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Event Planning Best Practices: Top 5 Things Every Event Planner Should Keep in Mind

Posted by Taylor Lewis on Oct 19, 2016 12:00:00 PM

The holidays are right around the corner, and according to the Seattle Times, if this year is anything like last, 80 percent of companies nationwide will be hosting holiday parties. If you're in charge of planning your company's party, there's a lot to think about.

Whether you’re a seasoned planner or new to the “glamorous” world of events, remembering these five event planning best practices will help your next event leave a lasting impression. 


1. Make your budget work.

Working within a tight budget is one of the many difficult tasks in event planning, but it doesn’t have to hold you back. Get creative—see where you can make cuts in order to devote more resources to signature aspects of your event. It’s crucial to stick to the original budget throughout the planning process, but the best events aren’t necessarily the most expensive. Focus on what will have the most impact.

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2. Keep your focus.

Concentrate your attention on the major goals behind the event, and be sure that each of your planning decisions will help achieve those goals. Whether it’s a non-profit event fundraiser or a corporate holiday party, remembering the overall purpose of the event will help you focus your attention appropriately. 



3. Delegate, delegate, delegate.

Don’t be afraid to delegate and divvy up the responsibility—one person can’t do it all. Try to assign team members with tasks that play into their unique skills or background knowledge. You as the team leader can then focus on the big-picture goals of the event, rather than stressing about mailing invitations or hanging signage. Meeting prior to the event can help make sure everyone is on the same page with what needs to be completed and the urgency of each task at hand.



4. Preparation is key.

It’s always best to over-prepare than underprepare. You don’t want to have to worry the night of the event when you run out of the hors d’oeuvres within the first half hour or don’t have enough seats for all your guests. Always plan for more than is expected for food, seating, and gifts, and make sure you stay organized with to-do lists, vendor contracts and volunteer management. 



5. Keep your branding consistent.

Remember that everything from the initial social media graphic or poster down to the signs at the event should all have consistent branding. Invitations, table settings, and even labels—the branding should be clear to each guest throughout the entire process. Cohesive branding will build recognition for your guests and will help you market your event now and in subsequent years. 

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It can be easy for event planning rookies and gurus alike to get overwhelmed during the planning process, but following these five best practices will help you execute successful, memorable events (and avoid headaches getting there).

Learn more about how you can maximize your next event’s success in our free Event Planning Workbook.


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Topics: event promotion, event planning, eventPR

10 Interning Hacks To Set Yourself Up For Success

Posted by Taylor Lewis on Aug 24, 2016 12:49:37 PM

Beginning an internship can be a tough transition. In fact, starting out in any new environment can be difficult when you aren’t quite sure what to expect. Before days in the office become a routine, finding your niche can be quite the challenge.

And while it can be easy to get discouraged sometimes, what I’ve come to realize through my experience out in ‘the real world’ is that interning is the ultimate learning experience. You never know exactly how your day is going to go. From weekly status meetings to visiting sweet co-workers’ newborns, interning for JJPR has been an experience I will forever cherish.

If you’re starting a new internship or job soon, here are a few pieces of advice to consider. Together, these 10 tips make the perfect recipe for success in the workplace and will help you leave a lasting impression on your co-workers. The craziest thing? These tips require zero talent.














1. Be on time.

The snooze button is not your friend. Waking up early will allow for more time to relax before jumping into a morning meeting. In fact, arriving early may help you get more familiar with the office standard. Try to get into the habit of being an early riser – this will only give you extra time to accomplish even more.


2. Show a strong work ethic.

Demonstrating a strong work ethic will show your boss and co-workers you are invaluable. Display responsibility, discipline and integrity in everything you do, and you will exceed expectations.


3. Put in the extra effort.

For those tasks that seem impossible or above your reach, just remember to put in the extra effort. Showing you care about each assignment will convey your commitment to the internship and each project that comes your way. I have faced many tasks that have challenged me throughout these past three months, but I tried my best on each and every one, and I assure you, it does not go unnoticed.


 4. Watch your body language.

Communicating with others clearly and professionally is essential. Remember to maintain a smile and eye contact while speaking to others. Body language can make or break you in any career.


 5. Show some energy.

High energy is essential for those Mondays that never seem to go as planned. From puppy sitting to afternoon planking sessions, JJPR’s office life exudes energy. We get a little pep in our step once we've had our second cup of coffee.












6. Stay positive.

Maintaining a positive attitude in the workplace will not only motivate you, but the entire team. Have enthusiasm with every task you are given—it’s contagious.


7. Keep your passion.

We’ve all heard the Confucius saying, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Having passion about what you do will drive you toward achieving your greatest accomplishments.


8. Be coachable.

Be able to commit to change, be open to new information, and be appreciative of other perspectives. Set yourself apart by being able to be molded by your employer into what they need. I’ve done everything from social media posts to holding banners during a newscast. Being an intern has taught me to be readily available to do anything and be anywhere I am needed.


9. Go the extra mile.

Take on those tedious jobs that others aren’t looking forward to doing. You will receive praise in the office for the little things that you can do for others.


 10. Be prepared.

This means planning for the future. Prioritize your to-do list every day and set new goals to accomplish each week. This can seem trivial at first, but it will end in high reward when you reach your end goals. Be prepared to invest a lot of time in getting established.

















By following these ‘hacks for interning,’ I’ve transitioned from the clueless intern I felt I started out as to a true young professional. And it’s all thanks to these guidelines that require zero talent. If you can manage to maintain these 10 characteristics in the workplace, then you have mastered the interning world and can begin to set your sights even higher.


Bonus tip: It never hurts to be the go-to gal for snacks—Cheez-Its are an office favorite that we can’t live without!


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Topics: public relations, PR internship, Interning

Internship Essentials

Posted by Taylor Lewis on Mar 9, 2016 3:36:32 PM


Academic experience is invaluable. On the job training? Even better. However, being the intern can be intimidating, especially when you’re working alongside professionals who have been rocking the industry for years. So when I first began my internship at JJPR in May 2015, I knew I had to bring my A-game. I channeled my butterflies into excitement and worked hard to tackle every task sent my way with 110% effort. Samantha Jones depicted life in the PR world as all glitz, glam and mega parties, though I have come to find out it’s so much more challenging than she led on. So, without further ado, here are my top five takeaways and the best advice I can share with future interns or newbies in the communications field…

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, but be self-sufficient.

As the saying goes, “there is no such thing as a stupid question.” I have to disagree just a bit. Yes, asking questions shows that you are involved and eager to learn more. Being curious also shows you are critically thinking and engaging in your work. BUT, it’s important to do some of your own research in finding answers. The PR office is a bustling one, as we all work to meet deadlines and run off to meet with clients. I never want to slow down the process unless totally necessary. So before running to ask a coworker how to create a new Excel spreadsheet or how to start the printer, I always refer to our beloved friend Google, first.


Do the tedious stuff.

This one I cannot stress enough. As the intern, I am often assigned ho-hum, but absolutely necessary, tasks. Building media lists, distributing news releases and picking up pops from Sonic (*pop translates to ‘soft drink’ in Chicago lingo) can sometimes feel menial. In reality, these less than glam tasks are vital and are to be done graciously. Interns can do themselves and their colleagues a serious professional favor by bringing a “will-do” attitude to the office. Trust me, your coworkers and boss will notice your hard work and will be utterly thankful to have you in the office. So, take out the trash with a smile on your face! Don’t ever be too good for the grunt work.

You WILL make mistakes.

We are human, and humans make mistakes. That’s just the reality of life. This is no excuse to skip out on proofing an article or failing to double/triple check the date on a media alert before sending off, but it does mean that even when you try your hardest we still mess up from time to time. That’s how we learn. (*I am still recovering from the time I sent out a mass email that stated the news release was ‘alter’ instead of ‘attached’...)


To-do lists are your best friends.

As is your daily planner, Google calendar, color coordinated file folders, etc. What do these all have in common? Organization. To combat the overload of tasks and meetings, having a system of organization helps you avoid getting lost in the jumble. Keep an outline of tasks and to-dos to stay focused. Whether you go old school with a pen and paper, or use your Notes app on your MacBook, be aware of what you have to do in order to work efficiently and stay on track.

It’s tooootally okay to have a little (or a lot) of fun in the workplace.

Fun and work in the same sentence? Uhm, yes! Let me be the first to tell you, JJPR girls know fun. *Cue the mimosas at status meetings, puhlease!* Business is business, but that surely doesn’t mean we can’t mix a little spunk in the office. Especially in our industry, where we are constantly thinking of new and creative ways of doing things, fun is key. Forging real relationships at work can make you genuinely anticipate the start of each workday and also create some of the happiest, most productive employees! I can attest to this.

I can never truly express my gratitude for the lovely ladies of JJPR and all the wisdom and guidance they’ve given me. I truly have learned from the best. Badass CEO and #GIRLBOSS, Sophia Amoruso, summed it all up when she said, “You combine hard work, creativity, and self-determination, and things start to happen.” Go make things happen!


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Topics: PR agency, public relations, PR internship