Blog Archives

Join me at JRM Comm for a new blog!

Good day, friends! It’s a new year… heck, it’s February already. Last year, though, I re-launched my brand and, with the help of Ashley of Little Leaf Design, have a brand new website. This means I’m going to be posting on the blog at the new site.

So, join me at JRMComms.com/blog, scroll to the bottom of a post and sign up for updates by clicking the “Notify me of new posts by email” box. You’ll be able to get fresh content and more.

My latest post on “Why Understanding the Media Matters Today” is live, NOW. Thanks for your readership and passionate comments here for the last five years. I look forward to the same at the new blog site.

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Getting Canned or Why I’m Glad I Got Let Go From My Job

Two years ago on Sept. 4, I started the day by putting my daughter on the bus for kindergarten, not knowing that I would be embarking on my own new journey a few hours later. See, I was canned by my firm. While I wasn’t exactly thrilled with being let go from a job for the first time in my life, it was the best damn thing that ever happened to me.

(courtesy: John DeMarco

(courtesy: John DeMarco)

Looking back on that day, I should have seen it coming. I was going in one direction, the firm in another. Did I want to get let go? No way. But I’m glad I did. Does this mean you should look forward to getting fired? Absolutely not. But, for me, this was the realization that my dream of running my own business was about to come into focus. So, yes, I’m glad I got let go.

I’ve learned much in two years; things I would not have learned otherwise. What have I learned in a relatively short time span? Let me tell you:

  • There’s no overnight success- Unless you have a Rolodex full of big spenders, you are going to have to hustle, sweat, and pound the pavement. Matthew Cerrone of Metsblog is a perfect example of this. He started Metsblog and turned it into a incredible success story. But, it wasn’t something that he took for granted. And he still hustles like an all-star every single day.
  • Have a plan- This should be very obvious, because without a plan, you are a ship without a rudder. Every successful business, no matter how big or small, has a plan. The day I got let go, I sat down that night and put the small plan I already had and expanded it. Think about what you need and how you want to go about growing your business.
  • There will be failures- Why sugar coat it? The first few months of my business were a huge gut check. I needed to collect unemployment for the first time and the money wasn’t coming in. I learned more about myself and where I wanted to be during this time. You want to be a success? You need to understand failure.
  • Never stop learning- Every single day, I read or hear something new. In a recent post for PRSA’s new professionals, I was asked about ways to gain more experience. I wrote, “Gaining knowledge is up to you. Don’t rest on what is in front of you; look beyond the now, and see the future. YOUR future.” The only way you’ll continue to grow, is to always act like a student (as my friend Stephanie Florence likes to say.)
  • Go with confidence- There will be moments when you feel your lowest. Sure, being canned is a very tough pill to swallow. How can you overcome it? Believe in yourself, your skills, and your experience. This doesn’t mean be cocky. It means to take that first step towards future success, you need to believe that you can do it. This means no rope, no parachute. You rely on your skills and knowledge to make it work.

As I mentioned, being canned isn’t the most optimal way to start out. But, whether you step out into a new beginning on your own volition or not, believe the best is yet to come.

New blog feature- The Inspire Series

Earlier this year on the blog, I did a five-part series detailing how to help your career. It received some terrific feedback from many of you. Today, I’m beginning another series that I hope is a little longer than five parts.

Man_of_Steel_TIt’s called the Inspire Series and we’ll feature folks that make an impact. These people could be students, new and experienced PR/social media pros, or just regular people. My goal is to show the positive and inspiring things that are going on in our world.

We see plenty of negativity and biting commentary. Of course, things aren’t always rosy. But that doesn’t mean I can’t help give you more of a glass half-full approach. Who inspires you? Think they should be featured in the series? Drop me a line at Jason[at]JRMComms[dot]com or use the contact form.

Building the Bridge

This time last year, I put my daughter on the bus for her first day of kindergarten. Little did I know that the bus doors opening to her new beginning were a metaphor of what was to come for her father.

One year ago, I was let go from my job. It was the best thing that could have happened to me. My own “bus doors” were opening to the start of my consultancy, JRM Comm. The ride so far has been exciting, exhilarating, draining and stressful. Read those four words again. This was not something I ever expected.

I’m going to be brutally honest. There are days that I’m still learning about running my own business. Does this affect my work with clients? Absolutely not. But, I’ve struggled with the behind the scenes things. I want to be the best. But there are days that I’m not the best. As a matter of fact, there are days where my batting average is zero.

That is the biggest test for me; trying to understand the balance of success and failure. My highs are very high. When it comes to my lows, I let the little things get to me. Why hasn’t this mail come through? How can someone actually post that on Facebook? When is this potential client going to respond?

My wife said something great to me the other night. She told me, “You need to be real. Don’t be someone online and a different one off of it.” This is something I mention and talk to people about all the time, yet I’m not listening to my own (and my wife’s) advice. Well, that changes now.

I’ve decided to build the bridge. This phrase is something that New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin told the team prior to the start of the 2012-13 season. He said:

“‘Build the Bridge’ means to carry over all the good things that happened at the end of the season last year over into the new season. The qualities that allowed us to go forward and win the World Championship.”

While this may not sound like the most inspiring thing in the world, that phrase is key for me. By building a bridge from the good things that happened and eliminating the negatives, I can be a better business owner, PR pro and speaker.

I’m lucky to be in this position… and I’m thankful for the support I’ve had from family and colleagues. My advice to you? Build your bridge, but don’t try to do it in one day. You’ll find success over time, not overnight.

That’s reality and something I absolutely embrace.

Starting Small By Thinking Big

I am not Edelman; I’m not BlissPR; I’m not even Ruder Finn. I say that with no ounce of disrespect, either. Many of the people who work at those places have, in one way or another, provided inspiration to me. You see, those big players in our field helped shape how I wanted to run my consultancy.

Sure, I looked at many other consultancies and businesses, those not in PR or social media marketing, to get ideas. It, ultimately, came back to the “big boys.” They didn’t start with name brands or PR consultants to Fortune 500 CEOs; they started small and got bigger and bigger.

Do I think my name will eventually be like Edelman? No. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to think big. Just because you aren’t a big firm doesn’t mean you can’t think like one.

JRM Comm started as a pipe dream. I wanted to be on my own. I grew tired of doing things that I felt weren’t moving forward. So, when I broke off on my own last September, I put everything I learned into launching my consultancy. I may be small in business size, but my mind thinks big. And that is what clients want… and what you should aspire to.

The minute you begin to think small, instead of big, you have failed. You deserve better and so do your clients. Think about this for a second: Would you listen to a consultant or pro if they said you should just do a news release? Probably not. That’s thinking small. You would probably listen to a pro that said let’s create a plan that involves traditional PR tactics and PR 2.0. Let’s do a Twitter contest, etc.

You may be just one person now, but two years from now you may have five employees. You don’t get there by just thinking small… you get bigger by thinking bigger. Dream it and believe it!