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Category Archive for 'Public Relations'

I haven’t stop thinking about 94-year-old Carmen Herrera ever since I read about her in The New York Times. Her story is such a shot of inspiration that I just have to write about it here.

The story goes that Carmen has a deep love for painting. It was a compulsion, something she simply couldn’t stop doing. She started painting back in the 1930s, when she was in her ’20s. Her paintings focused mostly on geometrical shapes and lines, forms and colors, and were considered “ahead of her time.”

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I was in a fancy Chinese restaurant in the Lion City, sitting across from Christina C., a dynamo of a woman and the new Singapore leader of our international public relations agency. We were deep in conversation as the waiter filled our cups with Puér tea and served us plates of steamed sea bass.

I would soon wrap up a two-week business trip. My life in San Francisco seemed so far away. Well, literally 8,500 miles away. Yet my mind was a whirlwind of thoughts, whirling about everything I needed to do before I left, and everything that awaited me when I got back.

“How am I going to find the time to do everything?” I said as I wolfed down the sea bass and emptied the tea cup. “Within the next week, I’ll be making five presentations. Two here, and three back in San Francisco.”

Christina looked at me through her stern, maternal eyes.

“Slow down, Sharon. Don’t you know that time is elastic?”

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I had a boss once. His name was Fred Hoar. He taught me in small spades, and made me laugh in big spades. These were some of his famous lines on PR:

* “In advertising, you pay for play. In public relations, you pray for play!”
* “Public relations has seven times the reach of advertising. Advertising costs seven times more than public relations.”

Even after I left my old company and started my own public relations firm, he stayed in my life as my mentor and my firm’s advisory board member.

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Tweet As an immigrant to the United States, I am not what one would consider part of the fabric of mainstream culture.  Of Asian descent, I belong to a group that makes up just 4.4 percent of the population.  I have dark hair, big eyes, a Singapore smile and an unique accent influenced by my […]

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