I’ve been working on multiple events for a few different clients over the past couple weeks. The anticipation and hard work that goes into planning events is pretty much half of our job description, while the actual event goes by in a flash. The event that I just wrapped up yesterday I have been planning for months, so it’s kind of surreal to know that it’s all over.
This was me and my team yesterday, but in heels
Of course crashing into bed the night after event day isn’t the end of it. Here are a couple things you need to be aware of and work to solve in your post-event depression:
Expect some crazy dreams – After spending all day in an event space and working your butt off, expect some weird work dreams in the nights ahead
Continue to work for your event – Follow up with all attendees and make sure they received all the information they needed at the event. Follow up with any samples, pictures or info
Start your event recap while it’s fresh in your mind – It’s easy to put off talking about the event since you’ve done nothing BUT for the past couple weeks, but write down some great feedback or details while you remember
Think of all the positives – When you next talk to your client, talk up your event! Did you have great attendance? Did you see a new side of the brand you haven’t seen before?
Remember new relationships – Whether it’s a new vendor or editor you never met before, keep track of the new relationships you have
One of the best things you can do while in college is get involved in campus organizations. While I was in a sorority, I was also a part of our PRSSA chapter on campus. We were honored when we were approached by the PRSSA to write a post for its PRogressions blog about what inspires our blog posts and how we juggle life, work and other responsibilities. Below you can find a copy of the post, plus make sure you follow PRogressions for an inside look at industry professionals and more.
Multitasking is one of the hardest learned skills. Between juggling clients, your personal life and any outside responsibilities, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. While I have a fulltime job, I am also a co-founder of the blog nyc PR girls (www.nycPRgirls.com) alongside Meg, a best friend of mine I met during my first official job out of college.
We created the blog for several reasons, but one of the main reasons was to create a place that would inspire and bring together young upcoming professionals looking for real world advice. My dreams growing up were always to work in the big city in public relations (can’t deny that I was influenced by Samantha Jones from “Sex and the City” a bit) but while I was in college, there really wasn’t a place for me to go to learn more about what to expect and how to get there.
Meg and I created just that. We use the blog to document our day-to-day experiences and give as much advice as we can along the way. Blogging comes with a lot of responsibility and is a huge commitment, much more than I ever imagined. We write posts weekly, coordinate site formatting, update all of our social networks, check and follow-up on emails plus much more.
Many often question how we juggle both the blog and our fulltime jobs. While our blog work is done outside of work hours, here’s how I keep my head straight and learned how to juggle responsibilities.
Write everything down. And I mean EVERYTHING. Bucket your tasks by category (i.e. personal, blog, client) and check off the list as you go.
Mark your calendar. Keep it up to date with meetings and bucket your time for responsibilities. Devote an hour to developing that client recommendation.
Give yourself deadlines. Even if you know something doesn’t have to get done until the end of the week, give yourself a personal deadline to finish it ahead of time and get it off of your plate.
Prioritize. Schedules often shift based off of deadlines or client needs. Don’t let it throw you off and reorganize your schedule for the rest of the day.
Use downtime to do what you love. While I love my job, I’m also extremely passionate about blogging. Downtime immediately after work or early in the morning is spent on blog activities. At the end of the day, it’s rewarding and gives me time for my personal life at night.
How do we keep our Twitter conversation going? Schedule tweets – one of Tweetdeck’s best gifts.
Along the way, we’ve interacted and heard from so many public relations students and professionals. We thank all of our supporters and would love to hear from you if we haven’t already. Don’t be afraid to tweet us, Facebook us or drop us a note!
At the NYU Women in Communications Panel last week, one of the questions was what is one of your biggest mistakes. While PR girls always try to pay close attention to detail, no one is perfect and we all make mistakes from time to time. Here are a few of the most common PR girl mistakes we can all work on fixing.
Accidentally hitting the dreaded reply all.
Paying too much attention to small details and forgetting the big picture.
Not researching reporters before pitching.
Sending an email to a reporter with their name spelled wrong.
Wearing the most uncomfortable shoes during a day filled with walking.
Over analyzing a client email.
Panicking during a client fire drill.
Spending too much time writing pitches that are way too detailed.
Tomorrow, Adrianna and I are thrilled to be hosting our first webinar with Critical Mention (you can register here). The topic? Fashion in the PR workplace, and we’re covering every questionable fashion situation from the first interview to the trade show. When we first were asked to come up with outfits and topics, A and I were a little stumped to say the least. At this point in our careers, we sometimes think our outfit choices for events and big moments at work are easier than choosing our sweatpants for movie night. However, at every office the night before an event, each girl asks the other “so what are you going to wear?” It doesn’t matter how trendy or “with it” you might be, we want to be sure we’re giving the right impression at whatever event we’re at.
When looking at an outfit, it’s best to use common sense and ask yourselves a few frank questions about what you have on. It can be easy, especially when used to dressing up for friends or going out, to throw something on and assume it’s good enough. You don’t want to be “good enough,” you want to be the best! Here’s what you should be asking yourself when you look in the mirror:
Is this appropriate?
Is this comfortable?
Is there an opportunity for a wardrobe malfunction anywhere?
Is it clean?
Does it fit right?
Is this color flattering?
Is this too flashy?
Does anything need to be repaired?
Can I move around?
Do I feel confident?
We’ll be covering more PR girl (and guy!) fashion options in tomorrow’s webinar. Be sure to tune in!
Since I have three work events next week, I have a little bit of a short fuse. Unfortunately it happens to the best of us. I catch myself being a little shorter than usual with friends and colleagues, and I rush through projects and expect people to keep the same pace. As a PR professional, we are expected to be poised and understanding, but it is hard to manage after the client sends you 100 of the wrong product, the printer is going to be late with your press packets, or your intern has made a mess of the gift bags.
Put the gloves away, girl. No need for a fight.
Once you feel the steam coming out of your ears, it’s easy to let loose and blow up at the “guilty” party, especially if there are other stress points adding pressure to the situation. But you need to keep the ‘tude in check. No one wants to work with the crazy girl on important events or client situations. If you get a reputation as a hot head, you’ll be left out of some great opportunities. Here are a couple things to keep in mind once you feel your blood boiling:
Remember, this isn’t about you – As much as it feels like this unfortunate event is happening to YOU, it isn’t. We’re a team in the PR world, so we’re all in this together. Don’t take any negative situation personally.
Imagine the other person’s position – If it’s a team member who has made a mistake, think about how embarrassed/frustrated/disappointed they must feel in the situation they are in. We have all been there once! And life happens. Breathe. If you’re working with an outside vendor, be understanding but it’s fair to be firm to find a solution.
If you need to vent, do it to an outside party - The best way for me to blow off steam is to talk it out. The worst thing you can do is start gossip in the office – don’t do it. Go to a trusted friend who can listen to your issues, or call your mom/sister/aunt/sorority sister. Even if they don’t understand your PR jargon, sometimes it’s helpful to just spill out exactly what you’re feeling without holding back.
How do you keep your cool when a situation heats up?
Last night, A and I were thrilled to be a part of the New York University Women in Communications PR Panel. We were on the panel alongside other PR professionals including Angela Bilog, head of PR and Marketing at Lomography, Kym Canter, Creative Director at L-atitude, Lauren Ellison of Mission PR and Perry Sun of DeVries Public Relations. We touched on some really informative topics such as our favorite campaigns, our biggest PR mistakes and what we look for out of interns and new hires. Below are some of the questions we were asked last night, as well as our thoughts.
Where did you make your PR start in college?
Adrianna and I had two very different answers here. Adrianna always knew she wanted to get into PR, so she took a few internships and did communications in college. I never knew what PR WAS, until I researched a few industries that were heavy in writing and came to PR. Both of us agreed that experience and internships are IMPERATIVE when choosing your path in PR during college.
What does your day-to-day look like?
No day is the same! We are always pitching, monitoring, answering emails, drafting client documents. But one day you could be throwing together media deliveries, the next you’re on a flight to LA for a client meeting, the next you’re at Fashion Week. Every day is different!
What was your favorite campaign to work on and why?
Each of us have those “baby” campaigns that we worked on from the start and loved to see grow. Anything unique that challenges us (Adrianna said sponges and I said Cream of Wheat), is a favorite campaign of ours.
What qualities are you looking for when hiring an intern?
Someone who is resourceful and willing to learn. It’s okay to ask questions, but use your head and come prepared. Have some passion for what you do. Even if it’s hauling suitcases down Sixth Avenue to a celebrity’s hotel, find some glamour in the every day.
What do you do when you’re feeling overwhelmed?
Adrianna and I rely on each other a lot for this one. We pretty much are talking all day long via text or gchat, so we have our friendship as a support system. It’s important to create a “safe space” at work so you feel comfortable where you work and who you’re working with, but also have an escape…whether it’s a walk outside or Pinterest.
How do you focus on the “relations” part of media relations?
Making calls or writing emails every day, and planning in person lunches or breakfasts! Face time is important. Treat these people like friends, not machines. Be sure to tailor pitches to each editor and outlet.
What are some mistakes you’ve made at work?
We all agreed – watch out for reply all!
Where do you see yourself in 3 years?
Adrianna and I would love to see the blog grow. We hope to continue creating this online resource for girls and guys looking to get into PR, since we didn’t have one when we were first starting out. We are continuously inspired by our colleagues and readers, we just want to continue sharing the love!
Major thanks to the Women in Communications Group for having us!
If you follow us on Twitter, you might have seen a few tweets about an upcoming webinar we’re hosting with Critical Mention. If you’re not familiar with Critical Mention, it’s one of those must-have PR tools that monitors broadcast. The webinar will take place one week from today – Thursday, February 28th starting at 2:00pm ET. This is our first webinar EVER so we’re super excited to connect with you in a new way.
The topic is Professional Style in PR and we’ll be joined by Critical Mention’s Senior Director, Katya Libin to discuss what it takes to be professionally dressed and well spoken during PR’s biggest events. We’ll share advice on how to choose your wardrobe for interviews, the workplace, trade shows, client luncheons, Award ceremonies and more.
This is a great webinar for professionals new to the marketing and PR industry. Plus, one lucky attendee will win a $100 gift card to a clothing store of their choice! It’s free to register so if you can join us, register using this link. We look forward to connecting with you and hearing your questions!
Any specific wardrobe questions we NEED to answer? Comment below.
We’re pretty much in the middle of interview season, so we’ve been receiving a lot of mail about interview protocol and some practical do’s and don’ts. Though Adrianna and I seem pretty confident when it comes to interviewing strategy, don’t be fooled – we completely understand how stressful it is. Interviewing is a lot like going on a few first dates with a really hot guy. You have butterflies at first, but then you feel self-assured in the fact that this crazy sexy opportunity has come your way. After a few meetings, you think you have it in the bag. Then, there’s silence. You begin to self doubt, you begin to expect the worst, and you wonder a million times over what you did wrong and what you can do to fix it.
The important thing is to avoid crazy-girl syndrome, in your love life and while going after the dream job. When you hear radio silence from your interviewer, you feel rejected and hurt. But you got along so well! But you said that thing that made her laugh! But you were in the same sorority! Chill out sister, it ain’t over until it’s over.
There are a couple things you can do that can satisfy your curiosity about the potential position while staying in the sane zone. Here are a few things to keep in mind while following up after an interview:
Obviously, be sure you did your due diligence – Make sure to send thank you e-mails or a note directly after your interview (no more than a note. We’ve seen candy bars, flowers, basically all overkill. A note is just fine)
Pay attention to the time – If your interviewer says they’d like you to contact them in four weeks, or if they won’t be making any decisions for another 10 days, do yourself a favor and LISTEN to that time frame. Do not try to contact them, other than your “thank you” until that time. There is a reason the decision has to be delayed, and most likely it is out of the hands of the person who is doing the interviewing (budgets have been cut, they need more room in the staff for you, etc.)
Do a little bit of stalking – Similar to the hot guy we mentioned previously, you’re allowed to do some discreet online stalking while you wait for an answer from the employer. Continue to research the company, keeping an eye out for new client announcements or company news. An exciting bit of information can be a good excuse to reach out to a company if you haven’t heard back in a while, something like: “Just saw that you won the Smashbox business. Extremely exciting, congratulations! As we discussed earlier, I am looking forward to the opportunity to grow with a beauty client in a strong consumer firm like yours. I hope we can chat soon and continue this conversation.”
Do you have any other tried and true ways to follow up after an interview?
Happy Valentine’s Day! Today is one of my favorite days of the year (in a relationship or single) for two reasons: flowers and an excuse to eat excessive amounts of Dove chocolate. Every year PR professionals take advantage of the love fest and spread the love on their own. Here are a few companies, particularly in the fast food arena, doing silly PR things I couldn’t ignore.
White Castle transforms into the “Love Castle” on Valentine’s Day. Don’t think you can go to White Castle today and get your burgers and clam strips without a reservation. Reservations are required!
Pizza Hut is giving out its Eau de Pizza Hut perfume for Valentine’s Day. It’s been dubbed as “one of the most sought-after and rarest of scents available” according to the press release. If this isn’t the cheesiest gift you could give someone, I don’t know what is.
Dominos offers a sweet gift to customers named “Love”. The first 500 people whose name is a variation of Love to email firstname.lastname@example.org, starting today through Friday, Feb. 15, will receive a $10 gift card. Did anyone send this opportunity to the new chick on Mob Wives?
PG&E wants you to make sure you keep metallic balloons secure and away from its power lines this Valentine’s Day. Safety first!
Roses are red, violets are blue, don’t let that financial talk sneak up on you! A Chase Blueprint survey reveals the sooner, the better when it comes to discussing money and relationships – so why not make Valentine’s Day the day for the money talk? Seriously? The LAST thing I’d want to talk about.
Earrings are the most wanted jewelry for Valentine’s Day according to Overstock.com. This is actually interesting…because I’d definitely prefer a necklace, bracelet or ring.
Have you come across any silly Valentine’s Day press releases? Do share! Or share with us your Valentine’s Day plans. We both have dinner dates. Perfectly fine with us!
We have #NYFW fever over here at nyc PR girls. Adrianna and I both have to attend multiple shows for different clients, all the while keeping on top of our daily client work and responsibilities. I’m also planning for three separate events in March, so all those logistics have kicked into high gear this week. Though this can be seen as one of the more “glamorous” sides of PR, it is stressful to try to handle various events and all the little things that go with them.
As we’ve said many times, a PR girl needs to wear many hats when she’s on the job. One second, you could be a media wrangler, the next a brand spokesperson, and the next a manicurist (I’ve seen it happen). Whether you’re a veteran event gal or have just started the job and your event schedule makes you want to rip your hair out, here are a few things to keep in mind when working to keep on top of multiple events:
Write down EVERYTHING – With so many little things involved in planning and executing an event, sometimes it’s best to grab a fresh legal pad and write down every little thing that’s on your mind. At first it might seem overwhelming, but in the end it can help you organize your thoughts.
Delegate, and seek help – Event time is a great opportunity to practice managing skills and work with team members, whether they be above or below you. No one really expects you to handle everything. Take on the tasks that are your responsibility, but when you need help with big projects or checking media appointments, speak up.
Be punctual – Nothing is worse during event time than feeling behind, and being late makes it even worse. Give yourself plenty of time to get to new locations, and plan for travel mix ups. Don’t try to squeeze in meetings you really don’t have time for. You are one human, not a time traveler.
Find passion in it – Even though an event’s logistics may be driving you crazy (WHY DO CELEBRITIES NEED GLUTENFREESOYFREEDAIRYFREESUGARFREE CHEETOS?), try to find the elements of planning that you enjoy and thrive on. Completing tasks that come with ease and satisfaction are signs that you are in the right profession (you can laugh about getting a bachelor’s degree for grocery shopping for talent later).
And finally… breathe. Behave with poise, and make yourself proud.
How do you juggle many events during crazy PR times?