"How to be Successful With or Without a College Degree"—CEO of the Diversion … – PR Web (press release)

"How to be Successful With or Without a College Degree"—CEO of the Diversion
PR Web (press release)
A college degree does not assure financial stability and having less than a college degree does not assure financial ruin. In a new book titled “How to be Successful with or without a College Degree,” Carlsbad Collins teaches the principles of success

and more »

Success With or Without a College Degree: Entrepreneur Carlsbad Collins … – PR Newswire (press release)

Success With or Without a College Degree: Entrepreneur Carlsbad Collins
PR Newswire (press release)
In a new book titled "How to be Successful with or without a College Degree," Carlsbad Collins teaches the principles of success and how it is applicable to anyone that is willing to do the work. (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20131218

and more »

Being Successful in Procurement Connections in San Jose: Only 2 Days Left to … – PR-BG.com (прессъобщения) (press release)

Being Successful in Procurement Connections in San Jose: Only 2 Days Left to
PR-BG.com (прессъобщения) (press release)
Only 2 days left to register for the “Procurement Connections & Holiday Season Networking Reception” that will be held on December 12 at the San Jose Marriott Hotel in San Jose, California. The event, hosted by the US Pan Asian American Chamber of 

and more »

Being Successful in Procurement Connections in San Jose: Only 2 Days Left to … – PR Web (press release)

Being Successful in Procurement Connections in San Jose: Only 2 Days Left to
PR Web (press release)
Being Successful in Procurement Connections in San Jose: Only 2 Days Left to Register. US Asian American Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation (USPAACC) presents procurement connections; don't miss this networking opportunity. Share on 

and more »

The media needs a narrative

In fact, The War of the Worlds did not cause mass hysteria when it first aired. It was a story fanned by radio-fearing tabloid newspapers.

In fact, Pam (eBay founder Pierre’s wife) did not need a place to buy and sell Pez dispensers. This is a tale invented by a PR person and repeated by tech-phobic journalists eager for a simple story.

In fact, Columbus wasn’t surrounded by flat-earth believing denialists before he ‘discovered’ America. This was amplified by Washington Irving (!) in a book that was largely invented without much research.

And George Washington didn’t cut down the cherry tree and Robin Hood didn’t do all those cool tricks in green tights.

The media isn’t the one that needs a narrative… we do. We need to make sense of what’s around us, not just the true things that really happened, but the fictional ones that we know didn’t.

All this myth-making reminds us just how strongly wired we are to believe in things that both make sense and feel right. They feel right because of who told us, and when. Culture creates reality.

       

Downingtown STEM Academy Students Learn How to Be Successful Employees – PR Web (press release)

Downingtown STEM Academy Students Learn How to Be Successful Employees
PR Web (press release)
MidAtlantic Employers' Association announced a new initiative with Downingtown STEM Academy to help prepare students as future employees with the “real life” skills needed to succeed in the workplace. “Employers are urging high schools and colleges to 

Levels of marketing magic, the placebo effects of desire

ANTICIPATION: Before the product is released, the true fans are buzzing and speculating and waiting in line. The anticipation is self-reinforcing, a placebo effect of desire.

UTILITY: The album is good, the software is useful, the book changes things. It works better than we hoped. Exceeding expectations pays significant dividends.

REMARK: It’s purple. Remarkable. Worth talking about. The word spreads. Ten people tell ten people and suddenly, it’s abuzz. Not because of PR or hype, but because the remarkability is built right into the product or service itself. And more people enjoy things that are getting buzzed about.

TRIBE: The core group, the true fans, are even more connected than before. The organization has helped them organize, the product creates a culture, commitments are made, conversations persist, a culture is built. To use something that makes us feel as though we belong is magic indeed.

[repeat]

If this sounds like Apple, Bob Dylan, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, the Dead, gun collectors or Shake Shack, it’s not an accident. It’s definitely not an accident.

It’s Thomas Midgley day

Today would be his 124th birthday. A fine occasion to think about the
effects of industrialization, and what happens when short-term
profit-taking meets marketing.

Midgley
is responsible for millions of deaths.
Not directly, of course, but by, “just doing his job,” and then pushing
hard to market ideas he knew weren’t true—so he and his bosses could
turn a profit.

His first mistake began when he figured out that adding lead to
gasoline appeared to make cars perform better. At the time, two things
were widely known by chemists: 1. Adding grain alcohol to gasoline
dramatically increases octane and performance, and 2. Ingesting or
sniffing lead can lead to serious injury, brain damage and death.

The problem for those that wanted to be in the gasoline business was
that grain alcohol wasn’t cheap, and the idea couldn’t be patented. As a
result, the search was on for a process that could be protected, that
was cheaper and that could open the door for market dominance. If you
own the patent on the cheap and easy way to make cars run quieter (and
no one notices the brain damage and the deaths) then you can corner the
market in a fast-growing profitable industry…

As soon as the lead started being used, people began dying. Factory
workers would drop dead, right there in the plant. Even Thomas himself
contracted lead poisoning. Later, at a press conference where he tried
to demonstrate the safety of the gasoline, he washed his hands in it and
sniffed it… even though he knew it was already killing people. That
brief exposure was sufficient to require six months off the job for him
to recover his health.

Does this sound familiar? An entrenched industry needs the public and
its governments to ignore what they’re doing so they can defend their
status quo and extract the maximum value from their assets. They sow
seeds of doubt, and remind themselves (and us) of the profts made and
the money saved.

And we give them a pass. Because it’s their job, or because it’s our job, or because our culture has created a dividing line between individuals who create negative impacts and organizations that do.

People who just might, in other circumstances, stand up and speak up,
decide to quietly stand by, or worse, actively lie as they engage in
PR campaigns aimed at belittling or undermining those that are brave
enough to point out just how damaging the status quo is.

It took sixty years for leaded gas to be banned in my country, and
worse, it’s still used in many places that can ill afford to deal with
its effects.

After leaded gasoline, Midgeley did it again, this time with CFCs,
responsible for a gaping hole in the ozone layer. He probably didn’t know the effects in advance this time, but yes, the industry fought hard to maintain the status quo for years once the damage was widely known. It’s going to take at
least a millenium to clean that up.

We might consider erecting a statue of him in every lobbyist’s office, a reminder
to all of us that we’re ultimately responsible for what we make, that
spinning to defend the status quo hurts all of us, and most of all, that
we have to balance the undeniable benefits of progress, innovation and
industry with the costs to all concerned. Scaling has impact, so let’s
scale the things that work. No, nothing is perfect, but yes, some things are better than others.

I can’t imagine a better person as the symbol for a day that’s not about
honoring or celebrating, but could be about vigilance, candor and
outspokenness instead.

[Previously: No such thing as business ethics.]

You can’t change everything or everyone, but you can change the people who matter

Marketing is about change–changing people’s actions, perceptions or the conversation. Successful change is almost always specific, not general. You don’t have a chance to make mass change, but you can make focused change.

The challenge of mass media was how to run ads that would be seen by just about everyone and have those ads pay off. That problem is gone, because you can no longer run an ad that reaches everyone. What a blessing. Now, instead of yelling at the masses, the marketer has no choice but to choose her audience. Perhaps not even with an ad, but with a letter, or a website or with a product that speaks for itself. And yet, our temptation is to put on a show for everyone, to dream of bestseller lists and the big PR win.

So the first, most important question is, “who do we want to change?”

If you can’t answer this specifically, do not proceed to the rest. By who, I mean, “give me a name.” Or, if you can’t give me a name, then a persona, a tribe, a spot in the hierarchy, a set of people who share particular worldviews. People outside this group should think you’re crazy, or at the very least, ignore you.

Then, be really clear about:

What does he already believe?

What is he afraid of?

What does he think he wants?

What does he actually want?

What stories have resonated with him in the past?

Who does he follow and emulate and look up to?

What is his relationship with money?

What channel has his permission? Where do messages that resonate with him come from? Who does he trust and who does he pay attention to?

What is the source of his urgency—why will he change now rather than later?

After he has changed, what will he tell his friends?

Now that you know these things, go make a product and a service and a story that works. No fair changing the answers to the questions to match the thing you’ve already made (you can change the desired audience, but you can’t change the truth of what they want and believe).

Doing what you love (but maybe you can’t get paid for it)

[I wrote this five years ago. As you plan the magical things you will do next year, I thought it was worth reconsidering:]

The thing is, it’s far easier than ever before to surface your ideas. Far easier to have someone notice your art or your writing or your photography. Which means that people who might have hidden their talents are now finding them noticed…

That blog you’ve built, the one with a lot of traffic… perhaps it can’t be monetized.

That non-profit you work with, the one where you are able to change lives… perhaps turning it into a career will ruin it.

That passion you have for graphic art… perhaps making your painting commercial enough to sell will squeeze the joy out of it.

When what you do is what you love, you’re able to invest more effort and care and time. That means you’re more likely to win, to gain share, to profit. On the other hand, poets don’t get paid. Even worse, poets that try to get paid end up writing jingles and failing and hating it at the same time.

Today, there are more ways than ever to share your talents and hobbies in public. And if you’re driven, talented and focused, you may discover that the market loves what you do. That people read your blog or click on your cartoons or listen to your mp3s. But, alas, that doesn’t mean you can monetize it, quit your day job and spend all day writing songs.

The pitfalls:
1. In order to monetize your work, you’ll probably corrupt it, taking out the magic in search of dollars
and
2. Attention doesn’t always equal significant cash flow.

I think it makes sense to make your art your art, to give yourself over to it without regard for commerce.

Doing what you love is as important as ever, but if you’re going to make a living at it, it helps to find a niche where money flows as a regular consequence of the success of your idea. Loving what you do is almost as important as doing what you love, especially if you need to make a living at it. Go find a job you can commit to, a career or a business you can fall in love with.

A friend who loved music, who wanted to spend his life doing it, got a job doing PR for a record label. He hated doing PR, realized that just because he was in the record business didn’t mean he had anything at all to do with music. Instead of finding a job he could love, he ended up being in proximity to, but nowhere involved with, something he cared about. I wish he had become a committed school teacher instead, spending every minute of his spare time making music and sharing it online for free. Instead, he’s a frazzled publicity hound working twice as many hours for less money and doing no music at all.

Maybe you can’t make money doing what you love (at least what you love right now). But I bet you can figure out how to love what you do to make money (if you choose wisely).

Do your art. But don’t wreck your art if it doesn’t lend itself to paying the bills. That would be a tragedy.

(And the twist, because there is always a twist, is that as soon as you focus on your art and leave the money behind, you may just discover that this focus turns out to be the secret of actually breaking through and making money.)

And from a recent interview:

I wonder why anyone would hesitate to be generous with their writing.

I mean, if you really want to make a living, go to Wall Street and trade oil futures … We’re writers. We’re doing something that is inherently a generous act. We’re exposing ourselves to the muse and to the things that frighten us. Why do that if you’re not willing to be generous? And paradoxically, almost ironically, it turns out that the more generous you are, the more money you make. But that’s secondary. For me, the privilege of being generous is why I get to do this.