“How I Work”: Kelly Blum, Senior PR Manager for CEB (now Gartner) @Kelly_CEBNews #HowIWork

February 22, 2018 Matt Heinz

By Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing

Inc Magazines’ How I Work and Lifehacker’s This Is How I Work series are some of my favorite recurring posts.   For a couple of years now we’ve been doing our own #HowIWork series of B2B sales, marketing or business leaders.  Missed any past guests? check out everyone we’ve featured so far… you’re going to recognize these names.  For those you don’t, you will!

This week I’m excited to feature Kelly Blum, Senior PR Manager for CEB (now Gartner). Kelly manages all global PR efforts for sales, marketing and customer service insights including The Challenger Sale, The Challenger Customer and The Effortless Experience. Her successful career in PR leadership follows post-college stints as a production assistant covering the Tour de France for CBS Sports, and as a Feature Reporter for Fox Sports Net-South covering college sports in the ACC.

Here, in her own words, is how she gets everything done.

Location: Washington, D.C.

Number of unread emails right now? Three – but it’s usually zero! I just returned from maternity leave earlier this year and after a three week long stint fighting off every sickness you can think of (oh the joys of daycare!) I’m slowly but surely digging out of the disaster that was my inbox.

First app checked in the morning? Email and LinkedIn for work, followed by a little Instagram for my daily fashion, fitness and home décor inspiration. I usually scroll through all three first thing in the AM as I sip coffee and get ready to workout.

First thing you do when you come into work? Coffee, breakfast and email. Once my email is somewhat in order and I have my to-dos for the day, I read the news.

What is your email management strategy? Typically, I use my inbox as a modified to-do list, keeping emails that have a CTA and then filing them away once I’ve completed them. My inbox used to be extremely organized, but it’s been slipping a bit over the years (I blame baby brain).

Most essential app when traveling? I don’t do much traveling, but when I do for work, my VPN Token is probably the most essential – everything else is a nice to have. Oh, and the Weather app. I rely on that thing. When I’m traveling with my kids, the must have app is Nick Jr. Before having kids, I had a very different outlook on what “screen time” meant and how much I would allow my kids to have. Now, Paw Patrol is the only thing that keeps my two-year old sane and manageable when traveling.

How do you keep yourself calm and/or focused? Working out. I’m a big runner and spin enthusiast. I recently got a Peloton and am obsessed. Having 30-45 minutes of “me time,” where I can clear my head, sweat and release any tension is absolutely essential to keeping me sane – especially in this point in my life. Having a two year old, a five month old and full-time job is no joke.

What’s your perspective or approach to work/life balance? It’s a top priority, if not THE top priority for both my husband and I. We work hard, but we put our family first. If that means leaving work a little on the early side to spend time with our kids and then plugging back in to work after they’ve gone down for bed, that’s what we do.

Are there any work rituals critical to your success? It might seem funny, but I make it a point to get up and walk around every hour or so. It keeps me focused and alert, and helps to reset things if I’ve found I’ve hit a wall.

What’s your workspace like? We just moved offices and everyone now has a sit-to-stand desk. It’s amazing. I don’t think I’ll be able to work without one now!

What’s your best time-saving shortcut or lifehack? As I mentioned, I have a two year old and a five month old, so I’m still trying to figure this out. If you know of any, I’m all ears!

What are you currently reading? Reading? What’s that? But, seriously, aside from research for work and the news, I don’t currently have much free time to read. I’m actually looking forward to the day when the girls are a bit older so I can hopefully start reading for enjoyment again. I used to devour books – it just doesn’t happen right now.

Last thing you do before leaving work? Double check email, Twitter, LinkedIn and run to the restroom.

Who are some mentors or influencers you wish to thank or acknowledge? My former boss, Leslie Tullio. She was tough, but one of the best managers I’ve had the pleasure of working with. Leslie would always push us to think outside the box when it came to promoting content and when we were forced to stay in the box – whether it was due to budget or timing constraints – she told us to be as creative inside the box as we could.

Name some supportive people who help make it possible to do what you do best? Brent Adamson, for never complaining when I hound him incessantly for media interviews and/or byline articles.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? We aren’t curing cancer, so don’t take things too seriously.

Name a guilty pleasure TV show Just about anything on HGTV and Scandal (yes, I’m not ashamed to admit it! I live in D.C. after all J).

Fill in the Blank: I’d love to see BLANK answer these questions. Brent Adamson


Who would you like to nominate for our #HowIWork series, let us know.  

The post “How I Work”: Kelly Blum, Senior PR Manager for CEB (now Gartner) @Kelly_CEBNews #HowIWork appeared first on Heinz Marketing.

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