Friday, December 31, 2010

62262 :: HNY from The President

Like millions of you, I just got my Happy New Year text from the President. And, earlier this week, I ordered my “snail mail” Happy New Year card from the first family; I even got a reminder email from Vice President Joe Biden.

The White House has the social media thing down; makes you at least feel like you’re a part of the system. Now, the trick is to really get involved and stay involved in our communities as we rev up for 2012.

Consider raising money for your favorite cause via --

2011: Set High Goals and Make Memories That Last

As we begin to enter a new year, I’m looking forward to the annual fresh start. It’s never too late to make making new memories and establish positive traditions. Take stock of your goals and aspirations and get started NOW—before the new year officially begins!

Allow me to take this opportunity to catch you up on what I’ve been doing for the past few months.

Blizzard Basics

Like many of you in the northeast, I’m still living through the aftermath of the self-proclaimed “delayed response” of Mayor Mike Bloomberg and team following the Blizzard of Dec. 2010, affectionately known as “Snowmaggedon.”

Over the past few days, I caught Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio on WNYC this morning, who presented many common sense solutions regarding how he plans to focus on adverting similar city snafus in the months ahead. And, we can always count on Mayor Marty Markowitz for a spirited recap of any issue affecting his beloved Brooklyn.

I’m thinking of attending the Jan. 10 City Council Public Hearings, which are sure to be a doosey! Brings back fond memories of covering government for the cities of Dunedin and Largo for the St. Petersburg Times in Pinellas County, Florida. While that was 30 years ago, one thing is constant. If you want to institute effective change, you’ve got to become part of the process. You’ve got to get involved.

While New Yorkers heard a lot of whining over the past few days, these are the same people that will forget to get involved in the process once the snow has melted. It doesn’t have to be involvement in city hall; do whatever works for you. Maybe the snow was a blessing in disguise. Thankfully, it fell when school was out. It forces us to take stock of our lives and most importantly, slow down and purposely plan for the new year.

Christmas Eve
The Lady in Line

Sometimes, people just make us smile. At one of my favorite neighborhood stores here in Bed-Stuy Brooklyn, a wonderful young woman burst through the store and gave the store owner a big hug exclaiming “Happy Holidays!”

It just put everyone in a good mood as we checked out during the hustle and bustle of Christmas Eve. Upon checkout, she shared how thankful she was to be moving into a new apartment with a backyard at the start of the New Year. With children ages 1 and 4, she was appreciative that her new landlord was allowing them to take a look at the place on Christmas Day; that was the family’s main gift – a wonderful new place to live!

Never forget the simple things. Gifts are nice, but the main things, like shelter, food, family and friends—count for much more. I thought about this woman and loved ones as I savored memories of days gone by and the new year ahead.

Make Each Day a Holiday

While year end is a hectic time for me, I’ve grown to appreciate the fact that it doesn’t matter when you reach out. To all in my circles, you’ll hear from me at some point in ’11 – it just may just take a little time. Over the past few years, I’ve managed NOT to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of it all. It’s much more restful and personally rewarding to recharge, renew and reset my psyche in order to rev up for the months ahead.

Ad/PR Workshop

Hats off to my Ad/PR Workshop teams for helping to spread the Healthy Monday message to City College students, faculty, staff, administration and the residents of upper Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, New Jersey and beyond. During the Fall 2010 semester, students worked in support of, a Harlem Health Promotion Center program. The goal was to encourage residents to take charge of their health at least one day a week in hopes those habits would evolve over time. Specifically, college students were encouraged to stop smoking and adopt a healthy diet as a way to ward off diabetes.

All student teams -– Health 4 U Communications, Green is Healthy and Nutritious and Triumph Innovation Consulting -- presented top-notch integrated marketing communications programs that included public service announcements on CCNY’s WHCR and unique awareness events Dec. 6 at the campus “hub,” otherwise known as the North Academic Center, or NAC building

The Media & Communication Arts’ Advertising/Public Relations Workshop aims to provide students with real-world experience as they hone skills in preparation for careers in a fast-changing industry. Many students use these extensive multi-media campaigns, digital portfolios and binders to set themselves from the pack as they interview for coveted positions in the nation’s number one media center – New York!

To date, Ad/PR students are spanning the globe, and hold positions throughout the US, as well as Hong Kong and France, to name a few.

Entrepreneurial Concept Competition

Earlier this month, I was honored to serve as a judge for The City College of New York’s Entrepreneurial Concept Competition, sponsored by the Black Male Initiative under the leadership of Dr. Claude Brathwaite and Troy Urquart. They were assisted by talented young professionals and CCNY alums Malita Esnard and Kristelle Grant, who coincidentally happen to be former Ad/PR from the Media & Communication Arts department.

While Genius Empire won the competition with a solar power lighting system for Kenya, the competition featured 22 brilliant teams from throughout the City University of New York’s system. Watch for outstanding results from these young minds.

Lessons in Learning: Saints Philip and James School

Pre-Thanksgiving, I experienced the “gift” of traveling to the Bronx to speak to young people at Saints Philip and James School in the Bronx during a festive career day. Attending at the kind invitation of Guidance Counselor Seth Nagel, the visit brought back fond memories of my son Clinton’s days at Bishop Loughlin High School here in Brooklyn.

The attentive Bronx middle school students were interested in a variety of careers that included veterinarian, teacher, writer, scientists and celebrity managers/agents and publicists.

If you have the time or inkling, do what you can to help out; often your presence is the only necessary ingredient which could result in a recipe for career success. In this case, I was referred by a long-time business associate and communications colleague, Peter Himler of Flatiron Communications. Among the best in the business, he took time out to speak to Ad/PR Students at CCNY. I was happy to somewhat return the favor.

Building Bridges Between CCNY Alumni, Recent Grads and Pre-Professionals

Thursday, Nov. 18 marked the 5th Annual “Building Bridges” networking event at Shepard Hall, co-sponsored by the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA).

It was wonderful to have alumni Adam Maldonado, Alex Suazo and others share success stories to aid college students who will soon follow in their footsteps, gaining entry level jobs in the communications field.

Stalwart CCNY Communications Alumni representatives Sam Gronner and Esther Tolkoff were on hand to lend advice and welcome newcomers into the organization.
Stay tuned for news about the annual communications alumni dinner at the National Arts Club.

Project Runway Features Life and Business Lessons

Hats off to 2010 CCNY alum Millana Snow (Williams), winner of this year’s Project Runway! Following are my responses to questions posed by Ad/PR student Courtney James, who wrote a story for campus media about Millana’s tremendous win.

1. How did you find out about Ms. Williams' accomplishment winning Project Runway?

I saw the finale and of course emailed her right away to offer congratulations! The following day, when I shared the great news during an Ad/PR faculty meeting, Prof. Lynn Appelbaum urged me to immediately email the CCNY communications office so the entire CCNY community could share in the wonderful excitement of Millana’s well-deserved win!

2. Have you ever seen Project Runway?

This summer, Millana shared the great news that she made it on the show; I watched every single episode in support and was elated (and relieved) when she survived another week. I must admit that I truly got into PR—while Mondo Guerra was my favorite, I do have to agree with judges Michael Kors (love his clothes) and Nina Garcia (Marie Claire magazine) that Gretchen Jones’ (winning designer) collection is on trend and more marketable for today’s young consumer. Andy South and Michael Costello made up the “final four” and also presented fashion-forward designs all season until they were devastated by host Heidi Klum’s terse, “I’m sorry, you’re out!”

In addition to being “must see” Thursday night reality TV, I found the show included a good mix of life lessons and leadership skills. Tim Gunn presented spot on mentoring and advice, encouraging designers to dig deep, edit thoughtfully (interesting to learn that yes, designers, like writers/content developers must edit and fine tune)—yet stay unique and true to their individual aesthetic. The critique phase was interesting because the judges were very direct and it forced participants to take a real look at themselves to determine how they could improve, not only their designs but in many cases their relationship skills.

While many designers and models often work in a vacuum, the show pointed out that in order to make it big in any industry, you have to master the fine art of teamwork. That’s what we try to encourage our Ad/PR students to do; to see the big picture, play to the strength of the team in order to ultimately eek out a win!

3. What are your thoughts on Project Runway as an opportunity to hopeful models and fashion designers?

It’s an excellent show! Many have gone on to have exciting careers in the world of fashion/beauty/entertainment and beyond, landing major merchandizing deals with major retailers and brands. From a media perspective, the publicity and awareness during and following the show are unparalleled. Millana now has the opportunity to be in the orbit of L’Oreal and other world-class brands and brand managers—people who can help catapult her talent to a whole new level.

Finalists had the opportunity to show at Fashion Week / Lincoln Center, which is the crème de la crème of the design world. Just to be among those chosen to appear on the show is quite a coup, and a tremendous boost to any participant’s resume. Any business, including the fashion business is about steps. Project Runway is a huge step forward for Millana. She’s taken those steps down the runway with grace, and now earned her rightful place in the fast lane!

4. Did you know Ms. Williams while she was a student at CCNY? If so, then what were your thoughts of her? Was she an avid learner? Good listener? Determined?

I’ve known Millana since her first semester at CCNY; she joined the Media & Communication Arts department about three years ago as an Ad/PR major.

I vividly recall one of the first classes in Intro to Public Relations, whereby she called me aside after class. During our hallway conversation, she asked for tips and advice in the area of career development. I gave her a “mini” assignment, whereby she had to outline her goals and aspirations, plus set goals for the years ahead. She gave a class presentation on what she hoped to achieve, which inspired others to dig deep and think about their dreams. Following her example, many classmates took on this personal development challenge and began to charge of their personal brands.

Soon after, she had the opportunity to meet senior executives at Uptown Magazine, whereby she landed an internship. That later evolved into an extended position/part-time employment. I had the pleasure of seeing Millana and her colleagues in that class blossom from students to pre-professionals to those who now hold coveted entry level positions in New York and beyond. Some in her cohort have gone on to land international positions in France, Hong Kong and beyond.

5. Do you believe Ms. Williams will take her major in Ad/PR with her as a new and upcoming model?

Definitely! We’ve already discussed how she literally has a leg up on many others in the profession. Why? Not only is she a stunning and poised young lady, but she understands the business side of the fashion/modeling business. This allows her to be extremely versatile as she takes each step on her spectacular career runway. Winning “Project Runway” coupled with her newly minted Media & Communications Arts degree will allow her to literally take off and soar in many directions. Her itinerary is in no way limited to the modeling world, but can now include business/talent management, editorial/channel development and many other exciting media and interactive options. Mark my words, she’s the next Heidi Klum and Tyra Banks all rolled into one!

6. Where do you see Ms. Williams heading in the future?

Ultimately, I see Millana as a multi-faceted mogul, running an expansive, multi-media business empire with product lines that include modeling, clothing, fragrances and all the finer things in life. She also has a tremendous capacity to share and give back; I certainly envision her mentoring others who would like to follow in her footsteps.

As I tell all of my students, “Don’t forget CCNY when you’re rich and famous.” I always tell them that if I see their limo on 42nd Street and I give them a shout out, they’d better wave back. If not, they know I’ll definitely chase them down the street and then blog about the experience.

The entire Ad/PR family is tremendously proud to be part of Millana’s fast-growing entourage! Indeed, we all stand on the shoulders of others; Millana gives past and current CCNY students yet another reason to proudly strut their stuff as they take flight on their own runways of success.

7. Additional Thoughts

I’ll never forget how humbled Millana was when she was a guest speaker at Syracuse University last spring; she spoke to students interested in media careers. When she revealed her numerous modeling/editorial positions and internships, students were amazed to learn she was only in her early 20s. She said one young woman was teary eyed, because she realized how stiff the competition would be, particularly since she had limited internship experience.

Upon her return to New York, Millana said, “We’re so lucky to be CCNY students, we’re in the heart of New York City and have so many options; other students aren’t as fortunate.”

Millana has shown the seeds of success are right here at CCNY. You just have to be committed to keep your mind focused in a positive direction; take thoughtful steps—
and remember, don’t trip (life and runways include uneven patches and bumps). Each student has the capacity to make it down the runway and earn a thundering round of applause as they bask in their own bright light!

WOW! Fashion Week Moves to Lincoln Center and Inaugurates New Trends

Special thanks to Sabrina Hartel of Jonathan Marsden Public Relations for my invitation to, The Women on the Web Breakfast on Thursday Sept. 16, featuring “Miss Manners” Judith Martin, supermodel Paulina Porizkova (who still looks fabulous) and Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes fame.

Sponsored by Estee Lauder, the event was an excellent way to start off a crisp late summer day, and experience the final days of New York’s Fashion Week! Not only was the breakfast a celebration of the fashion industry, but it was a powerful gathering of New York women who continue to make their mark on the business of fashion and it’s supporting industries.

Lessons from Breakfast Mates

Always take stock of each and every personal exchange. You gain insight to the next steps your life will (or should) take as you grow, evolve and contribute.

On my left, one woman casually mentioned she had teenagers, with one recently returning from a study abroad trip to Africa. Her daughter was excited to learn other cultures don’t hold the traditional “rail thin” imagery of Western models/women in such high esteem. It allowed her to take pride in her normal (not rail thin) physique.
An important lesson to learn as a girl wrestles with how best to embrace womanhood.

I had the honor of being seated next to the infamous Gael Greene. In addition to writing the Insatiable Critic restaurant column for Crain’s New York Business, she Co-Founded Citymeals-on-Wheels with the (late) chef James Beard. Since 1981, Gael and associates have brought smiles and warm meals to seniors on weekends and during the holiday season.

Gael is an icon and I’m honored to have met her in person. She encourages me to consider what is my unique mission? What legacy will I leave for New York and beyond? During the holidays, she was featured on a TV segment and it promoted me to do a little research on the organization she started. It also encouraged me to write a few checks to organizations that had long been in my pile of things to do.

And, it got me thinking about the fact that next year I will have been out of college for 30 years. In celebration of that anniversary, I need to get one of my many philanthropic efforts off the ground, because there are a lot of people in need.
Like I said, “chance” meetings can reap untold rewards. Thanks, Gael!

Take a chance and change a corner of your world. You never know where it may lead!

Staying Curious

While in the powder room of the Four Seasons, a few attendees asked if I was a writer, because I was taking copious notes -- which I always do. Thus, I was of course inspired to craft this blog post. That inspired a round of small talk and chatter, along with a few of us who did our “quick change” from fashionable heels to comfortable sneakers and flats in order to enjoy our walk through the city.

Remember to stay curious and write things down. You never know when you may need to retrieve a nugget of info. While it may seem impossible, what you personally experience may be lost for all time if you (yes you, not others) don’t take the time to take note and capture what’s being said.

Lesson: Information is everywhere, but if you become known as the “go to” individual, the one who can be counted on to retrieve what’s needed, you’re already proving yourself to be indispensable in the digital age. Think of yourself as being a thought leader, someone who tinkers and contributes to the world of ideas.

The next step of course is to chronicle and organize the data in some sort of usable form – which is much easier said than done.

Entourage: Ari & Dana
Fine M/F Inter Gender Business Performances

As a good American, I support TV, just like the humorist / attorney Ben Stein. As HBO fans know, we’re nearing the end of the 7th Season of Entourage. The series will end Summer 2011 with six episodes, followed by a feature film! I love the show because it deftly handles pop cultures and situations that often come up in talent/management agencies.

Entourage explores the subject of male friendship and bonding from a New York perspective. And, serves as a great resource for my communications courses.

However, last week’s episode included an explosive exchange (read: curse out) between talent agents and arch enemies Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven) & Amanda Daniels (Carla Gugino). Set in one of LA’s finest restaurants, the scene stole the show!

As you probably know, Ari’s character is reportedly loosely based on real-life experiences of Executive Producer Mark Wahlberg and his agent Ari Emanuel, brother of the President’s former Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel (now running for Mayor of Chicago), among others.

What it spoke to was the following:

> Excellent writing: Entourage has among the best writing team on TV. I would have loved to have been in the writer’s room when that scene was developed.

> Actors command a powerful presence. Jeremy and Carla deserve Emmy’s for their performances. The scene was all of two minutes, but I’ve seen it five times and it gets better and better.

> Workplace issues --

1) The often domineering and volatile male/female relationships model, spiked with raunchy language showing a woman who can hold her own.

2) Females come out ahead when they keep their cool. No yelling, just the facts.

3) Things aren’t always as they seem. While Ari thought he had the upper hand, his arch enemy was actually a better player at the game of business and was focusing on the money, the check as I like to say. In this case, how, despite their differences, could they partner and win a coveted new NFL team for the City of Angels.

4) You never know who is in the room. You never know who’s watching. That’s why you always have to keep your cool and never let them see you sweat. Never let emotions get the best of you. Ari revealed his had and volatile temper in full view of NFL execs. No one wants to work with a loser. Star players are always polished and professional—even if they’re pissed off.

5) Uncontrolled testosterone – while Ari’s wife tries to pull his coat and sit him down, he refuses to. Ah, man does not always know best. Let’s keep in mind the trophy wife funds the business (she’s a smart woman and probably has a pre-nup).

6) Embarrassed but unswayed – the wife refuses to leave the restaurant with Ari, embarrassed and humiliated. Alas, she composes herself and probably gets some sympathy from the power people of LA who are gathered in the room. Remember, keep your cool and never let them see you sweat.

Without stealing the scene, check out the episode that originally aired Sept. 4. The reason I like the show is the fine writing, cameo appearances, fast pace and how they manage to stay somewhat topical and capture dominant Hollywood stereotypes all in a 30 minute format.

Can’t wait to see what next week’s season finale Sept. 12 has to offer.

The Power of Biographies

I’m a pure sucker for CNBC biographies. Last evening, learned about the Harley-Davidson families; Wednesday night I got my fix of McDonalds’ Ray Kroc. Sam Walton, Frank Purdue and Henry Ford are other favorites recently viewed. You can always learn from those who have mastered their crafts, fast-forwarding your dreams and allowing you to benefit from their mistakes.

News flash! These revealing bios have encouraged me to have students delve more into this arena. While I always have my young entrepreneurial students delve into business icons, I’ve just made note to have my Spring ’11 classes explore it as well.

Favorite Quote

Do what you do best and link to the rest!

Can’t remember where I read this over the past few months, but it’s a mouthful. In this age of social networking, use the power of your own mind to share thoughtfully share resources with others.

Not junk, but valuable nuggets they can use. Hmm … that’s what Oprah is doing with the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), slated to launch January 1, 2011.

Curate and aggregate info via your channels, be they word of mouth, notes, emails, Facebook or Twitter.

Victoria Rowell’s Inspirational Message of Empowerment and Hope

This summer, I had the great pleasure of meeting Actor/Philanthropist Victoria Rowell, a preeminent foster care advocate and humanitarian. She provided an inspirational message to leaders at the National Dental Association (NDA) Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii, sponsored by Colgate-Palmolive Company.

A foster child, Victoria poignantly told of the difference dentists and health care advocates had made in the lives of her family while growing up in Maine. She inspired leaders of NDA constituent chapters to continue their hard work and applauded the tireless efforts of Dr. Marsha Butler and colleagues who created the company’s Bright Smiles, Bright Futures program which serves children throughout the globe.

For those who remember Victoria’s work on The Young and the Restless, below is an
online petition to bring her back to the role she made famous. It’s an example of how one woman can take her life experience and turn it into positive change that can affect the lives of others.

Here’s my comment:

Victoria Rowell is an outstanding talent, role model and humanitarian. Her contributions to the show and valuable storylines are sorely missed; it's time for her passion and energy to return to the screen! Not only does the viewing public miss her, but CBS has a tremendous opportunity to expand its fan base. Victoria’s return, coupled with the explosion of digital integrated branding and promotions could easily be tied to special market appearances and community service tie-ins (with) foster care organizations and underserved audiences. Local affiliates would undoubtedly join in this corporate social responsibility effort. As a loyal Y&R fan and marketing communications veteran, I urge corporate America / mainstream media to accept the challenge to reflect changes in consumer attitudes and US demographic shifts). Victoria's return to Y&R would provide irrefutable evidence that CBS/Y&R listens to their audience and responds in kind.

What’s on my Mind

Recent statistics about the high school graduation rate of young African-American males are appalling. Recent findings from the Schott Foundation provide a grim glimpse into a dire national scene --

Google this issue to obtain the startling statistics. Better yet, think about what you can do to rectify the issue via your community organization, civic/faith-based group, sorority or fraternity.

The “80/20” Rule

Tyler Perry says there’s an 80/20 rule to relationships and life. Strive for 100+ percent in all that you do; be pleasantly surprised when you’re over the 80 percentile ranking in all aspects of your life!

The Marine Corps has what's called the "70/30" rule. As I recall, if you have 70 percent info to make a wise decision, then their motto is to forge ahead.

I guess the main thing is to do your homework, have enough insight and info to make wise choices and then, usually the most important step -- follow through!

Social vs. Selective

Yes, social media is all the rave. But consider, do you have to be a part of every single network out there? It’s all about managing relationships and information so it makes the most sense to others.

Niche management (formerly known as list or data management)

Remember, you can’t be all things to all people. Coordinate your top 5-10 areas of expertise so you can stand out in those areas. It’s cool to be a generalist, but today’s world is very specialized. Fine-tune your Facebook and Twitter connections to those areas and you’ll have a better chance of standing out from the pack.

So, do what you do best, and link to the rest! People appreciate that you don’t know it all, but can tip them off to those with the real goods, advice and services.

Woes vs. Work Ethic

If you’re fortunate enough to have a job, don’t complain. Think about how you can contribute more to your organization, business or entrepreneurial venture. If you have extra time and a little seed money (read: a few hundred bucks), then plan ahead and think about a business you can start.

Write a blog. Spend a few days in your local library. Volunteer. Surf the web regarding classes you can take in the Spring or take advantage of FREE courses and self-improvement ebooks from the library.

There’s always work to do -- even if it’s “work on self.”

And, for those who are fortunate to have enough, part with some of your good fortune and share with those in need.

I was struck by a recent CNN story whereby a Las Vegas couple who moved to the West to strike it rich, only to be pummeled by the recession. Formerly comfortably middle class, they’re now living out of a trailer the size of a bedroom. Meals often consist of groceries from food pantries. They’re happy to take any work that comes their way.

What stuck with me was the husband’s comment: “When I was doing better, I didn’t give enough thought to those who had less. Now, those people are me. I wish I would have given them more thought.”

Give other folks pain a little thought. If you’re able to pay your bills, then stretch and send a few dollars to your favorite charity. It doesn’t have to be a lot; every little bit helps and people are in need, from the cities to the heartland.

Everyone is walking such a tightrope these days. Help out where and if you can.

LSJ’s Book List

Enhance your professional development with a good book or two. Truth be told, I’m usually reading about five books at a time. Whether you prefer the kind you actually turn the pages or the kind you read on your Kindle or iPad, it doesn’t matter—just read! Diverse ideas expand your worldview and leads to new ways of thinking.

Here’s what I’m currently reading --

> What Would Google Do?
> Facebook Marketing in 24 Hours
> Columns from Margaret Mitchell (author of Gone With the Wind)
> The Lost Soul of Higher Education
> The Global Brand

Exciting Times

August is an exciting time to conduct major research for a variety of accounts and Fall academic assignments. Email is quiet and creativity is high, just like it is at the end of the year. Up since 4:30 am, I’ve put in a full days work by mid-day, allowing me to get even more done. Plus, I have time to watch Mad Men and Entourage tonight!

As many of you know, I’m addicted to my work—because I love it! Today’s progress included --

> Snagged a few new domains on
> Researching social media, began to read my new Facebook marketing book

Hawaii Recap

It was wonderful to experience the “Aloha Spirit” of Hawaii, birthplace of Obama.
Whenever I visit a city, it’s nice to see how the real people live. In this case, it was fun to experience “paradise in the ‘hood.”

Simple bungalows. Zippy’s is the local chain eatery; a mix of a Manhattan deli with a super-sized menu along with friendly service.

Museums & Me: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Caught the Picasso exhibition at the end of the summer; priceless experience. Renewed annual Met membership; made pact to visit at least once a quarter to expand the mind. Fond memories of the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibition a few years ago.

Take time out to explore what your city has to offer. And, if you have the opportunity to visit a new locale – meet, greet and explore the streets! This makes me take stock of the fact that I simply MUST get back into my walking regimen, which always kept my mind and eyes open to unique city experiences.

Here in Brooklyn, we have the Brooklyn Museum of Art. While many arts venues are hurting throughout the US and globally for that matter, others have found ways to blossom and pay tribute to their neighborhoods and residents while introducing new audiences to the power of new art forms, which often utilize technology.

Labor Day Interview Tips

If you’re like me, I’m always working. Luckily, it’s not work, because I love what I do. My day job as a college professor allows me to combine my research, writing, communication, consulting and mentoring skills for the benefit of a wider audience – the next generation of communications professionals.

This afternoon, I happened to pick up a few excellent tips from Ellen Gordon Reeves, featured on CNN’s “Your $$$” with Ali Velshi. Ellen wrote Can I Wear My Nose Ring to the Interview? and encourages professionals of all ages to be aware of three types of interviews:

> Exploratory

Just like the word says, Ellen says these type of interviews allow you to talk with friends, family members and business associates about specific skills or background that might be needed for certain positions. This type of interview is perfect for career changers and has a broad approach. Following this type of conversation, you should think about the advice a person revealed; it’s a wonderful all-around networking opportunity whereby you can let the person know about a wide range of skills you might bring to the table.

> Informational

These type of interviews are more specific and allow you to learn about various companies. You should learn about specific openings and the skill sets that are required. Of course, you will have done your homework. Ideally, you will be well versed in the industry. At this point, you’re trying to find out about specific job opportunities and how that person might be able to assist you. Linked In and other social networks may be able to introduce you to resources who can offer insight about particular companies.

Always make the exchange a two-way transaction; the more you give, the more you get. Think about how you might be able to reciprocate (at some point in the future) offering info or insight to other colleagues. This can include articles of interest, responses to blog posts or invitations to events/venues. Example: you learned they like jazz and happen have a freelance social networking assignment for a musician appearing at the Blue Note in the Village who offered comp tickets for a November event. Voila – you may want to pass along those coveted tickets to the person who provided you with complimentary advice to help you rise in the industry.

> Concrete

Job interviews for specific employment opportunities. The goal is to convince the potential employer that you’re right for the job. Your resume and cover letter should be specifically tailored to the position and there should be no room for doubt.
Whether you’re looking for employment, in transition or seeking an internship, always work to make important connections that can propel you to the next level.

LSJ’s Favorite Websites

Helps businesses capture, display, share and analyze online customer conversations.

Publishing what the world wants to know and share; opportunity for freelancers to reach millions of consumers. Think of this as the new publishing platform and the future of journalism.