Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I Am an Onion.

You may have noticed that my personal logo, which is also the background to my Twitter, is an onion. A lot of people ask why I chose this, and I love telling them. So I decided to share it here. When I was designing my personal logo, I had a lot of ideas, but none of them seemed like the right fit. I was frustrated, disappointed, and tired. Then a lightbulb hit. This was it. This was me. I am an onion. I designed it as a means to portray my versatility. I'm a social media maven, a tech-enthusiast, an Irish gal, a dalmatian lover, a twin, a daughter, a romantic, a lover of books, a soft-hearted egomaniac, a terrible dresser, a Patriots fan, a lyricist, a sister, a writer, and depending on who you ask, a comedian. I'm proud to be exactly who I am, proud to be an onion. As you peel back my layers and get to know me, I hope you'll come to appreciate the diversity of my passions.

My inspiration for this logo was social penetration theory, as developed and described by Irwin Altman and Dalmas Taylor. I'd like to thank
Apple Inc., for reassuring me that produce can be an effective way to brand yourself. And hey, if I'm going to brand myself with produce, you bet it's going to be the veggie that's so powerful it'll bring you to tears. On that note, I'll also thank Wendy Nichols at Merrimack College for actually bringing me to tears as we peeled onions to learn about social penetration theory. Lastly, I want to thank Greg Hedges, my graphic design professor at the Newhouse School, for letting me run with such an untraditional idea, even when Cynthia bet me a bottle of tequilla that you wouldn't. Maybe people will remember me as the green onion girl, but at least they're remembering me.

I read a fortune cookie once that I kept in my wallet until the day it was stolen at a pizza place. It reads, "Do not wish to be anything but exactly who you are, and try to be that perfectly." If you want to brand yourself, just think of what portrays you, and be that. Be an onion. That's my PR thought for the day.

P.S. Cynthia you still owe me that bottle of tequilla.

Why I Love Tech PR

Upon entering the real world, the first thing I learned is that my learning has far from ceased. I'm learning more than I ever thought I would, but the difference is in the tests. In my job, I don't memorize facts and numbers or write long research essays, but that's not to say my knowledge isn't tested. It's tested every day as I pick up the phone with a reporter to explain what my client does and why they should care. It's tested in my meetings with clients, in my brainstorm sessions with my teams - account managers want to see why I'm still right for this job with out-of-the-box ideas and creative ways to secure opportunities for our clients. I'm tested each time I open a blank Word document and I have to fill that screen with words that will make speaking and awards committees go - Wow, we have to have this person at our conference. In all this learning, I've reaffirmed exactly why I chose my field and why I love technology.

Okay, there's a million and one reasons why I love tech. Technology is consistently evolving and improving to make our lives more efficient, like I discussed in a prSPEAK post for PAN Communications a few months ago. I always knew I loved tech, but it wasn't until I started working with high-technology clients that I truly realized just how much I love it. I always loved consumer gizmos, gadgets and applications. I loved reading about them, playing with them and most of all, learning about them. Now, however, I'm in a whole new world of technology, the kind of tech that everyday consumers may not hear about, but is improving their lives without them even realizing it. I've been at this real world thing for a few months now, and every day I'm learning new things. Supply chain, application performance management, private and public clouds, virtualization, end-user security, and the list goes on and on...and on - there's an acronym for just about everything.

This whole new world of high-tech with endless acronyms is very different from what I expected - which might be part of the reason I love it so much. Every day holds the possibility of a curveball in the world of high-tech PR. I'm learning about things that most people in my social circle don't even know exist. They may not know about them, but I know the reasons that much of their world goes 'round - why they can bank safely from their mobile devices, or shop during Cyber Monday without having the websites crash, or why their favorite Christmas gift just isn't in stock this season because the someone didn't effectively manage inventory.

Adjusting to a full-time job from grad school was a whirlwind for sure, but it's much easier when you love what you do. If you're passionate about the work you do, like I am with tech PR, then it's a whole lot easier to avoid the snooze button on Monday mornings. That's my PR thought for the day.