Last week Don Rountree, president of Rountree Group, Inc., spoke with the Public Relations Firms course at Georgia Southern University via Skype. Don’s visit focused on his role as an agency principal with respect to his education, hiring employees, progressing through a firm, handling clients, etc. At the end of his talk students had the opportunity to ask Don questions– and they did. Below is a recap to some of the student’s most pressing questions regarding firm life.
Question: What characteristics do you look for in a potential employee?
Answer: I look for those who are using emerging applications and are embracing social media. But of course they must also possess the traditional characteristics in respect to reading, writing, research, the ability to multi-task, flexible, team player (putting ego aside), and someone with the ability to grow.
Question: What are the top three mistakes you see with those seeking employment opportunities with you?
Answer: The top three mistakes I see with potential candidates are no related experiences, not keeping social media accounts/skills current, and thinking networking–without any experience– will land them a job.
Question: What do you offer to help promote/increase/sustain the skills of your employees?
Answer: We allow our employees to take charge of their career through Rountree Group University. Rountree Group University consists of a series of self-run programs within the company that allows for employees to expand and/or increase their skills. Also, after six months of employment we will pay for employees to attend events, seminars, etc. that are appropriate to our field.
Question: What advice would you give someone seeking entry-level work at a public relations firm?
Answer: Research the company, look up available information on the person you will be conducting the interview with (many people are on LinkedIn), ask questions regarding your job function as the job announcement will not be all inclusive, come prepared with questions, and be professional.
Many thanks to Don Rountree for speaking with the class.
Image courtesy of Rountree Group, Inc. blog titled PRConnections: Building Bridges of Communications for Clients.