I’m Moving On

Wow. It’s been awhile.

I know I’ve long neglected this platform. And, don’t worry I’m not going to sit here and list my excuses for said neglection. I make enough excuses for things as it is (which I am trying to get better at) and its not fair to you. I’m here to tell you that I’m moving on.

I started this blog to chronicle my experiences as a PR student, new professional, etc. Which I did with gusto at the beginning. But, I found that I really limited myself by outlining what this blog would entail. I’m still very much inspired by PR, marketing, social media, and I’m still very passionate about all those things too. However, I’m also inspired by and passionate about things outside of the industry and want to be able to express them. I also feel that there are enough PR, marketing, and social media blogs out there. I may not be as on top of my Google Reader as I should be, but I see a lot of the same posts on the different blogs I follow. This isn’t to say that I will never again write about anything PR related – you think you can get rid of me that easily? 🙂 I plan to contribute where I can when an idea strikes me. I just need a new platform where I can still share my thoughts, experiences and inspirations without any walls.

So, friends – I invite you to join me on my newest venture – StephM Radio on Posterous. I promise to not let this one wane and flicker out as I’ve done here.

I thank you all for all the support I received in starting and continuing this blog. I never thought I’d ever enter the blogging world and if it hadn’t been for the kind persuasion of you, I still might not be here. See you on the other side!


#HAPPO is Over…Now What?

With #HAPPO just around the corner (Feb. 24 – check out @arikhanson’s blog for more details) many PR students and other pros looking for positions will be putting their minds to work to come up with some very creative posts to answer the question:  Why should I hire you? Once the #HAPPO event is over, you shouldn’t just let that blog post, PowerPoint, Prezi – or other document sit around. You can still put your hard work to use after the event to help you land your dream job, here are just a few ways:

1. Customize your post for specific jobs.
#HAPPO posts are usually pretty general as you’ll be interacting with PR professionals from many agencies, companies, and industries. But, if you find a job listing during (or after) the event, all it takes is a little extra work to make your post more specific to that particular job and company. Be careful though, just substituting in company name after company name isn’t enough, make sure that your post fits in well with what you’re applying for.

2. Include a link in your cover letter to your post.
This can be a little tricky. If you’re going to include a link in a cover letter, you need to give hiring managers a reason to click on it. This is better for posts that may be harder to customize, or larger files that you don’t want to attach or can’t simply include in an e-mail, like a PowerPoint presentation. I did this for a number of jobs I applied for – see below for an excerpt from the cover letter I used in applying for my current position:

“In order to show you my different skills and attributes that I will bring, I have included a SlideShare presentation and a blog post created for the Help a PR Pro Out events on         Twitter.”

3. Share your post with your network.
If you didn’t do this during the #HAPPO event, make sure you do it after. These posts shouldn’t just have a 2-hour shelf life. Send your creation to the connections you’ve already made and ask them to share it with anyone they know may need someone. But, again, don’t spam your network, its okay to ask them for favors, but make sure you offer something in return.

These are just a few tips I have to offer. #HAPPO veterans and champs, do you have any other tips to add? How did you put your post to use once the event was over?

For more information about the February 24 online #HAPPO event and #HAPPO-hour face-to-face events, visit www.helpaprproout.com, or talk with @ValerieSimon, @arikhanson, or the #HAPPO-champ in your area!

2010 in review

WordPress was kind enough to put together a summary of my blog stats in 2011.  They said I did great – honestly, I’m not too happy. While the Blonde Experience isn’t quite a year old yet, I know that I’ve lacked focus and drive. But these stats are a great reminder of what I can improve upon in 2011 and so I want to share them with you. Thank you for visiting and for reading!

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,700 times in 2010. That’s about 4 full 747s.


In 2010, there were 17 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 20 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 2mb. That’s about 2 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was April 30th with 122 views. The most popular post that day was Case #42776 (aka #HAPPO) – Prospective Employee Profile.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were twitter.com, facebook.com, linkedin.com, hootsuite.com, and refzip.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for tribe social deck, the blonde experience, social deck, socialdeck, and communication study.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Case #42776 (aka #HAPPO) – Prospective Employee Profile April 2010
1 comment


Start Spreading the News…For an NYC Tweetup! August 2010


About Me February 2010


Finally entering the world of blogging March 2010


Experiences February 2010

“They have earned our undying gratitude.”

The above is a line from a Harry S. Truman quote on the World War II memorial in Washington, D.C. reading:

Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid.  They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices.

This quote rings true for all generations of military veterans.  Brave men and women throughout history put their lives on the line so that we can live the way we do today. The men and women serving at home and overseas today are continuing the mission of our grandfathers, grandmothers, fathers, mothers, uncles, and aunts.

Many members of my family have served in the military at some point. Both of my grandfathers fought in World War II, almost all of my uncles have served, and of course my brother currently serves. Look back in your family line, I am sure someone, somewhere in your family tree has put everything on the line so that you could live in a free country.

There is nothing more I can think of to say to the veterans and active military members this Veterans Day than a heartfelt thank you. Thank you for all you have done and all you continue to do to ensure our freedom.

The Long Overdue, “Now I’m Really an Adult” Blog

I have been absent from the blogging scene for awhile, as my good friend Jessica Malnik pointed out to me in a conversation earlier this week.  And while I hate to make excuses, I have a REALLY good one.  You may or may not have heard that I landed a job in Washington, D.C., moved away from my friends and family in Cleveland (and Buffalo!) and thus have started my new and grown up life almost a month ago.

As you can imagine, the past month has been sort of a whirlwind. And so, I apologize for my absence on Twitter, Facebook, and my blog. Now I’m starting to get back in the swing of everything.  So here goes the long overdue, now I’m really an adult blog post.

On my way back home from New York City at the beginning of September, I was stranded at the airport for a few hours. What a perfect excuse to buy a new book. I eventually decided on Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan – a story about 4 friends and their journey through college and the years after (perfect, right?). One of the characters in the book used a metaphor, which I practically fell in love with, to characterize their first year out of college. She called this phase their “freshman year of life.”

I really can’t help but dwell on how true this metaphor is.  New graduates everywhere are facing many of the same struggles, on a much different level of course, that we did when we first started college, or even high school for that matter.  Think about what crossed your mind when you moved into or started college?

  • How am I going to make friends? I don’t know anyone here.
  • This school is huge, I am going to get so lost.
  • What happens if I fail a class?
  • What if I’m not good at college?
  • Why did I decide to go out of state? I wish I were at home. I can’t wait for break. I want to see my friends.

Those were some of my thoughts moving into Canisius over 4 years ago.  Fast forward/rewind to the end of September as I moved into my apartment. My fears were (and are) some of the same. I’m in a brand new city, I know next to no one. While my biggest fear at Canisius may have been getting lost in the tunnels connecting the buildings, now I’m afraid of getting lost in the vast Metro system or in some neighborhood I do not want to be in. Instead of being worried about failing a class, I am now terrified that maybe I won’t be good at this whole PR thing.  While everything is on a much grander scale than tiny little Canisius, it is still very similar.

It’s time to start all over. Embrace new experiences. Make new friends. Make mistakes. Learn to really be independent. That’s what freshman year is all about.

Now, I am going to leave you with this song by Spitalfield. It just seemed to fit this whole starting new feeling.

Travel & Technology – A Perfect Match

I’ve had a smart phone now for about 3 months and I think I underestimated what all the bells and whistles could really be used for. Sure, it’s always nice to be able to Google the answers to questions that come up in conversation, finally be able to check into Foursquare and test out the many other numerous apps that are out there. However, it wasn’t until recently that I really appreciated my  Android phone.

Last week, I braved the streets of New York City by myself and while I’m certain I would have survived without a smartphone, it definitely came in handy more than once.

I knew when booking my trip that I would be using a lot of the public transportation in New York. I’d used the metro before in New York City, accompanied by a native who knew where she was going. I had nightmares of getting lost in all corners of Manhattan. Luckily, there’s an app for that. I downloaded NYCMate which allowed me to access not only the Metro route maps, but numerous bus routes as well. And once you’ve downloaded the maps, you don’t need a 3G or Wi-Fi network to access them, so even in the underground tunnels, you can check to see if you’re going in the right direction. Definitely a great app to have when walking around the City. I could look at the map and see what Metro stops were nearby and figure out where they would take me.

The Android phones come jam-packed with a number of Google apps, many of which came in very handy as I explored the City. First, Google Navigation showed me the most direct route to my hotel off the Metro. While I had been armed with printed directions and a newly downloaded compass app to help me find the right direction, I definitely found a more direct route using this.

My favorite app is Google Places. Newly installed when my operating system updated a few weeks ago. Basically, you access the app, it finds your location, and you type in what you’re looking for. Say you’re wandering around Central Park and want to find a coffee shop to sit and relax in, Google Places will tell you where the nearest one is. Saves a lot of time and gets you where you want or need to go!

Nothing will ever replace a good map, but as far as traveling alone in a large city goes, I felt a lot more confident I could find my way around and not get lost with these tools. Technology, in my opinion, has made traveling a whole lot easier and a lot less overwhelming, especially when going at it solo. I’ve had a lot of travel experience and I can say this trip went the smoothest – minus the blisters of course.

How have you used technology when you’ve traveled? Has it helped or hindered you?

*photos courtesy of http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Start Spreading the News…For an NYC Tweetup!

Attention all New York City area tweeps! I am coming to visit and I want to meet YOU! Therefore, the only logical solution to that dilemma was to host a tweetup! With the help of the fabulous Brittany James (@bitty_boop) I am excited to share the details of this event!

So, here’s where to be:

Opal Bar

251 E. 52nd Street

Tuesday, September 7

6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

I am really looking forward to meeting all my New York City Twitter friends! So if you have some time after work please stop down and say hi! Leave a comment if you’re able to attend  or if you have any questions and please spread the word!