Saturday, August 8, 2009

...keeping up with the Shankmans...

I feel like I spend so much time communicating through texts, tweets and status updates...I would say I dedicate an average of 18 to 19 hours a day linked into some constant communication...that means every waking hour I'm linked in.

Maybe I'm doing it incorrectly, but I feel like I can never keep up with people like Shankman. Maybe that's my failing though, feeling a need to keep up with people who have the ability to dedicate so much time to it. They've been able to monetize what they do, and I hope someday to be able to do the same.

So for the time being I should be doing is accessing how I'm spending my time, and making sure when I am online I'm doing something of value. As it is with food, gorging on the junk (it's too delish to avoid!) is always immediately satisfactory...and well, much easier. But that doesn't help me stay relevant in the SM space and where I want to be. I'm working on it, it's just a process. I've said it before... and you all know I'll say it again. I need to blog more.

But blogging for me was always a way to get out the ongoings of my life, a place to have fun, share wit and vent. My need to keep up by writing solely about social media has gotten me even further behind's made me not write at all. Balance. All things in life are a balance. Learning...learning....but here's a nugget of yesteryear's blog....prepare yourself:

...I got back from another tour on the road, and it always amazes me how traveling so much for a social media campaign can keep me so out of touch with my friends/family. But, that's the thing I don't think people understand about touring as much as I try to explain's literally all consuming. Everything outside of it is put on hold. That's what is hard for me. Putting on hold working out, putting on hold healthy eating, putting on hold my friends and my family. I gained weight this time...lost last. I'll get there. This is life, I have to keep telling myself that.

I saw my grandparents while I was in Massachusetts before the tour, though. So good to see them. I wish I could see them more often. My nonna showed me the drawers and drawers of baby sweaters (for future reference and an ever so gentle push for great grandchildren) and she also told me I could have her wedding gown (if/when I chose to get married....another gentle push, I'm sure). Got me thinking though, I need to spend more time with family...brothers for sure. Man, I miss them.

Alright, I'm wrapping this up before I get too emo. Speak soon...well. I say that anyway. Guess we'll see.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Take two (technically three)..

Starting Tuesday I'll be kicking off my third cross country tour on Warped Tour. If you weren't tuned in last time, I trekked across the US on the Bamboozle Roadshow and followed it up with the Rockin' Rodeo for a few days. I sense this one is going to be much harder. And not just because of the heat either. I'm worried about making an impact, sourcing and contributing great content, and making it worthwhile experience...stay tuned.

Monday, July 13, 2009

...lots of Twitter tips out there...but if you had to give one..

As the microblogging community evolves, more and more "social media experts" are trying to put in their two-cents of how the online community should play out, what are "great" case studies and what are failures. I spend a lot of time reading articles, trying to find different opinions and executions in order to try and formulate my own opinion on this social media thing...and today after reading several articles on Twitter "tips" I took it to my own network.

"Network," I say:

And the network spoke:

kristy: Observe - watch and listen to learn.

dylanw: If a hot girl follows you, follow her back, because she's totally into you. #badtwittertips

jcroft: Twitter tip: don't be a webcock. Why? Because webcocks suck.

PRCog: fill in the bio before u start fllwing.

PeterKretzman: My 1 Twitter tip: write what you think will be interesting to others, NOT what you're doing right now (despite the prompt)

CoolGuyGreg: that there is no real benefit to folow everyone who follow you. Find those you have a true interest in wht they have to say

manningsmith: 1 tip: be intentional about all online communication. what do you want to accomplish with your tweets. what don't you want?

cj_alexander: Use Tweetdeck's Groups to make sense of the twitstream firehose, otherwise it's just too much above about 50 follows...

dave_lo: Stay with it. Twitter gets good, but u have to take time to build up a network
about an hour ago

mbull: Understand what u want to do w/ Twitter before starting. Don't do it just to do Twitter. Embarrassment could follow.
about an hour ago

caferozella: Give value in your tweets. That's how you get followers and engage.
about an hour ago

Commodoros: be sure to use 140 characters or less.

alboss: My twittertip: "Follow because you win fabulous prizes." Speaking of which, mine must be lost in the mail. (Hahah, this may be my favorite.)

: know why you want to use Twitter, what you hope to gain. It will guide all you do & give you direction.

All really great tips...but the number one tip I took away? Easy. Listen to your network!

Friday, June 26, 2009

No more excuses

I'd be lying if I said I didn't have time to blog. It's absolutely true that over the past 6 months I've been going through a tremendous transition in my life. I went through a break up, living alone, going on tour with bands, refining my work self and my personal self.

This week was hell. It was one of those weeks where something goes wrong and then you perpetuate in misery. Internalizing everything that was going wrong only made me more miserable and then I was finally smacked in the face with the glorious outside forces of those around me. The death of two celebrities, two of my friends going through divorces, two of my friends' pregnancy....much needed perspective, but still feeling clouded so forgive my disconnected writing.

I've hated my lack of blogging. As someone who works and LOVES working in the social media space, it's embarrassing. I should be aggregating more of what I find interesting and contributing content to the space. I want to, I need to in order to grow.

So I've said it before, but I've never put reminders in my calendar -- I will speak with you more frequently. Let you know personal and professional ongoings...make you once again familiar with me. Because I'm oh-so-interesting. :)

Looking forward to it, but for now I need sleep. I have to move in the morning. Which you know nothing about because I haven't talked to you in so long. Briefly: Moving to Magnolia from Lower Queen Anne. Half the rent, acquiring a roommate. Blarg.

Okay, more later. I won't promise, but I promise I want to improve myself...and writing, I believe, will help me get there.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Microblogging Mayhem

Okay, I told you and promised you that I wouldn't let microblogging take you away from me....but it seems I've been moderately distracted. Please accept my electronic flower as a sincere apology @---->--- ...but here's the thing.

I love Tweeting. I love saying what I need to say in 140 characters. I love just putting it out there and moving on. I live a busy life, and with Twitterfon loaded up to the good ol' iPhone, tweetin' on the go helps me stay in touch. But, the truth. I LOVE blogging. I love writing and knowing people are reading.

So, I'm going to come back to you. I'm going to make the effort, no I'm going to write for all of you every other day, if not more often. Yeah? How's that sound? Awesome.

As an FYI to you kind folk, here's a couple things that have kept me distracted from you: - PRSA Puget Sounds' awards are tonight and I'm chair - A networking group for communications professionals that I've co-founded with a friend - Enough said

Personal life note: I'll be in NYC Saturday - Tuesday hanging out with friends for President's Day weekend. Share pictures and stories soon!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What's your writing style? Mine is garbage!

Okay, so you know well enough that I am a huge geek. No hiding it, I love writing, I love reading, and I love spending hours and hours on the Internet reading absolutely pointless nothing. I'm fortunate enough that my job completely caters to my geek-dom. Today we had a PR writing class to learn how to become more effective writers. Now, I'm going to give you some tips that he gave us, but you must promise me not to read what I just wrote in this paragraph and judge me for not implementing these techniques. I'm tired, and I just really want to make sure you have this pertinent information. So take it and quick judging me.


Five simple rules for clear writing (which you think you knew, but may have forgotten):
1. Focus on key messages
2. Fewer and shorter words
3. Use visual verbs
4. Active voice...weeee.

After going over key messages and trying to write an entire op-ed piece in just one syllable words, I realized how verbose my writing has become. What's funny is I feel like I always make exceptions for the client thinking, "Oh, no this is just their style, how they like it." Then it hit me: that's just because that's how I supply the writing.

One of the coolest things I got from the workshop was a super handy link.... BullFighter. The service looks at sentence structure in Microsoft Word (it only works in XP, not Vista and not Mac) and flags where complicated words should be simplified for readers. It's based on the Flesch-Kincaid readability scale which you can test by dropping in your written documents, releases, etc. here.

So I went to back to my desk after the class to a release open on my desktop that was in progress only to find out that I'm the worst writer, ever. The good news is now, however, that I have a 25 page booklet from the class teaching me how to improve.

So as always, look for great things.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

How to become awesome

Since I've begin to spend a fair amount of time in the Twitterverse I've been brushed by a lot of social media awesomeness and its put a little fire under me to become more informed (which means even less sleep) and help find interesting and new content that will be pertinent to my agency and my clients.

Tonight I had the opportunity to speak with @PRSarahEvans who is really leading the way in the social media/digital PR realm. She provides great content and runs a weekly dialog on Twitter on Monday nights (7pm CST) called #journchat which allows bloggers, PR folks and journalists to collaborate on a number of issues from social media to pitching to media dying, etc.

I asked her straight out how to become awesome, and while I knew most of this, the affirmation certainly lit a fire. Here's what she suggested:

Follow @themediaisdying, @skydiver, @breakingnewson and of course @mashable. All of which I am proud to say were already on my list.

Check out great sources multiple times a day:
Mashable - All That's New On The Web
All Top -All the Top Stories in PR

Ahhh, so much work to be cool. Alright, I have to get to it. Have a good night.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The afternoon crash...

For those of you who are particularly familiar with my daily schedule (actually come to think of it you don't have to be that familiar at all) you know these things about me:

1. I love the mornings. Really do. Puffins, coffee, new start
2. I don't sleep much which is taking its toll day by day
3. I am a freaking brat in the afternoon. Kindergartener without their nap, kind of brat. Or as my mother calls it "Bratty McPhee."

Starting the day at 4 am yesterday morning brought my afternoon brat syndrome into the 11 am hour full force and I started to become emo to the nth degree. Someone unfollowed me on Twitter and it set me into orbit and kicked into gear my inner Debbie Downer and negative self-talk(which I am REALLY good at). Getting unfollowed in Twitter is like getting picked last in kickball, proof that you provide no real help to the group and they are probably better off with out you. Then after a firm handslap at work, I started to crash and decided the only thing I could do was step out to a nice lunch with a close friend.

The lunch kicked off with me venting every single thing that was wrong in my world, which surprisingly only took about 20 minutes, and then that's when the handslap went to a slap across my face. US Airways flight 1549 went down in the Hudson River with 155 passengers on board and I realized, "Jess, things could be a lot worse. Unfollowed on Twitter does not equal plane crash into frigid river."

The contempt I had for Twitter yesterday morning soon turned back into love as my phone lit up with tweets from my favorite Tweeple about the latest information on the crash and suddenly that one person, the morning handslap and the exhaustion I felt from waking up at 4 am didn't seem like that big of a deal and everything was up hill from there.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New start, new year, social media, I <3 you

So I've been gone quite awhile, an embarrassing amount of time actually. I have a confession, sweet blog-o-mine....I fell in love with microblogging.

But then with all good things guilt eventually sets in. "I've been neglected my readers and my blog for so long, how could I ever consider myself a 'social media manager.' It's just so hard to maintain. So very, very hard." The guilt landed me in a long conversation with co-founder of
Aronado (who if you don't know I completely admire in the social media space), who gave me some great tips on blogging. While some of these might not be his words exactly, this is what I took away from the great conversation:

*Keep it shorter, more likely to write more often
*Write about things you're passionate about
*Make it fun
*Change it up to keep you and your readers interested.

So, with the start of year of the OX I resolve to become a better blogger. Lots of great content coming your way...stay tuned. In the meantime feel free to entertain yourself with Jackson Pollock.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Learning how to be gracious....

I've been thinking about writing for awhile, but every time I started to write an entry it just didn't feel right. I wanted to create an ode to all the things I'm thankful for, and when I started to think about it the list got longer and longer and each being so in depth they started to feel like they were deserving of their own entry, and that would take years to construct. So I've narrowed it down (slightly) and created a list with snippets of explanation -- none of which will even come close to explaining how grateful I am, but if any of them have to do with you, know that this year was incredible thanks to you. So here we go...

1. My mom - for her love post-its, treats for me, listening to me vent and being basically the best mom ever.
2. My brothers

Each is completely unique and incredibly giving. S for giving my my car and being patient and being a great friend when I need one. J for always talking me up, for making my laugh and helping inspire and build on my ideas. Both are so supportive and I could never thank them enough.
3. C

So giving and loving. Words couldn't even come close to expressing all you've done for me this year.
4. All of my incredible friends. I have SO many wonderful friends. My zero friend Mary, my "sister" Carolyn, my kindred spirit Div, my humor Darci, my Seattle savior Chirag, my reflecting wall
Amanda, my strength Rachel, my mentor Ashley, my heart Michelle, my confidante Adrienne, my cheerleader Carson, my inspiration Wacarra. Just to name a few. I am so, so lucky to have you all. And of course my hundreds of other amazingly wonderful friends that have helped shape the person I am today.
5. Family - My grandparents, my cousins, my aunts and uncles. All have given me so much it would take me 24 years to explain all you've done for me.
6. Susan - she makes me so happy, every single day.
7. My work - as much as I might complain, it's really a great place to work. I'm given great opportunity, respected and treated well. Plus, I work with great people.
8. Lounge music - the joy that Rufus Wainwright, Sinatra, Buble, Regina Spektor, Kate Nash bring me....they make me Merry Happy.
9. Having infinite paths ahead of me - whether it's school or my dreams of becoming a FN star, there is so much opportunity that is just waiting for me. Not everyone is lucky enough to have that.
10. Flowers - I've been given flowers so many times this year and every time they make me so happy!

Okay, I could go on forever, but I don't want to make your mind explode or bore you. So thank you all, for everything. Great year because of your kind, beautiful hearts!