It’s that time of year where we look back at the past 12 months and take stock of our successes and our failures – and, hopefully, the lessons we learned along the way.
To that end, our latest #ConnectChat, which took place Tuesday, Dec. 20, on Twitter, did not feature a guest speaker. Instead, we asked our followers to share their biggest successes in 2011, what mistakes they made, what they learned from their mistakes, and more:
ProfNet: Hi, everyone. It's time for #ConnectChat! We typically have a featured guest answer questions about a predetermined topic, but today our guest is … you! Today’s theme is “Year in Review.” With the year coming to a close and a new one on the way, it’s a good time for reflection. We want to hear how your year has been, what you’ve learned, and your thoughts on what 2012 will bring. This is an informal chat, so feel free to jump on in! So, without further ado, let's get this #ConnectChat started! What was your biggest success in 2011?
@Traypml Other than being named to the Inc. 500/5000 list, it would be integrating social media into our offers and marketing strategy.
ProfNet: Congratulations! That's an awesome achievement.
@Traypml Thanks! We are proud as well. Now we aim for 2012!
ProfNet: That's great, Eric. What have the results been like?
@GnosisArts: It's going well. We have one client using it regularly who loves it, and we used it for our own publicity. Good value … excellent service. It actually generated three conversions for us the first time we used it. This iReach release produced three signups for the service featured therein: mrkt.ms/tj0Cwu
ProfNet: That’s great!
@GnosisArts: Other 2011 successes include building new SMS apps and hiring two awesome interns from @CambrianPR. In sum, this year’s successes revolved around building key business relationships with @PRNewswire, @CambrianPR, et al
@Traypml: How did you go about establishing the relationships?
@GnosisArts: Well, they just sort of evolved organically over time, via Twitter. There wasn't a conscious plan. I have been developing a relationship with Maria, Evelyn, Sandy, Dan, etc., via Twitter/email/ProfNet for some time. Through those relationships, you keep your eyes open and that's how the iReach partnership opened up. Notice I know all their first names.
@Traypml: Knowing the first names ALWAYS sets you apart!
@GnosisArts: The @CambrianPR also developed on Twitter. I had my ears peeled because I needed a couple of interns and Dr. Griffin tweeted. The relationship with Dr. Griffin has been among the most rewarding I've made on Twitter.
@Traympl: Yet another example we can give when asked, "Can Twitter = lead generation/partnerships?” I love having those!
@GnosisArts: Oh, definitely. Twitter accounts for a significant, measurable percentage of our firm's revenues.
@jgombita Any thoughts for a PR column on whether to close your "online" shop for the extended holiday?
ProfNet: I don't think so. Less noise = more attention. In my opinion, online efforts should continue during the holiday season.
@jgombita: I just had an offline discussion with #solopr's @kellycrane about how quiet it has been all week. I think next week will be worse.
ProfNet: For experts, though, this is a great time to connect with journalists, who might be having a hard time finding sources.
@jgombita: Interesting. @KristK said the same thing in last week's #solopr chat. And @debweinstein also sees "communication opps."
ProfNet: Great minds think alike. ;-)
@Traypml: Are people "listening" the same way over the holidays?
@jgombita: I don't think so, at all, and I really don't think next week will be any better. I’m calling it recalibration.
ProfNet: Ok, here’s a tough one: What mistakes did you make in 2011, and what lessons did you learn from them?
@GnosisArts: Not as many as in prior years. We're getting better! One mistake: getting too personal and (occasionally) too vulgar on Twitter. I have to watch that one.
ProfNet: It's a balance. You want to show your personality, but you still have to keep the business in mind. It’s not always easy.
ProfNet: What goals have you set for yourself and your business for 2012?
@Traypml: Know what you are great at and then share with potential customers why it is important.
@mvarmazis: Not being afraid to make the mistakes that help me grow. Taking risks. Staying humble.
ProfNet: What one piece of advice would you give to grads starting out in the industry next year?
@charlescosta: Networking is crucial, and keep developing your professional skills and never stop learning!
@GnosisArts: The advice I gave @BrittneyDWalker and @CaraSanfelice, my two stellar interns, was more about grooming them for NYC agency life. I think we, as managers, have responsibility to our interns not to just give tasks, but to groom for success. (They both want to move to NYC and get jobs in PR here, so I was admittedly tougher on them than I'd have been.) They were awesome. They rose to every challenge and exceeded every expectation. I'm so proud of both of them. They made this video, actually. Unbelievable work: mrkt.ms/tcb9Fm
@CJ_Powell: Old PR processes are going out the window. Keep the main objective in mind, and try to think strategically about how to get there. Also, wear a tie and spell-check your resume.
@celestemj: Take an unpaid internship at the place you would most desire working.
@CarrieFox: Keep an open mind and good things will come.
ProfNet: Excellent advice! Thanks, everyone, for sharing your thoughts and advice!