Early in 1997, I was in my second year working at a PR firm in San Francisco and was on the committee to plan “brown bag lunches,” where we would have speakers come in and talk about something with our staff. In college I’d read a lot about the early days of Apple, and how Guy Kawasaki and others had helped encourage adoption of the personal computer and the Mac. As it happened, Guy had released a book that fall, How to Drive Your Competition Crazy, and was doing some small speaking in support.
I figured what the heck, it’s worth a shot, so I tracked down his email and asked if he’d like to come in and talk with some PR folks for an hour. What I learned is that Guy loves to talk, and loves people, so he fit right in. He was an engaging, enlightening and yes enchanting speaker. Which leads me to “Enchantment,” Guy’s latest book.
I was sent a copy of Enchantment last month by the nice folks at Penguin Group and gave it a read. My thought with business/advice books is that if you get one usable nugget out of them, they are worth it. On my initial read (I’ll read it again, I always read good books again) through Enchantment. three jumped out at me:
“The crowd is not always wise,” which is a hard thing to acknowledge, but the book walks you through using enchantment to try and get people to diverge from the crowd;
“Dysphemistic swearing” where you use a swear word to relieve your own tension or aggression or an unusually harsh word on purpose to really make a point. This comes up among other points about not swearing, or swearing very infrequently. Related to business, I hardly ever swear, but sometimes, if used correctly, it can be incredibly effective;
The third is simply the fifth paragraph entitled, “How to Launch.” which includes some basic ideas that people seem to forget when planning for a launch of any kid including; tell a story, promote trial, plant many seeds; and my favorite, get your first follower.
Enchantment isn’t a “life,” book and it’s not a “business” book, it’s just an interesting book, and I recommend it for a good read.
or at least you can go back and talk with a class you once took.
I’ve been teaching classes at UC Davis Extension for the past four years, but today was the first time I’ve gone back to talk to a class at my alma mater, The University of the Pacific. I was invited back to talk to the PR Administration class, which is one of the last courses required for the communication major. It’s a small group, there were five students there today and Dr. Hackley, who was my faculty advisor when I was an undergrad. She’s retiring this year after 25 years at Pacific.
Dr. Hackley had a famous, infamous?, rule in her upper-level classes, the “F-0.” If you misspelled a proper name on a final assignment you received an “F,” but not just a regular “F,” you received zero points for the assignment. At the time, we all thought this was unduly harsh. After 15 years, in PR, I’ve learned that it was pretty good preparation for everyday work. If I send something to a client and I’ve spelled their name incorrectly, they probably aren’t going to be a client for long.
This is a long-winded way of saying “thank you,” to Dr. Hackley for helping prepare me and hundreds of others for careers in PR. So, if you get the chance, go back to the classes that helped prepare you, thank the professors who helped you, and if you’re lucky, like I was today, talk with some people who are enthusiastic about learning about how to do what you do everyday.
We’ve been working with Chrometa for several years as they’ve developed as a company and continued to innovate with their flagship time tracking and productivity tools. They help small professional businesses track how they spend their time. Great application and for people who invoice based on time spent, it’s a big deal. So who is this helpful for? Think accountants, lawyers, and yes PR people.
There was always one little problem. Most of my business is done on a Mac, so I wasn’t capturing that productivity. Well, that’s all changed now. You can now use Chrometa on your Mac right now, and you can download it right here.
Corporate blogs serve many purposes and one of the most important can be the “unfiltered voice,” provided by having a full page to work with to tell your story as opposed to having to craft a “statement,” that you hope will be used by the media when referring to your particular situation.
Yesterday, there was a kerfuffle around tweet that came through the official Chrysler account:
Shortly thereafter, Chrysler posted the following to their blog:
This wasn’t perfect, but it was fast, it acknowledged the issue and said they have put processes in place so it doesn’t happen again. That probably could have been enough. However, Chrysler today made a longer post with more detail and why this was more serious to them than a misplaced curse word. This post was attributed to Ed Garsten, the head of electronic communications at Chrysler.
There is a lot that is right here, for example, Chrysler:
Acknowledged the comments made on their previous post and on other sites;
Tied their actions in this matter in to their larger marketing and corporate goals; and
Included the name of the person at Chrysler making the post so it wasn’t a faceless corporate voice.
I meant to write this post last night but I’m glad I didn’t then as the whole story hadn’t yet been told, and it may not yet all be told, but there’s more to learn today about how a company can respond using social media than we saw yesterday. Thanks to David Armano for pointing me to Chrysler’s follow-up post with his Tweet. Also, last night when I tweeted about this, I received a response from someone I greatly respect questioning whether this should have been a fireable offense. At the time, I would have been inclined to say no, and I’m still not sure they should have been fired, but with after reading Chrysler’s thoughts I can understand the thinking a whole lot better.
Being found online, or finding something online is really an amazing process. There’s a lot of things you can do to make yourself be found more easily. No, I’m not saying you need to go out and get yourself an “SEO-consultant.” The best way to be found is to be active online. By active I mean, create stuff online. Here’s an example for me. If you search for “Josh Morgan” on Google, this is what you see:
The first result is the wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers. The second result? My Twitter feed. I made my first tweet on August 2nd, 2007. Since then, I’ve made 8,299 more over roughly 1,200 days. That’s about seven tweets per day. Not a whole heck of a lot, but it adds up.
Here’s my point, making yourself found is easy, but it takes some time and a commitment to stick with it.
This morning I was in West Sacramento in the studio for “Good Day Sacramento,” with our friends from Reel Change. Reel Change is a non-profit that we work with pro bono that uses film to help tell the story of people in need around the world and help them.
The team from Reel Change also runs a production company that produces shows for National Geographic, The Discovery Channel and lots of other amazing networks. In this work, they travel around the world to exotic places and meet a lot of people. The people they meet open their homes to a film crew and share their stories, which if you’ve ever worked with a film crew can be pretty intrusive.
Over the years as they filmed people and their stories and then left, the crew came up with an idea to thank the people who shared their stories with them by asking them what they need and helping them get it. In this case, the people of Timbuktu in Mali said they would really benefit from a new school and a hospital. Next week Reel Change is going back to Mali with a doctor and a nurse from Stanford Hospital to conduct a needs assessment on the type of medical facility that best help in that community. They’ve raised two-thirds of the funds for the trip and today were on Good Day to try and raise the last bit. You can donate on their site.
When I started talking with a friend who’s a producer about this project he said, “Oh yeah, they can be on the show it’s a no brainer.” Listen to the anchor at the end talking about how they love this project. What you don’t see are the production staff that came up before and after the shoot and said how much they love the project.
As with many non-profit CEO’s when you start talking with them they are passionate about what they do and want to talk about EVERYTHING they are doing. With Reel Change, they are working on several projects around the world but we decided to focus on this one and tell this story right now. There is a specific need, a story arc and a call to action.
This is why they were on the show, they have a great story to tell and a call to action. What’s your story?