Posts Tagged ‘coaching’

Mentoring: A New Year’s Challenge

Monday, December 19th, 2011

“We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.” ~Winston Churchill

Flickr Image: arielmeow

I’ve written about being a public relations mentor in the past, but it’s been a while. Mentoring is something I’m passionate about so I’d like to challenge each and every communications person (PR, advertising, marketing, etc.) reading this to do ONE thing in the New Year that supports our next generation of pros.

Before you start with the “I’m too busy” excuses, let me clarify what I mean. Looking at Wikipedia, “mentorship” refers to a personal developmental relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps a less experienced or less knowledgeable person. It goes on to describe “mentoring” as a process that always involves communication and is relationship based, but its precise definition is elusive. I’m partial to John C. Crosby’s definition, “Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.”  What this means to me is that you do not have to be part of a formal mentorship program to accomplish this!

Formally, I am a Champions for PRSSA PRSA section member, a PRSSA mentor through my local PRSA chapter’s program, as well as professional advisor to my alma mater’s PRSSA chapter. However, informally, I help scads of students and young pros via social media (mainly Twitter and LinkedIn).  Mother Teresa said, “Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person”—sounds like pretty good marching orders to me!  

I know some believe there are specific core competencies required for being a mentor, such as coaching, counseling, teaching, acting as role model, championing career development. While these are valid elements of mentoring, I propose that you don’t have to be or do it all to help shape the future of our profession. The effort you put forth can be something as easy as answering a quick question, reviewing a résumé or advising on portfolio pieces. And, frequently I find that it’s a two-way street. You might just learn something yourself.

Does your PRSA chapter have a mentoring program? Why did you become a mentor? Did you have a mentor yourself? What did you learn from them?

PRSA Counselors Academy 2010: Carol Greenwald, Marketing Partners, Interviewed by Johna Burke, BurrellesLuce

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

Transcript –

JOHNA BURKE: Hello, everyone, this is Johna Burke with BurrellesLuce, and I’m here at the PRSA Counselors Academy. I’m here with Carol.

Carol, will you please introduce yourself?

CAROL GREENWALD: Hi, I’m Carol Greenwald. I’m the owner and president of Marketing Partners. And what we do is three kinds of things. We work with people on targeting and strategies so that they can get richer faster and more effectively. I do research so that we can ground decisions in fact instead of fancy. And I do coaching to help people learn better selling behaviors.

BURKE: Can you talk about, for those people that weren’t privileged enough to be able to be in your session moments ago, what’s the most important thing that marketers can use when they’re talking to prospects and clients about identifying and creating some attachment to their brand and to their product?

GREENWALD: What they need to remember is, is that there is no such thing as a rational decision. Decisions–the best decisions are made in the context of emotional thought that brings together all past memories, past experiences, past activities, past responses, brings them together so that they focus on whatever the decision is. So if you have a brand and you want somebody to do something, what you have to think about is what is the context in which you want them to do it? What’s happening in their world that’s relevant to this?

What kind of goal would they have to do it? What kind of past memories would they need so that they could understand what it is that you want them to do? Everybody understands new knowledge, new thoughts, in the context of old knowledge. That’s why whatever your mother did when you were five is probably still relevant today because memories are built up. Every time you have a problem or you face something, your brain goes back into the unconscious memories, pulls out the ones it thinks are relevant, tries to create a pattern that is similar to the pattern that you’re facing; then the cognitive part, the smallest part and the youngest, the most fragile part of your brain, the cortex, takes those patterns that’re offered to it, takes the best one of them and says, `This is the one we’re going to use because this is the one that answers the question, fits how we feel about the past and moves us forward into the present.’

So as a marketer, as a PR person, as a communicator, you have the ability, by setting the entire emotional stage, to influence not only how people feel about your product, but how they use it, what they do with it and, finally, if they buy it.

BURKE: Carol, thank you so much. Can you tell us your website, or where else people might be able to find you?


BURKE: Great. Thank you so much.

GREENWALD: And I’m on Facebook.