5 Apps New Pros Need to Sucessfully Navigate Adulting

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I’ve been somewhat successfully “adulting” for about ten months now and, I’ll admit, navigating the professional life is in no way a simple transition. No matter your approach, there’s no streamlined way to navigate this journey. It’s only through trial and error I am able to find the right recipe for success.  Since I’m a new PR pro and the textbook definition of a millennial, I’ve survived with the help of a few must-have apps that have helped me appear a bit more professional and significantly less stressed:

Grammarly

I’ll start with something relevant to every PR professional out there: good grammar and quality writing. Grammarly is the app that has saved me when I haven’t been able to save myself. Grammarly proofreads your written work, so anything from a press release to a late night email, and even a Facebook post gets scanned for spelling and grammatical errors. Even better, Grammarly works as a Google Application so it integrates into almost every website platform you’re utilizing. If you’re signing up for the first time, use this link to get one week of premium free and invite your friends!

theSkimm

Let’s be real, small talk that doesn’t go anywhere is meaningless. I believe in making conversations count and, more importantly, having educated things to say. Since we often don’t have the time to read all the news before your morning coffee, theSkimm hits you up with daily emails that provide the need-to-know details on big things happening in the world. Whether it’s domestic or international issues, political happenings or just some major pop culture, theSkimm ensures that you’re in-the-know with the facts to impress. So instead of mentioning the weather, enlighten your boss with an update on that environmental policy legislation that just passed in the House? Sign up for it here.

Unroll.Me

Remember all those subscriptions you subscribed to during college for the “free stuff”? Mmhmm… Now you’re out of that lifestyle, and you still get swamped with countless coupons that get in the way of those real emails from your job. Do yourself a favor and sign-up for Unroll.Me. This app goes through your email and identifies all your subscriptions which you can then either unsubscribe in one click (yeah, you heard me!) or roll them up all into one email. So long are the days of sifting through 30 emails from Macy’s or daily political fundraising emails. Save your GBs for something more important. Enroll in Unroll.Me here!

Shine Text  

Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a daily pick-me-up? Every morning someone just reminding you that you’re awesome and capable of handling whatever comes your way? Shine Text is literally a high-five in your pocket.  Daily messages of affirmation that go directly to your phone each morning. Why? Because self-care is important, and so is doing your best. A little encouragement never hurt anyone. Get your daily dose of happiness here.

Mint

Money management, ya’ll. Now that you’ve transitioned from that pesky part-time paycheck, it’s time to see how far your dollar can really go. I use Mint not only to track my income but also to identify where I’m spending my money. For example, Mint lets me know what percentage of my income I should be spending on groceries, entertainment etc. versus how much I actually am. Also, it helps me save toward financial goals. I know how much to put away and how my current spending habits affect how fast I can save that cash. Smart spending makes for smart saving. You won’t be a New Pro forever, so learn smart saving practices early so you’re not playing catch-up in the long game.

BONUS: Gmail Notifier

So for those of you rocking #TeamGoogle for work email (sorry Outlook users) Gmail Notifier is a quick little add-on providing you with instant notifications whenever you receive a message from your Gmail account. Regardless of what screen you’re on or, if your Gmail window isn’t open, you’ll always know when a new message enters your inbox. It also works on multiple Gmail accounts so it can be synced to your work or personal accounts. Install it here.

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Herasanna Richards is a member of the Central Michigan PRSA Chapter located in Lansing, MI. Currently, Herasanna is the Communications Specialist at Grassroots Midwest, a bipartisan political advocacy firm. She holds both her Bachelor of Arts degrees in Communication and Political Science from Michigan State University. In her free time, she enjoys getting out and involved in her #LoveLansing community and binge watching the latests Netflix Originals. Catch up with her on
Twitter and LinkedIn!

March Twitter Chat Highlights: Crisis Communications

We’d like to thank everyone who participated in the March #NPPRSA Twitter chat focused on crisis communications planning. We discussed what is required for any thorough crisis communications plan, which departments to include and how to prepare employees.

PRSA Twitter Chat Highlights: Crisis CommunicationsSpecifically, we’d like to thank Valerie Merahn Simon, senior marketing executive and Director of Marketing Communications for Plymouth Rock Assurance. She is also the co-founder of the #HAPPO and #PRStudChat Twitter chats.

Join us again on April 3 for our next #NPPRSA chat and stay up-to-date with PRSA New Professionals on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

Review highlights of the chat below. What did you learn from the March chat? How can you plan for unanticipated events for your brand? What methods can you use to prepare co-workers and executives for dealing with the public? Who can you collaborate with or who should you include in a crisis plan?

 

 

Lauren Rosenbaum

Lauren Rosenbaum is the PRSA New Professionals Social Media Co-Chair and Co-Founder of Soversity, a public relations and digital marketing company. You can connect with her on Google+LinkedIn or Twitter.

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5 Tips to Make Business Travel a Breeze

Unfortunately, traveling for business isn’t as easy as packing up your car or shoving your carry-on items in the overhead space. To make the agony of travel a little more bearable and keep you from looking like the new kid in the airport, here are five tips to travel like a pro:

tips for a business trip1. Research your travel destination before you board the plane –Typically, you’re going to have down time on business trips so it’s a good idea to look up popular bars, restaurants and coffee shops in the city. And, if traveling with a client who isn’t familiar with the area, it’s a good idea to get a feel of the land ahead of time. That way, when the down time comes, you can suggest things to do and get to know your client a little better in the process

2. Pack the important stuff in your carry-on – A co-worker shared a horror story with me once that went a little something like this: “I flew to Germany for a meeting with a global company’s executive team and made it there without my luggage.” Be sure you have the essentials with you at all times – a business suit, contacts, medicine, glasses, basic toiletries, jump drive with your presentation and chargers  should all find room in your carry-on to avoid headaches and frantic shopping trips around an unknown city.

3. Know how travel expenses will be handled –Talk to your office travel coordinator, finance department or supervisor before you leave about how to handle expenses acquired during your time away from the office.  Some offices choose a per diem, while others require employees to keep track of their receipts and fill out an expense report upon returning. Clearing up any confusion about how to handle finances before you leave will make sure your company and your pocketbook are left surprise-free. Also, don’t forget cash. You’ll need it to tip the folks that make your life easier, like doormen, bellhops and maids.

4. Confirm all the details of the trip before you leave – Make sure everything is in check prior to leaving the office – including your flight, hotel and car rental – and be sure to bring the confirmation emails with you so you have it if any issues arise. If you have to ship product or additional materials to your destination ahead of time, it is best practice to call the location ahead of time and give them a heads up as to exactly what and when your things will be arriving.

5. Download travel apps – If you’re flying, there’s a good chance your airline has an app that lets you check your flight status, change your flight time and check-in online. Plus, car service apps, like Uber, make sure you get from Point A to Point B on-time, without worrying about trying to hail down a cab or navigate through an unfamiliar city. If your destination is within driving distance, apps like Waze can give you inside information on traffic patterns, slowdowns and construction areas. Also, the likes of Yelp and UrbanSpoon give you quick access to nearby restaurants and cafes.

Most of all, don’t forget to have fun. Take the opportunity to reconnect with old friends, develop a more personal relationship with coworkers and connect with your clients. After all, there’s no better place to learn than on the road.

Kelsey SpellmanKelsey Spellman (@kelseyspellman) is a social influence manager at The Adcom Group, a full-service communications agency in Cleveland, Ohio. Kelsey works with a variety of B2C and B2B clients, specializing in media and blogger relations and experiential marketing. Kelsey graduated from Ohio University in 2011 with a degree in public relations and blogs over at starfishsnacks.wordpress.com.