Friday, December 2, 2011

Powerful Women in Public Relations

I just finished reading a collection of advice from top women executives around the world of public relations, compiled by rbb Public Relations. It is so powerful to read the words of these strong women, real women who have succeeded and continue to succeed. There were a couple of words of advice that I want to mention:

When complacency rears its ugly head, passion to learn kicks in and process are reinvented, fresh connections made and new skill sets added.
-Christine Barney, CEO of rbb Public Relations

It is so easy for me to be complacent, but at the same time I grate at this desire to be and do something bigger, something more. I know that real learning, not just reading or retweeting, is the way to go. I heard a story on National Public Radio one day while commuting to work about a return to the dark ages*. The author wrote a book about how we are coming onto a new dark age; a time lacking philosophical enlightenment and new intellectual discoveries. It left me determined to analyze, understand and remember everything around me in a way that forces and allows me to truly think.

These are passionate people who lead the dramatic changes going on in our industry and are taking new approaches and using new tools and channels.
-Melissa Waggener Zorkin, SEO, President and Founder of Waggener Edstrom

I have another blog that focuses somewhat on my passions in life, but my biggest one right now has to be public relations. I am entranced by good marketing, branding and unique public relations strategies. It's beauty to see a well messaged advertisement or a successful interaction between a company and its publics. Beauty.

Forget that you're a woman and just do a damn good job. . . Be extremely determined and very aware of your surroundings.
-Margaret Booth, President of M Booth & Associates

My family's favorite saying is, "Give 'em hell." That's what I have to do, every day. Do everything better than expected, help those around you and kill them with your awesomeness.

Women of the communication, business and career world, let me know what you think. Let me know what inspires you and how you balance life.


*I can't find the name of the book. So frustrating, I'm sorry.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Burning Ambition

I love this letter Tina Fey wrote to her 17-year old self. I don't directly connect with everything in it, but my favorite line is, "That churning feeling that keeps you up at night is not food poisoning, it's ambition." The whole first paragraph is for me. I have this blind ambition that is constantly thwarted by myself. But the longer I interact with Taylor, the more I listen to TED talks, hear from and about groups like Young Female Entrepreneurs or Rich, Happy and Hot, Live, the deeper it runs and the longer I stay awake at night trying to figure out what where my passion and potential will meet in an epic concoction.

It's getting there. Slowly, and steadily. Interestingly enough, today it was fueled in looking at business cards and imagining the pocket-sized representation of my success.

Every day I'm closer. Every day it's stronger. Every day I want it more.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

First Official Publication

A week ago the Huffington Post College section tweeted to its followers asking if any students wanted to write a post about the Occupy Wall Street Movement. I am always nervous about the official status of a written/published opinion because I don't feel I'm qualified to make judgments about complex and international situations. A very Socratic mindset: The more I learn, the more I realize I have no idea what's going on. But I knew I had to take advantage of the opportunity.  if a college educated woman who seeks out education and understanding is afraid to say something, who is educated enough? I know I'm not the most educated and I'm definitely not an expert but I am smart enough. So I answered and put together a 500 word op-ed.

Here it is: I was published on the Huffington Post. I am very proud of this.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Full-Time Life

I am officially in my second day as a full-time employee, and it's refreshing. I had no intention of creating that pun, because I am currently working at OrangeSoda. I'm a campaign manager, which means I help coordinate a little bit of the magic created within these citrous walls. The people surrounding me have helped guide my public relations-centered mind in the right direction, helping me understand what I'm supposed to do and how I can exceed.

Probably the thing I'm most excited about is the opportunity to learn. Everyone here is not only knowledgeable in their fields, they are excited to talk to me and make connections. That's impressive.

I watched a CNBC report about Google yesterday and one of their executives, Marissa Mayer, said the coolest thing, which will probably help guide my life:

"You should work with the smartest people you can find and you should do things you're not ready to do."

Three days of work and I feel more mentally stimulated than I have in a long time. A different type of mental exercise than school. I feel like I can really learn a lot of knowledge people have gained through hands-on experience and I am just trying to expand my portfolio. Speaking of which, I got a account and I'm excited to play with it.

Hooray for growing up!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Bubble Inside Me

In a lot of ways I am like my older brother, Philip. We laugh the same, we both have an artistic side that enjoys photography and quirky styles (proof here and here), we have the same feet (a fact pointed out by our little cousin) and our noses wrinkle the same way when we make faces.
We also have an unnamed, internal passion that we are trying to find a way to let out.
We have different activities that tap that keg of unbridled energy, one of our favorites is ceramics, but we are both searching for that something that we will not only put all our time and energy into building, but something that will make us money. That's another similarity, we like money. Philip enjoys the concept of money: power, trading, universal language. I enjoy enjoying money; the freedom it allows and the doors it opens. Loving money doesn't overpower us. Not at all. We realize the limitations and superficiality a wealth-focused life can create and continue enjoying and pursuing it.
The difference is Philip has always been interested in entrepreneurship. He is constantly looking for and trying different business ideas, trying to find the idea that will revolutionize the world. I have allowed my passions to find a release in the activities I come across, but never saw entrepreneurship as my avenue. That has changed lately. For the past three years I've dated Taylor who, like Philip, has spent his whole life pursuing entrepreneurship and, unlike Philip, has found ways to implement that passion and be the self-made businessman. Throughout our time together, Taylor has talked about his path, teaching me the mindset necessary to see what I have to offer and how that translates into business.

Two nights ago I had a solid business idea. Today I found Young Female Entrepreneurs and I think I'm hooked. Something has clicked and I finally understand the bubbling of passion and drive moving from the chest to the head as I see an idea form into a potential reality. I think I am an entrepreneur in the making.
I need to call Philip.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Get your Twitter on!

Ever since I got into Twitter in 2010, I have been hooked. I've been frustrated for a while with the feeling of sorting through junk on Facebook; kind of like thrifting but without the cool find at the end of digging through everything. I would not say I am a pro at Twitter, but I am definitely pro-Twitter.

For my internship I'm creating a proposal of a campaign that encourages students to create and maintain an online presence for professional purposes. Right now I'm working on a "How To" for students who want to use Twitter, but may be discouraged by the seemingly complex culture of tweets, hash-tags and DMing. It's understandable. In order for Twitter to fit into the tidy 140 characters it requires enough shortcuts and abbreviations to have its own dictionary. As I start at the basics, I find myself enjoying social media even more. I have to really dig deep, finding answers to possible confusion. I am not writing a manual on the website, I am writing the two-page 101 course.

So why does this matter? Because in this world of instant information I have to move at a hundred miles an hour to keep up with my social media, my GoogleReader, my email and the news. The information overload is fantastic! I can find anything about anything (thank you Wikipedia) as long as it happens within five seconds. While I am grateful that many stories and blog posts can be skimmed in the five seconds (which no doubt anyone who finds this post will probably do) I need to make sure to remember how to dig deeper. How to find the important aspects of a news story or challenge and apply a new topic I come across.

Thank you, Twitter. In your 140 character world I found a slower way of keeping life together.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

How adrenaline proves my weakness

I'm not afraid. I don't have any phobias, I love things that are difficult and edgy. I don't often have a moment that makes me nervous, and if I do it just takes a second of re-focusing my mind before I have control of the uncertainty.
When we were in Mexico, this last month, is a perfect example. My brother found and picked up a baby crocodile (it was in a tank, but still it's a two foot long aggressive animal) and I could hardly wait my turn to hold it. It wasn't until I watched my other siblings take the creature with a surprising level of trepidation that I recognized my comfort.

Sadly, there is always the exception to the rule. I am afraid of confrontation. Not debating. I will argue with someone about ideas, but when it comes to confronting someone about a slight against me (if it's an attack on someone I love I don't even think. I instinctively check the offender as a protection for the offended), or a situation in which I feel he/she is wrong, I'm useless. It's really embarrassing actually. A huge weakness and something I've consciously been addressing.

Today I was given the chance to confront an unfamiliar but frustrating roommate. I'll skip the list of situations that have left me feeling like this roommate has not broken out of the "I live at home and Mom takes care of everything" stage to the "I now live in my own place and should take care of it, if not for me then at least out of respect for my roommates" stage, but I think you get the idea.

After Taylor and I spent an hour deep cleaning the kitchen this afternoon he went home while I finished babysitting my crock-pot rice pudding. She came in and started making a simple dinner (no cooking required) and decided the garbage can was too full so she pulled the bag out and walked outside. My immediate thought was, That's good of her. I should re-evaluate my feelings. When she gets back in I'll thank her for taking it out. . .  as quickly as she exited she re-entered. She had left the bag sitting outside our front door, half way to the garbage bins. Seriously? I was so shocked I didn't say anything because my back had been turned so I second guessed my feeling of what she had done. As I walked across the street I confirmed my initial reaction. There was the garbage bag right on the ground.

Skip forward an hour and I walk back home and see the bag unmoved.

Enter Hilary.
Roommate enters on the way from the laundry room to her bedroom.
Roommate: Hey
Hilary: Hey.
Hey, question: Were you planning on leaving the garbage bag outside the door or...?
Roommate: Oh, I forgot to take that out. Thanks.
Hilary: Okay. I don't want to come across as bitchy or anything, I was just wondering.

That's it. But all it took was the split-second decision to act against my inclination and confront her and my adrenaline hit in full swing; shaking knees and everything. I was so pumped.

It really is quite late that the moment was so epic for me. But that is life.