Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Snowing 6-12"


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Cindy Hamilton: Nike PR Manager

I wish these blog posts weren't so far apart, but the semester is coming to a close and that means FINAL EXAMS!! I just have to share who else I learned from over my Thanksgiving break.

I met with Cindy Hamilton who is the PR and Community Relations Manager at Nike, Inc. at the Chicago headquarters. The building was a little hard to find at first because it was just a tiny door on the street. Don't judge a book by its cover because it opened up to a multi-level, spacious headquarters. They even had a floor dedicaded to showrooms, which was very interesting.

Hamilton said she spends most her time dealing with the media. She follows media outputs on Nike, processes requests for journalists, pitches to the media, and responds to the public and journalists.

One of her favorite tactics for reaching out to the public and media is through press kits. She showed me an interactive press kit Nike put out for the Nike Lunarglide+, a new running shoe they had launched. The image to the left shows different parts of the Lunarglide+.

Hamilton said the biggest thing she learned the hard way was that you can't please everyone. Some people will just prefer other brands over Nike and she can't try and make them change their mindset. She also said that in media outlets, she would choose quality over quantity.

I learned a lot of other very interesting things from her and was glad she took the time to meet with me. I found it very beneficial talking and learning from someone with so much experience in a field I'm extremely interested in! Thanks Cindy!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Michael Berk: M&M The Special Events Company

It's my favorite time in November: THANKSGIVING BREAK!! And I made the most of it by meeting influential people in the Chicagoland area. I am a Business Management Major, Public Relations Minor, and Special Events Management Emphasis. All of these categories hold a strong interest for me and I wanted to learn more about the industries.

On November 25th, I had a great opportunity to meet with President and Chief Creative Director of M&M The Special Events Company, Michael Berk. M&M is a special events rental company that rents lights, florals, tables, chairs, tents, etc. to anyone looking to hold an event. Berk holds everything from corporate events and social events to weddings.

I was intrigued by the story of how he got his business started. Berk was the vice president of marketing for a major coffee company. He explain in Special Events Magazine how it happened:

"One day in 1980 I woke up on the wrong side of the bed, went to my comfortable corporate job and had a bad day. I walked into the president's office and told him that I quit. I hadn't planned this. I didn't even have a job lined up."

He did have a lot of experience in trade shows, conventions, and employee events so he began to start planning local events with his wife. M&M's headquartered office are in Carol Stream, IL, but he also has locations in Naperville, IL, and Dallas.

One of the questions I asked him was what made him decide to create another location in IL and then another in Texas. His answer: stupidity. He said someone once told him that in order to survive you either needed to be really small or really big. That's when he took the plunge and it all worked out for the best.

The most important thing I learned from him was that if you're unhappy with something in life, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!! It makes sense, but not a lot of people follow this rule. Whether it's a job, a habit, or personal opinion, if something makes you unhappy, do something to change it.

Michael Berk is a very interesting man and I'm glad I got the chance to speak with him! He can be contacted at 630-871-9999 or check out their website at http://www.mmspecialevents.com/.