Last night Adrianna and I met to catch up and share some holiday cheer. We both wanted to make our way to Rolf’s, a German restaurant in-between our offices that is known for it’s out-of-control Christmas decorations. While it was FAR too packed for us to get in. We were able to snap a few pictures of the decorations and get into the holiday spirit before we made our way to a much more spacious Italian restaurant for a delicious meal.
This season I have been blessed to be able to catch up with close friends and see NYC in all it’s December glory. Checking off a few things on the Christmas bucket list always feels good. It makes me want to keep this lovin’ feeling going all year long…
Adrianna and I wish you the happiest of holidays! We’ll be back after Christmas Day, and have some exciting things planned for the blog in the new year.
Keep in touch via Insta, Twitter and Facebook and share all your holiday happiness!
With only six days till Christmas and a nice long winter break (woohoo), the next two days are vital. Now that Christmas shopping is done, it’s easier to keep my mind on work and make sure everything is wrapped up at the office. There’s always back and forth about holiday office etiquette, especially around the holiday party, but keep the below in mind for the few days remaining until the holidays.
Don’t expect your team members to get work done over the break.
Be mindful of others travels.
Give a small gift or note to teammates/ co-workers. Also consider baking.
Don’t ask about holiday bonuses. It’s personal and not every company gives them.
A given, but don’t drink too much at your holiday party. Or you’ll be the talk of the office.
Get all your work done before you leave for break. Don’t leave your teammates hanging.
Make sure your clients are aware of your offices vacation schedule.
Public relations is a team-based activity. You get amazing things done with the help of your colleagues and partners. However, there is something to be said about being an independent worker bee as well. You may pitch into the group and work for the greater good, but you work on your own time and by your own rules. This is usually how I am most productive, most efficient, and most happy.
Here are a few positives to being an independent, and how you can break through the mold:
You depend on YOU – While I turn to my friends and colleagues frequently when I need help (Adrianna hears about every problem I have from the time I wake up to the time I go to sleep), when it comes down to it, you are the person there at the end of the day solving the problem. Be your own superhero and best friend – give yourself (and your gut) some credit
You help YOU grow – While maturing and gaining experience is a process that requires time, there is nothing more satisfying than looking back and seeing how far you’ve come. Even the mistakes you’ve made along the way help you to realize your dreams, maybe in a more satisfying way than you ever thought possible. The pride that comes from personal growth is fantastic, and well worth the hard work
You can boss around YOU – To take some more personal initiative, let your team in on your managing style. Show off to your bosses or supervisor (or professor) how you organize your day, delegate projects, or contribute to the group. A little organization leads to a lot of autonomy. You would be surprised how fast your superiors and teammates come to trust you on your own if you show how much you can accomplish
We’ve written plenty of times about the importance of maintaining good media relationships. In light of the holiday season, here are a few ways to stay on the media’s nice list as opposed to the naughty list.
Respond quickly and accurately. Time is of the essence.If you’re not sure of an answer, double check and let the reporter know you’ll get back to them.
Be respectful of deadlines. Don’t bother them when they’re on one.
Stick to your word. Always follow through with what you say you’ll do and send.
Stay truthful. Getting caught in a lie ruins any relationship.
Give instead of receive. Don’t be selfish in thinking that a reporter should write about everything for you without anything in return. Offer them an exclusive or an interview if you can.
Don’t be spiteful or rude. If the story from a reporter doesn’t come out as planned, remember it’s editorial and you can never fully control a story. The reporter is just doing his/her job. Don’t take it personal and give attitude in return.
Show you’re grateful. Letting them know how much you appreciate their feedback or support by sending a little something (product from around the office, etc.) goes a long way.
Send a thank you. An old fashioned note in the mail is much better than an email. Or a nice holiday card.
Don’t be pushy. If you ask them for something and they don’t send the first time, don’t ask again. Being that annoying PR pro is a sure way to the naughty list.
We are in prime holiday party season. Over the next two weeks, I have too many parties and social gatherings to count. I’m popping multi-vitamins and B12 like it’s my second job as well – just so I can stay engaged and awake during many back-to-back occasions in the chilling NYC weather.
And if I’m feeling the holiday stress just as a guest, we can only imagine what our holiday hostesses feel. The worst thing you can do is be a grinchy guest – everyone has worked so hard to be sure you feel welcome and cozy in their home. Here are a few guest guidelines for attending your holiday parties over the coming weeks.
Send a quick note prior to the party – See if you can help in anyway. Is she going to be rushed to make dessert? Offer to bring cookies from her favorite bakery
Bring the bubbly – I bring champagne or wine to almost every shindig during the holidays. It’s time to celebrate! Why not bring the champs?
Help mix it up – If you’re a guest’s guest, this can be a little intimidating. But the hostess needs help making people mingle. Step out of your comfort zone and introduce yourself to some new people
Watch the drink count – Unless this is your first college Christmas, watch how many vinos you are throwing back. This is ESPECIALLY true at work parties. No one wants to hear about the guy you hooked up with at Brother Jimmy’s who never called you back. Five thousand times
If you are the last to leave, offer to help clean – She may say no, but the thought is very much appreciated
Send a thank you note – Handwritten is nice, but even a text or Facebook post is thoughtful. Even if it was a 100 person rager, leave a nice note saying you had a great time
I absolutely love your website, and I have a bit of a PR newbie question!
I’ve been completely blessed and landed a great internship with a large PR agency after college that has brought me to The Big Apple! However I’m nearing the end of my contract with the agency and have begun to plan my next move. I get the feeling that my agency will either extend my contract or offer an entry-level account position. but I’m not so sure about staying where I’m at.
My internship is currently in healthcare PR, but I’m totally itching to try different areas of the business, like consumer/lifestyle or beauty. Is it appropriate to talk to Human Resources about trying the consumer/lifestyle side of the agency? Will the members of my team totally hate me for wanting to move?
Thanks so much for your help!
Just Getting My Feet Wet
This is something a lot of PR newbies face, and I know people personally that were in this situation. You should 100% talk to HR as soon as possible about trying a different division of PR. You’re just starting out, so now is the time as you know to get your feet wet in all different facets of the industry. It’s one of those, speak now or forever hold your peace situations.
While it may be an awkward conversation to have with your team members, do not feel bad about requesting the move. I’ve had experience in healthcare PR and it’s completely different from consumer. You’re team members are aware that healthcare PR isn’t for everyone and they should be understanding and accepting of that. And who knows – you might switch over to consumer and hate it.
If there isn’t a position open for you in the consumer division, consider switching agencies. Look for entry-level consumer positions since you already have a great internship under your belt. Put in your cover letter that you’re looking to get consumer PR experience as opposed to healthcare. Don’t miss this window of opportunity to make a change. You wouldn’t want to get cornered into a division of PR you’re not fully passionate about.
As PR people, we’re perfectionists. It’s hard to admit when we’ve done something wrong or a project/press release/pitch didn’t turn out the way we had worked for. Honestly, these are some of the times you learn the most. You just got to own it.
Here are a few ways to take advantage of a mistake, and turn it into a positive:
Approach who found your error – Whether it was your boss, a media contact, your professor or your mom. Ask how they are reading your mistake. What is coming across as “wrong?” How can it be “right?”
Take notes – Find the key changes that need to be made by doing a little research. Do you need a better quote for a release? Do you need to print out your resume or press release in order to read carefully and find errors?
Start implementing a new strategy right away – The worst mistakes are the ones that are repeated. It’s okay to mess up the same way a couple times until you get a handle on it, but there should be constant improvement. Remember your mistakes and make changes ASAP
Ask for help from a friend – Don’t LEAN on anyone, but if you want another set of eyes before you send to a boss/professor/colleague/mom, ask a close friend with an objective view to review your work or provide input. You could see something you’ve totally missed, whether it’s a punctuation mistake or a new pitch angle
Being a lifestyle and beauty PR girl, I’m constantly in the blogosphere. I ran across thesetwo articles, and thought they were absolutely worth sharing. The topic is “life improvement,” but not in the big scary way that Oprah talks about it. I’m always about bettering myself, but I’m the first to admit that the process is stressful. Especially if you want to better yourself and your life in the middle of a budding career/finals week/new relationship/moving to a new city/basically kicking ass. It is daunting to adopt new habits or philosophies within your mile-long daily to-do list.
The article is a great reminder that you can improve your daily life with just small actions, and come across a new experience or connection that you never would have thought possible. A few of these small actions are even perfect for the budding PR girl or guy. Here are few examples:
Make eye contact – Don’t be that girl who looks at the ground, or can’t introduce herself without a strong handshake and looking the person in the eye. It is also severely important to look at the person who is speaking in a conversation. Way too many people turn their heads to the loudest person every five seconds (it’s one of my biggest pet peeves). Give undivided attention with your eyes, and you will come off as compassionate and perhaps make a new friend
Speak louder – This is something I’ve worked on for years. I’m a fast talker and a soft talker, which can come off as mumbling if someone doesn’t know me. By speaking slowly and audibly, you sound smarter and get your point across faster than if you were rambling
Never set expectations for something outside your control – Don’t plan on being married at 25. Don’t plan on your subway to the office being on time. Don’t set high hopes for that salad dressing on your lunch to be good. The difference here is not to aim low, but to be OPEN to life and what is going on around you. Be surprised by your salad dressing. Give yourself extra time in the morning to get to work. Meet the person of your dreams once you have learned to love yourself at the right age
Eat real food – I stopped going out to lunch every single day, and my energy levels sky rocketed and I started sleeping better. If you’re on a budget, buy quinoa and chicken and veggies. You can live very happily that way.
Call a spade a spade – This is just about getting right to the point. There is no reason to dance around any issues, in business, in school, in life. Having issues with a close friend? Ask them straight up why things have been different. You’re not receiving any responses to your resume? Check for spelling errors or grammar mistakes. Sometimes, it really is that simple
Find a look that is YOU – This could be anything from changing your blush color to filling in your eyebrows to buying more tops in your most flattering color. You’re a functioning adult now. Why not look like one and feel like a million dollars in the process?
Early December is generally the time you start presenting PR plans for the next year. Pulling together a yearlong PR plan is a boatload of work. Last year, I pulled together some tips for planning for the New Year, but also found the below tidbits to be extremely helpful this year.
Results of 2013. What worked/what didn’t work. Replicate and revamp tactics that worked.
Next year’s trends. What’s going to be trendy next year? In food, fashion, beauty, art. Categories beyond just your clients.
National holidays. Make note of those that your client should get involved in. Including national food and beverage holidays.
Movie premieres. Look up movie premieres in 2014 and see if there’s anything your client can tie into.
New social platforms. Thinking beyond just Twitter and Facebook – what are those other social platforms that are on the rise? More and more brands are joining Snapchat for example.
Media you haven’t tapped. What media is your target audience reading/ watching. Where haven’t you been featured? Brainstorm ideas on how to be a part of these outlets.
Brainstorm everywhere. The subway, in the shower, at the gym. Sometimes you come up with your greatest ideas out of the office.
What other factors do you consider when developing ideas for the new year?