The New Rules Book Review


I think Brian Kardon (CMO, Lattice Engines) sums it up best in Chapter 24: Make it Happen: “…you can’t outrun the ball. For a certain amount of time you can, but you’ll get to a point where someone asks a technical question or something with a little more depth, and if you haven’t done it, you’re not going to be successful.”

David Meer51-PDe-yIpL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgman Scott expertly frames the industries biggest changes and persuades his readers that it’s the new way or the highway. Some books present information while others will just try to convince readers why they have to change, but Scott’s New Rules of Marketing & PR does both in an non-obtrusive way that leaves the reader wanting more. In an increasingly digital world, Scott shows his audience how changing with the times not only gets your company “up to snuff,” but propels it forward.

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David Meerman Scott

The New Rules offers both solutions to problems and a “how-to” of sorts to get started. Similar to Lisa Buyer’s Social PR Secrets, the book provides information and tips in an easy-to-read form with applicable examples that make it easy for both the newbie and seasoned professional to understand. The tone isn’t patronizing and patient with readers and Scott painstakingly walks through each “new rule.”

Kardon said it right: “…if you haven’t done it, you’re not going to be successful.” The New Rules of Marketing & PR ensures your success by teaching, showing and engaging readers how digital they can be.

Organization Station

Since ninth grade, I’ve over-involved myself to the point of exasperation because I just love experiencing a ton of different things. I graduated high school as part of 13 clubs and in my freshman year of college, joined seven different organizations. I quickly realized what clubs and organizations would actually be worth my time and now I’m down to about four.

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Actual, un-retouched footage of me when anyone needs anything

The leadership positions I’ve held in PRSSA (Public Relations Student Society of America) and AAF-NSAC (American Advertising Federation – National Student Advertising Competition) have taken up most of my time for the past two years and I had to learn how to multi-task quickly, or everything would come crashing down around me. I want to share a few ways that I employ to keep on top of my crap:

1. Make a dang list: I don’t care if it’s on a napkin, in your head or fleshed out in a complex, color-coded spreadsheet; just make one. This is continually my first piece of advice to people who feel stressed or disorganized. Personally, I just shut down if I feel too overwhelmed and don’t know where to start with all my work. Additionally, your to-do list might not be as soul-crushing as you first thought when you plan out the measures you’ll specifically take to complete a task (thank you Lucas – this advice saved my freaking life).

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2. Follow up: If you’re in a leadership position, make sure (you put it on your to-do list and) you follow up with the people you’ve delegated to. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to half-ass a part of a group project at the last minute because someone dropped the ball. And I’ll be honest, sometimes I was the one who dropped the ball (because it wasn’t on my to do list). As a leader, the end result reflects on you. Even though it wasn’t “technically” your responsibility to call maintenance for more chairs,  you should have double-checked that it happened.

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3. Plan ahead: I’m not sure if there’s a worse feeling than coming into a class and realizing you completely spaced on that 3 page paper that’s due and there’s no way to make it up. Instead of taking a break by watching Netflix or surfing Facebook, use 15 minutes to map out the due dates and deadlines of projects. If they’re incredibly important, consider setting an alarm on your phone to remind you to have it done. This advice works in more ways than one, too! I’m currently following a strict diet, so I need to plan out my meals in advance to ensure I stick to it. Because it focuses on protein, carbs and healthy fats, I’m not able to pop into 7-11 for a cheese-stuffed soft pretzel and bottle of water to get me through the day.

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4. Take time for yourself: At the end of the day, nothing is more important than you. While it might seem noble (or even impressive) to skip a meal or two because you’re just so busy, realize that’s not healthy and  plan ahead to bring food with you if you know you’re going to be on the run that day. In addition, set a time for yourself that you stop responding to emails at night. For me, it’s right after I’ve showered and gotten into bed. At that point in the night, I’m ready to relax and go to sleep. I don’t even look at my phone when it buzzes anymore.

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What do you think about this list? How do you keep yourself organized and on-track to complete your goals? Let me know in the comments!

PS – sorry for the double Parks And Rec gifs, but Leslie Knope is legitimately my professional spirit animal. My personal, if you’re wondering, is a mix of Jessica Day and Phil Dunphy with a hint of Disney Princess.

The Power of Prayer

Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours.

Mark 11:24

As some may know, I was truly saved by God two years ago when I participated in the Disney College Program. I know the exact time and place and feeling and I never want to forget it.

Lately I’ve been diving deeper into my faith: studying scripture, reading devotionals; anything I can do to really live the life Christ died for me to live. I’m trying to walk in his footsteps (like millions of others), but continually fail (like millions of others).

Today I woke up happy enough, but I seemed to have a black cloud over my head all day. I couldn’t shake the feeling of what I can only describe as despair. It weirds me out to call it that, because today wasn’t all that bad at all. I got to see my fiancé the night before, had all my work done and have been feeling pretty well physiologically.

It started when I got an early morning rejection from a job I really didn’t even want. It stung a little, but pushed it to the back of my mind and (thought) I got over it. An hour or so later I got a second rejection from a job I knew I probably wasn’t going to get but wanted anyways.

This was my third rejection in just a few days. While I’m growing thick skin, I couldn’t help but despair and panic a little. I’m getting married in a year and I need a job that I can help pay the bills with! I have school loans! I worked my butt off for four years to make myself an outstanding candidate and now I feel I’m falling flat!

Honestly, the whole “despairing at jobs” thing was just a mental downward spiral for me – I’m applying early and these places need to hire someone now and it’s unfair (and selfish) for me to think they’d hold a job for some kid for four months! Now that I have a little perspective, I can see that. But at 10 a.m. this morning, I did not.

I talked to God on my walk home and read my devotionals, which really gave me peace but I still felt that there was something holding me back. The entire day I had been talking to God, asking him for peace; asking for a path or an opportunity to see his plan or an answer, but I just felt silence.

Then I got a call from Lucas and talked to him about how I was feeling. Suddenly, I realized where all my problems had stemmed from: a day or two ago, we heard he may deploy and I didn’t realize how much it affected me. As I looked back through the day, all my worries and thoughts were around him and his safety. On the phone he laughed and said, “Didn’t I tell you? That’s not happening anymore – we don’t have to worry.” I let out an audible squeal – thoroughly overjoyed at the news. At that moment, I look outside and it’s snowing.

How perfect, right?!

God knew the worries of my heart before I did and sent me a new beginning; a pure, fresh breath to the day to remind me that 1) He’s always with me and listening and 2) no matter what my situation in life should be, I can’t hang my happiness and joy on it.

I’m constantly amazed by the glory and power of God. It’s truly astonishing and I am in total awe, still, of what he did in my life today.

Tonight I want to keep all the college seniors and military significant others in my prayers.

Seniors – I feel you. It’s a tough road to hoe and nerve-wracking and scary and unknown. As many times as I’ve offered my life up to God, I keep pulling back the reins and try to steer it where I think it should go. So I pray that we all let the Lord’s will work in and through our lives and that we can wait and see what wonders he will work through us.

Military wives, girlfriends, family and friends – I give you my 1000 percent respect. I didn’t even get a taste – barely a whiff – of what your daily life is like and I went into a mental tailspin. I pray that the Lord continually brings you peace and strength and that he provides for you and your families while your loved one(s) are way.

Coming back the the verse in Mark, I urge everyone to realize how great our God is. He’s not a spiteful or selfish God; he loves you so much that he sent the thing most important to him – his Son – to die so we could be with him. He states – “Whatever you ask in prayer, believe you have received it and it will be yours.” How crazy is that?!

I needed this verse today. Maybe you did too! And remember: God is always with you.

It’s Okay to Be Late

Woo.

Okay.

Gah….

These are the feelings I get when I think about writing my reflection of the DCP. It’s unfathomable to turn six months of bliss into a blog post. I made a short video with some of my favorite memories from work and with my friends, but that hardly does it justice either. I’m warning you now, this entire post is just going to be word vomit about my Disney College Program experience.

I fill with so much joy when I look back on my memories at Disney, and I can’t believe they are just that now: memories. My best friend Jessie and I have been struggling with this for a while: that moving back home was the right decision. I know it was, I have a boyfriend and school and a life back home. But you don’t understand how real the “Disney Vortex” is. I was so incredibly blessed in every way to experience the College Program. I know everyone says it, but you will literally never be able to see how much it changes you.

My biggest evolution in Florida was my faith. I went down with a resolve that I should probably go to church, and my intended friends/roommates and I were all Christian and looking for a youth group (them more so than I). The community I found in Orlando was probably the most perfect community I have ever had. I built such strong relationships because I had to. None of us had anything down here, so we had to band together to make a life for ourselves. Cru and WDW was my saving grace. Prompted by my roommate Jessie to attend church with her, I was uneasy, nervous, and a little skeptical. As a Catholic from birth, I was unsure about a “modern” service without communion or hymns. Because I’d been pulling away from the faith entirely, I really wanted to challenge myself.

As soon as I walked into that Holiday Inn Ballroom, my world changed. I’m not sure who was playing, but the worship songs brought me to tears in 10 minutes. I could feel God wrapping his arms around me and the Holy Spirit lifting everyone’s joyous voices in the air. I finally understood the songs were meant to praise God and his wonderful grace and love, not just ways to eat up more time in a service.

Cru at WDW acted as our youth group with Pizza Night (aka free dinner on Thursdays), Bible Study (which I never went to the structured ones, just the student led at VISTA WAY. That’s right, Bible Study at freaking Vista!), and a diverse net of awesome, God-loving people to go to the parks with, swap stories and just have fun. I was discipled by an amazing woman named Kristel, she helped foster my relationship with God and gave me the tools I needed to make myself good enough for Him! She also introduced me to Noodles and Company, and for that, I am forever grateful. 😉

While my faith was my favorite part of my Disney journey, there were so many other wonderful aspects. I grew my love of Disney tenfold. If someone asked me now what I wanted at the Disney store, I would say 7 of everything, and 10 if it has the White Rabbit or Br’er Rabbit on it. I cultivated friendships with characters I had either never heard or cared about. My favorite Disney Character is now Br’er Rabbit (with the exception of Mickey and Minnie, of course), and I have most of the merchandise ever made with him on it (I won’t get into the Song of the South debacle, don’t want to step on any toes!!). My favorite princesses are Mulan and Pocahontas (the two princesses that have like no merchandise EVER). I am literally redoing my dorm room in Swan Court from Disney’s Festival of Fantasy Parade. For my 21st birthday, my boyfriend and I will probably be going to Disney. I don’t know if you understand how deep my love for Disney goes…

I have absolutely no regrets (okay one, I really wish I could have gone backstage of Fantasmic!) of my program. I used every day to my advantage, tried to experience every new opportunity in my role, and made deep and lasting friendships… shoutout to you, #JAK!

TRANSITION TIME

I want to give some advice to those of you that have just started your DCP or are preparing to go. You’ve probably heard it a thousand times on 10,000 different blogs, so one more reiteration tells you just how important it is:

  • As far as packing, don’t take your entire life. I fit everything I ever needed into two suitcases and a military backpack, and I still didn’t use/wear anything. You will be in your role’s costume 80% of the time. Lounge clothes, some nice clothes to have nice dinners, and if you like to party, bring some of that stuff. THAT IS IT.
  • Cherish every single moment. While I have no regrets, I wish I would have had more time. I really struggled with deciding to extend or not to extend. It was the right decision not to, but I miss Disney so much sometimes.
  • DON’T RIDE THE PARTY BUS. Of course, I never rode it myself so I can’t speak from experience, but you are in Disney for 4/6/12 months to live your dream and work in the most magical place on Earth. Do you really want to throw up your pixie dust 5 out of 7 nights of the week? Termination is also a very real possibility, so… don’t.
  • Transtar (the bus service) does suck, so get used to it or find someone with a car. I rode Transtar all six months I was down there, and it was not fun. While I was safe on the buses (if I would fall asleep, no one would steal my stuff; the bus rarely broke down with me on it), I had other friends that had pretty bad experiences.
    • There was a point when the buses would randomly catch fire. I SHIT YOU NOT. My friend Hope had to evacuate the bus two separate times because of it.
    • The buses are almost always late or early or leave without you or something like that. I tried to be 10 minutes early every day just in case.
    • Get the App that tracks the buses. It is a lifesaver.
    • Some of the buses have a really gross aroma especially at the back (where I presume the engine is). It gave me a bad taste in my mouth (literally… I always carried gum in case).
    • Bring headphones. Your commute could be anywhere from 15/20 minutes (C bus to Epcot is a dream) to an hour or more (I don’t remember what route, but the one that goes to Cast Connection used years of my life I will never get back).
    • Actually… for your wellbeing and happiness, I propose you find a buddy with a car. It makes life a lot easier. I always tried to coordinate with my roommate and ended up staying 2 or 3 hours after my shift so I could ride with her.
  • Enjoy the little things. One of my favorite memories was at the end of my program. I was having a down-ish day and I was just walking around the Magic Kingdom after work because it makes me feel better, when a group of cast members from Harbour House in Liberty Square fiercely scouted out guests with birthday buttons and sang to them very loudly with bells and cymbals. It spread such a large smile on my face.
  • Be nice to your fellow cast members. You’ll learn very quickly that guests come in two breeds: Nice ones and Brazilian tour groups…. haha I kid. But there are the nice families and the families that require every ounce of special attention you had that day. When you’re playing in the parks, never underestimate a handshake, a simple “Thank you so much!” or “Good Job!” Making genuine eye contact and saying “You’re appreciated” goes such a long way, and I will make sure to do it every time I’m back at Disney.
  • If you need something, just ask. This goes for everything. My roommates and I had an unfortunate bug problem, and housing (after a few calls) came to clean up. If I needed an extra break at work or needed to speak to a manager, by captain was always more than willing to lend a helping hand. I was able to network with very important managers and directors by asking around. Nothing is off limits, and Disney really loves its employees, and wants to see growth.

The Disney College Program was the best experience of my life. I am beyond blessed to have come away with my bestest lifelong Calaberos Ashton and Jessie, a strong foundation for a blooming faith, and a passion for making magic wherever I go.

I applied to the College Program on a whim, got my 1st choice role, and had experiences I would have never imagined I’d see. It is so true that God leads you to where you need to be, and protects you in every situation. I felt God’s awe-inspiring love through the guests, my friends, my family, and everything in between.

So grow strong, grow wise, but never, ever grow up.