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Posts Tagged ‘Trust’

Are you doing what you REALLY want to be doing with your life?  6 months ago, I wasn’t.  Don’t get me wrong, I liked my job.  I valued the experience I was getting at the large and prestigious company I was working for… but I wasn’t REALLY doing what I wanted to be doing.

For me, it took a rather large kick in the booty to get my life going in the direction I wanted: a layoff.

I’ll tell you something that’s weird.  The second I got laid off, I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude.  I knew I was ready to start working for myself, but I ALSO knew that I didn’t  have the strength and courage to walk away from my paycheck.  More importantly, I don’t think I REALLY TRUSTED that I could run my own business.  After all, wasn’t that kind of activity for seasoned experts?  You know, people that have worked for the “man” for 20+ years?

So I took the leap.  I started my own consulting company.  But the biggest challenge for me as been as follows:

Trust yourself.  You know more than you think you do. -Benjamin Spock

trustyourself1Image by NickyFern

I imagine most entrepreneurs jump out of the corporate world because they DO believe in themselves.  And because they believe they can do the work better than anyone else.   Don’t get me wrong, I started my business for the same exact reasons.

But is there something called entrepreneurial doubt?

Here’s what I’ve learned in the last 6 months:

1) Ignore everything anyone has ever said to you that was negative, and non-constructive about your business performance or dreams.

I used to talk about starting my own business with some of my peers prior to my new venture.  I would hear comments such as: “Really?  I wouldn’t do that.  You need like 15 years of experience.”  OR “Who would hire someone for social media related PR?”  Usually negative comments aren’t about you.  They are usually about fear- because you might know something they don’t.  (This past conversation in particular was re-sparked when I read this post this week: here.) Ignore naysayers and move on.

2) Consider every piece of constructive criticism you’ve ever received and strive to improve in those areas.

I’ve often been told that timeliness is not one of my strengths.  Now that I am working on my own, I find that I WANT to be on time.  In fact, I have shown up to work before 7 every day this week.

3) Consider you personal strengths, and figure out how to apply them to your daily tasks.

When working at my prior job, I found myself going home, having fun with social networking, and trying to determine how to apply it to public relations (my job).  I am now running a business where I have the opportunity to combine my skills (public relations) with my passions (social media).  Fun!

4) Consider your personal weaknesses and make improvement of them priorities.

I dislike anything administrative, and I will put it off to the last second, often to the detriment of my other work.  I am now rewarding myself for applying the same enthusiasm to these tasks that I give my more meaty tasks.  I am my boss AND the worker.  Rewarding myself is important!

So here I am, 6 months since being laid off and I have a healthy roster of clients.  I feel VERY blessed to be where I am today, working for myself and doing what I LOVE.  Today I TRUST that not only CAN I run my own business, but I WILL do a great job.

How about you?  Share your stories!  Are you working for yourself, or do you want to?  What made you take the leap?  If you haven’t, what’s stopping you?

As always, thanks for stopping by.

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What happened to relationships in public relations?

The process for pitching a client’s product or service offering used to look like this:

  • PR professionals would scour editorial calendars and then actually read each possibly relevant publication.
  • PR professionals would then familiarize themselves with each editor they might pitch, including recent articles.
  • Then, and only then, would a PR person pick up the phone. The point of this exercise was to build a relationship with the relevant editor regarding their client’s product or service offering.

The goal of this process was to position your client as the number one subject matter expert for an editor. Public relations was about trust. Relationships. Results usually followed.

Today the process is has (sadly) become about speed, numbers. Many PR professionals have placed their focus on hitting as many media outlets as possible to get their message out using high-tech spamming tools offered by MediaMap and other PR services. In the defense of PR professionals, I know these tactics work with many trade publications, but they aren’t resonating with bloggers.

In my observation, there are a few things PR professionals are doing as a rule in pitching these days:

  • Sending press releases- they are available on the wire.
  • Sending a scripted pitch, not specific to the publication/blog, which is obvious to the recipient.
  • Sending pitches that demonstrate a lack of familiarity with either the blog/publication, the editor or both.

Todd Defran of PR Squared addresses this issue in a recent post “Bloggers: Be Proactive in Educating PR Pros.” The rules, PR gang, are really simple:

  • Be brief.
  • Demonstrate in your pitch that you have read the blog before.
  • Look to see if the blogger accepts PR pitches, and if they do, do they have specific rules and/or requests for the pitches they receive? If you follow those, your chances of being picked up will increase greatly.

Easy, right?

There are a few rules Todd doesn’t cover, that I also think carry great importance.

  • Link everything. Bloggers print everything on the Internet at lightning speed, and your news has a better chance of being picked up if you can provide them with a link. This means you have to have your links ready to go in your press room.
  • Be transparent. Bloggers can read through all of your PR spin BS. So don’t have any.
  • Be available to the Blogger.

While we don’t pick up the phone and call editors as much these days, I do believe bloggers are asking us to take steps back and focus on relationships again. If the news is relevant, a Blogger will print it. If it’s not, they won’t. Read their news, focus on relevancy and keep your focus on being the subject matter expert just like you did in the “old days” and you’ll have results.

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