Do You Have What It Takes To Be a Public Relations Professional?

[To comment:]
A couple of years back, one of my Wilmington University students interviewed me for her Mass Communication course. Krista Fowler has launched her personal website to showcase her portfolio as she perpares to enter the “real world.” Here is the link to her inaugural blog: or: (you may have to copy and paste this)
and here is the link to her website (good going Krista — I am proud of you. You have a bright future):
Social media has taken the world by storm, and the need for companies to maintain their public image in today’s internet era assures growth in the public relations field. Larry Litwin, APR, Fellow PRSA, a professor at Wilmington University with 45 years of experience in public relations, provided insight for writers interested in the profession.

Litwin, author of The Public Relations Practitioner’s Playbook and The ABCs of Strategic Communication, explained that PR professionals must always be on their toes. “You can have a plan for the day, but in any instant, it could change,” Litwin commented while recalling times when he began his day focusing on media relations, but after unexpected events, quickly switched to crisis communication.

You can have a plan for the day, but in any instant, it could change.
To stay current in the PR industry, Litwin recommended continuing education. As a member of the National School Public Relations Association, he mentioned that he attends seminars to share ideas and learn about the latest industry trends.

Litwin revealed factors of public relations which caught him by surprise, and said, “I had no idea how many hours I would put in. Sometimes I work at least 10 hour days and weekends, but I still love it!”

If you embrace the profession, it will embrace you back.
The must-have skills that PR professionals need, according to Litwin, are excellent writing skills, and the ability to build relationships and orally communicate with people. For anyone entering public relations, he said, “If you do your job properly, you will gain a great deal of satisfaction. If you embrace the profession, it will embrace you back.”
[To comment:]

From a frustrated (former) broadcast journalist

[To comment:]

A guide to weird words your teen uses

[To comment:]

This from USA Today. Well worth a read. “The times they are a changin” and society had better catch up — at least those of us who teach teens and millennials.

[To comment:]



Emergencies happen — here’s how to be prepared

[To comment:]

As warmer weather approaches, more travelers will be hitting the road, rails and airways. Not long ago, The Philadelphia Inquirer carried some hints from Shary Nassimi, creator of the UrgentCall emergency service mobile app. She offers Seven Ways to Be Prepared for a Travel Emergency:

  • Give your loved ones your emergency contact information.
  • Carry your health insurance card.
  • Set up and have medevac insurance so you can get airlifted to a medical center that can provide proper medical care.
  • Leave copies of your plans with someone at ho,e and tell someone where the copies are.
  • Carry money wisely and in multiple form. Do not just carry it all in your wallet or only as a card or cash. Mix it up. Put some money in your suitcase. Don’t just keep it on your person. Have a credit card on hand for emergencies.
  • Know the lingo. Be able to say I need help, and Please call police in the local language (or carry a card with the words in local script.)
  • Know yourself, know your locale. If you are traveling abroad, know where your embassy is and how to get there. Know where the nearest hospital and police station are.

[To comment:]

Cover Letters — are they less important?

[To comment:]

According to USA Today, only 26 percent of recruiters consider cover letters important. I respectfully disagree. Continue using pithy and effectivecover letters or cover emails. To help you please visit my website under Student Resources… (copy and paste)

[To comment:]


3 tricks for improving your body language in the office

[To comment:]

Your mother was right: Slouching makes you look bad.

By Vanessa Van Edwards, Monster contributor (The Philadelphia Inquirer — Feb. 12, 2017)

Up to 93% of our communication is nonverbal. This means that our body language, facial expressions and other nonverbal behavior is even more important than our verbal content. Yet most people don’t even think about what their body language is saying to others. As a result, many business people don’t ever realize how much their body language is holding them back at work.

I did body language coaching with a woman who was having a lot of trouble advancing in her career. She had all the right things going for her—great education, awesome performance reviews, successful sales, you name it—but still was not getting the promotions and upward mobility opportunities she deserved. Within the first five seconds of meeting her, I knew what was holding her back: her body language.

Her nonverbal behavior was timid, weak and disorganized, which was completely opposite of her quiet confidence and intelligence. I taught her a few of the tips below and as she adapted them, she started to get invited to sit in more high-level meetings. Then she got to represent her company at a big conference. Finally, she got an offer to head up a department in their new offices—a major promotion.

Here are a few tips you can use right now to start to improve your body language in the workplace.

Assertive body language 

Sometimes people need to show confidence and assertiveness in their opinions and points. There are a few body language techniques that are universal signs of strength.

  • Take up more space: Those who are timid tend to keep their arms close by their side and tuck their feet under their chair, taking up as little space as possible. If you want to show confidence, you have to claim space by firmly planting your feet shoulder width apart, or if you are sitting, leaning back in your chair and using the armrests during meetings.
  • Steepling: Steepling is when you press the tips of your fingers together with palms facing each other in front of your torso. This move (which looks like a steeple) is the universal sign of confidence. You can do this at a business meeting on the table or even when speaking and trying to emphasize a point.

Rapport-building body language

Building rapport is important for both men and women. It’s great for interviewing, networking and getting along with office colleagues. There are a few specific things you can do with your body language to help make connections.

  • Point your feet: Our brains actually subconsciously pay attention to a person’s feet. You will notice our feet tend to point in the direction we want to go. For example, at a networking event, someone who is itching to leave might be talking to someone but have their feet pointed towards the door. So, if you want to show you are actively engaged, point your feet and angle your body towards the person you are speaking with.
  • Mirroring: When we really get along with someone, we subtly mirror their body posture and movements. You can use this to your advantage when trying to bond with someone. Subtly (very subtly), mimic their body posture or try to speak at the same voice cadence as they do. Our brains register this as “friend,” not “foe.” 

Calming body language 

Negotiating, interviewing and tense situations in business are never easy. People need nonverbal ways to calm themselves down if they are nervous. They also need to make sure they’re nonthreatening to others who might be nervous in their presence. If you are a manager or leader in your organization, these tips are great for calming a hostile employee:

  • Uncrossed arms: When we cross our arms, we are protecting our vital organs. This is a naturally defensive position. If you want to stay calm and open-minded, be sure to leave your arms loose at your side. If someone else is crossing their arms, give them papers, coffee or even a pencil to hold. As soon as they get out of that position they will feel less close-minded.
  • Suprasternal notch: The suprasternal notch, the space in between your collar bones, is actually touched when people are nervous as a way of self-soothing. Lightly massaging this area or the back of your neck can help lower your heart rate and make you feel more calm.

Body language is a fascinating science that can only be applied artfully. The best tip I can give is to be genuine. People do pick up on inauthenticity.

Vanessa Van Edwards specializes in social and emotional intelligence research and development. The focus of her company is to combine human behavior research and tech trends. 

[To comment:]

CHECKLIST: Improve you credit score

[To comment:]

Consumer Reports suggests the following to improve credit scores in the long run.

  • Sign up for automatic bill payment. A late bill can make your credit score drop by as much as 100 points.
  • Watch the timing of your spending, especially if you plan to apply for a loan. The lower the balance, the better the credit rating.
  • Limit credit-card applications. Each time a lender inquires to view a credit report, it gets noted and can reduce the score.
  • Think twice before canceling cards. Consumers gain points if they are tapping only a small percentage of the total credit available to them.
  • Make sure credit limits are posted


[To comment:]

13 habits of stressed-out people

[To comment:]


Dale Carnegie Training Newsletter

By Anita Zinsmeister, President
Dale Carnegie® Training of Central & Southern New Jersey 

We’ve all been there: hearts racing, palms sweating, and panic rising when we realize that there is too much to do and just not enough time.

Stress can be immobilizing, and it can negatively affect many aspects of our lives.

Sometimes we just need to step back, take a mental health day, and seek ways to de-stress.

If you constantly feel like pulling your hair out, you may have some habits causing stress that need to be changed, and there’s no better time than now!

Here are some things that stressed-out people tend to do and tips to break the habits.

1. Drink too much caffeine  

We aren’t going to tell you to stop drinking caffeine altogether — we wouldn’t do that to you!

But downing several cups of coffee a day can overstimulate you and make you unnecessarily anxious and on edge.

So keep the caffeine to a minimum, and try these  tips for making your caffeinated drink healthier .

2. Constantly vent

Sometimes sitting down with a friend and letting it all out is  exactly  what we need. Venting is essential — but only in small doses.

If negative things are all you talk about, they are going to be all you think about too. People who are stressed out usually talk excessively about a problem, drag it out, and don’t let it go.

It’s best to rant your rant, get it off your chest, and then be done with it so that whatever was bothering you doesn’t bog you down.

3. Obsess over things they can’t change

We all need to accept what we can’t change, and dwelling on mistakes isn’t healthy or beneficial.

There is no point worrying about things you most likely can’t do anything about. It’s best to move on and simply do better next time!

4. Eat food that isn’t healthy

Sometimes when we’re worried, turning to a giant cheesy pizza or pint of ice cream sounds like the best thing in the world.

But feeding stressed feelings usually leaves us worse off, both mentally and physically. If you’re tempted to snack while feeling anxious, try  foods that may help with anxiety .

5. Get overwhelmed easily

Everyone feels overwhelmed sometimes, but the key is not to get panicked when you realize that you have more to do than you thought you did.

Take a deep breath, choose one item on your list to start with, and go from there.

Trying to multitask or do parts of things here and there will leave everything half-finished and sloppy.

6. Don’t get enough sleep

Sleep deprivation makes you sluggish, cranky, and overall not your best self.

Eliminate this contributing factor to stress by trying some tips to help you get the  best sleep possible  so that you wake up rejuvenated and ready to go! If you’re feeling crafty, you can try making this  DIY   sleep spray .

7. Overanalyze

Ever spent hours after a conversation worrying if you said something wrong, should have said something differently, offended someone, or ruined your chances at a promotion?

You’re probably the only one who noticed any of that, but people who stress tend to pick apart every little thing in life (work or otherwise) and find problems where problems don’t exist.

Stay positive about yourself! You’re awesome, and the worry is all in your head!

8. Don’t exercise

When we are super busy and trying to eliminate tasks to lighten the load, exercise can be one of the first things that goes. Don’t let that happen!

It may take a little time out of your day, but it’s a perfect way to get those endorphins flowing and that motivation going. You can always squeeze in some  light exercises before bed  to help de-stress and get a good night’s sleep!

9. Overload their schedules

There are only 24 hours in one day, and sometimes we try to pack in more than we can realistically handle in that time.

People who stress tend to bite off more than they can chew, and then realize after the fact that they are swamped. Plan out your day ahead of time so that you know what to expect.

Take on what you know you can do, leave room in case something unexpected happens, and pace yourself for each task.

10. Try to do everything on their own

A lot of high-stress people have a “if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself” mentality, and they have too much on their plates sometimes because of this.

But truthfully, you get by with a little help from your friends!

Let other people give you a hand from time to time — you may be surprised at how well they do the task and how nice it is not to have to go it alone.

11. Focus on the bad instead of the good

Bad days will come, but they will also go. People who worry a lot tend to only focus on the negative, and they forget to leave room for contemplating the positive.

Instead of clinging to the bad news, seek out the good news, and try to do more  things that happy people do !

12. Procrastinate

Procrastination leads to panic — and that’s when stress levels go to the next level. It’s best to buckle down, suck it up, and get things done.

Mapping out your tasks and making a plan can help make things seem more doable and less stressful.

13. Rush through life

Stressed-out people can get so consumed with being anxious about pretty much everything that they forget to enjoy the best things in life.

What’s the point of all that stressing if you can’t even enjoy the hard work you’re putting into things? Take a minute to  slow down  and find your own happiness, wherever that may be for you.


Read the original article on POPSUGAR Smart Living. Copyright 2016. Follow POPSUGAR Smart Living on Twitter.

[To comment:]

7 Quick Tips To Improve Your Leadership Skills

[To comment:]

This week’s blog comes from 

Dale Carnegie Training Newsletter

By Anita Zinsmeister, President
Dale Carnegie® Training of Central & Southern New Jersey

7 Quick Tips To Improve
Your Leadership Skills
  • Word count for this issue: 562
  • Approximate time to read: 2.2 minutes @ 250 words per minute 
When a crisis hits, an executive’s instinct might be to focus on greater efficiency and productivity by tightening control.  But this is not always the best solution-giving up authority and granting employees independence can actually help improve innovation and success, even when the road gets rough.
So You Are A Leader At Your Company-Now What?
Without the proper leadership skills, you will find it hard to inspire your staff.  Below you will find 7 tips on how to brush up on your leadership skills.
7 Tips To Improve Your Leadership Skills
1.  Show Respect – If you want to be in a leadership position, start building relationships with people by respecting what they do.  Practically nothing is more important.   Additionally, it is important that a great leader never misses an opportunity to learn more about the people behind them.  Great leaders never skip an employee’s birthday gathering or a holiday party because they are too busy — they know that work will always be there. 
2.  Build on Relationships – As a leader, know who people are, what is important to them, and what motivates them.  This will help you understand everyone’s goals and how you can support your staff.  When you help people, they will care about you and your goals in return.
3.  Have a Good Attitude – Positive attitudes can be infectious.  As a leader, you need to find ways to stay upbeat and find the best ways to improve.  Do not expect too much from your staff — no one is perfect; while you do need to address poor performance, it is extremely important to acknowledge a job well done, which will build a positive work environment where people feel appreciated.
4.  Work on Your Strengths – Figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are.  While it is important to address your weaknesses, you might find it better to first start by focusing on your strengths.  This will allow you to rise to the expert level sooner than you would by working on your weaknesses.  Bottom line: Know what you are good at and keep at it.
5.  Find People Who Complement You – Again, we all have strengths and weaknesses.  Great leaders are aware of their weaknesses and find people who support their shortcomings.  This is not because they are weak and need to cover themselves, but because they know the benefit of having a strong team — and when the team wins, everyone wins. 
6.  Develop A Mentoring Program  – Mentoring someone will not only help develop that person’s career, but will also help leaders refine their skills.  It is a great way to help improve your staff members’ skills while also improving on relationships.
7.  Maintain Balance In Your Life – A big key to success is learning to balance work and family.  Life is too short for you to live at your job. Great leaders set career boundaries and know when to spend more time with family and friends.  Doing this will make you a stronger leader.
Executive Summary:  While some people are just great leaders, others have to work a bit harder to achieve the necessary skills.  Take the time to consider your strengths and weaknesses and get to know your staff; surround yourself with the best possible people to become an excellent leader. 
[To comment:]