Howdy, Natalie Beitashour, San Francisco native and Account Executive here at LCI. This is my first Backtalk post so bear with me.
After graduating from college, I made the choice to work in public relations; I just wish someone told me San Francisco was the wrong city for what I wanted to do. My first job introduced me to the monotonous and uninspiring world of tech PR. Well maybe you are not looking for a glamorous job, but for me, life began to feel like the movie “Groundhog Day,” where I was doing the same thing over and over again on every account. I know technology is important, but the big tech companies, the ones that really make a difference, have internal PR professionals. So, when working for a tech agency, you represent small companies trying to get a foot in the door with technology that is already out there. I mean who is really going to go up against the Googles or MacAfees of the world? That market is cornered. It’s like a newcomer going up against Bill Gates; they may get close, but they will never catch up! Or it’s like comparing Ricki Lake to Oprah… they just don’t match up. And the real kicker is, all these companies really want is to be bought by a MacAfee or Google and then fire the PR agency!
So this frustration led me to consumer/lifestyle PR where creativity is key! Coming from a tech world, PR had become a formula to me. What I have learned after working at LCI is that PR can actually be fun! The accounts vary from museums and hotels, to restaurants, dance and sports. With so much diversity, every day is different. Every pitch is unique and (almost) every event is exciting. Press interviews are no longer called briefings, but interviews. The clients are not eager to be bought, broadcast media is actually interested in speaking with you, national press is interested in traveling to come see you and you occasionally work with celebrities! Planning events became fun again because instead of planning tech trade shows, we are planning a black tie gala! Instead of outreaching to eWeek or Network World we are pitching W Magazine, Elle, Travel and Leisure, the Today Show and Good Morning America! Instead of being forced to read InfoWorld , your knowledge of what’s in People Magazine becomes relevant. The passion that initially got you interested in public relations becomes awakened again and you are actually excited to be going to work!
Every PR agency in America has an employee like me; someone who appreciates the soft leather of a Chanel bag more than an I-phone….who prefers Christian Louboutin 4-inch heeled pumps to a Nike running shoe. So, without further ado…its time for my Top Twelve San Francisco list:
1. The new California Academy of Sciences – returning soon to Golden Gate Park, this new building is a must see…as a child I went to the old museum many times but sadly the 1994 earth quake destroyed that building. I will be in line on September 27th for the new opening! http://www.calacademy.org/
2. Now that the sun is finally shining in San Francisco, I must suggest Savoy Tivoli, a bar in North Beach. What is great about this bar is the out side seating! On a warm night there is no better place to enjoy good company and a drink. http://savoy-tivoli.netfirms.com/welcome.html
3. Lion’s Pub – a great bar in the Pacific Heights district. I have been to every San Francisco neighborhood and almost every San Francisco bar, and let me say after 10 years of going to bars (yes I started in high school) San Francisco can get a bit repetitive. This bar has great fresh drinks and yes, attractive people. http://sanfrancisco.citysearch.com/profile/900610/san_francisco_ca/lion_pub.html
4. Everyone who comes to San Francisco wants to know about restaurants. If you want a high end restaurant with amazing food, I suggest Fleur de Lys. It is pricey, but AMAZING! http://www.fleurdelyssf.com/
5. Another great restaurant, and more affordable, is Mezes, located in the Marina district on Chestnut street. The atmosphere makes you feel like you are in Greece, the food is to die for and the staff treats you like a princess. http://mezessf.com/
6. If you are a girly girl like me, then it is important to find that hairstylist that can make your hair look like celebrity’s…di Pietro Todd has an incredible staff and is my choice for a great hair salon. http://www.dipietrotodd.com/
7. Wow, I almost forgot about my favorite passion…shoes! Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue in downtown San Francisco… keep me away, I have too many – but I highly suggest visiting the shoe salon. Every woman should own at least one pair of Manolo Blahniks or Christian Louboutin 4 inch heels. http://www.neimanmarcus.com/ http://www.saksfifthavenue.com/Entry.jsp
8. Now that I have brought up shoes…I have to talk about Chanel…I just bought my first Chanel bag two months ago and let me just say…it was worth every penny…IT’S A CHANEL! www.chanel.com/
9. The Coffee Bean. if you are a coffee junkie don’t fret, San Francisco is blessed with 2 Coffee Bean locations, one on Market street down town and the other on Fillmore at Sacramento…try the large iced vanilla latte…it will melt in your mouth! www.coffeebean.com/
10. As far as delis go, I have one favorite that simply must be mentioned, Angelina’s, and no, I do not like this deli because of Brad and Angelina. Located on California Street, this local deli has the most amazing turkey sandwiches and I highly recommend the celery root salad…Trust me! http://www.angelinascatering.com/
11. Now that we are getting closer to April, I must suggest spending a weekend at a San Francisco Giants game! Looking over the bay on a sunny day, AT &T Park is a great place to spend a sunny San Francisco day! http://sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com/index.jsp?c_id=sf
12. Last but certainly not least, Sam’s Anchor Café, just across the Golden Gate Bride in Tiburon, located right on the water. Sam’s is a great place to go for food, cocktails and simply spending a day in the sun with your friends. http://www.samscafe.com/