lots of stories about people going to high-profile internships that don’t serve them well beyond perhaps getting a good name on their resume and making some contacts.”

To hear more on this topic, including essential tips on prepping for your interview, read: How to Score an Internship and Launch a Career in Sports PR. 

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

Joe Ruffolo, SVP of ABC News Digital, Offers His Best Career Advice

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For the next installment of Mediabistro’s Profit From Your Passion series, we talked to Joe Ruffolo, senior vice president of ABC News Digital. His job encompasses everything from overseeing ABC News online’s various mobile properties and live streams to the site’s social media presence.

In a recent mediabistrotv interview, Ruffolo shared his best career advice: “You have to do well at what you’re doing now, and what you’ve been given — especially when you’re just starting in this profession. And when I look at people even in grade school and high school and college, people who can shoot and edit and all the technology understanding that they have… I think [they] have an incredibly bright future.”

Check out the video below for more from Ruffolo, including an important lesson he learned as an intern.

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Director/Producer Mike Tollin Shares His Tips on Breaking Into the Industry

mike-tollin_articleMike Tollin credits his mentor, Berl Rotfeld, creator and producer of the syndicated TV series Greatest Sports Legends, with getting him involved in the sports-documentary business. And for the past 20 years, he and longtime production partner Brian Robbins, have directed and produced such hit shows as One Tree Hill and Smallville, and films like Varsity Blues.

In the fourth and final week of Mediabistro’s Profit From Your Passion series, we talked to Tollin about how he got his start in the entertainment industry, the difficulty of sustaining a show on network television and his advice for those just starting out:

You know, the classic mantra is ‘follow your heart,’ which may sound trite and overused, but it has a lot of merit. It’s a very competitive business. People think that there’s a lot of glamour, but to me, it’s a lot more grind than glamour. It’s hard to break through so you have to be prepared to hear a lot more ‘no’ than ‘yes.’ It’s important to believe in your own vision and to have a passion that ties to what you’re pursuing, because that’s hard and you’re going to need to persevere. And I don’t know how to do that unless you really, really genuinely care. I’m only a good salesman when I believe what’s coming out of my mouth.

To hear more from Tollin, including his latest projects on digital networks, read: So What Do You Do, Mike Tollin, Acclaimed TV/Film Director and Producer?

Jackie Stone, Marketer Extraordinaire, Shares her Advice for Newcomers

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Jackie Stone has been working in online media since 1995, when the Internet as we know it today was just a baby. At the time, Stone was an account supervisor for the Promotion Development Group and pioneered the first web-based marketing efforts for companies like Budweiser and Macy’s. Stone has also contributed her marketing talents to top digital companies, including AOL and About.com. These days she is the senior vice president of marketing for Spanfeller Media Group, which publishes The Daily Meal and The Active Times.

In the second week of Mediabistro’s Profit From Your Passion series, Stone offers advice to anyone looking to break into the ever-evolving world of marketing: “Ask a lot of questions. I feel a lot of people are scared [of that]. I asked a lot of questions in my career, and I think it got me to where I am.”

Check out the video below to learn about Stone’s innovative content strategies for The Daily Meal and the best career advice her dad ever gave her.

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Networking Is Key to Being a Successful Freelance Travel Writer

Travel WritingTravel writing as a genre stirs up plenty of emotion in people. Let’s be honest, it’s mostly jealousy. Getting paid to travel the world sounds like a pretty sweet deal, and it is… and isn’t. The reality of life as a freelance travel writer isn’t as glamorous as it’s made out to be. You’re constantly hustling to find work and it can be stressful at times.

In the latest Mediabistro feature, a freelance travel writer discusses the ups and downs of following her passion. One thing’s for sure: networking helped her land work:

Networking continues to be key, as with any profession. I’ve found that travel writers and bloggers are a strong community, and many of us introduce our colleagues to editors we work with if the fit is right. I’ve had the opportunity to write for a large daily newspaper, thanks in large part to a fellow writer I met on a press trip. And don’t forget to use social media for connections. I recently e-introduced myself to a new editor and her publication I’d read about on Twitter and made a few pitches I thought would be a fit — we’re now in conversation about assignments. It’s all about making the right pitch!

To hear more tips on how to cultivate your travel writing career, read: Embarking on My Greatest Adventure: Freelance Travel Writing.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

A Freelance Web Designer Turned CEO Explains His Road To Success

GabrielShaoolianGabriel Shaoolian‘s success story is at once familiar and entirely unique. He moved to NYC in 2001 and set up his business with nothing but a laptop and some web design experience. Since then, his company, Blue Fountain Media, has generated over $2 billion in revenue by building sites for everyone from AT&T to AOL.

In the latest installment of Mediabistro’s Hey, How’d You Do That?, Shaoolian talks about how he went from a freelance web designer to CEO:

Describe the early days of your freelance life.
Well, let me tell you, and I’ll tell anyone out there. It’s crazy. You know, doing this without funding, you lose a lot of sleep, and you lose your life, really. The company becomes your life. It’s not easy. It’s not for someone who wants weekends and who wants vacations. I tell people that you go on vacation and you are still thinking about work every second of every day.

I had no idea what I was in for. I just wanted to build something small. But I realized that I can’t do everything on my own. If I want to do good work, I need team members that are specialized. As Blue Fountain Media grew, I started working on an infrastructure for the company.

To hear more about Shaoolian’s career, as well as his advice for freelancers and entrepreneurs, read: Hey, How’d You Build Profitable Websites For Brands Like AOL and AT&T, Gabriel Shaoolian?

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

How To Improve Your Job Prospects: Clean Up Your Resume

ImproveJobProspectsLooking for a job can be a stressful endeavor. It can feel overwhelming at times, like a never ending to-do list. Luckily, we have a few tips to make your job search easier and less time consuming.

One of the first things you should do is go over your resume. Don’t focus on what you’ve written, but instead check out the style, formatting and overall look of your CV. It may seem silly, but to employers, it’s anything but:

Most employers (if they’re recruiting) will have gone through 10+ resumes a day, if not more, so you really need to make sure yours stands out for the right reasons. Research shows it takes someone only three seconds to decide if your CV passes muster — and believe it or not, that judgment is more based on the layout and formatting than on the content itself. Take a look at your resume, and see whether or not it’s easy to digest. Have you used bullet points? Have you used headers? Is the information easy to navigate on the page? All of this matters — so make sure it looks tidy and professional.

To hear more tips on how to score your dream job, read: 5 Things You Can Do Right Now To Improve Your Job Prospects.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

How One Working Mom Finds Work/Life Balance

TiffanyShlainTiffany Shlain knows a thing or two about juggling. She’s a successful filmmaker with a million side projects (like her AOL On Originals series) and she’s a wife and mother of two.

So how does Shlain create that seemingly impossible work/life balance that so many working mothers crave? For one thing, she says it’s important to have flexibility with your work, whether you’re a man or a woman. She also believes that modern technology has helped working mothers tremendously:

Make your own schedule. Or talk to your boss about a more flexible schedule. I think that what the Internet has given our generation is this kind of flexibility to work in new, creative ways that our mothers did not have. I have friends who work for corporations, but most of my friends work from home as consultants or own their own business. I feel like the Internet was the tool that the feminist movement always needed.

To hear more from Shlain, including how she boosts her own productivity, read: So What Do You, Tiffany Shlain, Filmmaker and Founder Of The Webby Awards?

How Adopting A Uniform Could Help Your Freelance Career

MinimalismFreelancers who work from home understand the need to minimize better than most. When you’re constantly surrounded by your own junk, the endless distractions can become paralyzing and your work may suffer as a result.

So how can freelancers create a minimalist lifestyle? One of the easiest things to do is to adopt a daily uniform. In the latest Mediabistro feature, one freelancer shares her story about how simplifying her life helped her writing:

I love a comfortable, practical pajama as much as the next freelancer, but I’ve found that having a set uniform has two powerful results: First, I don’t waste any time deciding what to wear. I grab one of two black shirts, and one of my two pairs of pants. I don’t have to rifle through hanger after hanger in my closet, because I’ve whittled down my wardrobe to about 20 items — shoes included, gender stereotypes be damned. And because I wear my uniform during work hours, I get the satisfaction of changing into my beloved sweatpants at the end of the day. The other result of my simplified wardrobe is that I take myself seriously. If those in offices are told to dress for the job they’re striving to have, where does that leave freelancers?

For more on how this writer simplified mind and matter, read: The Minimalist Freelance Life.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

How To Hone Your Specialty As A Freelance Writer

specializingHaving a specialty as writer is a huge advantage in the cutthroat world of freelancing. It can help distinguish you from you peers and create new work opportunities for you to showcase your skills.

Establishing your expertise is key to developing your reputation. It’s also important to make sure the community is aware of your work. Veteran freelancers agree that in order to do that, networking with other writers is key:

Getting your name and face out into the world can be intimidating, but you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to do it. Start by having your byline out there, Rae Francoeur operater of the New Arts Collaborative suggests. Also, consider writer’s conferences, book expos and blog conventions. Camilla McLaughlin, a real estate writer, connects with local editors and homeowners and attends trade shows to keep her finger on the pulse of real estate.

To hear more tips on how to enhance your writing career, including when you should decline a gig, read: Growing Your Writing Career By Becoming A Specialist.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.