I had the honor of speaking at #SMatWork12 (hosted and promoted by the Harrisburg, PA Social Media Club) on the importance of using social media well in a crisis. My co-panelist, @DebWeinsten and I spent an hour or so sharing some of our tips and stories. As I reflect on the great content shared by fellow “crew” members (@GlenGilmore @MarkWSchaefer @AnneDGallaher @Alanbr82 @profS @ryansauers @DanChristPN @MarisaCorser) it struck me that I was there to see my friends as much as hear the content shared. While on the second leg of my flight I was surprised to see @MarkWSchaefer and we arranged to sit together (of course) from Charlotte to Harrisburg. On the flight Mark helped me think through a client issue and I may have the opportunity to bring Mark into a client project that could have huge potential. When I was listening to @GlenGilmore give his compliance and policy talk, I was struck by the power of our business relationship and how much work we have done together for clients. I am systematically trying to cultivate exciting and meaningful work for this fantastic “crew” and find ways to monetize our relationships. Together we are like a “virtual agency”–a powerhouse of professionals who have been successful in the traditional workforce now turned digital. This meeting in Harrisburg is at least the 3rd or 4th time we have all been together (probably more).
I was also humbled by the constant reference to how it all started at #BroganMemphis (3 years ago). We didn’t know each other well then (and Mark Schaefer tells the story in his new book, Return On Influence) but we do now! The value of the social media space is the PEOPLE you meet, the authentic relationships you form and the projects and opportunities that arise as a result. Thank you Anne Gallaher for asking me to speak, sponsoring the event and for the lovely Harrisburg hospitality! And thanks to my dear cousin, Patrick Tipton @PatrickBTipton for driving six hours to see me and to hear the speakers. Twitter will make you purchase plane tickets if you do it right and the ROI is definitely real.