Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Networking + Bruch for the New PR Grad

Summer is almost here! With weddings and graduations at the forefront, networking isn’t very high on the PR Girl’s to-do list. 

But, use it to your advantage and try networking in a new way. Instead of mingling in a dark crowded bar or hotel conference room try hosting a weekend brunch. I know many of you are wishing you could reach through the screen and slap me saying, “Why would you pick my favorite meal and pair it with networking?!” 

Hear me out.

I know weekends are typically reserved for lounging in pjs, Netflix binging, and online shopping... but, brunch! It’s an untapped resource. 
You can do a lot in 48 hours, including watching the whole series of Friends, again (we won't tell). People are less stressed, at ease and more comfortable on the weekends. All of these are definite positives in a networking situation. 
And, who doesn't love brunch – especially if mimosas are involved!

When you have a spare moment (ha!) search through your contacts and see who you wouldn’t mind calling up and catching up with or getting to know a little bit better. Make sure they have relevant advice or insight to bring to the table (no pun intended... really). We don’t want to waste people’s time. 
Put some thought into your guest list and make sure everyone who attends will benefit and find value. And, keep the number of guests small. This will allow everyone to make more personal connections and not have anyone feeling left out.

Typical networking events feel like a race to the finish line – count your business cards, see who got the most or the coveted card from the main guest speaker, then head home. (Don't do this – at any type of networking event! Really listen and get to know your new connects and find out what value you can both bring to each other.)  
With a networking brunch no one is racing back to work or just shoving their business card at you. The relaxed atmosphere allows for conversation to happen organically and chances are, after this event you’ll know more than what company they work for and if they are hiring.

Networking events make some people break out in a cold sweat but take that pressure off by hosting a fantastic brunch. You’ll have a chance to make a lasting impression and who knows, you could even land a job.
So pick out your cutest weekend outfit and break out the bubbly!
{Image courtesy of A House in the Hills.}

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Dating Chronicles – Forget Everything And Run (F.E.A.R.)

Just as love can make you swoon, fear can just as easily make you bolt. It’s an unhappy coincidence that the feelings that make up fear make you want to do exactly what the acronym above says; run. It happens to everyone, especially those of us who have had bad experiences before – one thing doesn’t go right and you immediately conclude that he’s just like every other guy and the relationship’s not going to work out.

Perhaps it takes him a little longer to respond to that last text then it normally does. He said he’d call you back in a few minutes and four hours later you’re still waiting for that call. Maybe you don’t get to see him as much as you’d like, yet despite him telling you it’s because of his work schedule and responsibilities, you think it’s really that he’s just not interested in you anymore. As women we have this tendency to over-analyze and jump to (mostly) ridiculous conclusions. Fear is the driving force behind those notions, and if we’re not careful it can ruin everything, taking something good and making us question every teeny tiny detail.
A came up with the meaning behind F.E.A.R. because she’s experienced it, she’s considered it, but most importantly, she moved past it and didn’t give it the power she initially thought it had – {forget how when his name appears on caller ID you smile from ear to ear, forget how when he says your name the way he does it makes your stomach do flips, forget how when he holds you you’ve never felt more content in your entire life, forget everything good you have with him and run the other way, to the place where you won’t get hurt, where you’re safe from heart break and rejection.} It’s an appealing notion, but while fear is most certainly a powerful feeling, so is love, and with the right mindset, it can help you overcome the fearful notions that seem to plague your thoughts.

We completely understand how it feels to love someone so much that the thought of losing them makes you want to cry, how busy schedules can get to you in a way that brings tears to your eyes instantly; that’s fear. What needs to be learned (and we’re no experts, we’re learning this as well) is how to recognize these moments as fear, not let them control us, and to push past them, embracing the happiness we all deserve. There is a time and place for everything, but if we let fear run our lives, be it love or life in general, we’ll get nowhere fast. 
No one knows you better than you do, so when you feel afraid, question why it is you feel that way, perhaps what past experience is pushing you in that direction, and then find the strength to work through it. You should also feel comfortable telling your guy exactly what’s going on inside your head. Let him dissuade your fears and be there for you.

But, what about my intuition? …

The simplest answer is, don’t ignore it. If something doesn’t feel right, and no matter what you do, you can’t shake that feeling, more than likely something is going on. If you truly feel that he’s not always being honest, or there’s no emotion behind the words he whispers in your ear, trust yourself, and figure out what’s happening.

A big lesson we learn unfortunately is that not everyone’s intentions are as good as our own. If you don’t like what’s going on, end it. Don’t stay in a relationship just because you’re afraid to be single again, that’s not fair to you. Follow your gut instinct and do what you have to do, no matter how hard it may seem. We promise – it will be better in the long (maybe even short) run!

Fear doesn’t equal F.E.A.R., but embracing it is ultimately up to you, choose wisely.

{Image courtesy of}

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Dating Chronicles – Happy Anniversary!

One year ago, R approached A about contributing to her blog, and after a few brainstorming emails, The Dating Chronicles shifted from an idea to reality. It’s been a great year and in February (yes, we're (R is!) a little behind schedule), TDC turned one! 

It would be easy to think of this column as a birthday, but we discuss dating here, so anniversary it is. Plus, when you think about it, TDC has grown and evolved, just like a relationship, over the past year.

While R and I weren’t able to go to a fancy dinner, or exchange cards and flowers, due to schedules, snow storms like Sparta and now the upcoming Thor, but mostly distance, we’re still grateful for one another and love this bond we’ve formed over a desire to share stories and help our fellow women navigate the Dating Game.

So, in the spirit of sisterhood, we have a few suggestions for anyone about to celebrate an anniversary and may be feeling a little flat in the ideas department.

1. Plan a scavenger hunt »» A has a friend who did this a few years ago. Her friend sent her boyfriend all around campus to find different things that pertained to their relationship. And where did the last clue lead? To her of course! According to A’s friend, the scavenger hunt was a relatively cheap and creative way for both of them to remember the little things they’d done in their relationship up to that point.

2. Write him a love letter »» It’s no secret that the art of letter writing is dying, so grab some stationary and put your feelings down on paper. Not only is this different, but if you save mementos, it’s easy to add to the collection. A also found online a suggestion to write two letters; one for him to open this year, and one for him to open next year.

3. Bring the past into the present »» Do you remember your favorite date? Then recreate it! Wear the same outfit and go to the same places. If you’re feeling up to it, have your guy pick his favorite one too and try doing both in the same day/night.

4. Staycation Anyone? »» Who says you have to make grand plans? If you find it hard to relax together, then just stay home for a night, a weekend, whatever. Order in as much as you want, unplug from the world, and just enjoy being with him. You can still do something romantic without spending a fortune. And let’s be honest, if you want, you’re perfectly within your right to stay in bed all day ;-P

5. Couple’s Massage »» Sometimes it feels like there just aren’t enough hours in the day, which makes it difficult to relax. Book a couple’s massage for the two of you and spend an hour or two together while you relax, unwind and get the rub down you desperately need.

Do you have any ideas you'd like to share? Leave them in the comments below!

And, for anyone about to celebrate, Happy Anniversary from TDC!!

Friday, March 27, 2015

PR Metrics That Matter

PR is still a mystery to many. Press releases. How some make it onto TechCrunch and others with equally great products or stories remain unknown. Say the words “PR Metrics” and you’ll get an even more quizzical face in response.

Some question the value of PR for their business and well, PR metrics are what demonstrate the need and the effectiveness for tactics such as earned media, influencer relations, content marketing and good old fashioned press mentions. We’re firm believers in the power of PR to make big things happen – no matter how small the company or the size of the budget.

onboardly has developed this infographic as a way to explain a bit behind what PR is as well as what it can do. –Heather Carson

PR Metrics That Matter
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{Infographic created by onboardly.}

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Dating Chronicles – Testing, Testing...

Not gonna lie, I had the most difficult time trying to figure out how to write this piece. Not because I didn’t want to talk about tests, but because I don’t really know how to feel about them (well, most of them anyway).  As I did some research, it turns out that my feelings about them are not so black and white.

(Read: At first I thought they were ridiculous and stupid (most are), but now, I feel like some are at least a little understandable.)

 So, where to begin? I guess my biggest gripe is that certain actions are considered tests by society when I don’t see them in that way; I see them more as informative moments. For example, when I ask a guy how his day was, it’s because I’m genuinely interested in knowing. Apparently, some women dig deeper, trying to not only see how their man handles stress, but to see how far she can push him before he breaks…why? 

Good question, I haven’t the faintest idea. Why would you want to push someone to a breaking point? While I know there are bound to be disagreements and fights in any relationship, it is my sincerest hope that none of them turn verbally or physically abusive, so why would I push someone so hard that that outcome could become a reality?

 I also read an article about how early on in a relationship girls will send teasingly risqué photos to their guys, looking to see if he’ll ask for a dirty picture. What's the point? No offense to any men who may read this post, but ladies, they’re men, if you tempt them with something they like, chances are they’re going to ask for more, so what are you trying to prove? That if he’s the true gentleman you think he is, he won’t ask for a more revealing picture? *giggles & rolls eyes* If so, good luck with that.

I think the test I have the most difficulty understanding is the one where women point out an attractive woman, one, to see if their man will look at her, and two, if he does, see if he agrees or disagrees. Again, I have trouble seeing the point. Just because a guy may find another woman attractive, it does not make him any less loyal to you in any way! If he acts on that attraction, that’s a different story.

 Now, I said my feelings weren’t so black and white, and here are some examples why. As women, we reach a point where we stop looking to date for the sake of dating, and begin looking for that serious life partner. In doing so, we try to weed out the bad apples as quickly as possible so as not to waste an excessive amount of time or energy on a guy we know pretty early on isn’t the one. That being said, here are a few tests I’ve come across where I understand their purpose.

Memory – You spend so much time sharing personal information about yourself, it’s nice to know that he’s been tuned in to your conversations. He doesn’t have to remember every little detail (it would be great if he did) but, people can only retain so much information.
Problem-solving ability – Arguments happen, and seeing how a man gets past them will tell you a lot about his character. Does he stew? Speak calmly and rationally? Does he explode? It’s important to know how he deals with these situations so that you know if you can handle his reactions.
Time management skills – As women, we want to know that we’re a priority in his life. Don’t expect to spend every spare minute with him, but it’s nice to know that even if he’s busy, he makes an effort to make time for you. And this goes both ways, as you shouldn’t expect him to be the one who always clears his schedule and puts things off for you, so make sure you do the same for him. 

I always like to remember that line from He’s Just Not That Into You: “If a guy wants to see you he will make it happen.”
Patience – Ladies, we’re no strangers to playing hard to get. Not responding to texts right away, or delaying making plans are the two most-used ways in which women test men’s patience. We want to know he desires us, is willing to wait for us, etc., but be careful, even the most patient of men will reach the point of moving on if you make him feel super unwanted.
Thoughtfulness – I’m not talking about expensive dinners, flowers on our birthday, or telling us we’re pretty, I’m talking about doing unexpected things at unexpected times. The things that take our breath away and make us smile when it’s the farthest thing from our minds: the text or phone call where he leads with something like, “I couldn’t stop thinking about you today,” or, taking us by the hand and starting to dance with us regardless of whether or not there’s music. It’s those little moments that end up meaning the most to us.
Okay gals, if you read this small sample and say, “Oh my gosh, that’s me!” Don’t feel bad. Like I said, the more I thought about some of these, the more I understood their purpose. Most of the time I think we conduct these tests on a subconscious level, so we’re not even aware we’re doing it. And remember, if a guy’s as serious about finding “the one” as you are, he’s bound to test you as well. It happens. 

Don’t rely on the ridiculous ones, such as the first three I mentioned at the beginning of this article because those are superficial, and certainly don’t spend all of your time testing your man, let your relationship unfold, and chances are you’ll figure out pretty quickly if he’s the one for you or not. 

Yes, tests are going to happen, both the ones you consciously conduct as well as the ones life throws your way, just make sure you don’t stop living your life because you’re too worried about the outcome of the tests to truly appreciate the connection you have with another human being.

{Image courtesy of Getty Images.}

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Finding Your Passion

Valentine’s Day is all about love. 
Greeting cards feature animals gazing into each others eyes or sexual innuendos buried in a flurry of pink hearts and cartoon lettering. Couples whisper sweet nothings as they cuddle up next to each other in restaurants. Candy hearts confess our love in pastel colors.  Stuffed animals suddenly become an acceptable gift for people over the age of twelve.

On February 14 the whole world is in love with love, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to discuss passion. No, not the feeling between two people that is sometimes confused with love. I mean the feeling you have when you’ve found your calling. When you’ve found something you’d be happy doing for the rest of your life.
George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel put it best, “Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion.” 
As graduation nears are you still unsure what your college major will be? Did you recently quit or get fired from your job and aren’t sure of your next move? Are you just looking for a change? Take a step back and discover what drives you. 
If you are passionate about something you should wake up every morning happy to go to work. Even if you didn’t get paid, you would still be willing to do it. That is the mark of true passion.

 Not sure how to find your passion? Try these exercises to help discover what you’re passionate about.

1. What did you like to do as a child? Draw, color, write? Can that be translated into a career?

2. List all the things you love about your job/school vs the things you hate. Do you like writing papers? Do you cringe every time the phone rings at work? These are clues for discovering your passion. Create this list over the course of a week. Your answers could surprise you.

3. Make a list of things you like to do. Do you like giving people advice? Do you find yourself constantly volunteering to cook for events?

4. Ask 10 people what is most inspiring about you. Do any of the same words crop up? (My word was driven.)

5. What is one thing you like that is controversial? Maybe it’s a human rights issue or something as simple as wearing socks with sandals. Not everyone is going to like your major or chosen career path. You need to be able to defend your choice.

6. When are you the happiest? Is it when you’re in front of a group of people or flying at 30,000 feet?

Finding your passion isn’t always easy when we are used to trying to please others or do things that are considered socially acceptable. You have to search deep inside yourself. No matter what you discover your passion to be, pursue it as soon as possible. 
In the infamous words of Mufasa from the Lion King, “Remember who you are."

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Dating Chronicles – Happy Valentine’s Day

Ahhh, February 14th comes around every year like clockwork. This day has taken on a different meaning to every person. Some people treat it like just another day, some feel down and disappointed, some celebrate their singledom, and others use the day as an excuse to be with their other half in ways they sometimes don’t have the time or energy to on most days. However you choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day is up to you.

For the Single Girls

We know it seems like every other girl around you is getting flowers delivered to the office or on campus, we know the perception well, but don’t let that get you down. Since Valentine’s Day’s all about love, just because you don’t have another person to share your love with, doesn’t mean you can’t use this day to do something special for yourself.

Another popular name for this day in recent years has been Singles Awareness Day. If you find yourself in this particular category and you don’t want to spend the time alone, get a group of your single gal pals together and go out for the night – celebrate all of you and how much you care for one another! Go to dinner, the movies, throw a party, express how grateful you are that you’re single instead of with your no-good ex, whatever your collective heart’s desire, do it, and please believe, you’re not missing out on anything, especially since you don’t need a man to make you happy.

This is how A spent Valentine’s night last year: I cooked myself a little steak dinner, had a glass of wine and spent the night reading. The caption of this picture read, “Happy Valentine’s Day to me, from the person who loves me the most; me.” There’s no rule that says your day has to be spent with another person. So, make yourself a meal you normally wouldn’t, treat yourself to a massage, take a long bath, do whatever makes you feel special.

What was R's 2014 Valentine's Day like? Might have actually been a more enjoyable evening if I were single. ;) I was coming up on the end of a long-term, serious relationship and last Valentine's Day was just like any other day. Exactly like any other day.

 Let me start by saying I'm not the type of girl to make a huge deal about this particular holiday and truly believe the small, sweet, romantic gestures mean so much more on 'regular days.' But, I'll admit, a little recognition would have been nice. Especially when every other year gorgeous flowers, a beautifully written card, and thoughtful gift would surprise me at home or work. 

Then, nothing. 

I hate to sound like I'm complaining (or even still irritated by this story – because I'm definitely not), but guys (and gals!) – a little, thoughtful gesture says so much more than you might think. Getting dressed to the nines and making dinner reservations is so cliché (at least I think so). If you want to do those things, do them. Just make that effort year long – not because cupid says you "have to" on Feb. 14th.

For the Taken Girls

We’d like to start this section by stating a well-known fact – every couple is different. Some couples like to go all out for Valentine’s Day, some keep things low key, others roll over in bed, give each other a quick peck on the lips, whisper “Happy Valentine’s Day,” then fall asleep for the night. There is no wrong way to express your affection for the other person (Unless someone forgets the day completely, then there’s an issue). But let’s stay focused on the good things.

This year, Valentine’s Day falls on a Saturday, which we think provides a few more options when it comes to things to do, as you’re both less likely to be too tired to do anything after work, and you literally have an entire day and night to play with. Now, if either of you work weekends, then you see what day you’ll be able to do something together and go from there. We’ve heard that not actually celebrating on Valentine’s Day doesn’t feel the same, but we believe that’s a state of mind, as February 14th is ultimately just another date on the calendar, and you can celebrate your love on any of the other 364 days of the year.

If you know you’re going to be doing something, but just haven’t decided yet, here are a few suggestions from TDC to you. Ladies, if he’s already told you that he’s planning the day, sorry to say that you are at his mercy.
  • Go somewhere you’ve never been, but have talked about going (museum, vineyard, aquarium, laser tag, BYOB painting class).
  • Take a day or weekend trip.

  • Make an appointment for a couple’s massage.
  • Surprise him by doing something he wants to do that you normally wouldn’t want to.
  • Find a comedy club, jazz bar, or cocktail lounge and spend the night out on the town.
  • Get a little adventurous and try something new in the bedroom.
  • Instead of the traditional dinner, followed by a movie, give one of those dine-in theaters a try.

  • It’s freezing on the East Coast and in the Midwest – but if you’re in a warmer climate, spend the day at the beach, hiking or going on a picnic.

As long as you’re both happy, that’s all that matters. 

And, no matter your relationship status, a very heartfelt Happy Valentine’s Day from us to you, we appreciate your readership and love being able to share TDC with all of you!

{Image courtesy of Getty Images.}

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.

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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!