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  • Writer's pictureGhazal Kawar

You're Not Welcome Here.

Unless you run the world #LikeABoss

First, this is a rewrite of one of my previous posts. I'd like to take you back to some inspiring words that keep you at the top. Second, thank you to Eboni Britt, Dara Royer, Annelise Cassalia, and Master Sgt. Angel Ford for providing motivational and inspirited perspectives at the #PRogressSU panel back in 2018.

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 comes 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."

I'd like to remind you of the major takeaways that apply stronger post-pandemic:

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

It's time to own it. PR professionals and practitioners must 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 successful).

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

I usually take my criticisms 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 must 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.

"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 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 more confident. Speak up and be the best version of yourself.

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

Yes, it is 2022, 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 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 discuss it with your boss but negotiate your salary too. Did you know that women still earn 83 cents for every dollar men make? 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."

"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, how you walk the walk, how you negotiate, and how you do it. Enough said.

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