#PRSSA: Leadership and Legacies

Hannah Giles:

Great post!

Originally posted on Lauren K. Gray:

One of the first things Nick Lucido, the then Immediate Past President, told my first National Committee for 2011-2012 when I was the vice president of public relations was “this year will go by quickly and you only have one year to make a difference. That’s all you get so you have to make the most of it.”

MemoriesThree years later and three National Committees later, it’s been a crazy, fun, interesting, exciting ride. I didn’t know I would have a chance to serve three National Committees and I’m extremely glad I did. Each of the Committees were extremely different from the one before and I got to work with many different leaders and personalities.

One of the things we talked about at this National Assembly in Charleston, SC (my last PRSSA event) was the impact we leave on people’s lives. No matter if we meet someone for a minute…

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22 Facts About Me

Oh, look, I’m 22 years old today! I’ve taken 22 trips around the sun, and I find that to be pretty overwhelming when I really think about it. It’s hard to recap so many years, but here’s a fact for every year I’ve survived!

  1. I’ve been with the same person for seven awesome years. That’s about 32 percent of my whole life.
  2. I became a mom when I was 17. She is the cutest, smartest, tiny human I know.
  3. I am a natural red head. It took me most of my life to appreciate my hair color, but I now I love it so much that I can’t believe I ever doubted it.
  4. I want to work for Nintendo. Yes, THE Nintendo. Unfortunately I would have to learn Japanese, which I have not even started on.. yet.
  5. I get overwhelmed at the thought of Space. I saw this picture the Mars Rover took of Earth and literally had to catch my breath. I know it sounds dramatic, but it’s a real source of anxiety for me.
  6. I love to sing. My original life goal was to move to NYC and pursue a career on Broadway, ultimately landing a role as Velma Kelly in Chicago.
  7. My drink of choice at Starbucks is an Iced Venti Caramel Macchiatto with an extra shot of espresso.
  8. I grew up on a tiny little piece of Earth called Eudora, Mississippi.
  9. The first cell phone I remember was my grandma’s Nokia, and my first cell phone was a Nokia.
  10. The first video game I ever remember playing is Frogger on an old tabletop arcade game. Others include Donkey Kong, Super Mario Bros., and Sonic on the Sega Genesis.
  11. The feel of most paper makes my skin crawl.
  12. I have a very deep and undying love for the Legend of Zelda, and when a new game comes out, you can bet I will spend no less than 10 hours a day playing it (on the weekend, of course!)
  13. I’ve read every Harry Potter book at least 4 times, but the earlier books even more than that.
  14. I collect coffee table books.
  15. I’ve never been to Disney World, which is almost depressing for me to think about.
  16. I am an Apple product loyalist, though I despise the Apple Store.
  17. I love biscuit dough. My grandma always used to save a little bit of dough for me to eat.
  18. I greet most people that I see every day. I love to talk to others and ask them how their day is going!
  19. My childhood pet was a full-blooded lab named Max. He lived for 14 years.
  20. In high school I watched Toy Story every single night to go to sleep… literally. Every once in a while I would mix it up with Toy Story 2.
  21. I fell in love with gardening last year.
  22. I am exactly where I want to be.

My Handwriting as a Font

I pinned this forever ago and finally did it. WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG?! It was super easy and now I’m a little obsessed. It took me a few tries and some of the spacing is still a little off, but this will definitely not be the last font I make. Just go to paintfont.com and follow the instructions!

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Now show me yours! Respond in the comments or tweet me at @hannahrgiles if you try it!

The Best of 2013: A Year in Tweets

1. The Year of PRSSA

About a year ago, I joined PRSSA. I quickly went from “member” to “evangelist.” So many wonderful things have come from joining this organization in such a short span of time that I can’t list them all, so the highlights will have to do.

  1. Became Chapter President of my Chapter at The University of Memphis
  2. Served as a delegate at the National Assembly in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where I got to vote on bylaws and the new National Committee
  3. Attended Leadership Rally in Scottsdale, AZ
  4. Attended National Conference in Philadelphia
  5. Met a multitude of professionals in my field
  6. Met some of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met who I am thankful to call my dearest friends
  7. Twitter-chatted my little heart out (#PRSSA)

All of those experiences have made my life so much richer. It’s hard to remember that there was a time when I didn’t know all of the people I’ve met through PRSSA, or what my career path would be like without it.

2. The Internship

About halfway through Summer I decided that it was time to look for my first internship. I applied to several, and within a couple of weeks got an email from Caissa Public Strategy in Downtown, Memphis asking when I could come in for an interview. I went in, interviewed, and less than a week later was offered the internship! I must humble brag that after my very first interview ever I got a really great internship that I’ve loved every minute of! Contrary to the tweets, however, I am still interning because they like me, they really like me!

3. Symphony of the Goddesses 

If you know me at all, then you know that I love Zelda almost as much as I love my own child. My husband James always goes above and beyond for me, so he drove us to Austin for a weekend to check out the city and see the Symphony of the Goddesses. I couldn’t imagine experiencing it with anyone else.

4. I grew a garden, y’all

If you’ve never grown anything, what are you waiting for?! Find a piece of earth and give it life. This was my first time really growing anything besides a sunflower when I was a kid, and it taught me so many lessons: patience, nurturing, and even grief. If you’ve ever had a crop that was suddenly destroyed by a vicious pest, you’ll understand why grief is a valid lesson in gardening. I successfully grew lettuce, tomatoes, pumpkins, herbs, sunflowers, peppers, and beans. Some things I planted didn’t grow or died early on, like my onions, cucumbers, and carrots. How applicable to life is this process? VERY! I’m getting excited thinking about this year’s garden.

5. Heck Yeah Midtown

I made this promo video for a class assignment. I did way more than was required, but it was a lot of fun and totally worth my Spring Break to shoot and edit it.

6. The Evolution of a PR Professional

I entered the PR Take Flight Contest, and decided to try out stop motion for the first time. Hindsight is 20/20. It was a terrible decision because I literally made the entire “set” and video over the course of just a few days. I found out about the contest right before it closed and it was quite miserable. A couple of pounds of playdoh, several sleepless nights, and hundreds of pictures later, I’d made my first stop motion! Let me take a moment to give a shoutout to people who make good stop motion. I have mad respect for you because it is exhausting. I didn’t win, but it was a fun experience, and I hope they do it again this year so I can be better prepared. Apparently I did not tweet about this, but here is the video!

7. Equality

2013 was a great year for equal marriage and LGBT rights. While there are still many states that need to catch up, I’m happy that there were victories that offer hope. I celebrate that with the understanding that there is still work to be done.

The year 2013 was wonderful. It was full of living, meeting people, travel, and growth. I expect to mirror and amplify that this year.

As I enter into my fourth year of marriage, my fifth year of parenting, and approach my 22nd birthday, I am happy to have so many memories to reflect on.

The Top 10 Blog Posts of 2013

Originally posted on Beyond PR:

For the first time this year, tablets and smartphones surpassed desktop usage for shopping and social networking, marking 2013 as “the year we all went mobile.” The influx of new communication tools inspired PR and marketing pros to rethink traditional tactics in order to better accommodate the needs of their audiences. Beyond PR’s top blog posts of 2013 offered tips on competing for audience attention by targeting consumers with unique content, raising awareness through press releases, and maintaining engagement on social media. Here are the top 10 posts in descending order along with their key takeaways:

1)      Top 10 Best Practices for Social Media

Use social media to provide friendly and knowledgeable customer service on a consistent basis

2)      The Difference Between Social Media News Releases & Traditional Press Releases

Social-friendly formatting makes it easy for readers to share your content

3)…

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Five Free Online Tools I’m Thankful For

The holidays are busy enough without having to spend time doing tedious tasks. Thankfully, there are some great online tools that do a lot of those tasks with ease. As a communicator, I am thankful for tools that help me use my time more efficiently.

Buffer

I am a Buffer loyalist. Buffer does what other scheduling services do in a much cleaner, highly customizable format. Not only does Buffer schedule posts for you across a number of social networks, but it lets you customize your schedule so that you aren’t dumping all of your content at once. With an easy-to-use interface, it cuts out clutter and time spent scheduling and posting your content to social media.

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Headline Analyzer

The importance of strong headlines is something anyone who’s ever written a pitch or sent a newsletter understands. The Advanced Marketing Institute came up with this tool that analyzes the words in your headline using what they call Emotional Marketing Value as a gauge for how likely your headline is to appeal to your audience. It automatically cuts your submission at 20 words, which encourages you to avoid bulkiness as well.

SumAll

SumAll is analytics simplified. Nothing beats Google Analytics for custom tracking, but I love SumAll for tracking a broad range of services in one simple interface. It puts the stats from just about any tool, from social networks to email lists to financial services into a format that is easy to read and compare.

Cliche Finder

This writing tool is highly useful for eliminating common phrases and cliches that can make writing lack individuality. It may appear primitive, but it will find more than 200 frequently used expressions with one click of a button.

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Flipboard

If you could have all of your social media feeds, favorite news sites, and blogs in one place in a readable format, why wouldn’t you? Flipboard does exactly that by putting all of your content in a magazine-style set up on your iPhone and iPad. You can also create your own magazines using whatever content you like, making it a great way to share your blog posts, products, and content you love!

What tools are you thankful for?

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!

Hannah