Why I Love PR

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Anyone who works in PR can attest to the fact that it’s fast-paced, competitive, at times stressful, and not for the faint of heart. Yet it’s a business those in it can’t get enough of, including myself. I can’t imagine being a part of any other profession; it’s an ever evolving industry that promises to never leave you bored, instead, it leaves you feeling energized, especially when a project you've been working on comes together. I’m sure it’s the same for other professionals working in a client driven environment; results equal happy clients and that lets me know I’ve not only done my job, I’ve done it well. As I approach my third year running JMG PR, I can’t help but reflect on some of the reasons why I LOVE being a publicist.

1.   The People

Because PR is a business that requires you to work amongst a variety of people and personalities, it’s been a blessing for someone like myself who would most likely be described by those know me as an, “extroverted introvert.” Being a part of this business has given me the tools to learn how to be an extrovert and step out of my comfort zone and as a result, meet some really cool and interesting people. The connections you create help build your network and prove invaluable as time goes on. The world of PR is definitely a small one so it’s always important to be good to everyone you meet!

 

2. You’re Constantly Learning

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In my line of work I am exposed to many different topics which allows me to learn and expand my knowledge. I’m constantly “in the know” and plugged in to pop culture and timely news. I thank PR for giving me the tools to be able to hold a conversation on any topic; it’s extremely helpful, and honestly, invaluable when it comes to networking and business.

 

3. Helping to Build A Dream

I work specifically with a lot of founders and those who are in the early stages of getting their company off the ground. I find it extremely rewarding to help my clients build their dream, and in the process allow me to be a part of that growth.

 

4. There’s Never a Dull Moment

The work that we do as publicists varies daily so rarely are any two days alike. I love knowing when I arrive at the office that my morning most likely will be different than the one before. I’m not tied to my desk, just the opposite in fact. There are days when I’m in client meetings outside of the office for most of the day, or on set with a client as we introduce their brand to audiences. Other days I’m in the office crafting pitches, strategizing with a new company, writing press releases, working with various magazine editors on coverage, or planning an event for a client with my team. The tasks are expansive and ever changing. The one constant that never changes is the need for creativity and I love that no matter what it is I’m working on, I’m going to be challenged. The industry is constantly evolving which in turn requires me to do the same.

 

5. Leading the Way

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Not only do I have the opportunity to work with and watch my clients build their dream, I run a team consisting of young PR professionals who are doing the same, laying the foundation for their future and I have a front row seat. Being at the helm of JMG PR, I not only get to work with the best, I have the opportunity to give young professionals a channel for learning and growing, and hopefully they too will fall in love with PR!

Xo Jenna

Myths and Misconceptions About the Life of a PR Professional

As an outsider looking in, the thought of what life as a PR professional entails is mostly based off of what the media portrays, that of glitz and glamour, and little, if at all, does it spotlight the tedious work that goes on behind the scenes to help grow and elevate a client’s brand. 

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I sought out a career in PR because of my love of people and the interaction this business allows me to have with them. A life in PR is all about being in the know, staying on top of the latest buzz while ahead of the curve, and of course, making things happen.

That’s why when I hear these myths and misconceptions about PR, and I've heard quite a few over the course of my career, I’m taken aback over just how wrong some people are about what it is we do. So I’m sharing a few of the most common ones I come across almost on a daily basis.

All press is good press

Yes your name is out there, but if it’s tied to an unflattering or negative story your PR team is going to be working around the clock to rebuild your name or your brand.

PR is an overpriced service

What’s surprising is the amount of money spent on advertising and marketing services, yet people expect Public Relations to be cheap. Our goal is to get you more bang for your buck verses purchasing a flat ad in a media outlet that might charge you upwards of $100,000.

PR is easy, I can do it myself

Not everyone is great at all things, including PR! In order to be successful in this business it requires a certain sense of business savvy, and a whole host of other talents like organizational skills, creativity, and being one step ahead of everyone else in your thinking. And there’s no rest for the weary when it come to PR.

It’s a glamorous job

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Sure we know how to host a good event, but we should since it’s just one of the many parts to what we do. And while they look like fun, and they are if you’re a guest, but what you don’t see is the countless hours of work, research, planning, and effort that goes into pulling these off. It has its moments in the spotlight but if you’re hoping to become the next Olivia Pope you might want to rethink your career choice. That’s Hollywood’s version of PR, not mine.
 

PR is a 9 -5 job

If only our days ended that early! Most days I’m at my office earlier than 9am and stay much later than 5pm, especially when my morning and afternoons are filled with client meetings. And those glamorous events we’re working on, those happen in the evening and on weekends so technically the world of PR is as many days and hours needed to get the job done!

PR produces sales

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Another common misconception people have when they're unclear on what it is exactly that we do. It’s true that PR makes up a piece of the marketing and advertising pie but we’re not in the business of driving sales and revenue. Our goal is to build a company or an individual’s profile and manage their reputation. PR generates a buzz which in turn engages the public.  We each have different strategies and tactics in the way in which we accomplish those goals.

PR is just a bunch of “fluff”

No, we aren’t adding fluff to a story to make it sound more important or interesting than it really is. Just the opposite, we’re pulling facts and presenting the client in the best light possible. PR is all about perception and the last thing we want is the public to believe our client’s message is all “smoke and mirrors.”

PR will make me famous

Its every clients dream, heck even mine, to land on a show like say, Ellen, but in reality the guests you see are mainly A-list celebrities and kids doing really cool things. That’s not to say it will never happen; our client Frey had their product featured on her show back in 2016. But just because you hire PR doesn't mean you’ll automatically be on a national TV show tomorrow. It takes time to land big placements, especially if you don’t have a pre-existing foundation of media coverage.

Xo Jenna

Four Women who Changed the Face of Public Relations

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We are in an age of feminism: we see “I Am a Feminist” written on t-shirts in successful fashion campaigns. There are pins, buttons, and Instagram captions. Many young women and girls look up to prominent female figures such as Barbara Walters, Oprah, Michelle Obama, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and Emma Watson. But with these proclamations of love for powerful women, we often forget about those working behind the scenes to help get their powerful messages out there: PR Girls. So I’ve compiled a list of four influential women from the world of public relations that deserve recognition. You go, girls!

1. Betsy Plank

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Betsy is often referred to as “The First Lady of Public Relations,” because her career held so many firsts for the PR sphere. From the years of 1960 to 1973, she served as the executive vice president and treasurer with Daniel J. Edelman, Inc. (now known as Edelman Public Relations Worldwide). In 1963, she became the first female president of the Publicity Club of Chicago. In 1967, she helped create the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), (the student affiliate of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). The goal of PRSSA is to help students learn more about the business of public relations and network with professionals in the field. In 1973, Plank became the director of public relations planning for AT&T. After she spent this short amount of time with AT&T, Plank transferred to Illinois Bell (now known as SBC Communications Inc.). She quickly became the head of a staff comprised of over one hundred people in the department and directing external affairs. With this position, Plank became the first woman to head a company department.

2. Barbara Hunter

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Barbara was the first woman to own and run her own Public Relations agency in the United States. Hunter started out as an account executive at Dudley-Anderson-Yutzy Public Relations in 1956. In 1970, Hunter and her sister purchased D-A-Y and Hunter was promoted to executive vice president after all three of the previous owners passed away. After selling D-A-Y, she then went on to open up her own boutique PR agency, Hunter Public Relations, in 1989. She ran it out of her bedroom with only three employees.  In 1993, Barbara received PRSA’s highest honor, The Gold Anvil, for individual lifetime achievement in PR.

3. Muriel Fox

Muriel Fox is a feminist activist as well as a publicist, standing up for women everywhere, especially in the PR field. She first applied for a job at Carl Byoir & Associates, which was then the world’s largest public relations agency, but was rejected by the Executive Vice President of the agency, who stated, "We don't hire women writers.” This sent Fox on a path of feminism, even proving the same company wrong later in life when she was hired as a publicist in their radio-TV department. From there, Fox went on to become the youngest VP of the agency—and a female one, at that! In the past, Fox also co-founded the National Organization for Women (NOW) with activist and author of The Feminine Mystique Betty Friedan. Fox served as head of PR for NOWm and eventually acted as the Vice President from 1967-1970, the chair of its board from 1971-1973, and served on its national advisory committee from 1973-1974.

4. Shelley Spector

Shelley Spector is one of the names you think of when you think of modern PR women. Spector was the President of Spector & Associates beginning in 1991. She founded The Museum of Public Relations in 1997, which is an awe-inspiring collection that anyone in Public Relations would fawn over. Part of this collection is currently on display at Baruch College here in Manhattan. Also at Baruch, Spector is an adjunct professor of Public Relations History in the M.A. Corporate Communications program, and was formerly an adjunct professor in the PR/CC M.S. program at NYU. Spector is also the proud winner of nearly 40 PR awards on behalf of Fortune 100 companies, such as AT&T, Bayer Corporation, and Philips Corporation. She has been named “Creative All Star” and “Most Innovative Agency” by the Holmes Report.

Take a moment out of your day to appreciate all of the hardworking women in your life, and definitely give some credit to those who deserve it. We have a lot to learn from these women, and this female positivity can only grow. Don’t forget: We can do it!

Three Years: JMGPR Celebrates

This month marks our official anniversary! It’s been three years since I first launched JMG Public Relations, and what an amazing journey it has been. I am often asked, “What is it like working for yourself?” Well, it’s stressful, like everyone else’s work life, but because I love what I do enough to make a company out of it, I look at my career as more of a lifestyle and not just a job. I work with some of the most highly motivated individuals and get to connect on a daily basis with creative thinkers and entrepreneurs who equally love what they do. They inspire me and make JMGPR exciting and fun to go to every day.

It’s amazing to look back at our journey and to think about what work life was like on day 1 and then today, on day 1,095. Of course, the quantity and type of work vary with each day, month, and year, but other than that, the same motivation and eagerness still persist. Everyone’s path to success is different, but no matter what journey you take, there are a few tips I can share: Never stop being motivated. Never become comfortable. Never stop questioning.

  JMGPR's first red carpet event with our first client, BELLA New York Magazine, at their annual White Party in 2015.

JMGPR's first red carpet event with our first client, BELLA New York Magazine, at their annual White Party in 2015.

As a female entrepreneur, I think it’s important to support other females in their quest to conquer the world.  I recently came across a few stats that show how far women have come in the workplace, and the distance we still have to go: more than 11.6 million firms are owned by women, employing nearly 9 million people, and generating $1.7 trillion in sales as of 2017. Women-owned firms (51% or more) account for 39% of all privately held firms and contribute 8% of employment and 4.2% of revenues.

Here are some of my tips for other femtrepreneurs:

  • Owning a business is a continuous learning process. Continue to read and take workshops to enhance your skills and to evolve as a professional.
  • Be a leader that is respected and not feared. Make the work environment one that you want to spend time in. A leader who is nothing short of mean won’t get very far.
  • Meet and network with like-minded individuals who share the same motivation and drive as you. Together you will inspire and lift each other.
  • Always look for feedback. Even perfectionists have to admit that no one is perfect and that mistakes will be made. Sometimes you need an outside perspective to see them.
  • Minimize the negativity in your life. As a business owner, your schedule is packed with meetings and events and you need to find time for yourself, so don’t waste the little downtime you have on something that doesn’t make you feel good.
  • And most importantly, be fearless. Own your role as an expert, as a business owner, as a female powerhouse breaking glass ceilings.
  The "Fearless Girl" statue which was located across from the old JMGPR offices during its initial unveiling on March 7, 2017.

The "Fearless Girl" statue which was located across from the old JMGPR offices during its initial unveiling on March 7, 2017.

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The last three years have been nothing short of incredible and I can’t wait for the next three years and beyond. I’d like to dedicate these past three years to my grandparents who we lost during that time, and who are a huge part of who we all are today. May my work reflect the honor and respect they so instilled in us.

 

Xo Jenna