From the Inbox: Should I Switch to a PR Job?

Hello Adrianna & Meg,

I have been reading your blog from Indonesia since I first started college which is almost four years. Your blog was pretty much my guide to success to get through college. I just graduated from the University of Indonesia majoring in Public Relations. Luckily I already got a job as a Media Implementer at the biggest Digital Agency in Asia. But the media industry is a whole new career path for me and I still have a lot to learn about the industry.

While I’m happy with where I am today, I recently got a call from a company that offered me a PR job consisting of event organizing, presenting and all of those exciting PR duties. I’m torn between what to do because both of jobs have their own pros and cons.

My questions are, should I stay at the digital agency, learning and collecting knowledge about the media industry? Or should I go to this client company that offers me something that I am comfortable with? Should I stay at an agency or start my career on the client side?

I really need your opinion, thank you!

Cheers from Indonesia

Follow Your Heart

First off, we love hearing from our readers across the globe and congratulations on getting a job straight out of college! It’s something that’s very difficult to do. My only advice in this situation would be to follow your heart. There’s no right or wrong decision. If you’re enjoying your job in the media industry, than stick with it. If it’s something that interests you and you could see yourself loving in the future, don’t worry about the PR job. There’s plenty of time for you to switch careers if you realize down the line you’re no longer interested in the media industry.

However, if you think that PR is what you’re destined to do, than take the PR job. You wouldn’t want this opportunity to slip away and regret it down the line when you no longer want the media agency job. To me, it sounds like you have your heart set on PR, so take the chance. Maybe you’ll come to realize that agency life is what you prefer, and you can always find a PR agency job in the future. Having experience on the PR client side is always a positive.

Hope this helps – and let us know what you decide!

Xo, A

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Pack Me Up

Lo & Sons Catalina Weekender Bag

Sharing the latest from one of our favorite blogs, Vanilla Extract (who recently got a killer makeover). Today, it’s all about packing for that weekend getaway…

I used to be the girl who waited until the very last second to pack, throwing absolutely anything (and everything) into my bag. Once I got to my destination and sorted through the mess, I was either missing a crucial article of clothing or putting outfits together that just weren’t me. 99 problems, I tell ya, and I was all of them. I finally decided to put a system into place so I could be stress free and enjoy my vacation.

Step 1: Make a List and check it twice

About a week prior to a trip, I start making lists. I actually have an excel spreadsheet that I follow, which includes the usual suspects that I can forget (everything from socks to tylenol). Then, I begin listing out outfit ideas based on what we have planned. I always figure two outfits per day and typically break the list down as follows: Friday Day/Friday Night/Saturday Day/Saturday Night – you catch my drift.

Step 2: Plan all outfits

Some outfits seem so good in my head, but when I try them on they don’t always translate. This is when I try on everything I’ve written down and make adjustments. I literally plan the outfit out as if it’s the day I’m wearing it – shoes, accessories, hair, the whole bit. I snap a quick photo of each look so I can refer back to it, if necessary. That way, I’m spending next to no time in front of the mirror while I’m on vacation and soaking up every last bit of whatever city we’re visiting.

Lo & Sons Catalina Weekender Bag

Step 3: Pack it up, pack it in

I burrito roll everything. It’s a major space saver. Like, maaaajor. You’ll never pack folded clothes again. You’ll be able to pack so much more and avoid annoying fold lines in the process. When it comes to shoes, I always back them in dust bags. My Catalina bag from Lo & Sons has a bottom zipper pocket perfect for shoes. Beach towels and toiletries also work in this pocket. Then, once on vacay, I use the pocket at a place to store dirty clothes. No cross contamination up in here. I keep jewelry pretty low-key when traveling.  I prefer dainty pieces because they’re light and ty[ically work with any outfit.  All pieces get packed into cloth bags.

Step 4: Add in last minute items

All makeup and toiletries get packed last because I’m usually using them until we leave. I also check THE LIST again – chargers, cameras, computer, phones, and a good attitude to name a few.

Be sure to follow Nichole on Instagram

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PRofile: @AnitaGatto

Meet Anita Gatto, owner of New City PR, a PR company specializing in fashion, entertainment, lifestyle and personal brand building. Prior to starting New City PR, Anita worked in-house for some of the world’s most famous brands. In Canada, she worked for John Varvatos, Chip and Pepper, Victorinox Swiss Army and Tommy Hilfiger. In New York, she was Director of Communications for Robert Graham global head office. She studied Journalism in Canada at Sheridan College and her first job was writing for a newspaper in Toronto. New city PR invents experiences for brands that combine branded entertainment, strategic partnerships and “bottom line thinking” public relations. Here’s more of her story…

New City PR Anita Gatto

How did you get started in public relations?

While interviewing designing duo Chip and Pepper for one of Canada’s leading newspapers, they turned around and offered me a job to manage their PR in Canada with their distribution company. From there, more and more famous brands followed. I simply applied the ideas and stories I would want to be pitched as a journalist to what I was sending to press- no blasts, always researching their editorial calendars and it just felt right!

What is your average day like?

Being on the west coast and working with brands in New York or Europe, I usually start my day catching up to emails. I’ve tried to be better at waiting until I have a coffee before I respond. I try to make as many phone calls as possible, the art of picking up the phone has been lost and in PR so many emails get lost. If I have a good story to tell, press generally love to hear about it on the phone. I try to only send invites or meeting requests via email. Meetings with brand owners or new business clients are booked throughout the week, I like to make those meetings in the morning to be fresh thinking. My afternoons are writing, planning and reading emails mostly. Dinners are always a great way to bond with clients, I try and make them as much as I can.

New City PR Office

What’s your favorite part of working in public relations? 

My favorite moment that I still get a high from after 12 years, is the moment I have the “urge”. When an angle or fact is presented to me about my client and the right publication or show comes to mind and I just pick up the phone and pitch. No planning, no emails, no press release. It just comes to me and I go for it. 9 out of 10 times that has turned into a hit. The 1% was on vacation! There is nothing like the feeling of seeing my client’s story being told online or in print. I love that I was part of the process.

What’s the best PR advice you ever received?

James LaForce is huge mentor of mine, I respect what he has built at Laforce and Stevens, he also taught me how to value my work and not be afraid to bill for the time I put in for strategy and listening- it’s all part of building a brand story.

Any advice for those looking to get into PR?

Truly get to know the journalist’s style and story background. If they don’t seem to write about a particular angle you are working with, don’t send it to them. Be strategic and hands on, nothing gets done faster than a square peg in a square hole.

How is PR different in LA vs. NYC?

New York taught me how to hustle. Never stop paying attention to emails and turn emails around immediately. In LA, I have been exposed to more meetings and face time. So the combination has been excellent for me and my clients.

Find Anita and New City PR on Twitter and Instagram.

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Skill to Conquer: Learn to Gain Perspective

Note the tea cup placed upon the sky-high stack of books. A Day in the Life: Kali Ramey Martin | Bird is the Word

Sometimes, life is smooth sailing. You’re enjoying your job, your home life is free flowing… the biggest thing you have to worry about is whether or not you’ll be up in time to attend 9am yoga on Saturday.

Then there are times when life just decides it’s time to make some changes and throws everything your way. Your roommate decides it’s time to leave before the lease is up, your job has you stuck at a level you think you’ve surpassed and/or your love life is taking a nose dive. Naturally, I try to scramble to save the pieces and put together a plan of action as soon as possible (it’s potentially one of the reasons I’m good at my job). But I’ve learned it’s actually better some times to do what I’m not inclined to do – take a step back.

When my head is in a problem at full force, I usually think through every possible scenario. The problem with that is, I usually can’t come up with a full-blown game plan for every scenario, so it just turns into a worrying fest. And obviously every scenario can’t happen – so what is the use?

While problem solving is a fantastic trait, the first thing you need is an insight into your instincts. If you are feeling confused or unclear, that is a sign that you’re not listening to your gut. I have a horribly hard time stepping back to gain perspective, but it’s necessary in order to make a good decision. Here are some ways you can tap into your instincts and make the call you need to make:

Talk to outside sources you trust – Talk to people who are completely outside the situation and don’t have any emotions attached to the outcome, aside from your well-being. This could be your mom, a good friend outside your circle of friends, or a trusted peer

Cut off all communication entirely - Sometimes having too many people put in their opinion is just more confusing. Write out all of your thoughts in a notebook and reread them. Usually you’ll have a gut reaction to what is going on in your head

Get physically out of the situation - Whether that’s a day trip, an extended yoga class or a weekend away. Take yourself out of your home and your zone. You’d be amazed how quickly some answers will come to you

Stop thinking - This is the worst one for me. My brain zooms at 200 MPH and does not like to slow down. I’ve been trying to meditate, but I know I have some practice hours to log in. In the meantime, reading usually lets me take my brain out of the equation. When I put the book down, I’m a lot calmer and can think a little slower to resolve the issue


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