Morning Coffee with Hearst Magazines PR Pro – Jessica Kleiman, a New Purchase, and a Trip to Battery Park!

I was kind of the queen of spontaneity today.

I woke up, changed my outfit about 4 times, and finally settled on one of my favorite dresses. I knew the workday was going to be slow – but I did figure at least a few people would be there and that I’d just quietly make a little more progress on some of my projects.

An incredibly exciting part of my day – I had coffee this morning at the Hearst Cafe with Jessica Kleiman (VP PR – Hearst Magazines, Author, Business/Career Pro, Mother … pretty much Super Woman). She is definitely one of my career idols and someone with a wealth of knowledge and experience that she just loves to share. I first met her this past winter when she came to U of M for a PR Workshop put on by the Communication Studies Department.

I was instantly impressed by her creativity, passion, commitment, knowledge and loyalty (she’s a UM alumna!).

We talked about city life, making the move to NYC, some of my my internship projects, and life back in Ann Arbor.

I was also lucky enough to ask her a few questions of my own. I first asked her to explain the difference between PR, marketing, sales, and editorial positions in the magazine world. I think it’s easy for them to get a little blurred just because this is such a creative, fast-paced industry. It may have seemed like a simple question … but it’s been something on my mind that I couldn’t quite pull apart all the way until she explained it to me.

The editors make the content, the advertisers sell the ads that accompany the content, and the marketers (basically) convince the advertisers that they’re getting their money’s worth by bridging the gap between the ad and edit world. I know it seems like a easy concept, but the way she explained it just made so much more sense. I also asked her the difference between a marketing position at an individual title and someone who works in corporate PR. I knew that it involved promoting all of the magazine titles together, but had no idea that she works with the digital teams, the app lap, huge ad partnerships, press speaking engagements (she mentioned The Today Show!), and all of the new, innovative technological developments and partnerships (Google Play!) that happen under the Hearst umbrella. Whew- she’s definitely got her hands full! I can’t thank her enough for spending an hour with me this morning. It truly meant the world to me.

She also did a quick run-through of how she got to where she is today. I know, a cliche question, but one that actually helps quite a bit. Everyone’s story is different … and hers is most definitely interesting and impressive! The main takeaway she wanted to impress upon me was that you should always be learning something and enjoying yourself on the job. Well that, and to always be open to opportunity. She loves her job because there are a ton of new and exciting things happening in the media world, that she learns something and is challenged every day!

Thanks Jessica – for a lot of insight and even more inspiration. I can’t tell you enough how thankful I am for your support and guidance. It means everything to a Michigan girl at heart.

After our coffee, I went up to the office and found it almost completely empty (only our GM was in). He told me to pack up my things and enjoy the weekend. I guess it was kind of an unspoken holiday.

On my way home, I did something I’ve been wanting to do all summer. I finally stopped in the Apple store … and bought an iPad. There is a student special going on right now (free Apple gift card) with every purchase, and it just seems like having one is almost a necessity in this industry. My boss (our publisher) uses hers constantly! There are so many new and exciting magazine-related things happening digitally and I just felt so behind without one.

So meet Meaghan’s New iPad!

I am seriously in love. I can’t take my eyes off of it. I’m already downloading my apps and digital magazines on it. It’s so great and it’s going to be awesome for my commute. I spent almost the entire afternoon playing around with it and getting it formatted and updated. It’s all set to go now!

After I got a little apartment stir-crazy, I left for a walk. I wasn’t really sure where I was going … but I ended up speed-walking all the way down through Greenwich Village and SoHo, until I hit Battery Park. I literally walked all the way to the bottom of Manhattan! I hadn’t really been down there all that much and saw a few exciting new landmarks.

Still playing on the iPad tonight … but tomorrow I have FUN, EXCITING plans in the works! I’m off to Connecticut on the train! Wahoo 🙂

Stay tuned for an early afternoon post and more details!

—Meg Taylor

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