Maximize Your Micro-Engagements, Personalize Your Points of Connection

In a world of ever-escalating automation, it takes effort to retain personalization.

The effort, I would argue, is well worth it.

Take LinkedIn’s relatively new feature of offering prompts like “Thank you” and “You’re welcome” and “Congrats on your work anniversary!” Flowing from our own initiative, all are lovely sentiments, and our moms would be proud and pleased. Problem is, with each click of these automated notes, we fall prey to the rising de-personalization that relentlessly encroaches in our Artificial Intelligence world.

It takes only a few seconds to customize a reply by adding the individual’s name and perhaps a word or brief phrase.

Who knows—maybe you could go a step further and check in with that person and see what’s new in their world, set up a 10-minute catch-up phone call, or otherwise focus on the quality of each relationship rather than rely on sheer quantity of activity and/or connections to carry the day.

Another opportunity to build off a template comes when inviting Facebook friends to become fans of a page. The Facebook-manufactured content falls far short of making an authentic connection that communicates what’s “in it” for the recipient.

Here it is, in its full vanilla-bot glory, for my Inside Edge PR page on Facebook:

By contrast, when I invite people to like a Facebook page, my first step is deleting that lame block of copy. Next, I type the person’s name and create something original. For example, this is a recent outreach for my “Go Figure: Making Numbers Count” page:

Even if Tom doesn’t become a fan of the page, the tailored message represents a concise commercial that is much more memorable than the automated Facebook note. And it’s certainly better than including no note at all, which is a path taken by some folks who recognize the need to delete automation but fail to seize an opportunity to create a connection.

In conclusion, whether it’s on a social-media platform, or in any other context, resist the temptation to short-cut your precious moments of interaction. Don’t regard people like a number to “get through” before you move on to more important stuff.

Instead, treat the unique individuals in your world like the significant people that they are. In my career, whether it was reporting on deadline for a newspaper or magazine, representing the PR interests of a company, or building my own brand, I have found that these micro-engagements are the important stuff.

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On October 16th in Oak Park: “PR Secrets From a Media Insider”

Since 2001, associations and companies across the United States have hired Matt Baron of Inside Edge PR to train thousands of journalists, publicists and other professionals to develop immediately applicable, improved story-telling skills.

 

On Tuesday, Oct. 16th, through an Oak Park – River Forest (OPRF) Chamber of Commerce Lunch and Learn at Adam Doe State Farm, he brings PR Secrets From a Media Insider. In this practical workshop, rooted in the rapidly evolving communications landscape, Matt teaches how to:

• Craft compelling, publication-ready news releases
• Establish yourself as an expert in your field
• Use social media to expand your communications reach
• Secure media coverage that leads to greater profits

To register, contact Mark Walden at mwalden@oprfchamber.org.

Guinness World Record PR: My Latest Chapter

Over the past dozen years, I have provided public relations and media relations support for Guinness World Record attempts in ultra-endurance physical feats (I’m looking at you, George E. Hood), a Mass Dog Wedding (yeah, you read that right), and a record established this year for the Largest Gathering of Organ Transplant Donors.

That most recent milestone gained certification in mid-September, and I wrote about it this week in a news release posted at  the Chicago Tribune’s TribLocal and disseminated to other local media.

Laurie Lee speaks to a reporter during the April 21 gathering of 410 organ transplant donors at Millennium Park in Chicago. Lee was co-organizer of the event.

Overall, Inside Edge PR was able to secure widespread coverage across the country–most of it even before the record-setting day.

Congratulations to Laurie Lee, the teams at Swift Passport Services (which she co-owns with her husband, Rob) & Transplant Village (among many others) on this wonderful effort. It took five months after the event to receive the official thumbs-up from Guinness World Records, but as I note in the news release, it was well worth the wait.

Securing Guinness certification is an arduous bureaucratic journey–especially if you do not hire (for at least a few thousand dollars) an “adjudicator” from Guinness to be on the spot when the record is being set. I had cautioned Laurie that it would be a painstaking process.

To her enormous credit, Laurie was equal to the task. As a result, I am confident more people will learn about the life-saving ability to donate an organ while they are still alive, rather than the common notion that giving up one of your two kidneys (or some other organ) ought to be filed away under “Things To Do After I’m Dead.”

Related Posts:
Inside Edge PR’s Media Support of Living Donor Guinness World Record Attempt
No Guinness World Record, Doggone It!

Tech & Modular Construction Summary Caps 10th Anniversary of ULI Chicago Coverage

“Unlike many other sectors of our economy, construction has remained largely rooted in the 20th century as leaders have resisted technological changes that have transformed the way other industries do business.”

Moderator Christian Beaudoin (left) and panelists at the historic Union League Club.

That’s the opening line in my summary this week for ULI Chicago’s panel discussion, “Tech and Modular Construction: Disrupting the Traditional Development Process.”

The coverage marks the 10th anniversary of my writing for ULI Chicago. That encompasses over 75 panels and 150,000 words.

Each and every time, it has been a learning experience. Doing challenging work, and learning in the process, are both wonderful fringe benefits of this ongoing gig that draws on my journalistic experience covering a variety of local government bodies for the Chicago Tribune and others.

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Sharing the Story of StorySlam: A Benefit for Farther Foundation

Honored to be serving as the emcee, and to be providing some media relations support, for StorySlam: A Benefit for Farther Foundation. It’s coming up fast–on Thursday, October 11th, at FitzGerald’s Nightclub.

Tickets are $50 and include food and all the entertainment. For more information or to purchase tickets, go to www.fartherfoundation.org or call 708-497-7240.

Founded in 2008, the Oak Park-based organization has supported 221 students–mostly high school sophomores and juniors from Chicago and nearby suburbs–who have traveled to 27 states and 32 countries.

Farther Foundation enables students from economically disadvantaged circumstances participate in life-changing educational travel programs. While traveling, students interact with people from diverse backgrounds, become immersed in new cultures and experiences, learn and develop skills and engage in community service.

See the news release at the Chicago Tribune’s TribLocal.

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