Valerie Merahn Simon
Berkeley Heights, NJ
Bio not provided
Will echo Karen's sentiments... you always bring out the best in others; to facilitate an introduction to you is a gift to that person!
Nice to reflect on our 6 years and of the wonderful and ever growing community we are a part of ...through the hashtag and beyond :) Love that picture with Deirdre, Heather and Shonali. Such a special night.
3 days, 17 hours ago on 7 connectors who transformed my career
Interesting post. After reading, I decided to go back to the recent Pew Social Media Demographics report from Feb. Statistics do show that a higher percentage of those in the 18-29 category use social networking sites than the 30-49 category (83% vs 77%), Significant, but certainly not a tremendous difference. I believe the reason you find fewer experienced dedicated social/digital professionals is not because of a lack of talent, but that there are fewer high paying jobs that are exclusively social/digital. In most corporate organizations a social media specialist, ( sometimes a SM manager and less frequently a SM strategist) reports up to a Director or VP of Marketing (or possibly PR, Advertising, Communications etc). While there are certainly some organizations that have senior level positions dedicated to social, I think many companies do not have the resources and are embracing an integrated strategy where leadership positions require strategic responsibilities across channels.
2 years, 1 month ago on The Gen X social media talent gap–and what it means for corporate America
If ever a word were in need of PR counsel, it would be "sales." My career in sales was purely accidental...when I am excited about what I am doing I talk about it! And when you share your enthusiasm about a service with people who have a need for that service... sales happen. But although I spent a great deal of my career in sales, I confess my voice often trailed off when asked to introduce myself. "Senior Vice President of (mumble) sales." Today, I am proud of that sales background and recognize that those sales skills have been a critical factor in every success I have had. I very much agree that EVERYONE is in sales... and in great organizations, where company pride and enthusiasm exist, I think you'll find that all employees, regardless of title, evolve into a veritable sales army.
2 years, 1 month ago on To Sell is Human: A Communicator’s View on New Business
Arik, As always, I appreciate the perspective you have taken on this issue. And so, while this is by no means the first time I have read about it, this is my first comment. So here is my advice:Cathryn, I understand the frustration you have coming out of college into a job market far more competitive than I faced as a new graduate. Rejection is frustrating. And I do recall how very much I wanted to prove my own abilities from day one! Experience using (living,breathing!) social media is certainly important. But an innate comfort level alone does not prepare you to serve as the spokesperson for a company, and to carry the responsibility for the many challenges and opportunities social media offers organizations. Social media, like the telephone or pen and paper, is simply a means to empower communications. And communications, as you have no doubt learned in college (or even in the experience of writing this article), is fraught with complexity.
So be proud of all that you know, and continue to immerse yourself in emerging technologies (because they will continue to emerge and you CAN continue to stay on the cutting edge... even as you approach your 30's, 40's, 50's and beyond! ) Respect experience, not simply for the years someone may have sat on the job, but for what they have learned in the "real world" during this time.
You may be skeptical that the jobs you are qualified for as a new graduate are worthy of your potential. But excel in the tasks you given and take the opportunity to learn as much as possible... both pragmatic technical skills as the people skills you will need to work with colleagues, clients, the media and everyone else who will ultimately determine your success (or failure) on the job.
2 years, 9 months ago on Attitude, lack of humility downfalls of Cathryn Sloane’s post
@ginidietrich Hope you and @Frank_Strong had a great time today! Have such respect for Frank and have no doubt that you are right... "He’s changing the world in a way only a few of us ever know." Thanks for giving us a glimpse Gini. And thank you Frank. As so many others have said, I deeply appreciate your service to our country and our industry.
2 years, 10 months ago on #FollowFriday: Frank Strong
Congrats on the new position!!
3 years, 2 months ago on #HAPPO Chat Alert: Tips for Starting Your New Job on the Right Foot
@Shonali@HowieG@valerie merahn simon Joking? My brain to text app is almost ready to launch :)
3 years, 3 months ago on 12 Tips to Organize and Run a Tweetathon
@JGoldsborough Thanks JG... much appreciate the kind words and trust that you know it is a mutual admiration society :)
3 years, 4 months ago on PR Rock Stars: Valerie Simon
@ginidietrich Thank you Gini :)
@Ari Herzog This is a tough question for me, because I have always had entrepreneurial aspirations and gave serious thought to growing my consulting business. I have so much respect and admiration for those who are able to branch out on their own and build a successful business. But I also very much appreciate the advantages and opportunities that come with being a part of a larger organization.
Arik thanks so much for including me among your "Rock Stars". It was a great chance to reflect and I am humbled to be in such great company.
Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely... these really represent the "SMART" goals we so often hear about. I have a feeling you'll be checking these items off in short order. And I cannot wait to hear what you come up with next. Thanks for the inspiration... I have a feeling there will be many PR bucket lists (and maybe even follow up posts) written tonight :)
3 years, 4 months ago on What’s on your PR bucket list?
@HeatherWhaling Heather, I'll second that. @JGoldsborough get writing! Have a feeling there is a book in your future. Might as well get started NOW!
@MSchechter I'm not sure that I have enough battery power to read ALL of these comments, but I'm about to try. Any algorithm in place to include the number of "likes"?
3 years, 7 months ago on 5 Reasons I Should Get More Blog Comments than Gini Dietrich
:) It is so fun to watch your adventures in fatherhood! Family walks are the best. For us they now include two children in a wagon (well in and out of the wagon!) Enjoy these special times and cherish every second! It is wonderful to see that all of the stress and craziness of the past year has resulted in this... a perfect moment!!
3 years, 8 months ago on A New Normal?
Yes, this was a great opportunity for Morton's to demonstrate how they go above and beyond for their clients in a very visible manner. IMHO, today customer service, sales... truly all client facing roles bring new PR opportunities and risks. If I had to classify this, yes, I would say the incident was probably more PR than service, but I really don't see why these are mutually exclusive. Morton's found an opportunity to thrill a loyal customer. I'd love to hear more stories from "less influential" customers, but just because @PeterShankman has "influence" doesn't mean that it wasn't a story of great service.
3 years, 8 months ago on Great Customer Service or Great PR?
Great tips Arik! I'd have a slightly different answer to the "What’s the single most powerful thing a candidate can do to increase their hireability?” question, though. Blogging is definitely important, but from what I have seen through #HAPPO, it is the power of connections and your network that can truly help you to stand out in a crowd, find the right opportunity, and help facilitate a powerful introduction with the right person.
3 years, 8 months ago on 8 questions on every PR job-seeker’s mind
Have really enjoyed your posts Beth... thanks for all the great Harte of Marketing posts. Will look forward to hearing your continued thoughts via other platforms
3 years, 8 months ago on Goodbye Blog… Hello World!
Very good post. My personal opinion is that, right or wrong, people do make judgements based on how you choose to present yourself. That said, express yourself as you see fit, but always do so cognizant of the fact that it others will have an opinion. Should you change to adhere to someone else's standards or opinions? Well I guess that is up to you and whether you want to be accepted by those whose judgement will "matter", They have the power to judge. You have the power to decide whether you care.
3 years, 9 months ago on Too High, Too Low, Too Gen Y?
A former boss who I greatly admire once told me the story of his first huge business mistake. He was working at a large ad agency and it cost the agency a big client. He went to his boss with his head down and a letter of resignation in his hands. "I assume you are expecting me to resign," he said in shame. His bossed looked at him and said, "After all I've just invested in your education??" He went on to do great things for the agency, ultimately heading up a large division. Mistakes are painful, no two ways about it. But you are right, for companies and individuals it is so important to check your ego. Own the error. And find a way to do things better moving forward.
3 years, 9 months ago on Mistakes
Oh Heather, I am so deeply moved. Thank you Heather, Harrision, Brittany and everyone else who takes a moment to "buy Meg a drink." I think most of us found our way into the world of PR because we cherish our own relationships and hold the ability to build relationships in the highest regard. Friendships, whether they were made in a college dorm or in a Twitter chat, are a special gift. In good times they offer laughter and joy. And as one of my sorority sisters said this week, "it just makes going through life easier knowing that you have these incredible people who have your back."
IAnd for any communicator who has ever questioned the ability to build a "real" relationship in 140 characters... well this post says it all. Thank you. Thank you for your friendship, compassion and energy. You inspire me.
3 years, 10 months ago on Will You Join Me in Supporting #TeamMeg?
@ginidietrich @HeatherWhaling We missed you at dinner Gini! Hope to catch you next time your in the city :)
3 years, 10 months ago on #FollowFriday: Heather Whaling
@ginidietrich very well said! I have been a fan of @HeatherWhaling for several years. She is generous, dependable, intelligent and personable... and your right, somehow manages to shine even brighter in person! She's full of creative ideas and her enthusiasm is contagious. Oh, and guess what? She's from NJ!!!
Great advice Arik... Taking ownership of your networking efforts being proactive allows you to maximize the value of those efforts.
BTW WONDERFUL to finally get to sit down together and chat!
3 years, 10 months ago on 5 ways to maximize your PR networking time
Thanks for including the daily calendar Shonali. Going to definitely have to check out both of these ebooks.
Kellye & Jenny's book sounds like a must read... All organizations, big and small, must protect themselves. It has taken me many years of reviewing complex contracts with legal counsel (and a husband who is an attorney!) to gain comfort and confidence with the critical elements of a legal agreement and I thing that plain-language explanations and full contract examples will be an EXTREMELY valuable reference for small business owners.
3 years, 11 months ago on 3 Resources for PR/Social Media Pros & Small Biz Owners
@Shonali @ginidietrich @NancyD68 @dbreakenridge Hmmm. Just followed Nancy on Twitter. Us Jersey girls need to stick together..
3 years, 11 months ago on Get Your Blue Key In Support of World Refugee Day
@JGoldsborough When discussing communications via early 90's lyrics I skip the parody & go with Vanilla Ice. "Stop, Collaborate & Listen..." :) Agree that Twitter is extremely helpful in teaching brevity and focus. Thanks for the comments- can't wait to see you next week!!! (I promise not to sing!)
3 years, 11 months ago on Seven Considerations for Effective Communication
@larsv Thanks so much :) Really interesting site Lars-- And I love that Chris links to unsuckit.com!
@kendallpam Great comparison... and exactly why I get very anxious about buying a new car!! I think that sometimes jargon & industry terms are tossed around to demonstrate expertise... the reality is that they often leave the customer with a sense of distrust. Thanks for sharing!
@HeatherWhaling @ginidietrich @JGoldsborough Have to dive a bit further into a point Heather made " I love the business development process. It's addicting ... like crack." Admittedly, it's a feeling I know all too well. But I was having coffee yesterday with a very wise & talented small PR agency owner who mentioned that getting the business was the easy part (perhaps I am overstating it a bit), but her challenge was in the inevitable next steps. For small agency owners that may mean HR and accounting issues. Large agencies likewise need to be sure that they are properly staffed and have all the resources to follow through on the commitments they made. While this may seem like a beautiful problem/challenge, I think that as budgets continue to grow, the challenges of growth are certainly worth considering. If you are prepared to invest in business development, you must also be prepared to grow!
4 years ago on The opportunity cost of investing in new business
Love the Saved by the Bell reference :)
Time and money are probably the two most important resources of any organization, so while business development efforts are key to growth (and even survival), investment in business development must be done in a manner that is both efficient and effective. Here are a few steps I would recommend to minimize opportunity cost
1. Qualify the opportunity. Not every opportunity is the right opportunity for your organization, so ask the questions and make sure that you understand the clients needs BEFORE you invest substantial time and resources. Make sure you understand the clients budget and commitment to moving forward as well. There will be times when you are not the right fit, and a recommendation/referral of someone who will be a great fit is the best option.
2. Evaluate the resources that you will need to invest and how you would otherwise allocate those resources. Neglecting current business is not an option. Taking a half hearted approach is likewise not the right choice... not only will your hurt your efforts to win the business, but you could jeopardize your reputation and future opportunities. Can you commit the additional resources necessary?
3.Identify areas to maximize efficiency in your new business efforts. Sure, no two pitches will be the same, but oftentimes we needlessly reinvent the wheel (or spend far too long in the garage looking for that wheel). As you alluded to above, consider what templates can you create, what slides can you modify? What steps can you take to assure that what you learned working on one pitch can help strengthen and expedite your future efforts? Are there partners who can help you (shameless plug here, but I love working with clients to help them on new business pitches!)
Just a few quick thoughts!
@Chemann Hi Chuck, I'm sorry to say we can't argue (at least much) here :) While I maintain that there is no universal influencer, I do believe standardization of the criteria used to determine influence is not only possible, but extremely important. But any universally accepted process needs to be meaningful. As Shonali points out, many of the current means for evaluating influence really offer only a very small piece of the picture. Really eager to continue to hearing your thoughts... and cannot wait for the book to come out!
4 years, 2 months ago on 8 questions to help explain influence
Great questions... I personally do not think there is such a thing as a universal influencer (though I suppose there may be some religious leaders who would take issue that!)
While there are lots of ways to categorize influencers, I have yet to discover an algorithm dynamic enough to take into account all variables that lead to an influencer's ability to actually impact specific action. A brand needs to listen to their community and the marketplace, and understand the issues that they care about, the people that they trust, and the factors that motivate them in that moment. Brands need to clearly understand their own objectives and consider how different influencers may be able to help drive different objectives, or the same objectives among different audiences. I do believe there is a value in reach (if a tree falls in the forest...), but if you are looking for results you need to take a far more strategic approach...
Can't resist playing along :)
Spin Sucks Speakeasy Spin Sucks Friday Fantasy Blog Picks
So many fun ideas from your community... liking DB's Spin Snacks. Between that and all the talk of ice cream, I'm getting rather hungry, actually :)
4 years, 2 months ago on Monkeys, Ice Cream, and Everything In Between
Look forward to chatting tonight Jeff!
4 years, 3 months ago on Talking Social Media Policies on #prstudchat
Great post. Could not agree more regarding the importance of research... on the company, the people you my be interviewing/ potentially working with, the industry... And of course follow up afterwards. Beyond a simple thank you note/email (which I assume you will take the time to do), follow up via social networks or by passing along an article or info that may be of interest. Use your interview conversation to begin building a relationship. It is fine to say that you are "detail oriented" or always follow up, but demonstrating you are is far more impressive.
And Congratulations to both Arment Dietrich and Megan... sounds like a great addition to your team!
4 years, 4 months ago on First Impression: Eight Ways to Avoid a Bad One
Congratulations Heather--it has been exciting to watch Geben grow and I love your recipe... The only thing I might add is taking the time to not only learn but to share/teach what you learn (as you do so well.. part of your 4th ingredient- social good, I suppose). And of course to take the time to say thank you and appreciate the good fortune and good people that help you make the most of the opportunities.
Cannot wait to see what happens Year 2... I'll be cheering as you continue to Bring.It. On.
4 years, 4 months ago on One Year Later: My “Make Yourself” Recipe
What a great question and an interesting conversation. One of my favorite questions has always been- quite simply- "why do you want to work here?" As Gini pointed out, it is really astounding how many people don't do their reseach... A well thought out response to that question can convey attitude, work ethic and yes, network. I really like Justin's point about the value of relationships. Even beyond the particular network the candidate brings to the table, if he/she has a strong, deep, long standing bench of well respected supporters, it certainly helps offer perspective I would not otherwise get in a 30min interview.
4 years, 5 months ago on Your Network and You: The Most Important Question
Hi Danny! For me the answer lies somewhere between your two questions. In any longterm relationship it is inevitable that those "cracks" you speak of will begin to appear. I do not think that it is wise or responsible to ignore the frustrations or just quietly hope that things get better. However, I think that simply cutting ties and moving elsewhere may also lead you to a less than satisfactory experience. My approach has always been to ask questions. And to listen (really listen) to the responses. Strive to understand the causes and perhaps even help to be a part of the solution. Just because your image is not what it once was, does not mean that your current
Seldom in life are you truly shackled to the choices you make. They may not be exactly what you want, but they are indeed choices. So if after all that questioning and listening you are not finding what you need, than as John says, part ways respectfully.
4 years, 6 months ago on Enchanted Disillusionment