The Power of Social Media in Creating Your Network

October 19, 2016

Aloud YoProSocial Media have increasingly become a significant factor in building and establishing one’s career. It’s highly likely that your boss, co-workers and recruiters have some form of a social media profile, be it through LinkedIn, Twitter, a website or blogs. Making the most of your social profiles to share your work or take part in online conversations is therefore critical, as it can put you in a favorable light to establishing connections that will propel your career forward.


There is great power that lies in Twitter that goes beyond receiving immediate updates from those that you admire or friends and family members. Through using hashtags, you can join or follow a conversation and connect. I was able to set up an informational meeting with an editor from Huffington Post by tweeting the editor. I was at a networking event and didn’t get the chance to speak to the editor, so I sent her a tweet of one of her quotes from the event that I found useful and insightful. We later exchanged messages via Twitter, and I was able to meet and discuss with her over brunch.

Another affective tool is Twitter Chats, which are a great way to network wherever you are. Twitter chats are often organized through companies around a specific topic. You can follow along through the use of a hashtag. It’s a great way to follow, learn and network with influencers or experts in your industry or desired industry. NYWICI also has regular Twitter chats (#nywicichat) that cover a wide range of topics, from the newest trends in social media and technology to salary negotiations.


LinkedIn is a platform that helps you maximize your opportunities to obtain a job. It’s imperative to be active on LinkedIn by checking your feed regularly and engaging with others or connect with thought leaders in your desired industry.

A great way to connect is by using personalized invitations. That way, the person you want to connect with has a better sense of who you are and why it’s valuable to make the connection. You can go as far as to inquire if a coffee or informal lunch meeting is possible. Be sure to communicate your message in a concise manner. It was through LinkedIn that I was contacted about a freelance social media project.


Instagram can help you to showcase your work and connect with others. Following individuals and businesses that you are interested in helps you keep up with trends that matter in your industry. That way, you’re using relevant or popular hashtags to draw others to your page, and it helps you to make connections with those who share similar career goals or interests.

Also, using the hashtags that are associated with the networking events you attend is beneficial. By posting pictures of what’s occurring and using the relevant hashtag, you create an opportunity for those in the same room to inquire about you and reach out.

Digital platforms offer more opportunities to expand your network beyond exchanging business cards. Take a proactive approach to start or join a conversation and make the most of your social media platforms.  


Posted by: 
Isioma Ononye

Think Like An Entrepreneur

October 19, 2016

Kicking off Communications Week 2016, NYWICI’s Cocktails & Conversations series featured a “Think Like An Entrepreneur — Or Get Left Behind” panel discussion, hosted at Refinery29 on Oct. 17, 2016. The discussion explored the paths that entrepreneurial women have made for themselves and their creation of businesses that are changing the media and communications world around them. 

The panel was moderated by Rachel Sklar (@rachelsklar), who has won multiple honors and awards for her writing and activism, including the Silicon Alley 100, which highlights the most inspiring and influential in the New York tech and startup scene. She is the co-founder of Change The Ratio, which increases visibility and opportunity for women in tech & new media, and the Li.st, a network for professional women driven by that same mission. 

Panelists included Jeannine Shao Collins (@GirlStarter), co-CEO and co-founder of Girl Starter, whose mission is to educate girls and give them the power to reach their potential; Maggie Murphy (@thatMaggieM), editorial director, Texture, an app known as the “Netflix of magazines”; Mistrella Murphy (@mistrella), a communications and media relations consultant; and Maria Otero, Esq. (@womensvfund), founder and president, Women’s Venture Fund. 

“Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart,” shared Collins, who, prior to Girl Starter, was EVP/Publisher of MORE Magazine and before that, EVP/Chief Innovation Officer at the Meredith Corporation. She and her fellow panelists shared how they made their leap, prioritize their time, deal with missteps and “curve balls”, manage financial risk as well as their personal and family relationships.

A few key takeaways:

Jeannine Shao Collins

● Ask yourself: Are you trying to solve your own lifestyle or are you trying to solve a problem?

● How we’ve learned to succeed in school can be a problem because it suppresses risk taking.

● Your journey to entrepreneurship is a personal one.

Maggie Murphy

● Women spend a lot of time waiting around to be anointed and get the glass slipper.

● We’re all going to live into our 90s. If you’re in your 40s now, you’re only halfway there.

● This is a marathon, not a sprint. You’re going to stop and start. The pace has to work for the life you want to lead.

Mistrella Murphy

● Believe in the path you’re taking. Work through all the planning steps. The more you believe in it, the more successful you will be.

● My business is completely successful because of relationships with people from my former job.

● Being comfortable with switching roles and having different financial responsibilities with my husband has allowed me to take risks.

Maria Otero, Esq. 

● The notion that entrepreneurs risk it all is more myth than reality.

● Create a network for yourself that allows you to access quality information.

● What we typically see is that women spend a lot of time cultivating people but never get to the ask.


Photos: Jan Goldstoff


Posted by: 
Susan Soriano

2016 WiCi Awards

October 12, 2016

On Oct. 11, 2016, New York Women in Communications presented the WiCi Awards, honoring seven innovative women in the communications industry, who represent the next generation of industry leaders.

The event was hosted by Bloomberg and emceed by Matrix Award honoree Dyllan McGee, Founder of McGee Media and the Founder and Executive Producer of MAKERS, a dynamic digital platform showcasing thousands of compelling stories from trailblazing women.

Wici Awards

Pictured from left to right:

Elaine Welteroth, Editor, Teen Vogue; Erin Quintana, EVP Client Managing Partner, J3 UM; Julie Hochheiser Ilkovich, Co-Founder, Managing Partner and President of Editorial Operations, Masthead Media; Lauren Wesley Wilson, President, ColorComm; Melody Lee, Director, Brand Marketing, Cadillac; Sarah Personette, Head of Global Business Marketing, Facebook; Tammy Tibbetts, Founder & CEO, She’s the First
The WiCi Awards honorees shared their words of advice and insight about their professional and personal achievements on the road to their success:
  • “Culture eats strategy. It all comes down to people. Focus on relationships.” Erin Quintana
  • “We’re not victims in our careers and that’s where empowerment comes from. There’s always something you can do to make you happier.” Julie Hochheiser Ilkovich
  • “Done is better than perfect.” Lauren Wesley Wilson
  • “We threw out all the formulas—we needed to be really authentic to what excites us in order to excite others.” Elaine Welteroth
  • “Nothing really scares me. You can make it through anything; it might just take a while.”  Melody Lee
  • “There is no such thing as sacrifice if you own the decisions you make.” Sarah Personette
  • “It’s amazing to see how something so simple can start a conversation, “ on how she turned a Youtube video into an international movement, sponsoring more than 2,214 years of girls’ education for 804 STF Scholars in 11 countries and in the U.S. Tammy Tibbetts
Photo: Jan Goldstoff

Stop Apologizing!

October 11, 2016

Aloud ProFor many women, the words “I’m sorry” are expressed far too often. Women, whether merited or not, often apologize for the slightest infraction. “I’m sorry for interrupting,” “I’m sorry, would you please lower your voice,” “I’m sorry, would you repeat your comment,” “I’m sorry…” How many times do you say “I’m sorry throughout the day?

In an effort to help women minimize the overuse of “sorry,” we reached out to Leah Bonvissuto (@BespokenNY), communications coach and co-founder, Bespoken in New York. Leah urges women to UNapologize! According to her, “Women don’t have to say ‘I’m sorry’ to apologize. We apologize with tone, physicality, choice of words, everything! It’s been unconscious until recently but now it’s mainstream conversation thanks to Sloane Crosley, Amy Schumer and Sheryl Sandberg.”

In a recent Twitter chat, Leah shared insight on why some women apologize so often, and how to UNapologize. 

Why do women apologize so often?

It could be a lack of practice or preparation, confusion over rules or intentions, discomfort with authority. And men do it too! We seek harmony in relationships more than men and are more empathetic, which is strength. Women are taught not to take up too much space or be loud. Every woman is different and complex. Many have Imposter Syndrome or feel like frauds.

Why should women UNapologize?

Lea Bonvissuto

There’s nothing wrong with apologizing when you mean it but unintentional apologizing undermines authority. Negative self-talk and bad past experiences are ongoing cycles and cause dread/anxiety. Habits get ingrained and passed down. We don’t want to tell women what to do or say but want them to have tools to be intentional and in control when speaking.

What are some barriers that prevent women from speaking up in the workplace? How can they overcome?

Power plays, old boy’s club, promotion on past experience vs. potential, ambition gaps, uneven playing field. We’re working in systems created by men that haven’t been adjusted to incorporate our voices and how we communicate. Do we need new systems, techniques and safe spaces to practice and ingrain new behaviors like amplification? We need to talk more about work-life balance, Imposter Syndrome, gender diversity.

Tell us three things women say that weaken their words.

Excessive use of qualifiers (just, kind of, sometimes, I think, actually, basically). Unconscious filler (like, um, uh, so, you know, I mean). Physicality and tone of voice.

How should women speak with conviction and authority in the workplace?

Set an intention for conversations: “Educate her” or “Inspire him” and return to it when you feel apologies coming on. Replace apologies and filler with a deep breath. It will ground you and also help you. Prepare.  If you know what you want to say and practice it with conviction, you’ll feel more confident and apologize less. Get rid of question marks. You’re not being rude, just direct. Record yourself to hear the difference! Communication is a skill. It takes time, practice and patience. Many think it should be second nature — but it’s not.

How can women find their professional voice?

Find Your Voice and own it. Bad past experiences make us tense up physically and vocally, but your authentic voice is underneath. Working with a communication coach can help you own Your Voice faster. We all need an outside eye. Go to Toastmasters or gather-trusted friends in a safe space to give each other feedback.

Can you share a few takeaways?

You don’t have to say “I’m sorry” to over-apologize. Look for apologies in your body language, tone of voice, choice of words. We need systems, techniques and safe spaces designed by and for women. Amplification is just one example. ‪Be kind to yourself. Changing lifelong behaviors takes practice and patience. Use tools that make you feel empowered. Awareness and safe spaces are key. Record yourself to listen for apologies. Ask a trusted friend to be an outside eye

UNapologizing is a process. Leah says, it takes time and courage. For further insight on how to UNapologize yourself, check out Leah Bonvissuto’s article on the topic.


Recommended Read:
Saying Sorry At Work (Refinery29)


Posted by: 
Rodeena Stephens

NYWICI Must Reads October 7, 2016

October 7, 2016

Tweet your links to us, using #NYWICIMustReads to be featured in next Friday's Must Reads.

Aloud Must Reads

For Women at Every Career Stage

Your Customers Have These 30 Needs. Are You Meeting Them? (Marketing and Entrepreneurship)

The Problem with Women in Tech Isn’t the Women — It’s the Men (Athena Talks)


The Changing Landscape of Communications


Technology News

A Classic Font is Revived as ”Lustig Elements” (Tablet Magazine)

Windows 10 Growth Comes to a Screeching Stop (Computerworld)

Your Body Text is Too Small (Medium)

How to Reform Tech (Humane Tech)



Posted by: 
Tekla Szymanski

NEW: Coffee Break w/ NYWICI Podcast

October 5, 2016

NYWICI podcastNYWICI is launching a career-oriented podcast, Coffee Break w/ NYWICI, featuring casual conversations with compelling women who work within the communications industry.

On the show, host and career expert, Julie Hochheiser Ilkovich chats with successful, passionate women in various roles at different stages in their careers. Coffee Break w/ NYWICI breaks through the clutter and provides women with unique, valuable, tried-and-true career advice that they are seeking.

As we’re launching the show, podcast producer, Kylee Harris, interviewed Julie so you can meet the host and learn more about this exciting new NYWICI project!  

Don’t miss an episode of Coffee Break w/ NYWICI! You can subscribe, listen to, and download the podcast on iTunes and SoundCloud.

Kylee Harris: As we start this Q&A I have to ask you what you ask all of our guests: What is your coffee drink of choice?

Julie Hochheiser Ilkovich: I love all coffee! This summer, I was really into Starbucks’ cold brew iced coffee with soy milk (a Grande in a Venti cup with extra ice!). Now that it’s fall, it’s going to be hot latte season for me soon. Plus, I have an incredible coffee maker at home and have used it to perfect an iced latte. I should start bringing my homemade iced lattes to our guests. They’re so good!   

KH: When did you first decide you wanted to create (and host!) a podcast?

JHI: I do a monthly career advice segment on SiriusXM’s Wake Up with Taylor, and through that I rediscovered my passion for radio! (I was a radio DJ in college.) Then I got really addicted to listening to podcasts and realized a podcast would be the perfect project to put my excitement for radio towards.

I’ve been an active member of NYWICI for years and love the organization. However, this was going to be the first year in a long time that I was not going to be on the board, and I was thinking of ways to stay involved. Then I realized I could combine my passion for radio, podcasts, NYWICI and career advice with this project, and that’s how Coffee Break w/ NYWICI was born!

KH: What made you choose career advice as a focus?

JHI: I really enjoy talking about careers and giving career advice. I spent years in jobs at major corporations learning how to be a good (and bad!) manager and employee. And now that I run a business, I learn even more about career paths, organization and motivation every single day.

I have had so many incredible conversations about careers with women in NYWICI, and I just knew there were so many more conversations to be had! I believe every single person has such valuable career advice to share, so I wanted to use this show as a vehicle for women to get sharing! I have been particularly inspired by conversations about women and finances, which has become a popular topic within the organization, so we made sure to include conversations about that on the podcast as well!

KH: What is your favorite part of hosting so far?

JHI: Having these incredible conversations with such amazing women! I get to meet the best people and am lucky enough to have an hour of their dedicated time. It’s fun, and I am learning a lot! I also adore working with the team who makes the podcast. This show is made by volunteers, who are so excited about this project, and I feel lucky to work with them — and lucky that no one gets annoyed by all the emails I send about the podcast. I am just so excited about it all the time!

KH: What do you hope listeners get out of this podcast?

JHI: I honestly want listeners to take away new career advice that they can actually use and that will make their lives better with every single episode. I call myself a “career empowerment expert”, because I believe it’s not just about getting advice, but sharing ideas and actions that you can actually implement into your career to make yourself happier, successful and fulfilled.

In addition to amazing advice, one special part of the podcast I am so excited to share with the audience is the original music written by my dear friend Alex Feder. I love the theme song he wrote for this. I think it really captures the essence of the show.  

KH: I know we’re hoping to introduce a lot of NYWICI members into the wonderful world of podcasting. What are some of your other favorite podcasts that you would recommend?

JHI: This podcast was 100% inspired by WTF with Marc Maron. His podcast was featured a while ago in my alumni magazine (he went to Boston University, like me!), and I started listening to it and was so inspired by his interview style! Our shows are very different, but I’m intrigued by the thoughtful questions he asks. He can get the most honest answers out of people, and that’s what we are striving for on Coffee Break w/ NYWICI.

Lately, I am addicted to the podcast Throwing Shade, which is a weekly comedy podcast featuring discussions about women's rights, gay rights and pop culture, hosted by Erin Gibson and Bryan Safi. It’s a hilarious take on some of the really crazy stuff going on in the world right now (a warning: It can be a little inappropriate. But it’s always really funny). I also enjoy exploring the podcast app on my iPhone and discovering new stuff. I hope more people will do that, find our show, listen to it — and love it!

Don’t miss an episode of Coffee Break w/ NYWICI! You can subscribe, listen to, and download the podcast on iTunes and SoundCloud