Earl Harvey has been working in the field of marketing communications for over 25 years. He started Creative Source modeling agency in 1985 for ethnic models, one of only three minority owned modeling agencies in the country, and became an advocate for diversity in marketing and advertising. He employed 50 models nationwide and provided talent to the top marketing firms for promotions, advertising and fashion runway.
Earl was invited to join The National Alliance of Market Developers (NAMD), an organization of diverse consumer market professionals in 1995. They introduced the concept of diversity in consumer markets and are responsible for the introduction of ethnic advertising into the mainstream and the proliferation of black media. From there, Earl was President of the Philadelphia Chapter from 1996-2000 and served as National President from 2001-2004.
Under his leadership, the chapter quickly grew to the largest in the country, and was named Chapter of the Year for five consecutive years. Earl initiated a series of networking business card exchanges that became a catalyst for minority business development. He established the chapter’s “Buy Black Holiday Shopping Expo” in 2000, which has become an annual event for holiday shoppers encouraged by NAMD to support black-owned businesses during the holiday shopping season.
In 2001, Earl founded The Black Professionals Newspaper, which provides marketing and advertising assistance to the small business community and identify minority business supplier opportunities. The paper is an affordable way for small businesses and non-profit organizations to reach new consumers. The newspaper is the only minority-owned media outlet in Atlantic City and is distributed in Philadelphia, Southern New Jersey and Delaware. He is also launching The Atlantic City Times newspaper and Atlanticcityblack.com, a website to showcase the history, culture and contributions of the African American community in Atlantic City.
Earl is the CEO of the Earl Harvey Media Group, a multimedia communications firm that promotes diversity in media, entertainment and marketing. The company produces multicultural programming and content for diverse consumers and advocates for the equitable distribution of corporate advertising and purchasing dollars to support minority vendors.
A native Philadelphian currently residing in Atlantic City, Earl’s family members have been in Atlantic City N.J. and Philadelphia, Pa. for almost 100 years. A graduate of Temple University with a B.A. in Communications, Earl is a member of the Temple University Black Alumni Alliance and serves on the board of NAMD, The Marian Anderson Historical Society and The Public Relations Council of Atlantic City. Active in many social and professional organizations, he has received community service awards from numerous local and national organizations and was recognized as one of the region’s most influential people by The Philadelphia Tribune newspaper.
Join us tonight as Earl Harvey moderates our info-packed panel of the most knowledgeable male communication pros in the area, at our annual Men in PR and Communications event from 6pm to 8pm at Clear Channel Radio, 111 Presidential Blvd, Suite 100, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004. For more information, visit www.pbprs.com.
By: Shalimar Blakely
As a Public Relations and communications professional, I find it easy to apply the lessons I learned from college to my daily practices. After all, most of the technical things that I may have forgotten are pretty much a Google search away. But what about the not-so-technical matters. What should I do if I say too much during a media interview that’s later taken out of context? And how exactly do you tell your boss those three little words: “That’s not newsworthy?”
All young professionals have been down this road. Whether it’s Public Relations or Public Accounting, somewhere between undergrad, finding a job and graduate school, we are introduced to the School of the Hard Knocks: those real world situations that can only be resolved by real world experiences.
Side bar: If there is anyone reading this who has somehow managed to avoid the School of the Hard Knocks, I STRONGLY (notice the emphasis on strongly) encourage you to be the first to comment.
The good news:
Unlike that one person reading this who has never enrolled in this school, you are not alone.
Utilizing personal relationships that are built through professional organizations help the young and inexperienced discuss these professional faux pas, learn from it, laugh about it and move on. For example, my colleagues and I occasionally get together for what we call a PR Pow Wow. This casual conversation between PR and media professionals allows us to share information with each other that helps us develop into the PR dynamos we know we are capable of becoming. More importantly, we talk about what happened “at school.” After a few laughs, “oh no’s” and the occasional gasp, we get advice from more experienced professionals on properly handling the situation, should it happen again. During PR Pow Wows, we are not judged and, yes, the Vegas mantra does apply to all conversations.
So, as you register for Mistakes & Mishaps 101, remember that there are like-minded individuals in those professional organizations you joined who can help you navigate the halls of the School of the Hard Knocks. With an open-mind, a few bumps, and possibly some tears, you too will become that guru in your own right.
The bad news:
Because life experiences are on-going, you’ll never graduate.
As the President of the Philadelphia Black Public Relations Society (PBPRS), Shalimar Blakely is a regular contributor to the PBPRSays blog. She is also the President and founder of a peace of PR, a PR firm that has a genuine interest in not only helping communities grow, but making sure the world knows that good people and good organizations do exist. To learn more about Shalimar, please visit www.apeaceofpr.org.
Guest blogger Jessica Magness stops by to share some tips on landing your dream PR job. Take a look!
How-To: Make a Winning Portfolio
The best way to find a job, especially in the competitive world of public relations is to highlight your past experiences and successes. Assembling a portfolio is becoming the norm for public relations job seekers. Below is a list of things to include and tips to maximize your portfolio:
- Table of contents
- Letters of recommendation
- Varied writing samples press releases, blog posts, articles, media placements, pitches, media advisories
- Add blurbs explaining the significance of each entry
- Have a professionally printed portfolio to take to each interview
- Include a PDF version in an e-mail with each cover letter sent to a prospective employer.
- Add it to your professional website.
Remember that your portfolio is your chance to showcase your accomplishments and toot your own horn.
Questions to ask PR Professionals during Informational Interviews:
- How did get your current job?
- What do you like most about the field? What do you like least about your field?
- What do you read to become more knowledgeable about your field?
- What skills should I work on strengthening?
What not to ask:
- Are there any open positions at your company?
- What is your salary?
- What is the expected salary for an entry-level employee?
(Asking about open positions, or asking directly “Can I get a job at your company?” is not recommended. The purpose of informational interviews is to learn more about your chosen field rather than getting a job. Also, asking about salary is not seen as very professional.)
The Thing I Wished I Learned in College
Attend more frat parties? I did enough of that. Streaking? Not my style. Make no mistake; I truly loved my time spent in school. I met awesome people that motivate me to this day. Worked with notable professors and made new life-long friends. Trust, I have few regrets.
But the one thing that I wished I had done is networking. Throughout school, I had the impression that the name on my degree and my GPA would take me to my next destination with ease. I couldn’t have been more wrong. It wasn’t until I had graduated and began to actively look for jobs that I realized the value of building and maintaining connections.
When I was in college, I viewed myself as being shy and introverted which kept me getting to know the brilliant people in my company. Now see that my time at school offered a superb network that I didn’t properly utilize. So if I could go back I would definitely be more focused on building a network of motivated and dedicated individuals like myself.
Easy ways to network and cultivate useful career connections:
- Join a professional association
- Informational interviews (even if you have a job!)
- Follow-up on with each new connection via e-mail
- Start with your friends! Ask them about their career aspirations and give them helpful materials from time to time
The short time that I have spent networking has done immeasurable things for my young career. I would advise all students and young professionals to invest time into networking!
Jessica Magness is a lifelong Philly resident and an aspiring PR and communications professional. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in English. You can find her at http://dedalia.wordpress.com/ and @DedaliaBlog.