That Door in Front of You… Go Ahead and Knock on It

Doors. We open and close them everyday. And I’m not talking about your front door, your car door, or any other physical door you encounter during the day. I’m talking about those intangible doors you are presented with everyday. The ones you can’t physically see or touch, but have the ability to seriously impact your life.

Whether you know it or not, you are completely in charge of these intangible doors. They are always open until you shut them. And most of the time, we don’t even know they’re open.

Continue reading

Industry Talk: The Beginner’s Guide to Event Planning

Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 1.44.52 PM

Think you have what it takes to work in one of the busiest, most coveted industries in the country? The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects event planning job opportunities to increase by 33% from year 2012 to 2022, but will you be one of the lucky candidates?

Event planning jobs have always been popular, but what is it exactly that they do? Choosing locations, arranging transportation/travel and planning the scope of the event are only some of the tasks an event planner may be faced with on a daily basis. Their main goal is to ensure that the client is 100% satisfied with all aspects of the event, including the final product. So, what exactly does it take to become an event planner? These five tips will give you a great start!

Continue reading

Five Minutes With… Alexander Greenwood

When most people think of public relations, they think of large firms, such as Fleishmann Hillard and Edelman, but as we have discovered through this mini series, pr professionals can work in pretty much every industry. I had the opportunity this summer to intern at a small pr firm in Kansas City (my first experience with agency work) and it was a great experience. In fact, my boss, Alex Greenwood, inspired me to write this blog series. So I thought I could thank him one last time by featuring him in this post and provide you with a look into the world of small agency public relations.

Continue reading

How to Bring Creativity to the Workplace

Creativity. Merriam-Webster defines it as the ability to make new things or think of new ideas. But to me, creativity has no specific definition. Creativity is seen and expressed differently by people across the globe and offers a way for many to come together and collaborate.

Creativity is everywhere.

Creativity is the backbone of every company and the power behind that creativity is the employees. So what happens when the employees feel uninspired and that creativity starts to disappear?

Research shows that just like every other skill, creativity can be learned. The problem – although everyone has the potential, not all take the time and effort to transform that potential into a strength. You may not be able to force yourself to be creative on demand, but you can try your hardest to make creativity flow naturally between you and your colleagues. Use the following tips to spark creativity in the workplace.

Continue reading

Five Minutes With… Kelly Hale

Vrooooom. Just like the drivers on the track, the pr professionals behind the scenes of auto racing are also used to fast-paced action. From traveling across the country for different races, to ensuring positive stories are published in the press, the life of a public relations director in this industry is anything but easy.

I had the opportunity of meeting Kelly Hale this past June at the Salhen’s 6 Hours of the Glen race at Watkins Glen International. She gave me some great pointers on how to land a coveted job in this business and also agreed to let me interview her when we both came home to Kansas City.

Me: So many young public relations professionals, including myself, hope to work in the auto racing industry, but what most don’t understand is how fast-paced the industry really is. Can you briefly explain your daily responsibilities as director of public relations at Kansas Speedway? And how do those daily responsibilities change during a race weekend?

Kelly: First, this is one of my favorite questions. Unfortunately, (but sometimes fortunately) no two days are alike. The two things I try to do every day are reading the latest local and national news, and I try to reach out to 2-3 reporters each day. From there, it really depends on the time of year. I could be promoting one of the events that we will have staff, I could be assisting with promotion of an event at the track, an upcoming driver appearance, etc. On race weekend, in addition to handling media relations for the Speedway, which includes setting up on site interviews, answering media questions, making sure the media center and press box are staffed and media have the appropriate credentials, I also am responsible for our pre-race activities which include driver introductions, pre-race concerts, post-race concerts, scheduling color guard, invocation and national anthem, making sure the appropriate people are introduced at the driver’s meetings, escorting VIPs and assigning driver/owner motorcoach spaces for the weekend. Fortunately, I have a great media center staff that can essentially run the media center without me! The staff is able to answer about 95% of the questions we get, which helps me be able to focus on the large items that need to be taken care of during a weekend.

Continue reading

Five Minutes With… Cliff Callis

Public relations has always been about image management, social media, handling crises, writing press releases and pitching stories to journalists, but what happens when you integrate public relations with marketing?

I spoke with Cliff Callis, president of Callis Integrated Marketing, to see what a career in integrated marketing is all about.

Me: Most marketers believe integrated marketing is about message and content consistency across multiple channels and that each channel plays its own role in a campaign. How would you define integrated marketing?

Cliff: I would definitely have to agree that the message is key with most, if not all, integrated marketing campaigns. But the message isn’t the only thing that is important. Within an integrated marketing campaign, everything works together, complements and reinforces each other in order to create a cohesiveness across all mediums. There are certain exceptions where different things have to be said to different people on different channels. When this happens, obviously the message changes, but the other elements stay as consistent as possible, so that people will know they are still part of the campaign.

So, I would define integrated marketing as multiple channels working together and complementing each other to create the best possible campaign for the client.

Continue reading

Opportunities Arise When You Least Expect It


I was sitting on my couch, relaxing and watching some TV, when my phone made its doorbell sound, indicating that I had received a new email. Not expecting anything but another advertisement from Apple, I left it alone and continued watching my television program. But after I turned off the lights and decided to go to bed, I took a peek at that email and realized it wasn’t just another ad from Apple, it was actually an internship opportunity! Now back in January, I had applied for a million and one internships, hoping to get one (and I did!). I thought that since these companies had not contacted me, they simply weren’t interested. But that wasn’t the case! This lady had kept my resume on file and sent me an email when she had an open internship position available!

So there went my whole philosophy of “don’t send out a resume unless you qualify for the job.” It turns out that if they like you on paper, they will probably keep you around for a while, just incase they have any other positions become available.

Now, this is my last semester at UCM and I had no intentions of holding an internship this fall. I wanted to ensure that my final semester was a success both academically and organization wise (I’m the president of UCM’s chapter of PRSSA) and I didn’t want anything getting in the way of it. But when I received this internship opportunity via email, I immediately said, give it a chance and just take a look at the company. Turns out, I really loved the company and their mission, so it seemed like a match made in heaven. And needless to say, I went in for an interview and came out two hours later as their new Fall Intern.

So don’t ever turn down an opportunity because you don’t think your schedule can handle. Challenge your limits, go that extra mile, work like you never have before – do whatever you have to do so that you NEVER MISS AN OPPORTUNITY.

Have you ever had an opportunity find you? I’d love to hear about it!