Strategy: Owned Media Before Earned & Paid #OwnedMediaRocks


Once again I sit through another meeting where a public relations professional’s performance is based on the number of print articles earned in the local newspaper. This has driven me to finally write this post.

Owned media can be a huge influencer for earned and paid. Let’s be honest, earned media is about relationships. Organizations can have the best stories, provide the best value for the community, and have the most topical items to influence media outlet’s bottom line…but without relationships this means nothing. ZILCH! That’s why you see organizations hire PR firms, mainly for their relationships leveraging their sphere of influence.

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My Message: “Dismiss the skeptics with the middle finger!”

Hilarious Middle Finger

Yes…I said it…give them the middle finger and prove them wrong!

What is your passion?
Many times, I am asked to speak to college students and they always want to know my path. They want to know what I do and how I was able to get where I am today. I always ask them, what is their dream job? I ask them to tell me, what would they do if money did not matter!

Many students struggle with that question, having a hard time to frame the wisdom of what tomorrow might hold, given the frankness and reality of their upcoming graduation. I ask them…what is you passion?

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So you want to be strategic…shift your mind not your job title.

bobbyblog-strategicI have had many people ask me, what does it mean to be strategic? I think it is an interesting question, one that emerges when those whom I mentor want more strategic positions.

I have spent my years serving in roles that were very tactical, executing very tactical concepts using technology where the job was dependent upon the precision of that technology. I have also learned how to shift that very tactical thinking into broader applications, preparing for long-term strategic opportunities.

During the time I was working on a large portion of my graduate research, I began to study the principles of techne and praxis.

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Having the strength and vision to pivot

A Little Coffee at Figs in Anderson, SC

I was sitting in Figs Coffee Shop downtown Anderson and met someone that knew my grandfather. Well…I guess many people in Anderson knew my grandfather. I knew him as Pop.

He was a real estate man and probably sold almost every house in this city. He spent majority of his life serving this town.

Our conversation this morning made me think about my Pop, especially when he pivoted his business. Some may ask…how do you pivot your business in residential real estate. Well…he did and I think it paid off.

In the 1980’s…there was a huge slump in real estate. Similar to what we have experienced these last few years. No one was buying and for businessmen like my Pop…you had to work *hard* for every dollar…harder and harder.

My Pop found himself in the corporate relocation business. He would help large companies like Michelin, Fugi, and other large companies buy and sell homes when they moved talent in and out of the Anderson area.

He had to innovate…he had to pivot…he had to find new ways to generate revenue while doing the thing he loved the most. He loved selling homes, but most of all…he loved helping people.

Pivoting is an interesting topic. One that I found myself teaching last year in the Clemson MBAe program. I was really teaching digital communications and marketing. But what I was really teaching…how to communicate your brand message.

Those MBAe students were creating their businesses and some where writing plans; many learning that the plans they were writing were not feasible business ideas. They had to pivot, alter their course but learn to stay true to their underlying goals and vision.

How do we pivot. Well…I do not think I have the best answer. But what I know…if you have a business that is successful yet beginning to realize the feasibility of the business model is altering…you have to be prepared to do a few things.

1) Either jump out like Seth Godin says in his book called The Dip. Execute the exit strategy.
2) Pivot – alter your course. But, you have to know your vision and be willing to alter the course in-order to stay true to your vision.

My Pop had to pivot. He did and it paid off.

I still think about him almost everyday. I would love to sit with him downtown Anderson and talk business. I would love to talk about his vision and where he sees business is growing here in Anderson, SC.

SCPRSA Awards – GHS Rocks The Show

SCPRSA Awards - GHS Rocks The Show

Congrats to Robin Stelling, Robyn Zimmerman, Sara Dereng, and Karen Potter for representing Greenville Health System during the 2013 SCPRSA Mercury Awards.

Here are the awards they won during Thursday night’s event at The Loft at Falls Park:

· Mercury Award of Merit: Greenville Health System (Greenville) for “Centennial Celebration”

· Silver Wing Award: Greenville Health System (Greenville) for “Report To The Community”

· Silver Wing Award of Merit: Greenville Health System (Greenville) for “Go. Hunt. Scan.”

Congrats friends! To see all the award winners, go to

#FireSessions – The 1% is in the Chocolate Chip Gooey Center

I am such a rookie…such a rookie. I had no idea what I was getting into when I accepted an invitation from Brains on Fire to attend their 6th Annual FireSessions. An what a treat…what a treat literally. All the way down to the chocolate chip cookies.

What did I walk away with, a new found passion for Little Monsters, Social Triggers, the 1%, 146‘s of the world, and my path to purchase another Mini Cooper. Ok…you might ask what this has to do with Brains on Fire. Well, truth be told…they are just the inspiration connectors…the Fire Starters.

Who walks into a full day session with the best in the brightest in the business and walk away wanting to download every Lady Gaga album and sign up for the elite fan club know as Little Monsters?

Who walks away looking at fitness in a new way, then thinking about going to an Anytime Fitness and check out how they are empower individuals to get excited about fitness?

Who walks away searching for the worst music video ever made by Rebecca Black and understand why it has close to 50 million views?

Then who walks away inspired to look in the mirror and wonder where I stand to advocate for change? Why, because one guy recognized a need for change and all it took was the gross injustice of a small girl. His passion was representative throughout the day as it hit it’s climax when he (Rob Morris) hit the stage. I know this much…I walked away with full armor, ready to tackle the world.

The day was filled with laughter, inspiration, tears, anxiety, smiles, angst, and most importantly…unified conversation of passion. Passion to ignite our own fires. And what is so smart…so smart…Brains on Fire continues to build their tribe.

I wondered, what am I doing in the room? Why was this self-employed storyteller and university lecturer doing in the room? What did I bring to the table for this all day session filled full of keynote speakers. I walked away more educated, more inspired, more rejuvenated than any 3 day, 4 day, or week conference I have attended. It was food for the soul.

I think back to Geno Church’s session as he opened up saying, “Building Community is like gooey chocolate chip cookies, you can shape them how you want.” And I connected this to what Jackie Huba said, “We must focus on the 1% like Lady Gaga and her Little Monsters.” You know why…because a really good chocolate chip cookie is one with the gooey little center. The gooey little center is like that 1%…the part that you can shape and mold…and is worth the wait.

This day…Brains on Fire made me feel like the 1% and the gooey little center tastes so good. Thanks for the inspiration.

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