Going about my daily Twitter rounds, I noticed the Twitter algorithm decided I should be following the FCC’s account. Being the media geek that I am, I happily clicked on the link, curious as to what the Federal Communications Commission would be tweeting about. Surely it is engaging regularly with the companies it is charged with regulating, or better yet the media consumers it is charged with having their best interests in mind in its rulings. Right?
That link goes to who the FCC is following. Care to take a guess? You’d assume that it would be following companies such as Comcast, NBC, CBS, Time Warner, Clear Channel; you know. MEDIA COMPANIES. In case you didn’t want to click on that link earlier, here’s a quick look at who (or what to be more precise) the Federal COMMUNICATIONS Commission is following:
I’ll buy that the FCC needs to follow at least SOME of these accounts. The White House, Senate, House, Open Government Iniative. What I can’t buy is the FCC not interacting with anyone, or paying attention to the industry it is charged with regulating. Did I mention that picture above is the entire list of who the FCC follows?
Obviously, we shouldn’t be surprised that a government entity is a bit out of touch with what it’s supposed to be doing. So, ending my soapbox rant, I’d like to offer the FCC some free advice (which I’m sure will be taken to the highest levels of the organization):
- Follow more relevant accounts. In addition to the above media companies, follow accounts of those covering the media business world. That includes journalists, bloggers, PR people, entrepreneurs; anyone with a stake in the industry. Especially those that are WORKING in the industry. Full disclosure. I used to work at a radio station owned by Cumulus. I was let go on February 6, 2009. Mere days later, Lew Dickey was rewarded with a $500,000 bonus. I am still somewhat bitter over my exit from the radio industry.
- Interact with more people. At the time of this writing, the first @ reply to someone that is outside the organization (disallowing RT’s of other government agencies), happened on March 16th. That’s a long time ago in Twitterville. This is not a broadcast medium. You HAVE to engage with people for Twitter to have any value to your organization. That includes Dan’s Dog Emporium and the FCC. Besides, how can the FCC know what’s best for American citizens if it isn’t TALKING TO THEM?
- Explain. Many of the FCC regulations and rulings are written in legalese. I understand why and have no problem with that being the case. Use Twitter to explain to the rest of us that don’t speak legalese what’s happening so we can form an opinion of some sort and then engage with you about what’s happening.
Shonali has agreed to me being a regular contributor to her outstanding blog Waxing Unlyrical. I’m VERY excited about this as you might imagine. She is someone I owe a great deal of my professional knowledge to, and learn from on a weekly, if not daily, basis. I’ll be talking about communications/PR/marketing topics on a monthly basis to begin. I’m incredibly excited about this opportunity; especially since it puts my writing and thoughts in front of a much larger audience.
Thanks to Shonali for the opportunity. My feelings are best described by this picture:
My best friend from high school posted this on Facebook this morning:
If you find a four-leaf clover, you have entirely too much time on your hands.
I, like I’m sure you do, found that highly amusing, chuckled and moved on with my day. Something happened though. I couldn’t get that quote out of my head. I started thinking about people who just sit and wait for good luck to drop into their laps, convinced that simply because people like them, the opportunity they’ve always dreamed of will appear out of the blue. Believe me, I wish that’s how the world worked.
I’m fortunate enough to count many people as friends and family, and to have a great professional network. That said, I’ve worked very hard to attain the reputation that I have, which I believe to be a good one. That reputation has landed me more than one connection, and to date has landed me three jobs. While one of those (kind of) landed in my lap, the other two involved the typical hiring process. The big factor in all three though was my reputation. What others said about me, or what the company already new about me, is what got me the job. That’s not sitting around and waiting for good things to happen. That’s working hard on your personal brand and excelling at what you are doing right now.
If you’re actively looking for that four-leaf clover, that magic person or moment that is sure to launch you to the top of trending topics on Twitter for the next week, you’re wasting your time. There’s only one time-tested solution to success and that’s hard work. I know. I hate it too. It’d be so much easier if that magic solution dropped out of the sky, but any “magic bullet” that appears is usually the product of an incredibly long and difficult journey. Twitter. Facebook. McDonald’s. Hell, Home Depot. These successful enterprises didn’t happen because someone all of a sudden said, “Oh my! That’s the best way to sell tile and hammers I’ve ever seen in my entire life! Here’s a billion dollars and the Atlanta Falcons!”. Decades (or in Facebook and Twitter’s cases, years), are why these are household names.
Don’t waste your life looking for a four-leaf clover when you can MAKE your own four-leaf clover. Now, because it’s St. Patrick’s Day, a video from my favorite Irish-tinged band. The Dropkick Murphy’s:
Who am I? Here’s my Twitter bio:
Husband. PR, Marketing, Social Media. Hawkeyes/Cubs fan. I may or may not use humor as a defense mechanism. All thoughts are my own.
Want to know what your personal brand is? If you even have one? Ask people what they think of you. Ask them to re-write your Twitter bio. Ask them to describe you in one sentence.
I’m pretty confident about myself. I feel like a I have a pretty good handle on things, and that when I give my opinion, it is a well-informed one (which doesn’t mean it’s always right). That said, it doesn’t matter what my perception of myself is. It matters what YOUR perception of me is. So, *deep breath* re-write my Twitter bio for me. 2-3 sentences to define who I am. I’m sure this will be interesting as this is posted to Facebook, and I am connected with many more people there that I know in real life as opposed to having met on Twitter. Tweet it at me, leave a comment on Facebook, or leave it in the comments here. I’ll collect them and then write another post that’s re-evaluated what my personal brand is.
Have at it.