How to Network with LinkedIn Connections: Q & A with Edelman DC

When conducting research for potential employers of interest, it will behoove you to follow the company’s social media profiles. CMO’s “15 Mind-Blowing Stats about LinkedIn” states that LinkedIn is responsible for 64 percent of all visits from social media channels to corporate websites. I often find myself following a company’s blog and LinkedIn profile to keep up-to-date on their employees, job opportunities and creative infographics. One particular employer I track weekly is Edelman, the world’s largest public relations firm.

While researching Edelman, I browse through a list of Edelman employees, seeking entry-level candidates from the D.C. area (my hometown). I seek out these specific connections to get a glance at the experiences and skill sets Edelman pursues. I am also interested in moving home after graduating this upcoming May and working in the public relations realm in D.C. I made a connection with Katherine Casey, Edelman D.C. assistant account executive for digital health. Furthering my connection, I messaged her regarding an informational interview, which she accepted. We discussed several aspects of Edelman as a PR firm, the D.C. area and the health communications sphere. Here are the questions I found most important:

Q1: What experiences do you believe enhanced your opportunity to intern with Edelman? A1: I held previous internships, but what really put me in the door was being awarded the Runner-up for the Daniel J. Edelman PRSSA award. This gave me an interview that led to an internship after I graduated from James Madison University.

Q2: As the digital health intern, what were your primary day-to-day responsibilities and duties? A2: I did a lot of research on the clients. I implemented blogger outreach, for example looking at our client Nike, I researched who was blogging about running and fitness and tried to form relationships with them. For social media I wrote a lot of posts relevant to the client, as well as monitoring social media profiles for clients.

Q3: What were the next steps you took to ensure a full-time position with Edelman? A3: When a spot opens up for a higher position, the interns are allowed to apply and be interviewed. You go through the whole process again, and they interview people from both inside and outside the company. It comes down to standing out, working hard and being eligible for the position.

Q4: Does Edelman offer any seminars or workshops for their interns? A4: Edelman offers brown bag lunches for interns where you can bring your lunch and have discussions with employers. On the digital team, we have training every other Wednesday for various topics including analytics.

Q5: Does the D.C. office offer its employees short-term or long-term abroad opportunities? A5: At any level there are opportunities to go abroad for a week. Edelman also offers a fellowship program where you can spend up to 18 months at a new office hoping to grow the company. They send 10-15 people annually, and this year we have an employee from our D.C. office that is working abroad at our Dubai office.

Q6: How much do you use social media and what are the top social platforms an Edelman employee should be comfortable with? A6: Stick to the popular social profiles such as Facebook and Twitter and understand blogging. You learn several others along the way, just be eager to learn and jump into it.

Q7: What are the advantages of working for Edelman in the D.C. Metropolitan area? A7: Edelman in general has great people and a great culture. D.C. is the place to be if you’re interested in politics, policy and healthcare.

Q8: What are some suggestions and advice you would give to a potential candidate? A8: Don’t be afraid to reach out, people are more than willing to help. Don’t be afraid to make connections, stand out.

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