One of the things that amazes me most about social media is the ease in which it connects users from across the globe. It was just an average morning, on an average day when I clicked into my LinkedIn inbox.

There sat an email from an aspiring Australian PR pro and student, Hao Nguyen. Upon realizing that we both shared memberships in various social media and PR groups, Nguygen reached out, asking if I would provide some insight and advice for other PR students. I was so honored to be able to talk about my very young career, what I have learned so far and pass along some amazing advice and tips I have picked up along the way. Check out the first half of the interview below:

Kelly’s currently a blog and content manager at Astonish Results, a digital marketing firm, and she’s got some very interesting stuff to share about working in social media.

Along with a great interview, Kelly also had some writing advice for PR students:

“Content is certainly king, so up-and-coming PR pros should make sure their writing skills are in tip-top shape before entering the working world. Crafting messages is critical, whether it’s a Facebook status update, a tweet, an email marketing campaign or press release.”

Q1. First of all, let’s take a trip down memory lane. Discuss your career path.Interview via That PR Dude

Truthfully, my career has only just begun. I was one of the lucky ones who happened to land an incredible job shortly after graduation. I worked a temporary event management position with the American Cancer Society before arriving at Astonish Results, but content and social media have always been in my blood. I began guest blogging for Little Pink Blog (formerly Little Pink Book PR) just 2 months shy of getting my diploma, and quickly realized that digital content was the way to go.

Q2. You’re currently the Blog and Content Manager at a digital marketing firm; tell us about your role there.

My role at Astonish Results really includes a little bit of everything. Being that we are a digital marketing firm, we pride ourselves on being a comprehensive Internet marketing resource. I began doing a lot of blogging – literally the day I arrived – and immediately jumped into social media management via Facebook and Twitter.

My position has evolved into the company’s content guru, I suppose you could say. I write pretty much every piece of text needed for both Astonish and our hundreds of clients—from email marketing campaigns, press releases, landing pages, flash script and beyond—and all of it has to be genuine, keyword-rich content that is highly optimized for the search engines. I also assist with social media strategy calls and blogger consults.

Q3. How important do you think is blogging for a PR student? Do you think those who don’t have a blog are necessarily at a disadvantage?

Blogging is crucial. It provides PR students with an outlet in which they can brand themselves as an innovative professional. It wasn’t until my senior year of college, when my PR professor made us create a professional blog that I realized how important blogging was.

Even creating something as simple as a WordPress blog with links to your professional social media accounts, insight into your career goals and samples of your work can bring you dramatic results. Think of your blog as your personal online portfolio—promote it and stick the URL on your resume, trust me it helps!

I have a lot more to say! Want to check out the full interview? Visit Nguyen’s blog — That PR Dude.

When I first embarked upon a career at the Rhode Island-based Digital Marketing firm, Astonish Results, I didn’t know what to expect. I came on board as a Social Media Engineer, responsible for blogging and helping to manage social media updates. What I didn’t realize was how much my love for writing would really come into play.

If there is one thing I have learned in my near year of experience at Astonish, it’s that the ability to write — and not just string a line of sentences together — but really write in a way that is relatable, credible and interesting is a skill that will open up a world of opportunities. I quickly found myself learning the basics of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and began taking over all of the content needed for client web pages, email marketing materials and beyond. Over the past year I have continued to develop my strategic writing skills while further understandning how “shareable” content will impact the future of Internet Marketing.

Below is a snippet from one of my first posts on Astonish’s industry-specific marketing blog, Insurance Marketing HQ. I like to think this is the exact moment when I realized that it certainly  is possible to build a career out of what you love:

“In this era of Internet Marketing and strategic Social Media—it’s crucial that we don’t forget our roots. It all began with the written word. Whether it was a 2-line slogan plastered across an Interstate billboard or a 3-inch testimonial in the local newspaper, marketers have been using content to spark curiosity and engage consumers.

Today, more than ever, content is STILL king—we’re just evolving our writing techniques and strategies.Content Marketing

No matter what industry you’re in, marketers are harvesting the power of genuine, unique content to drive traffic and inevitably increase revenues.

It’s true—content is constantly adapting to all outlets—easily tailored to fit the needs of a website, Facebook update, Tweet or blog post. Yet it’s critical to remember that the end goal is still the same—cultivate traffic, educate visitors and keep them coming back for more.

As the Blog and Content Manger at Astonish Results, I am frequently faced with the need to create custom content that will actually benefit others. The key to stellar content comes from within. You may not realize it, but the more genuine you are, the more relevant and your level of authenticity can be felt by the reader. Gaining their trust through your text is crucial to gaining their business.

Content is what will entice people to return to your site, or better yet sign up for your RSS feed. It’s what will motivate another industry professional or blogger to want to link to you and further share your work—and we all know that when you get those links, they are the priceless building blocks needed to improve your site’s rank within the search engines.

So how can you improve your content?

Quality content—that will perform better across various Social Media platforms and enhance your ability to convert—starts with research. It may seem unnecessary at first, but after a while, trying to come up with good content ideas will become a more trying task. And even if you have an incredible idea, putting in that extra time to research will only benefit you—strengthening the value and credibility of what you write…”

To read more about my experiences in content management, please be sure to explore Insurance Marketing HQ!

The infamous Amy Winehouse appears to back at it again.

No—we’re not talking about her alleged hard-hitting partying ways—although she has recently been praised by Charlie Sheen AND seen stumbling out of an English pub with none other than Russell Brand’s father – no, we’re talking about her inclination for fashion.

The songstress has once again collaborated with Fred Perry, the iconic British label which prides itself on integrating classic street-wear meets sportswear style.

The 32-piece collection, which launched online earlier this week, shares many of Winehouse’s signature fashion trends seen in her first Fred Perry line from October 2010.

The characteristic Gingham patterns and simple palette of black and red give her latest fashion venture her archetypal 1950’s flare.

After much success with the first Winehouse-Perry collaboration, it was an easy decision for the fashion label to reconnect with the British singer.

However, this time Winehouse’s line includes Hawaiian-themed prints, tropically-embellished tanks and a sure-fire stand-out piece—red high-waisted shorts. Each figure-hugging piece creates a curvy silhouette; a staple within the Fred Perry apparel arsenal.

This season, the collection has expanded to include bags, shoes and accessories in a all-out tribute to Winehouse’s illustrious style. Accessories include a a soft silk scarf and printed barrel bag as well as a straw-stitched clutch, visor and belt.

The slim-fitting, twin-tipped polo shirt is making its comeback; stand-up collar and all. The favorite will be featured in different color combinations in this second collaboration and can be seen paired with skinny, cropped trousers…

Want to see more? Check out my entire post via Little Pink Blog’s {iStyle} section!

One of the greatest perks of being a guest blogger for Little Pink Blog is the amazing opportunity to review new products. Recently I tried items from the RAMY beauty therapy ® collection, just in time for the Oscars!

Every year, awards season means much more than just recognizing the talent of deserving actors and actresses; it gives fashionistas a reason to curl up next to the television and day dream. We drool over the luxurious gowns, the sparkling jewels and of course the shoes—waiting patiently for the day that we can feel A-list glamorous.

But why wait?

It’s easy to create a red carpet-worthy look on a budget—if you have the right tools.

I’ve always been a bit skeptical of cosmetic lines who boast about their ability to make you look like a starlet. Many brag that you can create a celeb-inspired look with little to no effort; but time and time again I’ve been let down.

That was until I discovered RAMY beauty therapy ® .

I’ve never been one who can easily recreate a sultry smoky-eye or properly line my lips and shape my brows for that matter—but with a little help from renowned celebrity makeup artist, Ramy Gafni, I’ve been able to master some serious skills I never knew I had.

It’s true—celebs need to look their absolute best on Oscar night, but what every day fashionistas? We all love to look and feel our best, and thankfully, Ramy has been gracious enough to share his red carpet makeup tricks; all which certainly are easy for you to try at home for your own special event.

Ramy’s Oscar winning clients include Cher, Halle Berry, Marisa Tomei, Renee Zellweger and Timothy Hutton…oh yes, you heard right…Mr. Hutton! Ramy’s easily-to-implement approach lets each and every individual create flawless, natural looks—a major plus when you want to look effortlessly fierce.

Want to recreate the glitz, glamour and excitement of the Oscars? Give it a try with these trouble-free tips:

  • 1. Add a highlighter high up on cheekbones to add a dewy glow to skin while simultaneously playing up your cheekbones.

For this look, I used RAMY Pure Juice Highlighter; little did I know it could be used for so much more! Waking up before the sunrise every morning typically leaves me looking puffy eyed and worn—no matter how many hours of sleep I may have gotten. After exploring the RAMY website I found a great tip to help you wake up your eyes—simply add the Pure Juice Highlighter across your lids, focusing on the inner corner of your eyes, near the tear ducts, where the darkness is most intense. This simple trick made me look more awake than ever and I’ve never thought my eyes have looked more big and beautiful.

  • 2. Apply bold eyeliner to upper lash line, extending the liner slightly past your outer eye. Add mascara to upper lash line only.

For my eyes I used RAMY’s Perfect Eye Wand and for my lashes it was RAMY’s One Stop Shopping Mascara that came to the rescue. Now, it may have been my severe lack of makeup know-how, but I had never realized how much of an impact mascara could have when only used on your upper lashes. It dramatically lifted the look of my eyes and made my cosmetic-enhanced face seem cleaner, and frankly less made-up. No heavy clumps or spiky lashes either; the end result was a smooth, defined lash line…

For more tips and tricks from Ramy Gafni and the RAMY beauty therapy ® collection, check out my Little Pink Blog post in the {iStyle} section!

A recent post I contributed to Little Pink Blog took a look at some of New York Fashion Week’s most memorable highlights:

There comes a time where fashionistas everywhere join together in gleeful anticipation.

Twice a year fashion’s biggest and brightest minds meet in bustling New York City to share their latest creations. Besides the fact that this A-list crowd of designers throw one hell of a party– it’s the trends we yearn for. Those few not-so-subtle commonalities that we integrate into our seasonal wardrobes.

NYFW Fall 2011 was no exception.

Among the major emerging trends, that the fashion world has been buzzing about, include chic calf-length hemlines, bold color combinations, dramatic ponchos, nearly floor-length cloaks, strong dark furs and eye-popping patterns.

Victoria Beckham

From raising a family – and being newly pregnant – to creating a killer runway presentation. Rumor has it that Beckham is currently submitting pieces to the soon-to-be- Princess Kate Middleton. Add royal stylist-extraordinaire to her resume and this chic Brit has done it all.

Beckham’s Fall 2011 collection was a daring departure from her typical tailored, frame hugging mini dresses.

Throughout her 29 piece collection, the Bristish designer strayed from skin tight silhouettes and embraced a much easy breezy carefree attitude.

Her loose, draping dresses glided down the catwalk in bright primary colors – a pallet sure to warm up the season.

The collection was special for many reasons in particular, the most importnant being that Beckham had the opportunity to present the 100th dress she has ever designed.

The striking saffron, double collar, fitted dress was adorned with her classic signature zip running down the spine.

“It was important for me to make my 100th dress one of my signature silhouettes. This dress represents not only where my original vision began, but also highlights the key elements of this season,” said Beckham.

Beckham and Christian Louboutin also premiered their first shoe collaboration; the stylish frocks were accessorised with knee-high boots ans sultry heels.

Beckham certainly didn’t stop there. She continued to impress with a mixture of hooded comfortable dresses and blousy, silken ensembles as well as a wealth of pleats in metallic chiffon and jacquard.

Marc by Marc Jacobs

Marc never disappoints.

Jacobs proved that the Seventies trend is to survive another season as his Marc by Marc Jacobs collection insinuated a retro revival.

Slinking down the catwalk in soft fedoras and tinted shades the Marc Jacobs models were outfitted in high-waisted trouser pants, preppy plaid, tailored cinch-waisted jacktes and an abundance of soft sensual silks; further enhancing the label’s reputation as the go-to name for quirky trendsetters.

It’s clear that Jacobs has one of the most influential shows – and one of the most anticpated – throughout all of NYFW.

So it should come as no suprise that some of the must-have fall trends, that the industry is ushing over, can be found within the Marc by Marc Jacobs collection…

To read more about the Marc by Marc Jacobs collection…visit the Little Pink Book’s {iStyle} section!

Lots of updating to do on here; enjoy some of these great guest posts I did for Little Pink Blog!

As a very modern and very chic fashion designer Donna Karan is typically best known for her New York-inspired collections—those which fully embody a well put-together metro fashionista.

But every designer – no matter how much of a niche has been established – evolves and grows.

Karan certainly is no exception.

As a business-savvy designer with an extraordinarily successful global brand, Donna Karan now proudly resides within this March’s Architectural Digest.

Proudly showcasing her latest collection, Karan rests against her gleaming black kitchen table, a major component of the partnership she has recently formed with American tableware company, Lenox.

It’s very elemental,” Karan said of the collection, “very close to who I am now.”

The fashion designer’s latest pieces stray from tailored paint suits and stylish blouses and take form as glamorous, “organically shaped” dinnerware, vases, flatware, stemware and serving pieces all made from high-quality porcelain, stoneware, glass, wood and even metal.

There’s a soul in the collection,” Karan divulged, “an energy that some people won’t even understand but will be affected by.”

The striking home collection shows a very different side of Karan, something that many who associate her most commonly with her DKNY line, wouldn’t necessarily expect.

Architectural Digest explains it best—it “something of a dual personality.”

On one side of the spectrum there is this urban fashion powerhouse.

A trendsetting, sophisticated minimalist; whose crisp clean hem lines make anyone who slips into one of her fitted frocks look unbelievably polished.

On the other side, is the wild, carefree nomad, or “restless traveler” as Karan has been described, whose latest unique and asymmetrical designs convey a much more free-spirited, bohemian-esque attitude.

However, it’s important to remember that this is not the first time Karan has ventured into home furnishings and décor.

Just last year Karan released Bali-inspired furnishing through a philanthropic foundation she started, Urban Zen.

Both Urban Zen and Karan’s latest collection were created based on memories, experiences and inspiration that Karan collected throughout her life and travels…

Read more about Donna Karan’s exciting dabble into interior design and learn about what makes the ex-architect turn footwear designer at the UK’s United Nude tick in Little Pink Blog’s {iStyle} section!

Here’s a snippet from my most recent contributing post for Little Pink Blog *formerly Little Pink Book PR*…

She’s already conquered the United States– so why not broaden her reign internationally?

Known for her outrageous fashion sense and beyond stellar musical talent, everybody’s favorite Lady finally gave fans a chance to score the best of both worlds.

The ever-risque Lady Gaga gave her little monsters a sneak peek of her latest single – remixed of course – off of her upcoming album Born This Way.

Lady Gaga "Born This Way"

The songstress premiered the remixed track, which she specifically tailored for a House of Mugler fashion show, in Paris on Wednesday.

Gaga then offically released the track today, combined with footage from the actual French runway.

Why Thierry Mugler’s line, you ask?

Well it just so happens that the French brand’s new creative director, Nicolas Formichetti, is Gaga’s personal stylist.

In a recent piece from USA Today, Gaga raved about Formichetti,  

I love him, my friend the genius, my collaborator, more than any piece of clothing or closet I possess.”

In classic Gaga fashion, she then joked,

but don’t tell him I said that…He picked them all out!”

The House of Mugler made it’s decision official, by naming Gaga the musical director for their presentation of the label’s Paris menswear collection. Excited to share her newfound role, with her little monsters, Gaga tweeted the news, early this week.

Lady Gaga Premieres Track at Mugler Fashion Show

I’m the musical director for the MUGLER fashion show,”

she told her loyal fans.

I’m remixing/previewing a record on Born This Way, tailored for the show + garments.”

The remix is said to be set to a brief Mugler-inspired fashion film directed by fashion photographer Mariano Vivanco, which features the oober-tatted up, “zombie boy” model Rick Genest– skeleton ink and all.

The news acts as the latest tease and strategic buzz surrounding the eagerly awaited album, which slated to come out this spring, on May 23…

To read more about Gaga’s Mugler debut, check out the full post in Little Pink Blog’s {iStyle} section!

Wow! The holidays sure do take a toll on you! I have been super busy prepping for Christmas and the New Year, on top of gaining new responsibilities at work…always a lot to do!

Here’s a snippet from my latest contributing Little Pink Book PR post, it acts as a follow-up to the original piece I wrote regarding the rise of private sale sites and Lot 18…this should hold you over until I have some free time again…enjoy!

“As brands become more social and in turn, as experiences are socialized, the ability to forge emotional connections is instrumental in cultivating community development, loyalty, and advocacy.”

–Brian Solis

In a recent post, I discussed the emergence of successful private sale sites and what their newfound dominance means to the world of social commerce.

Membership to exclusive invite-only sample sites have been all the rage lately; enabling brands to make their customers feel beyond special.

Fashionistas have united under the enticing spell cast out by luxury brands peddling their coveted items at outrageously discounted prices. A simple divulging of personal information; such as an email address and password, allows trendy shoppers to enjoy a shopping spree of epic proportions from the comfort of their own home. Gone are the days of crowded city sample sales and the need to camp out along your favorite boutique’s sidewalk.

As mentioned, in today’s society there isn’t a thing you can’t find online—and it’s the latest niche shopping site that is proving this statement true.

Introducing Exclusively.In— an Indian-inspired private sale site for fashion, jewelry, accessories, home decor and travel.

Exclusively.In bridges the gap between access to high-end Indian fashion and US consumers. Sourcing 80% of its goods straight from India, the private sale site offers custom couture collections ranging from fashion apparel, modern home décor and travel destinations.

Some of the site’s products – a mere 20% – are from the United States, however the American artists and designers maintain a clear focus; creating truly beautiful Indian-inspired products. However, the bulk of the goods are handcrafted by local artisans and are then shipped from the capital city, New Delhi. Currently, the United States is the only country offering this exclusive luxury.

After launching just this past June of 2010, Exclusively.In has already managed to raise $2.8 million in funding from venture capitalist endeavors, Accel Partners and Helion Venture Partners. It’s hard to deny how attractive these flash sale sites have become—so why not invest?

Co-Founder Nirbhika Moorjani

This post’s predecessor discussed the arrival of Lot 18; a niche sale site targeting wine enthusiasts and lovers of specialty epicurean products, and before Lot 18 came fashion sale sites Gilt Group, ideeli and so on. The consumer power behind these invite-only platforms is almost overwhelming.

Recently, Mashable had the opportunity to speak with one of Exclusively.In’s co-founders, Nirbhika Moorjani. The entrepreneur discussed the start-up process and her inspiration…

To read what Moorjani had to say and learn more about this culturally-stimulating,  members-only sample sale site, visit Little Pink Book PR’s {iStyle} section!

The funny thing about social media is that it is probably one of the most influential and down-right powerful promotion tools ever in existence– however, we still haven’t seemed to figure it all out. We know that by tweeting we can reach hundreds upon thousands of people if we strategically build a solid, influential network. So why not use the strength of that digital army to do a little social good?

Celebrities have started to recognize that they can use their high-profile brand names to promote causes, and have been making quite an impact this week in support of World Aid’s Day. But what about us “little” people who strive to make a difference in whatever way we can? We may think that we don’t have the numbers needed to make a monumental impact but guess again…in this era of social media anything is possible.

I currently have an incredible opportunity to be a part of something huge: the nationwide Holiday Tweet Drive 2010 initiative. As a part of the Social Media team at Rhode-Island based digital marketing firm, Astonish Results,  I am working with our Community Manager, Alicia Collins,  to organize the Providence Holiday Tweet Drive:

The @PROVtweetdrive  is one of many holiday “tweet ups” occurring across the country beginning in Boston on Monday, Dec 6th and ending in New York on Thursday, Dec 23rd. The national program was designed by Temple University student, Harrison Kratz, who believes strongly in using social media to improve the lives of others.

On December 8th, social media enthusiasts from across Rhode Island will gather at the Providence-based, McFadden’s Restaurant & Saloon, for a night of networking and charitable giving.

@PROVtweetdrive takes the form of a traditional toy drive but leverages the influence that social media and social networking has when used to power a positive cause. All guests are required to bring one new, unwrapped toy or article of clothing to gain admission to the event. All contributions will be donated to Providence’s very own, Hasbro Children’s Hospital.

To participate, guests will tweet live from the event by using the trending hashtag #tweetdrive as well as including mentions of @PROVtweetdrive, @TweetDrive2010 as well as the event sponsors and beneficiary. The overall goal is to make the Tweet Drive’s charity initiative something that everyone is talking about—both on and offline.

I am so excited to be a part of such a wonderful event– and I hope you will join me! For more information about the Providence Holiday Tweet Drive and the nationwide effort as a whole, visit the online Meetup Forum on

And be sure to check out Hasbro Children’s Hospital’s Holiday Wish List; it’s a great resource for anyone planning to attend. See what items Hasbro’s young patients are in need of most!