Thinking Long-term About a Good News Moment

I was recently having dinner with my colleague, Terry Flannery, and while we caught up she said something that made me pause. Terry is vice president for communications at American University in Washington, DC, and she mentioned that her office had developed a video marking the retirement of President Neil Kerwin that is being rolled out to alumni. In the video, she and her creative team used his inauguration speech as the narrative to weave together campus successes. Her actions reminded me of a principle … Read more…

Quick Hit: Random Thoughts on Four Years at TVP Comms

Four years ago this week, I signed my offer letter from TVP Communications. I became an official member of the staff about a week after that and have never looked back. It’s hard to sum up four years in a comprehensive way in a “Quick Hit,” but below, I’ve shared a few random observations and memories in no particular order: Slack, a tool we are extremely reliant on as a virtual office, was still months away from its “preview release.” It’s such an integral part … Read more…

Week in Review: Adventures in Wallpapering

We’re in the middle of a DIY project to install a built-in bookshelf in our living room, and like any DIY project, it’s more time-consuming than I thought it would be. But I’m happy to report that we’re making progress. I decided to wallpaper the wall behind the shelf for a subtle pop of pattern (Julia Rothman’s Daydream in French Blue), and I’m in love—it’s beautiful. I’m actually kind of sad that it’s going to be mostly covered up. It was stressful to hang (especially … Read more…

Facing the Dreaded Task of Media List Creation

Creating solid, accurate media lists for pitches (or press releases) is a task that seems to stir up dread in our profession. I’m willing to admit that list building is often the item on my to-do list that gets carried over day after day because it can be so time consuming. The reality is that carefully crafted lists are critical to the success of our pitches—and they’re also a lot of work. It can sometimes seem like a catch-22, but there are ways to help … Read more…

Going (Kind of) Viral

On Sunday, United Airlines became the subject of a tweetstorm after a gate agent denied boarding to two young women because they were wearing leggings and therefore did not meet the dress code requirements for the buddy pass on which they were traveling. Of course, that entirely rational explanation didn’t surface for some time—well after the Twitter-verse, including yours truly, worked itself into a swivet. I figured my tweet about the subject, in which I mused about wearing leggings on my next United flight, would simply … Read more…

Week in Review: Time for Spring Cleaning

I like the idea of spring cleaning and getting the house bright, fresh, and tidy—but actually DOING the spring cleaning? Ugh. I’m running out of ways to procrastinate the inevitable at this point. My to-clean list for this weekend includes window washing and deep cleaning the fridge and the dishwasher, which may be one of the worst tasks. I mean, it’s a dishwasher—it should be self cleaning, right? It’s filled with soap and hot water all the time. But sadly, I have to give mine … Read more…

Quick Hit: Bridging Versus Spinning

When conducting media training, I stress the use of bridging to shift from the question asked to an answer the respondent feels comfortable sharing. I stress that communicators must pair the right bridge with the question asked or it will feel like the speaker is being disingenuous with their response. In other words, it will feel like the speaker is spinning. Well, I just watched a video on Vox that breaks down KellyAnne Conway’s responses to questions, and boy, does my counsel ring true. This … Read more…

Quick Hit: Spring Clean Your AP Style

Spring is officially here! In addition to cleaning your house, there’s also a lot of cleaning PR professionals can do at work, such as cleaning up social media accounts/strategies, updating reporter lists, and reviewing goals and to-do lists. As a writer who has AP style ingrained in her head, I still always need some refreshing and a reminder of the rules, especially after being stuck inside all winter. (I love how they were even able to incorporate spring break.) Here are 10 Tips to Spring … Read more…

Week in Review: Sláinte! Éire go Brách!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Even though I know it’s not truly traditional, my family is celebrating by wearing green and whipping up some Irish soda bread to go alongside corned beef, cabbage, and shamrock shakes. (Sorry, not sorry. I can’t convince my brain that Guinness isn’t chocolate milk and I’m disappointed every time.) I did get a chance to celebrate March 17 in Ireland one year, and it was very different from most U.S. celebrations. Except for churches, which were packed, a lot of places … Read more…

Five Things I Learned at My First Job That I Still Use Today

When I graduated from college, my first job was as a production assistant at a television network affiliate in Boston. I worked nights and weekends to help put on a 10 p.m. news program every night. It was a small team, so I really got to learn a lot from the second I walked through the door. Here are five lessons I learned at 22 that I still use today. Deadlines matter! In the newsroom, every day we had a meeting at 3:30 p.m. to … Read more…