How a Career in PR Prepared Me for Conquering NYC

The New York Times

By Amanda Margozzi
The Hoffman Agency, San Jose

A self-proclaimed “small town girl” (I live in the 30,000-person suburb of Morgan Hill, after all), I found that my recent summer vacation to New York City was nothing less than extraordinary.

Who knew that 8.5 million people could fit into just over 300 square miles? And with taxis, buses, subways and trains galore, it was astounding to witness so many people actually using public transportation!

When I finally had a moment to catch my breath in the fast-paced, globally influential center of culture, fashion and finance that is New York City, I realized that I was achieving this inner-peace by practicing techniques I use at work for overcoming — and even enjoying — overwhelming moments.

Here’s a handful of lessons agency life has taught me that were unexpectedly applicable to maximizing my five-day visit to the Big Apple.

Prioritize daily goals

Although my family and I were eager to experience every inch of Manhattan from the moment we got off the plane, we had to be realistic about how many activities could physically be squeezed into a day.

Like working at a PR agency, certain tasks must take priority over others based on a multitude of factors, most importantly timeliness. Rather than jump the gun on a task simply to get it off your “to do” list, thoughtfully consider when the most opportune time would really be to complete that task.

While we were certainly anxious to go up to the 86th floor of the Empire State Building during our first day in the City, for example, we wisely saved this activity for the last day due to the weathermen’s predictions that it would be the weekday with the clearest visibility.

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Be mindful of budget

Due to the plethora of restaurants, shops and activities at your fingertips, NYC could very well be a place to blow every last penny in your bank account. While my family attempted to do as much as we possibly could in five days, we had to keep in mind that we are not, in fact, millionaires.

Similar to how we at Hoffman strive to do as much as we possibly can for our clients each month, at a point it is not beneficial business-wise to significantly over-service them. Allocating a certain amount of money and identifying main priorities for the account before the next month starts is the best way to avoid going over budget.

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Act quickly on opportunities

Whether deciding between 20 restaurants in Little Italy for dinner or literally running to catch the subway going Uptown, there were countless times throughout the trip when my family and I had to quickly and cohesively make up our minds.

The same goes for that moment when a ProfNet or HARO comes through and your team needs to decide whether the query is a fit, the publication has worthwhile reach and which angle would lend to the most compelling story.

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Just as it takes time to familiarize yourself with a new account, so it does to familiarize yourself with a new place. Although something new may feel daunting at first, I flew home from New York proudly wearing an “I <3 NYC” T-shirt.




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