Mar 08, 2018 / in Comms Best Practices / by Annemaria Nicholson

Today is International Women’s Day. It’s an inspiring day designed to celebrate women everywhere, and especially you, women of PR and media! You have a voice through the very nature of what you do.  It’s also a day to think about the equality of all, and how we can make equality in every form a palpable reality.

Regarding gender equality did you know that “feminism” was the most looked-up word in 2017? Movements like #TimesUp and #MeToo dominate social media headlines, and women everywhere are standing up to #PressforProgress. And yet, when I reflect on our industry, there’s so much work still to be done.

Women make up the majority of the PR industry and yet in there’s a gap in leadership where, at least at agencies, men disproportionately run the show.

Our Chief HR Officer, Whitney Benner, recently published a great piece on Cision Values and it got me thinking about how I can become a force of positive change in an industry and in a world where inequality still exists.

Every single one of us has a unique path to follow, and I hope that in whatever way you can, you will stand up for equality everywhere. These are some promises I’m making for myself today.

  • I will continue to incorporate diverse voices into the content we create at Cision.
  • I will listen carefully from those facing roadblocks and challenges, and I will seek ways to overcome them together.
  • I will seek to learn more about the leading women in our industry: their challenges and victories, their roadmap to help shift the balance of power in the industry, and of course, what inspires and motivates them.
  • I will continue to support my team in mentoring other employees as I continue mentoring a budding content writer myself.
  • I will continue to ask for advice from the women who I look up to, in my professional and personal life, to learn all I can.
  • I will remember to tell all the girls and women in my life: I love you, you are amazing, and you inspire me every day. If you can dream it, you can do it, and nothing can stop you!

As you think about what International Women’s Day means to you today, we (me and the amazing women at Cision) made you a Spotify playlist to inspire you and to get you pumped up for your own feminist journey!

Why? Music helps tell human stories. It inspires emotions in all of us and gives flight to the imagination:

“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.” — Plato

Our imagination will lead to universal solutions and what is possible — here are some themes I also think of as I listen to this playlist:

Be Bold


If you stand by silently, others will rule your destiny. Be bold, and take charge of your future. Sure, it can be hard to speak up in meetings and to question the norm. But if you don’t ask questions, volunteer for important assignments, and speak up when you see an improvement that can be made, you are doing yourself and the business a disservice. You must also take the initiative to reach out and forge friendships, even if it’s outside of your comfort zone.

Be a Mentor


If you are fortunate to be a leader in your workplace, take it upon yourself to empower others. Whether through a formal mentorship program or with a coffee break with colleagues who are also trying to hike up that mountain, it’s on you to be that voice of encouragement. Be mindfully present in meetings.

Schedule catch-ups with colleagues to ask questions and listen. Practice listening as a form of learning. If people come to you for advice, sometimes it’s ok to say, “I don’t know, but let’s find our way together.” Be authentic and true to yourself, show that you value the time of others, and you’ll find it easier to rally everyone around a common cause.

Be a Hard Worker


Work hard to move the business forward, even when obstacles seem insurmountable. We are no strangers to hours spent preparing, rehearsing, and editing to bring our best. Know how to create a thoughtful strategy that maps to real business impact, to bring proof points based upon data, to have an answer ready for any question.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Reach out to potential mentors and ask for advice. There is no improvement without effort. Prepare yourself for change. Never give up,  and understand that we are stronger together.

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About Annemaria Nicholson

I drive go-to-market strategy for content, social media and community at Cision, an earned media software intelligence company. I engage, educate and inspire audiences with interactive and multimedia projects that serve all areas of the funnel and have experience scaling content programs globally to drive brand awareness, leads and revenue for the business. I revolutionized Cision’s outbound promotion efforts to amplify its inbound lead generation results by creating a multichannel campaign strategy that promotes discoverability, search rank, audience awareness, credibility, and ultimately more topline revenue growth. I also helped with our rebrand and watched Cision go public in 2017, and our blog program was honored in 2018 by PR Daily.