How To Be A Girl Boss  /  

Jul 28, 2009

PR Tips 101: Being Grateful Gives Back


palomasnest_thankyouI have been so fortunate to be given many great opportunities which have helped me to find my passion and has opened doors I never could have imagined. I have wonderful clients who took a chance on me when I was just starting out and an amazing family and friends support system.  I try to make gratitude my attitude to show people how thankful I am to them, and I truly believe that paying it forward is the only way good things will continue to come along. What goes around comes around, right?

I am sharing this with all of you because I have found that while there is a lot of giving going on in our business, there is an awful lot of taking as well. Not a ground breaking experience- you probably knew that, but what have you personally done about it? We only get one chance or two to handle things with grace and good judgment. How you handle the fortune that is brought to you leaves a lasting impression. My client Bob and Dawn Davis have taught me a lot about this through their example and I am humbled by them.

Putting your hand out and taking, but not giving back does the following:

1. burns bridges 2. gives you a bad wrap  3. alienates vendors 4. Will result in a loss of referrals

I’d like to point out a specific instance that I feel gets overlooked quite a bit. A great photographer can take fabulous images of an amazing event, but then turn around and get all the public credit for this event since the images are their property. However has the photographer considered that they wouldn’t have been able to shoot such a stunning and well produced event if it weren’t for the other vendors involved? (the floral designer, the wedding planner, stationery, lighting, rentals, specialty catering companies etc.. )They wouldn’t have the proof of the work to show and proudly submit to attract more business. Therefore, as a photographer, have you given these people the appropriate extension of gratitude? Perhaps send them a lovely note, refer them future business, and at the very least get them some images so they can leverage them for their own business? Wedding planners often get the short end of the stick it seems. They can refer like crazy but often times are not as quickly referred. It does go both ways and I would like to point out that if it weren’t for the phenomenal photographers who so wonderfully capture the day, planners wouldn’t have what they need to produce more business and promote themselves either.

How about when a vendor is submitting work to a blog or a magazine? Do you all remember to include the others who helped on the collaboration? Or if you decide to blog or tweet something that “you” discovered. Did you really discover it on your own? OR did you read about it on someone else’s blog or tweet and then conveniently forget to mention that source? I’ve seen it time and time again. Why do we do this? What are we afraid of? Giving credit where its due? Thanking others for inspiring us? The more you support them, the more you will get supported. AND lets not forget that “You just Being You” as I wrote about in last week’s Tuesday Tips,  is the only way to go!

What are we doing for one another that allows the goodness to continue? Personally I have helped numerous people that aren’t clients of mine just because I want to help kind hearted people. I don’t expect anything in return-except maybe for them to be nice back? maybe send a thank you note? offer to buy me a cupcake (red velvet please)?  This is not a post about what people do or don’t do for me, but an example of what we need to be doing for each other.  May I ask: Are you treating your staff right? Paying them what they should be paid and thanking them for all that they do? There is no way we could run a business with out them. I am the first to admit that i couldn’t do what I do without my team (Kellee, Brittany, Holly)!  When you are twittering, updating your facebook status, or blogging about your own accomplishments are you also mentioning the people who have helped you achieve this? This matters. I promise. Those that collaborated with you and support you will follow your successes. This is a very high emotion industry. As vendors we give everything to what we do and often times too much of ourselves. It’s exhausting to give and give and not receive. So, yes people can get easily hurt or offended when they are left out of something or not given credit where its due.

At some point, one of us out there is given a great chance to prove themselves, one we may have received prematurely, or never thought would happen. If you want good opportunities to help grow your business, to make friends, or to receive any goodness in your direction: You have to make “gratitude your attitude”!

How do you say thank you?

*image credit: Palomas Nest

xo, Leila, WeddingPR

  • This is a very inspiring post, Leila! I think we are all guilty of this at some point, thank you for putting it into perspective.
    Gratitude goes a long way…

  • I agree with youR point, but it seems sometimes you can give, give, give… and still not get noticed. We have tried to do so much for helping others in our industry as well as others, and so many people when we reach out for help or guidance, only think about themselves. To mention a few things we have done include giving a free wedding video for a deserving military couple, donating 10% of all our sales to charity in an effort to help find a cure for cancer, I created a blog reviewing training DVDs for other videographers, and so much more that I don’t have the time to mention. I think this business is too much about who you know, as the vendors who are successful are the ones getting the endorsements from other well known vendors, and the up and coming or lesser known vendors are left struggling. I applaud you for calling others out to this sad fact, but unfortunately I don’t think it will do much help.

  • Amen, Leila!

  • Wonderful post Leila! It was so heartfelt and I am sure all of us will benefit from hearing it. Just from reading your blog you appear to do a great job serving others. You will be blessed for that!

  • Thanks so much Leila for sharing your candid thoughts. I am a firm believer in Karma for lack of a better word. Patience, kindness and humility are always honorable traits in business and beyond.

  • Love this Leila!!! Thanks for the continued inspiration and words of wisdom. Very well said!!! And also, thank you for ALL that you do for me and my company.

  • Damon – “It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.” So maybe you give and don’t receive the recognition all the time. If that is the main reason you’re doing it, then you’re doing it wrong.

    Thanks Leila for this post. I completely agree.

  • Leila, this is such a wonderful post! Thank YOU for all that you do for me! xoxo

  • Love this Leila! And I think this applies throughout our lives, and not just our businesses. Thank you for the reminder! XO

  • Thanks everyone! i am so happy this resonated with you! This most certainly does apply beyond work and into life ( thanks Sarah) for pointing that out!
    Ariel… you go girl. Preach it! really though- to fully give with out expectations is the only way we will continue to be given HOWEVER lets just remember when we are given blessings/ opportunities we need to continue the love. Pay it Forward!!!

  • I love this post. And I think it’s something that so many people forget. I will often go out of my way to get images over to great vendors that I’ve worked with. I think it’s so important for the karma department! And it’s amazing how many of those vendors never even send a simple “thank you” email. A heartfelt “thank you” can go so far!

  • Kellee Khalil


    What a great post! So true. Pay it forward.

  • So true! I am always heartbroken when our work is featured with our name and the other vendors aren’t. (happened to us recently, wink wink)
    We certainly didn’t design the wedding, just create the memory.
    xoxo cat

  • Cat and Jordana – as photographers thank you for understanding and for agreeing AND for being such a great example of what we need to be doing for one another! i love it!!

  • A to the MEN!!!!! i have been inspired today…i am officially going to send a huge thank you treat over to my favorite coordinators and photog friends who have blessed me with beautiful events to design for and beautiful images to show off…thanks for the reminder L!!! and THANK YOU for…well…everything!!!!

  • Leila,
    What an amazing and touching post. I love that you are always so sincere. Thank you for that.

  • Calisara

    Thank you for sharing this sentiment, it’s a refreshing reminder!

    After a particularly grueling day that just wasn’t my day to start, it’s nice to be reminded to make ‘attitude your gratitude”. So often we get caught up in our world. I picked out my favorite hot pink sticky note and wrote it down. Then, stuck it in a prominent place so I can be reminded daily, and then do something about it. Such as giving thanks, props, credit, and attention when and where it’s due.

  • First time to your blog, but I saw @Calisara’s mention of this article on Twitter and I’m so glad I came over! Wonderful article. We are blessed by those who help us, but doubly blessed when we help others. When we go the extra mile for people it always comes back around. Thank you for taking the time to write such a lovely post.

  • What a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing!

  • Ariel,

    You’re right, you’re right! That quote does ring so true, and I appreciate you bringing my focus back to where it should be. Everything we do is to be generous and nice, but reading Leila’s post just refreshed my memory of how many others out there aren’t taking that road. Great post Leila!

  • Leila, this is such an important post. I am thankful for the reminder and truly believe if we conduct ourselves with a heart of gratitude, both in our lives AND our businesses, we will be more fulfilled and peaceful than if we got all of the credit in the world! Relationships are so much more important than business, money, and success!!!! Thank you for your wisdom. XOXO

  • I really enjoyed reading this Leila! Everything is so true and it really makes a difference to acknowledge the entire team. I’m a firm believe in treat others how you would like to be treated and in karma like someone else mentioned above. I always try and help anyone and everyone I can in every way I can just because that’s me. While it hasn’t all necessarily come back to met yet I know I’m doing good by doing so and someday day it will come back. Great post! Thanks again for sharing your words of wisdom 8~)

  • anita y

    Such a beautiful post and so so true…i am grateful to have stumbled on this ! …its great to be reminded of the many things we should be grateful about in all areas of our lives…Have an ‘inspiring’ day! all the best from Greece..

  • Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving Day. your gracious, positive energy has inspired me! Best wishes, Aradia

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