Gefilte Fish Out of Water

Fast Changes
February 13, 2010, 9:42 am
Filed under: Feelings, Friends, Work | Tags: , ,

Remember when things were ‘bubbling under?’  Well, once I started doing my two jobs, things got a little unmanageable at first.  I would kinda sleep too late to get all my social media client work done in the mornings and find time to work on my memoir and look for new work.  I’d get one or two errands done and maybe some powerwalking, but then it was time to take Petey to the dog park, and before I knew it, it was time to start my 2nd job, which I would do until 9pm.

Then, I’d bang out the client social media work, scram to the gym for the last hour before it closed, unwind w/ the web and maybe an episode of glee, and get to bed too late (2am) to get up early enough to prevent the cycle from continuing the next day.

I’m happy to report, after a few weeks of having both jobs, equilibrium did present itself, and I settled into a groove.  I was able to get the client social media work done in the a.m., which ended my work day about 90 minutes earlier.  Still had difficulty finding time to accomplish everything else I wanted to in the morning, but – progress, not perfection.

Anyway, then – in a flash! – the fast changes were upon me.  Late Thursday night, I was putzing around online, getting ready to go out to BEEF, when I saw some news from a client’s competitor come up in my Facebook news feed.  They were thanking a New York Times writer for mentioning them in his new blog post.  WTF?  I clicked the link and saw the coverage.  Crap, this wasn’t good.

That’s when I sprang into action.  I:

  1. emailed the client’s three owners (only one of whom I have direct contact w/, but the other two’s addresses I’ve seen in emails I was copied on)
  2. gave them the link and asked them if they’d seen this yet
  3. reminded them I have a professional background in PR
  4. stated that the competitor clearly got into this blog post b/c they have a PR program
  5. initiated a swift and brilliant crisis-management plan, where I ghost-wrote a comment and had someone else post it, getting my client’s name into the first comment below the article, only sentences away from our competitor’s coverage, and virtually making us part of the article, too, now  (the next day, another commenter referenced us, so I had my client wrote an official response; now, we’re practically the dominant theme in the comments in a way that is not overkill

Wow, the rush was exhilarating!  After thanking my HP, I remembered to ask Him to help me let go of those feelings, too – b/c if I fed them too long, they could become disruptive and harmful to me.

Anyway, the client responded that same night with an offer for me to begin doing PR for them, too.  (We have a meeting tomorrow to talk about this.)  Now, I’m sure this is what I was after – otherwise, why would the first thing I have done been to remind them of my PR background and drive home the fact that our competitor’s success came b/c they had PR and we didn’t?

But, waitaminute – did I actually want to get back into PR?  Despite being a very talented PR professional, I feel that my career in New York sort of ran its course, b/c I was unwilling to do what was necessary to break myself through to the next level where I ran my own company (or ascended to VP level at a bigger firm).  And I’ve been so excited about being led down this new path into social media consulting.  Would a return to PR be a step backwards for me?

I’m glad for my instincts.  My actions that night were very smart.  My friend Felicia helped me see my go-to thinking (that a return to PR would be a step backwards) as unnecessary and untrue.  She pointed out that:

  1. It could provide a comfortable place to do what I know best, and buy me the time to study up and become better at social media strategy, until I have the knowledge to match the social media implementation I am already doing
  2. This would be In-House PR, which I’d never done before.  Unlike at a firm, where having different clients meant the media you had to target was vast and diverse, here my media universe would be much more niche….almost a way to take my existing PR skill set and go 2.0 with it, to push myself to that level I was uninterested in achieving back in New  York

Felicia helped me realize that this moment I was at didn’t have to be bad or scary just because it was heralding the unknown.  If I just rubbed my eyes, I could see all the hope that was present.  Thx, F !!

Later that day I spoke w/ my friend Debra, another social media professional.  She was very supportive of my taking the PR meeting with my client, and stressed the value of keeping one’s professional skills flexible and always growing.  Thx, Deb!

After that, I had a super (and super-long!) call w/ my dear, longtime friend (and former supervisor) Meggles.  She revealed her own plans to reinvent her PR/marketing company with a much stronger social media component and asked me if I’d want to do social media implementation for her clients.  Meg and I have worked together before, and I can’t say enough good things about how she inspires and brings out the best in me.  Meg, you really are such a kind cheerleader, I feel quite a bit of love for you.  Besides our practical discussion, we also went off on social media’s explosion in general, and it produced an extraordinarily stimulating discussion.

Later that day, I spoke with my friend and former boss Pat.  A kind and talented PR genius, Pat helped me crystallize the ideas I want to present to my client tomorrow.  Thanks, Pat!

So – I must remember to keep focused on taking the next, right action, and constantly turning it over to my HP – but in such a short order, from my likely-to-expand hours with my existing client, to the new work I hope to get from Meg, I can see the light where I’m ready to decrease my hours working for my full-time nonprofit client and maybe even close that chapter definitively.

This is an incredibly exciting prospect for me, and I’m just so grateful to be visualizing that idea – albeit with the proper balance.

I’m so grateful to God and everyone I mentioned in this post.  I can some it up in this Tweet/Facebook status update from yesterday:  Huge bath of love from the universe right now – from peeps recent and all the way back. My history pushing me forward. Love.