We Need to be EVERYWHERE!!

We Need to be Everywhere

I really don’t like this phrase.

In my experience, it’s usually uttered by people who – despite sometimes being very smart – have a confused impression of how to effectively get their message out to the world.

Savvy PR strategists know that, rather than be “everywhere,” organizations seeking attention need to be where their market is, connecting with the people who will actually act on the information they deliver.

It’s great to grow your following. But reaching new audiences doesn’t reap the same reward as preaching to your choir: those people who come out to support you time and again and want to see you succeed, or have an interest in what you are doing and want to take part. Because when you don’t deliver to that audience, or show up somewhere those people expect you to be, the fallout is far worse, and those fans and supporters can (and likely will) drift away from you.

To steal a phrase, you need to fish where the fish are – where your fish are – not just cast your net wide and hope something shiny and new swims into it.

For me, a couple of core rules always apply:

1. Do your research: Know your audience and prep your message. Make sure there’s a clear actionable and a reward for doing so. Make it easy.

2. Don’t move so fast: Yes, we need to keep pace with the way the world turns, but don’t artificially accelerate your timeline because you’re imagining some deadline. The water’s going to boil when it’s hot, and that’s when you know it’s ready. And since speed exacerbates mistakes, slow down and get it right when you do go public.

3. Make short term sacrifices for long term gains: Do what you have to do now, to make your thing a success later. Everyone soft launches something sometimes, even offering deals for early adopters in order to gain acceptance and a following. Build your audience slowly and with care. The people who recognize your value will be more loyal in the long run and help spread your message. They will also defend you if that day ever comes. And it will.

4. Shut out the noise: Eliminate all distractions. Ban the bugaboos; those things that keep you awake at night because they “might happen.” It’s either gonna happen or it’s not, so visualize your goal, stop worrying and get to it.

Are you everywhere?

Use the Force on Friday ShareDay!

Obi Wan Kenobi

What a week!

After a two-day road trip to Texas, I am back in NYC and very glad it’s almost the weekend. Good Friday? YES. IT. IS.

A quick shout out and a thank you to all of you who read, like, comment and subscribe here. I can never get enough of hearing your feedback and what you think: whether you agree, disagree, or want to offer your own take on any of the topics we discuss in this space. I’m doing this strictly for the feedback I get from you all. And just like the great Chris Brogan, I’m not ashamed to beg for your input either, so please keep the interaction coming!

And let’s cut to the chase this Friday ShareDay with a great post I picked up off of LinkedIn this morning. (BTW, if your LinkedIn profile is any less than 100% complete, and polished to a nice shiny glow, you’re doing yourself a disservice).

Combining my two geek loves (innovation and Star Wars), here’s “How to Innovate Like a Jedi Knight” from Diego Rodriguez. Thanks Diego!

Happy Weekend!

Be Here, Now.

You Are Here

I just finished listening to a podcast by the brilliant Chris Brogan, part of his series called The Human Business Way. If you’ve not checked it out, do yourself a favor and click over. I listen on Stitcher, because it’s everywhere with me.

In this particular podcast, Chris is interviewing Marcus Sheridan, “The Sales Lion,” who has a fascinating story of personal success. But it was something else that caught my ear and got me thinking.

At the top of the interview, Marcus thanks Chris for “treating me like I was the only guy in the room” on the occasion when they first met. That’s huge. And it stopped me cold.

How many times have we been at a networking event, nursing our favorite libation, with one eye and ear in the conversation in front of us, while the other eye and ear is scanning the room or checking the door to see who else is worth talking to?

Liar. We’ve all done it. It’s such a huge mistake, because it short changes what you’re doing in that moment. And it’s something I am going to work on changing in myself.

It reminded me of a post I wrote about a year ago on multitasking. At the time, I didn’t include personal relationships in the post, and that was a huge omission on my part.

You see, I believe that when we’re doing something, we’ve got to commit. 100%. We’ve got to be in that moment right then and there, and not have one eye on what might be coming next. Savor what is there in front of you, extract all its value, and give a little back in the process. In other words, “Be Here, Now.”

So the next time we meet in person and I look over your shoulder to scan the room, smack me.


[tweetmeme service=”tinyurl.com” tweetmeme source=”jodyfisher”]

As providers of a service, part of our jobs as PR people is demonstrating our competency to the people who pay us for our expertise. An essential ingredient in that demonstration the simple act of carefully listening to the people who come to us for help, so we can sift through what they are saying, find their concerns, and distill a plan to realize their goals.

But it all starts with listening.

I was reminded of this “if you only do one thing” rule just this week, when a professional team to whom I went for their expertise did something that made me question their competency. It wasn’t a huge problem, and what I was mostly looking for was their recognition that they had made a mistake and suggest a quick fix, so we could move on to re-attack the larger reason I had hired them.

But when I inquired as to the breakdown – I wanted them to be successful on my behalf, obviously – they first blamed everyone else who had a hand in the process. When I rejected their passing the buck, they proceeded to tell me why I was wrong to blame them – because I wasn’t in their business – and barely took a breath while doing it. I couldn’t even respond to the thousands of syllables flying across the phone line. They finally accused me of not showing them any respect.

And that’s where it – and I – got a little ugly. But let’s leave that story for another day.

It’s easy to strut in front of a client – whether you drop influencer names, use insider lingo and spin yarns to prove how awesome you are – in an attempt to demonstrate your skill at your profession. But it almost always comes across as either arrogant, insulting, annoying or (usually) all three.

Point is, you can’t begin to diagnose a problem without listening first. After hearing what your client wants to tell you, it’s your turn to ask questions and probe deeper. Uncover everything they might be thinking and feeling. Only then can you offer an opinion. If they disagree, or think you’re wrong, you can discuss it. If they’re being unreasonable or unrealistic, there’s a gentle way to tell them that, but always with their goals in mind. It’s a strategy that will end well for everyone involved, and ultimately get you more business.

BONUS: This is a funny interactive website that tests your knowledge of whether you are “That Guy.” (OK, it’s mostly about beer.) Have fun!

DOUBLE BONUS: Here’s a great video of Chris Brogan explaining what “THAT GUY” is in the social media world. Make sure to follow Chris on twitter, too.