Young PR Pros Episode 119

Career milestones and a Special Anniversary


Career milestones. They shape us, define us, and test us. Career milestones can be good – like getting that promotion you have been aiming for – or bad – like messing up an interview, saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, or sitting idly by while an opportunity passes you by.

Some milestones stick with us and remind us to never make the same mistake twice. Others take us back to a time in life when we felt on top of the world, and are reminded that we can be great again.

In this episode we share our biggest milestones, as well as how to mark and learn from then. We also mark our fifth anniversary with a bit of reminiscing.

Our milestones

First we all share our biggest milestones. Ross talks about a notable speaking opportunity where he got to share the stage with people he admired. Julia can’t pinpoint a moment, but says she felt she had truly made it when young professionals started seeking her out for advice, rather than always being the young pro asking for advice. Even though Clare is still in the early days of her career, she was proud of her first byline for a story she wrote and produced. And Kristine felt honoured and recognized when she got her first ever promotion in her career.

These moments are important and make us feel proud, motivated, inspired and recognized. Clare said something worth repeating:

“I don’t think a lot of us, when we start, really believe we can do the things we are going to do, until we have already done it.”

Career milestones affirm and remind us that we can do this, we are capable and worthy of the role we have been given in a company. You may not think you have hit a milestone yet, but we all have. Take a moment to look back on your career, however short it is, or even if it hasn’t started, and reflect on those moments that reminded you that you can do this.

Ross has a pretty hefty career bucket list, which gives him a reason to wake up every morning and strive to accomplish new things. But don’t forget, a bucket list is a bucket list. You may or may not accomplish everything on that list, but it is important to have goals that you continually strive for – even if you can’t check something off, you will have at least experienced and learned something new.

Three big milestones

According to our hosts, here are the three big milestones all young pros need to experience in the first 10 years of their career:

  1. Fail: if you don’t fail you are not taking enough risks. You need to fail to learn.
  2. Make your first big purchase: working hard enough to reward yourself, be it a new business outfit, a new watch or a leather purse.
  3. Be picky with choosing a job: experience a moment where you are forced to sit down and asses a new job opportunity – not just picking a job because it is a job, but spending the time assessing whether or not a new opportunity will build on your career.

Throwback moments

We did a bit of reminiscing of some of our favourite episodes.

Top 5 listened episodes

These episodes are the most listened to episodes of all time, since 2012. Click below to listen to any of these episodes and let us know what you think.

  1. Episode #116: Concrete Steps to Help Learn from your Mistakes.
  2. Episode #74: Fake Facebook and Twitter Followers, a Multi-Million Dollar Business.
  3. Episode #101: The Best PR and Communications Campaigns.
  4. Episode #114: How to be Creative.
  5. Episode #82: Interview Pet Peeves with Tara Lapointe.

And, just for fun, we also found out which episode had the least downloads – the Christmas list. I guess we need to work on our Christmas to do list.

Our favourite memories

We close up the episode with our favourite memories. Who remembers some of these moments?

  • Ross’ do-rag business.
  • Clare gets caught in her car in a parking lot after dark while recording an episode.
  • The bullet journals!
  • Julia feels like a celebrity when she found out that a professor made Young PR Pros a homework assignment.
  • Kristine realizes how small the world is when a listener from India contacted the podcast for advice on being a communicator in her country. Kristine connected the listener to the local IABC chapter.

Make sure you listen all the way to the end to hear about our biggest lessons learned. Even our hosts are learning every day and the podcast has brought forth some big lessons learned.


We couldn’t have arrived here, where we are today, if it weren’t for each and every listener. Not only have you kept us alive by giving us an audience, but you have challenged us by asking important questions that needed answering for young professionals. Your inquisitiveness has helped thousands of young professionals across the world who feel the same doubt, uncertainty and curiosity as you do, get the answers they need. Keep sending in those questions! Special thanks to all our guest hosts over the years, for sitting down with Kristine, or any of our hosts, and letting us ask the easy and the hard questions. We wouldn’t be able to properly answer our listeners’ questions if it weren’t for you providing your wisdom and knowledge.

Everyone here at Young PR Pros cannot wait to celebrate another 5 years on the airwaves. We can’t wait to answer more of your questions and dive deeper into the world of PR, communications and marketing.

In an age of fake news and alternative facts, Young PR Pros feels it is our duty to help the next generation of PR pros learn about ethical communications, how to put strategy before tactics, and the importance of research to inform decisions.

So thank you for listening and until next time!

Don’t forget to share your opinions, favourite memories, or what is on your mind by writing a comment below, or on our Facebook Page, send us an email or audio note at, or send us a message on Twitter @youngprpros.

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Young PR Pros Episode 118

Originally posted on on March 13, 2017.

Work-life balance - twitter

A common issue our generation is trying to cope with is work-life balance. For our parents’ generation, most people could survive on one income. At the same time, unions were born, giving way to the 9-5 work day.

That reality is now but a fantasy. With higher cost in education – resulting in more debt, decrease in job security, and soaring house prices, it is no wonder most of us will end up in a two-income household, or working several odd-end jobs to make ends meet. Not to mention, the age of the internet, smartphones and FOMO, means we are constantly plugged in to work and social media.

All of this coalesces into a perfect storm of: all work no play lifestyle. So what is a millennial to do? How can we balance our work with our life?

Recently, France banned after-work emails in a move to try and solve what they considered an epidemic. A 2014 study found those doing work after hours were more likely to report at least one health problem — ranging from the psychological to the gastrointestinal and cardiovascular.

But is this really the solution? Do we need to ban after-work emails to find a work-life balance?

In this episode, our hosts offer tips and advice for young professionals looking to strike a healthy balance between work and life. Remember, these tips may shift based on your personality, priorities and general life circumstances.

How have you maintained a healthy balance?

Share your opinions by writing a comment below, or on our Facebook Page, send us an email or audio note at, or send us a message on Twitter @youngprpros.

Listen Here.

Young PR Pros Episode 117

Originally posted on on February 13, 2017.

Episode 117: The Future of PR


In this episode, our hosts discuss the future of PR. Our industry is always changing, as professionals it is important to always be on top of what is new ? not to change our strategy every five minutes, but rather to ensure the tactics we use continue to connect with our audience.

As young professionals, it is even more important to be on top of trends. As the “young” ones in the office we may be called upon to provide information about the latest social media trend.

While our host Kristine D’Arbelles attended a conference in Minneapolis, she ran into a good friend of the podcast, Shel Holtz, founder of the FIR podcast network and host of For Immediate Release, one of the longest running podcasts on communications and PR. Shel was presenting on the future of PR. Kristine sat down with him after his presentation to ask him a few questions.

Shel had some good insight to share. Our hosts dive into some of the trends he presented:

  • Messaging: the number one trend in social media?
  • Dark social: what is it and how can PR and communications professionals deal with it?
  • Facebook strategy: a pointless exercise, we explain why.
  • Content strategy: how to build one in 60 seconds or less!

Young PR Pros wants to thank Shel Holtz for taking the time to share his insight and knowledge on the future of PR and communications.

Share your opinions by writing a comment below, or on our Facebook Page, send us an email or audio note at, or send us a message on Twitter @youngprpros.

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Brews n’ Tunes [In Memoriam]

As I returned to school this year to study Radio Broadcasting, I’ve been forced to introduce myself a lot. With that, comes the inevitable recollection of my experience and why I want to be here.

A huge part of my experience with audio, came from my third year of University. I met someone who became super influential in my life, who became my partner in crime on the air and helped guide me through my on-air-adolescence.

His name was Noah, and with him -and a couple of other incredible gentlemen- I started Brews n’ Tunes, a podcast that combined my two major loves, music and beer. Focusing on our Ottawa community, we interviewed independent musicians and asked them to review a local craft beer. Matching musicians to beverages, we created the ideal environment to talk to cool people and get them to answer our questions.

It was one of the most fun projects I’ve ever done, and my first real introduction to podcasting. Though it only lasted about a year, it was an exciting creative outlet that introduced me to a passion that has taken over my life.

The episodes are still all up on iTunes. Listen and embrace the learning curve that comes with baby podcasters, and my first full interview on our Episode with Finding Chuck.

Click the picture below to hear more. And my recommended pairing? Is an ice cold beer.



Young PR Pros Episode 116

Originally posted on on January 19, 2016.

Episode #116: Concrete Steps to Help Learn from your Mistakes


Kristine shares a story about getting caught with an unlicensed image on her blog. She was sent a letter from a lawyer and had to pay a fee. The image was from a post published in 2011, she had just launched her blog that year. Ignorance is not an excuse to break the law, however. So she paid the fine and added this to her important list of lessons learned.

This episode is about all those times we made a mistake and learned a valuable lesson. But Young PR Pros goes beyond just being aware of your mistakes and dives into the learning. If you make a big mistake that gets you fired, humiliated, etc., you are never going to make that mistake again, because it stays with you. But what about those smaller mistakes, forgetting a grammar law in your writing, forgetting to include someone in your email, or miscommunication an idea.

Young PR Pros’ Concrete Steps to Help Learn from your Mistakes

  1. Make notes while you are working. If you are half way through something and its hard and you regret the path, jot it down. Refer to those notes at the beginning of a new project.
  2. Post-project or debrief meetings are super important. If your employer doesn’t host them, be the person to suggest it. Use this as a learning opportunity to see what your colleagues see as a success and what they see as failure.
  3. Admit your mistake. You can only learn from a mistake after you admit you’ve made it. As soon as you start blaming other people (or the universe itself), you distance yourself from any possible lesson.

Listen to the full episode for more concrete tips.

Share your opinions by writing a comment below, or on our Facebook Page, send us an email or audio note at, or send us a message on Twitter @youngprpros.

Listen Here.

Young PR Pros Episode 115

Originally posted on on December 20, 2016.

Episode #115: The 12 PR Days of Christmas


In honour of the traditional 1900s English Christmas carol, or for those born in the 80s – the Bob and Doug Christmas classic, we thought we would do our own 12 Days of Christmas. Listen to the full episode to catch Young PR Pros’ 12 Days of PR Christmas.

We divided the 12 days into three categories: books, movies and activities.

1. Four Books You Need to Read Over the Holidays

Day 1: Get the motivation to pursue your passion by reading No Fears, No Excuses by Larry Smith (note: forgive Kristine for her mistake, she says No Fears, No Regrets in the episode).
Day 2: How will you measure your life by Clayton M. Christensen will give you the inspiration and wisdom you need to achieve a fulfilling life.
Day 3: Meg Jay argues that 30 is NOT the new 20 in her book The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter – and How to Make the Most of Them Now.
Day 4: Brush up on your grammar through the delightful sense of humour of Lynne Truss in her book Eats, Shoots and Leaves.

2. Four Movies You Need to Watch Over the Holidays

Day 5: Ex-machina will keep you on the edge of your seat in this future world where AI is taken to the next level.
Day 6: Kristine suggests watching a classic movie that has been referred to in a lot of pop culture references, Good Will Hunting.
Day 7: You can’t go wrong with superheros and PR. Hancock follows Jason Bateman who discusses the fine art of grassroots outreach, reputation management, and even a CSR campaign.
Day 8: Iron Lady takes you through the life of the infamous Margaret Thatcher. The movie gives you a glimpse of the behind the scenes of political PR.

If you have time, check out these honorouble mentions: The Queen and The Devil Wears Prada.

3. Four Activities You Should Do Over the Holidays

Day 9: Read a physical newspaper on Christmas Day and New Years Day. Find out what is making the front page of national and local newspapers – you will find out a lot about your society.
Day 10: Take a yoga class. Ross believes if you don’t have your mind right, then your business or professional life won’t be right either.
Day 11: Learn more about your family. We often forget that some of our best allies are right next door, or in the same house. Learn about your family history, do you actually know what your Uncle Roger does for a living? All this information is very useful, because you never know when you will need professional help from a family member. Maybe your Aunt Sue is an entrepreneur who lived through the recession of 2008 and kept her business alive, how did she do it?
Day 12: Of course, listen to this podcast. But we won’t be hurt if you listen to other amazing podcasts out there right now, such as Undone, Crimetown, Freakanomics, and The Revisionist History.

We are off until the New Year. Thank you a thousand times to all our fans and listeners. We can’t wait to spend another exciting year with you. We are already filling our 2017 calendar with shows on topics like learning from our mistakes, the future of PR, how to balance life and work, and more! Stay tuned!

Share your opinions by writing a comment below, or on our Facebook Page, send us an email or audio note at, or send us a message on Twitter @youngprpros.

Listen Here.


Young PR Pros Episode 114

Originally posted on on November 23, 2016.

Episode #114: How to be Creative


One of the benefits of working in the industry of public relations, communications and marketing is the ability to be creative. We work in a unique world where our job is to find creative ways to tell a story.

In this episode, our hosts share their secrets on what they do to cultivate their creativity. What is our creative process?We start with sharing the coolest projects we worked on and the project that brought out the best in our creativity.

  • Ross used Pinterest to connect with foodie bloggers to promote a new candy in Canada.
  • Julia built a video-greeting card with a short marketing pitch from the company’s CEO.
  • Clare, being too humble, decided to share a cool project she was privy to at a previous job – it involves a recipe book.
  • Kristine built a mobile game to teach young drivers about the dangers of distracted driving.

Then we talk about the tools we use in our creative process. Here are some of our favourite tools:

  • Reddit, find out what communities are saying about the topic of your project or story
  • Buzzsumo
  • Bullet Journaling, the new way to journal. Some professionals claim they are more productive with the Bullet Journal.
  • Conferences, trade shows or professional development events
  • Taking notes, jotting down ideas outside your work day. Ideas and creativity don’t always come in a formal brainstorming meeting or between 9 to 5.
  • Tumblr
  • Hashtags
  • Evernote
  • Bookmarking articles

Finally, we talk about our favourite campaigns. Campaign we look back on with awe, campaigns that inspire us to be creative.

  • Ross loves the Old Spice guy campaign
  • Julia is a sucker for Apple
  • Clare thought the podcast The Message was brilliant
  • Kristine goes back to Apple’s 1984 commercial – innovation beyond its time

Our final top tips for being creative:

  1. Research what your audience is saying about your topic/product.
  2. Focus groups are an important tool to help make sure your creative idea resonates with your audience.
  3. There are no stupid ideas. There are bad ideas, but not stupid ideas. When it comes to creativity you can’t fail, you just need to think through things a little better.
  4. Ask yourself what hasn’t been done. The best ideas are new and revolutionizes an industry.

This episode was brought to you by The Voice, IABC Ottawa’s premium podcast. Join Sherrilynne Starkie and her cohosts, Tina Barton and Angela Prokopiak, as they provide expert insight and practical tips with the help of some of North America’s leading marketing and communication professionals. Tune in to their 2017 season where they will cover topics such as content marketing, employee engagement, reputation management and more.

Thanks Sharon Cheung for the shout out. Sharon is a long-time listener who has used Young PR Pros to get industry insights and tips on transitioning from role to role.

Also thanks to Shel Holtz for the shout out. Shel is a young at heart professional who listens to Young PR Pros to find out what the young professionals are saying/thinking today.

Share your opinions by writing a comment below, or on our Facebook Page, send us an email or audio note at, or send us a message on Twitter @youngprpros.

Listen Here.