By nature I’m unpredictable. Despite my self-awareness, I put myself in situations and circumstances that surprise others and sometimes me, too. It’s my special gift. (That’s a nice way of describing something others may find confusing, right?)
Business ownership is unpredictable which is equally suited for someone with my personality. Over the years I’ve seen various businesses open, close, grow, adapt, and relaunch (in a variety of sequences), and these various happenings occur for start-ups and businesses who have been around for decades.
Without a doubt, the communications industry – ranging from media, public relations, marketing, advertising, and digital – has experienced its own fair share of change over the years. The Internet and digital landscape was more than a little bit disruptive, it was life-altering for some businesses, owners, and employees, and it will continue to change industries in years to come with different technologies including: big data, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and more.
Another industry with immense change? Fashion. First they avoid social, then they embrace. And dominate the tools. No more fashion shows? Who said “pop-up”? Can we make fast-fashion stop, please? And why would anyone think counterfeit anything is OK? The writer in me is disgusted by the copyright infringement issues, cause, “Hello, you so don’t understand creativity, imagination, or inspiration – stop it, please!!”
Behind all of these changes and advances – ups and downs, good and bad – are people. And that will always be the most important “thing” on the planet. We create these technologies, inventions, businesses, make mistakes, etc. all in our humanness. I’m super excited to be a part of it all!
Since I’ve been in business, despite my self-awareness, I’ve been known to do things that may appear rather counter-intuitive in business. I insisted tech coders sit front at local fashion shows…Handled press for the Republican National Convention while all knew I was voting for the Democratic candidate…held a secret fashion party that we wanted everyone to know about (but not until we were ready – rave style). The results for this seemingly contradictory way of work? This all turned out excellent! I research, I experiment, I try, and I go with it, and encourage others to do the same. You win some, you lose some, you do new things, and you keep trying. And I’ve taught people how to enter (and exit) the communications field, and collaborated with awesome communication partners.
Early on in my career I made a list of “roll-over” agencies. People whom I respected in the industry who I could pitch work to if my business got too busy or if the prospect wasn’t a good fit. I remember that I started to do this with a variety of vendors. The matchmaker in me values the right fit and partner on projects. I remember when I was told that it was crazy to get feedback from a “competitor.” It didn’t even occur to me. And then when I started to reach out to industry connects they started to refer business to me, too. I now have a solid tribe of respected PR pros that I can collaborate with, bounce ideas off of, vent with, etc.
It’s what’s known as healthy co-opetition and collaboration, and it really gets down to the very basics that we learned when we were five. Play nice and share. If it works for happy five year olds…we’ve got something here, right?
So when Crosby Noricks of PR Couture got the idea to launch the BeSpoke Communication Awards earlier this year (which, by the way, came to her through conversations with other PR practitioners) ~ it made sense that we would sponsor. For a few reasons I’ve shared below:
1) Sometimes you have to celebrate your work. Even if no one else is. PR practitioners work in a variety of capacities for a client, from spokesperson to behind-the-scenes magic maker. Our work is misunderstood by some (PR is more than media relations, and it’s also why we get all up in your business!) and can often go unnoticed while our clients are doing the fist pump, cartwheel, or beauty queen wave. Just like we believe in #treatyoself, we also believe in celebrating your wins. When your clients shine, so do you ~ and it’s good to celebrate that.
2) Listen to the OGs. I went to an event where I heard veteran news broadcaster, Ted Koppel, speak and he shared that when a student asked him if it was a good time to study journalism, Koppel acknowledged that it was a tumultuous and challenging time for media right now ~ and it has been this way for awhile from the ever-changing digital landscape to fake news. But Koppel also told the student this: “We’ve never needed journalists more.” I felt that was so powerful. And you know what else journalists need? They need support from their communications peers ~ those of us in the PR field who are shining the light on important issues, bringing awareness to causes, and yes, helping people look and feel good in designer frocks. All work and no play = no bueno. So if we’ve never needed journalists more, we’ve also never needed PR practitioners more who are helping our clients tell meaningful stories and make an impact.
3) It’s good to have your friend’s back. Especially when they have yours. (Same goes for an industry.): Since ‘09, I’ve had the pleasure of working with Crosby in a variety of ways and she has been a dedicated fashion communications advocate for a number of years now. She also has solid footing on the playground of play nice and share. Like, she does flips off of the monkey bars solid! We were down to support her on this new endeavor and to celebrate our industry.
So I’m excited that the winners for the inaugural BCAs 2017 have been announced ~ back in May actually, and you can check them out here. I’m writing about this now because the awards and prizes recently went out to recipients and we’ve been receiving social notes of gratitude from winners this past week. (Who doesn’t enjoy porcelain knuckles, right?!) Plus, you can see us on social clapping for our gang of PR pros who are helping to keep the art of storytelling alive and well.
Support the media. Support your industry.
Peace, Love & PR