• Gigi Kawar

Girls, Run the World #LikeABoss

Updated: Apr 5, 2018

Photo: Nietjuh from Pixabay

First, thank you, Beyoncé, for the inspired headline. Second, thank you, Eboni Britt, Dara Royer, Annelise Cassalia, and Master Sgt. Angel Ford for providing motivational and inspirited perspectives at the #PRogressSU panel.

On Monday, Feb. 26, 2018, at 7 p.m. a panel of experienced local women talked about diversity and inclusion in the field of public relations. These four women do not only work in the field; they lead the field. The panelists were Eboni Britt, marketing manager at Kodak; Dara Royer, Senior Vice president and Chief Communications Officer at Syracuse University; Annelise Cassalia, public relations coordinator of Eric Mower and Associates; and Master Sgt. Angel Ford, the communications officer of the Air National Guard. Each of these women come from different sectors of the field, providing broad perspectives on how to PR #LikeABoss.

The S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications tweeted on @NewhousePR, "THANK YOU to our four amazing panelists and everyone who attended our diversity and inclusion panel tonight! It was a packed house with standing room only, and over 70 live streams. We hope you left feeling INSPIRED! #PRogressSU #LikeABoss."

In case you missed it, though, here are the major takeaways:

"Own you. Own your brand," — Dara Royer

In my other blog posts, I talked about the importance of building your own brand. Well, now it's time to own it. PR professionals and practitioners need to identify their personal brand and then believe in it. This does not only apply to women in the field. Recognizing and owning your brand is the basis of real success, it applies to everyone (unless you don't want to be being successful).

How do you identify your own brand? Think of three words that describe yourself, then wrap your head around them (and by head, I mean content).

I usually take the criticisms I receive seriously, it only helps me get better, right? No, not always. According to Royer, owning your brand enables you to understand what criticisms matter and what don't. But first, you need to figure out who you are and what your brand is. Eventually, you'll learn how to pick out the negative and unnecessary feedback. Stay true to your brand and #ownit.

Source: Giphy

"It's not what you say, it's what you do ... Don't just talk the talk, you have to walk it too," — Dara Royer.

If you didn't already know, actions do speak louder than words, but this is another way of saying it. Whatever you need to do to break ground, do it even if it means "going above and beyond," just keep it legal. This, in turn, will keep you respected in the industry.

A standard issue all panelists focused on is the idea that women tend to count themselves out or take the easy way out. According to a study cited by Royer, although women dominate the public relations industry, the field's C-suite is still dominated by men. Does this sound logical to you? Probably not. I see this threat as an opportunity, it's time you put yourself out there and do whatever it takes to earn your desired position. Don't just talk about it, walk it too, because that is the only way to prove yourself.

Do not set yourself very high standards when doing a job search, you're much stronger and confident. Speak up and be the best version of yourself.

Source: Giphy

"When I'm negotiating a job, I negotiate like a white man," — Eboni Britt.

Yes, it is 2018, and we still have to #negotiate to get what we want. How can you use that to your advantage? Do it like a white man, precisely as Britt said it. Never settle for less than what you deserve. Seize whatever it is you want, and seize it with strength and confidence. Yes, it may be uncomfortable, but that's the whole point. #Getoutofyourcomfortzone because that's where the magic happens.

You probably don't want to talk about it with your boss, but negotiate your salary too. "Did you know that in 2016, women working full time in the United States typically were paid just 80 percent of what men were paid, a gap of 20 percent?" Well, Britt said to "Leave nothing on the table. Go in high, because you are not going to get where you want if you don't start higher."

Source: Giphy

"They told me not to wear heels. And you know what I did? I went and found my tallest pair. I don't look like you, and I'm not trying to ... I am not here to fit in, I am here to make changes." — Dara Royer

This quote by Royer is my favorite because it summarizes everything discussed in this blog post. At the end of the day, this is how you own your brand, this is how you walk the walk, this is how you negotiate, and this is how you do it. Enough said.

#PRogressSU #Diversityandinclusion #diversitymatters #publicrelations #LikeABoss #negotiate #ownit #inspiration #motivation

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