New Beginnings: Season’s Greetings from PR Land

CLEVELAND –

Um, for some reason it feels like ages since I’ve blogged.

I got lost somewhere between the U and C of cornucopia this year, and haven’t yet fully recovered. But before the thrust of new beginnings shifts into snowball gear with Christmas and the holiday season, I figured I should get back to writing.

Essentially since hitting the ripe-old age of 26 in September, it’s been a whirlwind of cataclysmic proportions, both personally and professionally. And for that, I know those of us going through them are especially grateful. 

Few upcoming items on the docket:

  • The next Cleveland HubSpot User Group (HUG) meetup celebrating Kuno Creative and the launch of Paul Roetzer’s book will be taking place at PR 20/20’s headquarters Monday, December 19th. Tickets are limited, so RSVP if you have not done so already. For further details, refer to the link above.
  • Paul Roetzer’s highly anticipated new book, The Marketing Agency BluePrint, and subsequent Marketing Agency Academy: BluePrint Series is also underway this month. For more information regarding pre-order and book details, contact Paul directly or follow him on Twitter.
  • Joe Pulizzi’s new book, Managing Content Marketing: The Real-World Guide for Creating Passionate Subscribers to Your Brand is also available on amazon.com

This month’s HUG will cover the new Enterprise Training program/software, and progress made thus far with superstar case study Kuno Creative, who has been tearing it up in content and inbound lately.

According to Patrick Shea, the go-to-guy and lead liaison between HubSpot clientele and partner firms, Kuno Creative’s staggering results include a 500% spike in website traffic, more than 650 subscribers in 90 days and garnering 7,000 leads from social media campaigns.

Note that this event is not limited to HubSpot valued-added resellers (VARs); it’s open to all business folks in the NEO area interested in learning more about how rapidly the PR and marketing services industry is evolving, on a national and global scale. 

In other news, I’m honored and humbled to announce I accepted my first career offer, with another upstart HubSpot partner, Structure Marketing in November. I have been working with the president and chief operations officer since October, and am excited about the building process and potential ahead.

I also published a guest post in recent weeks with Gini Dietrich and Lisa Gerber over at SpinSucks, which garnered PR Readers Choice blog of the year in 2010.

Tectonic shifts occurring in the industry, and as always it’s awe-inspiring (and a bit daunting – especially for new kids on the block).

Just keep swimming… 

Just keep swimming Dory Finding Nemo Walt Disney

“Around here, however, we don’t look backward for very long. We keep moving forward, opening new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious. And curiosity keeps leading us down new paths”

Any-who, back to the new job. As the work progresses from PR, and blends traditional with new roles and responsibilities across content and clients;

I will be specializing in all editorial, PR and social media functions as chief content officer (CCO). Which is basically the new name inbound and content marketing has bestowed upon lowly, persnickety editor-in-chiefs…)

Re-branding, rebuilding and the growing trend of virtual/work from home certainly has its challenges, and is not for everyone. But I’m excited to be part of continuing to drive change and growth within the marketing and digital services industry.

Other than that, I’m happy to spend some time enjoying the music, sounds and sights of the holiday season (thanks, Spotify and turntable.fm…) and reconnecting with old friends/family.  

I don’t know about you, but the goodwill, regeneration and peace reverberating around the world makes this one of my favorite times of year. 

Final tangent: thanks to my room mate for introducing me to this guy. I miss, and need to reunite with, this part of my past

Wishing you and your family, friends and colleagues all the love, peace and joy you can handle this year.

To new beginnings…

RELATED LINKS

SpinSucks/Arment Dietrich Inc guest post – Wile E. Coyote in Social SpaceTime 

Matt Ridings and Amber Naslund Launching Social Business Venture

Paul Roetzer – The Marketing Agency BluePrint

DogPound Debonairing with Cleveland.com and the Browns

CLEVELAND – Last night it really hit me: this city’s going places. 

Never mind that guys like Joe Pulizzi, the Godfather of the phrase “content marketing” and Paul Roetzer, founder of the original hybrid/inbound marketing agency — continue to redefine and champion the spirit of the community.

Joe Pulizzi content marketing world cleveland

Courtesy of Joe Pulizzi, Content Marketing Institute

Putting Believeland on the map as hometown underdogs, testament to a community that deeply values its roots and shows heart, hunger and humility.

Damn. That was a lot of alliteration.

As opposed to a sniveling, inflated superego who says Akron is his real home. Coming from someone who wasn’t born and bred here (CalifNYorker), even outliers like me know how tactless that is.

For shame, doc.

But back to Cleveland and 2011. Tonight’s tweetup at Cadillac Ranch with Cleveland.com and the Browns marked the beginning of fall, birthdays, and culmination of summer weddings, blogging/media conferences (our very own Content Marketing World) and Boston Inbound Marketing Summit, vacations — and refreshingly little buzz over the F-word.

Over today’s #F8 conference hailing the “new age” of social networking via timelines, open graph and a new class of applications. The constant squawking for power in the social realm’s starting to riff even the savviest of users.

PR 20/20 Todd Sheppard social media Cleveland tweetup chomps mascot

Courtesy of Alana Munro, Cleveland.com

Promising myself I’d resist the urge to be that guy, myself and another member from last month’s Cleveland.com Twitter20 devised a social experiment prior to the event: where the words Facebook and timeline were officially taboo.

It was actually easier than I thought it’d be. Maybe because the novelty of newest, biggest, fastest and better’s older than the Ed Sullivan Show.

But still not as annoying as all the whining and complacency surrounding what people should be used to by now: life goes on.

Tech will always be moving forward. So in the time that it takes to jump on the haterade bandwagon, maybe do us a favor, can it and do something. Take control of your social experience.

Facebook social network users social media

Mildy apparently the new “Mildly”

Who knows, Google+ could announce it bought everyone out tomorrow and that’ll be the end of it. 

At the heart of it, though, dogpound debonairs are not unusual: We just genuinely like people. Get a rush out of making new connections, meeting and commiserating over some pretty badass people, like Gini Dietrich and Chris Brogan.

Still stand on the shoulders of giants.

Because at the end of the day, all the tools, apps and open-graph sharing cannot replace the power of genuine, human experience. In-person. In real-time. Always looking upward and outward.

About working on your business, not in it as Gini says.

Other than scoring a free pair of tickets to the Browns/Titans October 2nd (props to all the winners, you get a star next to your name below) —

That’s something to really get pumped about.

Browns Tweetup Cleveland social media Cleveland.com Byron Fernandez

Courtesy of Cleveland.com

Chomps Cleveland Browns mascot tweetup Cadillac Ranch

Chomps riding the Bull

Dawgs in Attendance:

Alana Munro @dawgpndgirl

*Me @byron_fernandez

Jennifer Spiker @SportStoleMyMan

Jessica Donlon @jessicadonlon

Julie Provins @julieprovins

*Kasey Crabtree @kaseycrabtree

*Laurel Miltner @laurelmackenzie

Lukas Treu @ltreu

*Paul Roetzer @paulroetzer

Stephen Garvin @CleveNole

Todd Sheppard @taawd

Tracy DiMarino @tracydimarino

RELATED LINKS

Julien Smith >> Information is Not the Problem

Gini Dietrich >> Four Ways to Unplug and Focus

How to Lose Credibility in Less than 10 Seconds: Netiquette 101 

Contact Byron

Lou Holtz, Hendrix and the Prince of Egypt on Attitude: Just Believe

Admonitions from Lou Holtz in my Twitter stream jarred me out of a summer haze (not that kind, deviants…) this morning:

Ability is what you are capable of.

Motivation determines what you do.

Attitude determines how well you do it.

Admittedly, I’ve had a chip on my shoulder lately. Too often it’s easy to gripe about perceived injustice, lack of appreciation or acknowledgement from friends, family and in the workplace.

Even if said sentiments are valid, I’ve come to realize it’s just wasted time, space and energy.

As with forgiveness, happiness is a choice. It’s a gift we give ourselves.

Again, as mentioned in previous posts: the world doesn’t care if you have a degree, nor how hard you may have worked for it.

The world doesn’t care if you’re grossly underpaid, overqualified, under-qualified or entitled. If you have a dissertation, 14K grill like Lil Wayne, 10-foot spoiler on a tiny sedan or more bling than the polar ice caps.

But the world might care if you care. Might believe if you believe. 

How many times, mornings…

Days.

Weeks.

Months does it get increasingly harder to wake up ready and willing to face whatever’s next?

To extricate ourselves from our own self-pity, helpless-complex or demoralizing slumps and quietly say:

I’ll try again.

I’ll be better.

And not for anyone else but me.

And with that perspective the nerve and renewed desire to lighten someone else’s load, too…

That’s commitment. That’s selflessness from selfishness. Cynics might dismiss as antiquated, but experience seems to say that forgiving yourself usually precedes forgiving others.

As Daniel Deronda said, it’s about using your unhappiness to help you see other peoples’ pain. 

One of my favorite flicks is the story of John Nash, the mathematics savant from West Virginia played by Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind, which garnered 4 Academy awards (including Best Picture) in 2001.  

One scene that particularly resonated with me depicts a young, salient and blisteringly impatient Nash witnessing a “pen ceremony” (where faculty present their pens in honoring and welcoming a distinguished member).

Though not an official rite of passage at Princeton, the reel goes on to Nash’s professor asking, ‘What do you see?’ Nash replies, “Recognition.”

Shaking his head, the professor elucidates him: Accomplishment.

So often we miss the mark because we’re too focused on the mark, rather than our motives and the process of getting there. Perhaps the hardest part is recognizing when perspective’s lost, where we might have veered off-course in our attempts to control where we’re headed.

The notion of a journey, not a destination. The notion of being present, and slowing down to embrace the moment for what it is.

Granted, nothing worthwhile comes without a cost. I’ve learned that the most rewarding and enriching experiences have also stretched me the most.

Have hurt the most. Have disappointed the most. But man you stretch — and that’s what truly matters.

My first annual review post-college is this month, a part-time gig at a humble, locally-owned business in the town where I attended university. Perhaps the title and the prestige aren’t there, but at some point the world doesn’t seem to care a whole lot about that either.

Rather than dwelling on the fact that friends, family and loved ones are thousands of miles away out West and scattered across the globe, I’ve learned in the past few years to focus on making the best of the people, places and time that are in front of me.

To check my attitude, and willingness to make someone’s life a little easier. To accept the only guarantee I know so far: change is consistent.

Upcoming Footloose ( ahem — remake) dude Kenny Wormald‘s onto something:

If you’re true to yourself and you work hard, and treat people with respect you will Grow… 

RELATED LINKS

Dan Waldschmidt >> Why Believing is the New Selling

Spin Sucks >> Seven Habits to Change the Perception of PR

Anthony Iannarino (new site looks great) >> Unlearning Learned Helplessness

Joe Pulizzi, Content Marketing Institute >> PR and Fighting the Content Marketing Battle Within