How a Smurf Saved My Day

I was on the way home from a busy day running errands, attending a long meeting at City Hall, and grabbing a quick bite for dinner. And I could feel the bubbling up of dread.

Oh God, I haven’t written a blog post yet!

You see, I’m in the middle of my very first #NaBloPoMo ever – shorthand for Write a Blog Post a Day for a Month. It’s been hard. I’ve missed a day or two because I’ve been on photo shoots. And the guilt is growing.

What will I do??

I’m tempted to just throw in the towel and admit it’s too damn hard, that I’m just not cut out for this kind of dedication. But heck, I am so close to getting to 30 posts in 30 days. I want to prove I can do this!

And then I see him. Sitting in all his azure grandeur in the window of my local thrift store.

Photo by Cathy Browne

A big, blue Smurf. And the memories came flooding back.

I had a story to tell, after all.

Years ago, I’m guessing in the late 1980s or early 1990s, I had what was one of my most bizarre PR assignments. To help launch a new Smurf-inspired canned pasta, I had to escort a seven-foot high Papa Smurf figure to all of the morning radio shows in Toronto and drop off samples.

Let’s just say it was a memorable experience.

My model inside the giant Smurf was not happy. He couldn’t see that well out of the eyeholes because he was short. It was the height of summer and that suit was HOT. And I had to escort this giant form in and out of office buildings and up and down elevators and escalators for days on end.

And for some reason he wasn’t comfortable with the fact that his escort didn’t see much…!

Needless to say, this was one for the books. We’d be in a studio, dropping off the product, and he’d start to whimper because he was so miserable. And I’d have to nudge him and say “Quiet!” in a fierce whisper. And when we actually did an outdoor drop, with school kids milling around, I swear to God I heard soft sobs coming from that big blue body. It was, after all, around 80 degrees.

My God. What a riot.

Anyway, thanks, Big Stuffed Smurf, for giving me some inspiration, and a bit of a laugh.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you that the PR profession is all glamour!

Getting Over the Hump…

Just a bit of personal reflection on a Sunday morning…

It’s now August.  And for me, it’s a pivotal time.  I’ve got to use this month to get our Ottawa house up for sale, de-clutter and streamline what possessions we want to hold onto and prepare to move my husband Dave and me to Vancouver and the West Coast I’ve come to love.

It’s not an easy decision.  All of my family is here – mom, sisters, nieces, nephews – and our little great-niece Kyra Alicia, born just this week.  I have a few very good and supportive friends here.   But it’s time to make a move.

The winters are hard.  A large house is too difficult for us to maintain.  Now that Dave is at retirement age, it’s a good time for a change of scene.  And at 55, I need to go where I think I have the best shot at working in the PR and social media professions I’m so passionate about.  I figure I have another 15-20 years in me:-)

So, wish me luck.  It’s definitely a ‘hump’ month.  I may not have time to post that much.  When I do, I may be bitchy.  Bear with me.  I’m relying on that light at the end of the tunnel.

And, oh yes – I’m available for work, either on the West Coast, or virtually.  Spread the word.

Thank everyone.  Good vibes, words of encouragement and a swift kick if I need it are all appreciated.

And if you’re also facing challenges this month, let me know.  We’ll help each other.

Happy Hump Month.

It’s Taken a While, but Here I Am…

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit scared.  I put this off for a long time, thinking that with so many bloggers out there, who would care about another?  Through Twitter and the joys of micro-blogging, I’ve finally found my voice and enough courage to take the next step.

So, welcome to my blog – a truly clean slate where I can share my observations on life, social media (especially Twitter) and the ever-changing world of PR.  I’m here  to teach, help, make you laugh and make you think. And I’m looking forward to hearing from you. If there is anything I’ve learned from social networking, it’s all about conversation.

Thanks to my dear friend and never-ending source of inspiration  IdaRose Sylvester (@idarose), who has bugged me for two years to blog – and will probably fall over when she sees this.  Thanks also to Joel Postman (@jpostman), Jennifer Leggio (@mediaphyter) and Danny Brown (@dannybrown) for letting me cut my teeth with guest posts on their highly popular and respected blogs.  And a huge hug and thank you to Bonnie Sainsbury (@bsainsbury), my first Twitter friend in Vancouver who helped make this blog possible.

Stay tuned and enjoy the journey.  I plan to.