Posted by: runningwinegirl | March 9, 2010

The Second #TweenPR Chat – Another awesome conversation

The focus of this week’s chat was on mentors for the mid/sr level public relations professional. Most times when mentors are being discussed the target is towards entry level professionals and we wanted to address this topic towards the more experienced professional with the help of @shonali. A great dialogue pursued following the first question and below are key highlights from the chat.
 
Q1: After being in the PR industry for several years, who currently has a mentor?
Many participants noted they had more than one mentor while others stated they didn’t have a mentor but did have associates they reached out to for guidance. @shonali followed up asking if peoples mentors were formal or informal and the majority of participants noted their mentors were informal. Overall, mid/sr level professionals have a trusted mentor or resource they go to for professional advice.
 
Star Tweets:
@tlockemy: I actually do not have a solid mentor, I have associates I have reached out to, but not a solid mentor.
@lizpope: I currently have a lot of mentors, and met all of them through the PRSA
 
Q2: What does “mentor” mean to you?
There were many definitions from participants on what a mentor is for them. Overall people defined mentors as someone who’s been down a similar path, can provide an objective opinion, challenge you, assist in problem-solving and be there to listen.
 
Star Tweets:
@AlexAizenberg: It (mentor) means level agnostic staffer that gives critique & advice in a constructive way that is encouraging, not dismissive
@shonali: What I’ve seen recently is more of a “peer mentor” thing happening w/me & others my age/level
@P_C_M: Guess I see a mentor as an assistant problem-solver. Someone I go to when I’m not sure of the right course of action
 
Q3: Is there a need for mid-sr level “Tween” PR folks to have a solid mentor? Are we lacking in that department?
Everyone participating felt there was a need for a mentor at the mid/sr level to continue to learn and grow. Being in the “tween” years, people felt they had the knowledge to know where support was needed but that it was important to have guidance to learn and grow to that next level.
 
Star Tweets:
@mikeschaffer: YES. But unlike junior levels, we need to be proactive in finding right metor(s) for our situations
@tlockemy: I think everyone needs a mentor, or at the very least an open network, everyone has something to learn & ways to grow
 
Q4: How can a mentor help you in your career?
The discussion on mentors helping mid/sr level PR pros grow continued with this question. People agreed constructive guidance from a trusted mentor was key in helping them grow and accomplish career goals. Participants noted it was important to be open to help but also make sure the mentor doesn’t have the last word.
 
Star Tweets:
@mikeschaffer: Mentors best quality is helping you talk through career choices and issues, not telling you what to do.
@shonali: But it’s important to remember, no mentor should have the final word. That should belong to your gut.
 
We opened up the last fifteen minutes of the chat to participants to ask @shonali questions about the topic of mentors. A variety of questions were asked ranging from how to stay in touch with your mentor during time periods where advice isn’t needed, the job hunt for mid-level PR pros and how to select a “good” mentor. @shonali provided some great advice including:
 
@shonali: Stay in touch w/your mentor just as you would anyone else you value in your network. Drop a line to say hello periodically
@shonali: The worst thing you could do is ignore your mentor after you’ve gotten the advice you need. So treat ‘em well
@shonali: Mid-level pros job hunting: networking is really important, not just SM/online, but offline, join associations, once you join you have to get active to show your worth
@shonali: On selecting a “good” mentor, if you have a work-related crush on someone (i.e. you think they’re that good), that’s your mentor
 
For those who missed this week’s chat, we hope you can join us next week – Monday at 9pm EST! Being that St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, we’ll be discussing implementing media relations campaigns around current events and holidays. Should be  a great chat!
 
If you have questions for @nicoleprexec, @shonali or @suzielin regarding this conversation please e-mail them to: tweenprchat@yahoo.com. Also make sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates on the chat!
 
Full transcript from 3/8/10 chat can be found here: http://wthashtag.com/transcript.php?page_id=8988&start_date=2010-03-08&end_date=2010-03-09&export_type=HTML
 
Thank you to all who participated in making this another awesome chat! We hope you’ll join us next week as we’re already excited for it!
 
Suzie and Nicole

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