Tag Archives: PR101

10 Lessons New York City Has Taught Me.

image-88“Always behave like a duck – keep calm and unruffled on the surface, but paddle like the devil underneath.” – Jacob M. Braude

It’s been almost seven months since I packed up my bags and shipped it from Toronto to New York City. Hard to believe! A lot has changed since then, and I’m still asking myself where the time has gone. In a city like New York, time can be easily swept away by the hustle and bustle of the streets. I know I am not the only one that gets asked, “So, what’s NYC like?!” In honor of those people, and to do a little self-reflection, here are 10 things I’ve learned since I moved to the city!

  1. You have to be self-assured. Things are not always going to work out in your favor. Sometimes you have to hold your head high, believe in yourself, and move forward.
  2. It’s not going to be 9-5. This was never a surprise to me. It was only reinforced when I moved to the city. If you’re looking for a 9-5 job, PR might not be your calling.
  3. At some point, you will feel overwhelmed. I think back to the movie Friends With
    Benefits, and I couldn’t agree more with Mila Kunis, “New York can be a bit lonely at times … [but] Every place can be a bit lonely sometimes.
  4. These lights will inspire you. How cliché. In all reality, sometimes you have to stop and take in your surroundings.
  5. Make the call. You’re going to have to make a decision that’s only best for you. People around you might not always agree with it, but trust your gut.
  6. You will make a mistake. You will also learn from it.
  7. There is always going to be someone who is one heel ahead of you… and that’s okay. You might be intimidated, but never feel as though you don’t have something to bring to the table. You got to where you are for a reason.
  8. Take a break. Sometimes work and stress can pile up. Take a deep breath and carry on.
  9. Network, Network, Network. Seriously. Every single person has a story, and a
    connection. In PR, this is essential.
  10. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Although the city will toughen you up, never be afraid to ask questions. It demonstrates your desire to learn more, but also shows that you’re
    willing to admit that you don’t know everything.

What has your city taught you?

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PR101: When the going gets tough, keep going.

image-87Either you run the day, or the day runs you. –Jim Rohn

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that I am a huge proponent of keeping yourself motivated.
One Heel Ahead exists for that reason. It’s a reminder for you to push yourself one step
further, and embrace new opportunities. However, sometimes you will face challenges that
test your patience. Maybe you’ve taken on too much at work, or you’re having disagreements with a fellow colleague on how to frame a pitch. Either way, sometimes all we need is a gentle reminder that things are going to be okay. Here is a brief PR pro’s guide to staying focused!

  • Take it outside. A little fresh air will remind you that life will go on.
  • Ask questions. If you’re confused, or seeking clarification, ask questions to get a better
    understanding of the task at hand.
  • Re-evaluate your eating habits. Skipping breakfast? Sometimes jumping off on the wrong foot is your first problem. Take a step back and see if your lifestyle may be impacting your mood.
  • Listen and learn. Take advice from your mentor, or seasoned professionals that you
    look up to. It helps to talk it through with someone who may have been in your position at one time or another.
  • Give yourself a break. “Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” You’ll be surprised how refreshed you feel when you allow yourself some time to relax.
  • Talk to family or friends. If you live away from home, reach out and talk with someone that’s close to you. Perhaps a familiar voice will help you refocus and give you the
    motivation you need.
  • Always remember you’re doing the best that you can. Everything can’t go right all of the time. If you’re staying positive, and trying your best, that’s all that matters.
  • Take to Twitter! The PR community is a close-knit group on social media. Everyone is
    overwhelmingly supportive, and always willing to lend a hand. Sometimes all you need is to talk with someone who knows exactly how you feel!

You’re already half way through the week, so keep looking up!

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Think Before You Speak

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Be Impeccable With Your Word. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word
in the direction of truth and love.” - Miguel Ángel Ruiz


“Think Before You Speak”

It’s a phrase that has been used over and over again in various contexts. One that serves as a gentle reminder to put thought into your vocabulary and everyday utterances. I was going to save this idea for a tweet after numerous experiences of open dialogue on public transit.
However, I couldn’t seem to simplify my thoughts into 140 characters. Alas, this post was born.

I’m talking business. Or rather, I’m suggesting for you not to discuss business (publicly,
anyways). As I sit in the subway car, patiently awaiting my destination, I’m struck by the amount of loud, public conversations about horrible bosses and employees that are happening around me. I know as soon as the dialogue gets more in-depth that these are all perfect examples of how to ruin your career. Everyday I’m amazed at how many people openly discuss the details of their Devil-Wears-Prada like careers with the whole world.

Whether you’re at a bar for happy hour, complaining about how your colleague is a backstabber trying to get you fired, or how your boss is a control freak who needs to take a vacation, you never know who is listening. The girl standing next to you could be your boss’s daughter. The man sitting behind you could in fact be the owner of the firm you work at, you’ve just never met him. After your 15-minute post-work rant on Friday afternoon, let me ask you this: do you have a job on Monday morning? Probably not.

This post isn’t meant to criticize or judge anyone that has needed to let out some frustration to another caring individual willing to listen. Rightfully, you are entitled to your own opinions.
However, it is a gentle reminder to be aware of your surroundings. There is a time and a place to discuss these matters, and public isn’t one of them. While these things might be true, be mindful of the fact that these could, essentially, get back to your place of employment and
destroy your career. Try to make a habit of waiting until you are back home to let out your frustrations.

This also applies to discussions regarding financial matters of the company you work for. Most of the information you’re divulging in public might in fact be confidential. This idea aligns itself with “think before you tweet.” The same principle applies. Before you openly discuss matters that could in fact be controversial, think about whom your audience is, and whether or not you want to jeopardize the career you’ve built.

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