I finally had the chance to read Guy Kawasaki‘s Enchantment, a book I have been trying to read for awhile now.  I wrote a post on the HubSpot blog about enchanting your audience using marketing techniques that he discusses in this book.  But one thing I did not include was how I have been enchanted in the past.  At the end of every chapter, Guy ends with someone else’s personal anecdote about how they have been enchanted.  It may have been something special that happened in their lives or witnessing someone else doing something extraordinary.  I originally thought I was going to write about how I have been enchanted by PRSSA, but let’s face it, if you read my blog, you already know about that.  So instead I thought it would be appropriate to talk about how I was enchanted my sophomore year of college which led me to write this blog.

When I first started college, a lot of people talked about blogging, but I didn’t really see the point or understand it.  Then I had another student come to my class and speak about his experiences blogging on his blog, The Personal Blog of AJ Vaynerchuk. He spoke about all of the opportunities he had as a result of his blog including networking opportunities, learning experiences and even making a small profit.  I was completely enthralled and wanted to learn more.  I decided I couldn’t use the excuse that “I was too busy to learn how to blog or consistently blog” since he was constantly traveling and networking in addition to school and still made time to blog.

So I figured, what do I have to lose, and I messaged AJ asking to help me set up my blog.  He met with me a few weeks later, set me up on Rachel Sprung on PR, and the rest is history.  I try to blog 2-3 times per month now (even though it is sometimes less) and have engaged with many interesting people as a result of it.  My blog has been a great conversation starter and really shown others that I care a lot about this industry and love learning more about it.

My enchantment in this case is two-fold.  First, I became enchanted with blogging.  Before my encounter with AJ, I had never really seen its purpose, and I didn’t read other blogs.  But after, I began regularly reading other blogs and commenting on them.  It was so interesting for me to engage with content in this manner.  The other part is I never said no when a student asked me for help.  It was really inspiring to me that despite his busy schedule, he made time to help me buy my domain name and set up a blog, something I don’t think I would have done otherwise.

All in all, I highly recommend reading Enchantment.  It will leave you with hundreds of marketing takeaways but also inspirational stories about enchanting others and becoming enchanted yourself.  Feel free to share stories about how you have been enchanted (or enchanted others) below!


2010 PRSSA National Conference – Washington, D.C.

Time for my much overdo blog post!  But it was worth the wait.  For the last few weeks, my life has been consumed with planning for the PRSSA National Conference.  And last week, I had the honor of attending the conference in Washington, D.C.  From October 15 to October 19, I met about 1,000 PRSSA students across the country, networked with professionals at the PRSA International Conference, attended Chapter Development Sessions and Professional Development Sessions, learned about other Chapters and some of their exciting events and even held a session about Regional Activities.  It always inspires and amazes me how much different public relations students dedicate to improve their Chapters and themselves and future public relations professionals.

The speakers at the Conference were fantastic.  I didn’t get to sit in on as many as I would have liked, but I did get the opportunity to hear many of them.

Jim Margolis, senior partner at GMMB, was the keynote speaker for PRSSA.  He told us all about his involvement in the Obama campaign and some of the different strategic approaches they took to win.  In comparison to past years, they focused on young people and embraced the Internet.  He spoke about a lot of their social media strategies aimed at reaching a younger audience (which obviously proved successful).  They used a really impressive iPhone app to recruit volunteers to get the word out to vote.  They also put together 2,000 videos but 440,000 more user generated videos were created.  He ended off by saying “when you have big stresses, big change is possible.”  He was a great speaker and definitely inspirational about what can be accomplished.

I also attended a speed networking session with professionals from Booz Allen Hamilton, the Air Force, the MWW Group andOur Lady of Victory Homes of Charity.  I was in a group of other students as well, and we spoke about some of our interests in the field of PR.  But the four professionals also gave us some advice on networking and finding the perfect job.  Some of the highlights include:

  • Get the other person talking about what they are passionate about.
  • As soon as you get back, touch base.
  • It is important to see energy and that the person knows how to present themselves.
  • The first impression is key.  This includes your outfit, shoes, purse and overall appearance.

I attended a session on Crisis Communications with Eliot Brenner, Director, Office of Public Affairs at the Nuclear Regulatory CommissionLaura Brown, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Public Affairs at the Federal Aviation Administration and Richard Levick, President & CEO of Levick Strategic Communications.  The highlights of this session include:

  • Communicate early, often and clearly.
  • The goal in a crisis is to shorten the time between the start of a crisis and return to business as usual.
  • It is vital to be able to rely on people in your own organization.  These relationships need to be developed in advance.  You also need to build relationships with those outside your organization.
  • Always have a pen and paper ready when working with crisis communication.
  • First seek to understand then to be understood.

The last session I attended was called “Where Coding and Communication Meet” with Nick Lucido, National PRSSA President and Associate at Edelman DigitalBrandi Boatner, External Relations Professional at IBM Global Business Servicesand Mary Henige, Director, Social Media and Digital Communications at General Motors.  Some of the highlights from their presentation include:

  • Your LinkedIn profile is nearly as important as your resume
  • Follow companies and people you are interested in, and periodically engage with them.
  • Treat your online relationships like your offline relationships.
  • Identify trends in a particular industry or area of interest.
  • Have an integrated approach using social media in your search.

Overall, the conference was a great success.  The Conference Coordinators did a fantastic job bringing in different professionals from various areas of public relations, and everyone had a fantastic time.  If you are interested in hearing more about the conference, check the #prssanc hashtag.  Many attendees are posting their blog posts and thoughts from the conference.  See everyone in Seattle at #prssana!