The Essential Invisibles

Who hasn’t worked with someone they disliked? I’m sure, many of us have worked with people who made us uncomfortable or whose values completely clashed with ours.

Sitting across difficult clients or hotheaded superiors can be psychologically taxing — especially if you’re a PR pro. It can be hard for people to distinguish between personable & pushover —  doubly so when  you make it a point to give your critical feedback in a calm, pleasant way!

At times, the road of least resistance can be far, far more appealing. Upholding what is moral and ethical while your boss fumes in the boardroom? Forget it.

After all, there’s only so much feedback you can give — and besides, if he doesn’t want to listen (to advice he paid for!) — it’s his funeral, right?

Wrong.

It’s easy to grin and bear it. It’s easy to let a difficult client continue a foolhardy strategy. It’s easy but it’s not right.

As communications professionals serving the public through our work with media, we have to accept that we’re not doing anyone favors if we take the easy road. It’s a disservice even to ourselves.

My remedy for such situations is simple:

  1. Treat it like a classic communications challenge. Dispense your advice 3 different ways: appeal to logic & facts, appeal to emotion, and most of all — highlight why it is advantageous for the client to follow your advice.
  2. Let them decide and take a step back. One of two things will happen. Either client will see your way and follow your suggested course of action or she won’t! (Sometimes,  I like taking a walk after I’ve expended all my energy in convincing my boss to follow a certain course of action. Mind you, I don’t walk out. I just take a walk after the meeting has adjourned…)
  3. Respect their position. Try your hardest to realign your course of action with your superior’s chosen strategy. Forget your misgivings & hope that they are right. And if it turns out that they are not, forgive them.

“What rubbish,” you might tell yourself after going through the trouble of reading through my 3-point remedy. And that is OK.

You see, doing what is right isn’t about being right. It’s not about oneupmanship. 

Save yourself from the psychological stress of seeing your well-laid plans fall apart. Salvage your relationship with your work colleagues. Hold fast to the essential ‘invisibles’: integrity, ethics, and forgiveness.

Happy weekend!

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What makes a woman beautiful?

What makes a truly woman beautiful?

Human Nature, the country’s largest genuinely natural personal care brand, believes that true beauty comes from a life gracefully lived. The idea of highlighting beauty beyond fair skin and a youthful appearance seems to run contrary to Human Nature’s latest green innovation: the Radiant Grace Night Cream.

However, it’s worth noting that Human Nature didn’t set out to stop the hands of time when they created the product.

Most anti-aging products really try to fight this natural process in life. The philosophy behind Radiant Grace Night Cream is to not fight aging but to embrace it because true beauty is found in embracing it, in celebrating growing up, growing old. In looking, doing, feeling and being your best at any age.

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Anna Meloto-Wilk, Co-founder & President of Human Nature says it took Human Nature’s team of formulators five years and 25 prototypes to come up with the Radiant Grace Night Cream.

Beauty Straight from Nature’s Bounty 

Active ingredients found in the 100% Natural Radiant Grace Night Cream are guaranteed safe. Instead of harmful chemicals found in most commercial night creams, each potent pump of Radiant Grace Night Cream is infused with nature’s best and purest ingredients to help diminish the appearance of fine lines, keep skin visibly youthful, firm and smooth and improve skin’s natural radiance. The results* are nothing short of impressive:

  • 88% of women who used the night cream experienced more radiant skin
  • 100% reported improved skin texture
  • 92% noticed an improvement in skin firmness
  • 78% reported minimized appearance of fine lines

Human Nature uses Olive Leaf Extract, which is known for its anti-aging and skin firming properties; instead of retinol. While retinol is said to interrupt free-radical damage, its 2 derivatives retinoic acid and retinyl palmitate are suspected to increase the risk of skin cancer[1].

 

Unlike most lightening creams that contain hydroquinone, a chemical rated by the Environmental Working Group as hazardous, the Radiant Grace Night Cream treats sun spots naturally with Vitamin C and protects the skin from photo-aging with Vitamin E.

It also contains intensely hydrating Jojoba Oil. Jojoba Oil closely resembles the skin’s natural oils, making it an effective moisturizer that won’t clog pores. In contrast, mineral oil, a by-product of petroleum commonly found in other hydrating products forms a film around the skin that can clog pores.

 

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Radiant Grace Night Cream (right) is best paired with the lightweight face serum: Overnight Elixir (left)

 

Human Nature Radiant Grace Night Cream is available at Human Nature Branches, Dealers and at www.humanheartnature.com/buy for Php 995.

*Based on a self-assessment test by Human Nature Skin Care users who tested the Radiant Grace Night Cream for 31 days without the use of any other product.

[1] NTP report: “Photocarcinogenesis study of retinoic acid and retinyl palmitate” August 2012 http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ntp/htdocs/lt_rpts/tr568_508.pdf April 6, 2015

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Thanks to everyone who took time out to attend the press launch of Radiant Grace Night Cream at IASIS Health & Wholeness Center in GK Enchanted Farm, Bulacan. Hope you enjoyed the Radiant Night Retreat! 

 

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Human Nature featured 3 women of grace during the press launch: entrepreneur Janina Dizon-Ibazeta, parenting columnist & financial literacy expert Rose Fausto; and Marie Cavasora of natural dairy brand CalaBoo.
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Radiant morning with our lovely guests. From left, Kim Palanca of Manila Bulletin, Nicole Limos of Town & Country, Bea Jocom of StyleBible.ph Retty Contreras of Cosmo.ph,  Jen Suguitan, Human Nature PR Exec; yours truly, and Jonah Chipeco, Human Nature Activations Manager. 

 

 

 

3 Reasons why I miss agency life

I’ve been working on the client side of PR now for over 2 years. While I’m glad I moved to “the other side” — there are days when I miss the dynamic agency environment.

So, to quell my ‘homesickness’ (and let’s face it: for many PR pros, the agency can be home…14h workdays notwithstanding!) here are the top 3 things I missed from my agency time:

I miss the thrill of pitching.  

Fresh ideas. New people. If you weren’t keen on pitching stories and dreaming up new executions; you had no place in a PR agency. The fast-paced (and sometimes cutthroat) environment was challenging.

Challenging and rewarding.

You knew when you won the pitch, you knew when you lost the client. Plus, there’s nothing that can keep you on your toes more than meeting a roomful of strangers almost every week. When you communicate with unknown quantities, there is no choice but to be as clear as possible.

There was little constraint on the amount of “dream time” you could invest in a project…provided that you could deliver & meet your deadlines.

The deadlines.   

I never thought I’d say this but I miss the ironclad deadlines of the PR agency. We usually dealt with finished products. This means, I never had to worry about manufacturing issues & other issues brands faced internally. There was no mental waiting time between a product idea & a launch — what landed on my desk was ready to be hyped up.

The regroup.

Speaking of hyping products up — if there’s one thing agencies know how to do — it’s going back to the drawing board when things don’t go as planned. Agile creative teams know when it’s time to let go of an idea they’ve developed to service their client (and the public!) better.

So there. It’s out of my system. Back to working for the dark client side.🙂

 

Blue Cheese

There’s an afternoon I remember distinctly. I think I was around 5 or 6 years old. My maternal grandfather, Lolo Angie, was taking a nap in the spare room of our homeMy mother’s siblings and parents are all based in the States — and visits like this were rare. I had been sitting in the kitchen (probably polishing off a sugary treat — pasalubong from Lolo) when I heard him calling me.

I rushed to the room. He was holding a piece of foil containing an unfamiliar chunk of food and some crackers. He handed them to me: “Tikman mo.” I gingerly took the crackers & spread on the unknown substance. I took a bite & made a face. My grandfather chuckled. I’d tasted blue cheese for  the first time and I was not happy.

I took a bite & made a face. My grandfather chuckled. I’d tasted blue cheese for  the first time and I was not happy.

Still, I’d see him  having a bit of cheese and crackers during his stay and I’d have a nibble or two — in between games of “sawsaw-suka”. Sawsaw-suka is  a finger game and we played the Bisaya version…it involved  a boat, a kulasa (girl) and a buwaya (crocodile).

By the time he was set to fly back to the US, I loved that moldy cheese so much that was fixing our snacks myself. My grandfather had that effect on many people. The things he loved just rubbed off on you. He’d never insist you do something or like something — he just showed you and let you experience things for yourself.

The evening I turned 30, I was enjoying a chunk of my favorite Roquefort when this particular afternoon with my Lolo Angie came to mind.

I suddenly became aware of where I was — in a beautiful house that he helped build but never set foot in. Like my lifelong love for cheese, he was responsible for so many good things in our life even as he lived miles away. In our family there was simply no room for doubting Lolo’s (and Lola’s) love — you simply knew you were loved.

Even if we spent so little time in the same space together; Lolo Angie left deep imprints on my character. He taught us all that family came first. He was the eldest of his siblings and he put them and his nephews and nieces through school. He showed us all that hard, honest work has its rewards.

Above all, Lolo Angie demonstrated an unwavering brand of faith — the kind of faith in God and in others that makes this world a far better place than when we first came into it.

Thank you, Lolo Angie. Thank you and enjoy the cheese platters there in heaven.

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Angelo Taala Acuña | May 30, 1924 – June 12, 2016

“The righteous perish, and no one takes it to heart; the devout are taken away,

and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil.

2 Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in”

Is. 57:1-2

 

 

 

Does your job make you cry?

Today, I’m celebrating my 7th year in public relations. Sometimes I can’t believe I stayed so long in an industry I never meant to work in!🙂

Some things I’ve learned:

That thing people say that about business not being personal isn’t true. An organization is only as good as the people running it. If your job doesn’t drive you to tears at one point, if you don’t have a sleepless night or two out of sheer excitement for your work ahead, if you’ve never fought hard for a project, if an idea has never made your heart race — you probably haven’t found  your sweet spot.

It’s OK to be emotional. I’ll take emotional over fake any day.

If you’re panicking and overwhelmed, make a list. Instead of diving head first and becoming busy doing tasks that may not contribute to long-term success, take some time to sort the things you need to do. Ask yourself: if there was one thing I needed to accomplish within the first half of my work day — what would it be? What could alter the course of the next few months?

Long Monday morning planning meetings rarely accomplish anything. Enough.  

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And yes, my job makes me cry.

It has made me immensely happy, it made me throw mugs, it has made me excitedly bolt out of bed at 5AM — in short, it is my sweet spot.😀

Happiness

The first half of 2016 just whizzed by & it’s time for my mid year review! I’ve been having a hard time isolating what exactly I learned in the past six months when it hit me: I learned how intrinsic grounded optimism was to my being productive!🙂

I was reading Edward Monkton’s “The Pig of Happiness” to my daughter earlier this week & that is when the idea struck:

The pig looked around & saw that all was not well at their farm. He saw & then acted. He decided to spread happiness. This pragmatic, unflappable optimism is what I truly believe in & to be otherwise, to “think positive” without considering the facts of life is simply lying to yourself.

Moving forward, my midyear resolutions are to:

  1. Be realistic but not a cynic
  2. Respond with compassion
  3. Cultivate genuine optimism

If you can’t find the book, you can get to know The Pig of Happiness via this video!