Stop, Drop and Roll

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Businessman crossing his fingers behind his backI sit here today a recently unemployed public relations professional who is giving serious consideration to a career change.  I graduated college in 2005 and immediately entered the biz.  I had high hopes for myself and took every experience for what it was worth, learning every moment and dedicating myself and my career to the agency and clients at hand.  I loved it and have loved working in this field for over five years.

Recently I’ve made a few career moves to learn more, give myself more opportunities and resources, and also to make more money.  I’ve gone from a small agency of two, to a mid-sized agency of 25+ and I’ve noticed a few things along the way that I thought I’d share from my perspective.

I want to make more money, we all do.  But, I don’t want to make more money and love my job less.  Sounds like a simple statement that we can probably all share and support but in the public relations business, I’m not sure at my ripe age of 28, that I can see this as a reality.  With every agency move, I have indeed made more money.  But I also see things happening within the larger agencies that I strongly disapprove of and disagree with. Continue reading

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Can’t We All Just Get Along? – Good Reporters Keep Their PR Contacts Close

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Woman talking on phone among co-workerI have spent a lot of time reading about how birth order determines your personality.

Being a middle child, my personality has always been one of the peace maker and the bridge builder, which is why I want to call for a cease fire in the war between reporters and PR professionals.

Bashing PR professionals is getting quite passé. And at times it seems as trite as complaining about government workers. It’s easy to say government workers are slackers, but I used to work for the government and many government employees work very hard in a turbulent political environment. I just don’t see what can be gained from the endless sniping. For example, TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington recently declared, “I don’t like PR people for the most part.” Nice. Continue reading

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Snap Them Out of It

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Beach Ball in the AirMomentum, or what some think of as Newton’s First Law of Motion, “Every body remains in a state of rest or uniform motion (constant velocity) unless it is acted upon by an external unbalanced force,” not only applies to “every body” in motion but also to everybody.

Success begets success – it’s that x factor that helps makes great salesmen phenomenal and bad ones lousy.

It’s also the factor that makes the downer client or co-worker the downer on all occasions.  They start their day off badly and by 10a are dragging everyone else down.

The opposite is also true, so all is not lost.  There’s always (hopefully) one person in an office that can crack a joke at the worst situation and provide the best way out of the mess.  We could all use more of them. Continue reading

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Would A Rose By Any Other Name Still Be Findable In Google? – 5 Lessons learned from marketing our 64 year old jewelry company

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Mid section view of businessman with nametagAfter my recent post, Cog asked that I take the time to apply the same conversation on naming your brand to my family’s jewelry business, Honora.  Now, considering the fact that it is a 64-year-old company and I am only 30, clearly I was not involved in the decision making.  My last post also focused on the difference between naming your brand after yourself or after your niche.  This really does not relate to us as we are the third kind of company name, one that does not clearly denote a person or a category.   From what I’ve been told, my grandfather wanted a blank canvas to build a brand upon, one that was bigger than any one person or limited to a particular niche.  Not wanting to disappoint the powers that be at PRBC, I hope these lessons learned from marketing Honora, a name selected in 1946, over the past few years will suffice. Continue reading

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Report From 2010 PRSSA National Conference

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Washington D.C. — Home of Obama, district of political ideas and tired faces, consistently ranking as one of the most dangerous cities to live in (for crime or state of mind…?) and the city of choice for this year’s Public Relations Student Society of America’s National Conference!

This year I had the pleasure of attending PRSSANC and needless to say it was quite the experience. Can you imagine how excited I was to step into the Marriott Woodely Park Hotel and see hundreds of public relations nerds like myself, running around introducing themselves? The five days I spent at PRSSANC seem like a blur of career advice, business cards, laughs, expensive food, and potential senator husbands. Now that I am back in Chicago, I can finally let all the knowledge and advice from the experts and my peers sink in. Here are some of the main takeaways and reflections that I received from the conference. Continue reading

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ROI Measurement

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Woman catching snowflakes in her mouthPsst! I have a secret!

There is no one way to measure the return on investment of social media. None. Each campaign is kinda like a thumbprint…or a snowflake…totally different from start to finish.

The National Restaurant Association Marketing Executives Group asked me to give them ways to increase their ROI at a recent conference. So I came up with the following presentation, affectionately entitled “Show Me The Money.” Continue reading

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Four Event Planning Lessons I Learned From BlogWorld

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Photo courtesy Chris Heuer, Social Media Club

This year, I had the wonderful opportunity to co-organize the Social Media Business Summit track (the largest track at BlogWorld) with my friend and colleague, Chuck Hemann.

We started planning the track in July by identifying sessions we thought would resonate with folks and started finding speakers who could speak to those topics (with the help of a great “editorial board”).

Three months later, we were on the ground in Vegas executing on our “vision” for the event. From everything I heard at BlogWorld, it was a success.

But, along the way, I picked up a few best practices and learned a few valuable lessons when it comes to planning an event the size and stature of BlogWorld. To be clear, Chuck and I weren’t responsible for all the logistics and details that go into this kind of event—really just the sessions, speakers and details around that. Continue reading

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A Social Media Unity

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Two groom figurines on top of wedding cakeI have been working on this post for almost three weeks.  Every time I think it is complete something else happens which makes me add more to it, as you will understand as you read.

Over the past few years, gay rights have been in the spotlight.  With states legalizing gay marriage, shows like Flipping Out and Queer as Folk debuted, and, stations devoted to the gay demographic such as LOGO surfaced, an acceptance of the gay population had made many strides in most of America. And isn’t it about time?

As we have seen with the acceptance of the gays, the embracing of social media as an important form of spreading awareness. Not only has social media been able to spread the word about issues, but it has made voices of those previously-unheard  heard. Continue reading

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What does PR mean to you?

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Girl using cookie cutterOver the past few weeks I’ve been trying to get a handle on what PR had become to me.  The industry is in a state of flux and evolution. Instead of the old fare cup of coffee industry that we grew up in the current state is robust with flavors that would make Starbucks blush.

With many PR folks taking the helm of social networking (SN) activities, I’ve also wondered if PR was the correct term for the industry as the space blends PR with many other disciplines like customer service, sales and word-of-mouth marketing.

I asked folks in the #PRBC discussion what PR meant to them and really just got back a handful of generic cookie cutter answers that reflected what the industry used to be. Continue reading

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PR Jobs Require More than Good Writing Skills: Ex-journos find life is not so easy on ‘The Dark Side’

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Hands breaking pencilAn old joke in the PR business is that all reporters hate PR people – until they need a job. Then you’re the first person they call. Public relations would seem like a natural extension of the skills you acquire in journalism — writing, news judgment, editing and graphic design.

However, the PR business has taken a huge hit over the last few years, and many laid-off journos are finding that those PR positions, which they hoped to move into, are just not there anymore.

When the economy plunged into a recession one of the first areas that companies cut back on was marketing and public relations. In addition, when business credit dried up many companies simply could not afford the monthly retainer for a PR firm. And for the few PR jobs that do exist, journos are having to compete against recent college grads, who are often more attractive because they are cheaper to hire. In many cases these jobs have been turned into non-paying internship positions. (That is a whole column itself.) Continue reading

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