Surviving NYC Winter

We are in the thick of it now – New York City Winter. While March is only 10 days away, this chill is showing no signs of letting up. There are boulders of ice covered with slushy mush and the wind will whip your fox-fur hood right off you. It’s not my favorite time of year by any means.

The good news is, spring is SO close. Just a few weeks left and we can make plans for spring break and summer concerts. In the meantime, here are a few ways I like to get through the brutal NYC winter:

Stay inside – Duh. But I don’t mean hole up in your apartment for days on end with Netflix. Find a place with a fireplace or a coffee shop with cozy couches where you can read and enjoy the afternoon pass by.

Find a few events to look forward to - I made a huge deal of Valentine’s this year because at least it was a huge-heart-filled-holiday to break up the bleak winter week. You can also find a local concert, an art exhibit, or host a dinner party. Anything to give you something to look forward to.

Get organized - When the weather is beautiful, I rarely want to spend time in my apartment organizing my things. So take advantage of the heat blasting and flannel pj’s to clean out your closet. This winter I’ve donated about 3 trashbags of clothes and completely revamped my bathroom.

Day dream with Pinterest - Whether it’s your secret wedding board or your dream apartment, get on Pinterest and shamelessly look for everything from a new couch, curtains, barns with chandeliers in them – whatever floats your boat. I do some of my best design day dreaming in the winter.

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The Unexpected Elements of PR

“Great thanks for packing all that up! Now move it.”

While some parts of the public relations career are what you would (stereotypically) expect – parties! dinners! free stuff! Fashion Week! glamour! – there are still a lot of things that go on in the background that people like to not mention. Since it is Fashion Week and I have a large event corresponding with a certain, sexy movie launch tonight, I thought I would share some of the unexpected qualities of a PR career that you can expect to find at any level.

Physical Labor - Day one, you will carry something that probably isn’t safe for you to carry in heels. 7 years later you will still find yourself at Home Depot hauling potted trees to style a space or carrying moving boxes 3 blocks in 9 degree weather to move gift bags from your office to event location. Just this week one of the partners of the agency was moving new furniture into the office to prep for a new business pitch. The physical labor element of PR never ends.

Mindless Work - There will be hours spent on excel. Hours. There will be days stuffing gift bags and creative deliveries. You will need to attend meetings with new clients that will feel like your AP Bio class. There is some mindless work with every job, but in PR it definitely pops up on a weekly basis.

Negotiator/Mediator - You will throw ice water on too many hot situations, mostly heated by emotions and hurt feelings. Whether it’s with co-workers, vendors, or clients, you will need to talk people down. Clients will call you ready to scream and you’ll have to put on your sweetest voice and explain the situation calmly and take care of too many small things so they feel good. And flowers always help.

Customer Service - Someone will have a problem with a product and it will be your fault. You’ll need to be the middle man between the brand and this consumer. You’ll need to make sure she is taken care of and it never happens again. You’ll need to answer the queries on Facebook about why the brand isn’t taking care of an issue, and you will do it with pizzazz.

There are many others… what other unexpected elements of PR have you seen?

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From the Inbox: No PR Major

Hello!

I recently came across your blog, and I’m obsessed! All of the articles I’ve read are incredibly helpful as a college student hoping to work in public relations. I have an interesting dilemma though that I’d love to have covered.

I went into college undecided. I never found a possible major that I felt truly passionate about. Once I became involved on campus, however, I fell in love with PR. Throughout my various positions in student government, Greek life, and philanthropic organizations, I know that PR is the way for me to go.

The issue is, my school doesn’t actually offer a public relations program, only a communications major with an unofficial concentration track in public relations. Because of financial aid, current connections, and the amount of credits I already have, it isn’t a possibility for me to transfer schools. How can I maximize my experience in PR and still come out of school as an employable option without having officially majored in public relations?

Thanks!

From the Inbox - No PR Major

So happy to hear you’ve found your passion. Don’t focus too much on your major not being in PR. The good news is that you definitely don’t have to transfer or be a PR major in order to be successful in this career. If the communications major isn’t interesting you much, consider marketing or journalism. All three of these majors are valuable to a career in PR.

When interviewing, your major doesn’t matter as much as your experience does. Shift your resume to be focused on PR and show examples of how what you have done thus far relates to PR. Network with fellow peers interested in PR and take a PR internship to build your resume.

Best of luck.

Xo, A

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Make Yourself More Creative

One of the things I like about my job is that it allows me to be as creative as I want. During brainstorms and planning meetings, I have a chance to throw out ideas that may not make any sense, but could turn into something awesome.

When you first start in PR, the creativity element can be a bit intimidating. Certainly, brainstorming takes practice, but everyone can contribute something unique to the creative process. Here are a few ways I keep my mind churning, thinking of new ideas and stay on top of my game:

Stay on top of other brand news - What are other brands doing out in the world? Huge events? Sponsorships? Partnering with celebs or bloggers? Send yourself or your teams an email when you see something great that could spark some ideas. My favorite recently? McDonald’s “Pay with Love” campaign.

Do something new - I love trying out new fitness classes during the week. It gives me something to look forward to and there is always a new group of people to meet. I also am dying to go to a hockey game and read that atmosphere. The more you get yourself out there, the different kinds of audiences you can experience. You might come up with a fun idea when you see how people are enjoying themselves.

Read - At least once a month I go on Amazon.com and New York Times to be sure I’m up to speed with the latest with novels or non-fiction stories. I absolutely love the business and consumption of books. It is one of the only mediums left that doesn’t have advertising or marketing – a book becomes popular simply by word of mouth. Not only can you get yourself in the mindset of others with a good read, but your brain will expand greatly each time you pick up a book.

 

How do you get the creative juices flowing?

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