On Saturday evening as I was tucking into a bottle of wine and listening to the sounds of five boys playing nerf wars up and down my stairs, I heard my ipad go ping. And then it went ping again. And again.
I wondered what was going on, so I took a look. I had several Facebook notifications, where a bunch of people I don't know other than by name on an online networking group, had mentioned me in comments.
I was intrigued. It wasn't a conversation I had started or was involved in, but I was getting mentioned. I clicked to find out more. I don't want to use their real names in case they aren't comfortable with me doing so, but the post author (TV) had asked for people to share websites that they loved as she was looking for inspiration as she recreated hers. Here are some of the comments that followed:
JM: I really like Melissa Collier Talago's website - she shared it in here a few weeks back.
TV: Thank you for sharing JM. What do you like about it if you don't mind me asking.
JM: TV no I don't mind at all. What I like about this website is that it is instantly welcoming - with a very simple homepage and it's very clear where you need to click to find out what you want to know. I also like the branding very much.
TV: Simple and clear. Yes. I like that too JM.
JM: As my role has changed so much recently, I'm not looking for any PR support - BUT if I was, there was something about Melissa's website that really clicked with me - which is why it stuck in my mind, and why I've mentioned it just now. Maybe it was just the whole "campfire" concept, but maybe it had a lot to do with the design. I don't know...but it worked!
TT: I love Melissa's website as well - it makes me feel adventurous and up for anything! It is also inspiring because everything is so aligned - the brand, the content, the photos and that gives it a sense of purpose and determination. Definitely a brand / product/ website I aspire too!
AG: I would also add that I love Melissa's website too.
Well I can tell you that I was slightly stunned. But mainly I was delighted. (I may have had more wine to celebrate).
I was thrilled that my site had been remembered and that people had connected both to it and my brand. And it made me so happy that while I wasn't 'in the room' so to speak, strangers were saying nice things about me.
And then it hit me. THAT is successful PR in the truest form - to get people talking about you positively without you even being there. It's not always about getting the front page of a newspaper. It's just about creating something that is memorable enough to be remembered and discussed when you're not there.
It made me think. As lovely as these comments were, some of them still gave me insight into what I need to tweak and become known for. An example: although I do help people learn to do their own PR, I also do a LOT of marketing strategy and copywriting, which I am less well known for. So I need ensure that comes across too. It got me thinking about how I need to change a few things and what I need to promote more. Which in turn made me think: I wonder if anyone else ever wonders what is being said about them when they're not in the room?
So I'll leave you with these questions: what do you think people are saying about you and your brand when you're not there? What would you like them to be saying? And how are you going to make them remember you and get them saying those things you'd love to hear? Tell me below or head over to my Facebook page to share.
And to the ladies who said such nice things, thank you. You made my weekend.