Deirdre Breakenridge is a passionate author, entrepreneur and President/Owner of Mango! Marketing. A 20+ year veteran in PR and marketing, she’s the author of four Financial Times Press books: Putting the Public Back in Public Relations, co-authored by Brian Solis, PR 2.0, New Media, New Tools, New Audiences, The New PR Toolkit and Cyberbranding.
Deirdre is a blogger at PR 2.0 Strategies and is the co-founder of #PRStudChat, a dynamic monthly twitter chat session with 500+ PR professionals, educators and students. I interviewed Deirdre to get the inside scoop, from the PR Queen herself:
Me: What do you think about “branding” oneself and having an online profile?
Deirdre: Oh, branding is so important. Students have to be particular of how they present themselves and whom they are presenting themselves to. It’s easy to make yourself look good on the Internet; be who you say you are.
Me: What kind of people do you look for when you are hiring?
Deirdre: it’s important to be skilled in social communication but it’s funny: you can always look for the skills and etc. But, for me it is all about the question, “Can this person grow?” Are you passionate? Do you have confidence? I am looking for someone who can take on any challenge. Eye contact.
Me: How do you choose recent college grads to be a part of Mango! Creative Juice?
Deirdre: We still use some online ads through job boards. However, when looking for a senior communications manager, for example, I actually tweeted about it! When I use social media, people reach out.
Me: So it’s safe to say you believe in social media?
Deirdre: Social media is our best friend! When you embrace it and use all of the tools, you are giving a piece of yourself. I think creating an online portfolio goes way beyond the resume. Everything becomes social. By going a little bit deeper, you are showing that you are ready to take a challenge by saying, “Here I am.”
Me: What are the benefits of using social media?
Deirdre: It’s a great way of networking. You get to interact directly with professionals. The tools that students are able to use today are amazing; take advantage of them! When I am hiring, for example, I may Google a candidate. I want to see who you are beyond the resume. I want to see if you fit into our culture.
Me: When should students start searching for jobs?
Deirdre: The sooner, the better. I had a job in February before I graduated. It helps to know what you want, and by starting the process early you are more likely to learn and narrow down to the best options.
Me: Last question! Favorite childhood memory?
Deirdre: I spent lots of time at the horseback-riding center with my dad growing up. We rode together and took care of the horses. Spending that time with my dad is one of my favorite memories. Family will always be my number one priority.
What we learned from Deirdre: Social Media is a good thing. Embrace it and use it to your advantage!