Live to Work or Work to live?

By Danny Cavanaugh

I don’t think anyone expects to be a workaholic when they first start off in their respective career. However, I’ve seen coworkers and friends become attached to their work, so much that their health deteriorates and their personality changes.

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So, what is the proper work/life balance?

That is the question of the day isn’t it? You see, I think it depends on your values and beliefs. Just because someone is “married” to their work doesn’t mean they are a bad person and just because someone lives for their family more than work, doesn’t mean they are lazy.

Well, what’s the answer then?

The answer is up to you! Personally I’m a hard working, motivated individual who aspires to be a successful professional, however my family values and my belief in God is what I live for. That doesn’t mean I’m lazy, it means I know what I’m working for.

So, what’s the most important thing with your work and home life balance? Understand what you’re working for!

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If a company doesn’t understand your need for family time, find somewhere else to work. Understand how valuable you are to your work and your family! The biggest mistake we can make is not balancing both aspects of our lives and feeling regret later on in life.

Now, I’m just a graduating college kid who doesn’t have as much experience in life yet, but take it with a grain of salt. Everything we do in life is for a purpose.

With that said, when I’m asked in interviews.. what motivates me? How bland of a question is that! Are you talking about in my family life? Professional sector? Physical health? What motivates me is my family, God, drive for success, perseverance and dedication to every aspect of my life.

Remember, don’t work your life away because at the end of the day money is just a materialistic thing. Understand what’s really important in your life and work for that importance.. after all, our time here on earth is short lived… do you live to work or do you work to live?

Public Relations with an Investor Relations Twist

By Danny Cavanaugh

I’ve always considered myself to be an adequate writer, however I knew I never wanted to be a journalist. I have all the respect in the world for journalists, but I always told my parents at a young age that I was going to be a business man.

So, how could I get involved in the world of business with a PR major? The answer is Investor Relations.

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Now you may be wondering, Investor Relations? What the hell is that?

IR is simply the ability to take a company’s financials and then tell the story of the company through those financials. In other words, tell employees, customers, shareholders and investors how the company is doing in order for them to invest in the company.

Although it may be a difficult path to get into IR, this is my ultimate career goal. Sure, I’m not an accounting major or a financial analyst, however I believe I can achieve an abundance of success through my PR background, along with the business minor I’ve obtained at CWU.

Besides, I’ve always been good with talking to people and I have common sense.. for the most part. So, why not set the bar high right?

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With that said, IR professionals have a wide range of duties including: releasing earnings reports to the public and SEC, leading financial analyst briefings and handling the PR side of a financial crisis.

Now, I may have only taken a couple accounting classes, but I know I have the potential and the skills to succeed within this type of career. Overall, there are many career paths you can take with a Public Relations degree.

But you see, my goal is to work on the business side of PR.. Investor Relations.

How to get your pitch recognized

By Danny Cavanaugh

Pitching newsworthy stories to the media is essential for any PR pro. Whether you’re trying to give your organization an edge by winning over a journalist for the story you want, or you’re trying to promote your client within the local news, pitches are key in the daily life of a PR pro.

With that said, how many pitches do journalists receive every day? According to Nicole Fallon Taylor, she received “an average of 23 per workday,” prdaily.com. This is unfortunate because of how saturated journalist’s emails are becoming.

So, the big question is how can we get our pitch recognized, and not just thrown out?

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First of all,  make sure what you are pitching is newsworthy. In other words, is the audience going to be interested in your particular story? If your story isn’t newsworthy, the journalist won’t waste their time with you again.

Secondly, make the pitch personalized. Often times when you try to build a relationship with journalists and mention their name in the pitch, you will have a better chance of getting your pitch recognized. There’s nothing worse than saying “to whom it may concern.” That’s bad PR.

Lastly, be creative! According to Taylor, the pitches she accepted didn’t say the same old thing as everyone else. The pitches she accepted had a different outlook on a story, or a whole new perspective that was interesting.

Just remember, as a PR pro you will write pitches in your career. Have fun with them, make them personalized, newsworthy, and be creative in your pitch. There’s nothing worse than a bland, non-relevant pitch!

 

 

What Stresses You Out?

By Danny Cavanaugh

It’s a Friday night and you just got home from work or school. You’ve worked hard all week and you look forward to the weekend ahead. However, stress in our lives can prevent happiness and relaxation during the weekend.

On February 28, 2017 I visited a booth put on by the PR debate team at Central Washington University. Their goal was to create awareness for stress that people face on a day-to-day basis.

I found this to be a particularly interesting subject because everyone faces stress at some point in their life.

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I don’t think people take stress as seriously as they should. I know that I will hide my stress and bottle everything up inside. However is that healthy? Most likely not.

It’s important to recognize your stress and figure out the cause of that stress. Maybe you’re stressed over a deadline at work? I know for myself I’m often stressed over deadlines because I procrastinate. Therefore, one way to solve that problem and relieve stress is to start projects earlier and have a plan of action in case something goes wrong.

What else relieves stress? Go to the gym! Do you ever feel more energized or happier after the gym? If so, it’s because when you workout, your body releases endorphin’s, which are “feel good” chemicals in our body.

As a result, it’s important to recognize your stress and what causes it. Also, it’s important to understand what can relieve your stress. Whether it’s better planning at work and school, or exercising during the week. These are all important steps to reduce stress in our daily lives. However, according to the debate team their are five signs stress is taking over your life. stick it to mental health

If at any point you experience one or all of these five signs, don’t be afraid to speak up about it. After all, this PRSSA debate team did an excellent job bringing stress and the awareness of stress to a greater light.

Don’t let stress damage your life!

Jared’s strategic Iron Horse

By Danny Cavanaugh

Don’t ever skip out on a public figure coming to your organization to present information or give a speech on their expertise. It is important to pick their brain and gain knowledge for you own benefit. One of the best ways we can learn is through other experiences people have created.

Jared Vallejo from Iron Horse Brewery came into one of my classes at Central Washington University to give a speech on the brewery and the experiences he has had there. He talked about marketing strategies, the culture of the brewery, and some of the challenges they face on a day-to-day basis.

However, what really stuck with me? What was the one thing that I related to and appreciated the most?

Don’t be afraid to fail! It sounds simple right? However, from my experiences inside and outside of school, successful people have always been bold, and they haven’t been afraid.

The best advice he gave us was to fail, fail some more and fail again. Why? It means you are trying! The worst thing you can do (from a business standpoint) is to become stagnant and boring. What I like about Jared and the IHB is their ability to adapt and create new marketing techniques to entice consumers into buying their products.

As a consumer, I’m always looking for something that interests me, excites me, and ultimately connects me to that product. What Jared and the rest of the brewery staff have accomplished is a culture that relates to their customers and the products they produce.beer-bottle

With that said, I work for a small business that is continuously trying to grow and expand. The words that Jared said to us will always stick with me, and entice me to adapt, create, and take chances on marketing campaigns throughout my own experiences.

Overall, failure is important, whether it’s in a business setting, or other aspects of our lives. Without failure, we won’t have success. After all, success develops through our experiences and chances we take in life.

They Won Fair and Square

By Danny Cavanaugh

Since the Patriots are yet again in the super bowl, why not bring up a sore subject for many New England fans… deflategate!

That’s right, I said it. The controversial deflating of footballs during the AFC championship between the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts in 2015.

Talk about a PR nightmare! Hours upon hours of court proceedings, with one side winning, then the other side appealing. If I was a part of the PR staff for the patriots, or the NFL I would lose all of my hair.

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Talk about crisis PR in a nutshell. With the NFL (among others) investigating your franchise, as a PR professional you have to find a way to bring light to the situation and deflect the negativity away from your organization.

Easier said than done? I think so.

It’s easy for people in this situation to call the patriots “cheaters” because of their track record. If this was the patriots first trip to the super bowl, would people have blown this way out of proportion? That’s the million dollar question.

We all know that when you win, over and over again, people either love you or they hate you. Just look at the New York Yankees, you hardly ever hear “eh they’re alright, I don’t mind them.”

Thus, this is a great example of crisis PR. So, what would you do?

I would find out the truth behind the situation. I would research if the weather played in any part of decreasing the psi within the footballs. Also, you must protect your brand the best you can.

We would have to tell the truth, tell it all, tell it fast, and move on. After all, who wants to be in court two seasons later for something they thought was past them.

This just goes to show how important PR really is. It’s important to keep the integrity of your organization, as well as explain to the public was is going on behind closed doors.

Inauguration Day Drama

By Danny Cavanaugh

It’s no secret that President Trump isn’t the most popular president of all time. But, is it just me or does it seem like the presidency has been based on a popularity contest, rather than on policies to improve America?

On Inauguration Day, (Jan. 20,2017) it was reported that a smaller crowd (in comparison to former President, Barack Obama’s turnout) had come to support the new president. Press Secretary Sean Spicer shortly thereafter was accused of spinning the truth about the actual turnout.

Of course this was a mistake by Spicer, but I don’t think he was knowingly trying to “spin” the truth. I agree with Beki Winchel when she states, “PR pros should think twice about how they present details of a recent event or an executive’s move that has elicited backlash,” prdaily.com.

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It’s interesting to me how a man’s failure to elaborate and tell the whole story can have such backlash. Now, rather than focusing on President Trump’s first actions as president, we see the media talking about that “popularity contest” with the turnout for Mr. Trump’s inauguration.

With that said, PR pros can learn a lot from this situation. The availability and access to information via social media can cause a crisis in a matter of seconds.

So, how do we avoid these crises?

Answer: tell the truth, tell it all, tell it fast, and move on.

This leads back to my initial point, give Spicer a break! The man is human and he simply forgot to elaborate on what the turnout was.

At least Spicer was able to see the mistake he made, and create a statement about his lack of communication and specification on the matter.

As a society we need to stop nit picking every little thing somebody says, it isn’t healthy. As we have seen, Spicer meant that the turnout was the largest in years with people tuning in via web, television, and social media (along with in person).

PR pros should be warned from this. Somebody is always looking to fact check what you are saying. Be careful, and remember to tell the truth, tell it all, tell it fast, move on, and don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know.”