May 2, 2012 at 5:21 am (Improvement, VPW)
Tags: Christina Kunkle, Coaching
I’m in a busy phase of my life right now, both professionally and personally. The result is I’m feeling unbalanced. Fortunately, I attended the Virginia Press Women spring conference this past weekend and attended a workshop by Christina Kunkle, a resilience coach – just what I needed.
Almost immediately, she talked about our need to disconnect. “There is too much emphasis on technology,” she said and went on to emphasize the need for a morning routine or practice.
Christina Kunkle encourages indivduals to be the CEO of Y.O.U. (Photo by Cynthia Price)
Ironically, I’d had a great routine for years – until I started using my smartphone as an alarm clock. With the smart phone, before I went to sleep I would check for last minute messages or play a quick game of Sudoku. First thing in the morning, after turning off the alarm, I would check my messages.
Chrstina’s words hit home. And, I’m not alone. Ben Silbermann, cofounder of Pinterest says in the latest issue of Better Homes and Gardens that he went low-tech and bought an alarm clock to break the habit of checking email righter before bed and first thing in the morning.
In the few days since the workshop, I continue to use my smartphone as an alarm clock but now I don’t look at the emails. I have returned to my morning ritual of journaling and making a list for me, which is another thing Christina emphasizes. “You need to be the CEO of Y.O.U.!”
With my list I note if it’s a workout day (seeing it in writing helps get me to the gym at day’s end), jot down evening commitments and identify one or two chores that might need to get done.
“We should start our day with ourselves at the top of the day,” Christina said.
By disconnecting, I actually feel more connected, or at least – grounded.
September 29, 2010 at 7:05 am (Communications, Newspapers, VPW)
Tags: NFPW 2010 Conference
Charles Darwin said those most responsive to change would survive. In today’s changing workplace, individuals must change to be relevant and visible.
Pam Stallsmith of Virginia Press Women shared her journey from long-time newspaper reporter to communications consultant for the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond during a workshop at the 2010 NFPW Conference.
“I went from a noisy newsroom to a quiet office,” Pam says. “The first thing I realized is that I can’t use a newsroom voice.”
The biggest change for her was that journalism is reactive with lots of short-term deadlines. But “corporate communications is strategic and proactive,” she says.
She’s also learning more technology and has worked on several multimedia projects. “Interactivity is everywhere,” she notes.
Pam exemplifies why journalism is an ideal stepping stone for a career in journalism, says Lynn Hazan, who founded Lynn Hazan & Associates, which provides recruiting services for clients.
Some of the skills journalists bring to the table and, therefore, are skills that journalists should highlight when transitioning into communications, are –
- Interview skills
- Ability to make and see connections
- Writing – taking the complex and making it easily understood
- Ability to talk to many types of people
- Deadline oriented
- Critical thinking.
June 2, 2010 at 9:56 am (Communications, VPW)
Tags: Freelance, Valley Business Front
Notice to freelancers – editors don’t want much from you. Here’s what they want –
1) Good copy
2) Clean copy
3) On-time copy
4) Someone who follows instructions.
That’s what editors shared during a session of Virginia Press Women’s spring conference in Roanoke.
Dan Smith, editor of Valley Business Front, and former editor of Blue Ridge Business Journal, also urges writers to write in their own voice. “Hang on to it,” he says. “It makes you a better writer.”
“The editor’s role is to give the writers as much room, support and guidance,” says Keith Ferrell, freelance writer and former editor of Omni magazine.
Freelance writer Deborah Huso says she wants editors who return phone calls and emails. “There needs to be basic courtesy and good communication,” she notes.
She also urges writers to have a contract before proceeding with any writing. “You do not work for a magazine, you work for the editor,” she says. “If a new editor comes in don’t assume the old contract is valid.”
Digital media has changed the freelance landscape. Deborah says writers should get paid for all the uses of their articles. “Don’t be afraid to negotiate, especially if you’ve been in the business for a long time,” Deborah says.
Neither Dan or Keith disagreed with Deborah’s perspectives. Dan says, “Talk to other writers for the publication and find out about their experiences” before you start writing for a new publication.
“We work with our writers to accommodate their requests,” Dan adds. “We want to be on the writer’s side.”
They all agreed on one point – if you’re going to be a freelance writer, you have a to be a business person first and a writer second.
May 9, 2010 at 9:16 am (Communications, VPW)
Tags: Blue Ridge Parkway, Blue Ridge Parkway's 75th Anniversary, Phil Francis
More people visit the Blue Ridge Parkway than visit the Great Smokey Mountains, Grand Canyon and Yellowstone combined.
Phil Francis, superintendent of the Blue Ridge Parkway, shared insights into the Parkway during Virginia Press Women’s spring conference in Roanoke, April 23. The Parkway, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary, is a half-day’s drive for almost half of the U.S. population.
The Parkway, Francis told VPW, is more than its scenic overlooks. “It’s the places to sleep, eat and the adjacent communities.”
With that in mind, he wanted to involve everyone and “have a big party” for the 75th. The Blue Ridge Parkway Travel Association is leading the effort. As part of the celebration, symposiums are being held to honor the past but also contemplate the future.
As with any good PR event, the Parkway set three goals.
1) Connect with communities
2) Stewardship: protecting the Parkway and preserving it for future generations
3) Financial sustainability.
Francis noted that the visitor experience is the Parkway and their visits to the communities along the Parkway.
But he is concerned that only 11 percent of park visitors are young people. Also troubling is that 80 percent of visibility has been lost in his lifetime.
Yet the Parkway has much to offer. It has more species of trees than all of Europe. Its biodiversity is great. It has 250 pull-ins to enjoy the Parkway. It’s a designated landscape in that every single mile of it was designed, Francis said.
VPW members had many suggestions to enhance the Parkway as a destination, but Francis noted that the Parkway has two limitations – capacity and process. Fortunately, it also has Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Blue Ridge Foundation and an anniversary website.
April 27, 2010 at 7:57 pm (Books, VPW)
Tags: Adriana Trigiani, Emyl Jenkins, James River Writers
[Note: Emyl Jenkins Sexton passed away earlier today. She was a friend, mentor and longtime VPW member.]
I’m writing…. I know you would be proud. I’m thinking happy thoughts, too, although it’s not easy. We missed you at the VPW conference Friday. I’ll miss you at this week’s library event. But I’m taking your words to heart, and so I wanted to share my happy thoughts with you.
The first time I met you was at a VPW meeting so many years ago. You were speaking to us even though you had a temperature. We chatted and from then on you were giving me advice and encouraging me about my writing and finishing my book.
There’s a photo on my writing desk of Adriana Trigiani, you and me taken at one of her book signings. Such happy times.
I remember the 2007 NFPW conference held in Richmond, Va. You dear lady hosted the board at your lovely home and made everyone fall in love with the Southern delicacy of ham biscuits. I may not eat ham, but those biscuits… oh my.
I have happy thoughts of other evenings at your home, joking with you and your husband Bob about which car I drove. And that’s all I’ll say on that subject!
I remember attending the Library of Virginia Literary Awards this past October as you presented the award for fiction. It’s always a fun evening and it was more special with you presenting.
I am thinking happy thoughts remembering my first James River Writers conference. You were introducing a panel on mystery writers and spent a few minutes talking about the panelists. And then you said that in the audience was another mystery writer — me! Oh, how my heart sang to think that one day I would be a published mystery writer. I will make you proud, I promise.
And just last month Jann Malone, you and I enjoyed a Thai lunch catching up, sharing stories, solving the problems of the South. I’m glad I didn’t know then that it would be the last time I saw you.
So Emyl, we all have our memories and we all miss you. I will think happy thoughts but you will forgive me if there are a few tears, too. And to you I raise a glass of writer’s courage.