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What I learned at BlogPotomac


dsc049663You’re not going to find a summary of the BlogPotomac speaker presentations here (but, you can find two great summaries of Shel Holtz and Scott Monty’s presentations over at Matt Batt’s blog). You won’t find insights I gleaned from Amber Naslund, Shashi Bellamkonda or Rohit Bhargava (although I did pick up a few tidbits from these great minds). And you won’t see a list of quotes from speakers and conversation facilitators at the event either.

For me, BlogPotomac was more about the relationships than anything else. I don’t mean to imply that Geoff Livingston and crew didn’t put on one hell of a conference–because they did. I just found tremendous value in the conversations and discussions I had with my peers, colleagues and mentors during breaks, lunches and dinners over my three days in DC.

Here were a few of my key takeaways:

* The power of energy and positivity in developing relationships. No one demonstrates this better than my friend, Allan Schoenberg. Going on 10 hours of sleep for the week (he was locked up in London on business all week), Allan definitely brought his A-game to DC. Always buzzing with energy, Allan is a “connector” in every sense of the word. He met up with former Central Michigan grads (his alma mater), introduced a few of us to Scott Monty and seemingly everytime I turned around he was chatting with someone new.

* Technology is important in PR–more so today than maybe ever before. Amy Mengel continues to teach me this lesson every day (sorry, Amy, I know it’s painful being friends with me). I continue to be amazed by her ability to pick up technology so quickly–something I have to work hard at each day. As PR pros, the ability to understand and incorporate new technologies into our work is becoming more and more important with each passing day.

* No fear. No fear.  One of my favorite Rocky IV quotes, my colleague Matt Batt has really taught me the importance of working with no fear. Whether it’s overcoming the apprehesion of approaching a speaker at a conference or diving into a venture or career path, Matt is living, breathing proof that anything is possible.

* Always give more than you get. Shonali Burke continues to be a shining example of this lesson every day. Just look what she recently did for Darby, an orphaned german shepherd in the DC area. I admire Shonali for so many different reasons, but this lesson was the one that stuck with me over the weekend. 

dsc04961* Don’t forget the little people. I’ve never met Geoff Livingston. Really never even interacted with him online. But, from the moment I shook his hand and introduced myself at the event last week I sensed a genuine warmth and compassion that you just don’t see that often in folks at his level. I mean, let’s be honest, Geoff’s a rock star. But, he doesn’t give off that impression. I noticed Geoff taking the time to chat with everyone–from the presenters to attendees to volunteers–at the event. And he did it with humility and a personal touch. Kudos, Mr. Livingston, kudos.



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