Posts Tagged ‘business’

Taking Control of Your Career: 7 Tips From ‘Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office’ Applicable to All Genders

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

by Deborah Gilbert-Rogers*


As the New Year progresses, I find myself drawn to reading a number of professional coaching, personal finance, marketing and sales books. Being a bit of a book junkie and wanting to reduce clutter, I now download samples to the Kindle app on my smart phone before purchasing a physical copy. (This is one millennial who won’t give up her physical books.)

One sample captured my attention recently, Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office: 101 Unconscious Mistakes Women Make That Sabotage Their Careers, to such the extent that I purchased and downloaded a digital copy of the book right then and there! Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office, part of Dr. Lois P. Frankel’s  Nice Girls series, examines the unconscious messages women are taught in girlhood – which may or may not be helpful – that are then continued in womanhood and how these behaviors and messages influence a woman’s ability to progress in her career (as well as other areas of her life).

For Frankel the emphasis is on the word “girl” not on “nice.” Dr. Frankel is the first to point out these learned behaviors are not exclusive to women and that men experience their own set of messages in boyhood that affect them in manhood. However, our culture has an insidious way of encouraging woman to continue girlhood messages and behaviors in ways that differ from men.

Here are some of the “mistakes” I think relate to most business and PR professionals, regardless of gender, and tips for taking charge of your career.

1. Not Understanding the Needs of Your Constituents: Whether it’s our client, CEO, stakeholder, customer or target audience – we all have people that we serve. It is imperative to know what they need and want. Otherwise we risk missing an opportunity by not providing value. “The trap many women fall into is thinking they know what’s best for their constituents and therefore not asking the right questions on the front end,” writes Frankel. One way Frankel suggests to overcome this behavior is to “be more concerned with doing the right thing than doing things right.” In other words, don’t be afraid to shift perspectives as new data emerge and as change is warranted.

2. Skipping Meetings: Attending meetings is just as much about personal branding and marketing as it is about the content explains Frankel. She suggests, “Using meetings as an opportunity to showcase a particular skill or piece of knowledge (provided it’s not note taking or coffee making.)”  Additionally, “Ask to be invited to a meeting where you’ll have the chance to meet senior management or make a presentation about something for which you need support.”

3. Ignoring the Importance of Network Relationships: Years ago people believed that showing-up for work and doing a good job would be enough to protect their careers, explains Frankel. Unfortunately many still buy into this belief today and have been taught that building relationships at work wastes time and distracts from the job at hand. Frankel suggests actively participating in a professional association and developing relationships before they are needed. If you wait until you need the relationship, it is too late.  

4. Making Up Negative Stories: As PR and communications professionals we understand the importance of storytelling and the power it has to influence audience perception and behavior. However, as women we have a habit of creating negative stories and assuming we’ve done something wrong in order to explain a mistake or why something didn’t go as planned, addresses Frankel. In the workplace, this negatively affects our ability to take positive risks and trust our intuition. Frank suggestions beginning to “replace negative stories with neutral ones” and to look at “alternative scenarios that could explain what has happened that have nothing to do with you doing something wrong.”

5. Failing to Define Your Brand: Just like corporate branding and marketing, personal branding involves defining the value you bring to the table and how you stand apart from the competition. Frankel advises coming up with three to five things you enjoy most about your position as a way to start defining your personal brand. The reason? “We tend to be good at what we like,” notes Frankel. Then relate these strengths to your position and what you bring to it. Having these statements in place will help set you apart from the competition, whether that is within the organization or externally when delivering a proposal to a client or prospect.

6. The Inability to Speak the Language of Your Business: While there are times when it is best to avoid jargon, you must still be able to use the language of the entire business. “Influence comes from knowing the business, and one of the best ways you can exercise your influence is to use language unique to your industry and profession,” writes Frankel. Beyond your area of expertise and department, familiarize yourself with the ROI, bottom line, and other performance indicators of your corporation or client. BurrellesLuce offers a great newsletter on Finance for Communicators which is available in our free resource center.

7. Using Gestures Inconsistent with Your Message: Presentation is everything. Your “gestures should be integrated with your energy,” remarks Frankel. Don’t be afraid to take up space – a behavior that runs counter to what many women have been taught. Frankel suggests “allowing gestures to flow naturally from your spoken message” and to “match your gestures to the size of your audience.”

What professional books have you read lately that you’ve found helpful? Share your recommendations here on BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.


Bio: After graduating from Rider University, where she received a B.A. in English-writing and minor degrees in Gender Studies and French, Deborah joined the BurrellesLuce Marketing team in 2007.  As a marketing specialist she continues to help develop the company’s thought leadership and social media efforts, including the copywriting and editing of day-to-day marketing initiatives and management of the BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas blog. Facebook: BurrellesLuce Twitter: @BurrellesLuce LinkedIn: dgrogers

Book Recommendations from Those Difficult Talks for PR Pros – Finding Your MoJo in Delicate Discussions

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

Last week Alan Cohen, president of Acts of Balance Coaching, teamed up with Johna Burke for a free BurrellesLuce webinar, Those Difficult Talks for PR Pros – Finding Your MoJo in Delicate Discussionssm. (Click here to download the recording of the presentation or slides at your convenience.)

During the Q&A portion of the webinar, one attendee asked Alan to recommend some of his favorite professional books. “I am reading many different things, not all on difficult conversations, but a lot of them on effective communications […] and I enjoy many books on managing conflicts,” Alan said. He offered these suggestions:

What books would you add to the list? Please share your thoughts here on BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.


Alan is the author of “Those Difficult Talks for PR Pros™” and is a professional certified coach (PCC), and public relations veteran with more than 25 years of business experience in the areas of public relations, marketing, human resources, leadership training and development.

2012 Counselors Academy Conference Keynote – Groovin’ to Your Own Beat: How to Build Your Business by Merging Your Personal and Professional Selves

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Colleen Flood*

The 2012 Counselors Academy kicked off on Sunday, May 6, 2012. The evening’s keynote session featured Jay Baer, president of Convince and Convert, and Gini Dietrich, CEO of Arment Dietrich. The duo asserted that “it’s difficult to tell a client they need to be using the Web if an agency principal doesn’t believe it themselves.”

How to Build Your Personal Brand into Your Professional Brand
During the session, Baer and Dietrich discussed “how revenue follows capabilities and capabilities follow beliefs” and presented agency leaders with best practices to “finally ‘get off their duffs and start becoming social’ in order to build their businesses.”

Here are some key takeaways from the presentation:

  • If an agency has several employees, why not tweet under the agency name?
  • Videos create a human being behind the brand. We remember personal stories and want to do business with the people we know.
  • Network – social media connects you with people you cannot connect with in 3D and helps with national recognition.
  • Agencies need to spend time on leadership campaigns (e.g., blog posts). Tech has made us all self-servers of information and we want to find the answers ourselves when it’s time.
  • Can a junior staffer handle social media? Social media is not something you should delegate and you can’t outsource your voice.
  • People will remember your “branding.” So, give away what you know. Remember, “giving away a list of ingredients doesn’t make you a chef.”
  • Figure out your circles. Listen and find opportunities to be helpful. The best way to be helpful is to setup searches. People buy from people they like and trust. Your client wants to work with you!
  • Commit to social media regularly – say, 20 minutes a day – and fill in the “tiny gaps in your day.”
  • How do you measure social media success? Understand how it pays off in terms of leads, new business, and client retention. Listen. Assess the conversation. Engage. Measure and then improve.

The audience also had the opportunity to ask a few questions. One question focused on “what PR firms should stop doing and start implementing instead.” The answer? Stop chasing the hot new thing and start having policies in place for brand ambassadors.

How are you “groovin’ to your own beat” and “merging your personal and professionals selves to build your business?”


*Bio: Colleen Flood has been a sales consultant with BurrellesLuce for over 12 years and is eager to become a more integrated part of the social-public relations community. She primarily handles agency relations in the New York and New Jersey metro-area. She is not only passionate about work, but also about family, friends, and the Jersey Shore. Twitter: @cgflood LinkedIn: Colleen Flood Facebook: BurrellesLuce 

Hollow-Point Bullets Prompt Solid Online Response Tips

Monday, February 13th, 2012

By now most of you have seen the “Dad uses Facebook to teach daughter a lesson” video where a frustrated father shoots his daughter’s laptop with hollow-point bullets. Yeehaw! But have you all seen his response to the media requests? There are several interesting things about this response. First it prompts my apologies to the IT world as a whole — contrary to popular belief, some of you DO understand media relations as demonstrated by the father’s response to the media. Most importantly, he provides transparent and clear, written communication.

How does this domestic squabble translate to business? Other than being a teenager’s “crisis” I don’t know that it does, but it does strike me to remind everyone the importance of responding to negative comments online.

Here are my top tips for dealing with negative comments online:

1.  Stay calm. Don’t let your adrenaline (fight or flight urge) get the best of you and cloud your judgment.

2. Respond publicly. Mirroring the original format is very powerful. Dominoe’ss Pizza is probably the best case study of this when they had their viral video crisis in 2009.

3. Be courteous*. Offer acknowledgement or an apology, whichever is most appropriate, with sincerity and gratitude for the opportunity to address the matter. *If you run into a troll refrain from calling them out until you have done your due diligence of their misdeed or erroneous feedback.

4. Provide resolution. In some cases this means a refund or some other compensation for the problem. In other cases this will mean “agreeing to disagree” on what is fair and what you can do based on the feedback.

5. Reflect.
a. Why did this person take their grievance public?
          b. Was this the only forum available to address the concern?
          c. What are the opportunities you have to improve your product or
          service to strengthen your relationship with all of your customers?
          d. Did you provide resolution to the issue?

6. Be thankful. REMEMBER: Negative can be positive. Your public response will demonstrate your commitment to your clientele. Also, when a customer is talking to you, even sometimes negatively, you are still communicating and can improve the situation.

 At BurrellesLuce public comments are primarily responded to by either our account managers or the marketing team. These are the people who are closest with our existing clients and who manage the external communication and social media interactions. This post by Mack Collier further reinforces the importance of public responses and provides additional resources of how companies have fared much better when they respond to negative feedback. This list is meant to be a primer and I welcome your feedback and additional tips for the Fresh Ideas readers.

Lessons for Leaders: Dancing with PR Star Patrice Tanaka in Her Book “Becoming Ginger Rogers”

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Be sure to RSVP for the Holiday Party and Celebration of Ballroom Dancing, featuring Patrice Tanaka, co-chair, chief creative officer, whatcanbe Ambassador CRT/tanaka and co-hosts Fay Shapiro, publisher, and Todd Grossman, VP, Multivu™, a PR Newswire company.


This book review by Johna Burke, BurrellesLuce SVP,  first appeared on and is reposted with permission. 

Patrice Tanaka: "Becoming Ginger Rogers"

First, let me say that I love biographies. People are fascinating and their stories rarely fail to compel and inspire me to think differently, try something new or just try to be an overall better person.

Patrice Tanaka’s book “Becoming Ginger Rogers…How Ballroom Dancing Made Me a Happier Woman, Better Partner and Smarter CEO” was, as advertised from the front cover, “inspiring.” And, for me, a page-turner because I’ve met Patrice personally, but also because she is a public relations pro telling her own story. In essence, whether your personal “style” is rumba, foxtrot, tango or the samba—you’ll really like this book. Reading this book IS the mirror-ball of communications—and it’s A WINNER!

Not only is Patrice co-chair, chief creative officer and whatcanbe ambassador at PR firm CRT/tanaka, but she is also is an artist of words. Throughout her career she told the story of her clients and organization so eloquently; this is no less true in her book. She turns her storytelling into a master class of “take care of you” for every professional. Within her book she wins and loses love, she struggles and succeeds in business and she follows her passion to develop new skills. Patrice teaches lessons of endurance and empowerment through life and specifically through dance. As she transforms her physical appearance and mental strength she learns and fills gaps of vulnerability with confidence, poise and glamorous gowns.

A few lessons I learned that you can apply to your daily life and career, as well:

  1. Be a leader. Be in tune with yourself and allow wonderful things to happen all around you. Patrice, while herself is a dominant leader, her strong lesson came from her taking cues from her strong partner and instills those same traits with her “whatcanbe” program at her agency.  
  2. Be a follower. My favorite lesson is from the mambo where Type-A Patrice let her partner lead. She didn’t rely on a routine, but allowed herself the freedom to live in that moment of the dance in the power of her knowledge to guide her and trust in her practice and experience.
  3. Love yourself. When times are tough, remember that unless you are strong and take care of yourself it’s hard to be strong for others.
  4. Love what you do. It will show. No matter what you’re doing: PR, marketing, dancing, knitting, accounting—love it while you’re doing it and you’ll find the best YOU. If you don’t love it, don’t worry, but don’t force something that doesn’t feel right. There’s a “Ginger Rogers” in you waiting to bloom.
  5. Follow your gut. Patrice suffered loss in her life, but you would NEVER know it. She commands an audience whether her feet or her mouth are telling the story. She is inspirational and truly in tune with her heart and her instincts.

This book is a tapestry of communication and life lessons and skills exemplified at the highest level. Each day we all dance our own mambo and after reading Patrice’s book you’ll be reminded to master the basics and the routine will follow. So many times in a world trying to be clever, the simple lessons are the most powerful.

I read this book in two days—just the pleasure and the mental vacation I needed. The real joy is that it’s a business book too. Patrice is an entrepreneur who has a keen business sense and places high value on people to make her organization thrive.

Through all of the stories and lessons the secret ingredient to this book is, in fact, Patrice. She transforms herself and reminds me to prioritize and be diverse. Communications plans are very much the same. You know the moves you have the technique and you need to trust your skills to execute and rely on cues for subtle adjustments as needed. When you meet her in person, don’t be fooled by Patrice’s tiny stature … her presence is large and in charge on the dance floor and on the PR scene.


About Patrice Tanaka: Patrice is Co-Chair, Chief Creative Officer and whatcanbe Ambassador at CRT/tanaka. She’s also author of “Becoming Ginger Rogers…How Ballroom Dancing Made Me a Happier Woman, Better Partner and Smarter CEO.” Her personal philosophy is that of “whatcanbe,” CRT/tanaka’s brand vision, cultural ethos and approach to business that involves helping the agency, its clients and the community-at-large to envision and manifest a bigger, brighter, better future.