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In this week’s episode of the Talking Points Podcast, Kevin and I talk about millennials and their refusal to pay for the news (say it ain’t so millennials!), Victory’s big win with VR, Meerkat (of course), PR and analytics and three content formats that one blog predicts will take off in 2015.
Hope you’ll take a listen!
SHOW NOTES – March 19, 2015
“Millennials say keeping up with the news is important to them ‚ÄĒ but good luck getting them to pay for it”
“Oculus lets motorcycle enthusiasts take a virtual trip to Sturgis”
‚Äú”MeerKat Is The Next Big Thing. But For How Long?”‚ÄĚ
“Listen up! Everything PR and Social Media Pros Need To Know About Meerkat”
“A Traditional PR Pro Take on Analytics”
“3 Content Formats That Will Take Off in 2015″
If you want to get under a consultant’s¬†skin, call them¬†a FREELANCER.
It’s been an ongoing conversation in the solo world for years. What do we call ourselves?
Some people call themselves a “solo PR pro.”
Some people call themselves a “freelancer.”
And some people call themselves a consultant (or, an “independent consultant”).
You’re probably thinking: “Who cares?” Why does it matter what people call you?
I’ll tell you why.
Whether people want to admit it or not in this age of visual and online marketing, words still matter. Labels matter.
When you call yourself a FREELANCER, here’s the connotation that’s giving off to clients and potential clients:
* I may not do this forever, so I wouldn’t count on me being around forever. You may have to find someone else eventually.
* I bill by the hour–here’s my rate. It’s much cheaper than what you’d pay at an agency.
* What do you need done? I’ll do it? Just let me know what you need from me.
Is that a bit unfair? Maybe. But, it is what people think when they hear you label yourself as a FREELANCER. They may not tell you that–but it’s what they’re thinking.
Now, let’s try something else. Let’s say you described yourself as a CONSULTANT. What would clients and prospective clients think then?
* She is professional and this is her full-time job.
* I trust her to give me the best, most informed and ethical advice possible.
* I have problems and need solving. My consultant helps me make those problems go away. And, she even solves problems I didn’t even know I had!
See the difference?
A FREELANCER is someone who’s focused on tactical work. Someone who takes orders. Someone who bills by the hour.
Now, to be fair, there’s nothing wrong with that. If that’s what you want–there’s nothing wrong with that at all.
But, most of the solo consultants I talk with don’t want that kind of label–yet they continue to use that dirty word: FREELANCER.
On the other hand, consultants are people who advise senior-level executives.
They get invited to strategy and annual planning meetings (hello annual retainer budgets!).
They never share their hourly rate (or, at least rarely), because it’s all about solving the client’s problem.
See what I’m saying?
So, want clients to start taking you more seriously?
Start using the right language to describe yourself.
If you live outside the Twin Cities area, you may not have heard the big news this week: Target laid off 1,700 employees on Tuesday. Including a few friends of mine. I blogged about this on Thursday–and I’ve offered up my assistance to a few friends already. Now, I challenge you–what can you do to help our friends over at Target?
Know someone who was impacted? Take five minutes and give them a call. Offer to help. Go out of your way to help. Believe me, it WILL matter. And, you’ll feel a whole lot better about yourself, too.
Now, on to the news and events of the last two weeks in Minneapolis/St. Paul!
Heather Cmiel, formerly of Bellmont PR, recently took a job as marketing communications strategist at 3M.
Greg Swan, who was over at Weber Shandwick for almost 10 years, took the role of¬†¬†Vice President-PR and emerging media at space150.
Amy Bryant recently signed on with HealthPartners as their new senior communications consultant.
Katie Miller was promoted to social media director over at OLSON recently. Great news, Katie!
Alison O’Keefe is celebrating five years at Exponent PR. Congrats Alison!
MIMA is hosting “Brand Storytelling in a Digital World” at the Carlson School of Management on Wed., March 18. Hope to see you there!
Want to give back? MN PRSA is hosting its annual Pro-Am Day on Friday, March 27 (great event–I participated for years). Register by March 20.
Social Media Breakfast is hosting another one of its popular “case study” panels on Friday, March 27. Looks like Andersen’s Angela Swenson and OLSON’s Katie Miller will be presenting. Sign up here.
Prime Therapeutics is looking for a marketing manager to join its team: https://www.linkedin.com/jobs2/view/35942080?trk=hp-feed-jymbii-jobTitle
Sleep Number (client) is looking for a director of PR and corporate communications: http://www.mnprblog.com/2015/03/job-sleep-number-director-pr-corporate.html
TopRank Marketing is seeking a content marketing manager to join its team: http://www.toprankmarketing.com/careers/contentmarketingmanager/
General Mills is looking for a corporate communications social media specialist to join its Golden Valley team: http://careers.generalmills.com/en/jobs/descriptions/corporate-communications-social-media-specialist-minneapolis-minnesota-job-1-5193641?country=united-states
The folks at GiveMN are looking for a marketing communications manager: https://www.mnpartners.org/about_us/job_openings/apply_for_givemn_marcomm_manager/
Dear former¬†Target employees:
I know you’ve heard that a lot this week, but really, I’m sorry.
Getting laid off sucks. I’ve been fortunate–I’ve never been fired in my almost 20 years in this industry (I was threatened twice, however). But, I hear it’s pretty much like getting dumped.
I know what that feels like. And I know it sucks. Hard.
So, I’m sorry.
But, I wanted to write you today to tell you to keep your chin up this week. Because, when one door shuts, another one opens.
That’s right, I’m here to give you a pep talk! And, some frank advice.
As you start to recover and think about what’s next, I give you the following thoughts to consider:
Why do you HAVE to get a job right away? Some¬†of you may have got a decent severance package. Some of you may have saved your dollars over the years. To those people, I ask again: Why do you have to get a job? Why not take a year off. Use that time to really live your life. Aren’t we always wondering what we’d do if we had the time? You now have the time! (unfortunately) Do something crazy. Move to San Diego. Hell, move to Taiwan. Or, just stay here and do something you’ve always wanted to do, but just didn’t have the time. Take some time, and do *something* (that’s not work).
I’m a BIG believe in the “everything happens for a reason” mantra. I’m *this* far away from being that guy that completely believes in fate. But, I also happen to believe people create their own destinies. You’ve been handed a smelly pile of pig dung. That sucks. But, it happened. Here’s your chance to take that dung and make something good out of it. And, that doesn’t have to mean getting a job in the field you’re trained in. Take this time to re-evaluate. Take this time to look at the BIG picture. Take this time to take some time. And really think.
Back to the break-up analogy for a minute. When I was dumped my senior year in college, the worst thing I did immediately following that break-up was I sat at home too much. I wallowed in self pity. I cried. I slept. A lot. Then, I woke the eff up. And I started going out with friends. I met new friends. Before I knew it, I was back on my feet. I was back. Same thing here. Take a week. Have a good cry (I’m dead serious). Get it out. And then, get the eff out of your house. I mean, like every day. Go meet friends for coffee. Go to happy hours. Go to networking events. Go get drunk! Whatever you do–get out of the damn house!
Getting laid off probably feels like the worst thing in the world. But you know what, it’s not the worst thing in the world. I can think of a pretty long list of things that are far worse. And you can, too. So, when you’re getting out of your house, talk to your friends, family and former colleagues. But, resist the urge¬†to¬†ask them for advice. Just talk to them. About life. About their kids. About what they really want to do with their lives. Just talk about THEIR stuff. That talking, those perspectives, it’ll help. It will give you a different way of looking at the world. A way that’s not so focused on “I need to find a new job at all costs”. Because, if you think about that 24/7 you’ll want to off yourself within a week.
The bottom line is this former Target employees: The next step is up to you. You’re going to get lots of advice over the next couple months. Lots of help (hopefully). Lots of shoulders to cry on. Take them all.
But, at the end of the day, this is on you.
You got the shaft. Big deal. Happens all the time.
What happens next–that’s what’s important now.
And that’s all on you. What are you going to do?
P.S.: Give me a call–I’d love to give you this¬†pep talk face-to-face (and I’d love to help provide a few connections and introductions, if I can).