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October 15, 2013
Dear Reader,



Personal Assistants have an unspoken duty to protect their boss's personal brand. For those who are not familiar with the concept of a "personal brand"; in a professional sense a personal brand is that indescribable quality that differentiates one individual's professional profile from that of others in the same profession.

Your personal brand is your reputation. It precedes you and makes statements about you, such as "She is a well presented confidential Executive PA with a bachelors degree in business administration and substantial expertise in human resources management." That is what differentiates this PA from other PAs in her organisation.

The same concept applies to your boss. He or she also has a personal brand. How would you manage and protect your boss's personal brand? One of the things you can do to protect his/her personal brand is maintain confidentiality. You should also refrain from saying anything negative about your boss to colleagues. Sticking to these rules will help you to maintain a good working partnership with your boss.

You should also be mindful of how your own personal brand is impacting your boss's personal brand. When I teach PAs how to build and maintain a good working relationship with their boss, I often use the following scenario.

Imagine that you are an executive and you are meeting another executive for the first time. You arrive at his office and find the PA that's sitting outside his office, chatting on the phone while filing her nails. What impression would you form of the person behind the door? You would probably assume that the executive is a bit too laid back in his approach to business. You might even question his level of competence.

The assumption is that a competent and serious boss would not tolerate anything less than a serious, professional and well presented PA. This is a good example of how a PAs personal brand can impact her/his boss's personal brand. It is therefore essential that PAs are mindful of their own personal brand.

Remember that a prospective boss will pay close attention to your personal brand during an interview to see if it compliments his/her own brand.


For many PAs, minuting meetings is a day to day job requirement. For others, it's a skill they seldom get an opportunity to practice. Like everything else in the modern world, minuting practices have moved on. Modern minuting practices take into consideration the need to communicate in plain language and in a straightforward manner and that means getting to the point.

When considering what to record, the most pressing question is "How will I know what is significant and what isn't?" Another question is "Which bits should I record?" One of the solutions to this problem is to ensure that you read the meeting papers before the meeting to familiarise yourself with the issues. This will give you an opportunity to put questions to the chairperson or meeting contributors before the meeting.

Meetings should never be recorded word for word. Nobody wants to wade through all that detail. You should only record the name of contributors to a discussion if it is specifically requested.

Record the following in the minutes:

- agenda item numbers and headings

- the issue

- main pros and cons of the issue

- the final decision

- action points and the initials of those responsible for performing actions

- deadline for completing actions points

Type up the minutes as soon as possible after the meeting while the subject matter is still fresh in your mind.

A point to remember: If in doubt, check with the chairperson of the meeting to find out if he/she would like you to use another minuting style.

Wednesday 30th and Thursday 31st October 2013
Rydges Kensington Hotel, 61 Gloucester Road, Kensington, London, England

The next Advanced Executive PA Masterclass is fast approaching. This is an excellent course for Executive Personal Assistants, Executive Assistants and Senior Administrators. Learn practical strategies and soft-skills that are essential for the professional development of a world-class Executive PA.

Book your place now for the next course which will take place on Wednesday 30th and Thursday 31st October 2013 in central London.

“An extremely good course for senior PAs, with good practical exercises, which were well delivered."
Corinne, Marks and Spencer, London

“For the PAs who think they know it all, think again! Would highly recommend all Executive PAs attend this masterclass. You'll come away with valuable tips and knowledge."
Julie, EA to President, Alstom Renewable Power, Paris

“Anyone thinking of doing this course should definitely go ahead and book! Marguerita is the fountain of knowledge and really knows how to get the best out of you! Very useful course content that I will carry with me throughout my career."
Project Manager, Leeds, England

Upcoming Course Dates
Wed 30th & Thurs 31st October
Thurs 5th & Fri 6th December
Thurs 27th & Fri 28th February 2014


Wednesday 27th November 2013
Rydges Kensington Hotel, 61 Gloucester Road, Kensington, London, England

This PA refresher course is for PAs who have not attended a PA training course for a while. It is also relevant for PAs who have picked up their PA skills along the way and would like to fill in the gaps to optimise their skills. This course is taught at intermediate level but it introduces some advanced-level themes. You will learn the latest PA best practice in the following subjects.

This Course Covers:

- Working productively with management

- The latest email & diary management strategies

- Comprehensive meeting planning techniques & strategies

- Strategies for time management & prioritising your workload

- Going the extra mile when planning executive travel

- Practical business writing skills


Marguerita King,

Managing Director,

Personal Assistant Tips,

Suite 16413, 145-157 St John Street, London, EC1V 4PW,

Tel: +44 (0)845 862 2687,

Mobile: +44 (0)7771 648521,

Fax: +44 (0)207 183 9899,



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