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It’s that time for new intentions and resolutions. For me, my intention for 2021 is not to lose weight or to exercise more; it’s to be more “authentic” at work and home.

What does it mean to be your authentic self?

Authenticity, in the simplest of terms, is “the quality of being genuine or real.” And it has added benefits. According to an article in Scientific American, feelings of authenticity have “numerous psychological and social benefits, including higher self-esteem, greater well-being, better romantic relationships, and enhanced work performance.”

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I was recently asked to conduct a workshop for student writers on how to conduct a journalistic-type interview. Below is a list of tips I offered.

  1. Identify your story and goals for the interview. Decide on an angle and identify what you need to complete your story prior to setting up any interviews. Think through the keys to information gathering — the five Ws and one H (Who, What, When, Where, Why and How) — and what you need to get those questions answered.
  2. Know the platform you are writing for, its writing style, and what assets you need for your story. For a listicle, you will want to gather “snackable” content and quotes. For longer-form articles, you may need to include data points, a list…

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This time last year, I wrote a blog for The Startup that offered some key learnings from my transition as an in-house public relations professional to a communications consultant. As I begin the start of 2019, I thought it would be a good time to reflect again on what I’ve learned in the last 12 months, and share with you a few more of my observations from the past year as it relates to public relations and client service.

Credit: Paradise Retirees

It’s been one week since the Camp Fire ripped through the small mountain town of Paradise in Northern California.

If you are anything like me, you’ve become obsessed with the police #LipSyncChallenge videos over the last few weeks. Not only is it a boon for the image of a much maligned profession (as the New York Times points out), but the videos have been an absolute joy to watch! Here is a list of my top 5 must-watch videos from the challenge, including a few of honorable mentions.

5. Savannah (GA) Police Department: “Hold On,” Wilson Phillips

Courtesy: CBS News (YouTube)

I stumbled upon this one by accident, and it had me in stitches thanks to the ’90s girl anthem! They also enlisted the help of a local…

I’m not a baker. I loathe DIY projects. But I’ve discovered recently what an amazing resource Pinterest is for business.

For the past few months I’ve been “pinning” and filing away infographics on a number of topics, including public relations, blogging, social media, marketing and productivity. Here are four of my recent favorites, that offer advice on:

Media Relations

Source: Kantar Media

This infographic was created back in 2014, but the information is still very relevant. Media relations isn’t just about pitching stories and building relationships- this image reminds me how important it is to have a well thought out strategy and to measure your success.

Social Media

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When I switched to consulting almost a year ago, I made the decision to work mostly from home. The problem? My husband was already working remote, so our new arrangement required us to share an office (gasp!).

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We’ve all heard the story by now — two black men were arrested last week in a Philadelphia Starbucks while waiting for a friend. The manager called 911 for trespassing after they used the bathroom but hadn’t purchased anything (something I have done more times than I can count!). Like most of us, I believe the men were treated unfairly, but as a crisis counselor, I think Starbucks is handling the situation very well. Here’s a few of my observations:

1. The CEO immediately owned the issue and apologized personally.

Three days after the incident, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson sent a letter to his employees about what transpired, and a…

How Emergency Alerts Should Work

Photo by Madison Grooms on Unsplash

This article originally appeared on Inside Higher Ed’s Call to Action Blog:

The Media Mogul Had a Speaking Platform at Sunday’s Golden Globes and Smartly Took Advantage

Credit: NBC Universal.

The watercooler was bubbling today with talk of Oprah’s #MeToo speech at Sunday’s 75th annual Golden Globes Awards. If you haven’t had the opportunity to watch her full address you can do so above — it’s well worth the 9+ minutes of your time.

Elisa Smith

First shift: PR professional | Second shift: Wife and boy mom | Find me at:

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