Published on TheMuse: 5 Strategies Introverts Can Use to Boost Their Energy Levels When They Need it Most

Do you ever feel sapped of the energy you need to get through an important meeting at work? Or wish you could postpone that networking event because you need a chance to gather your strength and wit at home?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone in feeling like this!

As an introvert in the communications field, I enjoy speaking in front of an audience and forging new relationships just as much as my more extroverted peers. But I’m often in awe of people who go from multiple meetings during the workday to an after-hours networking event with the same lively charm and gusto they had at the beginning of the day. The energy I have for such activities is limited—and I usually need a good break to recharge between engagements.

Continue reading.

Takeaways from the Balanced Team Chicago Salon

When I was invited to attend the Balanced Team Chicago Salon, I was excited for the opportunity to bring my PR and communications perspective to a networking event I knew would be full of developers and designers. At the intimate un-conference held in Pivotal Labs’ Chicago office last month we discussed collaboration and workshopped creating, leading and working as part of a balanced team. By definition the event was open to all professional disciplines and areas of expertise.

Rounding up even a small group of people from different professional backgrounds and disciplines to participate in a workshop seems like a difficult task. Whether people aren’t interested in learning about the work that others do, they’re not convinced they’ll get anything out of an event that’s not part of their professional niche or they fear not fitting in, I don’t know. So I appreciate when an event successfully makes all feel welcome, even and especially when that event is attended primarily by people in a certain industry or field, as the Balanced Team salon was.

And I am all the more appreciative when that event also turns out to hold value for all participants. The Balanced Team Chicago Salon certainly did for me. It was worth it to meet new people doing things with technology I hardly understood. There was meaningful conversation around what all of us do and how we can effectively collaborate together on a team.

Here are a few thoughts I came away with:

  • A truly successful collaboration between professional disciplines, unique skill-sets and areas of expertise is going to take us out of our comfort zones. It’s important that a safe space is created for asking intelligent and dumb questions alike. If we don’t develop working relationships that allow us to ask the questions that feel foolish, we can’t come to understand everyone’s role on the team or how we can all help each other.
  • A good collaborator makes an effort to understand how her colleagues and clients think. I think this is key for professional communicators. When we’re in tune with how stakeholders in our work think, we can tailor how we communicate, or the message itself, for those different thought processes, and thereby improve productivity on our team.
  • Collaboration is a skill that must be practiced. A collaboration-focused work philosophy involves actively seeking out projects that get us working with a variety of disciplines and work styles.
  • We should aim to develop a balanced professional network. A friend of mine who was also present at the workshop pointed out during the discussion that we should seek happiness in our professional lives the way we do in our social lives. Many of us have developed a network of select friends who fulfill our various social needs. Likewise, we should think of our professional network in terms of our professional needs—who belongs in your network to meet those needs? What kind of contacts can contribute to your overall professional satisfaction and success? Probably a group of people with an array of knowledge and skill-sets. Seek them out to develop a balanced professional network.

 

Balanced Team at Pivotal Labs Chicago
Discussing public relations with a dynamic group of designers, developers and artists. Photo: Tim McCoy

 

Five Tips for Developing a Meaningful Twitter Presence

How to become a social media pro

 

 1. Create content that is unique, rather than original.

Recall:

“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is nonexistent.”

Jim Jarmusch

Don’t worry about whether or not it’s been said before—it definitely has. Just craft it differently. Sell it with your unique voice and brand.

2. Say thank you. Kindness for the sake of being kind will never harm you; at the very least it will establish a favorable online reputation for you. So tweet a thank you note to someone who recently followed you. Reach out to a blogger you admire just to say thanks for her work. Give a little more than you take, and see what happens. (Karma, hopefully.)

3. Link to current, relevant content to establish credibility. I strongly recommend using an RSS reader to organize a constant source of shareable content to help you demonstrate expertise in your chosen field. I use Feedly’s subscription service, and I love the way I can organize my favorite blogs by topic. If you’re tweeting at least one carefully selected link every day with a short explanation for why it’s valuable, you’re showing your audience that you’re on top of the latest information in your area of expertise.

4. Make recommendations. Recommendations are a great way to go a bit off-topic while maintaining credibility. They can draw attention to the other things you’ve got going on in your life and thereby make you accessible to a larger audience. If you’re a designer and you tweet mostly about design I mostly won’t care, but I may follow you anyway because sometimes you say things that markedly improve my life, like who I should use to print my business cards, or the awesome show that’s happening this weekend that I didn’t even know I wanted to go to.

5. Keep it lighthearted. Twitter is by and large informal, which I had trouble accepting at first. I am a serious person by nature and it took me a while to catch on to the concept of abstract or theoretical conversations that are allowed to develop for the sake of humor. Seriously, get into those. The moment you find yourself tweeting about a hippopotamus with a coffee addiction laying waste to your daily routine you know your life is charmed. The truth of it is that people like to read pithy, ridiculous things. Don’t be afraid to deliver.

Lessons a PR Pro Can Learn from Lisa Dietlin’s “Transformational Philanthropy” Talk

On Wednesday, December 4, 2013 business and creative professionals gathered at Metropolitan Capital Bank & Trust (9 E. Ontario St.) for the bank’s quarterly “Women’s Empower Hour,” a complimentary series for proactive women in the Chicagoland area to learn and share ideas, stories and information over lunch. This discussion was hosted by the enthusiastic and knowledgeable Lisa Dietlin, CEO and President of Lisa M. Dietlin and Associates, Inc., a company quickly becoming the prime model for philanthropic leadership throughout the country.

lisa_dietlin_portrait

As part of Margie Korshak Inc.’s Fashion, Hospitality & Entertainment team, I was excited for the opportunity to learn about the growing philanthropy industry, which currently accounts for a whopping ten percent of the business world according to Lisa’s research. I found much of her industry expertise could be applied to my team’s work in the public relations and social media industries. Here are the team’s favorite ideas from Lisa’s talk, applied to the needs of a PR professional:

Ask for permission to ask. Be open about your intentions with media contacts. Ask new contacts if you can talk with them about opportunities to work together in the future, before you start pitching. Setting up a discussion allows you to get more information so that when the time comes you can better tailor your pitch to the contact’s interests.

Thank a donor seven times. This is a business standard in the world of philanthropy. Gratitude is most effectively communicated by thanking donors more than once and in different ways. For PR pros, this is a great way to show your appreciation to your media contacts, as well as continue to build those relationships. Send a hand-written letter to the journalist who just got your client a great placement in a national magazine. A month or two later, buy that journalist lunch to say thank you again and discuss other opportunities to work together.

Save difficult calls for Friday morning. If you’ve got a difficult pitch to make, or perhaps you’re cold-calling for new business, try making those calls on a Friday morning, when the weekend is near and people are generally in good spirits.

Call potential donors that are difficult to reach eight times in two weeks and leave only three messages in that time. Has it been too long since you’ve heard anything about that radio segment you’re trying to secure? Are you looking to establish a relationship with a higher profile media contact? Do you have an impossible-to-get-a-hold-of contact? Try this strategy.

Do you have more ideas about how strategies in philanthropy can come in handy in the PR world, or vice versa? Please share!

Interested in attending the next “Women’s Empower Hour” at Metropolitan Capital Bank and Trust?  Contact events@metcapbank.com for more information.

For more information on Lisa M. Dietlin and Associates, Inc., check out: http://www.lmdietlin.com.