What if Telekinesis WAS REAL?

What if Telekinesis WAS REAL? How would you react? Check out this hidden camera experiment set up in a New York City coffee shop that captures the reactions of unsuspecting customers as they witness a telekinetic event as part of a promotion for the movie Carrie.

While there has been some discussion as to how ethical it was to scare the b-Jesus out of random people, the video itself is amazing! In my books, THIS is an awesome PR stunt and officially added into my list of Most Memorable PR Stunts. Let’s all aim this high in our creativity!

Let me know if you agree.

Fashion Fun Friday!

In addition to being a Publicist, I am also a wanna be Fashionista. I love fashion and *may* have a slight shoes problem. (Is 65 pairs too many?)  Handbags? Yup, love them too! I’ve always been jealous of those women who exude style and class with what seems like little effort.  You know the ones that I’m talking about; they look like they have a personal stylist dress them daily. My personal style is a little less polished and best described as a blend of “wanna be designer chic” with a huge dollop of ‘rock and roll’. Whether it’s a hit or not, it’s my style and I own it.

Nyree CostelloPersonal style is a part of your personal brand. It shows others how you see yourself and how you want them to see you.  In a formal business environment this might mean wearing a suit to show that you are “serious” and “professional”. Which, by the way, I’ll break out when the occasion calls for it.

In a NY Times article on clothing and self perception, it was determined that clothing affects how other people perceive us as well as how we perceive ourselves. No big surprise here. But did you know that what you wear can actually affect your psychological processes? Your outfit can actually alter how you approach and interact with the world because of the value we assign to them. For example, the article discusses how wearing a white coat that you believe belongs to a doctor, increases your ability to pay attention. This is because “clothes invade the body and brain, putting the wearer into a different psychological state,” explains Adam D. Galinsky, a professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University who conducted a study on “the effects of clothing on cognitive processes.”

Huh. Think about that the time you are throwing together an outfit.

What’s GOOGLE saying about you?

With new social media channels and sharing sites popping up, it’s easy to jump from one new thing to the next.  Especially when you’re an early adopter. But what happens after your initial interest in the property wanes or you decide that the channel just isn’t for you? You stop updating information and forget about it as you move on to the next hot thing.

You may have forgotten about it, but Google hasn’t. Now think about what happens when you are applying for a new job. If someone does an online search of your name does that old information pop up? Does this older information enhance your profile or does it detract? While it’s great to have an archive of your achievements easily accessible for prospective employers and clients, some of the information that is forgotten online can detract from your brand. I’m sure your prospective employer got a kick out of your pics on your now de-funked – and very public – MySpace account.

We joke about people who Google their dates before meeting them in person, but employers do this on a regular basis too. So friends, when was the last time you Googled yourself?

As I am currently looking for a job, I regularly do searches on myself to see what content a perspective employer might come across. What usually pops up are my recent Twitter posts, my LinkedIn profile, links to this blog, Pinterest, old press releases that I sent out and such. And then there’s the other stuff….  There is the Slideshare account I signed up for to so I could access a presentation; my abandoned Classmates info; and an outdated version of my online resume courtesy of Visualze.me (which is now up to date!)

Managing your online and social brand is never ending.  So what’s a professional to do? Here are some tips to get your started:

  1. Be selective of which new social sites you participate in. Don’t jump on every new thing just because it’s new.
  2. If you jumped on the new thing and it’s not for you, shut down or deactivate your account.
  3. In case you just missed that tidbit: SHUT DOWN YOUR ACCOUNT if you are no longer using it. You can reactivate most accounts if you change your mind.
  4. If you have negative or outdated content that is not within your control to remove, start posting new content that is representative of your brand. This will help to drive the outdated stuff farther down in searches.
  5. Be mindful of what you publicly share. Be mindful of what you privately share, because once something is shared; it is really no longer private… and the Internet never forgets. (She says in booming ‘movie voice-over’ voice…)

UBC Day 05: The Art of Procrastination

Earlier this year, I read an article in Psychology Today called Procrastination: Oops, Where Did the Day Go? and thought it would make a great blog post. The article highlighted our proclivity to put things off, why we do it and how we can overcome this behavior.

In PR, there is no time to procrastinate. When getting a message out, time is of the essence. I strive to keep ahead of things, floating many balls in the air at any given time. I do this daily – and until now hadn’t given it much thought. Yet when it comes to getting my personal sh*t together, I’m as guilty as the next person when it comes putting things off; simple silly things such as sending an email, booking an appointment or getting my homework done. (Did I mention that I’m doing a Degree in my ‘spare’ time?)

Doing homework is a huge area of procrastination for me. Most of the courses I take are online or self study – meaning that as long as I have everything done and handed in at the end of the course, I’m good. I start with the best of intentions, telling myself that this time I will get a head start and do the course work consistently over the allotted six months. I praise myself for being so proactive in my planning.

Then here’s what really happens: I f**k around for three or four months, telling myself that I have plenty of time. Then hustle during the last few to get it done. What this tells me is that I can actually do the work in half the allotted time, but rather than starting with a bang and finishing early, I leave it to the last minute.

If there is one thing that I’ve learned about myself it’s that I work better under a deadline. The tighter the deadline, the more I produce. Ever need something to get done? Give it to a person who is busy. Busy people get more done. PR pros are busy people. Information is constantly changing and it’s our job to be ‘in the know’. There’s a great quote by Will Rogers that goes “Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” But back to me procrastinating on my homework.

In the article Procrastination: Oops, Where Did the Day Go? the author suggests that we procrastinate for three main reasons:

  1. We put off things we don’t like to do or that upset us in some way.
  2. Because our intentions are anemic—vague and weak.
  3. We’re easily distracted, and some of us are highly impulsive.

Hmmm. Let’s see.

  1. I want the Degree, but I don’t like doing the homework.
  2. If I’m honest about it, my attempts to “get a jump start” are pretty weak.
  3. I have a huge case of A-DOS: Attention Deficient Ohhhhh Shiny!

To overcome procrastination, the article suggests that one of the “simplest and most effective solutions is to just get started—anywhere on a task.”  Okay, okay, I get it. Start small, but just get started. And I’m gonna do just that… tomorrow.

UBC Day 03: Something with which you struggle.

I am not bilingual.

As a professional communicator working in our nation’s capital – our nation’s BILINGUAL capital – I’m at a disadvantage. I’ve taken some French classes, but in the end I do not have the opportunity to practice it daily so I’ve not come very far. I struggle with the issue of bilingualism as I’ve lost a number of really cool career opportunities because of my uni-lingual status. (Unless you count being able to speak Starbucks!) I would often get frustrated as I’d see opportunities go to someone who had less communications experience but spoke French. The biggest offender? The Federal Government.

Years ago, I had set my sights on getting a job within the Federal Government. Time after time I was called in for their screening test, invited for an interview and then set off for language testing – despite being forthright on my lack of French. Still, I diligently did the testing, slightly improving as the years went on, but never enough to make the cut. It was tough to repeatedly hear that I was the best candidate – if only I spoke French. There are many things in this world that you can BS your way through… but a language isn’t one of them.

Ever hear the saying: The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?

That was me. Then I smarted up.

I am not bilingual.

I will never work for the Federal Government.

And when I took a moment to actually think about it, I really didn’t want to work for them. It turns out that my struggle with French was really a struggle to let go of a career path that I was no longer interested in. Once I let go, I discovered a plethora of opportunities that were perfect for where I did want to be.

UBC Day 02: Something you regret not having done last year.

So it’s officially day two of the blog challenge and here’s the second topic… writing about something that I regret not having done last year.

This one is a bit of a thinker as I declared that last year was going to be “my year”… and I felt it kinda was. I decided it was time to leave the Rogers’ mother ship and head back out into the world, and did. Last year I found balance and guess I can say that I regret not making the hard decisions earlier. Funny thing about regret though, it really gets you nowhere… and by living in the past mulling over missed opportunities and regrets we don’t allow ourselves to be open to future experiences. Last year, “my year”, I opened myself to new experiences and tried new things. One of those things was to join a local roller derby league and learn to referee. At the time I was too chicken to join as a player and once immersed I quickly realized that this was in fact what I wanted to do – I’ve never been one to sit on the sidelines. But instead I continued to Ref as I wanted to honor my original commitment and am only this year training to be a player.

Regardless of what the commitment is, personal or professional, my word is my word. And in PR, your word is what can make or break your credibility. (See how I tied that back to PR?) In any position, but especially in the PR industry, credibility is the backbone of success. If you don’t have your credibility, you don’t have anything but regret. And regret we’ve already determined, is counterproductive. Life is about looking at every opportunity presented, determining if it’s right for you, right now. If it’s not, then move on.  Regret for missed opportunities comes down to fear. The opportunity was the right one and the timing was probably right too, but fear got in the way…

This is what happened with me and roller derby. I wanted to play, but was fearful. As I look back on my last year of reffing, keeping my commitment may have put me a bit behind in my derby ‘career’, but it did provide me with an advantage – I know how to play by the rules.

Ultimate Blog Challenge

One of the things that I struggle with blogging, is that I always feel what I post has to be insightful. But sometimes a girl just has to write – and make time to write everyday. So I’ve decided to challenge myself have signed up to do the Ultimate Blog Challenge for July.  The purpose… just to get me writing daily. And I’m already a day behind so you’re gonna get two posts from me today. I’m combining this challenge with a 30-day topic list to help get my creative juices flowing. My goal is to hopefully tie all these random topics back to PR. We’ll see how it goes…

Day 01: Something you’re looking forward to this year.

Well that’s easy! I’m looking forward to IBC2012, in September in Amsterdam. I’m excited to be heading to Amsterdam, a first for me, to meet the other half of our sales team. I’m looking forward to learning first-hand about our European market so that when I draft our communications plan, I’ll be better informed. I’m excited about the press conference that my team is organizing – it’s gonna rock! I’m just sayin’…

One of the things that I’m struck by every day is how much I look forward to going to work. HA! I can heard everyone scoff… Yeah everyone looooves going to work…. Well I do. I’m not saying that there aren’t days where I’d rather stay in bed, I’m saying that I like my job and kinda feel like I won the lottery. It’s an incredible journey and I see where my contributions make a difference.

So I guess with this ramble, I’m saying that I’m looking forward to the journey AND the destination.

Do you Live-to-Work or Work-to-Live?

One of the things that I’ve noticed among my fellow communicators is that most of us tend to fall into the live-to-work category. That is, communications is not only a job, but rather a lifestyle. We’re passionate about what we do. It’s shown in the events attend, the organizations we participate in and the people we socialize with.

What does it mean to live-to-work? To me it means how you invest your time and energy is important to you. The eight hours or so a day spent working needs to fulfill whatever it is you are uniquely looking for. I live-to-work. This doesn’t mean that all I do is work and have no life. But communications is part of my lifestyle and it is important to me that I’m making a difference, providing value and at the end of the day, proud of what I do. I’m often described as a passionate person. Whether this is meant as a compliment or as a fault I don’t know, and frankly don’t care. Passion is what drives communicators to do what they do best. Not only do I want the world to hear my message, but I want it to be changed by it.

Work-to-live? No thanks. Spending eight hours a day converting O2 into CO2 waiting for the clock to hit 5:00pm  so you can get to your “real life” sounds pretty soul crushing. That isn’t to say the work-to-live crowd are not good at what they do or are not satisfied. But rather they are doing something that is just okay to get the money to fund their passions.  And that’s okay – for them. But I’ll stick to my guns and follow my bliss.

How about you? Do you live-to-work or work-to-live? What lights your fire?

Is this thing on?

Allow myself to introduce… myself.  I’m in my, ahem, late 30s and have been in the PR, Marketing and Communications industry for eight years.  I’ve had a lot of fun and at times have been so stressed out that I’ve wanted to pull my hair out. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

A bit about me. Like I said late 30s, how late is none of your beeswax.  In my “previous life”, I was a photographer and still take the odd job here and there. I love PinkBlack Eyed Peas and Lady Gaga, but when pressed would have to admit that about 600 of the 800 or so songs on my iPod are from the 80s and 90s. I’m obsessed with Billy Idol, play a mean air guitar and try to put a little ‘rock and roll’ style in everything that I do. I spent almost six years doing PR in the television industry and LOVED it.  Now I’m looking for a new adventure…

My Motto: If you’re not a little scared, then you’re not challenging yourself.