First Chance, Last Chance

Same Old Thinking Same Old Results

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This pic at the left says it all. Can you feel it?

So in that spirit, here’s a fast post today to kickoff a new week, a new month, a new business quarter, and the last three months of the year. It’s your first chance to get the rest of the year going right – and your last chance to make something amazing happen before we say goodbye to 2012.

Before you know it, we’ll all be standing around singing this song.

For those of you who are interested in “making it through,” best of luck.

For those of you who are going to make this a time to remember, come on along with me. We got doin’ to do.

Leave a comment below and let everyone know what YOU will accomplish!

“And So This Is Christmas…”

John Lennon Yoko Ono War Is Over So This is Christmas

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The classic John & Yoko/Plastic Ono Band song is one of my favorites. I know it was written as a political condemnation of war and all humanity can’t accomplish. But growing up, it always spoke to me as a call to action: asking each of us to reflect on the year that has gone by and take stock of those things we haven’t yet been able to get to, but could if we tried hard enough. (WARNING: graphic images in the below video, which is the official video for the song)

As we head into the last two weeks of calendar year 2011, and the workload drops off (unless you work for an industry that’s having its busy season right now), it’s a terrific time to take stock of what you didn’t quite get around to this year, or set new goals that you didn’t have 12 months ago.

I love this process, because it gives me renewed energy for what’s to come once the food/egg nog coma has worn off.

When I’m setting my goals, I like to:

1. Dream big, plan little. While your goal may be to run a marathon, you’re not going to accomplish that in the next 30 days. Set up your action plan with lots of smaller, achievable steps in between that will get you to that larger goal.

2. Assess your arsenal. You know what you’re good at and what you suck at. So figure out what skills are going to get you to that goal, and note the ones you don’t have or aren’t good at. They go out and acquire them.

3. Write it down. There’s nothing like a reminder note flapping in your face to remind you of what’s yet to be done. Daily lists, notes in the refrigerator or pictures stuck to a bulletin board can all be great motivational tools. And every time the paper looks like it’s getting old and worn, write a new note to yourself, as a way to say the goal is still there, strong and new. And you’ve still got work to do.

4. Get to it. Rather than set a deadline to finish, set a deadline to start. And make it today. After all, we’re not getting younger.

Happy planning!

Days That Will Live In Infamy

Pearl Harbor Day

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Today, December 8, is both the anniversary of the US entering World War II (after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7) in 1941 and the day John Lennon was murdered here in New York in 1980.

Watching this Associated Press video and seeing the two events – 39 years apart – represented side by side is somewhat eerie to me. And it also makes me realize there’s a whole generation of adult Americans out there who weren’t alive for either event and so have a limited appreciation for what each piece of history did to shape our consciousness as Americans.

THAT gets me thinking about how we communicate important messages to others – and how our words translate into emotions that have the ability to inform, educate and change the course of history in so many ways.

So as PR people, we face the same challenges as we work for our clients. While it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day “hit swarm,” we have to take a step back once in a while to see the aggregate effect of our messages and how they are altering the public consciousness:

Are we crafting and sending the right messages? And how are those messages being recieved? Are we educating people to the facts about the people we represent? Because at the end of the day, our work piles up into this big lump of information that’s catalogued and saved for eternity in a far off data center, waiting for someone to access later.

And one day, 40 years from now, someone will search for your client’s name online and come up with that article you placed. Or that video you uploaded. And they will base their opinions on what they read, see and hear. It will shape their understanding of their past – which is our present – and affect their world in unpredictable ways.

So what will you leave behind?