Making the Investment

When starting a new job, it’s easy to get sucked into the newness of it all. You want to do well, you want to be sure that your organization values your presence, and the everyday treadmill can feel as though it’s on incline 8.0 at speed 7.5.  However, as one of my superiors recently mentioned in one of my company’s “peer lunches,” it is critically important that we all take time to “make the investment.”

What did she mean by “make the investment?” She meant that as young professionals,  our personal brand and reputation does and should extend past the confines of our current job.  We spend all day (and sometimes nights) investing in our clients, making sure they are succeeding in achieving their goals, but we have to take time to invest in ourselves.  

Much like our clients have business goals to guide their strategic communications,  we should have career goals to guide our strategic personal branding.  Here are 5 steps to help all of us make the investment in ourselves:

 

1. Write down two goals you’d like to achieve in your next year of your career. Note- these should be personal goals, not client-based or company-based.

2. Ask yourself, your peers, or even your boss (where applicable) what the best way is to achieve these goals.  What do you need to do between points A and B? Write these down in specific, realistic terms.

3. Start with the simplest action first. (I find tackling a daunting list can be best achieved by easing yourself in.)

4. Congratulate yourself! Take the time to celebrate that you’re making an investment in your long-term professional brand.

5. Complete the rest of the actions on your pathway list.  Now celebrate! You’re well on your way to achieving your goals,  and you’ve taken the time to make the investment.

Boston

I consider myself part of the “9-11” generation.  While we were too young to truly understand what happened that day, we will always remember where we were, who told us, and the images of the World Trade Center towers crumbling to the ground.  In Hopkinton, MA, we remember our teachers telling us  that we were going to have a “practice indoor recess,” or that there were “bees in the backstop” outside.   Only later did we find out that concerns about the planes having taken off from Logan Airport in Boston was the true reason for this change to our routine.  My journal from shortly after that day speaks in an angry fifth-grader’s voice about “some jerk named Osama Bin Laden” who flew planes into the World Trade Center.  At the end of the year, myself and my classmates sang “Proud to Be An American,” (complete with hand gestures) at the end-of-year school assembly.  We didn’t understand much, but we understood enough to know our world had somehow changed.  We were scared.

Twelve years later, I’ll admit I still have fears.  Anytime I’m on a crowded subway train in Boston, my blood pressure spikes, as I try to move the thought of the 2007 London bombings out of my mind.  In 2005, when I began volunteering at a Boston cultural institution, my mother and I made an emergency meeting plan, should a terrorist attack take place in our city.  I still remember where I was supposed to meet her, and think about it every time I drive by.  For me, yesterday felt like the inevitable culmination of twelve years of fears.  As surreal as the images are, this attack felt to me more like a “when,” than an “if.”

Nonetheless, this attack on the city I love is hitting particularly hard.  To the rest of the country, the Boston Marathon may be just a race.  They may never have even heard of it.   For myself and my classmates from Hopkinton, MA, however, the Boston Marathon is religion.  Every April, the roads close down, there is no school, and hundreds of port-a-potties and white tents cover our sports fields and town common.  We walk or bike to the town common with our friends and families.  Maybe we volunteer, and help load runners’ gear onto buses to be delivered to the finish line in downtown Boston.  Everything stops, and our tiny town becomes the epicenter of a major celebratory event.  Yesterday, someone or some group of terrible people ripped a hole in the heart of Boston, and this wound extends the 26.2 miles back into Hopkinton.  I have no doubt the city and the state will heal, but it will take time.

For now, let’s just take a moment to reflect on why a generation of children were scarred forever on 9-11, and another, too young to remember 9-11, were scarred again yesterday. Planes, crowds, movie theaters, classrooms…these places should be safe.  The answer to your problems, oh-crazy-ones, is not violence.  I don’t have a solution, but the second we stop looking for a solution, the perpetrators of these heinous crimes have won.  This may not have happened in your town, or your state, or near you, but someday it just might.  I’d like to think my children will live in a better world than the one I’ve grown up in, and I’d like to start changing things now.

5 Reasons YOU Should Register and Go to the Conference this Saturday!

One of the events I’ve put my heart, soul & PR savvy into at Syracuse University is taking place TOMORROW!

I’ll analyze it from a PR & social media event marketing standpoint after the conference. But first, I hope to see you all there! If not in person, via the Twitterstream at #HateExpires.

Life Gets Better Together

The countdown is winding down, and after months of preparation, debating, brainstorming, thinking, planning, scheduling, marketing, promoting, designing, acting, dancing, blogging, it has finally come down to this: we are 2 days away from the Life Gets Better Together Conference! 

For our second year in a row, we are back on the Syracuse University campus to advocate and teach the SU and Central NY community about issues surrounding LGBT Youth. If you haven’t heard our spot on Z89 radio, seen our posters around campus, saw the article about us in the Daily Orange, then it’s time we break the news to you: this Saturday, April 13th, we want you to join us at the Life Gets Better Together Conference at Newhouse III on the Syracuse University campus. We also want you to register here!

OK, OK, we get it: weeks are so busy, filled with working 9-5, cramming for those…

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Great post about a nifty new tool for the research that should guide every good PR campaign!

 
Here is my example of a Google Trends search for a topic near and dear to my heart – “a cappella!”
 
GoogleTrends

My PR Master

Planning an effective PR campaign has some similarities to writing a good speech: You don’t only have to think about WHO will transport the message, but also HOW he or she will do it. Sometimes an emotional appeal is the best way, and sometimes merely presenting the facts would be the better choice. But how do we decide? 

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