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Editor Q&A with Danielle Moss, Co-founder, the Everygirl

Lifestyle site The Everygirl is a coveted press hit for brands and an inspirational/aspirational destination for many a aspiring digital content creator.

Co-founder Danielle Moss knows a thing or two about coming out of the gate strong; within 3 months of launch the site was named a top 100 Website for Women and Top 10 Website for Millennial Women by Forbes.

Danielle launched her first blog, Breakfast at Toast, in 2007, and her graphic design business shortly thereafter. Relocating to Chicago proved fruitful after meeting her business partner Alaina Kaczmarski with whom she launched The Everygirl. 

A talented creative and business savvy blogger, Danielle has been featured on Entrepreneur, Huffpost, and The Lively Show and spoken at The School of Styling, Go Blog Social, and Create & Cultivate. Her interior styling has been featured in Rue, Apartment Therapy, Style Me Pretty, and photography has been featured on SMP Living, 100 Layer Cakelet, and Glitter Guide. She has partnered with David Yurman, MillerCoors, Uber, Lucy Activewear, Farrow and Ball, Capital One, GAP, and Noosa among other brands.

This conversation is condensed from her video interview as part of the digital expert series  #theRevolutionaries, a video series produced by C1 Revolution featuring entrepreneurs, media and communicators in Chicago who are successfully navigating the digital revolution. Below, Danielle talks target markets, chance meetings via Twitter and how to launch with panache.

How did you get your start in the industry?

My story is a little unusual. I was kind of floundering back in my 20s so I started my blog. I wanted to make it look better, but blogging wasn’t so much a thing back in 2007 so there weren’t really blog designers. So I decided  to teach myself graphic design. I got a copy of Photoshop elements and made myself a horrible banner for my blog. I thought it was so great at the time. I wish I still had it I’m sure it was god awful I can’t remember it!

 

So I redesigned my blog and I was so excited about it, and one of my friends at the time, a blog friend I knew online, asked me for help with hers and then it just kind of kept growing.

I've kept my personal blog up the entire time, it was Breakfast at Toast, and now it’s just my name.  

How did you meet your co-founder?

I met Alaina, my business partner, when I moved from Los Angeles to Chicago. I had invited a girl I had met through Twitter to hang out and she brought Alaina with her. During that time I was hired by Glitter Guide, to photograph her for a style at home feature. We started talking about this void we saw online and about the things that we thought were missing. Eventually the two of us had coffee, sat down and planned it out. Our site went live in 2012, six months later.

Who is your main reader?

Alaina and I wanted something that felt really relatable and attainable to girls like us - we weren’t very connected to our industry but we both wanted to find our dream jobs. We just didn't know what that was exactly, and we didn’t have anyone to help us get our foot in the door.

We wanted to know how women like us were decorating their apartments, not 5 million dollar mansions, which is all you ever see in magazines. We wanted to know how women were working their way up to these really amazing positions. Also, we wanted to teach women about finance and fashion, but have everything really targeted for real women. 

What makes the Everygirl stand out?

There are so many great lifestyle sites out there, but I don’t think they necessarily cover what we do the way we do. We work hard to try to keep everything as affordable as possible.

Almost all of the homes that we feature on our site are apartments. Pricier items featured on the site are usually mixed in with budget-friendly items. You won’t see anything on our site that’s more than $250, and that's a splurge item. We regularly do product round-ups with things under $100.

We aim to educate around money. I don’t think there are great finance sites out there for young women. You can come to The Everygirl and figure out your capsule wardrobe but then learn why you need a 401K. And then learn about relationships, online dating, friendships and and planning your meals for the week. Not everyone is into cooking and most people aren’t that excited about finance, but it is something that we feel is important. 

We try to have content that’s for everyone. The goal is that you’ll go through the site and hopefully find something that you didn’t know you needed to know or weren’t that interested in and maybe get excited about it and try or learn something new.

We started The Everygirl because my business partner Alaina and I wanted something that felt really relatable and attainable to girls like us 

 

What made your launch so successful?

We reached out to five of our blog friends and they were all pretty big and we gave them each an exclusive sneak peek to share the day before we launched. At the time I had about 4500 visits a day to my personal blog.  I posted about the Everygirl every 5 seconds and people were really excited because we talked about it being for women like us and that was something where people felt like there was that void.

It was a lot of promotion, a lot of honest support of people posting like bloggers and people on Facebook, Twitter, and everywhere they were sharing our content and that really helped.

 At the beginning it really does mean having an editorial calendar and posting at least 4 days a week because if you are new you need to give people a reason to keep coming back. 

 

What have you learned throughout this whole experience?

Time management has been something that has been really tough to learn, and just letting yourself walk away. I worked to the point that I got shingles a couple years ago, like hit rock bottom, so stressed out, I was at the computer everyday until 2am. I had this 5 min response time for every email, and you can’t live that way.

It’s really just been a huge learning experience and so much of it really came from growing our team. There was a point where Alaina and I were doing all of our social media, we were just not comfortable having an intern do that because it was so immediate and it goes out to so many people. We had to learn to take a step back and hire great employees. Our first hire was actually our first intern. She is our managing editor now. Then we brought on our second intern as our social media manager. These days Alaina and I mostly deal with brand partnerships and just kind of running the site and making sure everything is okay.

What advice would you give to someone looking to start a similar career?

If someone told me that they wanted my career path, I think I would say start a blog and run with that because both Alaina and I had our blogs for 3 and 5 years. If we had started The Everygirl out of the blue, no one would have known who we were and no one would would have looked at our site.

For someone who wants to start a blog, at the beginning it really does mean having an editorial calendar and posting at least 4 days a week. You need to give people a reason to keep coming back. Great photography, good design, being consistent with posting are all important. Going into it because you want to be the next big thing isn’t really the way to go, but going into it because it is something you love and you’re having fun with it - if that’s your reason you will do well. We went into this because we wanted to create something for people and we started our blogs because it was fun and they were all passion projects and things that we loved and we were just able to turn them into businesses.


 

Danielle continues to work on ensuring The Everygirl keeps readers coming back with relatable and enjoyable content covering everything from fashion and beauty to travel and finance.

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Media Leads

Mary Meeker’s trend report, Oreo’s Newest Flavor & Saving 20 Hours A Week

Fashion PR Marketing News

 Fashion PR Fridays: Top Fashion, Public Relations, Marketing and Social Media News

...for the week of May 29, 2017

Benjamin Hardy talks about ways to save you 20+ hours a week, including listening to brain music and working on quality versus quantity  (via Thrive Global)

In its newest ad, Lacoste uses its classic polo tshirt to tell a story through different time periods showing viewers the history behind their line (via Ad Week)

Want to make a punchy email signature that leaves a lasting effect on your readers? Here are 11 quotes that make a statement (via PR Daily)

What do you think of Oreo's new jelly donut flavored oreos? Ingenious advertising or just plain weird? (via Refinery 29)

Founder and CEO of Bumble, Whitney Wolfe, believes her dating app is about more than just finding love. It's about all different kinds of real human connection (via Entrepreneur)

Dapper Dan and Gucci go hand-in-hand, neither would exist without the other. This, and many more reasons we need cultural appropriation in the fashion world (via Business of Fashion)

Internet guru Mary Meeker released her trend report for 2017. It includes stats on the rise of gaming and internet cloud wars (via Fortune)

In the fashion industry, we are seeing huge companies merge like Kate Spade and Coach and others close multiple stores like Michael Kors. What could go wrong with these new large conglomerates? (via Glossy)

Are companies focusing on the post-purchase part of the buying process enough? (via CMO) 

A web series called Glove and Boots is teaching its viewers how to interact with their friends on social media in a very interesting way, with puppets (via Huffington Post)

 

 

How to get started in PR with zero media connections

Written by S. Angelique Mingo

When it comes to public relations, all sort of professional and even personal relationships can come in handy, but media relationships are essential. Agencies post openings looking for candidates who come with their own connections to editors, freelance writers, segment producers, influencers and more. If you’re building a freelance PR business, your prospective clients are hiring you in part for your media relationships and corresponding ability to create the buzz they are looking for.

As a new professional just starting out in PR, the focus no media connections can seem daunting and overwhelming. If you’re trying to build your empire but are starting at the bottom with zero connections to the media, take a deep breath and get ready. The best way to get started when you don’t have any connections is to begin building relationships before you need them. Here’s how:

1. USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO FOSTER professional RELATIONSHIPS RATHER THAN FRIENDSHIPS

For most of us, checking in on our social media platforms is something we do multiple times a day. Instead of scrolling blindly or leaving inside joke emojis on your friend’s profiles, make the most of that time and follow – and pay attention to – key industry people, particularly journalists, bloggers influencers and celebrity wranglers on Instagram and Twitter.  One great way to find out the stylists behind celebrities is to see who celebs are tagging in their posts. Often they will tag members of their styling and management team.

Notice what they are posting, and when a post speaks to you, say something! Everyone loves a compliment and being genuine and consistently supportive of someone go a long way in making yourself visible. Stay away from bots and comments that don’t actually built rapport like the “love,” “hot/haute,” and “great pic” – show off your enthusiasm, humor and support with specific comments that go above and beyond a heart face emoji. Once you feel like you might be gaining some traction, introduce yourself privately with a question or compliment, thereby leading to the next phase of relationship from there.

2. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR ALUMNI NETWORK.

When we think of alumni associations, we tend to think of the career services office or fundraising efforts while we are still dealing with student loans. However, the people you went to school with and those who graduated before or after you just might be the golden tick to create the mutual connection that can ultimately move your career forward.

The commonality of an alma mater is a great way to meet fellow grads that may be working in an area of your interest. This is an often-overlooked resource of professional contacts may be proof of the six degrees of separation to that next key connection. Hop onto the alumni section of your school’s website and take a look at networking events, directories, even professional matchmaking services.

3. CONNECT OFFLINE TO PUT A FACE TO A NAME

Don’t underestimate the value of face-to-face connections and the value of taking off your cozy pants and getting dressed up for an industry event. Journalists, stylists and influencers are just like you, meaning they are ten times more likely to respond to messages from someone they have met personally, a name they recognize. Building real-world connections through networking events, conferences, boutique openings and seminars is arguably your most valuable tool in building connections and well deserving of your time.

The Chambers of Commerce will typically host monthly events where members and prospective members can meet-and-greet local business owners. Websites such as Eventbrite, Meetup.com and Facebook all have running lists of local and national events to attend – show you’re interested in one and you’re likely to be shown other related events as well.

4. Be actively involved in something you love

Of course the professional hustle takes up considerable time, but oftentimes valuable professional alliances are struck not inside a structured networking meeting, but through people who meet one another through an unrelated circumstance, like a shared hobby. This approach has the dual benefit of taking the pressure off forced meet and greets and amps up your own happiness and work-life balance while still cultivating your network. Stash some business cards in your bag just in case!

 Don’t underestimate the value of face-to-face connections. Journalists, stylists and influencers are just like you, meaning they are ten times more likely to respond to messages from people they can put a face to a name

5. FIND A professional MENTOR.

Mentors are the X factor. Not only have they navigated through the waters you are now entering but they also have connections that can open doors. They have spent years nurturing their relationships so now they can introduce you the right people to help build your network. From taking you as their plus-one to VIP events, to giving you the heads up on trending after-work meeting spot, a mentor is invaluable. When approaching a potential mentor, remember that this relationship is a two-way street wherein both parties are adding value. What might you offer in terms of skills or perspective to someone a few years down the road professionally from where you stand today?

Relationships are living entities and as a PR professionals part of your ongoing work is to nurture and keep up with your contacts. Using the most relevant form of communication for both of you – be it Instagram or Linkedin, make a habit of popping in to see what’s new and how you can help.
About S. Angelique

S. Angelique Mingo is the founder and creative director at Sinala Noir, a New York-based boutique fashion and lifestyle communications agency that specializes in creative public relations and brand messaging for emerging brands.

SS

PR Mavens We Love: Cindy Riccio, President & Founder, CRC Communications

Consumer lifestyle marketing expert, Cindy Riccio opened the doors to Cindy Riccio Communications (CRC) ten years ago after years developing and executing award-winning public relations programs for leading Fortune 500 companies and agencies.

The C3 Formula: Create. Connect. Communicate has caught the attention of clients like Hanes, Kenneth Cole and Wonderbra.

An avid news connoisseur with a passion for storytelling, we were lucky enough to learn more about Cindy's background, vision and agency focus. 

Name: Cindy Riccio
Title: President & Founder
Location: NYC
Education: BA in Journalism and Mass Communications at New York University
Company: Cindy Riccio Communications
Instagram:
@crcagency
Facebook: @CRCagency
Twitter:
@CRCagency

How did you get started in PR? How did you get the job you have now?

After a longstanding career of working at mid-size to global agencies and at two corporate consumer packaged goods companies, I decided it was time to take my breadth of brand experience and open the doors to CRC.

What are your primary responsibilities?

Overseeing brand strategy for clients and business development programs, implementing innovative new media and digital marketing platforms and most importantly, mentoring the CRC team and personal development programs.

How is your department/agency structured?

We are structured efficiently with President & Founder, Vice President, Account Supervisor/Director of Influencer & Celebrity Relations, Senior Account Executive/ Manager of Social/ Influencer Marketing, Account Executive, PR Assistant and an Intern.

What is the mood like in the office? What are you working on right now?

Upbeat with a strong focus on our clients – and what we’re getting for lunch from the ‘hood. We’re big believers in the old saying, “work hard, play hard” – and we always have a bottle of bubbly on hand when we have reason to celebrate.

Our work is our passion. One of the companies we work with is CARE®, In its fight to end global poverty, CARE® places special focus on working alongside women and girls because, equipped with the proper resources, they have the power to lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty.

A current campaign we’re excited about is launching Hanes Hosiery’s two latest collections, Hanes Perfect Nudes™ and Hanes Perfect Tights™. We launched the collections to long-lead fashion and beauty editors at the Hanesbrands Showroom with a performance and integration with COMPLEXIONS Contemporary Ballet – “America’s original multicultural dance company.” The partnership between Hanes Hosiery and the International Contemporary Ballet served as a perfect fit, seeing how the COMPLEXIONS’ mandate has always been to spotlight diversity, taking on timely social issues with music and movement. The key attributes were communicated to our editor attendees, not only verbally and visually, but through an artistic and memorable demonstration that caught the breath of editors and helped to solidify the message we set out to communicate.

We’re big believers in the old saying, “work hard, play hard” – and we always have a bottle of bubbly on hand when we have reason to celebrate.

 

What is a recent success story that makes you especially proud?

Beating Apple to market for the launch of Kenneth Cole’s Smartwatch and generating over 4 billion media impressions globally to win a Silver Stevie Business Award.

Most memorable moment in your career thus far?

Playing a key role in the U.S. launch of The One and Only Wonderbra from the UK. The PR campaign drove tons of women in-store to buy uplifting garments. The supply/demand ratio set an industry benchmark with lines of women around the block waiting to get inside stores. The campaign won multiple awards.

Most glamorous moment in your career thus far?

Out of all of the major industry award events that I’ve been to, some of my favorites surrounding Fashion Week and the CFDA Awards, the most glamourous part of my carreer was, hands down, greeting John F Kennedy Junior when he was the publisher of George Magazine.

 

Least glamorous moment in your career thus far?

Telling a team of four that the company is moving in a different direction.

PR can be stressful and full of rejection - how do you deal?

I try to keep it all in perspective. There are some things you just can’t control and as long as I’m giving 100% and surrounding myself with smart people, I’m confident that “you get what you give.”

What are three essentials that help you run your business?

Our new fave at the office for influencer marketing is Feedly, Texture and YouCam Perfect for improving selfies. The chargers, of course! Also, my laptop. I always have it nearby. DelRio by MAC, the lip shade I’ve been wearing for two decades now.

What do you wish more people understood about your job (or PR/Marketing in general?)

That it is an art and a science. The landscape changes so quickly that you have to be ready to shift gears at any moment. Solutions and results are the two most important deliverables for clients. If you aren’t seeing success from a particular pitch, change it up and figure out how to make it work within reason.

What are you excited about right now in terms of industry trends?

That the lines are blurring between paid and earned media.

What's the biggest challenge facing fashion/lifestyle communicators right now?

Our industry is changing rapidly, much of it having to do with the influencer space. The trouble with that is lifting the veil of authenticity and ensuring that the influencers that we engage with aren’t buying likes or followers. We are so happy to see that Fohr Card recently launched a tool to help us with this.

What advice do you have for your younger self?

Smile. Positive energy attracts positive energy.

Anything else we should know?

CRC is always looking for new talent and new clients. We were recently included in the shortlist for the SABRE Awards among many global firms for taking “a New Company to Market” and featured as one of “New York’s top specialty agencies with a digital focus that keeps growing” in The Observer.    

Thanks, Cindy!

Fashion Brand Communities, the EveryGirl & Twitter’s Latest Marketing Tool

Fashion PR Marketing News

 Fashion PR Fridays: Top Fashion, Public Relations, Marketing and Social Media News

...for the week of May 22, 2017

Lilly Ledbetter and NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray talk about why you should never tell your new employer your prior salary (via Huffington Post)

The next generation of fashion brand customers don't just want the latest fads and trends, they want a community (via Business of Fashion)

Suzanne Rae isn't your average designer. She believes in the importance of community and sustainable fashion (via We are Village) 

Hypebeast and Highsnobiety are two blogs turned ecommerce platforms that have been successful in the new ad age (via 032c)

Danielle Moss speaks about her successful blog, The Everygirl (via Entrepreneur)

Twitter has created direct message cards that let brands create eye-popping tweets that have a direct message call-to-action feature (via The Next Web)

Could influencers be the new ad agency? Companies have been cutting out the middle man and going straight to the source for creative content (via Digiday)

Hiring a PR firm is a big step for your company. You should ask yourself these questions before taking the leap (via Fortune)

This study discovered which social media platform is the most detrimental to our health (via WFMY News 2) 

PiperWai deodorant just came out with a very interesting ad where actress-comedian Manon Mathews explains the new product with parody video creator JP Spears (via Ad Week)

A PR Manager on Staying Ahead of the Media Game

Written by Joseph Pastrana

For those of us working in public relations, staying on top of media musical chairs has always been part of the job. But if you’re anything like me, this is a whole new level. With all the brutal budget cuts, department restructuring and print publications folding, editors are being let go, shuffled around, or announcing their own digital projects at a faster pace than ever before.

As the year opened, we heard about more rounds of layoffs after teams from various Conde Nast titles were consolidated into creative, copy and photo departments. Hearst eventually followed suit later in the year. This means that a single fashion editor is now likely to be in charge of multiple titles, each with their own readership and voice.

These seismic shifts within the publishing world have left us in a state of flux – trying to figure out how to work among the rubble.

At the end of the day, the most important thing to remember is giving your media contacts their due by valuing their support of your client’s and seriously considering both their needs and feedback. Strong media relationships will provide you with the inside scoop on what to pitch, how a specific title is structuring (or re-structuring) and new contacts. Beyond that, below are some helpful reminders to help you stay on top of your game.

Relax, there is still a place for print

While conventional perception right now is that print is dying a slow excruciating death, multiple sources suggest otherwise. Freeport Press found that survey responders indicated that we “read more, read longer and subscribe more often to print than digital.” Britt Fero, the executive vice president and head of strategy in the Seattle office of New York-based ad agency Publicis commented in an article for the American Marketing Association that, “People are in different mental spaces when they choose to engage with a printed magazine versus digital content. Magazines, and print in other forms, serve as inspiration, and they also can be informational. A lot of that is title-dependent and reader-mindset-dependent. What does the reader want to get out of those five minutes that he spends with that particular title? This is really where, in marketing, you can actually add value to a medium because the reader is looking for a very specific kind of content anyway, versus just talking about your brand. Print is becoming even harder, more competitive. It has to speak to the kind of content someone is really interested in.” All this is good news for PR professionals who know how to sculpt a compelling story.

Aside from the less reliable revenue generated by digital platforms, industry experts point to there being no title so far that has proven successful by converting over to digital-only, which means Self.com for example, bears close scrutiny if it does so (or not). What remains true is that print still retains a sense of prestige as a publicity get.

Print’s belated creation of online versions was a miscalculation that has and continues to cost publishers readership. While some clients prefer online hits, the smartest move would be to remain aggressive on a multi-media front, instead of specializing in one media format over another.

Stay the course with social

For every “hot” new social media app, five of them fade away into oblivion (stop trying to make Ello happen!). While it seems expedient to jump on every buzz-worthy new social media platform, recognize that rarely does the buzz equal any long range traction. Evaluate reach and functionality, as well as obvious client integration before heading down a rabbit hole. Clients will want the latest and greatest, so prepare your point-of-view statements and encourage a mix of testing and continual commitment to the chosen channels. At this instant Facebook Live is the thing to do. But better get on that now before the tide turns; because if there’s anything certain about the internet – it inevitably will.

Get ahead of sponsored content

Another core challenge for the modern, digitally savvy agency is the ascendance of social media stars – both with genuine, engaged followers and fake ones. This is yet another tricky situation to need to navigate and agencies should get ahead of the last-minute outreach shuffle to develop clear influencer guidelines and policies, educating the client the entire way through. Develop a clear game plan for evaluation, taking into consideration popularity, reach, effectiveness, proper disclosure, editorial opportunities and P2P budget requirements.

If you always keep an ear to the ground and your eyes open, you will be better equipped to deal with the changes in media. Remember you work in communications – it’s just as much about having something to say and how to say it as it is knowing when to listen.

About Joseph Pastrana

Joseph Pastrana is a New York-based public relations accounts manager with Mannfolk PR. He has worked on both corporate and commercial accounts, in fashion, beauty, interior design and other lifestyle industries. He continues to help clients shape their branding and create effective campaigns for all media.

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5 Signs Your Employee is Facing Burnout (& How to Help)

Written by Michele Litzky

If an employee regularly works through lunch and stays well past dark, she may seem dedicated to the work – but she could also be on the path to severe career burnout. The kind that – if untreated – can lead to stress, subpar work, and ultimately an exit from the company.

You spend hours upon hours training employees to be their best so they stay and excel with your team – not to leave due to anxiety. Given that public relations is a notoriously high-stress industry, even the strongest, smartest employees can reach the point of burnout.

In my experience, the difference between employees who recover from burnout and those that don’t is  a strong, empathetic manager. However, with a full workload – not to mention team mentorship, new business, and internal meetings – PR managers are pulled in all sorts of directions. Few have time to sit back and evaluate whether an employee’s feeling overwhelmed or stressed out.

Here’s the good news: monitoring burnout doesn’t have to be a time suck. If you watch out for these five signs (and follow the subsequent solutions) you can become the strong, empathetic, and ultimately successful manager your team needs you to be.

1. Staying later than late at her desk

Yes, we all have those days we’re in the office later than expected, but if your employee is spending day after day closing down the office, something’s up.

How to fix it: First, watch your employee’s social habits. Is she mingling the day away? In a larger agency, it’s easy to chat all day with coworkers, knowing the work can get finished after hours. This doesn’t mean she’s burnt out, but you should still recommend less social time and more desk time to ensure she works within hours (and to keep others from getting distracted).

In my experience, the difference between employees who recover from burnout and those that don’t is  a strong, empathetic manager.

If your employee’s not socializing, look at her plate. Have you been delegating too much work? If so, slowly start to take some projects back to see how her work-life balance improves. Another option? Look at your own work-life balance. If you’re staying in the office late every day, your employee may think that’s the standard. To truly set a work-life balance example, you need to walk the walk.

2. A dip in quality of work

If a “rock star” employee is failing to provide the creative thinking or smart writing she’s known for, it’s time to check in. Starting out, my mentor gave me great advice: Some days, you just don’t have 100 percent to give. Everyone’s entitled to a bad day or even a week. It happens. But, if you’re used to someone whose A-game is 150 percent – and they’re now turning in sloppy work, being argumentative, or just not themselves – burnout may be to blame.

How to fix it:

Start with a tender approach; if your employee’s down in the dumps, there’s no need to kick her further. Ask how he’s feeling about work and work-life balance. If she doesn’t open up at this point, gently mention her recent work struggles, and ask if there’s anything you can do to alleviate her stress. At this point, it’s on her to tell the truth. If she says it’s fine, leave it. If it remains not fine (and the work continues to suffer) weeks later, it’s time for a more serious talk.

If you’re noticing subpar work across agency teams, it could be that employees have just worked on their businesses too long. In 2016, we moved businesses around to give staffers new projects to try, and the outcome has been overwhelmingly positive – both from a work and career growth standpoint.

3. It’s written on her face

Eyes can tell you a lot about an employee, especially when it comes to burnout. If your employee’s giving worried looks as you ask her to take on a project, or she has dark circles time and again, she’s more stressed than you realize. It’s definitely time to talk.

My mentor gave me great advice: Some days, you just don’t have 100 percent to give.

How to fix it:

First, rescind the project you assigned and get back to basics. Ask what she’s working on, what’s stressing her out, and what challenges she’s facing – some you may not even realize. If under-eye circles are also becoming a staple, dig deeper to see if it’s work – or home – drama keeping her up at night. Either way, let her know you’re there to support her, and while it may end up with you taking on some extra work, it’s worth it in the long-run if you help this star employee get back to her usual, successful self.

4. Everything appears…muted

Have you noticed your employee’s bubbly personality has lost its fizz? This is one of the saddest burnout signs. You hire an employee partly for her personality – it’s that spark that attracted you to her in the first place! – but with piles of work and endless to-do lists, it’s easy for an employee to tense up, focus solely on work, and forget the fun.

How to fix it: There are a number of options here. As mentioned before, open conversations are always a good idea, but if you’re finding that doesn’t work, try a different approach. Invite her out for a happy hour drink or take her to lunch to get out of the office. The work will always be there, so remind her that taking an hour break at lunch or leaving on time for a drink with friends doesn’t mean the world will end. In fact, it’ll start looking much brighter!

5. Unusual attitude issues

Sometimes employees respond to major stress by getting snippy to you or fellow employees. While sure, everyone handles stress differently, this reaction is no good – and needs to be fixed quickly.

How to fix it:

If you notice your employee’s attitude issues last more than one week, it’s time to get stern. Stop her in a moment of snippiness and ask her why she’s stressed, noting this reaction at hand is a clear sign something’s wrong (and the attitude is not acceptable). While she may divulge work stresses or inability to prioritize, you’re not finished with the conversation until you tell her to cut the snippiness, both now and moving forward. This type of reaction won’t go away on its own, and, while tough, it’s up to you – the manager – to be vocal in fixing it.

Growing into the manager role is both cumbersome and exciting. While you undoubtedly have a full plate of team and client responsibilities, remember that you’re no longer judged on individual accomplishments. A team is only as strong as its weakest link, and it’s the manager’s duty to ensure all team members are nothing short of (happy) rock stars.

About Michele

Michele Litzky founded LPR in 1988 with just one client, Matchbox Toys. Today, she’s grown the agency to nearly 25 employees with a full client roster, ranging in categories from toys and baby gear to lifestyle brands and social good campaigns. Her family has grown, too. In addition to three nieces, Rachel, Alison and Samantha, her grandchildren, Emma, Jack and Henry are the newest jewels in her crown.

Louboutin’s Life Story, Pinterest’s Latest & Middle America for Marketers

Fashion PR Marketing News

 Fashion PR Fridays: Top Fashion, Public Relations, Marketing and Social Media News

...for the week of May 15, 2017

 

The founder of DavidsTea shares what he learned being an entrepreneur and what he did when his company failed (via Fortune)

Tuesday Poliak, now a seasoned ad veteran, created extremely unique resumes to catch the eye of some of the world's top creative directors (via Ad Week)

Here is what a social media editor really thinks of their line of work (via Glossy)

In the era of the side hustle, it isn't uncommon to hear people in fashion work in other fields, but this archeologist turned lingerie designer has us doing a double-take! (via Vogue)

Middle America is becoming important to marketers. These charts show what their core values are compared to coastal states (via Digiday)

Have you heard of Weibo? It is a social media app with more users than Twitter (340 million to be exact) and it's growing quickly (via Mashable)

The 2017 Cannes Film Festival showcases some of the best fashion of the year. Here are some of the best red carpet looks (via Elle)

Google analytics now lets you target audiences in more places through Adwords and DBM (via Seer Interactive)

Pinterest is a marketing hotspot for fashion and lifestyle brands with its 175 million users. The website and app is now creating ads targeted at what users have already purchased or viewed (via Tech Crunch)

We all envy the women wearing beautiful red-soled heels, but we don't know the story behind the designer himself. Christian Louboutin sat down at 92Y and shared his story (via WWD)

 

The 7 Traits You Need to Get Hired at a PR Agency

Written by Michele Litzky

You’ve gained top-notch internship experience, compiled dozens of well-researched media lists, and ranked cum laude or higher in your graduating class. That’s all well and good – and truly impressive – but those accomplishments alone won’t get you the job.

While experience and high grades may get a foot in the door, your personality and “fit” with the agency will actually land you that dream job.

But, before you go throwing away your resume and banking on personality alone, let’s back up a step. Resumes are still vital; they’re the first impression potential hirers will have of you, so double and triple check them to ensure you put your best foot forward.

Since founding Litzky PR in 1988, hundreds of resumes cross my desk every year. Some are cookie cutter and hardly stand out; some have typos or bad grammar, and are immediately set aside; others are colorful, illustrating a candidate’s design savvy as well as a sneak peek at their personality. And, then, there are some that break the mold entirely, such as the decorative box I received this year that held a sneaker-shaped cookie from a prospect who was trying to get his ‘foot in the door.’  This one definitely caught my eye, and it led to an interview.

Yet, while colorful – or edible – resumes may catch a hirer’s attention, it all comes back to personality, and even more so, agency fit.

Our boutique firm – like most small agencies – has a unique company culture that serves as a filter for those we hire. We have a dynamic group of energetic, creative “Litzky Ladies and Lads,” and we can’t just hire anyone; we need the “right” someone who’s not afraid to speak up and engage in our office culture, whether it’s contributing to agency brainstorms or competing in our agency-wide Scavenger Hunt (as you can imagine with an extra vacation day as the prize, the competition gets heated!).

While “fit” is an integral piece of our hiring criteria, over the years we’ve found many young interviewees try to mask their personalities in order to appear poised and professional. If you’re looking to work in the agency world, you need to let your true colors shine – but make sure those “true colors” also illustrate who you are as a PR pro.

Fear not: It sounds tougher than it is. After 30+ years hiring PR professionals, I can tell you without a doubt that these 7 character traits will help you show your personality – and your professionalism – to leave a positive, lasting impression on those interviewers.

Over the years we’ve found many young interviewees try to mask their personalities in order to appear poised and professional. If you’re looking to work in the agency world, you need to let your true colors shine

1. Come with a buttoned up presentation

Yes, we want to see your personality, but if your personality lends itself to presenting sloppy materials, how can we expect you to deliver strong work to our clients? It all starts with your resume. Misspellings, poor grammar, and uneven formatting stick out like a sore thumb. We know you’re an intern or an entry level candidate – we expect you to be green. But we also expect you to be proud of your work and strive for perfection. A bad resume ends up in the trash, not an interview.

2. Overly prepared? Works for us!

If you’ve made it to the interview, congratulations – but it’s not time to get comfortable. First, don’t make us feel like we’re one of many interviews; we, as hirers, need to know you want to be at our agency – not just any agency. Find out everything you can about the firm to illustrate your interest in our work (which will simultaneously show us your research skills). Who are our clients? Have any of our campaigns resonated with you? Why do you want to work here? Also, look for ways to weave that newfound agency knowledge into the interview – don’t do all that research for nothing!

Over the years we’ve found many young interviewees try to mask their personalities in order to appear poised and professional. If you’re looking to work in the agency world, you need to let your true colors shine

3. Honesty really is the best policy

Don’t oversell yourself; we’ll see right through it. Be honest about your strengths and weaknesses and be sure to tell us about an internship or assignment you’re proud of (the more passionate you are here, the better!). You may be asked about your most embarrassing moment or a time when you did not succeed. We’re looking for your honesty as an individual, and your eagerness to work in this industry as a professional. There are no wrong answers. This is your time to shine.

4. We’re seeking skilled conversationalists

“Social stalking” your interviewers may feel awkward, but it’s a great way to show your resourcefulness (we’re in PR – we have to chase down new contacts, after all!). You’ve already done your research (if not, go back to step 2!), now it’s time to see what these specific interviewers you’re meeting have worked on. Take to Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn to determine their specific roles, and find ways to weave their work and accomplishments into the conversation. It may seem odd or a little over the top, but trust me – this specific interest will help you stand out.

5. Confident – but not overconfident 

You have limited time to make an impression. Deliver a strong handshake and – most importantly –make eye contact with your interviewer. Your eyes show your spark, your enthusiasm, and your excitement about the position – especially when you smile.

6. Be the energizer bunny in the office

To do PR right, you need an endless supply of energy, so why not exhibit your vigor in the job interview? Talk with your hands, have passion in your voice, and even if you feel uncomfortable, trust me – we prefer an engaged and entertaining conversation over a monotonous “pulling teeth” interview any day.

7. Practice extreme gratitude

Your interviewer took an hour out of her busy day to meet with you – make sure you say “thanks.” You’ve undoubtedly heard to send a thank you note following interviews, but I’ll take it one step further. Send two. The first one should be email, sent within 24 hours of the interview. The second should be a physical thank you card (yes, snail mail still exists – and works!). Go beyond cookie cutter in these notes; bring up specific things you talked about or inside jokes to show you really remember the conversation. You’ll want to send the first email quickly so they know you’re timely, with the physical card arriving several days later to remind them of your interest in the agency, your “above-and-beyond” personality, and the specific connection they had with you during the interview.

I always say that everyone brings something unique and special to our office. However, it’s the sum of all parts that make us an agency to be reckoned with.

As we – and most PR agencies – interview candidates, we’re looking for that special something you can contribute to our team. It’s not always the strongest candidate who gets the job – it’s the one who projects the confidence, exuberance, and “spark” that will truly assimilate into – and excel within – our agency.

About Michele

Michele Litzky founded LPR in 1988 with just one client, Matchbox Toys. Today, she’s grown the agency to nearly 25 employees with a full client roster, ranging in categories from toys and baby gear to lifestyle brands and social good campaigns. Her family has grown, too. In addition to three nieces, Rachel, Alison and Samantha, her grandchildren, Emma, Jack and Henry are the newest jewels in her crown.