Brittney Borowicz

Brittney Borowicz is an integrated marketing professional with a strong communications background specializing in journalism, public relations and social media. Originally from the northwest suburbs of Chicago, Brittney has spent the past few years working with entrepreneurs and small start-ups in the Chicagoland area to enhance their marketing and social media efforts.

Prior to her current role as the marketing manager for a computer networking company, Brittney realized her affinity for all things media and marketing while working in radio and television and as a professional presenter. Later, she began working at a couple of small marketing agencies in Chicago as a Public Relations and Sales Director and Account Manager, which required her to be well-versed in coordinating specialized public and media relations strategies, creative marketing initiatives and cohesive sales process implementations.

As a strong believer in intimate consumer/brand involvement, Brittney helps her clients create content that engages and educates brand audiences while establishing each individual or company as a thought leader in their industry.

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3 Reasons Why You Are Never Too Big to Say “No" (Featured on SheOwnsIt.com)

Working in marketing and public relations has introduced me to many people. These people have operated different businesses, worked in different industries and had different personalities.

Despite all their initial differences, these people all had one thing in common: As soon as they hired me they asked, “so, how are you going to get me on *insert major news network/website here*?”

Valid question.

I am a huge proponent of establishing each of my clients as a thought-leader in their industry. To do this, I start by helping each client create cohesive and educational content that engages their audiences. Upon explaining this to clients, I find that many of them have something else in common: they want to be viewed as a thought-leader and featured in these major media sources but don’t want to do the work to get there.

Many times their reasoning lies in not having the time or bandwidth to create content. Other times, their reasoning lies in the mentality that they are too good, or even the best, and they shouldn’t have to start small just to get big.

While some people are lucky and thrust immediately into the spotlight, it very rarely happens that way. So for those of you who have not quite had your 15-minutes of fame yet, and even for those of you who have, here are 3 reasons you are never too big to say “no” to those smaller media opportunities:

Read more at She Owns It or download the PDF now.

The Number One Mistake Everybody Makes on Twitter

Thank you to Gary Vaynerchuk for this wonderful SlideShare presentation.

This is one of my absolute biggest pet peeves on Twitter. I have spent a few years trying to teach Twitter users (Tweeters?) this rule but it still astounds me to see people not knowing how to properly use this common Twitter function.

To see what I am talking about, and to get a little laugh, click through Gary's SlideShare below.

The More You Know


Giving Thanks: My First Year as a Marketing Manager

Marketing Manager - Brittney Borowicz

Back in March, I took my first job as a marketing manager... but not just as a marketing manager... a whole marketing team. The company that had hired me had never had a marketing person before and while some of the marketing they were doing was great, other areas were inconsistent or without much direction.

Although the thought of this stressed me out greatly, the company seemed amazing and I knew it would be a huge opportunity for my career.

With the Thanksgiving holiday coming up, I wanted to share some of the things I have been most thankful for during my first year as a marketing manager/marketing-team-of-one.

  1. I am thankful for all of the things I have learned so far and continue to learn. The amount I have learned these past few months is endless… from a new content management system and new email program to new trade show procedures… every moment has been a new learning opportunity. In addition to marketing programs and procedures, I am in constant awe of how much there is to learn about the industries my company is involved with. These industries are growing (and changing) every single day. Learning the industries also involves learning about the businesses and consumers involved in those industries and how best to market to them. 
  2. I am thankful for my team. Although I may be the only “official” marketer in the company, I have constant support from my immediate boss and people on the sales team. They take the time to teach me the ins-and-outs of products and services that I can’t get my non-technical brain around and they are always willing to learn from me too. They show me what marketing they have done in the past and are open to new ideas and suggestions. The thing I am most thankful for about my team is that they have confidence in me to “do my thing.” They allow me to make decisions and support me in my efforts even when they don’t always completely agree. (Right now we are testing website pop-ups. Initially there was some pushback on it, but we’ve all agreed it’s something to try.)
  3. I am thankful for my failures. Although I don’t think I’ve had an “epic” failures yet as a marketing manager, I constantly feel like I am failing. Coming into this job, I knew I wouldn’t know everything right away. I knew there would be a learning curve especially since there were no official marketing plans or procedures when I took the job. Nonetheless, there are times I feel like I am not doing enough. There are other times where I feel like what I am doing is not good enough. As stressful as this is sometimes, it is more motivation for me to do more and to do better. It reminds me that I can’t and won’t be perfect but each failure, or feeling of failure, it will teach me how to do better for both my company as well as for myself.

What are you most thankful for in your company this year? Is it the things you learned, your team, or your failures? Or maybe you had a major breakthrough or made a decision that made a huge impact? I want to hear about it!

Happy Thanksgiving! Have a safe and happy holiday!

Giving Thanks - Brittney Borowicz

Why You Need to Stop Making Excuses and Just Do It

I have recently decided to make a lifestyle change and start running. My youngest brother always laughs at me for this and asks, "What do you mean that you don't know how to run?"

For those runners out there like my brother who find running easy and even *gasp* enjoyable, trying to learn how to run anywhere beyond a mile might seem like a trivial goal. I -- the girl who could barely run a mile in gym class -- on the other hand, am finding it to be one of the most challenging things I have ever done.

I'll admit that as much as I want to be good at running, I don't want to have to work at it. I just wanted to be good from the start and made the goal of completing five miles on my first run.

What an idiot.

I did not complete that five miles and instead complained to my best friend about how running just totally sucks. To my surprise, instead of caving to my complaints and agreeing with me, they challenged me, saying that I would never get better without working at it.

The next day, my friend and I both downloaded the Nike+ Running App which allowed us to track our running progress and even compete against each other on a leaderboard of distance and number of runs recorded throughout the month.

While it quickly became obvious that while my friend wasn't running marathons, they weren't a running newbie either.

Remember how I said I just wanted to be good at all of this from the start? Well, after seeing how much much better and more motivated my friend was than me at these challenges, it got discouraging and I started to think of every excuse in the book.

"I didn't run today because..."

  • "... I was tired."
  • "... my legs hurt."
  • "... I didn't have time."
  • "... I forgot my shoes at home."
  • "... it started raining."

"My distance and/or time wasn't good today because..."

  • "... I was tired."
  • "... my legs hurt."
  • "... I forgot my music."
  • "... I forgot to start my Nike+ app at the beginning of my run." (Lie.)
  • "... there was a guy creeping me out on the treadmill next to me."

And that's when I realized I had run out of excuses.

So what's the point of this story?

Why You Need to Stop Making Excuses and "Just Do It" - Brittney Borowicz

I spent more time and energy on thinking up excuses as to why I wasn't running or wasn't pushing myself to do better than I actually did running. If I had spent all that wasted time actually running, I could have probably been an Olympic long distance runner by now. (No, not really, but hopefully you get the point.)

After finally putting my head down and working at it, I am proud to say that I now can run two whole miles without feeling like crying afterwards. Maybe not impressive by a marathoner's standards, and I'm still not as good as my friend, but it's a start... and that's all that you really need.

Starting is often the hardest part of getting things done and in many cases, making excuses is a whole lot easier. The thing about excuses though? Excuses don't get things done. Excuses don't yield results. Excuses DEFINITELY don't make a better runner, marketer, parent, whatever.

So instead of making excuses today, "just do it."

What are you making excuses about today and what are you going to start doing instead?

--

(Before people start yelling at me, this is not an advertisement for Nike or their app. Their slogan just... you know... works for my story. Plus it ties in well since I happen to be using their app. For your information though, my running shoes are made by Adidas.)

This is not a personalized subject line.

The other day as I was catching up on some neglected email, I came across this...

Click to enlarge.

... and immediately deleted it. At first glance, this looked like a mass email from a lazy marketer who forgot to include a subject line. (Yes, it does have my name in the inline text, but as marketers know, different email programs will plug individual names into mass emails for you by including a specific code in that email.)

It was to my surprise when I received a follow-up email this morning with the same subject line! It was even more surprising to see that the service this person was trying to sell was for... well... email personalization?

Click to enlarge. Original email shown on bottom as a forwarded message from the sender. Follow-up email from the sender shown on top.

Now I'm just confused. Is this a lazy marketer who forgot their subject line? Or was this subject line intentional?

Maybe I just don't get the humor of the subject line, but I don't understand why someone would send an email about email personalization with the subject line, "This is not a personalized subject line."

As I mentioned above, my first instinct upon seeing this email was to delete it. Nobody wants spam, especially not from somebody who isn't going to bother with including a subject line.

So what makes this subject line so bad? (Assuming this subject line was intentional.)

  1. No sense of urgency. Without a sense of something needing to be done, recipients do not feel compelled to act, especially not immediately. In this case, it didn't even compel me to open the email.
  2. No specificity. When recipients read your subject line, they should know what your message is about and why it's relevant to them. In this case... just... what?
  3. No call-to-action. Although not every email subject line needs a call-to-action, it's sometimes helpful to inform the reader of what their next step should be. In this case, the call-to-action would have made me aware that there was some sort of action required on my part even if it was just responding to the sender.

What is the worst email subject line you've ever seen?

How Location Influences Football Loyalty

In honor of the NFL season starting this past weekend -- and Throwback Thursday (#TBT), of course -- I have decided to share the first story I wrote in my Television Journalism II class at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2010.

Be warned. This story is no journalistic masterpiece, in fact, I received a disheartening B- grade on it.

And on that less-than-impressive note... ENJOY!

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How Location Influences Football Loyalty

There are many factors that can increase an NFL team's fan base… certain players, their winning streak, their cheerleaders... but there is one thing that really influences a fan's loyalty to their team… their location.

According to a study by University of Illinois professor Scott Tainsky, NFL fans maintain a loyalty to their hometown team or a family member's team as a way to assert their identity.

Identification is a real strong motivation in sports consumption.

Champaign may not be home to any NFL teams but it located between three others… the Chicago Bears, the Saint Louis Rams and the Indianapolis Colts. In a town like Champaign, Tainsky says loyalties between teams are divided.

Maybe some people identify with the Bears because they are the other Illinois team but other fans have probably seen the recent success of the Indianapolis Colts and choose to follow them because if you're a Colts fan, you get to brag every Monday after they win.

Growing up in Central Illinois and reporting sports for local radio station, WPGU, Jacob Bleyer is familiar with the split allegiances. Matching the results in Tainsky's study, Bleyer bases his football fandom with the Indianapolis Colts on the city he identifies with and not necessarily because the team plays well.

It's easier to like teams that win, as any Cubs fan can probably tell you. It's hard when they lose all the time but... I actually have an uncle that lives in Indianapolis so growing up I went to a lot of Colts games with him, he's a big Colts fan and I just grew up as a Colts fan ever since I was born.

Tainsky says that Bleyer will likely remain a Colts fan throughout his life due to the ties he has with the city... Even if he moves to a different part of the country.

Even though they are not part of the NFL, we can't forget about the one football team that calls Champaign's Memorial Stadium home... the University of Illinois' Fighting Illini. Studies show that NFL fans are fans for life. But what about college football? Once many student leave campus, do they still cheer for their I-L-L-I-N-I?

According to Tainsky, yes. After spending years on campus, a person's alma mater plays a role in their identity as well. Tainsky says that a fan's loyalty to their college team may be even stronger than to their pro team.

They are a team that you will always root for.
How Location Influences Football Loyalty - Brittney Borowicz

"I Quit!" My Story of How Quitting My Job Led Me to My Goal

A few years ago, when I was just getting started in marketing, I took a job that to be perfect. The position was at this great little, start-up marketing agency right outside of Chicago. This agency promised the world to me -- real hands-on experience with some of the best marketing tools, strategies and leadership available. A few days before I started the job, however, the marketing director who had hired me quit. It was at this point that I should have sensed something wrong.

I spent almost a year at this small agency and in some ways, I did learn a lot. However, a lot of what I learned was the type of employee and person I didn't want to be. Only a few weeks in, my job turned into more of a personal assistant role for the owner of the company than a marketing position. My creativity was squashed, I rarely used the skills that I had come to the company with and eventually stopped learning new, important skills that would help my future career. After not feeling fulfilled for a long time in my role, I made the decision to quit.

When I decided to quit, I had another job lined up that I was SURE I was going to get. It was all but promised to me. Unfortunately, about a week after I quit the first job, the company I had planned on going to called me to say they had decided to restructure their marketing and sales teams and would no longer be hiring anybody to fill the position. I was bummed and unemployed.

It took almost two months, but finally a great opportunity presented itself on LinkedIn. I was quickly hired at a small marketing agency in Chicago where I was able to really hone in on what I was hired to do while developing as a well-rounded and skilled marketing professional. This company understood how unfulfilled I was at my previous job and continuously encouraged me to develop new skills that would accelerate my marketing career to new heights. Thanks to their support and guidance, I am now happy to report that for the past few months, I have been working as the full-time marketing manager for a fantastic company outside of the city of Chicago. Not only has this been a huge opportunity for my career and a tremendously better experience than my first job as a marketing professional, but it is proof that sometimes the bumpiest of roads can lead you to the best opportunities.

I learned a couple of lessons from this experience, including:

  1. You must embrace all of the bumps and bruises that come on your journey in life. Although I was unhappy with that first job, I grasped every opportunity I had to learn... even if it wasn't about marketing. The time management and organizational skills I learned during that time as well as a new sense of confidence I gained in speaking to people one-on-one are essential to my career today and have helped me get to where I am.
  2. Quitters sometimes DO win. You may not always like your job and you may HATE your boss but that doesn't mean you should quit every job you ever have. I have learned though that there are certain aspects of the job that you have to weigh when deciding whether or not to quit. Because I am young, one of the most critical aspects of a job I both need and want are opportunities to grow both in my career and as a person. That first company could not do that for me and that's when I had to say "goodbye." I was very grateful to find after I left that there were plenty of other companies willing to give me the fulfillment I needed and deserved.

Lastly, although I would NEVER recommend quitting one job without another lined up, taking some time off is pretty amazing. I went straight from working in college to working in the real world. The almost two months I was unemployed after quitting that disappointing job allowed me to travel, learn how to cook (kind of) and focus on what really made me happy. These are experiences I may not have had if I never said, "I quit."

"I Quit!" My Story of How Quitting My Job Led Me to Here

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Suicide has hit the spotlight in the past few days due to the tragic and unexpected death of Robin Williams. Robin Williams was a beloved artist and comic genius.

But what some people fail to recognize is that suicide is a very real problem for many people... not just celebrities.

Today, I got the terrible, extremely upsetting news that one of my brother’s best friends committed suicide. I will not share any names or details out of respect for the family. Nonetheless, it breaks my heart that someone so young and incredibly full of potential felt that this was their only option.

Although the public has been extremely vocal about this in the past several days, I would like to say it again…

If you are suffering from depression, or even if you aren’t, but suicide seems like your only option, please, please talk to someone and get help.

Beyond talking with friends and family, you can find the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.


To Write Love On Her Arms, a non-profit organization which aims to present hope for people struggling with addiction, depression, self injury, and thoughts of suicide while also investing directly into treatment and recovery, is another wonderful source for those suffering or for those who just want to help. For more information on how to become involved and to donate, visit http://www.twloha.com.

Happiness in the Workplace and the Rudest Emails I Have Ever Received

Back in April of 2013, I had the amazing opportunity to hear Vishen Lakhiani of MindValley speak at Internet Prophets LIVE! 2013. While most presentations that weekend were about technology, Vishen had something a little bit different to talk about. Instead of talking about how to leverage the internet for your business, Vishen spoke about happiness in the workplace.

About 70% of our waking hours are spent at work and therefore should be a place where people can find happiness, fulfillment and meaning. This isn’t just for an individual’s sanity and well-being but studies have also shown that happy employees make more productive employees.

Because of this, Vishen stressed the Five Principles of Happiness at Work. Rather than asking a person what they can do for your business, you should tell that talent what YOU can do for THEM.

This presentation and Vishen’s message came rushing back to my mind a few months ago after I received two extremely rude emails. The worst part was, they were from a company that wanted to hire me!

Here’s the story…

A few months back, I came across a job posting for a Public Relations Account Executive. The company seemed great, the position was right up my alley and I was so excited when the owner of the company emailed me personally! Or, I was excited until I read the actual email…

Hi Brittney. Received your very elaborate cover letter! I must say I am a fan of much simpler, direct writing -- but at least it shows you have personality. If you are interested in coming in for an interview this week...

From there, the owner invited me in for an interview. I have to admit, I was a bit turned off and offended that our initial interaction included a backhanded compliment. Nonetheless, still excited about the potential position, I agreed to meet with the owner later that week.

The interview went well, however, I later accepted a position with another company that better suited the direction I wanted my career path to take.

I wrote out a letter to the woman I had just interviewed with thanking her for the interview and expressed my extreme appreciation for her time and her consideration. I then explained that I had accepted another position that better fit my career aspirations and wished her the best of luck as she continued her search a candidate.

Feeling that I had been very professional with my letter, especially since she hadn’t even offered me a position yet, I was extremely surprised to find this email in my inbox a few days later…

WOW- not weighing your options. Really? Good luck to you then... You'll need it.

I was floored. Huh? Why? What just happened?

It took me a few hours but eventually I realized that I should not be upset about an unprofessional response from a business owner who first of all, conducted themselves that way, but who also could not offer me a positive work environment.

And for those of you wondering, I never responded to that last email.

How does your company ensure happiness within the workplace? Your techniques may not be as extreme as Vishen’s but, especially after this experience, I believe that measures to ensure happiness in the workplace should begin at the first interview.

I am lucky to now work for a wonderful company that does everything it can to make sure its employees are happy and engaged. Not only does it make for a great work environment but a strong team.

Happiness in the Worldplace

That One Time a Book I Marketed Hit the NYT Best Sellers List

The book, What Is Your WHAT? Discover The ONE Amazing Thing You Were Born To Do by Steve Olsher was recently featured on the New York Times Best Sellers List.

Steve Olsher’s book marketing campaign was lead by Brittney Borowicz, Sean Pyne-Moran and Adam Merkel.

Marketing initiatives included, but were not limited to:

  • Website, blog and social media content
  • Affiliate marketing program
  • Speaking, television and radio appearances
  • Blog tour
NYTBestSellers.jpg