the contents of a PR pro's handbagFor those of you in the U.S., we’re approaching the height of summer vacations and travel.

For those of you not in the U.S., we’re approaching the height of summer vacations and travel (unless you’re in the “other” hemisphere,” in which case you’re shivering your timbers off, and Jamie Garantziotis is going to have to take care of you).

Now, I know that as “PR people,” we’re never supposed to actually take vacation (‘cos then who would, you know, issue all those mind-numbingly boring press releases, since apparently that’s all we do).


though, is quite different – both when it comes to what we actually do as well as taking time off. Or simply being on the go.

So seeing as how we’re approaching a time that is typically “on the go” for us, I thought I’d share the contents of my handbag with you. These “things” are what I’ve found to be travel essentials for the PR pro on the go, and I figured the info might be useful to you.

Because whether we’re traveling on business or vacation, we never know when the opportunity for a good story … or making a good connection… will find us.

And if we weren’t ready, then where would we be?

OK. Here goes.

There are six little bags that go into my “big” handbag. When I switch handbags, the mini-bags get whooshed out from the first, and whooshed into the second. (You see a couple more items in the photo below that aren’t bags, and I’ll tell you what those are momentarily.)

What's In Your Wallet?

1. Stationery on-the-go.

Bag #1 contains my mobile office. Yes, I do have a “real” office, but the nature of our work is that we are often moving around, needing to maintain a certain level of productivity at the same time.

So I’ve found that it pays to have a few office essentials on hands: such markers, mini-staplers, Post-It flags, white-out, and a couple of spare pens and pencils.

Put whatever you would normally reach for in the office in here. These items are what I’d reach for.

2. Fresh ‘n’ nice.

The last thing you want when you’re heading into a new business meeting, or a new partner meeting, or any similar situation, is to feel ungroomed and unkempt.

And I feel the same. Therefore, I always carry the following with me:

A small bottle of mouthwash

Dental floss

Perfume (gents: cologne)


Top coat (though this is for nails, it’s a lifesaver if your pantyhose springs a ladder)

A couple of safety-pins.

3. Make-up.

The gentlemen are probably smirking at this point, but whatever.

Ladies, this is pretty self-explanatory, and I suspect that this is one mini-bag you DO have in your handbag.

4. Dr. Scholl’s Fast Flats.

I didn’t realize how much of a life-saver these would be when I first saw them. Now I know.

Suffice it to say that if you often wear high heels to the office/on the road, you need to keep these handy (they take up much less space than your average pair of flats) to save your feet.

5. Bag-in-a-bag.

I stumbled upon this a couple of years ago, while picking up some meds at my local CVS. Mine isn’t this specific one, but it’s basically a shopping bag that folds and zips up into a nice little rectangle.

Very handy to have for those of us who are impulse shoppers, find they need to pick up  a few grocery items on the way home, or are unsuspectingly caught in a sudden thunderstorm (yes, this actually happened to Heather Huhman and me, and my little bag-in-a-bag was what I used in lieu of an umbrella to spare my coiffure, to the extent it could be spared).

 6. Mobile studio.

Now, you can’t actually see this in the photo. That’s because it’s in its own little baggie and resting inside the “big” handbag (what a nice family!).

I wrote a while back about how you can create your own photo/video mobile studio for under $200, and you should. Especially if your work entails you doing that kind of stuff.

Because you never know when the opportunity will arise for you to do a killer interview for your blog, now, do you?

7. A hand fan.

This may sound frightfully olde worlde, but it can be really useful. Say it’s really humid, and you need some air.

Or, the power goes out, and you’re suffocating.

Or, you stumble upon a damsel in distress, and she’s about to faint.

Or, you come across a basset hound who won’t shut up.

Or… you see what I mean?

8. A sound machine.

This is extremely handy, whether you’re out and about or making the couch feel wanted, and I must give credit to Gini Dietrich and Martin Waxman for making me get one of these.

Imagine you’re starting a speaking gig, and the crowd needs to be warmed up. Cue the sound of, er, a flatulent seal!

Or you’re about to break up with your BF/GF and need something to fill that awkward gap after you say, “It’s not you, it’s me.” “Ding!” (That’s the sound of you pretending to be a loser!)

Or, you need to put a basset hound in her place (see #7 above). Cue the w0lf whistle!

So, there you have it. The PR pro’s on-the-go must-haves, according to me. Happy summer!

Now that you’ve had a look inside my handbag, tell me… what’s inside yours? Are there other items you’ve found essential to have around you at all times? Please do share!