So today is my 25th birthday. Looking back at 24 it was a huge growth period for me. Switching agencies, getting a promotion and finding a new apartment. I don’t want the year to end! Top of mind today is all the work I have to get down before leaving the office this afternoon. We’re doing dinner tonight at Hillstone – I’ve never been but heard they have amazing veggie burgers which is something I’m definitely in the mood for. Tomorrow I’m headed to Ohio State with my family to visit my younger brother. It will be my first major college football game – wish me luck.
And thank you all for being such supportive readers. M and I love you all Xo
Over the past couple weeks, I have been treading in some deep water as I prepped for THE biggest new business pitch of my career. The closer we got to the pitch date, the later I was working. I’m not opposed to late nights in the office to get a few things off my plate, but your brain can go a bit numb after a string of them. Then the days before the pitch, our team was up until all hours rehearsing, redrafting, and rehashing key ideas. It was adrenaline that kept me awake during that incredibly important morning meeting. After the pitch, my eyes could barely stay open.
We’re all going to have nights like this in PR. The important thing is to not to go college-girl crazy with all nighters. We’re not 18 anymore (well, maybe some of us are). When sleep is not on top of the to-do list, here is how to keep care of yourself so you’re alert when you need your brain most.
Take mini breaks – Your wonderful mind needs a breather. If you’re going underground to rehearse/write/pitch, take a solid 15 minute break every 2 hours. Otherwise, your eyes WILL glaze over and you WILL start to slur your words
Stay hydrated – Water is your brain’s friend. Be sure to keep a chilled water bottle near by. Add lemon to help your skin and your body feel refreshed
Put the phone away – Don’t get distracted by texting and tweeting. There is no reason to drag out your work hours more than you need. Go completely offline, then check in on your 15 minute break
Avoid too much coffee – If you need caffeine, drink green tea. Coffee can keep you up until all the wrong times, and when you can get sleep, you’ll need it
Try to eat right – When you’ve hit your fourth straight day of working hard, you deserve a burger and a great big glass of cab. Other than that, try to avoid too much bread, alcohol and fat, and stick to veggies and protein when you can. Your body recognizes these foods and processes them quickly and cleanly. No tummy problems and high energy makes PR Jane a happy girl
As PR professionals, writing is a huge part of our job. From writing a cover letter to a press release to a short pitch, it’s something we have to do every single day. While we may not all be the best writers we can be, here are some tips I’ve personally taken to becoming a more effective writer.
Read. The newspaper in the morning, a book in spare time or a magazine on the plane. Take time to read and learn new vocabulary.
Write often. Don’t be afraid to volunteer to write more at work – your colleagues will love you. Also this blog is another outlet I use to practice my writing.
Fully understand what you’re writing. Seems simple – but it’s true. Don’t sit down to write something you not well-versed on.
Make an outline. Of what your writing needs to accomplish so you don’t miss a key point.
Refer to AP Stylebook. The PR bible – refer to it often when writing press releases or pitches to make sure your grammar is correct.
Don’t rush. We’re always in a rush to get our writing finished, which often leads to mistakes. If you take your time to write something and re-read it several times, it will turn out better in the end.
Use a thesaurus. I still visit thesaurus.com all the time to find new and more effective words.
Review with a peer. Ask your teammates to review it with them. Learn why they’re making the changes so you can learn from it.
I saw Lauryn’s Life Balance Pyramid on her blog this week, and it inspired me to create one for the PR girl. We get loads of questions about “what it takes” to be a successful PR beyatch, and work-life balance is key. Below is how I try to keep it all together:
First and foremost, family and friends. Obviously. I live with my sister, I talk to my mom and dad multiple times a week (try to see them at least once a month), and I talk to Adrianna every single day. If not, every single hour. I make time for the people who are most important in my life with brunch, lunch and phone dates. Just talking or gchat even helps to keep things going
I am an introvert by nature, so time to myself is absolutely necessary. If I don’t have a few hours each day or a full day each week to recharge the batteries, I am no good to the world. I also put in this category eating right, exercise, reading and meditating. If I’m eating Easy Mac and cookies for days on end, I might be fat and happy on day one but I will ABSOLUTELY have a carboload hangover on day three
As an NYC PR girl it is no surprise that my career is pretty high up there. I’m still young, so work is a high priority and I am always trying to grow in my field. Our blog is also included within this category, which helps me keep my job fun, creative, and interesting
Oooo la la, the love life. There was a time there that I put this on the farthest back burner possible (we’re talking behind the microwave collecting dust), and I was just not a happy girl. Romance keeps you excited, interested, and helps you learn more about yourself. If you don’t have a significant other, get on Tinder, OK Cupid, Match.com, whatever. There are plenty of outlets for you to snag yourself some flirtatious banter and a date
I absolutely make sure I have some new adventures and experiences ready for me at least once a month. Most of the time I keep it in New York, since there is always a new restaurant or park to check out, but you can also get out of the city and go apple picking, sky diving, henna-tatt00ing… whatever lights your fire
The “misc.” bucket includes all the little things that make me happy almost on a daily basis. Hot tea, runs in the park, shopping sprees, tumblr… anything that can put a smile on my face really quick
Something that’s been popping up quite frequently is the one day work trip. You fly into a city early in the morning for a meeting and fly out late at night. While it has its downsides – waking up at an ungodly hour – and upsides – not having to pack – the one day work trip can be exhausting, but something you will learn to master. Here are a few tips I’ve found to be extremely helpful.
Get an ample amount of sleep the night before. Don’t stay late at the office. You’ll want to get plenty of sleep for the next day.
Finish work ahead of time. The day before you leave, make sure you get as much work as you can done. While you might say, “oh I’ll just do this on the plane tomorrow”, things don’t always pan out that way.
Bring documents you need on a USB. If you need to work on things so you don’t clog your email.
Pack a small bag the night before. Waking up at 5am isn’t normal for us, so you might forget to pack some items in the morning. The OG bag from Lo & Sons is the perfect day trip bag and what I’m using today.
Only pack the essentials. Your computer, laptop and iPhone charger, change of shoes, a notebook, umbrella in case it rains, a little makeup to freshen up and some reading. I’m browsing the new Domino on today’s flight.
Check-in and print your boarding pass ahead of time. Or pull it up on your phone so you can easily skip checking in and head to the gate.
Eat. When you’re at the airport or pack a small snack. You’ll need the energy and can’t rely on just coffee.
Give yourself time. While you want to fly out at night as soon as you can, give yourself enough time to finish your meetings so you’re not in a mad dash to the airport and end up missing your flight. My worst nightmare.
Sleep when you can. On the plane ride there or plane ride back. Otherwise, your sleep schedule will be off and the next couple of work days will be exhausting.
I personally prefer going on work trips just for the day instead of sleeping over for one night. You avoid the hassle of carrying a large bag and get to go home to your cozy bed and wake up the next day like you never left.
When I first started my professional career, it took me a while to get a hang of teamwork. I am a very independent person by nature, so the thought of checking in with 6 different people throughout the day kind of made my head spin. Couldn’t I just be given my homework assignment and left to it?
Now that I’m in the middle of one of our most busiest times of year, I can’t help but be thankful every day for the team I have behind me. While it is certainly helpful to have someone help out with the work load, there are other benefits to having a set of PR peeps on your side. Here are a few ways you should be sure you’re taking advantage of your team.
When something just doesn’t feel right – Whether it’s a sentence in your press release, an email you’re drafting to the client, or a random request you received from media. Check in with your team to see if your gut feeling is justified
You need an objective view – We’ve all been in those positions where we’ve been working on the same project with the same client for just far too long. Bringing in a breath of fresh air can literally bring the whole thing to life, and bring back some of that excitement you felt at the beginning
Get Pumped – It’s hard to get in the right mindset for a client initiative if you’re focused on your own day and to-do lists. My team always helps me to get in the groove and look forward to some of the highlights of an upcoming campaign
And yes, SUPPORT – When you’re swamped, that’s what your team is for. Don’t offload all your work, but make sure you are not taking on too much when you can share with the group
Lately a few very weird coincidences have been happening. I was saying the other day that I need a new foundation routine, and one of our favorite beauty gurus posted an updated video that very night. I was just thinking I need to update myself on Gabby Bernstein’s lectures, and I get a special invite to an event where she is speaking. Needless to say, it’s really freaking the eff out of Adrianna. She’s pretty sure I’m a psychic.
I’m not sure about my telekinetic abilities, but I do know that this follows a principle that I’ve found really helpful in my professional and personal life – you gotta want it. Not like “I may cry if I don’t finally get that pair of Michael Kors boots.” More like, “Something is telling me that I need to go down this path, and I will find what I’m looking for.”
In a crazy stressed world and a generation obsessed with being “busy,” it’s hard to take a second to listen to yourself and what you really want. Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed, I take a beat and I literally ask myself, “What do I need to do.” The answer always comes bubbling up.
If you’re finding yourself tearing your hair out at midterms or completely put down at your job or internship, turn inward. Just ask yourself what YOU need, how YOU can make YOU happy. The right answer will appear faster than you think.
There’s nothing more frustrating than when you’re continuously pitching a client and not getting any feedback. If this is the case, either the pitch isn’t relevant to the writer or the timing is off. One quick and simple solution is to tie your client to a National Holiday.
If you’re client is a liquor brand for example, flag days like National Mojito Day, National Margarita Day, etc. in your calendar. Look at who wrote about the holiday last year and tie it to your client. Brainstorm ways your client can celebrate these holidays and be a part of the conversation. There’s pretty much a National Holiday for everything – especially food and drinks – so do your research and make sure you take advantage of them for some quick wins.
p.s. Today is National Desserts Day and Columbus Day. Now go celebrate!
This season I have been going bonkers with Pinterest and planning my fall/winter closet. I usually like to plot it out with my seasonal needs, and do my purchasing in waves. First on my list, awesome flats, versatile boots, and a bag that I can take from weekend getaways to work trips.
A few of our favorite things, right now:
1. The O.G. bag from Lo & Sons is great for traveling or day trips to the apple orchard
2. Rumor boots are sexy but sweet, and can go boho or classy
Last week I mentioned I was searching for a new apartment. I went back and forth between deciding if I should find a one bedroom, or another roomie, or just live in a box. I looked a six different apartments – each one with its own issues. It was either too small, too big, too expensive, too old, too far. Anyone who’s searched for apartments in this area knows what a headache it can be. You have to make a decision whether or not you want the apartment within a matter of hours – otherwise it’s gone.
Well today I finally signed the lease for a new apartment that’s just right. It’s a one bedroom in Hoboken not far from the Path and Washington Street. Now I’m beginning to stress furniture and storage. This place is small so I have to use space wisely. I have a month in between my new apartment and old apartment so I have time to plan, but looking for new furniture and finding ways to make space is tricky.
Where do you tend to look for new furniture and design inspiration? Share your Pinterest boards Xx