How Much is Stress Costing You?

How many of you reading own a car? I'm guessing most of you do or will at some point in your life. So then you know the rules for automative insurance, right? To become an insured individual you must past a mandated drive and written test, and if you keep a clean record your insurance cost stays low. Well healthcare insurance works in a similar way. At a corporate level an unhealthy employee is more likely to be lethargic and unmotivated, ultimately costing the company more in healthcare than a healthy employee. According to Paul Roshch, MD, president of the American Institue of Stress, job stress is estimated to cost the U.S. industry more than $300 billion a year. That is enough to purchase a BMW X3 2016 model, 7,702 times. 

Similar to the way you keep your car healthy by routine check ups and proper maintenance, you keep your body healthy by eating right and exercising regularly. What is astonishing is that according to Corporate Health Partners, 75 percent of health care costs and diseases are preventable. 

Why should this matter to you? As a soon to be graduate you will be entering the 121.4 million workers in the United States. According to a survey done by Forbes recently, when workers were asked if they were stressed 83 percent said yes while only 17 percent said no. This issue is overwhelmingly epidemic and this percentage is not slowing down  anytime soon researchers project. 

This is especially key for employers to understand: a healthy employee drives profits.  According to the Wall Street Journal, 70 percent of U.S. employees are disengaged. By increasing employee engagement investments by just 10 percent they can increase profits by $2,400 per employee, per year. 
 

Employers are rapidly catching onto the positive ROI of investing in their employee engagement efforts. As a future member of the workforce you can expect to be facing the issue of stress in the workplace but hopefully it is something we can conquer by leading healthier, more productive lives. 

 

 

Starbucks Changes the Game of Rewards

As a public relations student I am continuously striving to stay current with news. Even when there is no time to grocery shop, a journalist must always know what it happening in the world. This week, Kathryn gave us prompts to write about for our blog posts. As a coffee connoisseur, the topic that caught my eye was Starbucks recent change in the beloved rewards program. The article posted by the New York Times, Free Coffee? Starbucks Saves Its Loyalty for Big Spenders, inspired my question: what is in it for the tall medium roast coffee drinker?

Since the initiation of the Starbucks rewards program customers have happily counted their gold stars until they reach 12. And at that point they then receive a free drink. Starbucks wants to see its loyal customers; not just the ones who generate the most profit. Now, Starbucks is changing the game. On Feb. 22 Starbucks announced that beginning in April they will be transiting to a rewards system based on dollars spent rather than times visited. Customers are unhappy with the misleading justifications of this rewards program overhaul.

The company states the initial goal of the rewards system back in 2012 on the Starbucks Idea blog.  “At Starbucks, our rewards program comes from a different philosophy,” the marketing manager Justin Tidmarsh wrote, explaining why the company does not give more stars for buying more items per transaction. “At its simplest, we like seeing you, regardless of whether your purchase is a short-brewed coffee or four Venti White Chocolate Mochas. My Starbucks Rewards is designed to show our appreciation simply for stopping by.”

So why did Starbucks change the system? According to Fortune, Starbucks officials say that this new system will decrease the lines. Customers have been requesting cashiers to ring their items up separately in order to get more stars ( one star per item purchased). Now, you'll get two stars per dollar spent. For customers who purchase deluxe drinks that are priced at around $5 the time it takes to get a free drink is roughly the same, about 15 drinks. However, for the customers who order small house coffee it will take significantly longer. A free drink will be granted after 125 points are achieved, which comes out to be about $62. Customers asked for more stars and Starbucks certainly delivered – at the customers expense. Here are a few customer reactions to the change. 

Of course not all comments were negative. Some opposing customers said they liked the idea of more stars and that it never made sense to get one star when they bought several drinks. Starbucks insists this change will increase value to the rewards program. 
 

Why Make Your Partner a Real Partner?

 

Between schoolwork, class-time, a job, internship, showers, meals, social obligations, and career preparation – life feels occupied at best. One thing I have learned lately is that there is zero tolerance for unnecessary stress. Your time is valuable and so is every person that you talk to. Treat people with respect and honor their willingness to share insight with you. Respect and honor yourself too.

Setting your priorities straight can have a serious calming affect on your life. This involves saying no to too many obligations, and saying yes to the right ones. Recently, the stress of unhealthy relationships have been brought to my attention by friends and peers.

My goal is to keep my blog focused on career development and professional readiness; trust me, this relates. I got inspired to write about choosing "nice guys" or girls for that matter, after reading "Lean In" by Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook. The book discusses women in business and how to be successful as a college graduate. Sandberg mentions the stigma in society that powerful women in business are single, divorced or never married. However, research shows that out of the 28 women who direct Fortune 500 companies, only one had never married. Society is progressing towards innovative outlooks on life, careers and relationships.

Sandberg discusses the set up of Shared Earning/ Shared Parenting style, which is becoming widely popular across the United States. In class this week, Kathryn talked about the percentage of fathers who stay home with their children. According to research of the U.S Census data fathers account for 16 percent of the stay-at-home parent population. 

"Lean In" includes several chapters with titles such as, "The Leadership Ambition Gap: What Would You Do if You Weren't Afraid? and "It's a Jungle Gym, Not a Ladder." Sandberg uses anecdotes from business leaders, such as Marissa Mayer CEO of Yahoo and Kenneth Chenault, CEO of American Express, to highlight the focus of each chapter. The chapter that I am focusing on is titled, "Make Your Partner a Real Partner." Choose a partner that is going to make your life easier, not harder. Seek qualities in others that are mutually beneficial. Learn to #LeanInTogether for equality. This book, published in 2013, has sparked global conversation about gender equality. It is a part of the feminism movement that delivers inspiration for the next generation in the workforce. 

 


 

 

 

 

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Tips for Your Professional Digital Footprint

I am blown away by the emails that my J452 professor, Kathryn Kuttis, receives from former students of the SOJC. First off, it is a relief to hear that students who were in my position a year ago are now working at Fortune 500 companies and top firms. Students have written to Kathryn this past week about their experiences at Edelman, NIKE, Adidas, Weber Shandwick and Starbucks (wow). While their jobs vary from marketing specialists to even coordinators to public relations account executives, they all have one thing in common: they use all the skills they learned at the SOJC. "Communication and writing are so important in everything that I do," said a former student who now works at NIKE.

So how do you start preparing for that dream job? I'm sure you've heard that LinkedIn is as important as your resume – and you need to keep it current to maximize your job search. This is true, however if all you are doing is adding new connections on LinkedIn you are not taking advantage of all the benefits. More and more recruiters are turning to LinkedIn to find top candidates for available positions. This is great news for students close to entering that "life after college" job search. It's no joke that potential opportunities are literally at your fingertips. USA Today gives "6 LinkedIn tips to help maximize your job search." I think all students that are beginning to navigate their future should take a look at these. Based on these tips, and some other findings from J452 lecture, I put together some tips for making your professional footprint. These basic tips are often overlooked and require minimal effort. With these tips in hand, you can make your LinkedIn profile your best tool for personal branding. 

22 LinkedIn Secrets LinkedIn Won't Tell You describes the importance of knowing your own strengths and highlighting them efficiently. I suggest you know the top three strengths you want to be recognized for and scatter them strategically throughout your profile. If your top skill is event planning then describe your event planning proficiency in your summary and in many experience descriptions. This will help the right audience find you.

Head to your privacy controls while in edit mode. It can be annoying to people when they are notified of all the changes made to your profile that show up on their newsfeed. While editing your profile, turn the privacy setting to "Only You."

Kathryn always tells us that if we want to work somewhere, find someone who already works there and check out their profile to see their skills and experiences that got them to where they are. This has been one of the most effective ways I've found for using LinkedIn. I recently had a "Skype date" with an employee at Edelman just by doing some simple research! 

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While individual connections are great, there is a lot more to offer via "connecting" on LinkedIn. Consider joining groups to broaden your social network. You don't have to join everything in sight ( 50 is the current maximum of groups you can join), but you should consider some that highlight your interests. 

It is an absolute must to keep your LinkedIn (and all social media platforms) up to date. Kathryn tells us to be checking in on LinkedIn once a week for about 20 minutes each visit. Going beyond updating your personal profile, it is important to join the conversations happening much like what happens on your Facebook feed. Show professionals and recruiters that you are intelligent by reposting content already available. This amplifies your message and delivers brand consistency. If you are blogging, convert your posts into activity updates. 

Ask questions! I'm sure you've noticed that the students who stand out in class are the ones that are eager to ask questions. So why not give yourself a chance to stand out? Not only does it make you look great, but by asking questions you give yourself a chance to get to know an organization before you get yourself into it. You will never get more valuable feedback than that which comes from someone who actually works for the organization in question. 

Best of luck readers!

- Olivia

 

 

PRogress



"Everyone around me is just doing life so much better than I am." Is this something that you tell yourself as often as I do? In J452 this week, we all agree this is our number one pessimistic thought. However, I'm realizing people aren't “doing life better,” they are using their time better. Time management is about overcoming procrastination and getting real with yourself. This overarching social pressure to constantly do more, be more, have more is more pervasive today than any previous point in history. Thanks to technological advances everyone is plugged in all day everyday. It often leaves people feeling like they can't possibly do it all – so they put it off. 

Here's the scenario – your peers are producing incredible award-winning work and you feel like your work does not equate because you can't give it the time you'd like to give it. What can we do as developing media professionals? Take the time to collaborate and learn from what they're doing. Trust me, this is worth every moment of the time it takes. Find out what you can acquire the knowledge to expand your arsenal of skills. If there is one thing I can get across to whoever has made it past the first sentence of my post it's this: you know better than anyone that your time is incredibly valuable, use it efficiently. 

Look at it this way ­– we are all Disney princesses and princes. All unique in our interests, passions, hobbies and we all innately pick our poison. Some of us are studious and perfectionists like Belle who loves books and intellectual discoveries while others are disorganized bundles of joy like Anna. As a princess, I would likely be the girl buried in books who only gets dolled up when her sister princesses enable her to do so. Although, how many times can a princess turn down happy hour and TV show nights to study because she feels she can't possibly finish it all– there is of course "never enough time." Being the nerdy princess I wonder –  is there an underlying science in our brains that causes this procrastination? I would love to know, because to be a sweet but blunt princess I am tired of devoting my life to my "to-do" list that never ends. 

So the truth is, my fellow royal readers is that procrastination is not a result of one thing. Based on studies done at Brooklyn College, the main cause of procrastination seems to be based on any of the following factors that are a result of our executive brain functions: impulsivity, self-monitoring, planning and organization, activity shifting, task initiation, task monitoring, emotional control, working memory, and general orderliness based on studies done at Brooklyn College. Research in neuropsychology suggests that the process of procrastination is a self-inflicting wound that chips away at the most valuable resource in the world: time. 

Individuals tend to think there is a golden equation for how to use the 24 hours we are all granted each day. For simple proof, if you type the phrase "being more" into Google: The autocomplete function suggests, "being more productive" as the third-most-likely choice. Forbes released an article 24 Ways To Be Uncommonly Productive which describes “satisficing,” an alternative approach to getting things done. It serves as a versatile guide for all types of princesses (people). When people combine “satisfying” with “sufficing” you get “satisficing.” It’s revolves on the concept of time management. Rather than searching for the perfect solution you satisfy the criteria and spend your energy just on what needs to get done. This way individuals have a higher chance of preserving their sanity.

My intention with this blog post ( and all of them) is to deliver you with some sort of knowledge that is relevant to your path towards success. Keep making PRogress!



Why Create an Infographic?

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I am feeling enthusiastic (what’s new) about my latest assignment in J452; creating an infographic. For those of you who don’t know, an infographic is a way to visualy present complex information.

The assignment was to use design elements that would capture audience attention about the about work-life balance in America. Through this assignment, I developed visual language skills and learned emerging trends in digital communication. This advanced writing lab has pushed me beyond all comfort zones and really forced me to enter the realm of creativity.

This has easily been the most reflective piece I have done in a while. My creative process is in no way or form linear. My first draft looks nothing like my current draft. In fact, each new draft resembles about five hours of new ideas layered over the previous. What makes it so enjoyable is the topic I’ve chosen. I am passionate about finding balance in my life. My weeks of research helped me and hopefully you as well, knowledge that serves as a reference point for finding a work life balance.

I find it incredible how many hours individuals dedicate to work and how little they spend on themselves. Of course, as a student the majority of my time goes to school and studying leaving little time for self care or caring for others (which I promise you, I would love to be doing). I figured this is something I will out-grow once I am out of the chaotic college scene, right? I’m not as hopeful as I learn that work is the number one stress in the U.S. Furthermore, according to 83 percent of workers said they don’t feel balanced while only 17 percent said they do feel balanced.

There must be a way to balance life, what ever happened to those men and women we look up to and admire because they seem to“ have it all.” Is that even a real thing?

Research indicates, that no that whole idea of perfection is sort of a made up if you haven’t figured that out already. One of the most memorable articles I read when creating the infographic was one from the Huffington Post. The article states that reported that eight in 10 employed Americans are stressed out by at least one thing about their jobs. And stress has more of an impact on our lives than people think. According to the American Psychological Association, half of all millenials say their stress keeps them awake at night and nearly 70 percent of doctor’s visits are correlated to stress. 

This is a serious issue, Americans need to stop paying with their health. Check out my infographic for helpful ways to stress less! 

- Olivia

 

Anna Wintour Leads Innovation

Anna Wintour, photo courtesy of Wikimedia commons

Anna Wintour, photo courtesy of Wikimedia commons

Ms. Wintour represents a world renown fashion icon, who has held the position as editor-in- chief of American Vogue since 1988. She is also the artistic director at Condé Nast, which publishes advanced mass media magazines such as Vanity Fair, Self, GQ, Glamour, Wired and many more. Back in 2006 popular comedy-drama film, The Devil Wears Prada was released where viewers saw a glimpse of Wintour’s hardened personality played by Meryl Streep. Now, 10 years later Wintour remains one of the most influential leaders in fashion and publishing. As Condé Nast adapts to new forces, however, employees are left unsettled. On Jan. 31, 2016, Wintour says in an interview with the New York Times, “ Why do people want to get stuck in the past?” Wintour knows the only way to keep fashion current is to change it.

On Feb. 1, 2016, Racked interviewed Wintour asking her to explain her leadership style. Wintour controlled this interview by instilling her own key messages.

1. Decisiveness means beneficial. Haven't you ever heard the old saying? "The truth shall set you free." 

2. Change is vital for innovation.  Moving forward with adapting to new forces is the only option in today's fast moving pace. 

3. Admits to being viewed with "an element of sexism." 

When asked to respond to allegations from staff who claim Wintour “ can be dismissive when displeased” Wintour replied, “"Come on," she said. "I am decisive, you know. I don’t believe in wasting anybody’s time. I like to be honest. I like to be clear. In my own personal career, I have felt almost the most difficult thing to deal with is someone who doesn’t tell you what they are thinking."

She did say however that she is often viewed with “ an element of sexism.”  This is something that used to bother her but now she says that if her leadership style is too direct for someone maybe they should toughen up.

Wintour’s key message is that change is innovative and necessary for the ever-evolving world of fashion and publications that she and her employees live in. Wintour feels her decisiveness is a good thing for the employees that got laid off in the transitions to new forces. This way she is not wasting anyone’s time.


There is sexism in the way she is viewed because she is so influential and powerful it’s not “feminine.” If she were a man, her role as a leader of the top fashion publications would not be as “powerful.”

Wintour discusses the way women are stereotyped in an interview with Forbes back in 2011. When she was asked, What’s your least favorite stereotype about powerful women?
She responds, “It’s not so much about powerful women. In some cases, there are stereotypes about women. I often don’t hear men talked about in the same way. It’s more a sexist stereotype than a powerful stereotype.”

Graduating? Rest Assured.

 

What makes college graduation from seem so scary? For most of us students it's the unknown realm of where you will be next. As humans we are creatures of habit and tend to thrive in circumstances when our needs are fully met. Take Maslow's hierarchy of needs that we all learned in Psychology 101. Humans need  psychological needs to be met then transcending upward in less importance, safety, belongingness and love, esteem needs and then self actualization. Although as students our lives our stressful to the point where we are so broke we have sleep for dinner sometimes, we have a basic routine that meets these needs. The unknown is scary territory, trust me I feel that too.  I've found the best thing to do is to start preparing for life after college now by doing adequate research of " the real world."  Read on to discover reasons why landing a job out of college may not be as difficult as you think. 

According to the Beura of Labor Statistics, Millenials are now the the largest generation in the U.S. workforce as of 2015 and the trend will continue as the chart below projects. Yet, it seems that businesses have the hardest time hiring members of generation Y. Fragmented businesses are spreading across the nation- countless jobs are unfilled while millennial struggle to begin their career. So what is it that is not lining up? 

 

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The National Center for Educational Statistics tells us that in fall 2015, roughly 20.2 million students attended American colleges and universities. This resulted in an increase of about 4.9 million since fall 2000. What a significant jump in the active participants of higher education! Hopefully this means that our co-workers are trained to be motivated and hard-working. 

My peers at the University of Oregon have helped me learn how to work with others over a long duration of time. Here is a shot of my management team after 11 weeks of collaboration and hard work. We met for lunch after our final presentation. They called me the "mom" of the group because I kept everyone disciplined and accountable to ensure we got our work done. It's moments like these that I worry I will be guilty of overworking. Thankfully my college education has taught me not only how to work hard to get the results desired but also to enjoy the journey's often unexpected path. In a group this means tons of communication and being flexible. 

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According to Bentley University, the Preparedness Study they conducted is one of the most comprehensive surveys done on preparedness for the workforce. Apparently, 37 percent of college graduates give themselves a “C” on their level of readiness for the professional world. So what are the essential ways that millennials can better prepare for today’s workforce?
Here are tips towards professional success. 

Here are ways to prepare and ease stress about life after college: 

  • Find how your potential employee defines preparedness
    Talk with a variety of professionals and find out what they consider and look for when they are hiring. 
  • Show your loyalty
    According to this study half of business professionals and over half of millenials agree that millenials are perceived as dispensable. Show that you care about your future and your career and that you want to stay more than the typical ( 2 year tenure).
  • Adapt to other generations in the office: 
    Many non-millenials find it difficult to manage millenials and that they lack respect for others(51%). As a future employee of the workforce do yourselves and others a favor by conforming to the workplace to create a more collaborative environment.

Does Keurig Caffeinate You?

Brails mocha I ordered this week

Brails mocha I ordered this week

I got inspired to craft this image after meeting with a friend at a beautiful coffee shop this week. Lately, I've been drawn to gorgeous coffee like this mocha I was lucky to get my hands on. As most students are, I am a religious coffee drinker who needs a daily dose. I can't imagine that any adult in this fast-paced world we live in has not tried coffee. 

Coffee is not just a pick-me-up drink. It is truly a global commodity. Coffee is the world's second most valuable traded commodity, behind only petroleum. There are about 25 million farmers and coffee workers in over 50 countries around the world that grow, process and trade coffee. Harvard School of Public Health tells us that 54 percent of Americans over the age of 18 drink coffee every day.

So now that we can establish that over half of the American population is drinking coffee every day, it sparks an immediate question. How are Americans getting their daily coffee? While reading The Washington Post article, "America's favorite coffee  trend may be coming to an end," I was curious to see how coffee could possibly be losing popularity. The coffee pod, coffee's most convenient form, was once invincible. According to data from market research firm Euromonitor, the sale of coffee pods tripled between 2011 and 2013. Simultaneously, the coffee pod machine sales were soaring, too, growing from 1.8- 11.6 million from 2008-2013. Today, however, with an increasingly stable economy, coffee trends are emerging to a more delicately prepared cup of java from the convenience of someone else's preparation.  

Keurig, the company which dominates coffee pods, recently reported that this is the sixth straight quarter where it's sales have dropped.  


The decline is in part due to Keurig's production behavior. When it's patents expired in 2014, competitors entered the picture causing Keurig to launch Keurig 2.0. This innovative system requires the use only Keurig coffee pods, as opposed to cheaper competitors pods. This caused an outrage of angry  reviews on Amazon

As a communications specialist, my advice for Keurig would be to respond by showing concern. Keurig needs to express that the organization is not indifferent to a problem without admitting guilt. I would also suggest that Keurig uses rectifying behavior to restitute the situation back to it's earlier condition. This is a public relations strategy to make amends by compensating or restoring a situation to its earlier condition. With this reactive strategy, Keurig could alter Keurig 2.0 to work with any coffee pod. This way customers are happy and restore trust in the coffee trend they once fell in love with. In order to regain a loyal audience, Keurig should focus on innovation and manufacturing improvements for their coffee makers, which make up about 80 percent of the companies sales.  

Keurig needs to regain the trust of loyal customers. My suggestion would be for Keurig's CEO Brian Kelley to comment in the next press release. Kelley's statement should reinforce that the next steps will include innovation that serves customers needs and wants. For example, Keurig is bringing new premium coffee brands and dispensing technologies that will bring significant cash value to shareholders. This will offer an exciting new chapter for customers, partners and employees.

Coffee pods may not be forever. Americans seem to have bigger wallets and want to indulge on gourmet caffeine hits. Coffee trends will come and go as technology changes and the economy fluctuates. One thing I know for sure is that I promise I will always be a consumer.  

- Olivia

Go Travel Alread

Adventures captivated me as a child and instilled in me the desire to explore and connect with different people and places. To me, an adventure represents a small piece that paves the road to my life journey.  

Maybe you've felt this way before: you've traveled all over the United States visiting relatives but you have not been outside of the country. You're not alone in feeling this way. While researching Why more Americans don't travel abroad I found that of the 318,857,056 plus Americans only about 30 percent have passports.

While reading A TRAVELER’S MANIFESTO: TRAVEL RULES TO LIVE BY I got inspired to share the ways that  travel can be a life-changing thing. If you have even the slightest inclination to travel then I suggest you plan your itinerary already. Travel can be not only monumental experience thanks to the destination, it can also help you better understand yourself. 

Top tips for being a savvy traveler, wherever your destination may be.

1. Stay connected with your social networks at home. This is important. As much as it feels like you can just slip away into another land and go "offline," this is a mistake. Your personal and professional brand will suffer if you neglect staying up to date.


2. Splurge on safety. There are certainly places to save on the duration of your trip but safety is not one of them. Be aware of your surroundings and do everything in your power to be safe. 


3. Be prepared financially. You never know when wanderlust will strike. It is best to be stashing away a portion of your income, even if it is just 20 dollars a month. Trust me, this will make a huge difference when it comes time to prepare for your excursion. 


4. Dress like a local. As a form of respect, get on the same level as the locals. Do not flaunt your status. You will have higher success at connecting with the individuals and their culture if you approach them with a familiar first impression. 

5. Have easy access to your documents at all times. You never know when you will need your passport, credit card, cash, or photo I.D. 

Additional Tips:
Get Vaccinated
Learn to Haggle
Be Frugal but Not Cheap
Wear Sunscreen
Email Documents to Yourself
Only Take What You Need

 

Enjoy Your Trip!
- Olivia
 

 

A Young Professionals Guide to Dressing Appropriately.

Students, are you looking to land a job after graduation? A glance in the mirror may be the most important thing you do. As a college student I am repeatedly being told to dress for success. What does that mean though? While reading 10 commandments of dressing for work and How to Dress for Success I learned there is no universal dress code set in stone, because it varies depending on your professional field.  However, if such a panel were to exist, there’s reasons to believe it would include the following:

 

1.     Stay on the cautious side.

Concerned that your attire may be too relaxed even for a “casual Friday.” Listen to your intuition here. You won’t feel professional if you don’t look the part so keep it classy, button up ladies.

 

2.     Notice the trends around you and stay current.

It’s so wonderful that you are taking care of those trendy boots from the last decade. Now it’s time to put them in a consignment bag and let them go for good. A part of being professional means presenting fresh ideas, right? How can you deliver freshness when you’re wearing stale clothing? Try to avoid looking outdated.

 

 

3.     Modesty is not old fashion it is essential.

Future employees of the workforce, I encourage you to get noticed for your hard work not your tight pants. I imagine the only thing worse than feeling like you’re wearing something too revealing is when your boss feels that way too and comments.

 

You may have found yourself thinking: 1. Is this neckline too low? 2. Did I remember to wear closed-toed shoes? 3. Did I choose the right fabric, or is it too clingy? 4. Would I choose to hire me based on my appearance today? These are all valid questions to ask prior to entering any sort of professional environment. It all boils down to how you want to present yourself.

So what is the reason why we're influenced to dress professionally? If you you look like a professional you will be treated as one.

 

- Olivia

 

Professional Etiquette - Takeaways from Ragan's PR Daily

I have always been captivated by the art of public speaking. Why is it that some individuals can articulate their words with social grace while others fear it like the plague? Mark Twain once said, "there are two types of speakers: those who get nervous and those who are liars."

According to the Washington Post, Americans possess the fear of public speaking, also known as "glossophobia" more than clowns, ghosts and zombies combined. Maybe you have felt this way:  After hearing your voice over a recording you ask yourself, "do I sound like that in real life?" Spoiler alert: it’s not only the sound of your voice originating externally from your head, it is the filler words that litter your speech, the “uhs” and “ums” and “you knows,” and the favored word that circulates PR professionals, the seeking approval of “right?”

 After reading Ragan's PR Daily and learning professional etiquette tips on public speaking, I have discovered there is actual rhyme and reason to why public speaking is feared. The bottom line is that it requires practice and preparation, every single time.

 

Here are the top two tips for young professionals on how to elevate their public speaking game:

1. Find an “uh- counter” editor.

Learn to weed out words such as “uh”, “um” and “like” in each speech. Try this at home with a friend or spouse. Train your brain to catch these filler words.

2. Become an expert on your topic.

Research from Oratory Laboratory, a company that specializes in public speeches, shows that there is no formula for a great speech. They do know, however, that each speech must be carefully crafted with thorough research in order to alleviate anxiety.

CNN "How to give a great Speech" puts it simply:

·      People are afraid of the audience.

·      You’re the hero of your story, when you give a speech people want you to tell the story.

·      When preparing you speech, think of something that makes you excited. Frame the speech about it. Let that carry on the story.

·      Frame your passion with the story.

Why is it important to communicate with clarity?

Whether it’s how you make eye contact or how you present yourself during an important interview, your always communicating. Some of the most basic examples include everyday interactions such as listening to a co-worker or friend. Here are 5 ways to improve your communication skills:

1. Be aware of your body language.

2. Don’t forget that you’re constantly communicating even when you’re not speaking words.

3. Adopt a power pose that suites your style. Great, now use it.

4. Learn how to interpret other people’s body language so you can respond appropriately.

5. Find ways to rid yourself of unnecessary conversation fillers. 

 

- Olivia

Introduction Story

 

Back when I was a little girl, before I had a clue what I was going to be when I grew up, I always wanted to make people around me happy. I still do. I would narrate the most elaborate stories based on true events I’d experienced to make people laugh. As I grew up I figured I needed a career that aligned with my interest to make people happy and my passion of storytelling.

I landed at the University of Oregon in the field of public relations, which aligns my interests in the most conventional way. I am enrolled in an Advanced Public Relations Communication course and as part of the coursework, I am assigned to begin a blog to use as a public relations tool. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time anyways so I’m thankful to finally have the push to do it (applause).

I am entering the blogosphere to communicate with aspiring PR professionals, like myself, to share tips and experience ultimately to succeed in all career ventures. Based on my entire upbringing with academic writing and now four years of journalistic writing, I’m a confident writer for the most part. However, blogging is a scary territory. I cannot conceal that I am a 20 something enthusiastic, socially graceful millennial girl that is driven by the inspiration to succeed in life. However, I am also a young PR professional with eager readiness to learn more than definitions from a textbook. This blog will focus on the intersection of both aspects of personal and professional life and how to make them cohesive. It is dedicated to the strong and passionate PR professionals who live for the field and its advancements over time. 

Here's some links to my inspiration:

 Shift PR

PR Daily

- Olivia