“Elsa, do you wanna build a snowman? It doesn’t have to be a snowman.”
“Go away, Anna.”
Why am I quoting Frozen, you ask? It’s not because I’ve seen it 1,082,273 times and can recite every word.
Nope. It’s because Alicia Lawrence, our Spin Sucks Inquisitee, has a moonlighting job.
She shows up as a princess at birthday parties! Her latest, of course, is Elsa, but she also does Belle, Cinderella, and I would venture to guess any blonde princess.
I mean, look at that photo! She’s made to be a princess (and I know every woman reading this right now has a little girl inside themselves crying, “No fair! I wanna be a princess!”).
So she has some communications experience to go along with her princess qualities, which is why I asked her to sit on the Spin Sucks Inquisition.
What is the Biggest Mistake You’ve Made in Your Career?
I’ve made a lot of mistakes (even this early in my career), but I believe to be successful you have to be willing to take risks and learn from them.
But my biggest mistake wasn’t a risk as much as it was lack of thinking through the situation. In an investigative journalism course in college, I wrote a controversial piece about the college’s new contracts that many professors deemed unfair.
Because the article was for class work only, many professors and deans spoke openly about it.
After I submitted it to class, a student asked me if he could publish it on his friend’s blog. I said no…the first time.
But my eagerness to become the next Woodward or Bernstein put a block on common sense and I ended up sending it to him.
My first published article received several hundred shares in a few hours, until the college’s PR pro called me to request it be taken down because the dean I quoted didn’t want his quotes to go public (not to mention, they made it abundantly clear to me they weren’t happy about it being published and gave me a zero on the article).
I learned several life lessons in one horrifying day.
What is One Thing about Yourself that Would Surprise Most People?
I’m great at fly fishing.
Because I grew up in Alaska, my family spent several weeks each year fly fishing, and I was usually the first to catch my daily limit.
If You Could Achieve Everything You Ever Wanted in Life, but Had to Die 10 Years Sooner, Would You Make that Trade?
In a heartbeat.
I have quite a few lofty, ambitious goals, including writing a feature length script, opening a gym (where I would revolutionize Americans’ views on health and fitness and dramatically lower the obesity rate), and creating a viral campaign or piece of content.
Of course, I say this now, but I don’t have kids.
What Industry Advice or Practice Would You Most Like to Cry Foul On?
I’ve been instructed in the past to pitch to journalists from a “consumer point-of-view” instead of telling them I actually work for the company (no lie, this actually happened).
They said journalists don’t trust PR so if they know you are one they won’t listen to you.
I told the person that journalists didn’t trust PR in the past because they lied…like we would be lying to them if I did what he said.
What is the Best Book You’ve Read in the Past Six Months?
It’s a great practical book (especially for those in PR).
The best part is the author practices what she preaches so it’s an easy and enjoyable read.
(I would have said Spin Sucks but I read that nearly a year ago.)
Why Does Spin Suck?
A fable that made a deep impression on me as a child was about two siblings who were asked to retrieve a bag of pumpkin seeds. On their way home, they were tossing the bag back and forth and it broke spreading the seeds everywhere.
Instead of telling their mother what had happened, they lied and said they gave it to a poor man who needed the seeds for food.
A few months went by and the mother noticed a large patch of pumpkins growing outside, calling attention to the lie her children told her.
The moral of the story is that your spin sin will find you out.
It’s called “spin” for more than one reason; it will get back to you and not in a good way.
Where You Can Find Alicia Lawrence
Like any good communicator (and princess!), Alicia can be found on pretty much every social network.