Please Help My Dog Nemo

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My parents and I have a wonderful little dog named Nemo. He is about 8 years old now, and his health is at risk. On top of this arthritis and thyroid problems, Nemo is blind. The cataracts in his eyes prevent him from seeing his loving brothers and sister as well as his parents again. He is in critical need of eye surgery, but my family cannot afford it. All we ask is for you to lend us a helping hand for Nemo to live the rest of his life in comfort. Even $1 helps. He is tiny and helpless, and it breaks our hearts to see him suffer every day. Please feel free to contribute here: http://www.gofundme.com/1wnd5k

We appreciate the support ❤

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What the New Year Means for the PR Girl

We can finally put the year 2012 behind us and look forward to new beginnings, resolutions and big changes. For many of us, the new year encourages us to start new, fresh; a clean slate. But for us PR folks, the new year means one thing: News pegs. You see, before we entered the new year we were busy brainstorming, coming up with ideas and and hustling and bustling to generate them out into the media world before anyone else does. Before anyone can think of coming up with new year’s resolutions, we’ve already made a list of ten. For you business folks: while you’re starting to figure out the new law changes in your state, we’ve already pitched them to the morning news. I guess what I’m trying to say is that a new year gives us a chance to get ahead – and sometimes, that means everything in the PR world. Coming up with hot, new ideas gives you a name in the game.

Here are a couple of tips to help you to do just that:

  • Make a calendar: We all know what major holidays are, but there are a lot that we don’t know. For example, October is breast cancer month. This can help make your story newsworthy. Create a schedule of the different stories you plan to pitch and do so when it’s timely.
  • Scan the news – ALWAYS: Create Google alerts. Make sure you’re always aware of what’s going on around you.
  • Know your legislation: For business or law related stories, it’s always good to know of any changes made in legislation. You can then position your client (if they are knowledgeable of the topic) as an expert to discuss these important changes.
  • Don’t forget to think local: It’s great to aim for national coverage, but don’t forget to think local. When it comes to community news and events for your client, local media are more willing to cover.

What are your plans to stay on top of your PR scheme this new year? -xxJ

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Calling the News Desks: Your Friends or Foes?

When you’re working in the nonstop, always on-the-go world of PR, expect to put in some extra time during the weekends. That nice Saturday morning can turn into making phone calls, ensuring events run smoothly, clients are happy, etc. When you do have events during the weekend, it’s a given that you have to make your round of phone calls to the news desks and hope that you score media coverage. For those of you don’t know what the news desks are, it’s who you call to get a reporter or videographer out on the field. News desks assign story ideas to their crew to go out and cover. However, it can be a little intimidating making those calls since the person on the other line seems to always be in a rush and so eager to finish your conversation. Don’t get me wrong – there are plenty of nice people at the news desks that I’ve worked with, but there are also those who can be a little, well, mean. So, here are a couple of tips to build up your confidence and bring out your fearless PR self:

  • Before you make the call, make sure you know what you’re pitching. If it’s an event, get to the point immediately as to what it is and why it’s worthy of covering.
  • If you get interrupted, don’t be discouraged. Remember, news desks get hundreds of phone calls a day. You need to reassure them that yours is important.
  • Make sure to take down the name of the person you speak to. That way, when you need to follow up on whether someone will be covering your story, that person is already aware of what it is, where it is, etc.
  • When you get told to stop calling, don’t take it so personal. Although email is a great way to send information about a story idea, it’s always good to repitch it via phone. Think about how many emails each news station gets in an hour… yours probably just went in the trash.
  • Always be friendly. When you work in the media, everyone knows everyone. You don’t want to establish a bad reputation for yourself that may potentially go around from station to station.

Tell me about your experience with news desks. Have they been your friends or foes? -xxJ

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Life Without Cision Point: A Hot Mess

When I walked into the office this morning, I turned on mycomputer, checked my emails and figured I was ready to start pitching for the day – until I came to find that I could not log onto Cision Point. For those of you who don’t know what Cision is, it is a database of all news stations, magazines, newspapers, etc. that we PR folks use to find contacts. It’s so convenient that it even lists each reporter’s beat (aka the topics they cover). When I finally came to the conclusion that it wasn’t just me going crazy (after inputting the username and password about ten times), I had an tad bit of an anxiety attack. I thought to myself: How am I going to get through the day? Where else can I find these phone numbers? Why the hell isn’t this thing working?! I had to sit back and look at the bigger picture of life without Cision – and it’s clearly a hot mess. I never really valued it as much as being nothing but a phone book until today. It made me think of how much the PR profession itself solely depends on communication, and without it, it’s nonexistent. The simple access to a phone number or email can make or break your success as a PR person, which makes me think to myself: what was the PR world like without Cision Point?

Any thoughts or comments would be much appreciated! 🙂 -xxJ

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Fifty Shades

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Due to my extremely busy schedule during the last couple of weeks, I’ve totally been MIA here. Just a few quick updates on my life lately: Work has been so hectic, and I can’t say it’s out of the ordinary. But lately, it’s just been crazier that it usually is! I just finished reading Fifty Shades of Grey last night, and the ending was just SO mind-boggling. I still can’t get over the fact that it ended the way it did, which makes me want to go and purchase the last two books of the series. When I started reading , I became obsessed with Christian Grey. I thought he was every girl’s dream: hot as hell, wealthy and fairly generous, too. If it were up to me, I’d have no complaints if my boyfriend decided to buy me a new car just because he can. However, I started to sense the darker side in him, which made me feel less fondly of Christian. He became some sort of sick weirdo to me that made me feel really bad for Ana Steele, and  I could really relate to what she’s going through and what she’s feeling (*snaps to EL James*). Despite of the bizarre Red Room of Pain scenarios, somewhere deep in the book is a fabulous love story. Although the ending took me by surprise, I am completely in love with the series already; which reminds me: There’s nothing better than a good read for a PR girl. It’s nice to just get away and let your imagination come to life.

What do you guys think of Fifty Shades? -xxJ

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Does Being Organized Matter?

Today, I noticed my colleague Ruben brought a journal along to work. It was a cute little black book, so I decided to ask him what it was for. He explained to me that he uses it to make plans, jot down goals and make a to-do list. I was very impressed and made me want to grab one for myself, and it made me think of how important it is to stay organized – especially in the PR industry. With all of the follow-up calls you have to make, media appearances with your client and important emails it’s a really good idea to stay organized. Whether you write it down in a journal or a plain old post-it, it helps to see it in front of you. You can be the most organized person in the world, but when you have a job that requires you to do 10 things at once eight hours a day, you sometimes tend to forget. Here are a couple of tips on how to stay on top of things and the tools you can use to do so:

  • Classic notepad. I didn’t start using this until my first internship. I’ve been using the classic, yellow notepads ever since. The best thing about it is that you can easily rip off the pages when you’re done with them!
  • Post-its. These are good for temporary reminders, notes, etc. After all, no one wants a desk full of post-its. That’s just the complete opposite of being organized.
  • Sticky Notes. This is the digital form of post-its. I work on a PC at the office, and the Sticky Notes function allows me to write reminders that will stay on my desktop until I delete them. What better reminder than one that you’re constantly looking at?
  • iPhone reminders. This always comes in handy when I need to do something at a certain time. I just set a reminder on my iPhone, and it goes off when I schedule it to.
  • Create folders for each client. When there’s a million press releases to get to, it always helps to store them in different folders to help differentiate which client they are for. Trust me, this always comes in handy when a reporter calls about your press release!

Is there such thing as being too organized? -xxJ

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How Not to Go Coo Coo: PR Girl Style

It’s easy to get caught up in a PR girl’s busy life and forget about the rest of the world. Whether you’re crafting a monthly media update, sending out some new pitches or following up with story ideas, what you forget sometimes is taking care of yourself. Outside of work, you have your family, a boyfriend, pets, etc. – so where do you find the time for you? It took me a while to create a balance between work, relationships and myself. Sometimes it takes for you to go a little coo coo to realize that spending time with yourself and feeling good is very important. Regardless of whether you have to work on nights and weekends, you shouldn’t forget about who runs the show – YOU. Without good health, you wouldn’t be able to do the things you do on a daily basis. So before you start to pull your hair out, take a deep breath and try some of these tips to calm your nerves:

  • Get a massage. My co-worker Barbara reminded me today how relaxing a massage can be – not only to the body, but to the mind as well. It helps you to think clearly and calmly.
  • Go to the gym. It’s tough to find the time to work out and get a little sweaty, but even 30 minutes to an hour a day can work wonders. Staying active can help you stay sane – and that’s coming from first hand experience.
  • Pamper yourself at the salon. Get your hair or nails done. With all the craziness during the week, sometimes we forget to feel pretty on the outside.
  • Chat with a friend (about something not work-related). It’s always nice to catch up with a friend, especially when you haven’t spoken to them in a while. It will help keep you grounded.
  • Retail therapy. Okay, this always works. Enough said.
  • Read a book. I love going to Barnes and Noble to search for good reads. It’s so relaxing to just sit down, read a good book and sip on a latte.

What do you do to keep yourself sane? -xxJ

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A Walk in the PR Girl’s Shoes

Chinese Laundry Women’s Fast Love Nub Pump. A pair that I own!

We all want a cute, comfy pair of everyday work shoes, but let’s face it – they’re pretty hard to find. When I browse through stores during my lunch break, the shoes I always end up falling in love with are either too high or just flat out uncomfortable. And the ones that are comfortable seem to cost almost half my paycheck. You want to make sure you can walk around in the next pair of pumps you buy because in this industry, you never know when you’ll need to make a Starbucks run for a group of people. You also don’t want to feel too bad for yourself and stoop down to super low-end footwear, so here are a couple of high-end affordable shoe brands both my feet and wallet love:

  • Chinese Laundry. I completely adore their shoes. When it comes to style, comfort and price, this brand is #1 in my list. However, not all of their products are cheap buys. It’s a great idea to wait for a sale or purchase a pair with a coupon at Macy’s. http://www.chineselaundry.com/
  • Nine West. Also a fabulous store to shop at when it goes on sale! These shoes last quite a long time. http://www.ninewest.com/
  • Aldo. This store is always up-to-date with the latest fashions. The prices are great and you can grab some accessories while you’re at it. http://www.aldoshoes.com/
  • Bakers Shoes. Whether you’re looking for some flats or fall riding boots, this store has a lot of cute selections. http://www.bakersshoes.com/

Where do you do your shoe shopping? -xxJ

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Getting my PR Fitness On

So, I finally went to the gym today (given that the convenience of having a gym in the office should leave me no excuse NOT to go), and I feel great! Sitting in the office for eight hours a day isn’t what you necessarily call staying active, but what else can you do with a million things on your plate (pitches, sending out media alerts, etc.)? I made a commitment to stay in shape and get toned, but it’s definitely easier said than done. Sure, walking around with five-inch heels can be considered a workout but I guess it doesn’t really count when you’re only walking to the restroom and back. After doing some research, I’ve gathered a couple of good tips on getting your PR fitness on:

  • Take a brisk walk outside. Warning: you can’t do much of this in a pair of pumps, so make sure you bring walking/running shoes with you. Getting some sun may just be what can get you through the day.
  • Lift some weights. Five-pound dumbbells don’t seem like much, but if you want to get toned you can’t go too heavy. Try starting off with some light weights and work your way up to your desired look.
  • Instead of chocolate, try some fruit. If you’re like me, I eat chocolate like there’s no tomorrow. Try to indulge in some fruit or vegetables to satisfy your choco craving. I know it’s not quite the same, but this type of change is good right?
  • Less coffee, more water. I know exactly what you’re thinking: how am I supposed to stay awake? Limit yourself to one cup a day. I know it’s tough, but it’ll be worth it once you start seeing results!
  • Portion your food. You don’t have to stop eating what you normally eat. Just make sure to eat less of it. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water, since most people confuse thirst for hunger.
  • Have some type of incentive. My coworker and I created a fitness competition at the office to see who can meet their goal the fastest. When you’re in competition, you tend to work harder to strive.

What are you doing to stay fit in the office? -xxJ

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Network, Network, Network

May Medallada, Barbara Beran, Yours Truly at the Iris Auxiliary Western BBQ Benefiting the San Diego Center for Children

Yesterday evening, I attended a local fundraiser to raise money for charity. During my time there, I networked with a lot of people who have impacted the nonprofit community in San Diego, which is one of the types of PR I do on the daily. It’s important to know what you’re doing at these networking events and that you’re prepared to leeway into conversations and have background knowledge of the organization itself and its key players. It can get a little intimidating to approach a total stranger and start chatting with them like you’ve known each other for years. However, in the world of PR, it’s a must to expand your social circle. With all the practice I’ve gained from the Public Relations Student Society of America at SDSU when I was in college, I’ve mastered the 30-second commercial and how to be a social butterfly at these events. If you’re just starting out and need a little bit of encouragement, here are a few reasons why you should consider attending networking events:

  • You never know when you’re going to meet the big shots. The last event I attended, I was mingling with the mayor’s wife (and did not even know it) over some wine and hors d’oeuvres. Building connections with big names in the community is always a plus!
  • You can find a job. At the fundraiser yesterday, a lovely woman mentioned she was starting an organization of young business professionals and suggested I be a part of it. When you do it right, these events can really showcase your personality and make employers consider you as a potential employee.
  • You can find new clients. Speaking of the lovely young woman, she also mentioned that she plans events every year for charity and works with a local PR firm. After telling her a little bit about what we do, she considered hiring us for next year’s event. That’s another client added to our list.
  • It can be a great time to bond with your fellow coworkers. Almost our entire office was present yesterday, which was great because we really got to represent our company well and put a face into all the work we do.  While we usually work behind-the-scenes, people now know what we look like, which I’m sure makes us more relateable and memorable.
  • You expand your social circle. We all know that sometimes it’s who you know, and that’s when these events really come into play. When someone needs PR, they now have you as a contact and vice versa. It’s really a win-win situation. Don’t forget to ask for some business cards and bring your own!

How do you feel about networking events? -xxJ

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