Blog

2018 AP Stylebook Updates to Know

By Joseph Priest, APR

PR pros are now free to collide, use bulleted lists with more complete guidelines, and “cowork.” So says the leading authority whose stylebook most PR pros follow.

In recent years, introducing Associated Press style changes at the annual conference of ACES (American Copy Editors Society, which recently renamed itself The Society for Editing) has become something of a tradition. The AP Stylebook editors announce the newest changes in a session that has become one of the biggest events of the conference and always includes a jam-packed room.


Colleen Newvine (left), Associated Press product manager, and Paula Froke, executive director of Associated Press Media Editors and editor of the AP Stylebook, prepare to announce the latest updates at the ACES national conference. 

In the last several years, some of those changes have been earth-shattering, like taking the hyphen out of “e-mail,” allowing “over” to indicate quantitative relationships as well as spatial, and permitting “they” to refer to a singular subject. This year was far less dramatic, with changes about “collide,” bulleted lists, and “coworking,” which I’ll get to in a moment.

For the last two conferences, at St. Pete and, this year, at Chicago, I’ve had the fortune to be able to attend and, as an ACES member, offer some representation from PR writers at this growing event. Below is a rundown of some of the biggest changes that I think are important for PR pros to know, along with my perspectives. The stylebook entries for these changes will be included in the new paperback version of the AP Stylebook and have already been added to the online version.

I hope they’re a help with your writing. And if you have any questions or thoughts on the changes, I would love to know them. Please write me at joseph.priest@syniverse.com.   

  • collide, collision – Perhaps the biggest change announced was that the AP has removed the “collide/collision” entry from the stylebook. For decades, the AP has distinguished the use of these words by insisting that, as its previous entry said, “Two objects must be in motion before they can collide. A moving train cannot collide with a stopped train.” However, dictionary definitions of “collide” have long had no requirement for the number of objects that must be in motion. The objects merely must come together with force. Regardless of how this AP rule originated, the idea that a moving object can crash into but not collide with a stationary object has been little more than a journalistic tradition, and has been regularly condemned by the language community. And now the AP has accepted that the tradition no longer needs to be observed, and that we are now free to collide with buildings, trees, guardrails, etc.
  • bulleted lists – One update that will be a great help to PR pros is a new entry on lists and bulleted lists. Previously, guidelines for these were spread across separate entries. Among the guidelines, the AP uses dashes instead of bullets to introduce individual sections of a list, but others may choose to use bullets. Also, a space should be put between the dash or bullet and the first word of each item in the list. And the first word following the dash or bullet should be capitalized, and periods should be used, not semicolons, at the end of each section, whether it is a full sentence or a phrase.
  • survivor, victim – The AP updated its entry for these words to advise more caution and discrimination in their use. The terms can be imprecise and freighted with shades of meaning, whereas the condition that affected them should be the determining factor in their use. See the full stylebook entry for further guidance and examples.
  • sexual harassment, sexual misconduct - Responding to increased coverage of #MeToo, the AP revised its guidelines for terminology surrounding the movement, preferring “sexual misconduct” to “sexual harassment.” Specifically, “harassment” has legal but broad definitions, and sometimes “harassment” may be too mild for the behavior being alleged. For this reason, the reporting of an incident should specify the behavior under discussion, and use “sexual misconduct” in more broad-based instances.
  • co-workers, coworking - People who work together for the same task or company are “co-workers,” the AP says. But if those people individually rent shared space in a building, they are “coworking,” without the hyphen. The reason for this distinction? Because the newer usage is “coworking,” and keeping the hyphen in “co-worker” draws the divide between those two types of definitions.
  • homepage – While it’s not surprising that “homepage” has followed the path of “webpage,” whose one-word spelling was sanctioned by the AP a few years ago, it’s not a change I agree with. Other compound words with “page” mostly retain their two-word spellings, like “front-page,” “back-page” and “book page,” because in a one-word spelling, the “page” part is not considered clear when it’s combined with other words. I don’t see the rationale for making an exception to this practice for either “homepage” or “webpage,” but “homepage” is now official.
  • health care - One change the AP did not make that copy editors, PR pros, journalists and writers in general have long wished would be changed is making “health care” into one word. The editors of the AP Stylebook told the ACES conference in Chicago that while industry documents often write it as “healthcare,” most government documents still use two words, and the AP’s Washington editors advised keeping it that way for now. But there is a ray of hope. An editor for Webster’s New World College Dictionary, the official dictionary of the AP, explained at the session, “We follow what people do,” he said. “If everyone decided tomorrow to make ‘healthcare’ a compound . . .” OK, everyone, start using “healthcare” as much as you can so we can finally get this change made!

 


Me at the ACES (American Copy Editors Society) national conference in Chicago, where I was joined by over 700 editors from a wide variety of digital media, print media, corporate communications, book publishing, academia and government.

 

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Avoid the Risks and Costs of an Outdated Crisis Communications Plan

By Mike Hatcliffe, President, The Hatcliffe Group LLC

When was the last time you updated your crisis plan?

Next week you can get a glimpse into a Fortune 100 company that got its crisis preparedness right – the insurer Allstate in the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

On Wednesday, May 16, PRSA Tampa Bay is hosting a luncheon program on Disaster Communications, a timely and mission-critical topic for area PR and communications professionals as hurricane season approaches. Sponsored by In Case of Crisis, an award-winning crisis management platform, the program will share firsthand experience on what it takes to access and activate a plan amid a rapidly unfolding crisis.

So how good is your crisis preparedness plan?

Go and take a look at it right now.

If the last revisions were dated more than two years ago, you are in trouble.

There is a high probability that your plan will not serve you well should you face a real crisis, in a world where digital media drives threats at lightning speed – and in which online and social media is the source of so many reputation and business crises.

And where was the plan when you went looking for it?

Buried deep in the files on your computer? In a dusty 3-ring binder on a shelf? On a flash-drive in a forgotten pocket of your bag?

Or maybe you didn’t know whether you had the latest version.

Now take a look at the content of the plan.

Do the plan’s procedures, processes and resources reflect the digital world?

Does the plan recognize old and new sources of risk, including online and social media?

Does it place digital tools and resources in the hands of your crisis team so it can respond with the effectiveness and speed to match the threat’s scope and velocity?

And what about the specific crisis scenarios covered by the plan – as well as traditional threats such as extreme weather, cyber security, and product and service problems? Does it identify and deal with newer sources of risk from cultural, social and political issues?

There are huge costs and risks with an old, outdated crisis plan.

You really don’t want to find out that your plan is useless at that moment when a very real crisis is upon your organization, threatening your customers, employees and reputation.

While we all hope for the best, you want to make sure that you’ve planned for the worst. Please join us next week for some real-world lessons on what that looks like from our colleagues at Allstate. 

“Disaster Communications: A Look Inside A Fortune 100 Company’s Playbook,” hosted by PRSA Tampa Bay and sponsored by In Case of Crisis, takes place Wednesday, May 16, at Brio Tuscan Grille, Bay Street at International Plaza. Check-in and networking begin at 11:30 a.m. Click here to register now.

 

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Member Spotlight: Justin Herndon

This Member Spotlight profiles Justin Herndon, manager on the National Media Relations and Issues Management team for Allstate and a licensed insurance agent in the state of Florida, and 2018 treasurer of PRSA Tampa Bay. Justin joined the chapter in 2013, has served as a member of the Sponsorship Committee and the Digital Communications Committee, and is currently serving as 2018 co-chair of the Sponsorship Committee.  

1. First news publication you read in the morning?

I open the Google News app on my phone before I even get out of bed. I like the variety of sources and content I get access to each morning, from international to national to even local news outlets.

2. First public relations job?

I was the first employee hired by Selig Multimedia – a boutique PR firm started by former longtime Fox 13 reporter Glenn Selig – and helped build the business from the ground up in the areas of sales development, news release writing, and search engine optimization, as well as local and national publicity, all the way up to co-directing the national media blitz of former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich. I also helped hire and onboard three new employees – one of whom is now an ESPN SportsCenter anchor, Randy Scott; another who is living in China and freelancing for NPR, Patrick Flanary; and another who is still in PR and a Tampa Bay chapter board member, Kim Polacek.

3. Most important career mentor, and why?

Before PR, I was a TV news reporter, and my news director in Fort Myers, John Emmert, was a constant source of knowledge and calm who taught through his leadership and not just about news. He mentored countless journalists who now work across the country and who still talk about his impact on their lives; and I’m fortunate enough to still be in contact with him and see him once a year in Las Vegas, where he retired several years ago.

4. Top grammar, style or writing pet peeve?

“More than” versus “over.” I know AP Style finally gave in and says either one is fine, but “more than” my dead body, I say. :)

5. Most rewarding accomplishment in public relations?

Last year, Allstate received an email from a customer who said her dad, who had died more than 20 years ago, had been in a TV commercial for Allstate in the ‘70s, and she was trying to find the video to surprise her brother at his wedding. I pushed and prodded my way through a lot of channels and not only got the video but found some behind-the-scenes footage with their dad, and I was able to surprise the family in person in an event that become an award-winning story picked up by multiple national news outlets.

6. Advice to new public relations professionals?

Build and maintain as many relationships as you can, and nurture them by checking in even when you don’t need a thing. I got started late in my PR career, but I carried over strong contacts from my time in news, and it’s amazing how many opportunities I have to call on old contacts that still take my call because I took the time to cultivate the relationship.

7. Job you would pursue if you weren’t in public relations?

Aside from continuing my news career, I would pursue politics (against the wishes of my wife). I love building relationships and trying to make a difference for the greater good, and I’m also not good enough at golf to make that a career.

8. Favorite movie?

The Shawshank Redemption.

9. Favorite vacation?

My wife and I went to Norway before we had kids, where we went dogsledding in the Arctic Circle and saw the northern lights. Yes, it was brutally cold, but absolutely worth it.

10. Any three dinner guests?

Morgan Freeman, my favorite actor; Jack Nicklaus, the greatest golfer of all time; and my great-grandmother on my dad’s side, a full-blooded Choctaw Indian who could teach me more about the Native American culture of my family.

My family.

Making new friends in Norway.

My wife and I get ready to hit the trail on our Norway trip.

The northern lights were an unforgettable sight and one-of-a-kind memento to take away from the Arctic Circle.

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Public Relations Students Gain Firsthand Experience in Motorsports

By Katie Cafiero and Jessica Martinez, USF PRSSA

The Firestone Grand Prix, which served as the IndyCar season opener, transformed the streets of downtown St. Petersburg into a racetrack. The weekend-long event kicked off on March 9, and the city was buzzing with excitement. Thousands gathered to watch the races and check out the events. 

Unlike most of the volunteers, we had never even been to a race before. If you would have asked us what an IndyCar was, we would have stood dumbfounded. But our interest dramatically shifted when Bart Graham, Firestone Grand Prix Media Center Leader, invited us to volunteer at the event. Needless to say, we did not hesitate to accept! As aspiring public relations professionals, we were eager to gain firsthand experience working for a major sporting event.

The Mahaffey Theater turned into a working media center, housing journalists and photographers for the duration of race weekend. We had the opportunity to watch live press conferences, distribute race results to the media and transport drivers to their interviews. Not only did we gain experience in the career path of our interest, we were also able to meet some of the people behind it all like the Senior Manager for National Media Outreach of IndyCar. The experience opened our eyes to the busy, yet exciting world of sports public relations. More importantly, we were able to apply our knowledge outside of the classroom.

Our favorite part of the weekend, though, was getting to experience the racetrack firsthand. On Sunday, we were quickly ushered to the track when we arrived at the Mahaffey at 7:30 am. There, we suited up in a HANS device and were escorted into a car to take one (very quick) lap around the track for a test run. As soon as the car doors shut, we were off! We blinked our eyes and crossed the finish line. It’s difficult to describe the experience. It’s a mixture of the kind of adrenaline rush you get on a roller coaster and the surge of anxiety you get when you’re a passenger in your 16-year-old brother’s car. Nevertheless, it was an exciting experience we will certainly never forget.

We would like to thank Bart, our PRSA Tampa Bay “mentor for the weekend,” for giving us insight into the world of IndyCar and all that it has to offer. His love and knowledge of the sport was able to give us the most valuable experience possible. We are both looking forward to applying our newfound knowledge of this industry to our future endeavors.

 

 

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The Path to Accreditation

By Paula MacDonald

April is APR month, and I’ve had the honor of serving as PRSA Tampa Bay’s Accreditation co-chair with Katy Parsons, APR for the past three years. We’ve helped to guide seven candidates on their Accreditation journey and look forward to working with six more chapter members this year in our 2018 study group cohort.

The decision to work toward Accreditation is a personal one that can take on many different forms. Our chapter has a comprehensive seven-week program that offers an opportunity for candidates to work alongside one another and support each other in their APR journey. Other opportunities to learn include the online APR course, a rigorous three-day APR boot camp offered periodically by PRSA National and, of course, self-study.

Regardless of the chosen path, the end result of this preparation is the completion of an extensive questionnaire and portfolio presentation in front of a peer-reviewed panel, followed by a comprehensive 132-question computer-based examination. Passing both of these hurdles earns candidates the privilege of adding “APR” to their signature and profoundly changes the way that they look at public relations planning and execution.

The APR is a testament of one’s professional expertise, ethics and personal commitment to the public relations industry. Any practitioner with a minimum of five years of professional experience in public relations who is a member of PRSA or one of eight other public relations organizations recognized by the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB) is qualified to apply for Accreditation.

Reasons for seeking this voluntary certification vary among candidates. For many, public relations might not be the curriculum that they studied in college, and these individuals find the depth of the APR program valuable in affirming and reinforcing what they may have learned on the job. For others, becoming Accredited offers new opportunities in career advancement and credibility among other industry professionals.

In an era where the reputation of the public relations practitioner is often on the line due to near daily misdeeds of highly visible “spinmasters,” the significance of differentiating oneself as an Accredited professional is more prudent than ever. By abiding by and adhering to a certain set of defined ethical standards, APRs tell the world that they care about doing the right thing and are committed to excellence and advancing the industry as a whole.

In the Tampa Bay Chapter of PRSA, we are proud to have nearly one-third of our chapter certified as Accredited public relations practitioners; the highest percentage of APRs in the state. This group of professionals is committed to their craft and to supporting other chapter members in beginning their APR journey when the time is right.

If you are interested in learning more about Accreditation, or would like to join our 2018 study group, there is still time. Please contact APR co-chairs Paula MacDonald, APR or Katy Parsons, APR, and visit our web page for more information. Candidates are beginning to work with APR mentors to prepare their portfolios and will be starting classes on Tuesday, June 19, following Panel Presentations.

Six Steps to Accreditation: 

  1. Apply to begin the process with PRSA.

  2. Prepare your questionnaire and portfolio with mentor guidance.

  3. Present your portfolio at peer-guided Panel Presentation.

  4. Study for exam independently or with a group.

  5. Take exam at testing center.

  6. Pass exam and celebrate your new status as an APR!

 

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PRSA Tampa Bay Mentors Future PR Pros at Resume Review

By Kirk Hazlett, APR, Fellow PRSA, and Joseph Priest, APR

Whether you’re a new grad, young professional or seasoned veteran, for many of us, one thing that never ceases to amaze is how working with the next generation of PR pros can re-energize our passion for our profession.

This was our experience on April 3, when, for the second year in a row, our Public Service Committee and Students Committee held a résumé review session and mixer with USF’s PRSSA chapter at the main Tampa campus.

Our effort consisted of reviewing assigned student résumés about a week in advance and then meeting with the students at the USF Marshall Student Center to discuss our impressions. We talked about everything from résumé content  selection to writing quality to organization to formatting. More broadly, though, we were able to spark some deep conversations about PR and offer real-world advice and personal anecdotes about the best ways to start and succeed in a PR career. Then, to reward everyone for their hard work, we hosted a mixer with light snacks and drinks so we could get to know each other even more.

Our team included 11 volunteers who dedicated almost an hour of their time beforehand as well as several hours of a Tuesday evening to help prepare eight students begin their first chapter in their careers. Team members included both seasoned professionals who were able to share lessons from the breadth of their careers, as well as younger professionals who were able to offer some insights from their recent experience on what to expect in the early part of a PR career.

  

We offer a special thank-you to these members for lending their expertise to this event:

  •          Betty Carlin, APR
  •          Bart Graham
  •          Mary Haban, APR
  •          Kirk Hazlett, APR, Fellow PRSA
  •          Mary Margaret Hull, APR
  •          Curtis Krueger
  •          Paula MacDonald, APR
  •          Joseph Priest, APR
  •          Jenna Stock
  •          Liz Taylor
  •          Kelsy Van Camp

Ultimately, the event involved 19 PRSA and PRSSA members and lasted a few hours, but the contribution it makes to the future of our local PR community is almost incalculable. We were able to provide up-and-coming PR practitioners with firsthand insight from a diverse mix of pros, tap into a pipeline of the latest talent to consider for our organizations’ hiring needs, and strengthen our relationship with our area’s largest PRSSA chapter. It was a rewarding experience in every way.

 

The event builds on last year’s résumé review and mixer that we held with USF PRSSA, and it lays a foundation for a similar effort that we hope to plan soon with the University of Tampa’s newly formed PRSSA chapter.

The Public Service Committee and Students Committee are also working on other ideas to keep our chapter involved in the community and engaged with college students this year. Please stay tuned to the PRSA Tampa Bay website for more on our upcoming events and ways in which you can participate.

 

 

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Member Recounts Lessons from Tampa Bay Lightning PR Panel

PRSA Tampa Bay member Kasey Brennan of KB Communications published a blog article about our chapter's recent event, "The Puck Stops Here: Insights from Tampa Bay Lightning's PR Team." In her post, Brennan highlights three lessons she picked up from the panel of experts who spoke about the challenges, opportunities and excitement of representing a national sports team as well as a world-class events venue in a growing metropolitan community. The takeaways she recaps have applications across industries. Read more in "3 Lessons from the Tampa Bay Lightning Communications Team." 

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What PRSA Has Done for Me

By Bart Graham 

I used to consider myself an introvert.  

Sitting at a computer and staring at a screen for eight hours a day doing sales can make you feel that way.  My only window to the outside world, where my clients were, was my phone and Microsoft Outlook. I was in my own little bubble thinking nothing would ever happen. Then the unthinkable did happen. Three years ago I was told my services were no longer needed by my company.

I thought, “What do I do now?” I had a LinkedIn profile with no picture and only 50 connections.  I also had my yearly Grand Prix auto racing vacation where I volunteered for a week doing media relations in the Media Center. This was my hobby, which I still have and love.

Outplacement services told me that I needed to network and update my LinkedIn profile. I told myself that I also needed to join a professional association. In my job-search notes I wrote “PRSA.” Why PRSA? Two words: media relations. Could I possibly turn the work I loved doing for the Grand Prix into a new career chapter?

As luck would have it, through a civic activity I was involved in, I met the PRSA Tampa Bay chapter president serving at the time and mentioned to her I was interested in joining. That was all it took. The orders were to let her know when I had completed my application so I could be placed on a committee. I worked the registration desk at one of our events. It was pretty overwhelming for an introvert, but I told myself to embrace the change and to not be a spectator.

I can’t believe where I am at today.

Do I have my dream job?  Not yet, but I am working on it. It is just a matter of time.

I never had a mentor.  Do I have one now? I sure do, through the help of PRSA. My mentor is great, and I now consider him a dear friend, somebody I can talk to if needed. I know he is there, and he has taught me the fine art of conversation among other things.

Have I met great people and made many friends and connections? Wow, I sure have! There must have been an extroverted side of me hidden somewhere. My connection count on LinkedIn is now more than 1400. I love networking.

I was fortunate enough to win a scholarship to attend our PRSA International Conference in Indianapolis. This really opened my eyes, and I felt right at home. The conference was themed around auto racing. Go figure!

I learned a new social media skill for this conference, courtesy of our Digital Communications Committee. They gently led me “kicking and screaming” into using Twitter!

Was the chapter there to support me when I went through a family tragedy last year? Yes, they were, and I am forever grateful.

And guess what else. I think I found another niche I might be good at because of my involvement on a committee: volunteer recruitment. Just another skill I have honed from being involved with PRSA Tampa Bay.

While all of this might sound like an advertisement to join PRSA, it really isn’t.  I guess I just didn’t realize the importance of being active in a professional association in the field you work (or want to work) in, of volunteering your time and of networking. I sure do now.

Am I a true extrovert now? No. I am not willing to go that far, but I do consider myself an ambivert. That works for me!

 

 

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Member Spotlight: Stephanie Navarro

1. First news publication you read in the morning?

I read the Daily Skimm, a newsletter-type email by theSkimm that provides a recap of the last 24 hours of news, from entertainment to politics to even international news. This is a great way for me to stay on top of current events every day without having to dig through several sources. 

2. First public relations job?

I was promoted from an intern position to an account coordinator role at BAM Communications in San Diego (where I’m originally from). BAM is a lifestyle and hospitality PR agency, which I think is branching out to include tech now, and it gave me great exposure to a variety of clients that helped me develop my core skills.

3. Most important career mentor, and why?

I have been so fortunate to have many great mentors so far that it's impossible to pick just one! I try to surround myself with people that I can learn from, will challenge me to be better and hold me accountable when I set goals.

4. Top grammar, style or writing pet peeve?

The Oxford comma! AP style was so drilled into me during college that I get very uncomfortable when I read content that uses it. 

5. Most rewarding accomplishment in public relations?

My most rewarding accomplishment to date, and I still feel I have much to accomplish because I’m just a few years into my career, was coordinating a press conference with Gov. Rick Scott. The facility had to be ready to receive him within about 15 hours of notice, which felt like a whirlwind, but it was rewarding because I was able to spring into action, work closely with his team and succeed in delivering the platform they needed to communicate his message.

6. Advice to new public relations professionals?

It's more important to have the drive and willingness to solve problems than to have all of the answers when you start. Much of what we do as PR professionals requires creativity, innovation and consulting, so as long as you have a solid foundation of principles, you shouldn’t be afraid to do your homework and tackle those big projects – because you may surprise yourself!

7. Job you would pursue if you weren’t in public relations?

I would've gone into genetics research. I took a few courses in school that really sparked my interest in hereditary traits, how genes are passed down and how each person has so many unique variations in their makeup, and I think I would have enjoyed uncovering genetic profiles and consulting with people on how to use this information to achieve better health.

8. Favorite movie?

Hocus Pocus – so much so that my older sister banned it from the house for a year because I would watch it on repeat, all year long! Bette Midler is absolutely iconic in her role as Winifred Sanderson, and not only do I still love watching it, I know every line.

9. Favorite vacation?

This is a tough one because I love to travel, but I'll go with the most recent, which was to Malaga, Spain, for my cousin's wedding. During the rehearsal dinner, which was hosted at a small farm-to-table restaurant in the historic center of the city, Casco Antiguo, we were surprised by a live flamenco dance performance that was absolutely surreal.

10. Any three dinner guests?

Oprah Winfrey, a media mogul, philanthropist and entrepreneur who got her start in journalism; Frida Kahlo, a Mexican painter most well-known in pop culture today for her bold style and flower crowns, and someone I admire because she blazed a trail for women in art and society, and challenged what it meant to live with a disability; and Howard Schultz, Starbucks’ executive chairman, who built a brand based on values, people and quality – and a brand that’s now global.



With Gov. Scott.


My team at Tomlin St Cyr Real Estate Services, Emily Knudson and Ali St. Cyr, and me.


Visiting an exhibit on Frida Kahlo at the Dali Museum.


Flamenco dancers in Malaga!

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2018 Career Panel Recap

By: Michael Mezich, USF PRSSA President

On January 23, PRSA Tampa Bay met at BRIO Tuscan Grille for a panel on career-building in PR and Communications. The panelists were Crystal Lauderdale, director of Content Strategy at Alvarez & Marsal; Katy Parsons, APR, senior account executive at ChappellRoberts; and Paula MacDonald, APR, owner at Image Suite PR/HEROIC Integrated Communications, along with moderator Kirk Hazlett.

Hazlett began by pointing out that there are a myriad of paths for our careers to follow and asked the panelists to share where their careers had taken them and what they had learned.

Lauderdale went from journalism to communications jobs at a variety of places, including start-ups, Florida Polytechnic University, and Alvarez & Marsal, where she currently works.

“I realized that my love of storytelling could be expanded beyond the field of journalism,” said Lauderdale. “By keeping an open mind about how I could work in jobs that involved my interests, I have been fortunate to have enjoyed working for a variety of employers.”

Parsons has spent her entire career at the same agency, ChappellRoberts. During that time, she has watched the agency grow and evolve into something completely different from the agency that which she first started. At ChappellRoberts, Parsons experiences a different work day every day, and works in a culture that accepts failure. This is important because, for Parsons, the biggest learning moments come from failure.

MacDonald is currently working as a sole practitioner, an opportunity that came available after being laid off. She has learned that working for your own business can come with benefits such as schedule flexibility, but skills like self-motivation and self-discipline are key. Most importantly, Paula has learned that as a sole practitioner, it is important to play to your strengths and be able to reach out to others who can help cover your weaknesses.

Another tip shared to build your career was the importance of having your APR.

“Since receiving my APR, I have never looked at projects the same way again,” said Parsons.

In addition, the importance of having a mentor and using social media were noted for being very beneficial for growing your career and networking.  

 “Even if you don’t like social media, use it,”  said Lauderdale. “I have received two jobs from using LinkedIn.”

Lauderdale advised others to treat personal social media accounts like business accounts. Use them regularly and think about your own brand that you’re creating.

Join us for our next event, Building Trust Inside-Out: How Internal Communications Can Build Morale, Productivity and Brand Advocacy, on February 13 at Brio Tuscan Grille.

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