Category Archives: Opinion

Lessons Learned. But Mistakes Are Good, Here’s Why

Where do I start? The thing is, lessons are hard to learn; that’s why they’re called lessons and not “cotton candy that teaches you junk” (or something like that). I recently learned a very hard lesson and I want to share it with you all.

I recently ended a work relationship the wrong way. It was abrupt and full of emotion, where it should have been calculated and professional. But it wasn’t and it might damage my future. I was upset and this was one of the few times when I let my emotion get the best of me and it clouded my judgment and I acted out of turn.

I learned ANOTHER valuable (albeit) painful lesson about this industry: you’re only as good as your last. Despite everything leading up to that point, all of the good, that ONE bad outweighed it and it sucks (for lack of a better word). Hindsight is 20/20 and we have ALL got to learn somehow.

The thing is: I’m human. I make TONS of mistakes and from each of those mistakes? I learn, I’ve learned where I want to be, where I don’t want to be, what feeling is okay, what feeling is NOT okay, etc. and I learned for me and you. I don’t want you to make the same mistakes, but if you do, take it from me; you can pick yourself right back up and keep going, just like I am.

So next time you “fail” or make a mistake, remember this: we NEVER learn from constant victory, but we do learn from a slip up or 2. I hope your week is good and I hope you chase your dreams.

Until next time,

XOXOXO,

Jess AsPRing

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The Entry-level PR Job Hunt…in GIFs

I am feeling rather silly today…and desperate for a job, and so I present to you the entry-level PR job hunt in GIFS:

1. Finding a listing for a job you actually qualify for…that pays:

2. Researching the agency/company for more info…to sound smarter in your cover letter because knowledge is power:

3. The phone interview:

4. When you’re asked in for an in-person interview…and the hiring manager likes you:

5. Waiting to get a call back/email response:

6. If you get the job…and you rock and you’re a superstar and I hate you:

7. If you don’t get the job and…you know, damn:


Okay, I might have went a little OD on the sad GIFs…but it be’s like that some time.

Hope you enjoyed this and don’t give up on the job hunt, we’re in this together!!!

Until next time,

XOXO,

Jess AsPRing

Check it out: Interview with Jenelle Hamilton, The Publicist

Hello PR peeps, I’m still here! I had a rough week last week and I threw in the towel, but the towel got washed and was thrown right back to me, so I’m here!

Jenelle Hamilton, The Publicist

Today I have a special treat for you! I spoke with Jenelle Hamilton, the Publicist a few days ago and she was nice enough to give me some great advice and an interview that I want to share with my readers!

**INSPIRATION ALERT** If you’re anything like me (young, and determined), you WILL be inspired by Jenelle’s words…so let’s get started:

Where did you go to school? I went to school in the UK, at the University of Greenwich, I studied communications.

How did you get started? My first job out of college was at a non-profit where I learned all the basics of PR—writing press releases, media pitching, etc. Eventually, I wanted to combine my love of PR and fashion (Miss Hamilton worked at Prada on the weekends through school…trés chic) and went to work for Karla Otto, an international fashion PR agency. I worked there for 3 years and wanted to move into beauty, so I moved to New York 7 years ago and got a job!

How did you get into freelancing? I worked in beauty for awhile and then found that I got bored and wanted to do my own thing; so I freelanced on the beauty side, but I returned to an agency after awhile and then I decided go out on my own and have been doing it for two and half to three years.

What is your biggest accomplishment thus far of your career? Landing Bob Mackie as a client—he’s a living legend and a true celebrity designer. They found me to work on a project, but then I was able to stay on as a global PR director. The other accomplishment was being on E! Television’s docuseries, Playing with Fire. I’m not an actress and I don’t want to be famous, but it was great for my brand.

Favourite part of the job? Every single day is different, I have a celebrity charity client, I have Bob Mackie; I also have hair and beauty client, and everything in between. I have so many different things going on; it just depends on what comes through my email that day. I learned a long time ago, I can’t be in a 9-5 job, every single day.

Least favourite part of the job? I hate going to meetings; I like to schedule conference calls as much as possible, especially with the new technology, I think it’s more efficient than having so many face-to-face meetings.

What do you think sets candidates apart in the entry-level job hunt? Show that you are going to work hard; I think this younger generation has shown that it is entitled and that they just want to do the glam side of PR; but I don’t do that every day, most of work is writing and behind the scenes stuff. Show that you are driven and are willing to work hard and being proactive. Even if you aren’t working, keep doing professional things and show that they are willing to work. That will set you apart.

What advice do you have for someone in terms of interning for free? I interned for free and worked 7 days a week; I worked Monday through Saturday and then I worked at an agency 1 day a week, and even had a second job!—if you want something you have to work for it and make sacrifices. Think long term and don’t think about now, think about the big picture. How bad do you want it?

What is one piece of advice you have for aspiring PR professionals? You can’t be shy; you have to be a performer. That’s why I created “Jenelle the publicist” because it’s still me, it’s just a more outgoing me. I think you have to be fun; you have to be high energy and be able to turn it on. Be able to tap into your performer.

What are key lessons you have learned in your career? There are a lot of ups and downs in this business, and some days you are going to want to give u. But if you’re passionate, you have to keep going. People don’t realize ow much work is involved in running their own business, and how much commitment is involved. They look at me and say, “Look at Jenelle, she’s so successful” but they haven’t seen the blood, sweat and tears that went into my business.

Is she amazing or what?! If you want to keep following Jenelle, then you can find her on her website, Facebook, Youtube, Linkedin, Instagram and Twitter

As you can see, Miss Hamilton had oodles of advice to offer and I can definitely say that speaking with her really lifted me up and got me excited and thinking about MY next steps.

I can’t wait to continue sharing this journey with you all and maybe some more interview? We’ll see!

Until next time!

XOXO, Jess AsPRing

Has the Internet gone too far? Cyber bullying and it’s devastating effects

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I’m sure you’ve recently heard the story of 17-year old Canadian girl Rehtaeh Parsons

Rehtaeh tried to commit suicide on April 4th by hanging herself in her bathroom; By the time her mother reached her, she was unconscious. Rehtaeh went in to a coma and just a few days later, her parents decided to take her off of life support, ending her life at just 18 years old.

Rehtaeh was the victim of constant cyber bullying after photographs of her rape at the age of 15 were circulated around her small town. Eventually, the bullying got so bad, Rehtaeh and her family had to move to a different city and try and start fresh.

I wish this was an isolated incident, I wish I could say there weren’t other stories of teens deciding to end their life after suffering harrasment and betrayal at the hands of anonymous internet bullies after they were the victims of horrific crimes. This is not the first such incident: Take another Canadian teen, Amanda Todd: the 15-year old committed herself after pictures of her exposed breasts were leaked; she endured months of cyber bullying and heckling by her classmates and total strangers. She changed schools twice before committing suicide just a month before her 16th birthday.

These heart-breaking incidents happen all too often and it brings a question to light: has the internet created a society of bullies? Profile pictures and harsh words? Where total strangers or people you thought were your friends can post demeaning comments and photographs about you?

The truth is, in this day and age there are too many social networks and other avenues for teens to ostracize their peers. Between Facebok, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube (to name a few), there are literally a ton of chances for these “viral” photographs and videos to be shared, and their hatred along with them.

This culture has got to STOP. Why bully a girl who has already suffered through the ordeal of sexual assault? Why allow her attackers to walk around with a clear conscious while she suffers at the hands of her classmates? And what girl can feel good about herself knowing she is shaming another young girl in public?

This made me think about the prevalence of internet trolling…people who feel okay making fun of others and say hurtful things to strangers because they are “protected” by the anonymity of the internet. These are the same people who wouldn’t bust a grape in a fruit fight but have no problem whatsoever threatening and spreading their hatred and bigotry around the internet. What makes these incidents even worse is the prevalence in which they are joined by countless others. It wasn’t just one or two people harassing Amanda and Rehtaeh, it was a mass of people.

I’m not blaming the internet or social networking; in fact, millions of people use the internet and social networks every day to connect with friends, find jobs, raise awareness and spread positivity. Bullying isn’t new either, people have been bullying each other since the dawn of man (even animals do it) and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change anytime soon. So what does need to change?

I can’t say. I honestly don’t have any fun tips or advice; I do know that parents should be more vigilant with internet usage and I hate to say it, but more consequences. People need to know that they can’t drive a young girl to take her life without there being some sort of consequence.

I’m not saying send every one of Rehtaeh’s tormentors to jail, but would I be against making them do 100 hours of community service? No, I wouldn’t. And let’s get the parents involved; if they knew that their teen was tormenting a helpless girl, how would they feel? Let’s band together and start making it next to impossible for this type of behavior to exist.

I am deeply saddened by the loss of Rehtaeh, Amanda and the countless others who have been on the receiving end of taunts and threats. My heart goes out to you and I want you to know, I’m in your corner.

Thanks for reading and until next time,

XOXOXO,
Jess_AsPRing

“Thinking Out Loud” Thursdays: PR Career Discrepancies

Happy (deep breath) “almostfridaysothereforetechnicallyalmostheweekend”. How have you all been? I’ve been fine, just doing a little SOLO PR work…WHAT?! I know,  totes cray, but I have like 2 “clients” I don’t even feel right calling them that. Just 2 people who I am helping get the word out and do some stuff for (more on that later).

Today’s post is about something I’ve been thinking about a LOT lately; as I’ve  been career hunting (like most of you) I have noticed something very strange: while there are a definitely lack of entry-level PR pro positions (say THAT 10 times fast), there seems to be an abundance of upper level/executive positions available…so I’m like hmm…

Think about putting some clothes on dude!

So what happens in the time between the entry-level pro and the senior-level pro? Do people cave under the stress and leave the industry? Do they go in-house? Are PR professionals on some sort of Logan’s Run-type thing where our careers have a time limit (please oh please understand this reference)?

What’s the deal?! What do you think happens? Do we get frustrated and throw the towel in? Or is this all in my head and clearly I am crazy and need to step away from the job boards and put the Espresso down?

Let me know in the comments people! This upcoming Monday, I have a super helpful and super awesome post coming at ya’ about yo resume; so bring yoself back! Until next time…

XOXOXOXO, Jess_AsPRing

Is Silence Golden? The Curious Case of Jeremy Scott

Happy Friday! If you’re like me and follow the news (and Heaven-help me, I hope you do!) then you might have heard about designer Jeremy Scott lately. Short story: Jeremy Scott is a pop culture designer who collaborates with Adidas on some pretty wild (and sometimes controversial) designs. His Fall 2013 collection, was par-the-course for this ecletic designer: ghoulish cartoon prints, bright colors, punchy prints; but someone (or rather, several someone’s) noticed something “off” about Scott’s prints: they closely mirrored those of Skateboard design legend Jimbo Phillips, as illustrated in the now-infamous photo below (which Jimbo posted to his own Facebook page with the caption, “this is crazy!”):

Photo belongs to  Jimbo Phillips, Jeremy Scott

Since the release of the damning images, Robert A. Denike, President of NHS, Inc./Santa Cruz Skateboards (which sells Jimbo’s iconic designs) released a statement admonishing Scott and saying (in no uncertain terms) that they were seeking “legal options”.

Now the thing is, this is a serious crisis situation for Jeremy Scott’s people; there is a lot of damning evidence that Scott duplicated a number of Phillips’ designs and plenty of publications have picked the story up (with images EEK!). But Scott has yet to release a single statement, and in fact, one look over their social media pages, it seems business as usual; whats going on?! We’re often taught that  in crisis situations, we should get out in front of it and develop a strategy and release a statement and so on and so forth, but what can Scott say?

With so much evidence and Phillips’ heavy following (apparently the skate subculture is stronger than ever), what could Scott say that wouldn’t make himself look worse than he does now? The answer is: probably nothing. “Oops, my bad” ain’t gonna cut it here folks, and with the introduction of legalities, well it’s probably best that both parties keep their statements at a minimum. As the public, we can only  speculate what either party is thinking or will do as they move forward. What we do know is, this might just be one of the rare cases where silence is indeed golden.

What do you think? Should Jeremy Scott make a statement or is he right to keep quiet? What happens when plagiarism is done between two professionals? Is this even plagiarism? Let me know what you think!

Until next time, XOXOXO

Jess_AsPRing

Were the Oscar’s a PR “Win”? The REAl winners and losers.

Hello ladies and gents, last night was supposedly the “biggest night in Hollywood” and the stars were out in their finest; the entire cast of Les Mis performed after a powerhouse by Jennifer Hudson (she really stole the show), it was the night of the ingenue (Both Anne Hathaway and Jennifer Lawrence won in their respective categories, although I’m still #TeamSallyFields) and it was a night of good suprises: the great Barbara Streisand graced the Oscar’s stage for the first time in almost 30 years, Michelle Obama showed up and Seth MacFarlane didn’t piss anybody off. But who were the REAL winners and losers? I picked two and here they are:

BIG Oscar Winner: Real-time Marketing.
I’m serious you guys, real-time marketing won, hands down. Brands were working over time to make relevant, witty and engaging posts, images and tweets in a bid to lure fan engagement. One brand that always wins on that front is Oreo, they scored a big win with their  Superbowl Blackout Tweet and they continued last night with a few spots (here and here) with a few other brands jumping in, including: Sharpie, Starbucks, JcPenney’s, Visa and Stella Artois, among many others. Real-time marketing is here to stay people, yet another tenet in our “instantaneous/gimme now” culture. The Oscar goes to you RTM, now keep your acceptance speech short, because I hear they are playing Jaws music to get people off stage these days (which is hilarious)

BIG Oscar Loser: The Onion.
The Onion is an alternative cultural icon; the spoof newspaper has been churning out ridiculous and satirical headlines for decades skewering everybody from Presidents to pop culture cuties. At approximately 8:04PM last nigh, in the middle of the Oscar’s telecast, they tweeted the following, “Everyone else seems afraid to say it, but that Quvenzhané Wallis is kind of a cunt, right? #Oscars2013” and they lost every cool point they ever had. Like, ever. First of all, Quvenzhané Wallis is nine years old and her personality is still developing and have you ever met a nine-year old? They can be a little self-involved and cocky (for lack of a better term), so lay off, who comes for a nine-year old, really? And, she is the youngest person EVER to be nominated for an Oscar, Mr./Miss Tweet Writter, what have YOU done lately? When was the last time you broke a record? Don’t worry, I’ll wait…

Exactly. People are so busy trying to be “edgy” on Twitter that they are over-stepping their boundaries and saying things that are uncouth and down-right mean. Manners are still in people, don’t forget.

Well, those were my winners and losers from last night’s (pretty boring) Oscars…BTW, Sally Fields should have won, I mean…Anne Hathaway? Really. Ugh. Whatevs. Until next time.

XOXOXO,

Jess_AsPRing.