A Blog’s Case Against Blogs

Recently, I’ve been feeling a little resentment against an institution I fell in love with: blogging.

I remember back when I had just graduated college. Blogging had just moved from Live Journal-ing and diary-style confessions to images and public posts, featuring recommendations for food, tech, and fashion. Girls would take photos of themselves on Sony point-and-shoot cameras in the best light they could manage, showing off the latest garb they picked up at Anthropology styled with a chic leather jacket they scored at a second hand shop. I loved it. I could relate to those girls. Their style was for the every day woman, and they just adored being creative with fashion and putting older pieces together in a trendy, new way.

Now, I feel like blogging has isolated the very audience it was built upon. Bloggers that were featuring scores from TJ Maxx or The Gap now adorn designer wear and purses that cost at least a month’s rent. Every Instagram post features the same. damn. monogram mug. And if you’re wearing a gold watch that isn’t surrounded by at least 3 bracelets and baubles, then you might as well be running around naked.

Women I looked to for candid fashion advice and beauty tips are now swayed by big brands offering money in exchange for mentions. Bloggers are trying to keep up with other bloggers, so the sponsored posts become more and more frequent. Those that have become extremely successful boast large homes, luxurious vacations, and closets full of gifted designer wear all over social media pages.

I’m not trying to rag on the success of other women. I think it is great that these women found their passion and it is now paying them back in spades. However, I do think this blog-instagram-obsession has encouraged a clique of comparison among young women. We look to others to find what we should buy, or try to fulfill our sense of belonging with an expensive piece of jewelry we really can’t afford. If we choose not to indulge in these things, we feel left out. While blogging was about creating a community, it has now has the traits of an elitist network.

I’m trying to look on the upside. While fashion and lifestyle blogs have seemed to twist in one direction, there is a whole new category of wellness blogs bubbling to the surface. Blogs that encourage self-love, healthy body image, beautiful eating habits, and kindness. I hope that this element of blogging will flourish and encourage a new community to bond without comparison. After all, we are women – one of the most powerful forces in the universe. We should support one another.

How are you feeling about today’s fashion and lifestyle blogs? What do you miss about blogging, and what do you look forward to?

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From the Mailbox: Getting into PR Without a PR Program

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Dear nyc PR girls,

I went into college undecided, but through college activities and greek life I have found that PR is my passion. However, my college doesn’t offer any PR courses or a PR program. I think it is too late in the game to transfer schools. How would you recommend getting prepared for a public relations career in a school that doesn’t support my goals?

Best,

Confused Collegiate 

Good news!! Having a PR program or even a media degree is not a must-have by any means to get your foot in the door of PR. As a matter of fact, I did not take any PR classes in college. I did take an advertising class and a marketing class to expand my thinking and help my campaign writing, but they didn’t even make enough of a difference in my course load to constitute a minor in media.

What I always tell college students is to major in a subject that appeals to you, whatever that might be. And if you are looking to get into public relations, the more writing in the course, the better. I was an American Studies major, which was an honors major at my college but basically the most liberal arts major you could take. My senior year I took a class called “New York City in Film.” We watched Rosemary’s Baby and The Godfather. Enough said. The positive was that every course required a TON of writing, so I got to practice my writing skills and voice. I even presented my thesis paper on Extreme Mormons in the United States to my first few job interviews.

The biggest item is to get real world experience. Continue working on your campus and gaining as much experience as you can that will help land you an internship. Even if you were in a PR program at your school, you can’t graduate without at least 2 internships under your belt. Experience is the most useful tool at your disposal.

All is not lost! Enjoy your time at college and do what you love. Work for your dreams YOUR way. Good luck Xo.

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How Much Social Media is Too Much Social Media?

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Social media – friend or foe? I often ask myself this question when I see couples on dates who are on their phones and not talking, or people who constantly upload their food pics to Facebook. However, I have to say I can fall victim to it too. Now that you can shop directly from Instagram, I constantly am flipping through photos and ordering random articles of clothing and jewelry that I find online. Now social media is right in my wallet – it’s getting personal!

I definitely do think there are positive elements to social media – it can become a community of positivity and a place to express yourself. But there are certainly some things to be weary of. Here is how you can be sure you’re staying in check:

Have one “personal” forum for all your check ins and pictures, keep the rest professional – I would recommend keeping Instagram as your personal social media page to keep up with friends, like photos and post pics. Strangers, employers, even your new boyfriend’s mom can you look you up on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Keep it clean, professional and courteous.

If you see a fight brewing, stay away - I honestly think internet trolls are just sad, but comments and Facebook status updates that are offensive or political are just asking for the trouble. Even if you feel like you want to “defend” someone or something, stay out of it. If its a friend of yours who you want to defend, send a text instead to let them know you have their back and not to listen to the haters. If it’s a random argument or you want to stand up for your beliefs, ignore. Join a group online and voice your opinions with like minded people instead.

Stay in the moment - Social media is great for staying connected, but ironically it can prohibit us from being social. Make sure your phone is put away while dining, driving and catching up with friends. Take photos of events once they start, then put the phone away so you can enjoy it with your own eyes, and not from behind your iPhone.

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Working Up

I’ve always thought that public relations was a career with opportunity. You are given so many choices in a day, with so many moving pieces, doors could be opening everywhere. Whether it’s a project with a client where you could make yourself shine, or a media pitch you can land in a great publication, there’s always a chance to up-sell yourself.

There’s also plenty of opportunity to make a name for yourself within your own company and become an invaluable asset to your team. If you’re thinking it’s about the time to start making moves and dreaming about a promotion and more responsibility, here are a few tips for “working up:”

Find assets right within your company: Most companies have title descriptions or a checklist of some kind to determine whether an employee is working at a level ready for promotion. My managers have always insisted I read my title description as well as the one higher than my own frequently. It’s good to know what you are to be measured against, and what kind of skills you need to succeed within your firm. If these aren’t available to you, book a coffee with a trusted peer or mentor who can explain the levels at your company.

Ask for help: I’ll admit there are certain tasks at my company I am still clueless at, especially when it comes to finances and keeping track of spending for clients. I’m not afraid to admit my naivety and look to my managers for help. How am I going to learn if I stay quiet? Even voicing your desire to learn a new skill will raise the flag that you’re ready to move to the next level, and your managers will keep their eyes open for you.

Remember you can move without making a huge jump: I’ve met many a PR girl and guy who switch from place to place almost once a year because they feel they get “stuck” or don’t have “opportunity” where they are. I think it’s different for everyone, but after being with my current firm for four years I can confidently say that it took years for me to feel solid in my job, and in a place where I can trust my managers and senior team members to take care of me if I feel I’m being neglected. It takes much more than a year or two to develop this kind of relationship with your company, but once you have it, it makes you want to work harder for your firm and see the rewards come your way. So if you’re feeling an itch for something new, ask about projects or how you can kick up your own work before you making the switch to a new place and starting over.

 

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