Sunday, January 10, 2010

Day 10: The Neon Man (Slash Coleman & PBS): Personal Connection

This weekend I spent Sat and Sun in a storytelling workshop with Donald Davis. There were about 12 of us storytellers who holed up in a farmhouse in Ijamsville, MD and gave feedback to one another, told stories and learned sage advice from Donald. 

For the weekend, I put my viral marketing campaign on auto-pilot and just let it be for a few days. Often times I find when I surrender and allow myself to be in the moment and open to new experiences, then those new experiences bring me gifts I never could have imagined.

Jane Crouse, the storyteller/librian who I wrote you about the other day, sent me a newsletter from Mal Warwick. Warick & Associates gives advice regarding direct mail, telephone, and on-line fundraising campaigns. The newsletter on, "Building Donor Loyalty," is well worth a read. The most interesting thing I learned from this newsletter ties into something I learned from Donald Davis this weekend.

He said, "Facebook has totally destroyed the idea of the word friend." 

What "Friend," meant in the past has been replaced by a new idea. Warwick suggests that one of the keys to connection and commitment is engaging someone in conversation. In other words working with the old notion of a friend in a new way. As I begin to set my sites this week on asking not only all my Facebook friends, but also my extensive e-mail database of almost 10,000 contacts to help me reach out to PBS stations nationwide, these ideas have now sprouted with my new plan on how to go about all this to ensure maximum affect while reserving my time.

In a previous blog entry on "Courting the Media," I suggested that often times it's easier to ask advice from a media source than to ask a journalist to write a story about your press release. 

I've often called or sent an e-mail and asked, "Hey, I was wondering if you could give me some advice. I do a lot of events in the area  and I was wondering what's the best way to get something like this into your publication?" 

This creates an opening for a conversation to take place where both parties are on more equal ground. I'm not putting the journalist in a power position in which he/she must say,"No." In these instances, I'll usually get really good advice and the jounalist will end up reading my press release, offering feedback and in a lot of cases write an article.

On Monday, I plan to apply this principle to step one of my viral marketing campaign. Check back then to see how I do it.

For more info about "The Neon Man and Me" and other storytelling projects by me - Slash Coleman - please visit

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