WestJet Christmas Miracle: Real-Time Giving

As I’ve said many times before, Christmas is my favorite holiday of the year. Filled with love and happiness, it’s the perfect time for giving…

Well, it looks like WestJet agrees with me! They gave hundreds of passengers a Christmas surprise of a lifetime. They casually asked them “what they wanted for Christmas?” before they stepped on the plane, and what they wished for was waiting for them on the baggage carousel after they landed!

Not only was it a sweet gesture to begin with, it also created some positive public relations for WestJet. I have to say, it was a great move from a PR perspective, and I think it was genuinely appreciated all over the world.

Check out this video for the details. Trust me, it’s well worth your time!

Christmas: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

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One of my favorite times of the year is Christmas. I love absolutely everything about it; the spirit, the traditions, the smell. It’s pure magic.

But if you think you’ve experienced holiday season, think again. There’s nothing better than walking through this twinkling city, crisp air blowing in your face while you’re infatuated with the music and lights of 5th Avenue. It makes even rainy days a bit brighter. It puts a smile on your face when your day is just not going your way. It’s enough of a reason to be happy, even though you’re freezing your tush off and balling your hands up in fists in hopes of creating some warmth. It’s my happiness.

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The other day, while I was walking around the City, killing time before my evening class, I walked by Saks Fifth Avenue and was able to take a look at the Christmas window displays that they put out every year. As expected, it was absolutely stunning and quite the sight to see. There’s always a unique story to tell, and companies always take advantage of their window displays and curious tourists to give them something special to enjoy throughout the holidays.

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What’s your favorite holiday? Do you enjoy Christmas as much as I do?

Let’s reflect: my first six months in NYC

 

Come this December, I’ll be living in NYC for six months. Whoa, how quickly time flies! So, in light of this anniversary (and yes, in my book this qualifies as an anniversary), I wanna take a look back and reflect on some of my experiences in the City & what I’ve learned from them.

The Struggle: Although the first few months were a difficult adjustment, I wouldn’t trade them for anything. I took the challenge of moving here in stride, and it has really taught me a lot about myself and life in general. Part of being successful is challenging yourself and accepting that life is way more spontaneous than you had envisioned. Things don’t always work out the way you expect, and it requires you to adjust and accept things for what they are. For example, I thought I would move to New York, go to grad school and bartend part time. Instead, I haven’t landed a bartending job, and it has led me to focus on gaining public relations experience while I’m living in the city that has so much to offer.

Gaining Perspective: Through my experiences so far, I have gained a completely different perspective on the public relations field today. I have learned so much from my professors and peers at NYU, and they have been a major contribution to the depth and breadth of my knowledge of the communications industry. Through personal stories and advice, they have helped me gain a deeper understanding of how to tackle the industry. Not only have they helped me educate myself, they’ve become lifelong connections that will help me network in the future.

Seize the Moment: Live in the moment and never take advantage of it. It’s too easy to take life for granted, and we often forget how lucky we are. I mean, how many people can pack their bags, move to NYC, and pursue their career dreams head on? Not only do I get to live in this incredible city, but I get to spend my time among some of the best professionals in the industry. Sounds like the perfect way to start my career!

Feeling Defeated: The Difficulties of Finding a NYC Internship

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We all have a vision for our futures: we go through college, figuring out our career path, then we graduate and expect our dream jobs to fall into our laps. We get excited about the potential, which leads us to oversee the reality of how the work force functions today. The PR industry has become incredibly competitive, and now more than ever landing an internship, especially in NYC, is as difficult as finding your first job.

Not only is is frustrating, but it’s extremely confusing when you can’t seem to land that internship. We put ourselves out there to get experience as young professionals, but 9 out of 10 people who are hiring aren’t willing to give newbies the opportunity to get that experience we need! We naturally begin to feel defeated and overwhelmed by the entire job/internship search process, and it can definitely be a downer.

Although it can be incredibly hard to keep your head up, please do! Even the smartest and best students go through this rigorous process, and I try to see it as an opportunity to continue to practice our interview and communication skills. I realize that this may be quite an optimistic point of view, but it truly is the only mindset that will help you get through these tough moments. Something will come along that will be the right fit, we just need to be patient and find that opportunity.

In the meantime, here are some tips on how to approach the internship hunt:

  • Remember that if you’re an intern, you have a better chance to eventually move up. Employers want to see dedication and loyalty to their company, and when you do your part and work your booty off, you have a better chance to move up the ladder and land that job you’ve wanted.
  • Network, network, network. I realize that this tip is like preaching to the choir, but it is SO true. Capitalize on those relationships that you’ve created and build your career using your connections. For example, email your former professors and ask them if they know of anyone looking for an intern. Chances are that your personal connection with your professor will help you land an interview!
  • Make sure your resume is up to par. Check out this link to a post by the nyc PR girls about how to put together the perfect resume: http://nycprgirls.com/unexpected-pr-resume-must-haves/
  • Look for internships for smaller companies. Chances are that these spots are less competitive, and a lot of the time you get a lot more hands on experience when you’re working for a company of 50 people or less.
  • Check social media outlets for posts about opportunities. A lot of the time companies look for interns who are up to date with technology, and one of the ways they do that is by posting opportunities on Twitter or Facebook. It’s also a way for you to standout!

ING New York City Marathon beneficial for the City’s PR

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As many of you know, the annual ING New York City Marathon took place last weekend, hosting athletes who run through the City’s five boroughs with the support of tons of people who cheer them on for the entire 26.2 miles. It’s the epitome of New Yorkers and visitors coming together, and it was inspirational to be able to be a part of the event. Although I didn’t participate, I felt that there was a sense of community in a city that is home to many. People came together to support other people, everyone joined together to support each other. In my opinion, it doesn’t get any better than that.

Aside from being a great event, the marathon is quite beneficial for New York City’s public relations. Some of you may say that NYC doesn’t need any PR help, but that’s where I want to play the devil’s advocate. Yes, New York is on many people’s travel bucket list, and everyone has a perception of how fab the city is based on movies they’ve seen or books they’ve read, but it still needs to have good public relations. It’s part of the image that the City portrays, and events such as the marathon only enhance the positive perception that people have of New York. Public relations is a constant thing, it doesn’t stop even when people think positively of you.

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People from allover the world participate or watch the NYC Marathon. It’s a way to give hundreds of thousands of people a commonality, which also plays a factor in the PR game. The marathon provides a common ground that allows people to connect. Not only does the event itself bring people together, but the communications work done by the organization plays a huge part in this. For example, they have quite a social media presence on outlets such as Facebook, Twitter & Instagram, which paves the way for two way conversations. People constantly post personal photos, comments & opinions of what has been going on with athletes they’re there to support. The organization provides real time updates and motivational posts for athletes and followers. The use of social media is an asset for public relations professionals because it provides a dynamic platform that is appreciated by the public. The organizers of the ING New York City Marathon have used social media to their advantage to communicate with the public on a personal level.

Overall, I love the ING New York City Marathon, and I always have, and the ways that they have made a communicative effort has really grabbed my attention. They’ve done a great job and they should be commended for that.

What do you think? Has the organization done a good job from a public relations point of view? Or would you do something differently?