Tag Archives: Nicole Hangartner

Make them remember

As a senior graduating in December, my job hunt has hit full force.  But I am constantly wondering what I can do to stand out and make a lasting impression with potential employers.  Being in the creative field of public relations and advertising I decided to put my education into practice and brand myself.  I developed a personal logo, but the most important step was to reinvent my very conventional resume from just a white background with lists to something more creative.  This link gives some very creative examples that inspired me to think outside of the box and create a more memorable resume.

My personal favorites are the flyer resume, the newspaper classified resume, and the pinwheel resume.  Not only are these creative ways to show education and work experiences, but the resume in itself is also a design example that could easily be part of a portfolio.  In today’s job market this is a genius idea.  Why not have a resume that pulls double duty and not only tells what you are capable of but also shows it.

-Nicole Hangartner

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Filed under advertising, Branding, Butler, creative, PR, Public Relations

Strange Opportunities Can Reveal Strengths

I didn’t get the summer internship I was hoping for, and I won’t lie and say I wasn’t disappointed in going back to my old summer job. But then a strange opportunity came my way.

My mom is an account at an answering service company in Green Bay, and they were looking to hire someone for a direct marketing campaign.  My mom went out on a limb and suggested my name, and I got the job!  So, despite my initial set back, I was going to be able to get creative this summer making a sales flyer, brochure and direct mail postcards for the company.

I got started on the brochure first.  I went to the office and took a picture of an old switchboard to use for the background, and the creativity just flowed from there.  I easily knocked out a first draft in two days.

I sent the brochure to the boss, and instead of just getting comments back an even more unlikely task was given to me.  He wanted me to work on their invoice layout—to make it “pretty.”  Now I am a more artsy person, and I definitely do not know what makes up an invoice nor have I had any experience with invoices; however, I knew I could probably help them with the “pretty” part.

Little did I know that not only would this be a new experience, but it would be a frustrating but revealing one as well.

The program I had to use to create these pretty invoices is TERRIBLE!  It is not intuitive and there seems to be no standard format.  Everything had to be created from scratch.  I spent the first day at the office just trying to figure out what everything meant.  Even the full-time employees in charge of billing and invoices didn’t know the program very well (once again because it is a terrible program).

Once I got working, I realized learning what things did was the least of my problems.  I found that once I moved one thing- even just one-space over-it changed everything around it A LOT.  The layout in the working format was not actually what the format looked like when you printed it.  Oh and there was no way to align things.  As is clearly evident from the above evidence, it is a TERRIBLE program.

On a particularly frustrating day, I took a break and talked to my dad.  I told him all my complaints and wined to him for about five minutes.  Then he said, “Well just think what you’ll be able to do with a good program.”  That made me realize that even though I complained a lot and got frustrated a lot, in about 3 weeks time I had overcome the program (well mostly, I am still working out a few little kinks in the layout).  During the process I had made a list of problems I couldn’t seem to figure out and that I was going to have to talk to one of the software’s tech supports about, but I never ended up making that call.

Lesson learned: Persistence and determination do pay off.  I didn’t want to have someone else tell me how to do it; I wanted to figure it out myself.  And even though I had to use a terrible program, the layout I created was what the client wanted (and they were impressed that I got the program to make what I showed them).

As a public relations/advertising practitioner, we have to strive to make the most out of what we are given, whether it is budget or clients or even software programs.   Also, we can use every opportunity that comes our way to not only increase experience but also reveal our strengths.

-Nicole Hangartner

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Filed under advertising, Branding, creative, design

The Revolution

As a 21-year-old college senior I am well versed in the ways of social networking sites.  Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn—I’ve used them all.  However, in one of my public relations classes, I read a book called Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies and it got me thinking about how powerful social networking actually is.  So I started paying more attention.  I stumbled upon a video on YouTube that seemed to show the power of social networking that the book introduced.

I began to see that social networking sites including ratings, reviews, wikis, and many more have become increasingly important to consumers.  Not only do they use them to stay connected with friends and family, but they are also starting to use them to make purchasing decisions.  And how consumers make purchasing decisions has always been important to advertisers and public relations professionals.  People are looking to these sites to get feedback and opinions from REAL people about products, services and companies.  Through reading Groundswell and doing some research, I found that people trust other people, even complete strangers, more than they trust a direct advertisement from a company.  This being said, social networking sites provide a huge and brand new platform for companies to reach their consumers.  Social networking sites are a natural step forward in branding and public relations and advertising campaigns.  These sites are all about reputation.  Whether it is personal or for a company, sites such as Facebook and Twitter are all about branding.  People use these platforms to show their interests and experiences (all part of a personal branding).  Employers are even looking at Facebook and LinkedIn profiles to make decisions on potential employers, so the kind of personal branding on these sites is becoming increasingly important.  If personal branding on these sites is becoming more important, than it is logical that a company’s brand on social networking sites is also becoming increasingly important.  Using social networking sites is a great way to show your consumers that you are transparent, personable and approachable (all things that they would want in a friend).  And consumers can feel more connected to your brand.

I found that another HUGE reason for companies to become involved in social networking activity is that people tell it like it is on these sites.  Positive and especially negative experiences with products, services, and even companies will show up on people’s social networking profiles.  We’ve all seen a nasty comment on Facebook or Twitter about a restaurant or a new product that people bought and were disappointed in.  As a company, you are always trying to find out what your consumers are saying about you, and these sites provide an easy and free way to see what your consumers are actually thinking.  So listen, respond, and interact.

Through reading Groundswell and through personal experience, I’ve found that social networking is a huge force and companies need to be a part of it if they want to move forward.  And who better than Rise Innovations to get you connected in this new media revolution.  Our generation spends hours on these sites; we certainly know how they work and the power that they hold.

-Nicole Hangartner

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Filed under Branding, PR, Public Relations, social media