People and Places – April 9-10

This is going to be a diary/shout out to the people and places I saw last Wednesday and Thursday.

WEDNESDAY

Congratulations to Ian Miller

I met Ian Miller at my first CPRS networking event in Halifax, and then I saw him again at the last CPRS session with Bessy Nikolaou. (You may have seen the post) I am congratulating him on his new job for the summer! He is a Communications Assistant with Canoe ’09. Around ninety countries are going to be competing in Dartmouth’s Lake Banook and it is going to be a massive event!

Networking with Cindy Wheeler

I also invited Ian to my second Wednesday networking lunch at the Halifax Club. This one was hosted by Cindy Wheeler who is a personal shopper and wardrobe consultant. It was a great time and I met some great contacts with cool jobs.

Press Conference for Fusion’s “Wear the Button” campaign

This was an event near and dear to my heart. I am part of Fusion Halifax’s Urban Development Action Team, aka UDAT (group of members who are interested in Urban Development) We have been working on a campaign to support HRMbyDesign, an urban design plan being proposed to the city council for the downtown core, for the last few months. HRMbyDesign is a plan to make the downtown core and surrounding areas a more sustainable and beautiful place! Find out more about the plan here.

THURSDAY

Networking at Smitty’s Lacewood

Another great networking event that I could walk to.  Met some more great people and hope to find ways to help them all soon.

Fusion’s Second Thursday event at the Garrison Brewery

Second Thursday is networking event for Fusion members. This was a special one because it was all about HRMbyDesign. I also helped organize this event with the UDAT.

The key parts of our “Wear the button” campaign are the distribution of our cool green buttons (they go with everything!) posters and decals we are giving to local businesses and organizations, and  post cards that we created for Haligonians to sign. We will be collecting all the signed post cards and will be delivering them to city council before the vote. Message me if you want to be a part of the campaign!

Helen Fong and the Yoga Atlantic Conference

I did manage to do some networking. (surprise, surprise)  I went to a leadership course/event a few weeks back and Helen remembered me from a question I asked. Helen Fong is the distribution coordinator for the Yoga Conference and a certified yogi! The conference will be a great time, and I hope some of you guys can make it out to the Chocolate Lake Best Western this weekend. Yummy!

There will be stretching

There will be stretching

Earth Day in Halifax

I also met some members of the Sustainability Action Team. The action team will be a part of Halifax’s Earth day celebrations on Wednesday April 22 at Victoria Park. Hopefully the weather will be great and you can check it out!

Fashion Show at the Page Gallery

I would like to thank Gillian Wesley, the lady in charge of Carpe Omnis Media, for inviting me to the fashion show she put on. Katrina Tuttle was showing a sneak peek of her fall line up. It was my first fashion show and it was everything and more than I expected! The models were from a Halifax modeling agency called City Models. Great job ladies!

Wow, that was long. I hope I did everyone justice, and it was great to meet and participate with all these people and events!

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4 reasons why a PR consultant should go to a Home Show

It was in a non-pedestrian friendly location which meant I had to walk through ditches, cross highways, and walk more than 30 minutes. (20 if you know exactly where you are going…)

My first home show at Exhibition Park in Halifax still turned out to be a great experience! I learned a lot about what goes into creating a home for yourself. From the architect’s renderings, roof options, insulation options,  maintaining clean air, garage door openers, financing options, solar panel installation and much more.

My main goals were to promote my consulting business and Waldii. It was definitely worth the trek and here are my reasons to go to a home show with a public relations consultant’s hat on:

1. Clients, Clients and more Clients

When I first heard of the idea of a PR consultant, in my first few days of class, I thought it would be a great job/business. I also thought that I would be the one to bring the power of PR to the under served market of small businesses. My day was spent going to booths and telling the owners about the value of PR and how it can help their business. Some were receptive, some were not, but I got cards from them all.

2. Networking

A lot of small business owners have regular day jobs. Sometimes these day jobs need PR help as well! Through getting to know some of the people at the booths, I was able to figure out ways to help them and ways for them to help me. For example, I met a mortgage broker who also hosts a radio show. He offered to interview me about the PR business! I will let you know how the interview goes, very soon.

3. Other Business Opportunities

Through my adventure at Exhibition park, I was offered two jobs! A couple of people thought I could do a good job selling/referring their products. These opportunities came as a surprise to me. However, I quickly realized that through my addiction to networking I could easily find people who need the products and connect them to something they need anyway!

4. Small Business Advice

Most of the booths were manned by small businesses, like myself. Through talking with these people, I gleaned a lot of information on how to get the most out of small resources. I met a mortgage broker/financial expert who gave me a place to find cheap business cards, and other business needs. I also met a guy who told me about more networking opportunities, advice on who to contact in the home show, and some valuable tips on organizing a busy life.

I guess the moral of the story is don’t be afraid to sell yourself and your abilities! Good things will happen when you put yourself out there.

My Lunch with the Networking King of Halifax

Did you know that in a survey conducted about working professionals by Pepperdine University, the people who made the most money considered themselves great networkers?

Matt Whitman is the king, and he gave a group of us at the Halifax Club an eye-opening presentation on advanced networking.

He says we need to take networking to the next level, to really grow our business and help each other out.

We started by introducing ourselves and giving a short “elevator” speech that you should always have ready when you are meeting someone for the first time.

We also did skills assessments that listed the basic skills he thought were important for networking, and also allowed us to see where we needed to improve.

One of Matt’s philosophies is to help as many people as you can, without thinking about what you can get back from them. People who are only in it for themselves are easy to see, and will not get the responses that they want. The more people you help the better off everyone will be, and you will probably get something back in return.

I met a diverse group of great people, who were ready and willing to give me advice and guidance. I also got a chance to talk about becoming a newly christened PR consultant in a friendly and encouraging environment. And I know they are looking for clients for me, just as hard as I am looking for clients for them!

One person I met told me to go to the Halifax Home Show to try to stir up some business. That was some of the best advice I have ever gotten! I went to the event, and I ended up with a couple contracts, many interested companies, two job offers, an offer to be interviewed about PR on a radio station, and I got enough business cards to kill a tree!

Matt also gave me a book called Twelve Pillars. It was written by Jim Rohn, the mentor to Anthony Robbins, and Chris Widener. It chronicles the conversations of a downtrodden man who meets a very wise gardener when his car breaks down on an dirt road.

It characterizes 12 fundamental truths that all truly successful people emulate. It was a great read, and I recommend it to anyone. It will motivate you to do things you never thought possible!

Two years ago, I never thought I would be starting my own business as a PR consultant. My path shows that if you work hard, be nice to everyone you meet, and find the right mentors a lot of good things will happen to you.

The Importance of Building Relationships

Every time I meet someone who is looking to enter the job market or is making important decisions for their future, I have one piece of advice for them:

“It is not what you know. It is who you know.”

I learned this lessons in college, where they professed volunteering and networking as important parts of building your career. (Another thing I advise every young person I meet to start working on)

I like to further this point even more with this quote: “The more people who know you’re awesome, the better.”

I find these principals especially important in my new home of Halifax.

A lot of the job opportunities I have found here have come directly or indirectly from contacts.

I recently went to an unveiling of an employment survey done by a Fusion Halifax action team.

It talked about the struggles people have to find a job in this city.

One issue the survey brought forward was that around 80 per cent of jobs aren’t even posted!

The panelists at the event made the point that it is important to meet people in your field and build relationships that can connect you to job opportunities in the future. They even discussed meeting leaders in a company you would like to work for and asking questions about the industry. They said it makes you look really smart and motivated!

The event was great for me, because it reiterated the actions I’ve been using to find a job since my first visit last May. (And I also found a new contact who subsequently set me up with another person!)

In May, I went on a vacation to Halifax so I could network with PR professionals who knew some of my contacts in Ottawa. It was an amazing trip and it really gave me a head start when I moved here in September.

I also joined CPRS Nova Scotia and Fusion Halifax when I arrived. Both of these organizations have given me many opportunities to network and volunteer.

I cannot wait until I settle on a career I enjoy and start giving something back to the people who helped me along the way. Making sure your relationships are mutually beneficial is the best way to keep them strong.

Check out this blog post on “The Art of Schmoozing” for a step-by-step guide to networking/schmoozing.