This week's introduction is someone who's pretty good a flirting! Meet Holly Bernesser, the PR Manager of Beauty Bank, which is a division of Estee Lauder. She works on brands like Flirt! Cosmetics (one of my favorite) and GoodSkin Labs. After being in PR for 4 1/2 years, she definitely has a lot of great insider advice. How did you land your first job in PR?
During my last semester at Syracuse, our program took us down to New York for informational sessions at a variety of PR agencies in the city. Most of the agencies they took us to were large in size and had very corporate accounts on their roster. I was hell-bent on working in the Fashion or Beauty industries (I am a girly-girl after all!) so was most excited when they took us to Marina Maher Communications which is a PR Agency that specializes in marketing to woman and has big P&G Beauty Accounts like CoverGirl, Herbal Essences, Clairol and more. I networked with a few of the women who worked there, sent my resume and stayed in touch. I ended up landing a post grad internship that turned into a full time position after only a month, working on the MAX Factor and Secret accounts. It was a dream first job for a beauty junkie like me!
What's a typical day like?
A typical day in PR? Is there such a thing? I always say I wear many hats in my position and it’s the truth! One day I can be working on a communications strategy for one brand, planning a celebrity launch event for another all while tweeting, posting on Facebook and writing our next YouTube video script for FLIRT! Cosmetics, the brand which I play "digital spokesperson" for! (Yes, I am the the “Flirt! It Girl” – you can follow me @FLIRTItGirl)
What's your favorite part of your job?
I love being creative and brainstorming new ways to reach our consumer and the media in out-of-the box, breakthrough ways. I am a true digital media junkie so I also love being able to tweet on behalf of FLIRT! and appear as a host in our "Flirty How To YouTube Series."
What's your least favorite?
It may sound cheesy but I really don't have a "least favorite" part of my job! I will say however, that tracking down lost UPS packages of beauty product send-outs wouldn't necessarily be classified as fun. But hey, it comes with the territory!
What’s the best advice you would give someone trying to get into the industry today?
Intern, intern, intern! It’s all about gaining experience as an undergraduate and getting a foot in the door. When I was in college, having one- two internships was definitely recommended but now, I'd say it’s practically necessary! Today's digital age makes it even easier to get in touch with companies and brands you are interested in working for. If you can't commit to a full summer or semester internship because of where you live or your financial situation look into "shadowing" an industry professional you admire for a week or even just an afternoon. In PR and career building it’s all about networking!
Confess! What's your biggest beauty sin?
This is terrible but sometimes I don't take off my makeup at night. I really try to but every now and then I’m a little lazy about getting off the eyeliner/mascara especially!
What's your guiltiest pleasure?
It would have to be consuming hours and hours of terrible reality television on a weekly basis! I am a sucker for all of The Real Housewives franchises, The Bachelor, Millionaire Matchmaker and even sometimes JerseyShore and Teen Mom! It’s important pop culture “research” for my job and a mindless way to unwind after a busy day - well, at least that's my excuse!