My Desire To Travel

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Dreaming about returning to Ireland.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about travel. It’s all I seem to want to do. To hop aboard a train, fly in a plane or drive to a brand new location. At this point in my life, I’m all about the experiences.

However, since I’m starting a new grad program, I know I’ll be in Georgia for at least the next year and a half. Any excursions I make beyond the Peach State will be limited to a few days. That makes me wonder where I’ll want to live next.

I’ve lived in Georgia my whole life. It’s a great state, no doubt. But I want to try out something different. It doesn’t have to be far away. It just has to be new (and have a thriving community for PR professionals). I’ve made a little list of cities I’d be up for trying. I’m hoping that my next location will either be one of these or someplace similar.

Potential Someday Homes

  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • Portland, Oregon
  • Charleston, South Carolina
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Austin, Texas
  • Fort Collins, Colorado
  • Phoenix, Arizona

Fall 2014 PR Conferences

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Conferences are crucial for PR and communications professionals. They allow us to network and learn alongside other leaders in the industry. Below are just a few of the upcoming PR conferences for 2014. I encourage you to attend if you can!

August

-PR Writing Summit, 8/7. Held in Chicago, this summits allows attendees to improve PR copy and begin writing engaging content for their audiences! Conference is presented by PRSA and Ragan’s PR Daily.

-Social Media Summit, 8/12. Held in San Francisco, the Social Media Summit offers opportunities to learn from successful brands and communicators. Attendees will learn social strategies and tactics that are invaluable to communicators.

 October

-International Conference, 10/12-14. Held in Washington D.C., the conference focuses on ROI. Communicators can gain practical insight into the value of their work. Professionals can also network with PR professionals of all backgrounds.

November

-Advanced School of Marketing Research, 11/3-7. Based in Atlanta, this conference offers insight into professional firms who are using advanced and innovative marketing techniques. This week-long experience allows attendees to learn from the experts.

 

 

The Pros Of Collaboration

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This summer I’ve been interning for a company in Atlanta. As part of my internship, I’ve been working on a summer-long project. It all culminates tomorrow into a final presentation. As the end nears, I’ve been reflecting on what the experience has taught me.

This kind of project has been brand new for me. I’ve had semester-long projects before, but never anything as structured and collaborative as what I’m working on now. In many ways I’m thankful for this experience. I used to be more of an independent spirit, but now I think of myself as team player! I learned to love collaboration for a number of reasons. Below I list the top 3 pros of working on a project together!

1. Opportunity for bonding. If you’re working on a project for work or school, you’re working with your peers. A project allows you to grow closer to them by working towards a common goal.

2. Learning to be adaptable. You may think your way is the best way. In a group, it can be hard to reach an agreed-upon idea. Try to think of your ideas from a different perspective. It will be a humbling and beneficial approach!

3. Going outside your comfort zone. It can be difficult to push yourself outside of your routine ways. Believe me, it will be for the better.

 

Monday Reminders For Communicators

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Happy Monday, readers! It’s time to return to the office and get back to work. For communication professionals, that means pitching to media, writing press releases and monitoring social media.  An engaging new week starts here!

Typically communicators stay busy all the time. In fact, most of them thrive on a full work load. Before diving into this week, PR pros and communicators should take these thoughts into mind. They’ll help PR worker bees tackle the week positively.

  • Go ahead and get that fancy cup of coffee. Treat yourself before heading into work. Be nice to yourself and start this week with a caffeine kick.
  • Whatever’s stressing you out, it’s not the end of the world. This week will come and go, just like last week.
  • Turn on some music. Plug in your headphones and listen to Pandora radio. Find your pump-up station and get ready for work!
  • Prioritize your workload. If you feel like you have too much work, determine what needs to get done first. Make a list and work downwards. Some things can wait.
  • Work towards a goal. Don’t have weekend plans? Dream up a new adventure. Your adventure will motivate you to work hard this week.

Thoughts On #GirlBoss

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I didn’t know much about Sophia Amoruso, founder and CEO of Nasty Gal, before picking up #GirlBoss. After reading her memoir/advice book, I’ve developed a high level of respect for her. It also helps that she’s super likable!

As a bit of background, Amoruso is a self-made millionaire and owner of Nasty Gal vintage clothing.  She found success through an unusual route and shares her journey candidly. Amoruso didn’t go down the straight and narrow path of other business owners. Because of her rebellious spirit, she skipped college and worked a number of odd jobs.

While working as an ID checker, she began selling clothes online. She’d buy designer clothes from thrift stores and mark up the prices on her eBay account. She also made a MySpace to promote her little shop. Through MySpace she connected with fans and brought hundreds of women to her online store weekly.  Her business soon began expanding, eventually growing to its own company based out of Los Angeles.

Amoruso openly shares her shortcomings and strengths in the book. She includes simple advice and personal chapters, broken up by photos and drawings that relate to her journey. She bent a few rules to grow her company, but she no doubt worked hard in the process. Now at 30 years old, she runs a successful company by herself.

While not quite the same as Facebook COO’s Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, the book offers a similar message. It promotes female empowerment in the workforce, letting girls know that they can be successful if they work hard. Sure, #GirlBoss isn’t as formal as Lean In, but it’s still a great read. It appeals to younger women, especially as they’re starting out in their jobs. #GirlBoss isn’t a formula for professional success, but it does offer invaluable encouragement to readers. With working women on the rise, who can say no to this inspiring read?

Pink & Black Magazine Twitter Chat

Hi readers! If you love Twitter chats, I have a fun opportunity for you. Lately I’ve been assisting Pink & Black Magazine’s Twitter. I write, retweet and promote on Pink & Black’s official account.

For those that aren’t familiar with the publication, Pink & Black is a digital lifestyle magazine geared towards women ages 18-25. The magazine’s upbeat and positive, offering women career advice and fun entertainment options. The magazine used to host regular Twitter chats to discuss the theme for each month. However it took a hiatus a few months ago.

I’m pleased to say that the chat will return this Thursday! This month P&B focuses on the theme of health. Tomorrow night we will cover diet and nutrition as it relates to young twenty-somethings. Any readers are encouraged to participate. As an added bonus, the best tweets will be featured on the site on Friday.

Tune in Thursday 7/17 at 8 p.m. EST for #PABgirltalk. Just look up the hashtag and join in the fun! I’ll be curating the discussion from @PinkandBlackMag. See you online!

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Basics Of SEO

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SEO, also known as search engine optimization, has been a hot topic for years. Is it essential or a thing of the past? While users debate the importance of SEO, it continues to be used daily.

What does SEO do? It creates a more user-friendly experience. Users work with search engines to better optimize their placement for relevant searches. Let’s say you have a website for a small business. You want to get your name out there, especially when anyone searches your industry online. SEO allows you to promote your website through strategic URLs, links and keywords. The more links and content you connect with your website, the better your placement in searches!

These three tips will help you get started on your SEO!

  • Pick a simple and clean URL. Don’t make an intricate URL for your website. It will only be harder for customers to get to! Instead, make it as easy as possible to visit. Great examples include starbucks.com and apple.com.
  • Brand your business name. Keep one site name that you use online. Make it the header of every page of your website. If your business is named something like “Clothing Cart”, buy a domain name called clothingcart.com. Also use “Clothing Cart” as the usernames of any related social media accounts.
  • Create regular content. If your website consistently produces content, you will receive more site traffic. Make your content fresh and exciting. It will bring an audience to your site, optimizing your position in search results!

Interested in SEO? There’s plenty to know! To learn more, read the Free Beginner’s Guide To SEO.

Beat Your Monday

It’s Monday again. That means the weekend is officially over. Bummer, right?  That’s why I always turn to Monday motivation to get the week going. Check out these quotes and photos to make your week a little brighter!

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July Social Media Roundup

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It’s time for a social media roundup! Read these articles to find up-to-date information on the digital world.
Facebook Pushes Video Content With New Recommendations Feature via Mashable

Nurse Firing Highlights Hazards of Social Media in Hospitals via ABC News

Brazil 2014: World Cup where politics and social media invaded the pitch via The Guardian

How social media can help your next meeting via Nashville Biz Blog

Is This Thing On? Why Social Media Keeps Taking Down Media Celebs via TIME

Why Your Email Open Rates May Be Slacking via Social Media Today

How to Target Ads on Twitter and LinkedIn via Social Media Examiner

Still More Data Shows Pinterest Passing Twitter in Popularity via Forbes

Five Ways To Power Through Your Monday

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Mondays are normally the hardest day of the week. After some time off, you reset your work week again and start all over. If you’re lucky, your Monday will keep you busy and make the time fly. Unfortunately for most, Mondays seem to drag on ad infinitum. Read below for five ways to power through your Monday and start your week successfully.

  1. Make a to-do list. Go ahead and map out what your week will be like. Any big projects or social events ahead? Take note and make sure you have a game plan for the next few days. Anticipating the week will help you tackle it head on.
  2. Treat yourself. Have your eye on a new piece of clothing or an extra cup of coffee? Go ahead and get it. The nicest you are to yourself, the easier your Monday will be. Of course, exercise self control when indulging in a treat. If you give yourself something extra, Mondays will be sweeter.
  3. Hit the gym. At the beginning of the week, you’ll need that new surge of energy. Get it by going to the gym bright and early. Spend 30 to 60 minutes running or swimming. It’ll boost your endorphins and have you enjoying your Monday mornings.
  4. Be optimistic. Your attitude can determine the course of your day. See the week’s potential for opportunity and brainstorm ways to make it unique. Itching to try a new restaurant or go on a weekend hike? Take the initiative and plan your trip!
  5. Put Monday into context. Since your Monday will be one of many, there’s nothing to fear. Ease yourself into the day. If you rush into your work, odds are that the rest of your week will be stressful. Pace yourself as you make your to-do list!