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No, I’m Not Scared to Teach You What I Know

Tomorrow afternoon I’ll be leading a two-part workshop at the 2011 Optimization Summit on How to ROCK Press Coverage for Your Business or Brand. It’s a bigger, badder and more hands-on version of an presentation I put together six months ago for the Social Media Tulsa conference and I’m thrilled I’ll get to share some good stuff about what I do & know and how to make it all work for other peoples’ businesses. One question I get asked all the time is some form of, “When you spend time telling others what you know and how to do what you do, aren’t you afraid they’ll, well, do it? Without you? Aren’t you essentially teaching people how to NOT need you?”

Leaving out the whole, “I’ve been doing this thing I do for a long, long time and all that experience can’t be shared in a two hour workshop” angle (And it’s inherently insulting, by the way, to assume I CAN share everything I know in a workshop), let’s take a look at the underlying motivation of the question. The key is “aren’t you afraid…?” and the answer is yes. Of spiders, of heights, of not being able to find good coffee when I need it, of milk in the carton (it’s a long story)…. Yes. Of teaching business owners or brand managers about New PR and how they can use it to their best advantage? Nope.

New PR is much like Old PR in that it’s driven by the story. We as humans are hardwired to retain stories, to seek meaning and context for information. A good story is the heart of any PR effort. Always has been, always will be. What I teach people is first to find their story. Not their mission/vision/goals/new product release blurb. Their story. Or, stories… 🙂 It’s not the easiest thing in the world to think about your business or brand from new perspectives and to figure out where your human touchpoints are as a business. So learning how to spot a good story, idea, trend or opportunity is the first thing we’ll be talking about in the workshop tomorrow. We’ll also be talking about the tools of New PR, the reasons why they matter, the long term effects of doing a good job with New PR and how to put it all together into a package that is shareable, sendable, marketable and effective. I’ve yet to meet anyone who didn’t have a story somewhere just waiting, begging sometimes, to be told. It’s in learning to see the potential and how to align it with business goals and marketing campaigns (which hopefully were conceived in partnership with the PR peeps, but I digress…) that “doing PR” becomes something much more powerful. I can’t teach everything I know in a workshop, but if I can help people learn to look at their day to day work, business environment or content in a New PR kind of way and take some steps toward implementing a strategy that works to build their brand, it will be a good day.

I’m not afraid because sharing what I know, about something I love, expands the universe of potential clients for me and potential stories for us all. And that, I think, is something to embrace, not fear. If you’re at this year’s #Optsum, I hope to connect and share some stories while we’re here.

(and my apologies… if you ever tweeted or shared a post from the site, the numbers were all lost when I changed servers. I appreciate each and every share… just don’t have who recommended, liked, tweeted, etc., anymore)

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