Ask any communications agency what it neglects most, and the answer invariably is, Our own PR. The story is as old as the one about the shoemaker’s son going barefoot.
That’s why I’m happy to share three interviews I recently did.
A version of this blog post appeared on Brazen Life on November 8, 2011.
Whether you’re seeking a job or looking to advance your career, using social media to raise your visibility is a must. Yet if you want to stand out—either in a stack of resumes or when your boss needs someone to head up a new project—don’t just do what everyone else is doing. Instead, go beyond the cliché of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn and write a post for a popular blog.
Is this more time-consuming than sharing a link? Absolutely. Is it more difficult than banging out 140 characters? You bet. Does it seem strange to write for someone else’s blog rather than your own? Certainly.
Yet put the time and effort into crafting a thoughtful piece, and you’ll likely experience a rich range of rewards. At minimum, you’ll demonstrate thought leadership, make a name for yourself, and earn a byline in which you can link to your resume or website. Even better, you could land a promotion, secure a job offer, or generate new business.
Given his aversion to the bubble of the presidency, willingness to admit when he screws up, and experience as a professor of constitutional law, it seems fair to conclude that while Obama may disagree with you on a particular issue, he’s at least conversant with the counterarguments. Indeed, it’s said that a good lawyer—and Obama graduated from Harvard Law magna cum laude—can argue both sides of a case.
As such, I think the President would be open to the following question, which I submitted this morning for his upcoming online town hall meeting on health care:
“What do you think—without caricature—is the strongest, most serious objection to your health care proposal, and how would you reply?”
In the first week of my first job, my boss sent me the following e-mail:
“Jonathan: Please find out who voted for BCRA.”
My first instinct was to reply, “Hi Bill: So sorry about this, but I don’t know what BCRA is.” Fortunately, before clicking Send, I rethought my response and instead Googled “BCRA.” Ten seconds later, I found the answer: BCRA stood for the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, otherwise known as McCain-Feingold.
These differing responses represent the two types of employees. The first response, which foists the burden back onto the questioner, comes from the slothful employee, who wants to go about his job without exertion and who does not seek success. The second response, which embraces the burden, comes from the achiever. He may not know the answer—and even be utterly ignorant of the subject—but he takes it upon himself to learn. He is averse to answering a question with a question, and considers it a failure if he cannot do what is asked, even with limited information. (A third response, research without success, is fine, as long as the research is undertaken in good faith.)
Recently, PR News named Susan Davis International a finalist for Small PR Firm of the Year. As part of this process, SDI was asked to submit a one-minute, day-in-the-life-of video. Our submission, called “Check,” was produced in high definition by Jon Miles of Lagnaippe. My cameo comes at the :31 mark.