I’m a believer. Doesn’t anybody believe me?



This about sums up the inklings I’ve been feeling since joining the proverbial “other side.” That being, no longer a semi-known blogger or journalist. Just somebody trying to spread the word. Check that: Just somebody trying to intrude and nag someone to listen to me.


The last three months I’ve been working with folks who literally give me epiphone-like experiences. With Tonya Martin and her wellness studio, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve finished a pilates class, sat up and said, “Damn I feel great. People need to feel this. They need to know about this woman.”

And with Justin Catanoso and his new book, “My Cousin the Saint,” I was so moved by the first few pages that I found myself praying, on the spot one early Sunday morning, to his cousin Saint Gaetano Catanoso. Just a few pages of that helped me through a little slump in faith I’ve been feeling the past few weeks.

Of them, I’m a believer.

And since I’ve taken on the task of trying to share it, I’ve been writing to bloggers with similar interests, trying to share those moments with them. Yet something happens when you go from “fan” to “flack.” Suddenly, that damn marketese language take over. I find myself trying to convince them. And the fear of sounding insincere takes over.


As I researched and approached bloggers, I was suddenly aware just how far on the proverbial “other side” I was standing. I was now asking bloggers to take a look. And when I didn’t immediately hear anything back, I took it personally. Re-reading the emails, I wondered what I did wrong. Was it too wordy, too sappy, too marketese? Am I liar?

No. I’m impatient.

Great insight arrived this morning, with one of my favorite cuss words in the title, “PR Secrets, Bullshit,” via Loïc Le Meur. The post hit more than a few nerves. Thank you Tara Hunt for pointing me to it.

Inspired and informed to keep trying. Here’s one of my favorites.

Not a secret #6
Do not see bloggers and journalists as target either, they will ignore you

Make sure that the PR team DOES NOT RESEARCH individual preferences for contact before they reach out, they will tell you what everybody knows about them and you will contact them in the most boring way possible. Take bloggers. Everybody tries to pitch Scoble and Arrington. They are tired of the same formatted boring pitches that come to them exactly the same. They are my friends and if I had tried to pitch them like hell they would have never have. Relationships with journalists and bloggers are the same as real life. They take years. Approaching them artificially with a strong sales pitch is the best way to make sure these relationships will never happen.

One note: I do want to say thanks to the Catholic Guy Show. They may self-deprecate about the small readership of their blog, but it’s endearing, and they keep pursuing, giving commentary about the Sirius radio show they love. And when I approached them about Justin’s book, they were open to giving and recieving. And that’s the kind of community I want to live in, and pursue.

OMG. RDU tweets. LOL!


RDU Twitter

Disclaimer: I know, I’m old. But I’m not a fan of the OMG, LOL, text language. So I’m using it here as a point of irony. I think Sean read this post and thought I was changing my tune. LOL.

When I’ve talked with local businesses about blogging, there’s one comment that leaves me a little dumbstruck at first, then, of course, answering out loud to myself a few hours later. The comment is this: Social networking and blogging isn’t really that effective for big clients. It works better for small businesses.


RDU isn’t a small business. And they’re tweeting now. The Triangle-based International airport recently started using Twitter to update flyers on flight delays. Admittedly, I haven’t caught the Twitter bug. Mostly because I don’t care that much about the daily minutiae of my friends–which, is what a lot of folks seem to use it for. Here’s a twitter example: “OMG, just had the. best. turkey. sandwhich. :0” Frankly, sometimes I read a tweet and wonder whether they meant to say it out loud, let alone text, hit send, and publish. To me, Twitter is kind of an impulsive, verbal barf.

But Tara also wrote about a new Twitter guru who used the tweet text as a public service during the summer 2007 California fire. And RDU embodies that public service, and customer service, option for using Twitter, too. Reminds me of something from Seth Godin’s “Meatball Sundae.” The resonating notion he shared about this book in a Webinar urged listeners and readers to think about using the Web to provide information and services to your customers in ways the competition simply can’t.

We’re applying some of that thinking to Tonya’s pilates blog. Posts will include fitness, wellness tips, and recipes.

And since Twitter sends automatic text updates to a subscriber’s cell phone, it could be a good way to send out daily health tips and reminders, as well as reinforce Tonya’s philosophy that consistency is the most important part of your work out.

OMG, though. Is this the end of Twitter minutiae? LOL.

It’s not about you


As a musician, I’m trying to imagine what would happen if I invited a bunch of folks to my house to play music, and then kept all my ideas and songs to myself. People would stop coming over. And they’d tell other people to stop, too.

As a musician, I want to provide a meaningful experience for the people I play with, plus, provide them with access to musicians or resources that would enhance their networks, too.

Same goes for building community online. I’m more drawn to sites that capture my imagination, not my “lead capture” information.

So this little paragraph on Tara Hunt’s blog Horse, Pig, Cow is top of mind this week as I tinker around with ways to build community online for my clients and my music:

“The key to attracting and keeping members of a community is to offer them heaps of ways to accrue Social Capital within it. That is, to offer them more connections, more influence, more of a chance to grow their reputation, more bridging capital, more bonding capital, more access and potential access to ideas, talent and resources, more ways to display their accomplishments, more ways to do nice things for others (to build up those favors) and more access to those with loads of Social Capital of their own.”

Putting research into practice

As we build Tonya’s blog for her Pilates studio, I want to keep the social networks of Tonya’s clients in mind, too. Because, according to Tara, it works best when your nurturing your community, and the communities of your clients, too. I love that.

A few ideas to incorporate into Tonya’s blog:

  • A recipe for success. Tonya is a nutritionist, too, and she’s often giving clients recipes for her breakfast smoothies. Incorporate recipes, tips, and daily snack suggestions into blog posts. The trick is to write these tips in such a way that it feels urgent, and practical enough for someone to share with a friend.
  • A MAT class like no other. Tonya is trained in a muscle recovery method called Muscle Activiation Technique. She’s one of only two certified MAT therapists in North Carolina. We’ll use her blog to provide more information about this fast-growing, muscle building and rebuilding method. Then, provide ways to make the information accessible to friends. For instance, a friend just tore an achille’s tendon, how would I know if MAT is good for him?