What an innovative idea - MAVERICK Public Relations is offering aspiring young PR pros a chance to win an internship.
According to the blog of Julie Ruscioelli (Maverick PR President and founder), " the lucky winner of the first MAVERICK Idol will be granted an eight-week paid internship at the award-winning PR firm during the summer of 2009."
The contest will take the form of two rounds, giving the participants a total of seven minutes to show that they've got the MAVERICK stuff. From the news release, it sounds like they're encouraging the applicants to be as creative as possible.
I think this is a great idea for a number of reasons. First of all, it is much more of a real-life experience than a job interview. Being in PR means giving a lot of presentations and having to sell your idea. With a format like this, MAVERICK is more likely to find an intern with the workplace skills they're looking for (and, as sometimes happens with internships, result in a full-time job later on). It also gives the aspiring intern a great chance to practice their presentation skills. Scotty Mac, who works at MAVERICK and is no doubt one of the brains behind this idea, adds that the presentations will only be in front of the MAVERICK judges, rather than in front of all the other applicants as well.
Yeah, after a few months of wicked hard work from a whole bunch of different people, the CNW Group Social Media Release has arrived!
If you're not sure what a Social Media Release is, check out this video that CNW commissioned the amazing Mark McKay to do:
If you didn't get it from the video, one of the solid points about the CNW SMR is that everything is embeddable. That's how I got the above video into this blog post.
But what's up with the little round face?
He is CNW SMR - the lines coming out of his mouth represent a message, while the ear represents the comments. Essentially, he's a conversationalist, just like the CNW SMR.
It is also one of the first SMRs to truly offer comments on the body of the release. I'm not sure that everyone will go for this sort of thing, but I think that it is a fantastic idea. If one person has a comment (negative or positive) about your organizations announcement, chances are others will as well. With comments, that one person (or more than one person) can voice their opinion directly on the release, and you as a PR pro can also respond directly on the release. The advantage of being able to have an official reply in an offical place is obvious. (Oh yeah, these comments are RSS enabled as well, meaning that if you want to keep up to the conversation via RSS, you can)
In order to give you social media enthusiasts a better idea of how sweet the CNW SMR is, Todd Defren graciously allowed me to adapt a chart he created a few months ago that aimed to "untangle the various SMR offerings" from major wire services.
What else is cool about the CNW SMR? Well, you should check it out here and see for yourself (or check here for more CNW SMRs). You can also follow @CNWGroupSMR on Twitter to be updated when we issue new Social Media Releases on behalf of our clients.
The whole CNW team was awesome to work with on this project. Product Manger Duane Bayley has done a fantastic job (and if you have any questions, hit him up on Twitter) of working with the design team on getting all the elements right. CNW's in-house graphic designer Kelly also did an amazing job of creating all those little face icons that you see on the release (I've also got a lot of respect for Kelly for being so patient with me and all my last minute suggestions).
I'd also like to give props to MarkMcKay for making the kick-ass video above - he was truly a pleasure to work with. And thanks again to Todd Defren (and the SHIFT Communications crew) for letting us adapt their chart and BrianSolis for being a decent enough guy to provide us with both a quote and a photo for our SMR.
So what do you think? Is the CNW SMR the kind of thing you think you would use? Why or why not? Any thoughts on the topic that you can muster up would be greatly appreciated!
Disclosure: if it wasn't already obvious, I work for CNW Group. However, this is a personal blog and the views expressed on it may not reflect those of CNW Group. Basically, I'm going to say what I want here, event if what I want to say has a lot to do with my work. Hey, it is my life and my blog. And Jens' blog. And to a lesser extent these days, Espen's blog. But you get the idea. Does anyone even read disclosure statements these days?