Last week, Valeria Maltoni asked her readers to share their “Twittertales” with her—stories of how we’ve connected, shared, helped others and even earned business as a result of relationships built on Twitter. I promptly left a comment with my story of how I connected with—and attempted to help—Sonny Gill and Scott Hepburn.
But, I felt like I had more stories to share with Valeria—and all of you. So, I thought I’d tack on a few more:
* Learning from and collaborating with one of the best. I can’t recall how I met Allan Schoenberg on Twitter, but it doesn’t really matter. The point is I was lucky. Allan’s one of those rare people who cares far more about giving than he does about receiving. After our initial connection, we quickly learned we had much in common. We both came from B2B/financial services backgrounds. We both have a love of “giving back” and mentoring tomorrow’s PR pros. And, as many on Twitter are painfully aware, we both share a love of microbrews. We’ve also had the opportunity to meet in person twice—at BlogPotomac in June and at BlogWell a few weeks ago. And we co-founded the B2B Voices blog, which admittedly we’d like to improve, but has been up-and-running for the last few months. I’ve only known Allan for about eight months, but I already consider him a trusted colleague, good friend and a mentor.
* Opportunity, please meet my friends Amy and Mike. I was fortunate enough to meet Amy Mengel and Mike Pilarz early in my Twitter career. Once again, two people I have a lot in common with (seeing a theme emerge here?). We talk PR, social media and corporate and agency life (I’ve sat in both chairs in my career). This story starts three months ago when I met Bryan Person, founder of Social Media Breakfast, for the first time (a tremendous guy, by the way). We got to chatting and it turns out, despite SMB’s huge success here in Minneapolis and in other parts of the country, there are a number of prime markets without SMBs. Hmm… That got me thinking, wouldn’t my friends Amy Mengel and Mike Pilarz be prime candidates to start up SMBs in their respective markets (Amy lives in Albany, N.Y. and Mike in Chicago)? So, the next time I spoke with Amy, I brought it up—why don’t you start a SMB in Albany? Great leadership opportunity. Chance to meet folks from across the country. And an opportunity to build new skills. She jumped at it. Fast forward to today: Amy’s two months in and has successfully launched SMB in Albany—all due to her work ethic, creativity and ability to take risks and learn on the fly. Almost at the same time, I floated the idea to Mike. While Chicago had a strong Social Media Club, the SMB concept really never took off in Chicago. Mike saw the opportunity and ran with it. Just a couple weeks ago, Mike hosted his first SMB. And I’m certain he’ll be a huge success in Chicago. Now, I want to be clear, I take absolutely no credit for starting these SMBs in Albany and Chicago—that’s 110 percent Amy and Mike. But, Twitter gave us the chance to connect. And through that, we developed relationships. And through those relationships, opportunities arose. That’s the power of Twitter.
* Collaborating with a local thought leader. The first time I met Rick Mahn was at a Social Media Breakfast event last year in Minneapolis. Then, after chatting a few times online, I interviewed Rick for my PR Rock Stars series—I thought Rick represented a good example of a non-traditional PR rock star, a notion of what tomorrow’s pro could look like in terms of skills and background. That allowed us to get to know each other a little more. Next thing you know, we’re chatting offline and via Skype a couple times a month. Then, we decided to form a local advisory group that gets together monthly with four other individuals. We co-founded a Twitter chat (Behind the Firewall, Thursdays at 8 p.m. CST). And we’ll be co-presenting at a MN PRSA event in late October. Now, I can’t say Twitter was the sole reason I’m collaborating and working with Rick, but I definitely think it played a key role. And you know what? I’m the better for it.
What are your Twittertales? Please share them over on Valeria’s blog or post your own for her e-book.