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The JourneyCast Podcast, Ep. 10- Heather Whaling

JourneyCast Podcast with Heather Whaling

In this edition of The JourneyCast Podcast, we chat with Geben Communication president Heather Whaling. One of the most-trusted social influencers because of the hard work and dedication she -and her team- put in, Heather can be found speaking at conferences, being a thought leader through her blog, and setting the standard for what it means to be a true pro.

Heather discusses how she founded Geben, her work with the Columbus Marathon, being a new mom, and her love of the New York Yankees.

Heather can be found at prTini on Twitter and her blog. You can also follow Geben on the web and on Instagram.

Check out the latest JourneyCast Podcast episode!

Guest Post: What I Wish I Knew Going into College

A nearby conversation caught my attention during a recent subway ride. Three gents were talking about starting their freshman years of college. My initial thought was, “Lucky.” After that, I got to thinking about how I was feeling at their age about my upcoming new life chapter.

Don’t take anything for granted. People say your time at college will be the fastest four years of your life. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but time only gets faster when you leave the bubble that is college and enter the “real world”. Go out on a Tuesday night. Skip a class to enjoy time on the quad with friends. (But don’t make a habit of it – as a “student always” words cannot express my jealousy for not being able to go into a classroom daily. Take full advantage.) Choose courses for a reason. And then throw in some for the heck of it. Read the class assignments not because you have it, but because you can see how it will benefit you.

Leave behind your comfort zone. As someone who took her sweet time adjusting to life at college, I urge you to jump inOff-to-college without any reservations. College is the most ideal time to work really hard, play really hard (sorry parents) and fail more times than you’d like to count. You have your entire life ahead to be a professional – now’s the time to try, fail and give that whole trying thing another go.

Contribute to the community. Donate to a cause. Host a fundraiser. Chalk the quad. Join a club. Start a club if they don’t have what you’re looking for. Introduce yourself to someone new in class. Write an opinion piece for the daily newspaper. Run for student office. Do something to get involved.

Take road trips. Visiting my friends on their campuses created memories that we still laugh about to this day. Make sure some of those trips bring you home to Mom and Dad. Aside from the perks like free laundry and home-cooked meals, you will find that your conversations with M&D have reached a new level. You’ll appreciate them even more and your relationship will only improve with age.

Create a loose life plan. There will be plenty of time for tailgates and nights out, but it is important to remember that college is not forever (sad, right?) and you will need to land a job one day. You don’t need to know exactly what you want to do when you grow up – I certainly didn’t at your age. Internships, job shadows and informational interviews will offer you great insights into the working world. Instead of focusing on the title/department, I looked for companies I thought I would look forward to going to every day…knowing that the workload would inevitably interest me.

To the college kids, what questions do you have? To everyone else, what did I miss?

Flo 3


Stephanie Florence is a 20-something who can talk to a brick wall and dance to a kazoo. She contributes to the 40:20 Vision as the Millennial Editor and on every day that ends in “y” you can find Stephanie meeting people, telling exceedingly long stories and taking the approach of a student…always. Find her dancing around New York City in her personalized Chuck Taylors, complete with her Twitter handle: @StephanieFlo.


Tuesday Video Tip: Planning

“Plans are nothing. Planning is everything.”- Dwight D. Eisenhower 

Planning is part of our fabric as public relations pros. We make sure that clients have planned for an event, roll out, or social media campaign. In today’s Tip, here are a few ways you can be better planners.

How do you go about planning your day, your tasks? Let me know in the comments.

JourneyCast Podcast w/ Ben Butler

Late last spring, I had the chance to first chat with Ben Butler over Twitter. As we got to talking, I realized how incredibly prepared and focused he was. Ben interviewed me for his blog and we finally got to meet in person in October at the PRSSA National Conference. 

In this edition of the JourneyCast, I chatted with Ben about his start in PR, why he decided on a solo PR career, and what drives him every day.

The JourneyCast with Top Hat IMC’s Ben Butler

On your phone or tablet? Download the podcast on iTunes!

Ben Butler

Ben Butler

Let me be your CEO of You coach!

I want to make your personal brand great!

I want to make your personal brand great!

Over the last four months, the CEO of You series has taken off even more than I expected. The apex was appearing at the PRSSA National Conference in Philadelphia last October. The response from the students in attendance and on social media was frankly overwhelming and flattering.

In the weeks following, I had time to think about how CEO of You would move forward. I’ve talked with a number of students since October, whether it be over social networks, Skype, or email. The one thing that kept echoing in my mind was: “I need to do more.” But what would that “more” be? I have the answer.

Starting today, I’m happy to announce that I am offering one-hour personal branding sessions for students and new professionals, on an individual basis, for FREE. During these sessions , I will do everything I discuss in my talks: Do a personal SWOT analysis and personal audit on you and your brand, as it appears right now.  We’ll then discuss your understanding what your brand is. And, yes, when I say this is free, I mean it is FREE.

So why am I doing this? It’s simple… I love what I do as a professional and I’m passionate about personal branding. And I want to help you have a passionate, energetic, and professional brand.

Let’s work together and make you the CEO of YOU! Reach out to me at Jason.R.Mollica-at-gmail-dot-com.

Personal Audits and Your Brand

On Oct. 26, I’ll be speaking at PRSSA’s National Conference in Philadelphia, Pa. (Cue the Rocky theme!) It’s an incredible honor to be back in the city where I got my degree (#TempleMade) and my first job.

The title of the talk is “The CEO of You,” which focuses on personal branding. Whether you are a freshman, graduating senior or new professional, your brand online is extremely important. Here is my latest Thursday Thought on doing a personal audit as part of your brand.

How are you checking yourself weekly, monthly, or quarterly? Let me know in the comments.

Thursday Thought: Paid vs. Unpaid Internships

The debate over paid or unpaid internships is back in the news again. One of the editors at Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In Foundation” ruffled some feathers by asking for an unpaid intern.

Here are my thoughts on paid versus unpaid.

What say you, viewer? Weigh in by leaving a comment.

ARod, PEDs: MLB’s Continuing PR Problem

The news (finally) came down on Aug. 5 that New York Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez was suspended for the remainder of the 2013 season and the entire 2014 season. Thirteen other Major League Baseball players were also banned, including Nelson Cruz of the Texas Rangers and Jhonny Peralta of the Detroit Tigers. But when is a suspension not a suspension? When ARod decides to appeal and is active on the Yankee roster.

Courtesy: AP

Courtesy: AP

ARod being allow to being allowed to play is all part of the appeal process. So, there he was in Chicago Monday night: batting cleanup in the Yankee order, all while being accused of taking performance-enhancing drugs, or PEDs. Despite MLB Commissioner Bud Selig levying the bans, ARod playing and the possibility of more players essentially cheating is a huge public relations problem. But why? Didn’t baseball do the right thing? Sure they did. Selig and Co. had the evidence in the Biogenesis case to suspend the offenders. It’s not going to end the issue, though.

1. ARod’s appeal and case– With Rodriguez’s announcement that he will appeal his unprecedented 211 game ban, this has a chance to get ugly for MLB and the Yankees. In 2008, ARod admitted he used PEDs once before. While the Bronx Bombers aren’t directly connected, ARod is still on the active roster. Every city he goes to until the appeal is heard is going to be a nightmare. It will constantly be on every sports network and in news coverage. Once the appeal is heard, what if MLB’s positions aren’t found to be valid? Now you have a league that suspended a player and they didn’t have proper evidence.

2. Bud Selig’s legacy- The Commish has been in his position (officially) since 1998. In his time, he’s done some terrific things: the Wild Card, revenue sharing and interleague play. However, the big mark on his tenure has been PEDs and the steroid issue. It is well documented that steroids were rampant in the game as the 2000’s were on its way. Selig has denied that he was to blame. While it is hard to just pin it on him, he is baseball’s “CEO”; you need to have control over your business.

3. Baseball may never be totally “clean”- Here is what Tampa Bay Devil Rays 3B tweeted on Monday:

Sure, it is a step. But the problem is there will always be others that try to cheat. Players like future hall-of-famers Ken Griffey, Jr and Derek Jeter have, presumably, played the game clean. But did they? There’s even been rumblings about Mike Piazza, the all-time home run leader for catchers, as being a steroid user (it’s never been proven and Piazza never failed a drug test as a player). Sadly, those players are under the “Steroid Era” umbrella. MLB can never truly say that its game is clean. And that’s a major PR issue.

How will MLB handle the continuing questions? Will ARod’s appeal bring more of a black cloud over baseball? Let your voice be heard in the comments.

When You Seem Your Least Creative

Let’s be honest. The creative juices don’t always flow like Niagara Falls. The struggle to find ways to think of new ideas, fresh blog posts and awesome plans for clients is very real. So real that this blog didn’t come to me this easy.

I’ve been struggling lately with developing content for the blog. I came back from Italy with so much energy and a fresh mind; it should have been simple for me to write to my heart’s content. It hasn’t been. Sitting at the computer just attempting to start a blog turned into a painstaking process that should never happen. We aren’t always creative and we need to be honest with ourselves about that.

John DeMarco

Photo courtesy of John DeMarco.

But why does this happen? It’s simple. While we strive to be at the top of our game, the bridge to creativity isn’t always open. There are roadblocks with everything in life, but it’s how we approach those obstacles that go a long way to moving us forward. Are you going to just smash through that roadblock or will you find a way around to get you where you need to go?

I’d never blog about something unless I believed it to be helpful, so here are three things that can help your creativity.

Just write– What about? Your favorite song and how it makes you feel, a really bad movie, or a great meal you had. Oddly enough, those things can help your brain start firing and get things going in the right direction.

Watch an awesome movie– Every time I watch Iron Man 2, (the scene where his wracking his brain to find a solution for the failing Arc Reactor, then his Dad jogs his memory on film) my mind start moving. Maybe it’s because I’m a super hero geek, but those movies start getting me amped. I get Starkified (is that a word?).

Talk it out- Sit down with someone you trust- a husband/wife, partner, etc.- and just talk. It could be about why you can’t think of things to write. In most cases, that other person will say something to get you started on Creativity Drive. Look at all the Instagram pictures we see with our friends in them. You’re going to tell me they can’t get your creative mind going?

The best of the best have their days when they aren’t creative. It’s how you re-fuel yourself that will go far in getting your creativity back. You can shoot for the moon all you want. But if you don’t have the rocket to get there, it’s all just a pipe dream.

How do you get your creativity back? Let me know in the comments!