Flats are the New Sneakers

Manhattan is looking prettier. 

I moved here when women wore suits and Reebok high-tops (remember those rolled white bubble shoes?) with bunchy socks to get from home to work and back again, pulling fancy shoes out of your briefcase only in the office. No one does that anymore. Now, women wear flats and it sure makes a huge difference.

Some people brush their hair, but some still don’t. There’s no big hair as in post-1980s craze (yes, I’m dating myself) but there is a plethora of tattooed flesh and dreadlock-style ‘dos and grunge-wear that actually looks purposeful and cool.

At 4 o’clock in the afternoon, Gregory’s coffee bar was packed. People in Manhattan don’t work much either. At 9 am, Le Pain Quotidien was packed and it packed even fuller as we crept toward 9:30. I could sign on to a day that started at 10 and ended by 3.

On Friday, I moderated a panel for journalists interested in becoming publicists. There was a lot of useful, wonderful information and also some name-calling – namely, that PR people are “evil” so don’t become one of those.

The curly hairs at the nape of my neck straightened momentarily, but then I realized, there ARE a lot of evil PR people – I just don’t happen to be one of them.

For instance, I haven’t freelanced as a profession in five years. But every day, I receive at least a handful of emails from some publicist somewhere who’s never met me and they go something like this: “Hi Lynne! As you plan your Father’s Day coverage, consider this new watch that my client has produced. It’s a perfect fit …” 

Blah blah blah. As a publicist myself, I either delete these offending emails or I study them to try to understand why the industry is besieged by half-ass attempts to reach out to strangers in a way that will never result in any coverage whatsoever.

However, since I lived in Manhattan, I’ve grown softer, more compassionate. Maybe it’s a part of growing older; maybe it’s the influence of the provincial Midwest.

I love speaking to audiences who want to hear what I have to offer. I love sharing stories of successes and of failures, stories really of humanity – if they help others get where they want to go, I’ve done my job.

There are always those dissenters who believe they’ve got it right and no one else understands. Those folks who truly believe the world starts and ends with them. 

I don’t see things that way. I go to conferences to learn because there is so much I don’t know. I speak because what I’ve experienced could be helpful to others. We are a world spinning either on kindness or on competition – which way would you have it?

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