Category Archives: Life

PR and Digital Firm

Grow by Letting Go

One of the ways FischTank has been able to grow is relatively simple — hire smart professionals who can take certain responsibilities and weaknesses off your hands.

Stepping back for a moment to share an example. As a marketer/communicator, writing is one of my few more effective skillsets. Comparatively, numbers often pose a significant challenge for me. Although the books were getting done, invoices were going out, and taxes were being paid — handling accounting for FischTank was a tremendous time suck, and was getting in the way of my ability to execute other initiatives such as client services and business development.

As we’ve scaled FischTank, my partner and I have made great efforts to hire a team that provides solutions. Naturally, this includes the accountant/bookkeeper who maintains invoicing and expenses in QuickBooks, coordinates payroll, and pays our taxes. It also includes the team in our office that now handles all facets of what we do for our clients — account management, reporting, writing, research, media outreach, website audits, social media strategies, and other marketing and public relations components.

If you’re a CEO reading this and nodding along — I encourage you to apply the same thinking to your marketing and communications efforts. Perhaps you’re putting off blogging until next week? Do you see your competitors continue to receive media coverage and wonder why the press isn’t writing about you? What are you doing to maintain some form of a digital media presence? Is your website acceptable or lacking updates? Where do you begin when writing a press release? Home come you aren’t using e-mail marketing?

Certainly many of you have asked one of these very questions. Some of you may find more than one example familiar. Perhaps many of you have suggested handling your company’s marketing and media efforts on your own. If so, best of luck and I’m sure you’ll do great. The question is — at what cost to yourself?

Breaking the 9-5 mindset

As posted on LinkedIn blog…Man-Upset-Work2

Just over two months ago I left a major NYC-based PR agency to form my own marketing/PR practice. It’s been both terrifying and exhilarating, but more importantly, a learning experience. Literally every day I mess something up, do something right, and learn more about myself overall.

One of the first things I’ve learned, is that I might not have been wiredto work 9-5s. Now, saying that 9-5s don’t make sense is easier saidthan done. After all, I’ve been abiding by that structure for close to a decade. My first few days of not being required to be somewhere at 8:30am, and responding to e-mails and calls on my own time left me wracked with guilt. “Shouldn’t I be doing something or meeting with someone at 11am?” I thought.

The answer was no, but it took me a solid month to figure that out. Of course, I’m available around the clock to my clients and partners, but realizing my hours of efficiency and maximizing them has proven to be productive, and very beneficial to me mentally. For example, I’m an early riser, and usually start working between 6:30 – 7am. This provides me: a) a quiet time to focus and map the day; b) time to get e-mails to recipients before their inbox is full; and c) enough time to get ahead so I can use the rest of the day to react to urgent matters.

I’m very productive up until lunch, but then, like many — run into that afternoon wall that looks like it requires caffeine or a nap. This is generally where I’ve found it beneficial to take a walk, run some errands, catch up on news, and other mental breaks from my laptop and cell phone. Normally, when I return from this period, I’m refreshed and able to dive back into work. Following dinner and some relaxation time, I will generally work for anywhere from 1-3 hours. During weekends, I work as needed.

What’s the point, and why does my schedule matter to you? It doesn’t, at all. What should matter is identifying when YOU are most productive and how YOU can best leverage your skill-set to do a good job for yourself, clients and colleagues. Everybody on this planet is wired differently, just because 9-5s are the “standard” for work — doesn’t mean it needs to apply to you.

I don’t know if running my own practice will be a permanent professional/lifestyle decision for me, or whether I’ll return to the world of W2s tomorrow or in 20 years. What I do know, is that this mental break from a 9-5 mindset has taught me plenty about myself, and I’m only two months in. Whatever comes next, I’ll be better equipped on a daily basis to maximize my own potential, and get the job done.

First blog post on a Sunday afternoon

FischTank Marketing and PR finally launches

Nothin but a fresh start!

Where to begin?

I’ve always had A LOT to say, enough that it has frequently gotten me into trouble with family, friends, and teachers…hopefully in a way they each appreciate.

I’ve found a way to parlay that enthusiasm for communications into a career in marketing, public relations, writing and digital/social media. I guess I should consider myself fortunate — my most annoying quality has built my career. Life is funny.

I’ve enjoyed the marketing/PR positions and clients I’ve held and worked with for the majority of my career, but what I’ve really enjoyed is learning and making a difference. I love when a campaign results in a return on investment for the companies I work with, whether it’s to support a major launch, generating sales, or establishing someone as a dominant player in their industry.

Because of this, I believe I’ve received a free education — I’ve worked with a variety of brilliant entrepreneurs, clean technology companies making our planet greener, wacky consumer products enjoyed by millions, innovative technologies that change industries, real estate professionals building the next big thing, and financial services firms managing billions of dollars.

It’s been a blast, and for that reason, I decided to leave my full-time position working at a top PR firm in New York City, to start my own marketing consultant practice.

With any luck, I’ll continue to grow as a professional while doing great things for the companies I work with.

Here we go!