Casey goes to NY…and visits home of King Kong

March 2014

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My final day in New York – it all seemed to go too quickly. Today though, I had a lot to get through – first on the list, Susan Lindner, CEO and owner of Emerging Media PR.

Now I have to say, I do enjoy traveling alone – I can eat whatever I want, whenever I want and no one will steal the last bite of dessert or the fry I was saving till the very end. But even I, the lone nomad, do enjoy sharing a meal or two on occasion. And this morning, my last in New York, I had the pleasure of sharing breakfast with Susan.

A true power couple in all senses of the phrase, Susan and her husband started the company together but now Susan has taken on the reigns in a more independent role.

She’s is not just the owner of a successful New York PR agency; she is also a member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organisation and the communications chair of the New York chapter. As I work with EO NZ, it was only natural that I seek out Susan while in town.

We met at the gourmet food go-to for people on the go, Dishes. After ordering two omelets and a couple of large coffees we sat down to chat.

Completely unselfishly, Susan took two hours out of her undoubtedly busy morning to listen to my stories and questions and provide insight and advice as well as a few war stories of her own.

A true testament to the nature of the EO membership – she was welcoming, humble and incredibly successful. Needless to say, I was impressed and appreciative to have had the chance to spend time getting to know this PR power woman who previously spent her time promoting AIDS awareness around the world. Thank you, Susan.

Next it was onto Build-A-Bear – side note, this store should be in every NZ mall. I, a 23 year old – and I would say – well rounded individual, can go into this magical store and literally spend hours (and many dollars) choosing a bear, stuffing it, dressing it and creating an adorable birth certificate which conveniently serves as a way for the store to gain my contact details and other more personal details such as gender, address, date of birth (clever really).

After wasting a few hours building my bear and a partaking in a spot of shopping I made my way to one of the most famous landmarks in NY – and arguably the world – the Empire State Building. With four bags and a Clif Bar in hand (yes my obsession with these bars was still going strong) I suddenly had a panic attack that I might have to actually climb the stairs to the top. Thankfully not.

A short elevator ride to the top and I was looking down on NY- breathtaking. From here, you truly understand the magnitude of the city and why it’s dubbed a ‘concrete jungle’. It was somewhat bitter sweet standing on top of the city looking down at it in awe, knowing I would be leaving it the very next day. I decided to drown my sorrows that night in the best way possible – New York Pizza. Food coma ensued and before I knew it, D-day had arrived.

As I packed my bag to go that morning I couldn’t help but feel a little dejected.

I thought of all those cliché moments in movies where they pull the curtains and close the door for the very last time, shedding a tear as they walk away. With this sentimental image in mind, I decided to give it a go and pull the curtains on my time in New York.

Again, as with my selfie attempt, this backfired. The curtain rail detached from the wall and took out a pot plant on the way down. Considering I was in an apartment found on Airbnb I was a tad worried about my user rating so I spent the next 20 minutes attempting to reattach it with my screw driver aka a butter knife. Not quite the movie cliché I was aiming for.

In all seriousness though, my time in Boston at the IPREX Global Leaders Conference and my time spent in New York, making new friends, seeing the sights and meeting industry leaders has been in a word, unforgettable. I’ve learnt many different lessons from building my own brand and enhancing B2B communications to realising that Tenacious D’s Tribute is a fantastic karaoke song.

PR is all about building connections and I feel incredibly privileged to have been able to build not just professional connections but friendships with some extremely talented, interesting and fun individuals.

To all who have read and followed along on my adventure, thank you. And to all that I met along the way, you helped make this trip what it was – there is no thanks great enough.

*Cue emotional tear shedding and closing of door*