Better late than never?

I don’t like to be late for meetings. In fact, I’m early. Way early. Almost awkwardly early. So early that I will sit in my car until around 10 minutes before I am expected and then appear. I’ve always known that if you’re early, you’re on time, if you’re on time, you’re late and if you’re late, you never even showed up.

At 9 AM of Friday morning, I was supposed to meet with a potential mentor. I was quite excited about it. While there are things that I know about and can do pertaining to, I am certain there are little aspects that I am probably unprepared for having never been in the field beyond beyond an internship and freelancing.

I found my potential mentor on a few different websites and read about her, figured some questions to ask her, set my alarm clock to 7 and went to sleep around 12. You may think this is a little late to sleep, but by my recent standard (and a study by the Sleep Foundation) this is an adequate amount of sleep and actually, much more than I’m used to.

As the sun was rising, my eyes opened. It was 6:30. A little anxious about the meeting, I didn’t really want to be awake but I could not get back to sleep. When my alarm went off at 7, I hit off, read my Bible and stayed in bed for a second. Apparently, that second was all it took to fall asleep.

As I opened my eyes from what I thought was a blink, I look at the clock. 9:11!!!!!!!!!!!! You can’t be serious!!!!!

I don’t have her phone number (very dumb! If you’re meeting with someone, be sure to exchange numbers) and I live 15 minutes away from where we were to meet.

In a panic, I got out of bed, ran to the bathroom while sending a text to the friend who was kind enough to introduce me to my mentor-to-be and asked for her number. Calling her, I’m trying to figure out what to say, I’ve never actually been late for something like this. I’m not even on the road to at least say that, nope. Standing in the bathroom in a late panic, I call.

She answers and says that she’d only allotted a half an hour for this meeting and we could reschedule.

Yea, that’s great but that first impression, it’s gone!!! Her first experience of me is not young professionalism embodied. Nope. It’s LATE. Just got to love that.

Oh and before you say, “No, Olivia. That’s not what she thinks about you!” consider her email response.

So the idea is to be on time for meetings (a.k.a. early), but I get that stuff happens. However (more than likely) you know you are going to be late before the meeting time, so just give the person a call prior to the meeting and let them know you’re running late.

She then advised me not to make a habit of it and said we could reschedule.

Yup! Late AND irresponsible.



What Not to Do: 4 Things PR Pros Should Never Say to a Journalist, and Vice Versa

Found on PR News Online:

Sometimes it’s good to go back to basics in the School of Media Relations. I am reminded of this after receiving a dozen emails this week and a few phone calls from PR professionals that were (to put it nicely) off target.  Having been on both sides of the business, media and PR, I know  the relationship between the two is an important one. Even in this social media age when it’s seemingly easy to bypass the media and go straight to the customer, we know the value and saving graces of a good public relations professional.  And the mistakes go both ways.  So, below (and tinged with some sarcasm for effect) are some playbook rules for both PR pros and journalists. Please add to the list, as I know there’s more to say here:

 4 Things You Shouldn’t Say to a Journalist:

1. Did you get my email about [so and so] joining the company?

** I might have, I might not have. But if I’m interested I’ll let you know.

2. I was wondering if you got the press release [on our new product]…

** If you sent it to me, I got it and if I’m interested…(see #1)

3. Can I see the story before it runs?

** Um, no. We are journalists.

4. You might not be the right person for this pitch, but…

** Then find the right person!



4 Things a Journalist Shouldn’t Say to a PR Pro:

1. Leave me alone, I’ll get back to you if I’m interested.

** That’s just rude and unprofessional.

2. Put me in touch with your CEO and maybe I’ll write the story.

** Threats get you nowhere (legally).

3. I would prefer it if you were not present during the interview.

** There’s nothing wrong with PR being in the room (or on phone) during a call.

4. Thanks for being such a great flack.

** It’s the last word that irks. The first six are good.

The majority of journalists and PR pros understand the rules and don’t break them.  It’s the Rule Breakers we need to worry about for the good of both professions. So, what  No-No’s would you add to these lists?

What not to do: No, they don’t need stories

I feel that the best way to learn how to do something is by contrast. With that, I present What Not To Do. This blurb was found at Annoying PR:

The Story Teller

To PR folks looking to send story ideas: no thanks. We’ll come up with our own stories, thank you very much. Adding “story idea” to the subject line of an email is a quick way to get it sent to the trash bin.