Key Takeaways from the 2017 Communicators Conference

Today I had the pleasure of attending Portland’s Communicators Conference. When I first heard about the conference I was disappointed that it fell on a work day. I kept finding myself coming back to the conference website and pining to attend, so I came up with a solution that would keep both my employer and myself happy. I proposed to my supervisors that I attend the event during work hours but cover the conference on my firm’s social media channels. I was thrilled to reach this happy medium and the conference was incredible! Here are my key takeaways from today’s awesome event.


1. Live Tweeting is a Balancing Act

I attempted to live the tweet event from both my personal and work accounts while also keeping my work Instagram up to date and, let me tell you, it was a challenge. I recommend covering an event on either your personal or professional account, not both.

2. Being a Communicator is All About Networking

Upon entering the conference I recognized several people from past events and said hello. Those previous connections then connected me with a ha
ndful of other amazing professionals, which led to some great conversations and awesome opportunities. As they say, it’s not what you know but who you know.

3. Passion is Essential

I sat through almost seven straight hours of lecture-based presentations and loved every second of it! I felt constant excitement over the new information I was learning, and that is key. Without passion for your work, you will never be able to reach your potential. As Wise Step says, passion for your work increases your energy and desire to pursue excellence.

Overall, the conference was incredible and I am so glad I brought this option to my employer so that I was able to experience it.


Sophie Ey

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The art of live-tweeting 

Live-tweeting is a great way to maximize your social media impact and distinguish yourself from other reporters and twitter users. Because you’re actually on the ground where the action is happening, you can provide a perspective that few can. 

It’s important to use that advantage as best you can. 

Take pictures 

Pictures are one of the easiest ways to set the scene and show people what’s going on. It doesn’t take a lot of effort and can really enhance your live-tweeting. 

Use direct quotes 

Direct quotes are a great way to inject another voice into your tweets. Just make sure you don’t incorrectly quote someone, even if it’s just on Twitter. And make sure names are spelled right! 

Don’t tweet too much 

I’ve been guilty of this. Even though you make think people are hanging on your every tweet, you may just be clogging up people’s timelines. Keep the tweets short and succinct, and only tweet things that are actually interesting and relevant. 


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Surviving Your New Nine-to-Five

If you’re like me, you’re also transitioning from a student to a professional. A big part of this transition is our schedules. Many of us start our days at 8 a.m. or 9 a.m. and work until 5 p.m. We are less likely to have the flexibility of skipping or picking our schedules like we did when we were in school. Here are my tips for surviving yourcathryn-lavery-67852.jpg new nine-to-five.

Go to bed early

Try and keep a consistent sleep pattern. This will make getting up a lot easier. It also helps to get up early and eat breakfast without feeling rushed. When you leave little time to get ready, you’ve already set a stressful tone for your morning

Pack a lunch and snacks

I rely on snacks to get me through the day. I always pack fruit and something a little more substantial like a granola bar or yogurt. I also make sure to pack a good lunch. This will help you power through the day. I also recommend preparing your snacks and lunch the night before so you don’t have to worry about it in the morning.

Take your breaks

I guess it’s popular to skip lunch and breaks in the professional world. Don’t! As the Harvard Business Review writes “Parents and teachers will help you balance your life, and you have frequent, built-in breaks to help you recharge. But a job is different.” You are now responsible for yourself. Take care of yourself. This will help prevent burnout


If you sit behind a desk like me, getting up to stretch is crucial. In fact, Time found that “sitting can increase your risk for cancer by more than 60%.” Walk around the office, or stretch at your desk. Time makes some great suggestions for stretches you can do at work.

Delbar Ehfad

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What It’s Like To Do Social Media for Work (Not Play)

I recently started as a Jr. Marketing Coordinator at a data and optimization firm in Portland. My main responsibility is to run all of our internal social media channels, with the goal of generating new client leads and increasing brand loyalty. My first thought, “how cool is that? Social media for work!” I thought I would immediately hit success doing social media for work since I run my own accounts every day without thinking twice. Let me tell you, I was wrong. Managing social media for a company is so much different than running it for yourself, and I had a lot to learn.

In my few weeks as a social strategist, I have learned encyclopedia’s full of information about social media, which I never knew was possible. While I have learned HUNDREDS of things about this field so far, here are my top two takeaways from doing social media professionally.

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1. Join the Conversation.

Social media is not faceless. It is a massive, global and interactive network of people and brands. Posting regularly simply isn’t enough. You have to directly engage with your users and key influencers, make them remember you. If you’re having trouble getting the interaction flowing follow Articulate Marketing’s advice, “use content as your conversation starter.”

2. Being “Liked” is Hard Work.
This is the big leagues. I was used to posting a video of a corgi swimming on my personal account and automatically getting ten likes. In the professional world, it is no where near that easy. You have to work hard for those likes and loyal friends because, when it comes down to it, people just see you as a logo and it’s your job to to help them put a face to that.

While I have developed immensely as a social media strategist in the past few weeks, I still have so much to learn. I can’t wait to continue to grow as a professional and, when in doubt, Forbes and Entrepreneur are your friends!

Sophie Ey

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Not An Early Bird

Adjusting to the work life is definitely a taste into the #adulting reality that most of us are anxious about. It was just last term when I could wake up at 11:00 a.m. and head to campus 10 minutes before my 12 o’ clock class started. In college you created your own schedules and could head out the door with minimal effort into your look.

This is definitely not the case when you start working. You report to work early in the morning, which means if you want to get a full eight hours of sleep, you must go to bed early! For me, I needed to drastically adjust my sleep schedule and prepare for the next day ahead of time. I now had to account for the time it takes to look presentable, pack a lunch, and travel to work.

Wake up of an asleep girl stopping alarm clock

If you struggle with waking up early, here are a few tips that I do every night to maximize my sleep:

  1. Pack a lunch. If you plan on taking a home lunch, pack it the night before. Trust me, it will allow you to sleep-in a bit longer. All I do is go in the fridge to grab my food container rather than spending 10-15 minutes preparing something.
  2. Plan your outfit. I don’t know if many of you can relate, but it can take me a while to decide what to wear. Save your time in the morning and plan your outfit the night before. I usually check the weather to make sure I am ready for the forecast that day.
  3. Power down. This is a hard one, but according to WebMD, your electronic devices affect the time it takes for you to fall asleep as it interrupts the release of the sleep hormone, melatonin. I usually set my phone to “Do not disturb” mode 20 minutes before going to bed, so I can resist the temptation to respond to texts and other social media alerts.

Waking up early for work does not necessarily mean you have to be an early bird, you just have to be smart about maximizing your sleep!

Malia Ito

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Stay up-to-date with news, industry trends, and events

Happy happy Spring, everyone.

How do you keep up with current events?

Where do you get your news?

These two questions and other versions tend to come up during interviews and can make you think twice about an answer. Replying with ‘Twitter’ sounds the most obvious, but potential employers may raise some eyebrows.

Getting asked helped me understand the value behind curiosity and staying up-to-date with current events while translating that into insight.

Your dream company or future employer wants to know if you keep tabs on different industries, new products, daily news, and or events. Thanks to technology (and Twitter, of course), we can access different publications whenever and wherever.

One of my first internship responsibilities entailed flagging posts relevant to finance technology on a morning basis. Though, not all employers will make interns or employees “read” or “follow” news. You just do it, especially for communicators, and more importantly, for the company’s interests.

Some tips, tricks, and tools to get you started below:

I recommend starting a routine, whether at the beginning of your shift or for ten minutes every two hours, any time that works for you. I prefer mornings while having breakfast or an apricot La Croix.

Choose a platform. I downloaded CNN on my iPhone and subscribe to the Wall Street Journal, but my absolute favorite is FastCompany or Refinery29 to fuel quirky culinary habits.

News articles publish at the speed of light, but try using tools that can ease search like filtering. I like to use google alerts which allows you type key words in the search option and link and email, then it will compile and send related articles to your inbox. Talkwalker alerts is another option and it’s free too.

Identify topics that fall under the company’s industry, products, and or services. For example, finance, technology, online banks, mobile-banking would fit with my company’s brand. Also consider adding competitors and look into what other people are saying about them. This can help with having a broader understanding of industry leaders.

This way of searching for news extends beyond work and into everyday life. I have google alerts for ‘new iPhone,’ ‘Amazon fresh,’ ‘Mexican recipes,’ and ‘Ashton Eaton.’

News always coming in hot!

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A Healthy Body and a Sound Mind

It can be hard to find the right balance as you shift from college into an adult life. It’s no longer feasible to down a cheeseburger for lunch, a hot dog for dinner and still feel like the star that you know you are. One of the challenges I’ve faced while sitting at a desk and a staring at a computer is how easy it can be to overeat.

The truth is that I’m too tired to meal prep at 7:00 p.m. after going to work and school. So here are some quick tips that won’t make you bust the button on your new work pants.

  1. Really pay attention when you’re eating. Don’t mindlessly zone out and truly allow yourself to take a break and savor your snack. This is a great time to not only replenish your nutritional needs but your mental ones as well. Get up from your desk and walk around the office.
  2. Pack healthier snacks! You are what you eat and chances are, if you’re snacking on greasy, salty or sugary foods, you aren’t feeling great. There are tons of great websites with great ideas for healthy eating, such as Delish, that will still satisfy all those afternoon cravings.
  3. Make a conscious effort to eat with another person. Whether it’s a friend or coworker, your meal will be far more enjoyable if you share a conversation. This is also a great time to get to know some of your office mates!


Lastly, remember that while maintaining a healthy diet is great, everything should be in moderation. Allow yourself to enjoy a dessert without punishment. Go out to happy hour with your friends and coworkers. Giving your body good food means a clear mind and you’ll be able to be more productive at work. Anna Dumitru, who writes for the Nordic Business Report and Huffington post, says “It’s all about finding the balance that’s right for you.” You know your body best!


Anissa Hare



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