Archive for May, 2007

DIY PR

So as I embark on this little experiment I want to make sure there is some variety on the blog.  I will blog about various business related issues in addition to conducting my branding project.  I’ll categorize everything for easy reading though.

Anyways, I’ve became a fan lately of Guy Kawasaki’s blog, How to Change the World.  Guy Kawasaki, author and serial entrepreneur, is an excellent writer.  He makes business writing easy to and enjoyable to read. 

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 On May 29, a friend of his named Glenn Kelman, CEO of Redfin, an online real estate firm, posted a response to an earlier posting by Marge Zable Fisher of theprsite.com regarding the reasoning behind the failure of public relations.  I should clarify.  Fisher’s article explained the reasoning behind the failure of public relations.  Redfin’s article explains the top 10 reasons why an entrepreneur promoting a start-up should skip hiring a PR agency all together and promote themselves.  DIY PR, Kelman calls it. 

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 Here’s a summary:

  1. “The truth will set you free”.  Basically Kelman states a entrepreneur “stripped naked, warts and all” will reveal authenticity and character.  Who would you be more likely to trust? Someone hiding behind their PR person’s carefully crafted words or the entrepreneur with no qualms about speaking for themselves, allowing themselves the opportunity for “thoughtfulness and spontaneity”?
  2.   “The Rolodex is already online”.  With the connectivity of today’s world, Kelman points out that most journalists have email addresses published online or maintain a blog.  Professional services such as LinkedIn and Jigsaw provide similar opportunities for contact.  Some tips that Kelman provides include sending a sincere note to start a conversation possibly regarding one of the journalists stories, suggesting an idea for a story, and keeping any pitch short and expectation-free.
  3.  “You don’t have to seem all grown up and boring”.  There are enough grown-up, boring people publicized.  Kelman states that “what this spun-out, over-hyped world is absolutely famished for is a little genuine personality.
  4. “Ideas are the precious thing”.  Journalists want an interesting story with unconventional ideas, not some boring yarn spun by a protective PR person.
  5. “Let the fur fly”.  Always remember that no drama equals no story.  Entrepreneurs should come by this knowledge naturally as they tend to be born risk takers.  Kelman argues, “publicists are terrified of a genuine story with real characters and an unpredictable outcome”.  However, start-ups don’t succeed without these characteristics.
  6. “Nerd-to-nerd networks are where it all happens-and value speed in everything you do”.  Publicists don’t value the internet’s role in PR.  Remember that conditions in cyberspace change every instant and you don’t want to have to negotiate with your PR agency to respond to a posting about you or your company out in the blogosphere somewhere.  Speed is of the essence.
  7. “Even bad coverage isn’t so bad”.  Kelman says to never complain about coverage, avoid self-absorbed storylines, and to shrug off the odd mistake.  Coverage is coverage after all.
  8. “Go in alone”.  The reasoning behind this:  It’s hard to connect with a journalist with your PR person standing over your shoulder.  Kelman compare it to a teenager trying to make on move on his prom date while his/her mother is chaperoning.  I love that one!
  9. “Passion+Expertise=Credibility”.  This is so true.  Nobody except for you will ever have as much passion or knowledge about your project as you.  How the public see you and your company should be as honest and authentic as possible and that can only happen through your interaction with them.
  10. “Make time”.  Kelman states the most entrepreneurs he know say they don’t have the time to conduct their own public relations.  He says to make time.  By focusing on a few big ideas and using tools such as feed-readers and Google Alerts to track industry news, you should be able to manage your time effectively enough to, well, make time.

I found his points interesting and totally believe as authenticity and integrity become more important in a skeptical business world (think Enron), people will need to see your face and hear your voice to trust you enough to do business with you.

If I recall correctly there was a related article in Wired magazine a couple of months back discussing “radical transparency” in the workplace.  Just searching for it now on the Wired web page strikes me funny because the author speaks with none other than Glenn Kelman!  Click here to read the article.

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May 31, 2007 at 7:16 pm Leave a comment

A Marketing Experiment…

This blog is a marketing experiment.  It is one man’s attempt to develop the aptitudes required to be an innovator in the approaching Conceptual Age.  It stems from the ideas put forth by Daniel Pink in his book, “A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule The Future“.  I found his book very relevant to our time and believe that his ideas (specifically the six aptitudes he believes will be required for success in the Conceptual Age) will drive innovations in all types of industries in the years to come.  I should mention the six right-brain aptitudes he delves into are:

  1. design
  2. story
  3. symphony
  4. empathy
  5. play
  6. and, meaning

While I still believe we are definitely in the Information Age, we are seeing an increasing amount of innovation in so-called left-brain jobs coming from right-brain thinking orientations.  I believe, as does Pink, that as we move into the next age, what he calls the Conceptual Age, a whole-brain type of thinking (meaning both left and right brain in symphony) will be required for not only success in business, but also in life.

Currently, I am a Business Administration student at Red River College in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.  I’m majoring in marketing, but am of the belief that traditional education in itself does not cut it in the current marketplace.  As such, this blog will track my attempt to move out of the traditional bounds of business education and develop the skills required for success in the future marketplace.  In some ways, it could be said to be an experiment in personal branding or forging a branded online reputation.  Ultimately, I suppose that is the goal, consciously or subconsciously, of every user of Web 2.0 technologies.  If that is the case, I hope I am able to convey to the reader a personal brand that is new, out-of-the-box, and malleable enough to cross the boundaries of different industries.  A Conceptual Age brand, prepared for release into the market, before we even fully enter this new age.

May 20, 2007 at 9:20 am 1 comment


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