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Ciara Pressler
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Ciara Pressler is the founder of Pressler Collaborative, working with new and growing businesses to perfect their marketing and communications strategy. She is a guest speaker at conferences, schools, and organizations, as well as the creator of DIYPR: Publicity Bootcamp, author of Exit Stage Right: The Career Change Handbook for Performers, marketing reporter for Alleywire.com, and host of business and marketing webseries The Audience. More at www.CiaraPressler.com.

Entries by Ciara Pressler

10 Essential Entrepreneurial Lessons From the Notorious B.I.G.'s 10 Crack Commandments

(0) Comments | Posted February 5, 2015 | 7:45 PM

Of the many great insights gleaned from rap lyrics, few are as applicable to startup success as The Notorious B.I.G.'s 10 Crack Commandments.

Assuming your business, drugs or otherwise, is legal, you may have overlooked hip hop as a source for business wisdom. If so, you've...

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Business Partnership Best Practices: Creating and Cultivating Valuable Alliances

(0) Comments | Posted December 11, 2014 | 1:16 PM

If you're a business in aggressive growth mode hustling to captivate new audiences, strategic partnerships are the single best way to get quality exposure at a minimal investment. Especially for businesses on a budget, partnerships are everything.

The best partnerships are organic, beginning when you meet someone who approaches...

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The Competitive Edge: Grow Your Business by Growing Your Professional Skills, Knowledge, and Network

(0) Comments | Posted October 31, 2014 | 8:11 PM

In your career and your business, moving forward is about what you know and who you know. Are you dedicating enough time and energy to growing both your skills and your circle?

How can you get - and keep - an edge on your competition?

In your career, your obvious competitors are the people you may be up against for a job or promotion. What skills and experiences are the most promising candidates bringing to the table? Could you be a stronger candidate with an additional certification, skill set, or strategic contacts?

To be an MVP, you also need to stay on top of your company's competitors, including their products, marketing, team, and ways of doing business. That competitive monitoring becomes even more important if you're on the executive, product development, or marketing team.

If you're running a business, consider your competition not just those with similar products or services, but the people intent on disrupting your field - innovating, networking, leading. Even if your competitors make you want to swallow glass, chances are you can learn something from their approach and apply it to your business to make your own company stronger.

How can you keep growing personally and professionally - even if you're out of school?

Don't make the mistake of believing that learning ends on graduation day. It's just beginning. In fact, with many careers, the skills you learn in school are just a preview of what you'll actually need to know to be successful in your career.

The truth? In this day and age, you can't afford to stop learning, whether you're an entry-level assistant or the CEO. Things change too quickly and your skills have to stay sharp if you're going to dominate your industry.

"But Ciara!" you complain while sifting through your Netflix queue. "I don't have time for that!"

Of course you do. The solution is being strategic with the time you do have - here are three places to create more time and focus to stay on top of your professional skills:

  1. On Your Commute. Load up your mobile device and read on the subway or bus, or subscribe to a podcast if you drive or walk to work. If you work from home, stream talks or videos on topics relevant to your business.
  2. On a Break or After Work. Combine your coffee break with a new article, video, or learning module. Better yet, grab someone you admire and take them to coffee, lunch, or a drink so you can find out more about their professional path. Caution: there's a right way to ask (and say thank you!) - check out my article on how to get that meeting.
  3. During Your Workday. Designation a day to attend a professional off-site event is almost always worth the investment. Convince your boss that your attendance at a class or conference is a win-win proposition by listing the benefits for your company, your team, and your future projects. And don't forget that industry events are often the best places to make valuable new contacts.


Never stop learning. Get your ass to class... or a conference, or a book, or a podcast, or a webseries, or an app, or a website with great content. Prioritize your knowledge and your value will increase. Take care of your network and your network will take care of...

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What to Do During a Slow Period: Shift From Worry to Opportunity and Strengthen Your Business Strategy

(1) Comments | Posted August 11, 2014 | 12:07 PM

During slow summer months or winter hibernation, it's easy to find an excuse to drift in late, check out early, and let a lack of momentum slow your whole roll. Even if you're not on vacation, your clients are sipping margaritas on the beach, which can mean meeting-free mornings and...

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The Myth of Overnight Success

(0) Comments | Posted March 27, 2014 | 1:37 PM

I always tell my clients what they need to hear -- even if it's not necessarily what they want to hear.

Tough love doesn't always make me the most popular consultant on the block. But for the founders who are truly dedicated to their businesses, getting the truth makes advisors...

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Starting-Over A Business: When to Relaunch, Pivot, Expand, or Close Up Shop

(0) Comments | Posted December 2, 2013 | 5:00 PM

Every business plateaus. You never think it will happen to you. Then one day the launch dust settles and inquiries drop off, customers stop returning, profits flatline, the press deems you yesterday's news, or you run out of the enormous energy it takes to drive a business forward.

Launching a...

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New Rules for Crowdfunding: Respect Your Audience to Maximize Your Results

(1) Comments | Posted June 27, 2013 | 7:29 PM

I am literally leaving the country after I hit publish on this piece. Seriously -- if you need me I'll be scarcer than Snowden. I'm about to ruffle some feathers. But the more I talk to friends and colleagues, the more I hear frustration with the free-money mentality brought on...

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Small Business PR: Should You Hire a Publicist or Can You Do It Yourself?

(0) Comments | Posted June 4, 2013 | 6:22 PM

In my work with new and growing businesses, a common area where people rush to spend is on PR: hiring a PR firm or publicist to get media coverage in order to draw attention, create buzz, generate audience, and impress investors. It's an attractive option: who wouldn't want their creation...

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Entrepreneurs: Ditch Your Marketing Plan and Focus on Your Game Plan

(0) Comments | Posted April 4, 2013 | 7:29 PM

Raise your hand if this sounds familiar: you're working to get your idea out there, so you sit down to write a marketing plan... because that is what responsible business owners are supposed to do. But what starts out as a valiant effort to lay out your marketing calendar for...

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Why You Didn't Get That One-on-One Meeting -- and How to Ask Better Next Time

(2) Comments | Posted February 14, 2013 | 10:51 AM

As a marketing and publicity strategist working with entrepreneurs, I get a request like this at least once a week:

Hey Ciara! I have a launch/event/campaign coming up and I want to pick your brain on how to market it/get press/do everything. Can I take you out for coffee/lunch/a...

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