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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PR Twitter Tips: January 2015

Happy February! January came and left as quickly as the Juno blizzard. Here are a few of our favorite #PR101 Twitter Tips from the month of January. Thanks to all that tweeted.

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@AidaPhillips: Pitch! Patience is key when pitching a story to the media. Be gracious and always be grateful!

@ShyGirlPR: When pitching journalists, we need to answer only one question: Why does this matter today?

@SymonePR: Always set goals, expectations and deadlines.

@allyn_lewis: Your ego should never be bigger than your press list.

@emilybungertMN: Slow down and pay attention to the DETAILS! Also — listen closely to your boss and do exactly what they say!

@christielebanks: Social media is not the place to rant.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter @nycprgirls for more #PR101.

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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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