As Oregonians, we live in such a beautiful place. Sometimes I take it for granted. We have mountains, rivers , streams, oceans and crisp clean air.
I recently went out to a tulip festival with a friend and her children. I’ve recently come to the conclusion that when life seems overwhelming and out of control, it’s best to hang out with a couple toddlers. We walked along the side of the field of brilliant colors. My friend’s two-year-old daughter grabbed my hand and before I knew it we were skipping through the tulips, our hands the bridge from one row to the next. The colors streamed by and suddenly we were standing in the center of the field.
It was stunning.
The way children see life is so pure. They aren’t concerned about the future or if they look silly when they dance in public.
Spending time with children is grounding. It refocuses me and reminds me that what I often think is monumental is in fact trivial.
The weather forecast for the NW is perfection. So, get out there and walk along a lake, smell a flower or dance loud and proud in your car on your way home from work.
Why is it that some of the traits of being a successful PR pro are also the same ones that can get you into trouble in your personal life? Gah. Let’s take a look at the top 10 traits that are necessary for success in PR and see how they translate in your personal life.
1. Be Flexible: This is a struggle for me personally because I tend to have my eye so steadfastly on the prize, that I miss out on other opportunities. Take the blinders off. Be open. This is one that is important for both personal and professional life.
2. Get the Big Story: Stepping back and gaining perspective is incredible important in every area. Sometimes I will have a personal situation that seems so life and death to me, but when I think of it in the grand scheme of my life, I realize I should just let it go.
3. Be Profitable: Nuff said.
4. Take Notes: Can we talk about my love of office supplies for a moment? Seriously. I have a problem. Last week my BFF was in town and needed to go to Office Depot for a quick errand and she struggled to get me to leave. Did you know they now make red pens that erase? Amazing. Having a color coordinated to-do list makes my life complete. All these things and more contributed to my love of taking notes in college. Thankfully, I’m now in a profession in which taking good, thorough notes it vital. Win!
5. Don’t Argue: OK, I see why this is critical in your professional life, but seriously, I’m not saying I argue about everything, but if you just accepted what everyone ever told you your life would stink. I’m not advocating that you argue, more standing up for what you know you deserve. I have definitely experienced the importance of this within the healthcare system in the last couple years. I had a doctor tell me last year that I would have daily migraines for the rest of my life and that I should accept this and go to group therapy to deal with it. There was no way I was accepting this and it’s a good thing I didn’t because I sought a different provider who’s already gotten it down to one migraine a week. Baby steps people.
6. Worry: This one is the WORST. While a good worrier is successful in PR, it makes for a terribly unsuccessful person. I’m a terrific worrier and because of this, I’ve been successful in PR. However, it can be difficult to compartmentalize this habit. In fact near impossible at times.
7. Do a Survey: I immediately think of informational interviews with this one. If you want to know about something, get out there and talk to people. Simple enough and it’s also important when needing to gauge response or feedback in PR.
8. Be a Self-Starter: This one’s a win all around.
9. Merchandise the Clippings: Take time to file and remember your accomplishments.
10. Remember, This is a Service Business: It’s not all about you. Amen.
What do you think? Do you find it difficult to compartmentalize professional and personal traits? Do you need to?
In honor of International Women’s Day, I decided to take a moment and honor some of my favorite women as well as share my favorite quotes from each of them.
My Mother: For praying for me, for birthing me, for raising me, for laughing with me and for loving me unconditionally.
“Remember who you are and who you represent.”
My Bestie: For being the best friend a girl could ever ask for.
“Can we just put sweats on, drink wine, eat parmesan popcorn and watch Sound of Music?”
My Roomie (college roommate): For pillow talks, for dance parties in the kitchen, for dressing up like fools with me, for drying my tears, for encouraging me, for letting me be auntie to her son, and for teaching me how to relax and have a good time.
My Grandma Lee: For inspiring me to be more aware of current events and for reminding me that what happens today will someday be history.
“When you are someday an old woman, you will be exactly the same as you are now, just more so.”
Ann Curry: For inspiring me to be a woman who takes her work seriously.
“Journalism is an act of faith in the future.”
Christiane Amanpour: For being a woman of both class and brains so perfectly that I simply stand in awe.
“I never assumed ever that because I was a woman that anything was off limits to me.”
Dronning (Queen) Margrethe: For being the most lovely queen of Denmark ever and for being the sweetheart of my mother country.
“I have always had a dread of becoming a passenger in life.”
Michelle Obama: For encouraging women everywhere to strive for the very best, to dream big. And for being the only other woman I’d ever want to switch lives with.
“Don’t take shortcuts or play by your own set of rules. Success doesn’t count unless you earn it fair and square.”
Audrey Hepburn: For being the style icon of the century.
“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others. For beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”
Nora Ephron: For writing screenplays that make this non-cryer weep profusely.
“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.”
Allen Hall, Ann Curry, communication, Eugene, info hell, journaism, journalism classes, journalism school, Ruhl Lecture 2013, school, School of Journalism and Communication, The University of Oregon, trip
The University of Oregon is my happy place.
When I walk through the center of campus I remember eating fro-yo on the lawn in the quad in sundresses with friends, reading/people watching on my favorite bench, rejoicing that I passed Human Physiology as I pass McKenzie Hall, ordering take-out from my fave Chinese place, sipping coffee from Roma, turning in my Info Hell paper (100-page public policy paper) and the resulting pride, cheering on my Ducks at Autzen or Mac Court.
I could go on forever.
In short, I love my school and have so many sweet memories there.
The new Allen Hall (School of Journalism and Communication) is AMAZING. I’m so happy for today’s journalism students and the incredible space they have to learn, collaborate and create.
The parents and I met up with Kelli Matthews, my former professor and her two sweet boys for a tour of the J-School’s new digs. (Side note: Kelli was recently ranked #15 on a list of the top 100 web-savy professors. Go Kelli!) It was lovely to see her and hear about how students are enjoying the new space.
She began by saying that, “it’s good to be home.” With poise and grace she shared from her heart about her career, what she’s learned, what she’s struggled with and where she’s been (some pretty extreme places, by the way).
With each story of her jumping out of a helicopter, or interviewing a refugee, she pulled back the curtain and we saw her heart as a woman and as a journalist. She stressed the importance of journalism’s core function: “To empower humanity to set a course for a better future.”
I was impressed when she said that she had faith in the intelligence and heart of people, but that “what people don’t know, doesn’t exist.” This is why she said it has become her mission to “give a voice to the voiceless.” This heartbeat has been her driving force over the years amidst the pressures from peers and ratings.
Traveling to every nook and cranny of the world, she has held the hand of a dying woman and slept in a refugee camp, all to see what others see, to understand what others know as their reality and to ultimately tell their stories for the world to hear and know. “People who are rarely heard have the most to say,” she emphasized.
It was clear as she spoke that her “job” has had a tremendous impact on her emotionally. While poised, at times I thought she might cry. Revealing a most vulnerable place, she shared that she’s a PTSD survivor and she encouraged students who are pursuing broadcast journalism to take care of their hearts and minds when pursuing this profession. One of the factors that keeps her focused is her belief that “journalism is a factor in opening people’s eyes.” One example she gave was The Civil Rights Movement and how the media covered The March on Washington. She said that as we look back on history, we can see that “without journalism, there wouldn’t be freedom.”
One of the many takeaways from the lecture for me was Ann’s reminder to never compromise on quality.
I’m so grateful to be a Duck and even more grateful for the Ducks who came before me. They paved the way for my education at the UO and my career.
It was an incredible joy to hear from Ann. I look forward to her next project and it’s resulting impact on her viewers and the world.
I encourage you to watch Ann’s lecture in the video below. (It’s just under an hour.)