How to Agree When You Don’t Agree

Admittedly, I’m a pretty opinionated person.  I think my friends and family have just come to accept that about me.  While I don’t always fight tooth and nail to protect my ideas, but if I’m not careful I can be dismissive of others’ thoughts. It’s especially hard in public relations, where a big chunk of your job is brainstorming with your team and collaborative work for the client.  If you’re more of an independent worker (like I am), sometimes you can feel backlash or get a bit uncomfortable working in a teamwork environment 24/7.

What I’ve come to learn is that it’s more about finding a way to agree with your teammates, even when you disagree, without them knowing that you disagree (do you follow me?).  While you may think it’s silly to keep your thoughts to yourself or not voice your opinion, in some ways it can be a life saver.  Here are a few ways you can play nice in the sandbox, even when you know/think you’re right:

Accept that everyone voices their thoughts in different ways – Some like to shout, some like to vent, some like to pass it off as a joke. I had to learn this lesson the hard way many times. Once you figure out how people communicate, you naturally become more empathetic and listen to when they have real ideas and feedback

Keep quiet, and carry on – Sometimes the best reaction is to keep your mouth shut. Unless your co-worker or client is about to do something DRASTICALLY AWFUL, nod in agreement and look at things from their point of view

Then write it out – If you have a “better idea,” or a different way to look at things, sometimes it’s easiest to talk it out over email. Then set up a separate meeting to discuss the issue at hand again if you think you can work things out.

The overall take away is that everyone’s voice is heard – The best PR teams work as a family, and have everyone’s thoughts included in the process.  The key here is to LISTEN. Even if you don’t move forward the way you expected, the end result will turn out better for the care you put into it as a team

 

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PR Girl PRowess: Get Involved in the Office

One of the things I love most about my company is the culture.  Not just the people I work with, but the fun activities we plan for each other to bring the company together. It doesn’t have to be about store-bought cake every time there is a birthday either (I think we’re all a bit cooler than that here).  If you have found there are some similar interests in your office (90’s music anyone?), be the girl who speaks up and instates some crazy ideas into the office culture.

Here are a few ways to spark some fun in your office space:

What do you wish was in the office? – A friend and I just requested a ping pong table in the kitchen. What do you love and think would help people get the juices flowing? Pinterest parties at lunch? Foosball? Yoga after hours? Ask to instate a new office tradition to keep camaraderie going

Get off your desk – Ask a group of co-workers to try a new place for lunch at least once a week with you

Celebrate silly holidays – Have a Mad Men finale viewing party, bring in blueberry pie for the start of blueberry season, or schedule happy hours every other Friday

Help each other chill before the weekend – One of the first things I did when I got to my new office was order the loudest speakers I could find. Now on Friday afternoons I play music out loud and take requests

Don’t be afraid to start email chains – I was the one who kicked off our “Ryan Gosling” email alias company wide to share Ryan Gosling news of the day cross-office.  As long as it’s PC and doesn’t offend, feel free to be silly with your co-workers

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Common Intern Mistakes

There’s nothing I love more than connecting with new interns. Being an intern was one of the most exciting times of my career – is it odd to say I miss it sometimes? My new office recently hired 12 new interns. Yes, 12. It’s awesome that so many college students are getting firsthand PR experience in a city like New York. It’s important to remember that starting as an intern is just as important as starting as a full time employee. Here are some of the most common mistakes interns make.

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  • Showing up late to work. People notice.
  • Slipping out of work early. Again, people notice.
  • Not asking co-workers if they need help. Don’t ask all the time, but do it when you have a free time.
  • Forgetting your notebook and pen. Especially when someone calls you to their desk. I was totally guilty of this.
  • Arriving late to meetings. Stay on top of your calendar meetings as best as you can.
  • Arriving to meetings unprepared. Again, carry your notebook and pen EVERYWHERE. Be engaged.
  • Not paying attention to detail. Re-read your work if necessary. Always send through your most thorough work.
  • Setting unrealistic standards. If you can’t get someones work done in a reasonable timeframe, explain what else you have on your plate. You’re an intern, not Superwoman.
  • Not making an effort to get to know employees. Get to know your co-workers. Not just your fellow interns.
  • Not attending outside of work events. A great time to get to know company employees.
  • Being afraid to ask questions. You don’t want to come off as a pest, but asking a question is better than making a big mistake.
  • Giving attitude. Yes, interns do this. Don’t and do everything with a smile.
  • Not admitting to mistakes. They happen. Don’t be afraid to own up to them.
  • Making little effort to stand out. Go above and beyond with every internship. Co-workers will notice and remember those that put in the extra effort. It could also lead to a potential job in the future.
  • Staying in touch. Obvious, but do so once your internship is over.

What are some other common intern mistakes?

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A PR Girl’s Summer Traveling Necessities

Over the past couple weeks I’ve been all over the place.  Went upstate for Memorial Day, then Miami for a couple days, now I’m off to visit a good friend in Philly and enjoy a country concert.  I love taking advantage of the summer as much as possible, but it results in a lot of traveling via rental car, bus, train and plane. By now, I am a near expert at packing up for a 2 hour+ journey and making a small celebration out of it.  Here are a couple of my essentials:

  • My Lo & Sons bag – I have the OMG, but now I’m dying over the Catalina
  • A great playlist – well duh.  Spotify is my new best friend and I make playlists every week
  • Kindle – I choose something fun or inspiring that I can share with people I’m traveling with, like David Sedaris or Gabby Bernstein
  • Gum, hand lotion, chapstick, face powder, hairties
  • Rose or champagne – If you’re on the train, you can indulge in a little adult beverage so long as you keep cool. If you’re on the bus, just sneak it.

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