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I can’t believe today’s my last day at Eisen! It’s almost surreal. In fact, I’m in disbelief. December came and went – out like the chilly Cincinnati wind, whipping the falling flakes across the Tri-State. Yet my end at Eisen marks a new beginning: a new intern, a new blog and a chance for me to walk away with new skills and knowledge from my colleagues.

Eisen was a great experience: an opportunity to explore social media and get a look inside the operation of a successful investor and public relations firm. I saw industry successes and failures: from picked up and published stories to the pitched attempts; from content clients to the complainers; from blog hits to misses and some tweets re-tweeted and others overlooked…Through it all, I learned to accept failure along with success and grow, as a person and as a professional.

I learned that you have to start from scratch. That “getting there” involves doing your work, research and reading the paper. A good attitude can get you anywhere, while a pair of stilettos in the snow will barely get you to the door. So, put on a smile and a good pair of shoes and wow your co-workers with confidence and enthusiasm!

I am grateful for my December at the rockin’ Eisen agency and owe my intern expertise to the Big Cheese and his colleagues. Through all the round table lunches, tweeting, tri-folding and trips across the street to sip and socialize, I listened and learned what being extraordinary is all about and gained  insight on how to avoid getting licked by the competition. Although I’m sad to step down from my Twitter throne, I’m honored to pass the internet legacy on to the next intern, whose media musings you can read at Eisen Intern Endeavors (close but no Catherine) at

All this linking and posting has caused me to wonder where the future of social media is heading and what I can expect to be up against when I enter the workforce in June of 2012. Fortune asked something very similar in their article “Are social media jobs here to stay?” at

Saying that social media is evolving into more of a skill set than a profession, something which I can agree with after using a hit and miss strategy to “get noticed on the ‘Net,” there is no doubt that profession or well-practiced, the demand for social media is growing. Although it is difficult to predict where the social media demand will be in 10 years, due to technology, the fact it that in order to avoid necessary crisis communication, you can’t turn just anyone loose on Twitter. Practice and please, preview before you post. There’s a lot of weight in what you write and controlling content on the Internet by making wise wording and linking choices is essential. Just read the article and see for yourself. What do you think about the future of social media? Comments are welcome and encouraged 🙂

During my time as an intern, not only did I learn, but I felt a part. Eisen welcomed me with open arms through lunch dates, shared board room cookies, outings and even tri-folding tasks. Through it all, I never once felt like an intern, but a part of the staff. The humanization through inclusion was touching. Being welcomed to sit in on client meetings and offer advice in brainstorming sessions made me feel included throughout my social media surfing. For my last day, they even took me out to lunch at Newport’s York Street Cafe, an eclectic eatery with delightful dishes and eccentric decor sure to bring a warm smile to your face on the coldest of winter days! A fond farewell over lunch was the perfect end to my time at Eisen. I will miss every extraordinary moment.

For a look on my last social media updates, please visit:

Keep being extraordinary!

Words of the Day: Thankful: for this opportunity. Potential: live up to it. Dreams: chase after ’em!

Intern Insight: “Being extraordinary” is all about being your best self.


Catherine Caldwell

Fabulous vs. Faux Pas PR

Welcome back!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend before Christmas! (Can you believe it’s this week?!) I spent my wintry weekend fighting off those crazy holiday shoppers for parking spots, finishing up some last-minute gifts, wrapping packages and finally sending out cards, making an all in all fabulous weekend!

In talks of all things fabulous, let’s talk about fabulous PR. “Fabulous PR is all about keeping you known and making people more interested and more comfortable in doing business with you,” according to Karla Jo Helms at Amen, sister! So, how do we distinguish the “fabulous” from a faux pas?

One of the key factors in distinguishing fabulous PR from an industry faux pas is simply understanding that PR is itself misunderstood. While savoring my daily dose of Ragan’s PR Daily, I found this eyesore: “Why PR is So Misunderstood.”

The main reason why PR is misunderstood is that people don’t know what PR is. Sounds silly, but it’s true. They don’t know what it is, what it does, its limitations or how it differs from say, advertising. Throughout my internship I’ve learned to better response to the age-old questions: “What is PR?” “What is social media?” and “How do I practice both professionally and successfully”? Although I’m no expert in the field, a little knowledge and experience go a long way. Learn by doing, I say.

Throughout all of my tweeting, posting, reading and yes, tri-folding and postmarking, I’ve come to realize why social media and PR are misunderstood: they take strategy – something one doesn’t realize until they try it themselves. With PR and social media, you don’t just “play around on Facebook,” and send out press releases. Both fields encompass so much more than that. Social media, being a new branch off the PR, involves strategy and misconceptions, just like PR.

Thanks to the article, I’ve drafted my short interpretation of what people don’t understand about PR:

1. What it can and cannot do, goal-wise, etc.

2. That it’s aggressive, not passive.

3. Why they are using PR and what their money is going toward/ its uncertainties

Why? People are judging bad PR over good PR, that’s why! Comparing faux pas to fabulously crafted PR is enough to make your head spin. And the reason why people don’t understand these things, well, they’ve come in contact with a lot of bad PR “pros” over the years.

So what are fabulous social media and PR really all about?

1. A well-constructed and well sought-after strategy and plan: moving forward and taking action with the PR plan in hopes of achieving a specific, predetermined goal.

2. A firm foundation: establishing and maintaining your company/client’s reputation and goals.

3. Integrity: shedding the best light on your organization and/or client through community service. Giving and growing, so that your agency will grow in personal character and clients. (*This is why you’re using PR: it is effective! In the professional sphere, reputations matter.)

So, let’s set the record straight and do our jobs well, so people can stop comparing faux to fabulous! After all, who wants a phony when they can have the real deal?

Until Wednesday, make PR proud: keep it professional, open, honest and real 😉

Water cooler word of the day: Misunderstanding. Clear and concise communication is key. Phone calls or face-to-face over emails please

Intern Insight: There is (or should be) a well-thought-out tactic behind each tweet.

Updates: Cult of the Blue Tongue, Twitter

Coming soon: My end at Eisen/Reflections of a former intern

Where Has All The Good News Gone?

Seasons (almost) greetings, site surfers!

I can’t believe that A) it’s almost Christmas and B) nearly the end of my internship! Astonishingly enough my last day in office is the Eisen Christmas Extravaganza next Thursday. I cannot believe how fast this month has gone by! It seems like only yesterday I was posting my “Welcome” entry on this blog. Time flies. Although I’m sad to leave Eisen next week, I’ll have walked away with a new skills set and contacts, as well as friends and industry wisdom and insight I won’t forget.

In keeping up with my morning routine, I have topped my bowl of PR Breakfast Club with a helping of Ragan’s PR Daily.  PR Breakfast Club + Ragan’s PR Daily + LOTS of coffee = PR pro breakfast of champions.

While savoring my morning dose of PR Daily, the article “A Truly Remarkable .Com-Era Press Release” caught my eye. The Business Insider article, found at dabbles in the press release debate. The 2000 release featured, sent from Track data corporation (Nasdaq NMS: TRAC TRAC – Text Reckoning And Compiling ), dealt with  Chairman and CEO Barry Hertz’s comments on why his company would not be sending out press releases until the following week, due to a lack of news. He apologized to his shareholders saying, “I am confident that the news releases made next week will be of significant value to our shareholders.”

Bottom line: this was a press release about why a company was not sending out press releases. Ironic, yes, but Barry Hertz had a point!

Reading more into the article, I began to realize what one of the biggest problems with PR is today: we’re sending out press releases just to be sending out press releases on non-new-worthy material. The result? Six out of 10 Americans don’t know where to find “goods news,” 83 percent believing the United States is suffering a “good news deficit.” Wow. Add that to PR Breakfast Club’s resolutions!

In the world of social media, endless “advertising noise” and instant access to news wires and email, are we becoming click and release happy before using our brains?! Inspired by the article, I resolve  that we use our best PR-pro judgment and  send out only newsworthy material!

In an era of all things “easy,” have we fallen into a rut to posting and sending out whatever we feel, just because it’s convenient, before stopping to consider, “Hey – is this really newsworthy?”

If I’ve learned anything at The Eisen Agency, it’s these words of wisdom from the rock star himself, Rodger Roeser. I asked him what the best piece of advice he could give me in dealing with reporters was. His response was something like this: only release, pitch and follow-up on things that are worth writing about, a.k.a. good news.

So what if you pitch a story about Bic’s new pen! Who cares?! What’s newsworthy and special about this new pen? What makes your product unique, or special? A.k.a.: Talk about something that’s worth talking about. THAT’S what’s going to stand out and get your cold calls and releases in the paper!

So what if you call a reporter who hangs up on you! If you’ve got something worth talking about, try again at a later date. You’re NEVER going to get 100% of the stories you pitch in the paper; it’s just not going to happen. Don’t get discouraged; let the phone call go. Smile and say, “Thanks anyway,” then hang up. They may not use your stories every time, but as long as you’re pitching something of substance, you can feel good about your efforts.

Build your reliability and caliber among reporters, so at least they know each time you call, it’s about something newsworthy a.k.a. good news. That’s power of well-practiced publicity, my friends! Bottom line: good news + good pitching = a well-written news story (and one happy reporter and PR pro) 🙂 The power of PR is undeniable.

The Big Cheese helped me think of it like this… So, this one guy walks into a bar and sees a girl he’s interested in. He approaches her and tries to convince her to date him. What happens? Depending upon the girls level of morality, chances are she laughs and says, “Fat chance.” That’s self advertising.

Let’s turn that analogy around. So, this guy walks into a bar and sees a girl he’s interested in. He keeps his distance. The girl’s friend happens to know the guy (and his impeccable reputation), nods over to him standing in the corner and says to her friend, “You know, I think you should date him. Here’s why…” That’s PR, my friends.
So which situation is more likely to end happily ever after? The good news is that I shouldn’t have to tell you by now 😉
Until next week…
Word of the day: Newsworthy (sorry, no –tastic suffix)
Intern Insight: There’s power in a well thought out pitch.
But in the meantime, check out some good news at Eisen and Cult of the Blue Tongue: