Jumping In

Reverb is a 31 day writing exercise where daily prompts allow people to reflect on closing the year. (So, it was harder to stay on top of this than I anticipated. Here’s the Cliff’s Notes version!)

[1000 Words: There’s the old saying that a photo is worth 1,000 words.  Give us a photo with that impact that sums up some significant event of your 2012.]

2012 was filled with lots of jumping into the unknown

Jump

[Surprise:  The most surprising thing that happened this year was…]

how unafraid I was. As someone who would get homesick living two hours away from my parents’ house I thought moving to New York City would be one long cry after another. Fortunately for me (and my roommate), I’ve found my place in this city and without any doubts to hold me back, I know what it feels like to truly live in the moment. 

[Choice:  Being an adult means making your own choices. What choices were the hardest to make this year?]

What I’m realizing about becoming an adult (because I don’t believe I’m one quite yet), is how choices are made. Growing up I relied on friends’ input – almost to a fault. I made decisions based on collective input rather than my own thoughts. I feel like I’m currently a part of an in-between phase where others’ input matters less to me. Sure, I take advice and appreciate what family and friends have to say, but I’m more focused on making the choices for me. While this will mean the fault for bad decisions will be on me at least I’ll be able to learn from the experiences and choose more wisely in the future. 

[Look: Sometimes you are left standing on the outside looking in.  As you stood there, on the other side of the glass, were you thankful for the boundary?  Or do you wish you could’ve been on the action-side?]

One perfect example of this happened on Father’s Day. I was in New York and unable to attend Father’s Day brunch. I was bummed, but knew Skype would offer me a window into the family meal. They set up the laptop so that I was on the opposite end of the table from my dad. (It felt strange to not be in my usual seat, but I’d take anything just to tune in.) At first my family was asking me all the questions and I reminded them I was just there to be a part of Dad’s celebration. 

Being on the outside felt a bit like Tiny Tim… as my family enjoyed a beautiful brunch spread while I snacked on Special K. I could have done without the boundary and actually sat myself down at the table; however, Skyping into the meal was the next best thing.

[Song:  What has been your theme song this year?  Have there been several?  Make us a mix tape and tell us the meaning behind it.]

Good Feeling by Flo Rida has been the theme song of 2012 for me. It became popular around the time of my move to New York and it continued to pop up at the best times, like when I arrived at my new apartment for the first time and it was blaring over the lobby speakers. I had a good feeling about 2012 from the start and this song was a constant reminder for me.

[All grown up: What did you want to be when you grew up?  Are you that thing?  If not, are you working to become it, or have you chosen a completely different path?]

In kindergarten I wanted to be a waitress. In 5th grade I wanted to be the first female president. 

While I have not held either of those positions (yet) I can see the connections to my current job. Public relations is a service industry and just as a waitress caters to her customers we must recognize what our clients need and how to best fulfill their requests. The world of politics relies on the people who make up their teams and how their messages are expressed. PR helps politicians connect with their constituents and maintain an overall positive image when it comes to making decisions while in office and running for it. 

I’m not sure that I still see myself as the president, but I do see myself working for her one day. 

[Clean Slate: Tomorrow begins a new year.  What will you do with your new beginning?]

In 2013 I’m going to be more careful with how I give my time and my trust. I trusted a lot this year – in friendships, in relationships, in exploring a new city – and I saw how the effort I put forth wasn’t always the best use of my time. 

I’m an eternal optimist believing people will match me when it comes to time and trust. Unfortunately that’s not the case. To look on the positive side of this I’m grateful it took me until 26 to realize this. I’ve been lucky up until this point to have surrounded myself with terrific people who were my matches. In the coming year I will strive to focus on the matches in my life and understand it’s the quality of matches, not the quantity, that matter. 

[Undone: Bucket lists, To Do Lists, Always crossing things off.  2012 is almost over — what is still left standing?]

On January 13, 2012 I wrote down three goals for the year. 1. Say Yes. 2. Grow as a professional. 3. Improve my personal brand. I succeeded in saying yes to new opportunities and growing within my career, but still have a long way to go when it comes to the personal brand. I’ll be adding that one to the 2013 list.  

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Mentees

Reverb is a 31 day writing exercise where daily prompts allow people to reflect on closing the year and planning the one to come.  

[Help:  Did someone ask you for help and how did it play out?]

I’ve had the opportunity to connect with a number of students and young pros about breaking into the PR industry and working their way up. I always say I may only be a few steps ahead, but I’m happy to share the knowledge that I’ve picked up along the way. 

People reach out to me through Twitter, blogging, my Alma Mater and friends of friends. I’m willing to put in the time to help people because of the all the mentors that have given me their time. The PR industry is definitely of the “pay it forward” mindset. 

Throughout the calls and emails I’m often left feeling that I wish I could do more. When I’d end a phone call I would wonder, did I do enough? Anyone that knows me knows that I can talk. Because of that I’d invite the person to review their notes from the call and to come back with follow up questions. I was open to an ongoing dialogue, which didn’t always happen. 

Enter Payal Shukla. We connected via social media about our love for the Illini and public relations. She eagerly accepted my offer for a guest blog post and we started having regular phone calls. 

I’m honored to be your mentor, Payal. Our chats help me to reflect on my experiences, learning more about the industry and myself in the process. It’s flattering to know my advice resonated with you to incorporate it into your job pursuits. Your interest in my work keeps me motivated – to be the best professional I can be and to maintain my “student always” mentality. Can’t wait to see what’s next for you. 

What makes a stellar mentee? Ambition, interest, hard work and the ability to take constructive criticism. 

How has being a mentor helped you? What have you gained as a mentee? 

 

“2 – 6”

Next up in my birthday shares is 2 big things I want to experience and 6 little-big things I want to accomplish. 

I have enough deadlines in my day-to-day so I’m not putting timing on the items, but writing/announcing them is reason enough for me to remain accountable. 

Live abroad. 

I’ve always been interested in other cultures and the people that comprise them. I have photos and paintings on my wall of places of where I’ve been (Australia, Paris) and places of where I want to go (London, Italy… to name a few). I believe seeing these images on my wall is a fantastic reminder that I can get there – and will get there. It worked with the picture of Times Square – it has successfully transferred to the “places I’ve been” category. 

Whether it’s a month, a year or… living abroad could expose me to another world of people, challenges and life lessons. NYC has also provided me with a great taste of diversity. One of my favorite parts of this city is being able to walk down the block hearing several languages, English not included. It reminds me of visiting Sydney. I heard countless languages – each one causing my ears to perk up (as they would in Chicago). I quickly realized this was the norm – and I’m seeing the same trend in NYC. 

And fortunately, with an employer with 65 offices globally this goal feels very attainable. I’m thinking London, Sydney or Amsterdam, but as always, open to suggestions! 

Get married. 

[Breath Daddio, no plans to have you walk me down the aisle in the very near future,] BUT it is never too early to start choreographing our Father-Daughter dance (we should sell tickets to the reception for the performance alone!). This is not an immediate life event; I would probably need to find an interested stud first, but one I most definitely want in my life for several reasons.

The foremost reason: have you met my parents? Talk about two people complimenting each other 100%. Almost 35 years in and they’re still laughing, caring and most importantly, dancing (as in the actual experience and through all the curve balls life has thrown them). I don’t know when I want this big life commitment, but I know I want it – because of them. 

 

In the “little-big” category I want to…

Launch my side hustle. 

I’m the first to admit money does not come easy in NYC and I really enjoy helping friends and professional contacts with PR. It allows me to perfect my craft and I see great opportunities in turning help into a more substantial hustle. 

Improve my fitness.

Specifically I want to run something – 5K, 10K, half marathon… I’ve committed to some kind of activity 5x per week: running, yoga, dance. If I focus on my overall fitness I’m hoping this “something” will be a breeze. I know I feel more energized, sleep better and find myself in an all-around better mood thanks to consistent workouts.  

Make something of my blog. 

This means determining my ongoing theme, how to best reach my audience and turn it into a “must-read.” If you are technically savvy and want to teach me your tricks I am ready to learn. Additionally, I want to explore investing into the site and take up more opportunities to guest blog to challenge my writing and strengthen my relationships. 

Repay my parents. 

Not only for the loans they have given me, but to make up for all they have done for me over the last 25 years. I can’t wait to be able to help them in the ways they have helped me. 

Live the “student always” mentality. 

Regardless of age or experience, I feel everyone should look for the lesson from any situation. I plan to continue this approach professionally and personally (with many more blog posts to share the observations).  

Be the best maid of honor I can be. 

[Again – Daddy, breath. No official plans on this front; just another life goal.] As the baby of the family my sister has catered to me our entire lives – letting me choose the best piece of pizza (because that totally exists), listening to my never-ending stories and surprising me with presents every time I turn around. It’s about time this one received all the attention she so rightfully deserves. I’ve heard this wedding business is intense. To which I say – bring it on. 

What’s on your life to do list? How are you doing so far at accomplishing each item? 

[Hustle & Flo] – Stand out

Welcome to Hustle & Flo – an ongoing series where I share insights into the job search. I hope to not only explain how I got where I am today, but provide actionable items to add to your To Do List. First item on the list – stand out.

When I began the out-of-state job hunt I knew I needed to do something to set me apart. I had the idea to create a video introduction and the fantastic Stephanie Wonderlin took my idea to a whole new level.

With her company 44Doors as host, my video was uploaded to a private microsite accessible via the QR code on my resume.

My competition could interview on their lunch break so I needed to make an introduction that would make me more than words on a resume. Throughout the interview process, many people commented on seeing very few, if any, QR codes as a resume addition.

Create your own at this site. Questions about the content? I provided my background, including associations to my all-girl high school and alma mater, because I’ve found education resonates during introductions. I told the viewer about my past experience and what I wanted to do: join him/her in New York. I admit the video is not flawless, but it definitely provides a sense of my personality.

Scan the code here:

Stephanieflo-med

Sending a big thank you

Dear Jenny,

I started this letter while you were well under way with the first installment of Make Sh*t Happen. Because a lot of my life was “in progress,” I’ve had to hold back on my excitement. Finally, I can share all. Here goes…

I couldn’t be more proud of you, Jenny. Most importantly, I have been busting at the seams wanting to thank you publicly for all the guidance, high fives and inner motivation you have given me.

Guess what? Because of you I made sh*it happen. And you weren’t even trying. We connected more than a year ago via Twitter and you were gracious enough to give up time for regular calls with me. During our first call you asked me about my big, hairy, scary goal. I can remember telling you, “I can’t say it out loud” and you pushing me that much harder. With complete nerves, I explained that I wanted to do public relations in New York City.

And here I am. Making my dream a reality. This month, I move to a new city and will start a dream job – at Edelman in New York!! I look back at the girl who told you her dream and I can see the doubt she exuded even when voicing her dream. She knew she wanted this, but was 97% sure it was impossible. Over time, you changed that doubter into a believer.

You went through the motions of Make Sh*t Happen with me. And you said the scarier the goal, the bigger the opportunity. When it comes to PR (and my current life leap), I don’t know how much bigger I can get.

Because of your willingness to help, I strive to do the same with students interested in the PR industry. Students who are passionate, but need that little push to know they can do it – that they can take on any goal. 

And somehow you found an even tradeoff with my doing a little PR on your behalf. Again, you helped me without even trying. Turns out when you tell people you’re in talks with the TODAY Show thanks to your side hustle, they listen. When I discussed helping you on top of my regular workload and that whole job search, people asked where I found time for sleep. I explained how PR for you didn’t feel like added work. I believe in your book and I believe in the story you have to share. Oh, and I believe we’ll all be watching you on the TODAY Show in the near future.

As I continue the series of highlighting how I got my new gig… from networking to resume QR codes to the interview prep, my thoughts will always start with what got me to this point. Turns out all you need is a little confidence and someone rooting for you along the way.

Always grateful,
Stephanie

To enjoy Jenny Blake in all her awesome-ness, check her out on Twitter as @jenny_blake, dive into her site LifeAfterCollege.org, pick up a copy of the “Life After College” book or consider Making Sh*t Happen for yourself and participate in the next round of the course!

New year, new city, new job… new me?

Christmas came early friends – I’m packing my bags and heading to NEW YORK CITY!!! I am very excited to join the Edelman team where I will have the opportunity to contribute to great consumer accounts. 

To reach this point there are countless people I need to thank – for their advice, introductions and support throughout this entire process. Because I’ve been so fortunate in my pursuits I strive to pay it forward whenever I can. A series is in the works where I will share insights into the job hunt, from interview tips to taking on the challenge out-of-state. If you have specific questions please share those in the comments. 

First admission: The farthest I’ve been away from home is two hours south of Chicago for college. Learning a new city and coping with being away from my family and friends will be a challenge, but one I feel prepared to handle. 

Second admission: I’m the type of person who has become overwhelmed in the past due to change. However, a mentor once told me when a change is the right one for you there will be no doubts in your decision. I can say with full confidence, I left my doubts behind when I started proclaiming my dream to those close to me. That mentor’s explanation has been a guiding force throughout this process and it has confirmed that I’m finding the right path. 

Although there will be a lot of new in my life, I will still be the same girl – that “student always” who is forever in it to learn. You will still find me dancing, mentoring students and telling exceedingly long stories (some might call this my third admission). 

Overall, I’m on to a new adventure. I hope you’ll come along for the ride. 

4 Ways PR is Like a Break-In

I woke up to my parents’ frantic voices, breaking glass and the sound of an intruder’s footsteps coming from downstairs. It was 3:00 a.m. on a Monday morning and the absolute last way I thought I would begin my week.

Even as I heard my dad yell, “Get out!” and my mom warned, “Don’t you dare go downstairs,” it was still hard to comprehend what was happening in my home. I finally put it together when my mom said the land line didn’t work and we needed to call 911. As a millennial who sleeps with her phone in hand, that I could understand and take action.

My hands shook as I dialed ‘9’ and just one ‘1’ before ‘Emergency Call’ came across my phone’s screen. Within minutes, the police were in my driveway.

As the officers canvassed our area and a technician dusted for fingerprints in my dining room, my heartbeat returned to a normal pace and my thoughts led me to the positives of the situation. Broken windows can be fixed. A stolen laptop is always replaceable. As I tried to comprehend what had just happened, I easily connected to the knowledge I gain in my day-to-day experience with public relations. Believe it or not, ‘PR is like a break-in.’

Immediate response: Within minutes, there were squad cars and unmarked police cars on our street. They moved through our house and surrounding area to ensure it was safe. Penn State taught us waiting is not the answer. If you have potentially harmful information, share it. When action should be taken (especially quickly), do so.

Be thorough: When the police technician arrived at my house, I could tell the officer was all business. He inspected each piece of broken glass and all areas of potential forced entry. Unfortunately, the burglar must have worn gloves because no print was found. In public relations, from the planning stage through media outreach and until the program recap is finalized, our mission is to remain organized and produce quality work. We follow editors’ coverage and in order to focus on relevant pitches on behalf of our clients. We research vendors for campaign needs and editors for media events, selecting the most appropriate outlets.

Open your eyes: My poor, 15 year-old dog, Tequila, was snoozing away. Due to his age and waning senses, we think the pup was dreaming through the burglary. Teqs eventually made his way upstairs, but his reaction begs the question, what have you let happen directly in front of you? Was it going along with a PR plan you did not morally agree with? Or have you participated in a conversation demeaning to an individual or group of people?

Assess the positives: The only item missing is a replaceable laptop. No one was hurt. The bedrooms are located on the second floor. No one bumped into the intruder. And as with this burglary, it’s important to see through the negativity that follows public relations. Not every campaign is going to be a homerun. What key learnings did you secure from the program and how can you utilize those in the future? Critics will always question what we do. Demonstrate key results of the campaign and the good it created. 

Have you experienced a similar situation? How did you work through the nightmare?

This post originally appeared on PRBreakfastClub.

Reading PR

Meet Payal Shukla, a student at the University of Illinois and an aspiring PR professional. During our first call I kept thinking to myself, ‘She is only asking the right questions.’ I’m excited to see what lies ahead in her PR career and honored she is sharing her thoughts here. Catch Payal tweeting as @payalshukla and learn more at her personal site.

“What do you read?” My advisor asked me.

“What do I… read?” I asked. Is this a trick question? I read… of course I read! I’m a collegiate, I thought.

“I am curious to know,” he explained. “What sorts of things do public relations professionals read?”

One week later I wound find the same question popping up in a blog post re-tweeted by Travis Kessel, a recruiter for Edelman-Chicago.

“Real-life interview questions used at Edelman,” he wrote of a video featuring Senior Vice President Phil Gomes.

Needless to say, the one question Gomes always is sure to ask: “What do you read?”

Why is it important to read up on your field? Obviously, you now know it is something interviewers are likely to ask of you (if you didn’t know already).

More importantly, reading books, news sites and blogs demonstrates a thorough understanding of PR. In other words, where did your field start, where is it now and where is it going? Not to mention that it is probably one of the easiest ways to begin developing a level of expertise that goes beyond just gaining experience! The lessons you can learn from autobiographies and memoirs can serve as guide to making the right career choices and breaking into public relations.

I personally believe “reading PR” encourages critical thinking and personal reflection – both of which will only make you grow more as a professional. Materials and information you gather can be applied to your current professional endeavors.

For example, by reading blog posts on building a social media platform, and engaging with authors for their tips, I was able to turn the lessons I learned into ideas I pitched to my supervisor. I got the best of both worlds – knowledge on an essential PR tool and a more fulfilling internship experience.

Obviously, I can’t write about reading PR sources without mentioning a few of my favorites. My go-to blogs include PR Breakfast Club and the Bad Pitch Blog. Both are hilarious, insightful and interactive with their readerships. For to-the-minute news, I turn to Publicity News and PR Week US.

As for books, I am currently working my way through Ronn Torossian’s list of “10 Must-Read Public Relations and Marketing Books.” My favorites so far include “Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime” by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin and “Crystallizing Public Opinion” by Edward L. Bernays.

So to answer my advisor, “What do I read? Anything I can get my hands on.”

Checking In @ My Alma Mater

Last week I spent time at my old stomping grounds – the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I was invited to speak at the Public Relations Association (PRA) meeting and an Intro to PR course. PRA is a student organization I joined as an undergrad and is similar to PRSSA on a college campus. This group provides students with real PR experience through work with local businesses and other promotional events.

Every month I speak to a handful of students by phone and email about getting into PR. I meet students through my alma mater, friends of friends, about.me, LinkedIn and Twitter. I’ve been so fortunate to learn from professionals in the industry and while I may only be a few steps ahead of them I have learned so much in the last two years I want to share with students.

I discussed my background and how I found my way into PR. I highlighted top books, including Jenny Blake’s Life After College and Jessica Kleiman and Meryl Weinsaft Cooper’s Be Your Own Best Publicist. I have to send big thanks to these friends who provided content/insights for my presentation: Britten Wolf, Justin Goldsborough, Lauren Gray, Mikinzie Stuart, Christa Marzan, Kimberly Lucio and Jackie Lampugnano. I focused on the importance of Twitter and recommended participating in the following conversations: #HAPPO, #pr20chat, #PRStudChat, #u30pro, #journchat and #jobhuntchat.

While on campus I also caught up with the university’s spokesperson, Robin Kaler, and the College of Media Dean, Jan Slater. These professionals are great examples of wanting to share their knowledge.  I reached out to Robin senior year because I wanted to learn about what she did in the Public Affairs office. Every time I’ve been back on campus she has always made time to meet amidst a hectic schedule. Jan invites alums to visit while on campus and I knew I definitely would be taking her up on that offer.

The best news? Jan invited me to join the Advisory Board for creating a public relations certificate!! At Illinois students have had to look for PR exposure through organizations like PRA and a minimal course list… until now. Students will now have the opportunity to learn about PR in the classroom taking that knowledge to their internships and student organizations. And hopefully demand will turn this certificate into a minor. I am thrilled for this opportunity and cannot wait to see what’s next.

Have you connected with your alma mater? If not, why not reach out? If you’re a student what are you looking for from professionals?

 

Our best to you Jason

After reading Jason Mollica’s announcement of being let go I knew there wasn’t a lot I could do for him, but I could still do something. There are many of us who look to Jason as a mentor and respected leader in the public relations industry, not to mention a friend.

What makes Jason’s reach unique is how he has met people and then grown his relationships. The majority of us connected with Jason through social media, but these relationships have grown well beyond 140 characters and blog comments. He is the first to offer advice, comment on blog posts and share a thought out #FF.

I wanted to write a blog post as Jason determines the next part of his journey. After brainstorming with Britten Wolf, we determined the primary goal was showing Jason he has our support. The enthusiasm I received from contributors was truly moving.

Our best to you Jason.

Jason Mollica is someone I truly admire. An active participant in the u30pro community, frequent contributor to PR Breakfast Club and chief blogger at One Guy’s Journey, Jason has taught me a lot about life, career and everything in between. He’s someone you can always count on him to be the first to retweet your blog posts, challenge your thinking or lend advice when needed. So, when I heard about his layoff, I was shocked. As a great communicator, professional and person, I know that this setback is a blessing in disguise. I’m confident that Jason will succeed in this next phase of his career. I’m happy to endorse and support him in his next endeavor.

Thanks for all you’ve done buddy, and good luck in the future!
–    Britten Wolf

There are two things that impress me about Jason and that are reflected in his work in the industry: his optimism and ethics. He is someone who embraces new challenges, analyzes the negative with a glass half full, and never loses integrity. This is rare in a person, but those rare qualities are what assure me that he will succeed in his future endeavors. But despite Jason’s amazing qualities, his taste in sports teams is still terrible. 😉
–    Jackie Lampugnano

 I initially “met” Jason through the robust PR community on Twitter, a little over a year ago. He quickly became an amazing mentor and friend to me. He continues to thoroughly impress me day in and day out with his sharp PR insights, extensive social media expertise, and his outstanding communication skills. He is one of the nicest PR pros I’ve ever known. I don’t know how he does it, but he is always around to listen and give honest feedback whenever I need it. I would highly recommend Jason if you are in need of any PR or social media consulting. 
–    Jessica Malnik

I know Jason through Twitter. We connected on #u30pro and have been close ever since. Jason is someone I hope to be like in my career. Besides being smart and driven, he helps anyone and everyone he can. I’m truly blessed to call him a friend.
–    Kimberly Lucio

Jason Mollica is the type of PR professional that I strive to be – understanding, insightful and knowledgeable in numerous areas of the field. Not only is he a rockstar in a professional way, but Jason truly cares about the people around him, and in turn, shifts that mentality to his work. In the social space, he is always willing to lend a helping hand and is the first to volunteer when someone needs something. Jason is the type of person that is infectious, not only in his personality, but his thought leadership/smarts as well. Anyone would be lucky to have him at their company.
–    Lauren Fernandez

Jason has helped me as a student with career advice and resume advice. He especially helped me through a through personal difficulties and career transitions. He has always been extremely supportive. He also volunteered to talk to my PRSSA Chapter about the job hunt and social media. He helped students in my Chapter and even gave out his contact information so he could help them further. I thank him for everything he has done for me and my Chapter.
–    Lauren Gray

Jason has been one of my biggest cheerleaders over the past two years, as I’ve made the transition from student to PR professional. He has read, commented on and re-tweeted more of my blog posts than I can recall; he wrote me a letter of recommendation when I was vying for a local public relations award; he has sent me encouraging emails, tweets and facebook messages as I’ve sought to better myself and my young career — and he has masterfully embraced the role of a true mentor and friend, even though we’ve never personally met each other. Jason has proven time and time again that social media is powerful if the right people use it in the right way to genuinely connect with each other and form relationships. He is not just an intelligent PR/social media professional — he is someone you should know because of his strong character. I am a better person for knowing him.
–    Lauren Novo

Jason represents a collective community of people who encouraged and motivated me to be where I am today. He isn’t family. I haven’t known him since high school. We don’t go “way back”. And that’s the beauty of it. Jason and I stumbled across each other online a couple years ago, and ever since, have supported and encouraged one another toward greatness. Asking for nothing in return, Jason is inspiring in a selfless way that can’t help but have you pay it forward.

As Jason embarks into the next step of his life, you don’t need to worry about him. You don’t need to check in and see if he’s okay. He’ll be just fine. Doing what he does day in and day out. Making things happen. Because that, in a nutshell, is what Jason does. Cheers buddy!
–    Matt Cheuvront

I consider Jason Mollica to be a very good friend of mine. We connected on Twitter a couple of years ago, and have gotten to know each other pretty well in that time. He is a consummate professional with fresh ideas and perspectives that put his clients in the forefront of their audiences’ minds. Even more than that, he is an industry leader, always willing to provide time and effort to those who request it from him. I would recommend working with him to anyone because knowing him has been one of the greatest pleasures I’ve had during my time on Twitter.
–    Matt LaCasse

During blogging’s “Be My Guest” month, I sought a guest poster. I have a smallish blog without much circulation (compared to the BIG bloggers), but Jason jumped in without a moment’s hesitation and wrote a kick-butt guest post for me. A lot of his own words in that post are pertinent to this situation, such as:  “Stumped about what you can do, no matter how small, for others? Just listen. Maybe someone just needs a few moments to vent or ask your opinion. Sit down and just open your ears. It goes a long way… believe me.”
–    Paula Kriger

Jason and I have never met in person. Yet, he is always willing to offer advice and suggestions, as well as listen to me vent. Jason has great ideas and the experience to back them up. I can’t wait to see the great things he’ll do.
–    Rachel Esterline

From #PRStudChat to #HAPPO to #TweetDrive, it is easy to see Jason’s passion for social media and for using social media to build relationships and help others. He is quick to volunteer his time and talents to help others and his encouragement and positive attitude have had a great impact on many young PR professionals. It is not surprising to see the wave of support for Jason as he begins a new chapter in his career and I look forward to cheering him on as he takes the next step in his journey. 
–    Valerie Simon

I have a lot of respect for Jason as a comms professional and human being. If you read his blog posts or interact with him on Twitter, you know he has such a wonderfully balanced view of the world and is always able to find the positives in any situation. Even though we’ve never met ‘in the flesh’, I’m very proud to call Jason a friend…all the way from London.
–    Adam Vincenzini

 

Jason is eloquent, smart, and down to earth, and I’ve been so fortunate to know him for almost a year and a half now. Back in May of 2010, Jason wrote a guest post for my blog titled “The Patience Principle” in which he says “What I am telling you to do is take things one step at a time…sometimes what it takes to be patient is stepping back for a few minutes.” As a college grad 5 days before Jason wrote this post (and 4 days before I started my full time job), it hit home. My life was moving a mile a minute and I barely had time to breath, let alone be patient. Yet Jason’s timeless advice was exactly what I needed to hear, at exactly the right time. I know everyone in this space looks to Jason as a mentor and a good friend. I know we can all agree Twitter and social media would not be the same without Jason Mollica. I am so fortunate to know Jason and am ecstatic to see his next steps.
–    Sam Ogborn

I’ve got a TweetDeck group for people like Jason – It’s not for big talkers or “elite” social media personalities. It’s for people that know how to get stuff done, question the status quo, and want to learn through conversation that skips BS and meaningless buzz. Jason has an incredibly realistic outlook on his industry and I appreciate that he doesn’t get worked up about shiny objects. More than just conversation and sharing, Jason’s blog is an infinite source of wisdom on industry and life. When we’re looking for weekly top blog posts for the u30pro digest, One Guy’s Journey is the first place I look. Whether I find the right kind of life experience post for the digest or not, I get sucked in to all of the recent posts by Jason.
–    Scott Hale

I place a great deal of importance on first impressions – both when I meet people and in how I present myself during these meetings. I believe they are remembered and I know I can name my top first impressions. Jason falls in that category.

After connecting on Twitter he immediately sent me a direct message offering his help on anything. I was honestly taken aback… I felt like a nobody – why did I receive such a great message? That’s the person Jason is – he sees the person you can become. And I find myself following in his “pay it forward footsteps,” sharing DMs with new followers to see how I can help as well. Thanks for showing me the way, Jason.
–    Stephanie Florence

Every time I’ve needed help or had a question on anything related to social media, PR, jobs, or just life in general, Jason has always jumped at the chance to help me out. He’s shared so much valuable advice and information with me, which has made me a better professional. He is one of the most kind, helpful people I know, and I am so grateful and glad to call him a friend.
–    Stephanie Majercik

From #PRStudChat to #HAPPO to #TweetDrive, it is easy to see Jason’s passion for social media and for using social media to build relationships and help others. He is quick to volunteer his time and talents to help others and his encouragement and positive attitude have had a great impact on many young PR professionals. It is not surprising to see the wave of support for Jason as he begins a new chapter in his career and I look forward to cheering him on as he takes the next step in his journey.
–    Valerie Simon