Author Archives: thomaspuglia

About thomaspuglia

Thomas is a Graduate of Florida State University and pursuing a life in PR/Marketing. A passion for people and a slight obsession for soccer, Thomas is volunteering as the Public Relations Coordinator for The Children's Hunger Project in Melbourne, FL. What does the future hold for this young professional? A life in Tampa with an amazing career ahead of him.

Persistence, Thy Name is

Been a while, hasn’t it?

It doesn’t matter if you are well grounded in your career, beginning to take off in one, or simply looking for the right opportunity; one variable undermines them all: persistence. To take hold of what you want to do, and what you wish to achieve, the factor that determines it all is your ability to take root in a goal and follow it through. Throughout the day I can envision myself years from now doing what I want to do, but without a plan and the ability to walk forward no matter the circumstances I will achieve nothing.

The real key is how you define persistence. Is it synonymous with determination?  Consistency? Achievement? Truth is, it takes many forms in different scenarios, but the one gene that is going to give you persistence is patience. And not the kind of patience of your ability to wait at a stoplight without bubbling over with rage. Let’s take a look at the 1913 Webster’s Dictionary:

Patience:

The power of suffering with fortitude; uncomplaining endurance of evils or wrongs, as toil, pain, poverty, insult, oppression, calamity, etc.

You want results? You want to see through your goals? Don’t just wait – but grow. If someone claims to be patience, it should mean much more then the ability to sit and do nothing. Your ability to take what comes and continue to fight is what defines the persistent man to the one who can simply wait. Here are 5 traits of true persistence:

1. Courage

There will come a time (if it hasn’t already) in which you do not want to have any part of what you know you need to do. It could be that cold call that you try to avoid at all costs or possibly entering in that meeting that you know everybody is looking to you for answers. The fact is you are going to fail at some many things, but in no way should that hinder your confidence or your actions. I think of Will Smith in The Pursuit of Happiness.

2. Commitment

Set your game plan, and see it through. You have your eyes set on a client? Even if results are not instant, with your goal in mind and strategy to back it up, stay true to your gut and build your foundation.

3. Logic

It is important to note that not all persistence pays off: Know when to back off and when to move forward. Just because you believe you created the dream strategy and no one is buying in does not mean the only possible route is to pester until it comes. Know what your trying to achieve, but understand the importance of an open mind. Pestering is not persistence. Learn from Trial and Error, make the necessary adjustments, and get back on the field.

4. Confidence

Getting yourself out there is only have the battle: Take the time to assess what you have to offer. Be confident in your abilities and yourself. You finally have the green light to make your presentation, but be prepared to showcase an unwavering spirit. Rejection comes, but don’t take it personally. For the job seeker, all you need is one catch from a plethora of nets.

5. Patience

“Good things come to those who wait” – nonsense. Waiting to me is waiting at the DMV: waiting for your name to be called as you sit and do nothing. When you face rejection, learn from it. Again, don’t take it personal. You have your confidence, you know what you have to offer, and even if your are scared out of your mind that should not shake your foundation of what you set out for yourself.

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Journalism and The Art

This won’t be a long one – just trying to keep the blog afloat, and apologies for the long delay in a post.

My goodness, when you do not have much of a theme for a blog, the creative juices don’t seem to flow, do they? My consumption of time has actually been the opposite of writing lately – getting into the profound resources of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, PRdaily, and my favorite – The Run of Play. All of these sites are the pinnacle of the art of writing; despite the printed word losing it’s identity in the social media takeover, and the stereotypical view of all online material is a mess of bad grammar, it is comforting to read upscale content nonetheless.

I see these sources of information the same way as I see Lionel Messi play soccer – that consistent feeling of “I want to be that!”. When you watch the Miami Heat, or the Green Bay Packers, you are watching talent on the highest level, something that leaves all spectators in delusion and envy. And yet, the craft of putting together a simple article should be seen through the same lens as the immortals of the field. You can take a writing class, major in English, and take to a tutor, but without that same fold of gene of creativity, you will be found wanting in terms of capturing an audience the same way that Michael Jordan would.

And this is why my infatuation has grown for the craft of writing – for the simple realization that it is as much as a marvel as an event that can fill a stadium of 80,000 fans strong. It is more than being an expert in their field of work – there is an element manifested that is outside the boundaries of repetitive drill and patterns. For the soccer midfielder, the difference between the elite and the ordinary of the position is his ability to create something that is not found in a chart or practice scheme. It is as if he is gazing into the future and making decisions that are only for what is going to happen, not keeping possession alive and doing only what is required. He is the link, the balance, the catalyst that makes the difference between a setting up a corner or putting the ball in the back of the net.

This is no different for the crafted writer. The context, the content, the link between a worthwhile read or a pause for appreciation.

It is time to enjoy some Take Out, so I will leave with the challenge to marvel at the giants of writing sphere, those individuals who possess what others can only fathom.

 


9 Vistas

9 views. I have made it to 9 views in one day for this new creation blog of mine. Does that sound vaguely desperate? Whichever way you take it, just know that the original advice to start my own blog was followed with “it’s not like anyone will read it in the beginning anyways”.  And I don’t mean that in a “no one cares about you” sort of depressing way either. Think about it:  I am 1 of 358,431 bloggers on WordPress, and last time I checked, I have not made much headway on BBC. So logically speaking, there is going to be a beginning stage to this blog. Thus 9 views in one day is going to catch my eye at this point in time. Now asking who they are is more geared to asking who that “secret admirer” was in High School.

Hopefully by now those 9 of you who are reading this now already know the purpose of this blog – It is my effort to showcase myself and what I know to you, and for you to become part of my own journey of entering the life of Public Relations. If you are a regular reader – welcome and keep becoming part of that “we”.

If you are that Employer or Manager that is attempting to determine my worth through my Social Media- well what can I do for you? (For the regular readers here –  check your own social media, because 89% of companies will be using your Social Media to determine whether or not to hire you)

 

Back to the regulars here – Yes this means that YOU are going to refine your Social Media to near perfection.

But even if you set up your Twitter, Youtube, Linkedin, Facebook, and whatever else you could possibly think of – it is important to remember that you are not using these for the “pure social interaction” anymore. It can seem a bit narcissistic to have so many different accounts in which you are the main feature (and time consuming), but having the outlook that all of it is your online portfolio lets you get over the High School notion of Social Media. Yes I had Myspace in High School – and seeing profile after profile of idiotic nonsense – you question the benefit of having one. (I confess, my profile name was “Dark Night of the Soul” – but it was quoted after St. John of the Cross so you can judging…slightly) Yet Social Media is now a major factor in not only networking, but branding yourself, and it is now attached to your resume.

So the notion of having the “Professional” Twitter account (It still boggles me that ‘Twitter’ is the best name they came up with) all of a sudden does not seem so callow. Especially when you cannot post some of the things you would have back in High School. You are not hidden under the username ‘Danewyorker2444’ or ‘Sport_parade222’ anymore – now its all you under that comment. What I post online now is synonymous with the picture of myself in my tie (albeit a rather nice look), and now I have become my own Professional Public Relations manager, attempting to brand my client (me) to the public and effectively communicate his(my) goals and image.

So if you are that Undergraduate who swore never to use Social Media because you are “above that nonsense” – welcome to your wake up call. It does not make you anymore worldly to have a Twitter account, and you can be just as unique and “above” as you were before. Granted, if your Twitter is filled with nonsensical posts of your excitement of what you are going to read when you eat today, then maybe you might have slipped a little.


Thrown Into The Fire

There is always some song titles that despite their potential for triteness are the best way to sum up one’s current events. I am going to have to use “What a Difference a Day Made” for myself.

What a difference a day made 
Twenty-four little hours 
Brought the sun and the flowers 
Where there used to be rain 

And speaking of change, I found my old website that I used to “blog on” when I was in High School. Through going through old posts, it occurred to me that 1) how pitiful we all were in High School, and 2) how blogs have changed since then for the blogger, especially from the Student to the Professional. Allow me to explain the change:

The High School Blogger (HSB),writes a blog, and what ever is written down usually stems from the most recent thought on the HSB’s mind.

The Professional Blogger (PB) writes for something purposeful, usually attempting to answer a question, explain a problem, or describe a situation.

The poor, sad, High School Blogger writes exclusively about himself. Post’s are geared toward the events of a given day, week, or an update from the most recent post. It is usually accompanied with a “What a I am listening to” headline.

The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most – Dashboard Confessional 

I can’t believe  I had to eat a salad at lunch today. It wasn’t fun and Mike was so funny when he threw the Milk Carton at Sara. Oh my goodness she was upset. Oh and what else happened? Oh yeah we went bowling yesterday and i scored a 100, and mike got pissed. I can’t believe summer is almost here! gosh I hate Geometry.

The Professional Blogger desires to tell a story, and to entertain the reader – even if the blog may be about a personal experience, the rhythm of the blog tends to stay away from sounding like catching up with Grandma on the phone.

The High School Blogger will ALWAYS write in a indirect fashion for that “someone” to notice – every post is a vain hope for that someone to realize that you are actually writing about them, and it’s time they call you.

What a day – what was she doing there? I only want to show her the world, does she even notice me? I am trying so hard, and I am still so invisible. What else can I do.

This never worked.

The Professional Blogger writes to be respected and to be followed – he already has a group of subscribers, and he hopes that a colleague of his will notice his post and happily reuse it in his own blog, or join in a cheerful discussion of the subject matter at hand.

The High School Blogger writes for comments – Every word that is used is an attempt for comments from friends and those in his circle. There is no other purpose for the post but for encouragement and compliment. This can be done through such posts as the “Nobody cares about me” method, which intends for comments such as:

No your the best! 

Keep your chin up, we all love you!

– Or, the “Look what I know/have done” method. This is simply stating information that was recently read by the HSB, and the HSB believes this information will impress his friends and show how genuine cool he is. Most of this is copied in its entirety from the source.

The Professional Blogger writes for comments – and nothing else. Yes this is the denominal value of the Blog – but the hope lies that this is done in a more professional matter. Hope.

If you are in charge of online content of your organization, and you are still in the mindset that a blog will always be that of the HSB – you need to change your view immediately. The incredible potential for Blogs, Twitter, and Facebook for a organization is nearly limitless if done correctly.

The opportunity exists now to be personal to your clients through Social Media. Now you can show that you and your company are more than just what you sell – and people respond to this. And that leads to the other significant feature of Social Media – Instant Feedback. Take a look at ESPN’s 1st and 10 segment – they use Facebook to allow their users to choose what they will discuss next. Each pundit has a twitter account, and the viewer feels closer than ever to the interaction on their Television.

If you don’t believe me, take a look at some PB’s way more experienced in Social Media, who can help you using Social Media in a Crisis, and even you don’t see it coming, Social Media is the next Communication Frontier.

Is it slightly depressing that we live in a time when sitting at a computer is considered an important tool to be personal? Yes. Do more and more people get sucked into Social Media and forget that this is not the Matrix? Yes. But can it be useful, despite the growing number of media platforms that must be used, and the growing number of realizations that all of this means that you have to spend more time sitting at a computer? Of course it is.

But please do not forget that calling someone on the phone meeting someone in person is the most effective way of communicating. Yes, Social Media is great for the Professional, but really, interact with your significant others from time to time. And ask how they are doing. It does wonders for relationships.


A Simple Explanation of the Inner Journey

Every time I open WordPress, I am always expecting some form of creativity to lash out and hit me in the face to write a beautiful sonnet or say words that would make Hemingway blush.

That usually doesn’t happen.

I recently came across a blog post that changed someone’s life and somewhat mine. Basically the blogger, Antonia Harler, was in a similar situation that I am in. Recent Grad, tough market, but very high potential and expectations. She wrote a blog post explaining her qualifications, and sent it out to anyone and everyone. And it worked. She soon found a dozens of employers contacting her for interviews. She explains quite nicely:

That’s when I wrote the blog post that changed my life. I wrote from my heart and told people that I am worth hiring!  I had built up a meaningful social network and I reached out to them to help get the word out.  People like Mark Schaefer, Danny Brown, Stacey Hood, Shelly Kramer, and Kyle Lacy. Chris Brogan and Scott Monty also helped out.  In total I sent 20 Emails to people around the world. I explained my situation and asked for help. I needed my story to spread. It was a long shot, but I had nothing to lose.

And that is encouraging my friends, whether you are searching for a job or an employers, it helps to know that people are driven, and not everyone wants a job for the sake of having a job. 

Even myself, I cannot begin to explain the growth that I have seen in my own work ethic, goals, and knowledge of what I want to do. I came from being a lost 23 year old in December trying to explore a empty map to be where I am now. Regardless of my job situation, I am in a place that I want to be in. I have found a career path that is going to me make want to wake up everyday for what I will be doing, and that I could not be more ready for the challenge.

I have found myself indulging in the Public Relations World of Information; through daily newsletters, PDF’s, RSS feeds, and especially through some wonderful people such as Helen KnightMary Estes, and Nanette Schimpf. These have all been some of the most valuable sources of information for me and have helped me understand what I want to be known for, and what I am setting out to do.

You have to understand, 3 months ago I did not know much about Public Relations, let alone it was a possible path for me. I was somewhat lost dealing with what my future would hold, but I was driven and determined to find my niche, my potential -better yet – ME. So I set out meeting with whomever was willing, sent out as many cold call and emails I could manage, and called anyone that was even mentioned in a conversation. When I met with the Communications Department at Florida State, I could not believe I did not know about this before. All I could think about as I found the absolute pinnacle of my searches was How did I know about this before! Oh my goodness, this is ME! I am good at all of this! And I love to do it! And I want to! 

From there on I set about meeting with more people in PR, and began reading whatever I could find and whatever I could listen on PR. PR theory, Social Media trends, and the Fundamentals of PR Planning – you name it, I devoured it.

But I want to set all of this in motion, and I continue to look back at the past 3 months and look at what I have accomplished, and I could even shed a tear – but I know there is still so much to be done. All I can say is thank goodness I am driven, or I would be settling for a very mediocre future.

So here is a list that I would like to think as a before/after list, but more in the sense that many of these things 3 months ago I never thought about/never knew about are things that I learned about, was suggested to do, or simply my own initiative.

  • Dressing Professionally:  –  Okay, so not much to you maybe, but coming from what I looked like before (Long hair, beard, and always basketball shorts), I set out to be professional in whatever I do, and always make an impression.
  • The Many Many Contacts:   –  Since April I have grown a network of 2 souls to over 45 people that I have contacted and conversed with in some way shape or form concerning PR, Communications, or simply the Job Market in General. I have learned the art of Networking, and I am always confident in meeting face to face with anyone. Could be the very expressive Italian genes in me, but I am confident in my people skills.
  • The Need for Help:  –   At 23, many of us still have somewhat of an impression of invulnerability, but I have been able to have many of my contacts and peers assist me in resume revisions, writing assistance, and even help with Web Site Deveolpment.  I know I have loads of potential in PR – the more I read about it, hear about it, or apply it, the more I fall in love with it. But lets take the analogy of a baseball player with an incredible knack for hitting the stem off a ball, but he has never had too much help with his swing. You know he has the potential, but just needs a little refining.
  • Spare 30 Seconds?  –   I was never a fan of that 30 second pitch that you have to give to that one person that says “so tell me about yourself?”. Once again, I come from an Italian background, and the question is always longer than 30 seconds. But my journey to what I want to do and who I am has helped me gain a strong idea of what I can offer and what my strengths are.
  • A Blog, a Twitter, and a Lending Hand: Okay, I have never been a fan of blogs – thanks to my time in High School with the very popular Xanga Blog. Not to go into much detail, but remember those “100 questions about myself!” viral messages? Sadly, I was a part of that once upon a time. And Twitter never really struck me as professional. I will always remember a Conan O’Brien segment of “In the Year 3000” that always was near and dear to my heart:

In the Year 3000, Youtube, Twitter, and Facebook will combine into one mega social media machine called ‘YouTwitFace’!

But I have done my research, and once again, doing what is necessary to be successful in whatever comes my way. I am learning the ways of PR Twitter, the Blog and it’s qualities, and Social Media in the PR world. It goes with my creativity to do this, and I have been having fun thus far. I even helped out the Non-Profit Organization Candlelighters of Brevard with their social media content, outlining a effective strategy for their website, Facebook, and offering to help set up a twitter account and blog. (if you would like to see my outline and analysis of their website, I would be happy to show you)

There is so much more, but for the sake of a blog post, I feel good ending here. Oh and one more thing: I realized that through the years I have made so many various videos for so many different people or groups, and more often than not, I wrote, created, produced, and edited them. So I am setting up a Youtube account to showcase these beautiful creations of mine. And I think I can end with my latest project: Somebody to Love. Simple background on the movie – It was for a Skit Night for the Catholic Student Union at Florida State University. And the video content? One day I was driving along and Somebody to Love by Queen came on the radio, and I kid you not this entire montage entered my head. And I finally, finally, got a chance to make it. Oh and it took 2 days to do everything for it.

Alrighty, Have a good night, and please enjoy.


How the NFL Lockout is Already Forgotten

I don’t care for Football, I really don’t. I spent my morning watching Liverpool FC playing to a 1-1 draw with Sunderland. Yes, that is soccer. The point being, if the NFL packed it’s bags and moved somewhere very far away, I would be quite happy. And I would watch more soccer on ESPN. And that is fine by me.

But if you have happen to turn on any sports broadcast in the last 2 and 1/2 weeks, than you and I both know that the lockout has ended, and football is gearing up again. And by “gearing up” I mean “absolutely being marketing through any channel or outlet available”. If you watch ESPN, you have most likely realized that SportsCenter has become ‘SportsfootballCenter’. I think they forgot Baseball is a sport. If you liked to listen to ESPN Radio – then you have also realized that Mike & Mike Radio is also NFL crazy. I think their podcast intro sums it up quite nicely:

“Hey it is finally over, the lockout is no more, and football season is officially a go! So don’t wait another minute – head to Stubhub! Chose the seats you want and get ready for another awesome season of the greatest show on Turf! Because that now that the season is on, the only question left is – Where do you want to sit?”

Well that is the way I want to start my morning drive, everyday. I encourage you to look at the description of their Podcasts from July 25 to now.

Now to me, any sport that has ‘lockout’ next to it is most likely going to hurt their fan base. Seems logical enough. Take a look at the NHL:

What happens to you when you lose a season? You pay for it.  You lose more then income, and without a doubt you lose your trust with your fans. The NFL did not lose a season, but the very fact that there was the chance of a lost season should also show some ramifications, correct?

Well maybe not so much. A poll taken from redding.com reveals that more then 50% of football fans have either the same or more interest in the upcoming season.

Take a look at every year’s middle line. It’s every June/July, and football is about to start up. You can see the same ‘U’ pattern in every year, expect that it seems to be increasing each year. Now you would expect to see a dip in 2011, but remarkably there doesn’t even seem to be a change at all. Heck, look how the NFL has fared with the only constant sport this summer – yes, Baseball:

Yes, the MLB is the red line. And yes, it really has not fared much better than an NFL lockout.


End and Beginning (Or) We Begin our Story…

How do you begin a story without a solid beginning?

If you happen to be setting your sights on this, the first post of a promising story – well thank you very much.

If you happened to Google “Pasta dishes from Puglia”, or simply have a friend named Thomas that you mistaken this blog to represent, then allow me to outline what you (we?) are embarking on:

How does the average 23 year old who graduated along with 50,000 strong find a way to create their own voice, set a vision in motion, and dare I say “make it”?

Hopefully through what will be the many attempts of enlightening you, the readers, to certain trends and issues in the Public Relations Sphere, especially highlight revenant issues for the young and fresh of us (Just like that! Easy, right?), and how in the world to digest it. So as I continue to get a better grasp on the world of blogging, the more this blog will present itself with interesting content.

Oh, but not to dread: I am sure we will touch on my own questions and thoughts that are worthy of the blogging world, such as why in the world do I find Panera a perfect place to study? (But this for another post)

And without a doubt, I am sure that the glory of Soccer will find itself as a repeating topic matter.(Word of Note: I speak about a Culture of Soccer and how dramatically it is relevant to understanding ourselves, see here)

However the topic presents itself, I hope to bring you, the reader, a source of content that is stimulating enough to come back too and become part of the “we” on this blog. And to define the “we” that I continue to write, think of this blog as my own story that I have asked you, the reader, to walk aside. Sounds good? Wonderful.