Five tips for holiday office parties


Holiday party season is upon us, PR girls! While I love any reason to don a few sparkly things, eat some free food & hang out a while, office holiday parties should be handled with care.

1. Dress appropriately.

For the most part, your normal workplace dress code still applies at holiday parties, but you can have a little fun with it now. Make sure that your outfit is of appropriate length if it’s a dress or skirt and isn’t too low-cut or revealing. Be sure to err on the conservative side, especially if alcohol will be available. Make your outfit festive by opting for a cocktail dress with subtle sparkle, glitzy accessories, jewel tones or a sparkly top under a blazer.

2. Do not overindulge.

You may be tempted, especially if it’s an open bar and buffet dinner, but overindulging is both inappropriate and rude. Limit your cocktails, make sure you’re not drinking on an empty stomach and don’t stuff your face like you don’t know where your next meal is coming from. Always mind your manners, ladies.

3. Do not bring a “plus one.”

Sure you may want to bring your beau to the holiday party to show him off, but unless you’ve been told it’s ok, arrange to meet him for a drink afterwards instead. You and your coworkers may be letting your hair down a bit and enjoying yourselves, but a holiday party is still kind of work. If the invitation was extended to SOs, great! Still stick to work-appropriate behavior and check the PDA at the door. However, if you’re in a new or casual relationship, it’s best to attend a work party stag, even if the invitation included a date.

4. Be social.

Holiday parties are all about bringing people together. Mingle, introduce yourself to people you may not have had the chance to meet yet & catch up with coworkers you don’t see every day. Make a good impression by keeping a smile on and being on your best behavior.

5. Do not go home with a coworker.

I feel like this one should be a no-brainer. Don’t go home with anyone, under any circumstances. A holiday party is not a Friday night at the club and it is not a prime place for a hookup. Make your own arrangements to get home safely beforehand and stick to them to ensure you don’t become office gossip. Remember – you will have to see these people again.

What are your do’s and don’t’s for office festivities?…

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#FridayFive: Spring Things

Fall is my favorite season, but spring is has a few things fall doesn’t. The flowers, the warm up, the whole world coming to life. Everything seems bright and new in the spring.


While I love the slow down and the calmness of fall, spring has an advantage or two. Here’s what I’m looking forward to this spring!

1. Making the most of my PRSA membership.

I joined PRSA in February and I cannot wait to get as involved as possible. I’ve already begun writing for The Edge , PRSA’s New Professionals section blog, and will be taking on some extra responsibility with PRSA Pittsburgh’s blog. There are also agency tours on the horizon and I’m excited to do as much as I can to be a productive member.

2. Finally reading Aliza Licht’s Leave Your Mark.

I preordered this book months ago and have just been waiting, waiting, waiting. I think that reading up on your craft and continued learning is important to career development. Who better to learn from that a seasoned pro?! Expect a review to follow :)

3. Being part of the 7 line’s Pittsburgh outing.

By far, my favorite thing about spring is that it’s baseball season. I’m a Mets fan, living in Pirates country, so it’s not often that I get to enjoy watching my boys play in the presence of likeminded fans. I’m super stoked for this year’s Mets-Pirates series at PNC Park because this year the 7 line has organized an outing for its 7 line army, basically a happy group of traveling Mets fans. So on Memorial Day weekend, I’ll be hanging out with 1,000+ Mets fan here in Pittsburgh, cheering on our boys in blue and orange. I’ll also be live-tweeting the event for another blog I write for, Shea Dugout.

4. Whitewater rafting & getting back outdoors.

I love being outside and I’m looking forward to the weather improving so I can get back outside and enjoy it. Last year, I tried whitewater rafting for the first time on the Ocoee River in Tennessee on the Fourth of July and I loved it. I can’t wait to try it again this year on a new river here in Western Pennsylvania. I’m also looking forward to other outdoor adventures.

5. Exploring my love of food.

I love to cook and one of my goals for this year has been to try to cook 52 new things. I’ve been consistent with that and this summer I’d like to expand on it by exploring Pittsburgh’s blooming restaurant scene a more. I’ll be sure to make notes on what I think the best is that Pittsburgh has to offer!…

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Staying confident when you don’t have the answers

Let’s set the scene:

You’re in a client meeting, going over details for an upcoming campaign. You’ve run through all the pertinent information, answered a bunch of questions and you’re confident you’ve hit all the bases and are ready to get out of the meeting and move onto other things. But wait – your client has one more question to ask.

You listen attentively and open your mouth to answer when the question is complete but – oh no! – you don’t actually know the answer! You begin to sweat and you’re at a loss. What do you do now?

Like those Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books I loved as a kid (and Neil Patrick Harris’ autobiography – genius approach btw!), there are a number of ways this could play out. Unfortunately, though, “I don’t know” and a quick escape is not an option and, regardless of how you proceed, confidence is key. Here are some tips and tricks on how to keep your confidence up on each adventure.

If you suddenly know the answer…
…Speak slowly to keep yourself calm.

It’s great that the answer just came to you, but remember to stay calm and steady. An answer is no good if no one can understand it. Take a breath, take a minute to think it through and then begin your answer.

If you think you know the answer, but need an extra minute…
…Ask to clarify or repeat the question.

Buy yourself an extra minute by asking your client to repeat their question. If they begin to clarify what exactly they’re looking to know, the explanation may trigger something in your memory to help you come to your answer.

If you don’t know the answer, but it’s something you should know…
…Say “I don’t have all of the information on hand to answer that, but I can get it for you by XX.”

This is my least favorite of the scenarios. It’s no fun to be caught even the least bit unprepared. But by admitting that you don’t have the information you should in front of you, you’re being honest, which is always appreciated. By offering a concrete deadline, you’re showing that you do take the question seriously and are already working on having the correct information ready for your client.

If the question is unrelated to the discussion…
…Say “I don’t know about that, but I can tell you…”

People go off-topic sometimes. That’s a given. The best way to steer the conversation or questions back to relevant items without being rude is to answer with information similar to what your client asked about, but related to the discussion.

If you don’t know, but you think someone on your team does…
…Say “I don’t have the answer to that, but I’m pretty sure XX does!”

It’s totally ok if you don’t have an answer, but someone else on your team does. That’s great actually! It means that you’re all working as a team, you’ve been able to appropriately delegate tasks to ensure that all tasks are completed and the best people for the job have been working on it. You may either put your client in touch with the right person or get the answer for them in a timely manner.

If you really don’t have the answer…
…Say “That’s a great question! I don’t have an answer at the moment, but I’ll find it!”


It’s unfortunate, but we can’t have all the answers all the time. Admit what you don’t know and  reassure your client that you’re on it and will find an appropriate answer to satisfy them.

Remember, no matter what the situation is, remain calm, cool, collected and confident!

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