Sunday, January 25, 2015

PRo PRofile: Kris Ruby

Meet Kris Ruby, PR Powerhouse + Bravo TV star

How did you get into PR?
I majored in Public Relations at Boston University’s College of Communications and started my company when I graduated. I originally started out my career in social media but realized PR was for me when I was hired to do PR for a new company launch and had amazing success getting coverage. At the end of the day, PR is similar to sales. It’s all about being able to tell a good story, answer “why should they care?”, pitch to the appropriate writer and follow up to make sure the story gets told.  If I don’t think something is newsworthy, I won’t pitch it. Thats how I build strong relationships with journalists.

What do you love most about the industry?
What I love most about the Public Relations industry is the pace. Every day is different and I have clients in several different verticals so I am always informed about trends in other industries which is interesting. I like the ability to connect with people digitally and help get peoples stories out.

You founded the PR and social media agency, Ruby Media Group. I'd love to hear how that came about. What made you want to start your own agency?
I had 13 internships by the time I graduated in all different areas of PR. I really wanted to start my own agency, Ruby Media Group. to help businesses in Westchester build their exposure through social media. We have since expanded to Greenwich and Manhattan. 

Tell me - what do you think are the three most important qualities a PR gal must possess?
MUST be a good writer, must have the ability to follow up and secure placements (not just pitch but SECURE) and must be able to take a campaign from strategy to execution seamlessly.

How do you balance your work and personal life?
I am a total workaholic so this is definitely something I struggle with!

Speaking of personal life... let's dive into your newest adventure! How did you end up on the cast of the cast of Friends to Lovers?
I connected with someone in LA who thought I would be perfect for the show.

What inspired you to star in this new Bravo show?
I have always been really career focused so I wanted to give love a shot.

I know you have to leave all the juicy details for when the show airs, but do tell - what has been the most fun and exciting part of filming?
The most exciting part of filming was getting me out of my comfort zone. I used to be in the office Saturday night and hated discussing anything personal. Through the interview process in the show, I learned to open up a bit more and let my hair down. 

The most challenging part?
The most challenging part of filming viewers will see as we take this step is that we are digitally incompatible. This is not something to laugh at- it’s a real issue. I run a social media and PR agency, Ruby Media Group, and I am connected 24/7. I have certain social media “expectations” of someone I am in a relationship with and it was a real challenge for Alex to view them as valid or to even understand them. If I am not on the same social media page with someone, it can be a real deal breaker.

What inspires, and motivates, you? In your career, in life, in love.. 
Strong, successful powerful leaders inspire me. I think the only answer to life is love and everything else is just a journey to get there. What motivates me is making my family proud and inspiring other female entrepreneurs. 

Any last thoughts, tips or advice for someone starting out in the PR field?
Intern and gain as much experience as you can. 

What about the reality show world? 
Be prepared for everything about your life to change when you do a reality show. It has nothing to do with the show itself, but has everything to do with your ability to handle the publics perception of your every move.

Where can we chat with you?

And, we're all dying to know... Where can we find more info about, and when can we start watching, Friends to Lovers?
Every Monday 10/9c, on Bravo.

post signature

Friday, January 16, 2015

Make Networking Work for You

Spring is on its way which means lots of conferences and networking events. As PR gals, we’ve had more than our share of listening to guest speakers, doing the business card shuffle, then sitting down to a catered lunch scrolling through Instagram waiting for it all to end.

If you’re lucky, you end up making one or two professional connections but mostly you leave with a swag bag and a pocket full of business cards that you might want to throw away or pull out six months later when you’re on the internship hunt. 

First things first, get your nose out of your phone, put your head up and start chatting with the people you are there to meet and connect with. (Bonus tip: If you have access to a list of attendees, prior to the event, scope them out so you can be prepared and ready for the ones you know you don't want to miss the chance of meeting.) 

And, I highly recommend that you don't actually toss those cards in the trash! Make notes on the cards you receive from people that you are interested in connecting with. Start building those relationships right away and stay in front of them. (Plus, if you wait, they may not even remember who you are!)

A day or two after the event, pull out those cards, read your notes, connect with these people on LinkedIn, follow them on Twitter, and send them an email to follow-up. Let them know why you appreciated meeting them and maybe even send them an article you have recently read that made you think of them. It shows they are on your mind and you value their connection because it is beneficial for you both - not just you.

Networking is not just about finding a job or internship. It’s a chance for you to determine if a specific company is right for you - because there is nothing worse than working at a place you hate. I know there is tremendous pressure to find a job or internship before you graduate so you end up telling yourself, “I can work anywhere”. But, please do yourself a favor and take the time, and do the work, to find a place where you’ll really be happy. 
With these three tips you’ll be a networking pro in no time!

1. Only give your business cards to companies you’re interested in.
I know this may feel strange but don’t give a card to everyone that crosses your path. If someone hands you a card from a company you’re not interested in politely thank them then verbally introduce yourself. You do not have to reciprocate with a card, unless of course, they ask for one.

2. Ask more personal questions.
Do you have any pets? What did you do this weekend? These questions will give you a glimpse of people’s personality.  If you hate cats could you work for someone who had five of them? Plus, it’ll make you stand out from the other attendees. It’s important to be memorable. It’s also important to be genuine. Only ask questions if you really care about the answers and have something to contribute afterwards. This keeps the conversation going and you won’t get labeled as the weird kid who keeps asking everyone about their favorite cheese.

3. Offer to buy them coffee.
This work best for conferences that are more than one day long . During the networking event offer to buy your prospect coffee the next day before the start of the conference. It’ll give you time to get to know them on a more personal level without competing for their attention.

Networking is stressful, but you don’t have to be the loudest or most outgoing person in the room to make connections. Be selective with your time to ensure you find the company that best suits you. Even if a new connect doesn’t offer you a position, they could end up becoming a resource, a fabulous connection to have through your journey in the world of PR, or even a mentor.

Have you had an experience where following up after an event led to something great? Leave us a note in the comments below, or tweet us, and share your best networking story!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Dating Chronicles – Wait… I’m Happy!

Happy New Year TDC readers! We hope 2015 is starting out great for you!

As this new year begins, I’d like to talk about something that can often times go unnoticed for too long, or even sits on the back-burner while life’s ups and downs, responsibilities, and distractions take over our lives. 
That topic is: the feeling of happiness.

There are many aspects and things we do in our daily lives that make us happy, but in true TDC fashion, I’m referring to different stages of a relationship. I can tell you the exact moment I knew this was going to be a post; it was Friday night, January 9. I can’t tell you the time because I don’t wear a watch, and my cellphone was buried somewhere in my purse, but it was definitely at night because that’s when I was spending time with the guy I’ve been seeing. But, that day had been the farthest from good that I’ve experienced in a long time, and the best way for me to describe it would be to say that I floated through it in a fog. I think we’ve all been there. Anyway, he asked me what was going on so I told him and he invited me over after work.

We’re not in an “official” relationship yet, as those words have yet to be spoken, but when I’d seen him earlier that week, we’d discussed where we thought this was going, and both agreed that we are heading in that direction. If you’ve been keeping up with these posts then you’ll know I don’t have the best track record, but here’s how I know this guy is different; when he tells me something, I actually believe him.

Back to Friday night- I told him about what was bothering me, he offered a few helpful words, and then attempted to distract me with dinner and a rousing analytical game of trying to get this little red car out of this grid lock setup. I forget the name of the game, but the more important aspect is that this tactic worked! Then, we decided to watch an episode or two of Mythbusters, because he’d been watching it before I came over and here’s where the main crux of my story comes to fruition. Sitting on his couch under some blankets, my head resting on his chest with his arm draped around my shoulder, it hit me, I was happy. And that despite the terrible day I’d had, I still found a way to make room for him, and how he’s made me feel over the past few months.

I’m happy with where we are, happy with where we’re heading, and happy any time I’m around him. Even when we’re not together, thinking about him never fails to put a smile on my face.

Sorry, I know that was a long(ish) story, but I do have a point, and it’s this; no matter what’s going on in your life, good or bad, make sure you take the time to appreciate when someone makes you feel happy, because that feeling makes the good better and the bad tolerable. Don’t be afraid to tell that person how you feel either, (because that makes them feel good about themselves) that they’re doing something right, and that they’ve made a difference in your life.

Monday, December 29, 2014

{What to Wear} Ring in 2015 with Style

New Year's Eve is just days away! Have you dolls picked out your fabulous NYE party (or staying in) outfits yet?

If you still don't have any idea what you'll be wearing, check out the inspiration boards Steph and I put together. (And, don't stress! Even though NYE has always been my favorite holiday - I still have no idea what I'm going to wear, or even do yet!)

*warning* I really tried to steer away from too much black this year, but I couldn't! (Weird.) At least Stephanie's picks add in a little more color. (Thanks, Steph!)

Rachel's Picks

Black {+ Sparkles}

Gold {+ Sparkles}

{Animal} House Party
All Black {House Party} Style
Stephanie's Picks

{ Take a Walk} On the Wild Side

 Sparkle + Shine {All Night Long}

Casual Black + Gold {+ A Little Edge}
post signature

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Dating Chronicles – 2015: A New Year, A New You

We can’t believe it’s already here, the final TDC post of 2014. It has been a great first year of sharing stories, and offering advice that hopefully had a positive impact on your dating life. This final 2014 article will be a reflection of our year, and based on what each of us has experienced, some New Year’s resolutions to make 2015 a better dating year than 2014.

New Year’s Resolutions.

We’re not strangers to them. Rachel and I don’t know how many “get a jumpstart on your resolution” gym mailings we’ve received so far, but we know more are on the way - they always are. However, given the fact that this is TDC, let’s focus on our dating resolutions.

So here goes our 2014 dating in a nutshell. Combined, we had:
  • The guy who went ghost on me, which really messed with my head.
  • The stage 5 clinger – after telling him multiple times over the past few months, "We don't click and that's okay!" he finally got it… THIS WEEK.
  • The married guy - met him at a bar and made the mistake of going home with him. After doing a little social media research (creeping) found out that he is, yep you guess it, MARRIED.
  • The guy who picked the date, place, and time, then stood me up.
  • The guy with more free time than me - Would love to put more time into him but can't seem to find a way our schedules match up.
  • The one who talked a big game, but when it came to making plans, never answered a single text about it.
  • The too-young guy – Despite being funny and super cute, the age difference was just a little too much for me. I found myself advising him on life things the way I would a younger sibling. He was not where I would want a man, that I’m dating, to be in life.
  • Let’s not forget the guy I’d been crushing on for months, and when I finally got up the courage to ask him out, he said yes! Then things went no further, as he too never responded to or acknowledged that I’d asked him out after that.
  • The long distance relationship - He was the first to truly steal my then broken heart. He was so much fun (in person and not) and seemed so wonderful. Then he faded out without warning (a ghost for each of us).
  • And finally, there was the guy who really liked me (Alyssa), but it was at that point that I decided it was time to focus more on my career, and me seriously pursuing opportunities with upward mobility. Given that I knew he wasn’t a fan of long distance relationships, I ended up feeling nothing more than friendship for him, which lasted right up until I moved, then that too fizzled out, as they usually do when unrequited feelings are involved.
Not the ideal year of dating we’d been hoping for, but, we ended up learning so much about ourselves, that while we won’t say it’s okay (because it’s not), learning what we did made it all the more bearable. So, as the new year approaches, here’s what we’ll be taking with us into it – a greater sense of self-worth, a better understanding of the type of guy we’re looking for, a keen desire to never settle, and despite the less than great experiences, the lessons learned.

Let it also be known that I’m ending this year having had three dates with a genuinely nice guy who’s attentive, interested, and interesting :) and Rachel has been progressing with an awesome guy as well, who seems to busy and motivated like she is, providing an integral part of her support system, which is extremely important in any relationship.

So, what does this mean for our dating related resolutions? We resolve to:
  • Never lose hope.
  • Be even more clear with ourselves about what we’re looking for, where a guy 'should' be in his life, and what we want out of any kind of relationship with him .
  • Never lower our standards.
  • Be more responsible about who we meet and decide to move forward with.
  • Always take care of ourselves first.
  • Take the good and the bad in stride, remembering that tomorrow’s a new day.
  • Keep an open mind.
  • Make the time. They say: if it's important, you will find the time, right? But, if you finding you aren't making the time - let him down gently so he can move on with his life.
  • Stay open and honest with him and ourselves, but don't halt something good, solely because we're scared.

Now it’s your turn. What have you learned? What will you be taking with you? What are some of your dating resolutions? TDC wants to know, tell us below!

Who to Watch in 2015

I'm always keeping my eye out for that fantastic new twitter follow or a fun and inspiring new blog to keep up with. But, there are so many out there! Which begs the million dollar question: how do you keep up with the valuable content in the sea on content that is being thrown out there? 

Do you just follow everyone and hope what they put out is worth your time? (No!) 

Do you strategically follow people who you are intrigued by, and already loving the info they have to share? (Yes!)

It's no secret that I'm obsessed with perfectly crafted twitter lists, and of course I think that you should be using them too! One of my favorite private twitter lists is my 'newbies' list. This is one of the places I put people as soon as I start following them. I check back later and clean out the list. If there are people on there that I have continued to chat with and/or love their content, they come off the 'newbies' list and stay on the others I filtered them into. If I don't recognize them anymore, or am just not loving what they're sharing - they're gone. No need to clutter up my feed with info I don't care to see!

With that being said, this year has been filled with awesome new faces emerging in the PR scene and I have made some fantastic and inspiring new connections. Some that you should definitely be keeping your eye on!

Kayla Hollatz - Not exactly a new one, but her new branding and focus is incredible. She is by far one of my most favorite creative gals out there. Kayla has great insight as a new PR gal, is so inspiring and adds a beautiful bit of creativeness to anything she touches.

Twist on PR - RPM - It doesn't hurt that I fan girl all over @BeckuhBeck on a daily basis through twitter, facebook, and the countless snapchats we exchange; and that we share some of the same passions in life - in and outside of the PR world. This gal knows what's up. She knows what she wants and gets it. Rebecca is on her way to big things and I am more than happy to be motivated by her energy and humor each day!



Lindsay Pfeifer - When Lindsay started following me on twitter I was instantly intrigued by a fellow PR|fashion|lifestyle blogger - and the fact that her blog is called Lipstick and Lattes (with adorable branding) didn't hurt one bit. She seemed like everything I adore, all rolled up into one awesome url. Not to my surprise, I loved everything everything she had to share. Fabulous fashion posts, inspiring and educated PR posts and fantastic beauty tips!

Geraldine Estevez - One of my favorite NY PR gals made a big change in her life this year. After dominating each role she had taken on in the PR world in the last few years, she decided to make a switch and focus solely on her one true passion: writing. And, I couldn't be happier for, and more proud of, her. She is an amazing writer focusing on topics that vary from life experiences and questions to entertainment to powerful and fearless women. I know you will all love reading everything she spills out onto her social pages and blog, The Write Woman.

Mixed Print Magazine - When one of your fav PR gals, @thePRprincesss, and one of your fav style bloggers, @SIEverything, come together to create a new magazine - not only do you pay attention - you get really excited! They're first issue will be available mid 2015 and I can't wait! Follow these gals and stay tuned to see what magic comes of these two putting their lovely heads together.

Check 'em out, get inspired, and tell me - who are you keeping your eye on this year?
post signature

Friday, December 19, 2014

The Dating Chronicles – Deal or No Deal?

Let's talk deal breakers. I don’t know a single girl who hasn’t made a deal breakers list either before entering the dating world, or created one after each failed relationship attempt. We here at The Dating Chronicles are posing the questions, how effective are these lists? Are they really necessary? And ultimately, did your deal breaker ever no longer qualify as a deal breaker?

Part of the reason I love writing this column is because I can speak candidly about things most of us usually keep to ourselves or only share with our closest friends. So, in the spirit of sisterhood, here’s one particular deal breaker story of my own.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve never been a fan of smoking. I don’t like the smell, or how the smoke irritates my eyes, and let’s be honest; it’s called a Cancer Stick for a reason. When I went to college, it felt like everyone smoked. I distinctly remember walking to an 8 a.m. class freshman year and passing a guy smoking a cigar (something my grandfather, his brothers, and my uncle saved for after dinner at special occasions) and I couldn’t believe it. Now, please don’t take this to mean that I have something against smokers - I don’t, and everyone is free to make their own choices. Being forced to be around it for about a year until my school went tobacco-free only made me dislike the act more though.

Skip to the start of my senior year, and bam! I met the guy who would become my first serious boyfriend.

When I met him, he was a self-proclaimed “occasional smoker.” I assumed that meant he did what a few people I knew did, smoked when he drank… I was wrong. Turned out, he was more of a smoke-whenever-possible kind of smoker. You may be wondering why I even started dating him. The reality of the situation was, I had no idea about how often he smoked. It was a tobacco-free campus, so he was never really able to light up around me, and when we went off campus together at first, drinks were usually involved so in my mind, occasional came into play.

Flash forward a few months. I was fully aware of exactly how much he was in violation of my deal breaker, but our relationship had progressed, feelings were involved now. My deal breaker hadn’t become obsolete, because I thought about it all the time, but it wasn’t a deal breaker to me anymore, or so I thought.
Ultimately though, he had no real desire to quit smoking, and I was tired of bringing it up, so that began to weigh on me, and it ended up being one of the reasons we broke up.

This brings us back to our original questions. If there’s anything you know you won’t be able to deal with, and you’re not going to compromise on that aspect, I don’t see anything wrong with having a few deal breakers. Here’s the thing, don’t make it an excessive list!

I was actually talking to the guy I’m in the early stages of getting to know about this last night, and he agreed with me. His big deal breaker is if he finds out a woman does drugs and/or drinks excessively, but other than that, he only named two or three other smaller things that he considered to be deal breakers for him, but not necessarily right away.

We both agreed that relationships are a lot of work (duh, I know) but if you’re ever going to learn what you will and won’t tolerate, then you’re going to have to play around with those deal breakers a little bit, and ask yourself, “Is this really a deal breaker?”

Sometimes the answer will ultimately be a resounding, “Yes!” Like my no smoking one. Other times, the answer won’t be so cut-and-dry, and I truly believe that experience will become an extremely important factor in how you decide to proceed.

Does it really matter that his political views are the opposite of yours? (I don't know.) Does it matter that he is overly friendly and flirtatious with other women? (Yes. Agree or not, I find this rude and very irritating.) Does it matter that you caught him in a small, white lie? (Again, I'd say yes. Honesty is always appreciated by me. Anything less means I'm out.) Does it matter that his taste in movies or music is a bit different than yours? (Nope! Expand your horizons and give his movies and music a chance - he'll love it and you might be pleasantly surprised and find you do too!)

It is helpful to be clear with yourself and know where you stand before you decide if your deal breaker is, in fact, the breaker of said 'deal,'  and bring it up. If yes, end it. If you're not sure, get clear. If no, then proceed, girl. See where this may go!

Don’t feel like you have to sacrifice for the greater good, because of all of the sacrifices and exceptions we make in relationships (going to a sporting event we don’t want to, or him taking you to that play you’ve been dying to see) the serious stuff should be the most important.

Do you have a deal breakers list? What’s the most important one on it? DC wants to know!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The PR Girl Gift Guide {2014}

It's that time of year! Holidays, parties, family, friends and gift giving. 

I know just as well as anyone that you can have that 'this-is-perfect!' gift idea forever, but when it's actually time to go make the purchase, you've may have forgotten what that perfect item was. Then your mind goes blank and you start to feel the pressure. 

(In all honesty, I have a separate folder in my email that I send links to all year long. When I see something I just know my sister, best friend, mom, dad, etc. would love - I send it on over to my inbox for future reference. It helps out a lot!)

But, if you don't have a stash of ideas, or they're just not cutting it, check out these ideas for that special PR lady in your life. If she's anything like me and my gals, she's sure to love any of them.

When there's down time to read a book, 'just for fun,' she'll want something fantastic to pick up and dive into. Sometimes something light, fun and fluffy; but other times, something motivating that will still keep her mind thinking and learning.

Sleep mask.
Waking up to the bright sunshine is wonderful. But during the holiday season this gal will most likely get a little more downtime and will want to spend some of it catching up on all those zZz's she misses out on, on an all too regular basis. Blocking out the sun at these times is necessary.

Relaxing scents.
A nice, light, relaxing scented candle is always wonderful for those long days, or weeks, that scream for a hot bubble bath. They're also perfect for her to burn right at her desk while she works.

A framed graphic or picture.
It may seem a little cliché, but if you pick one of her favorite quotes or pictures, and have it framed, she will love to hang it up in her office - at home or work.

What little lady doesn't love a nice piece of jewelry to add to her collection? (I can't think of one...) Every PR gal has at least a teensy social media obsession, and a piece with her twitter handle, or social icons, is always a quirky addition to any outfit - and can be a fun conversation starter. But, you can never go wrong with a simple silver piece from Tiffany.

Portable charger.
Do any of you know a PR gal that isn't glued to her phone at all most all times? (Okay, that might be a tiny exaggeration - we really can put those smart phones away sometimes!) Checking and being on that cell all day long can cause a battery to drain pretty quickly though, and there isn't always a place to charge up. A portable charger, that can be easily slipped into her purse, is always like gold when battery life starts to dwindle.

Whether it be a fabulously unique travel mug or even just a gift card to her favorite coffee shop - she will be eternally grateful that you have helped feed her caffeine addiction. (Or, at least until the caffeine buzz dies and she's ready for her next fix. ;) )

post signature

{Gift Ideas} Taking Care of Your Hostess

The promise of holiday parties comes along with the holiday season that is upon us. The always entertaining office parties, trips to your in-laws for dinner or getting together with a group of friends. This year while you’re out buying presents for friends, family, and coworkers don't forget to pick up a hostess gift. (Even if it’s your mom.
Christmas is a huge production and anyone who agrees to host it also agrees to take on a huge time commitment, added holiday season stress and a lot of extra work. Between composing a guest list, invites, RSVPs, food, setting up and decorating for the party itself; then the opening of gifts, possibly judgmental or gossipy relatives, screaming children (Whew! Anyone need a drink yet?)... and we haven't touched on the subject of house guests...
This year show your appreciation. It doesn’t have to be something extravagant, and if you’re tight on cash (courtesy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday), it can even be free. Show your hostess how much you care, and appreciate their time and invitation to join them in their celebrations.
Time: volunteer to wash the mountain of dishes that accumulate after dinner, cook some of the side dishes, or entertain the kids before dinner is served. (The last thing your hostess needs is little Timmy digging through cabinets and accidentally breaking the irreplaceable antique vase passed down by her great, great grandmother.)
Caffeine: give the gift of energy. Buy a cute coffee cup and fill it with coffee, tea, or even hot chocolate packets.
Music: go old school and create a mix cd of Christmas songs to get everyone in the holiday spirit. (Not that the eggnog hasn’t done that already.)
Wine: bring something your hostess can enjoy after the festivities wind down and everyone has gone home.
Food: if you have food allergies or don’t eat certain foods ie: meat or grains, offer to bring something you can eat. This will relieve the stress of worrying what to feed you and prevent you from getting stuck with a veggie tray…again. You can also offer to bring appetizers to help curb everyone’s appetite until the main meal.
The holidays are a joyous time meant to be spent with loved ones, singing Christmas carols, laughing together, enjoying tasty food and drinks, and arguing over who makes a better pecan pie. Sometimes it’s the only chance we get to see relatives and catch up on family gossip. 
 Give a gift that allows your hostess to enjoy that time too.