Thursday, March 7, 2019

BOSS Spotlight Feature: Dawn Kelly

Dawn Kelly is a courageous entrepreneur. Trusted, seasoned and proven public relations and strategic communications adviser with a track record of developing and implementing large-scale innovative, integrated communications plans to build brand awareness for businesses. Well versed in leveraging multiple channel approach, including research, digital and social media, traditional print and broadcast communications to define, favorably position, and communicate the value of thought leadership, brand, services, and solutions. Great manager of people, team leader, and relationship builder.

What were some obstacles that you faced in the beginning process of starting your business or career?
I have enjoyed a lengthy career as a senior public relations and communications executive and now I am an entrepreneur running two operating businesses; Metropolis Group US/Global Connect and The Nourish Spot Inc.  I am presently partnering with two friends/colleagues on a third business that will provide back-office administrative assistance to busy professionals and entrepreneurs.  The obstacle, in my opinion, was the same; fear.  Once I fought fear with faith, nothing seemed impossible with patience, hard work and determination. 

What inspired you to break into your particular industry?
What inspired me to break into public relations and marketing was first realizing that my dream to become an attorney was not to be realized and I had to satisfy my desire to purpose all of my talents, aspirations, and capabilities into a role that would allow me to help others and positively impact the world. So instead of practicing in the court of public law, I ended up practicing in the court of public opinion as a public relations and marketing executive. 

How do you balance your personal and professional life or have you been able to find a balance?
I don’t look for balance anymore. I seek fulfillment and just spend my time accordingly. 

What is an inspirational quote that you live by?
Lift as you climb. 

Who were some influential people or mentors that helped or encouraged you along the way?
Terrie Williams and Ofield Dukes 

What are your "must-haves" to keep your career or business going strong?
Rest & Relaxation

What is your definition of a BOSS?
Living a fulfilled life on your own terms. 

Provide us with two words that describe you? 
PR Maven

Learn more about Dawn at 
Twitter: @prmaven17

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Protecting Your Intellectual Property by Felicia Shakespeare

One topic that should be on our radar as it relates to online posts and digital content in general (information shared by you anywhere) is once this information is put out, it's out! Point blank, if you're sharing it, don't get upset or uncomfortable when others come along and "run" with the information you've released to the universe unless you’ve taken the necessary measures to protect your ideas. We must realize, once released, information is no longer private or just yours if not legally protected. When you put information out, you have now given the green light for people to use that information to share it, repost it, act on it, etc. etc. etc. I do not accept plagiarism and piracy because NO ONE should take anyone’s ideas with the sole intent to do something non-integral or as an excuse not to think. One should also always “cite the source” of non-original content in posts or other platforms when used.

I am the type of person that is always coming up with ideas and concepts. I'm also very open to collaboration with others, always. However, I’ve grown to know in this area when to halt and protect what I know is mine. I’ve had to remain cognizant and clear of the fact that once released, it then is subject to the use of others.

I can recall a conversation with one of my first clients when I started my marketing consulting firm. This client was at the time just brought in to oversee the congregation as a new and the first female African American pastor in a very well known mainstream religious organization. My role was as a hired marketing consultant for her church. One particular time that we met, we had a few moments to have a little “girl talk time,” discussing current events and our perspectives on them. I will never forget that midway in the conversation as I was sharing, she got up and literally vocalized "I need to get a pen and paper because I want to use that." That was the moment I realized that I was dropping some real gems and that reaction also informed me of something else. I must be mindful of what to share (especially if I want to use it later).

So before you share on social media or website content decide, am I willing for this to be used? Is this something that I can benefit from for my own business later on?  My first suggestion to you is to listen to your instincts. I immediately started thinking about what I would choose to share next in this conversation and future conversations. One of my favorite quotes is “think before you speak!” When you speak it, there’s no turning back! We all have to learn how to better master the art of knowing how much to verbalize and write as it relates to our intellectual property ideas.

To learn more about Felicia Shakespeare Twitter: @iamfelicias