February 2016 Twitter Chat Recap

The February #NPPRSA Twitter chat, earlier this month, was all about big ideas on a small budget.

Special guests during this month’s chat were Adrienne Wallace, Managing Director/COO, at 834 Design & Marketing and Todd Butler, President & CEO, at Causewave Community Partners. Delivering big results on a small budget can be challenging as you work around the parameters, but it can also challenge your creativity and help you break through with new ideas and successes. Click through the Storify below to see highlights from the conversation.

Mark upcoming Twitter chats on your calendar and view past chat recaps here.

Finding a Company Culture That Fits

think about what motivates you, makes you feel comfortable and helps you thrive. (2)

“You’re a catalyst to your own happiness, you know.”

That’s what NONONO says in its song “Pumpin Blood,” and that phrase has stuck with me.

With so many factors in the world that we have control of, we have the ability and responsibility to make our happiness a priority.

So how do you stay happy in the hectic and exhausting field of public relations? Think of what you need in a company culture that will make you happy and successful. Yes, you. Not what your parents want for you, what your friends want or what society says you want because you’re a millennial. What’s going to make you enjoy going to work most days? (Let’s be real, nobody wants to go to work all the time.) What will be an environment you can be successful in?

Are you a cubicle-loving, in-house PR person who wants to work in the automotive industry or maybe someone who likes the fast-paced, open-concept agency that works with consumer products?

It’s all up to you.

There are so many factors that contribute to company culture, so think about what motivates you, makes you feel comfortable and helps you thrive. Come up with a list and write it out, though it may seem tedious, so you have something to refer to.

Once you have built out a list of what you’re looking for, rank the items from top to bottom according to the importance of each. It’s likely you’ll have to make compromises when it comes to your list of ideals, which is why you need to determine what matters most. Then, you’ll be able to match that list against employers you’re interested in working for.

At Piper & Gold Public Relations where I work in Lansing, Michigan, we openly communicate about our company culture and what we call our #Truths that shape it. From our familial office relationships to our persistent mentality of always improving, our twelve #Truths lay out how, what and why we do what we do, as well as why it’s enjoyable at the same time. We created them during a team brainstorming session based on what already existed and have lived by them ever since.

I understand not all businesses have #Truths but most have a distinct culture that they’re willing to discuss with you – so do your research and ask questions about company culture before starting a new gig, your happiness and success may rely on it. After all, new professionals aren’t all about happy hours and foosball tables – we want much more than that.  

hannahHannah Leibinger is an account strategist at Piper & Gold Public Relations, a boutique agency in Lansing, Michigan, that specializes in government, nonprofit and small business public relations. In the Lansing community, she serves as the chair of communications for Grand River Connection, new professionals co-chair and a director at large for the Central Michigan Chapter of PRSA, social media coordinator for Giving Tuesday Lansing and a member of the Old Town Commercial Association business development committee. Connect with her on Twitter (@hleibinger) and LinkedIn.

The Do’s and Don’ts for Making 2016 YOUR Year

I believe 2016 is going to be a big year. You know what I mean, how some years take much more space in your memory than others when you look back. It’s an overwhelming inkling, like the way you feel a sticky summer breeze and can just know it’s going to rain. Yes, 2016 is going to be a big year. It’s an election year for starters, but I think it’s something in our collective energy that’s buzzing for change. So as we take our early steps into 2016, here are some tips to be more intentional and make sure our efforts go toward making this new year bigger and better than those that came before it.


  1. Drink more coffee.

Kidding! Though new health standards say you can have up to five cups a day now. Which is great news for those of us who need a little java courage to tackle early morning segments. So, to good health!

1.5 Don’t check your email/social media pages until an hour after you wake up.

Email, Facebook statuses, news headlines all can have a major affect on your mood, which can alter the way you frame your day. Let yourself have a media-free hour and put the reigns back in your hands. Whether you chose to blast a pump-up morning mix or eat breakfast with your original thoughts. Use the time to touch base with your kick-ass self and start each day with your best foot forward.

  1. Write things down.

This is not just to make your 3rd grade cursive teacher feel validated. Studies show that handwriting notes facilitates memory, cognitive function and also helps with your creative process. (Click here or here for proof.) Maybe it has something to do with how writing in ink relinquishes your ability to backspace, making it a more permanent declaration. Whatever the reason, if handwriting my to-do list could ensure I don’t accidentally skip a thing, I’ll hand-sign myself up for that.

  1. Don’t be afraid of a phone call.

Speaking of going old-school… Humor me. Tap your phone and click on your recent calls; how many outgoing calls did you make besides those to your mother? It’s widely agreed that things like sentiment, sarcasm and even the contents of conversations get shortchanged through text, and yet 90% of the time when presented with both options, we chose the less efficient. Don’t be afraid to dial. An hour-long texting conversation can be communicated more personably over a ten-minute phone call. I mean this for both our personal and professional lives. PR is all about relations. It’s hard to have relations with a digital ghost.

  1. Put effort into “doing you.”   

The worst thing you can do – at any point in your life, not only at the start of the year – is allow yourself to feel comfortable coasting on autopilot. I understand life tends to throw a lot at us and sometimes all you have time for are “survival tactics:” sleep, work, eat, work, Netflix. And that’s fine. We’re at a unique stage in our lives where the effort we put in now can and will shape the course of our careers. But I think we need to stay mindful in making sure we don’t forget to build a life as well. We all have interests besides work that make us tick, and if you can’t remember what those are, go discover them! Be it painting, running, photography, cooking, traveling, guitar etc. Dedicate time for it and don’t lose touch of that part of you. It’ll likely be what sparks your next big idea into a full flame.

The new year can either be seen as another month, no better nor worse than that before it (besides the lack of holiday sweets delivered at your door), or as a wonderful opportunity; to evaluate what we’ve done well, what we maybe didn’t do so well at and set goals (not resolutions) to gradually build on for the months to come. I challenge you to look at 2016 as a blank canvas of opportunity. Choose one thing you’d like to accomplish, professionally or personally, and add a brushstroke each day. It’s going to be a “big year” after all, so don’t be afraid to choose bold colors.

gtzQK8HpMegan O’Neal graduated from UCLA in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies, emphasizing in mass communications. She is currently the PR & Social Media Manager at Marketing Design Group and volunteers with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, freelancing for the public relations department. Connect with her on Twitter @megannenicole.

How to Make the Most of PRSA New Pros


When I graduated from Michigan State University in 2010, I moved to Chicago to begin my career at Edelman. I was active in PRSSA and had interned with Edelman before starting full time, but once I was there, I had a feeling of ‘what do I do now?’

Nick Lucido, PRSA New Professionals Section Chair

Nick Lucido, PRSA New Professionals Section Chair

That’s when I decided to get active with the PRSA New Professionals Section.

Being involved with the New Pros group, I learned and networked my way through challenging career situations, learned how to advance my career and broadened my knowledge of the profession. While PRSSA is designed to help you start your career, and PRSA is broader in nature, the New Professionals Section is the buffer group designed for those with less than five years of public relations experience. We have more than 1,200 new professionals across the country covering different industry verticals and settings – this means there’s definitely someone out there in the same boat as you.

Questions like – Should I try to negotiate my salary? When is it time for me to move to a new position? How can I advance to the next level? – were all things I learned from programs and other members.  I can promise you that whatever question or doubt you have about your career, there’s someone else out there with advice and experience to share. While we offer a long list of benefits for our members, the most powerful thing we offer is the connection to others.

This virtual support group has ‘traveled’ with me to Brazil, where I’m now stationed at Edelman’s operations in São Paulo. As I proudly lose my New Professional title, I’m proud to have been part of the organization and look forward to continuing my PRSA membership in other areas of the organization.

My piece of retirement advice is to make the most of your membership. If you’ve not yet taken advance of the membership benefits, there’s no better time to test it out than our annual New Professionals Week. Here’s a few ways to get involved:

  • Be sure to tune in to our free webinar on Tuesday, August 25th at 11 a.m. ET – How to Activate an Influencer Network with Converged Media.
  • There are 13 local events happening across the country – check out the full list here to see where the closest event is near you.
  • Follow along to conversations online about the week and network with fellow members across the country: #npprsa
  • Make sure you’re making the most of your membership – follow our content on the blog, participate and ask questions to other members in our Linkedin group and check out our database for past programs.

If you have any questions about your membership, don’t hesitate to reach out to me or any other executive committee member. Happy New Pros Week!

Nick Lucido was the 2015 PRSA New Professionals Section Chair.