theMediaPod Dinner – sharing my PR journey

Last night I was honoured to be invited to dine with PR students from Deakin university for one of theMediaPod sessions, an extra curricular which they host for students who want to further explore their future professions. Held at La Notte in Carlton (delicious food and an ideal private function area), the dinner set the scene for a casual chat about what it’s like to work in PR. And chat we did!

The group had some intelligent questions and I could have talked for hours about new communications and the changing landscape of PR, daily activity and the different kinds of PR such as consumer/FMCG and corporate reputation management. I did my best to keep on track but found myself going off on tangents realising along the way that there could be an eBook on the horizon…

Here are a few of my thoughts:

  • consume as much media as possible so you get to know the media outlets and their journalists
  • push your boundaries: think about other ways of saying/doing/seeing/writing about things
  • nurture your relationships with media
  • get the basics right: correct spelling, grammar and attention to detail is important
  • be flexible but don’t compromise your integrity
  • be resilient and able to take criticism (and rejection!) constructively
  • never underestimate the power of a phone call and face-to-face
  • don’t forget your manners!

I would like to thank the delightful  Chloe Partikas for putting me forward as a ‘person of interest’. I met Chloe one Friday morning at socialmelb a week or two earlier where we chatted about her very exciting work placement in Sydney later this year.

Thank you Ross Monaghan – it was so great to finally meet you and thank you in person for the help you offered a year ago when I was trying to remotely access my work server! It’s wonderful that you have theMediaPod sessions; your students are lucky to have you as a mentor and inspiration.

A fantastic group of people – definitely ones to watch!


PS: keep an eye on the parkyoung Facebook for news of the potential eBook (ok, now that I’ve put it out there, it has to happen!)

PPS: here is a lovely recount of the evening from one of the students – Lauren – in her beautiful blog Paper Aeroplane (thanks lovely! x)

Undies Monday at mag nation (yes, I will be wearing my knickers in public!)

I was speaking with the delightful Sahil Merchant of mag nation brilliance at socialmelb a couple of weeks ago about his latest marketing activity – Undies Monday. Basically, if you enter the store in your underwear between noon and five on Mondays during March you can select one item free up to the value of $50.

And so I am endeavouring to undress for a freebie next Monday 15 March. If all goes to plan, I will do a recon and select the item I want while still dressed, then walk out and undress, walk back in, select item, take to counter, walk out happy with freebie and quickly put clothes back on.

This is a brilliant, out there, slightly risqué stunt, perfect for the mag nation brand. Even better is the way mag nation has changed the terms and conditions after a good first Monday response to include the below disclaimer:

We did say in our original post that this offer lasts until the 29th of March (or earlier at our discretion if we determine that Undies Monday will lead to our ruination)

It is refreshing to see a brand able to change the terms and conditions of a competition mid-stream (so to speak) and for its customers and audience to accept this change of course. This is made possible by the kind of brand mag nation is – open, experimental, for the people, edgy and just so damn cool.

Will keep you updated about my near nude naughtiness…

Should I change the colour of my personal brand…

I wear black a lot. Even before I moved to Melbourne but as far back as about ten years. Actually, I wear black, white and grey sometimes. Mainly because I know it’s always going to match and it can take just 20 minutes for me to get ready from bed to out-the-door. Not bad for a girl, so I’ve been told.

Wearing black has become somewhat of a trademark for me. The benefits are: easier to keep clean, slimming, you don’t really have to colour match shoes/bags, easy to dress up with a few simple jewels, you can wear the same thing days in a row and no-one really notices because to them it’s all black (although I haven’t done this – I have enough same colour clothing not to!).

I have worn a few pieces of colour and when my Mum was in charge of my wardrobe I wore flouro a lot, which happened in the 80s. But now I think I look “random” (keeping with the teenage theme) in colour. Perhaps it’s that I am not used to it. Or perhaps all my other features have grown around the premise of only wearing neutrals… Either way, it has become part of my personal brand. E.g. someone who had long dark hair looked like me from the back but they weren’t wearing black so my friends knew it wasn’t me. And they were right.

So do I diversify and face my fear of wearing colour? Or stick with what has become a part of my personal brand (and, quite frankly, it suits me)?