I absolutely love traveling.
I absolutely hate packing.
And the worse part about packing… people asking me what they should bring to NYC every time they visit. I hate this question. It’s just so hard to figure out because nothing in NY ever goes according to plan… not even the weather. And I really just want to be like, girl, use weather.com and figure it out = mean = no longer friends = no more visitors = SUCKS. So you may remember way back when I wrote this extra informative and very helpful post about all things you need to live in NYC (if you don’t, click here and say you do) and decided that I will save myself the pesky packing Q’s and just provide the extra informative and very helpful A’s. Enter Travel NYCessities:
So what do you need to successfully make it through a weekend in NY. After much thought this is the best I have no matter what NYC throws at you. Drum roll please:
Number 1: Your iPhone which really means your instagram. Don’t act like you don’t want to tweet cool pics of the skyline with #too #many #hashtags. That also means your charger! I don’t share my juice.
Number 2: Big bag beats small bag always.
Number 3: Always and forever a little black dress goes far… really really far. For all occasions. Swear.
Number 4: Sunglasses Rock Always Can You (read backwards or use a mirror maybe. Let me know if that works?)
Number 5: Arm swag too much to pack – gold watch. Done. And lastly,
Number 6: A sweater (or the trendy version known as a parka). You southerners, stop acting like you can handle the chill. Just bring it and layer as needed. Yes, even in the summer. Just. Bring. It. And ok, I share my sweaters (if I really really really like you.)
When it comes to NY less is more. Translation: bring less, go home with more after the many hours of shopping!
What did I leave out?
I feel like I can’t walk a minute without hearing a sneeze, a cough, or a sniffle. Heck, I just got better and apparently its completely and totally possible to get the flu again. Something about antibodies and defenses that I don’t completely comprehend (not a doctor and healthcare PR scares me too). And gosh, if you’re going to get the flu this season, hope and pray it isn’t in New York City – the absolute worst place in the world to get the flu mostly because no one is there to take care of you, the heater is unreliable, and your small teeny tiny apartment gets smaller as you get scorching hot cabin fever. However, if your luck matches mine, its OK because you’ll survive. Here’s how:
- You’re alone and your mom is approximately 2,000 miles away. Yes it sucks. No mom means no soup. But that doesn’t mean you should hug your Seamless soup delivery guy. As happy as you are that someone cares to bring you soup
that you paid for.
- Meds and chocolate are available at your corner deli right downstairs (so are flu shots but I don’t know if I recommend that).
- Trust me, as I speak from experience, New Yorkers are considerably nicer to the girl who hasn’t showered and looks like crap if you’re brave enough to venture out.
- Water is apparently super clean in NY. That means you can literally skip a step and drink from the faucet. It’s hard to do anything when you are sick. I get it and I’m not judging. Drink away.
- Keep reminding yourself its cold outside anyways and staying in and sleeping sounds perfect on a Saturday night. Bears do it, so can you. It’s called hibernation.
Stay careful out there as the flu epidemic rages on! What other ways can you survive the flu in NYC?
Is our over reliance on communicating electronically making us sloppy? I mean what other way is there to communicate? It’s happened a couple times this week where I wish I had slowed down, proofed, triple checked my verbiage but once you’ve hit send – you’ve communicated… whether you like it or not. Because unfortunately, there is a send button on our emails and cell phones but there is no easy way to recall those pesky itty bitty words.
So here are my favorite five well-researched tips from across the world wide web on what to do before hitting send to avoid communication blunders. Electronic complacency to avoid electronic regret…. ironic.
Check Formatting because extra spaces are extra unnecessary . Also make sure everything is one color (you’d be surprised) and the same font (and shocked to know how many times this has happened. Damn you Arial 10.)
Links! Click it and see where it takes you. Wouldn’t want the client to get to your ex boyfriend’s Facebook page who you were stalking…
Double check the sender name and triple check the outlet name. Wouldn’t it suck if you accidentally called Jim a Kim or worse Brad. Then you can’t even blame it on a typo.
Check the voice and make sure your tone isn’t demanding / threatening/ belittling.
And the winner (aka 99% of communication mistakes): check spelling and grammar. Nothing bad than a plain worse sentence. Yup.
Being a social butterfly and working the room naturally becomes part of the average PR Girl’s job description. It can be challenging to meet new people, but make it a goal at every social event to meet 5 new people because relationships goes far in the communications industry, whether that be with seniors from your agency, journalists, bloggers or clients. Though PR girls make meeting new people and carrying conversations seem easy breezy, it has its sharp edges and for me it’s always the introduction. Here are a couple ice breakers to help make social awkwardness into social gracefulness:
- How long have you known (the person that potentially introduced y’all)? OR it’s equivalent
- How do you know (the person that potentially introduced y’all)?
- Where do you work?
- Any big plans for the holidays?
- I really like your (insert anything here i.e. shoes, necklace, hat, etc.)!
- What did you think of the food/show?
- It’s so hot/cold/crowded in here!
- Where are you from?; and if your brain goes blank there’s always
- Hi, I’m [someone]; and of course my favorite all-time ice breaker
- If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
One way to find out which PR environment you love and work best in is by trying it all during the “self-research” phase. Though I was lucky enough to experiment with PR in college it’s never to late to grab that hopefully-paid-internship to test the waters. Here’s the lay of the land of my experiences:
- Big Agency – This was the most enjoyable for me and needless to say where I am now. I like the big office, bigger teams working together toward smaller goals and working with really experienced people in various industries, the larger network of offices nationally, and the social environment. There is a sense of growth available at big agencies which is motivating for me and there is always something to do. Don’t get me wrong, until you get used to the people, culture, and environment it’s easy to feel like a small fish in a big pond. But once I found my place, swimming only became easier.
- Small Agency – This was indeed my second favorite because I felt like I got to do a lot more with my time, especially as an intern when I was drafting pitches and sitting in new business pitches all within the second week. My constant fear at small agencies is that there are fewer people working together who naturally become family – work and social life blend to one. Of course this sounds great, but what happens when you don’t get along with someone? #drama. #avoid.
- In-House – This was the most challenging for me since it was one client all day, every day. Sure I became an expert in the field but the client needs and pressure was constant. No down time ever. Some what felt like dealing with nagging mom, more more more. Do this and do it now. Endless access to my life and questions about everything I did. Also, speaking of blending work and social… there was no social. It became an endless circle of work. Not my cup of tea…at least not then.
- Non Profit – This was the most rewarding but the hardest to get results. Need a lot of patience to work in this environment since budget cuts could put projects on hold indefinitely and social media is almost taboo until you slowly show all the benefits of a social presence. It almost became a cycle of persistance and proving yourself. But, in the end, reaching goals felt so valuable and life changing.
Figuring out which PR environment you like is the easy part… determining what field of PR you like… well, that’s an endless story. Which environment do you prefer?