PR for the Regular Joe

December 29, 2010

Public relations should save lives

What would you do if you were dying? If thousands in your sphere of influence shared your plight and you found a simple remedy, would share it?  If so, read on and use your power to promote to change lives.

Justin Wilbert was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in October 2005. Like thousands of others with this disease, his body began to fail him.  The severity and speed with which his symptoms progressed quickly left him two options–fight or die.  Left intermittently blind and bed-ridden by the disease, Justin refused to be beaten and spent what energy he possessed aggressively researching treatment options.  During this time he endured every prescription drug and alternative treatment currently used for MS patients.  The only relief he found was in Tysabri, a drug with a risk of a brain disease.

In November 2009, Justin’s perseverance paid off.  Through extensive research, he discovered the liberation procedure.  He has since traveled to India to undergo the simple procedure.  The experimental procedure, only recently available in the United States, and not supported by most insurance plans, has  led to dramatic improvement in his condition.  Though he has not made a full recovery, Justin has regained his vision, a dramatic reduction in pain, and the ability to enjoy regular daily activities.  Essentially, he got his life back.

Now, Justin has one objective–provide the hope of recovery to others faced with this debilitating disease.  Currently, the liberation procedure is gaining momentum in the United States but awareness of this treatment is low.  Few have the opportunity to share the news of a life-saving treatment.  I hope you will join me in telling Justin’s story and changing the lives of thousands.

Below is an article from the newspaper in Justin’s hometown as well as the link for re-posting purposes.

http://dailyinterlake.com/news/local_montana/article_7a773bde-f2a7-11df-b179-001cc4c03286.html

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Local MS patient finds help far away

Brenda Ahearn/Daily Inter Lake Justin Wilbert, 31, of Kalispell, at his home on Tuesday. In the background is one of the sites Wilbert found providing information on Liberation Therapy. Wilbert traveled to India in August to have the experimental surgery and has had a marked improvement in his condition. 

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July 29, 2009

Bloggers that whine: If you don’t have something good to say…

Filed under: Public Relations,Social Media — Big Sky Public Relations @ 7:06 pm
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If this sentiment was applied more liberally across the blogosphere, I believe there would be less negative fluff to sift through each day.  Though I enjoy a spirited debate and understand the need for discussion about PR mistakes and campaigns (see NY Times “Target Tells a Blogger to Go Away” for a good example), I need to have constructive solutions for the time I invest in reading a blog.  I would like to challenge whiney bloggers to produce content that contributes value to the conversation.

I qualify complaining as a  post that opens with criticism  and does not offer constructive insight or positive action steps.  Bloggers can be very helpful in voicing concerns and highlighting ineffective practices.  However, as an “expert” if they don’t offer a better path, savvy readers will seek counsel and conversation elsewhere.  Last week, I read a post that discussed everything a PR expert cannot do.  One of the main complaints in this blog discussing client relations was “I cannot read your mind.”   As it was written, the blog left me without useful information or advice for this common problem.  It would have gone from complaint to worthwhile with a few pointers on innovative techniques for helping clients communicate more effectively.

There are many very worthy sites–I would like to recommend Valley PR Blog (www.valleyprblog) as a source for timely, targeted discussion for the Phoenix public relations market.   I also suggest researching what the respected professionals and media in your network are reading and following follow on sites like Twitter and Facebook.    Today, there are innumberable sites available in the world of social media–it is critical to invest in writers with an intuitive voice and viable advice.

June 3, 2009

Tech-heads reunite with a handshake

Filed under: Business Networking,Social Media — Big Sky Public Relations @ 3:30 pm
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The power of social media sites has made the world more accessible–or has it?  With the craze of new sites launching every day to keep us “more connected,” I am concerned that we may forget the importance of face-to-face meetings and a solid handshake.

This dilemma of proper balance between the old-fashioned approach and the revolutionary networking methods is well-illustrated in the recent hit movie, “He’s Just Not that Into You.” Before you groan, hear me out.  Drew Barrymore’s character laments that men use ten different forms of communication to reject her but what’s the real issue? She never meets any of these potential suitors and the human element is buried in a pile of emails, text messages and MySpace comments.  She finally discovers love with a man she has worked with for months over the phone.  What’s the difference?  They sit  down for coffee and surprise!–we have a happy ending.

I know this is not a traditional communications case study but the film is centered on the basic concepts of human interaction-what works and what fails.  Public relations is based on the foundation of human interaction and certain messages translate through both the social and business realms.  Therefore, I believe this comedy offers wise insight into an increasingly complicated world.   Social media is a powerful and necessary tool but it is not a replacement for developing connections in person.

Charolette Risch recently blogged on the Valley PR Blog about the necessity of networking and how crucial it is to a healthy business plan (http://www.valleyprblog.com/advice/now-is-the-time).  I can’t agree more.  While it is a time investment, the rewards  you reap are likely to be not only personally fulfilling, but professionally fruitful.  So, go on, stretch your legs, get out from behind that computer and practice your handshake.  It’ll give you something legit to tweet about today.

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