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January 24, 2008
Let's Talk About Community

Hello fellow PR practitioners: I wanted to write about a different topic for my first article, but I also wanted to stay positive. So I’m writing about something else – community.

Let me tell you a bit about myself: I’ve been in public relations, publicity, corporate communications, and crisis communications (however you wish to define it ALL!) for almost 15 years now. I also run an online networking group for more than 185 NYC-based PR’s of all levels. We share thoughts, contacts, articles, questions, job listings, and help each other.

I created this forum three years ago as I found it challenging freelancing and second-guessing myself all day. I knew I had the experience and was confident enough in my abilities to get my clients in the press. But I didn’t want to talk to the wall or the computer anymore, especially since they weren’t answering me. (I know many of you are in the same position; a few words of advice - join a group!)

For those of you who have office colleagues and can bounce ideas off of each other, consider yourself lucky. Those of you who don’t, or those of you who can’t rely on office colleagues, I’m here to help.

There are many forums and groups out there to join... and sometimes the daily digest of emails can be a bit annoying or overwhelming (depending on how many you belong to), but they can also save your sanity! The following is a list of popular online PR networking groups. Most requests to join need to be approved, and some are moderated for particular reasons (keep a limit on spam messages, etc.). The nice thing is that newbies and experts help each other out. The common ground is PR – and it doesn’t matter how much experience you‘ve got, just that you need a hand. Everyone is friendly, respectful, and always willing to advise.

Ok, here’s the list (Note: there may be new ones and others on Gmail and other search engines, and you can find descriptions of each on their pages):

  • NYCPRGroup - I moderate this, but please note it is for NYC-based PR’s.
  • YoungPRPros
  • SmallPRAgencyPros
  • PRBytes
  • PRogressivePRNYC

    I’ll be voicing my opinion here in articles over the coming months. You may find me witty and funny or sarcastic and jaded; I am all of those. You may agree or disagree with what I have to say; we all have our opinions. My goal today was introduce myself and let you know I’m here (and so are many others, pick a group – or five!) if you need guidance or advice. And not just advice about your career, but writing help, crisis communications advice, C-level suite advice, anything PR-related. So please, take advantage of what we all have to share – knowledge and the love of PR. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We won’t bite!

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Jocelyn Brandeis is an accomplished and award-winning communications professional with more than 15 years experience in the entertainment, consumer, new media, B2B, Hispanic, and nonprofit industries. She is responsible for securing interviews and media placement and creating full PR campaigns. Since co-founding JBLH Communications, the client roster has included: National Lampoon Comedy House, Doggy Tug, Mandinez.com, Play Clay Factory, The Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation, and The Child Center of NY.

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