How the World Sees You: A Book Review

3dBookimage-AccoladesWhat makes you uniquely fascinating?

If you’re struggling to answer that question (like I was) and are wondering why it even matters, keep reading.

Sally Hogshead created an entire methodology, book, business and speaking career based on the science of fascination. Her book, How the World Sees You – Discover Your Highest Value Through the Science of Fascination – is an insightful glimpse into her findings. It walks through actionable steps and advice that’s incredible relevant to any new professional, especially those in the public relations and marketing space.

I heard Sally Hogshead speak at an event a month ago, and I’ve been hooked on her principles ever since. While I’ve taken many personality-type tests before, her methodology is unique, because it focuses on how the world sees you – instead of how you see the world.

Her basic premise is as follows: if you can succinctly communicate to others what makes you uniquely fascinating, you are better equipped to win in business, life, and relationships.

Here are some compelling tidbits from Ms. Hogshead’s book:

  • “On an MRI scan, a fascinated brain is in a state of relaxed focus…if your listener becomes distracted while you communicate, they are more likely to feel conclusion or doubt about your message. If you’re not communicating clearly, you’re less likely to add value.”

  • “Different is better than better. You aren’t necessarily better than your competition. But you are already different.”

  • “Identify how you are MOST likely to add distinct value. Do more of this. Identify how you are LEAST likely to add distinct value. Do less of this.”

I highly recommend this book to all professionals looking to enhance their careers. Sally Hogshead brings to the table an impressive advertising and branding career, and while her insights are applicable to individuals, they’re also applicable to PR and marketing professionals’ work with brands. After all, it’s our job to make people think our clients are fascinating, and in turn, motivate people to buy from or do business with our clients.

As new PR pros, now is the time to figure out who we are as professionals and people. How the World Sees You is the best resource I’ve found to guide me in that journey. It’s a quick and enjoyable read. Don’t let the length intimidate you – Part II dives into each advantage and personality type, and is meant as more of a reference than a cover-to-cover read

The five advantages are:

  • Innovation – you change the game with creativity

  • Passion – you connect with emotion

  • Power – you lead with command

  • Prestige – you earn respect with higher standards

  • Trust – you build loyalty with consistency

  • Mystique – you communicate with substance

  • Alert – you speak the language of details and prevent problems with care

Your unique combination of primary advantage + secondary advantage = your archetype (there are 49).

If you have any desire to learn more about yourself and improve the way you interact with clients and coworkers, I would highly recommend How the World Sees You. If you purchase the book, you receive a code to take the quiz. The nice folks at How to Fascinate have supplied us with a code for blog readers to take the quiz for free:


Use code: PRSA

I almost guarantee you will be hooked like me, and start obsessively guessing the archetypes of your friends, coworkers and family.

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 7.42.55 PMLauren Leger graduated from Boston University with a bachelor’s degree in communication, concentrating in public relations. She started her career while still in college at Boston-based PR firm, Zazil Media Group. Lauren relocated to Dallas, Texas in fall of 2014 and began working at The Power Group as a PR account executive. She recently took on a new role as Power’s manager of digital strategy, where she brings her PR expertise to the digital realm of the business. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.

#ThrowbackThursday with Dave Kerpen

Editor’s note: This is the sixth post in our monthly #ThrowbackThursday series, which features a prominent, successful PR pro taking a look back and sharing tips from his/her days as a new pro.

Dave-KerpenFor many, starting your own business and writing your own book are just two “some day” goals on an aspirational list. For Dave Kerpen, they were both opportunities he jumped at in the face of fear.

Kerpen’s list of accomplishments is a pretty lengthy one – most notably including his best-selling book, “Likeable Social Media“, leading Likeable Media and Likeable Local. In honor of this month’s book review theme, we chat with the author about his journey.

Question 1: How did you know when it was the right time to start your own company and then go on to start your own book?

We all have lots of fear and a lot of people let that fear hold them back. I was just fortunate enough to have enough windows where I didn’t let that fear hold me back and just went for it. It’s funny because I talk to a lot of people every day and I often ask people, “Do you have a book to write? Do you have a book inside of you? Are you an entrepreneur?” And I’m amazed at how many people say yes. So then I say, “Well, what’s stopping you?” And they come up with a whole list of excuses. The bottom line is, we’re all held back by fear. The most successful people are the ones that choose to not let that fear hold them back at least once.

Question 2: What challenges have you had writing on social media since it is such an ever-changing industry?

It’s really hard since the publishing world has a lead-time of six months to a year. So by the time a book goes from submission manuscript to actual publication, it’s already out of date in many cases. In my books, I try to write more about timeless strategies and less about tactics and platforms since they change so often. Obviously, if a book is going to be useful it can’t be only strategies. There was some content in “Likeable Social Media” that was really irrelevant, which is why we wrote a second edition. It’s definitely a challenge for all social media and online marketing books because of how quickly the space changes.

Question 3: Where do you see the industry going in five or ten years, specifically with social media?

Social media is really no longer a distinct discipline; it’s part of what we do and part of our lives. You can call it a distinct discipline, you can call it a subset of PR, you can call it marketing, you can call it whatever you want, but it’s here to stay. Social media is so pervasive that it’s just going to be an accepted part of all of our jobs and business practices sooner or later.

Question 4: How do you keep your skills sharp?

I read a lot. I read more than I’ve ever read in my life thanks to social media and my mobile phone. I use LinkedIn publisher and Twitter to keep up with hundreds of sources that I track. I actually also read a lot of books – more business books than social media an online books. For social media content I read a lot of blogs and I’m fortunate to have my Likeable Local and Likeable Media team who write for the blogs. They both keep me on my toes which is something I’m proud of – I was able to start something that taught my team and now they’re also teaching me.

Question 5: What advice would you give to today’s young pros?

First, network by seeking and finding mentors. It’s easier now than ever to do that thanks to social media where you can literally get a hold of just about anyone on the planet. I’ve gotten connected with everyone from Miranda Cosgrove, who wished my daughter a happy birthday, to Ashton Kutcher, who we ended up doing some work with, to Cory Booker, who might be president one day. Go out there and connect and network with amazing people and mentors.

Second, read and write. It sounds really basic, but it’s true. The more you read and write, the smarter you’ll get and you’ll sharpen your skills. Too many people waste their time on stuff like TV. However, as good as reading is, writing is ten times better. Writing takes those ideas and forces you to synthesize them into something bigger.

Third, feel the fear and do it anyway. Courage is action in the face of fear. We all have fear; there’s nothing wrong with that. I hate when people tell me they’re not afraid – I’m afraid every day, but I still get up in the morning, and go to work, and take chances and go for it. That’s sort of what courage is and we all have it inside of ourselves. We can all take that fear, accept it and then be courageous and go for pursuing our dreams.

Dave Kerpen is an entrepreneur, author, speaker and most notably the CEO and Founder of Likeable Local, a social media software company serving thousands of small businesses. Kerpen also serves as  chairman and cofounder of Likeable Media, an award-winning social media and word-of-mouth marketing agency.

As one of Entrepreneur’s top 10 up and coming leaders, Kerpen has been featured on CNBC’s “On the Money”, BBC, ABC World News Tonight, the Early Show, the New York Times and countless blogs. He has also keynoted at dozens of conferences across the globe including Singapore, Athens, Dubai, San Francisco and Mexico City.

Kerpen’s first book was a NY Times bestseller, “Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand and be Generally Amazing on Facebook and other Social Networks. His other books include Likeable Business, Likeable Leadership and his current project, The Art of People.

Kerpen is also a father of two beautiful girls and husband to his amazing business partner.

Likeable Social Media: Book Review

714bRDv3idL._SL1500_As a new PR pro, one of the many roles you may play on your team is to manage the social media accounts for various clients. I already know what you’re thinking. How hard can it be to post on a client’s page once a day?

When you take on this responsibility, it’s important to keep in mind what you think might be common sense, isn’t after all. I was reminded of this after reading Dave Kerpen’s “Likeable Social Media: How to delight your customers, create an irresistible brand, and be generally amazing on Facebook and other social networks.”

A New York Times and USA Today bestseller, the book explores the basics and fundamentals of managing a Facebook page on behalf of a client while offering real-life examples from Kerpen’s own experience. Cofounder and CEO of Likeable Media, Kerpen uses his own experience with national brands such as, Neutrogena, Uno’s Pizzeria and more to paint a picture of real-time case studies.

What was interesting about Kerpen’s approach and what I especially appreciated were the action items found at the end of each chapter. While I was highlighting ferociously every time I came upon something I found relevant or applicable to my client, I found it super helpful that there were three to five quick takeaways for how the reader could apply what was covered in the chapter on their own.

Here are my own three quick takeaways from Likeable Social Media that hopefully can serve as food for thought in your own social media strategies:

Be human.

When posting and engaging on behalf of your client, converse with your followers in the voice and tone that is appropriate for the client. But be careful to not come off as a robot. For example, a luxury eyewear brand wouldn’t respond to a customer’s compliment with “That’s totally awesome. Thanks for sharing!” Instead, their response would likely sound a bit more like “Thank you so much for your kind comment. We appreciate you taking the time to share your great experience with us.”

Respond to your positive comments, too.

This might be a no-brainer, and a bit of a “duh” moment. No matter how simple it might seem positive comments might get overlooked more than a negative comment would. Think about it – one negative comment from a customer complaining about customer service or a product on your website and the entire team can go up in arms, trying to respond to the customer in a timely and appropriate manner. A simple thank you from a customer, however, could go unacknowledged from the company for hours – even days.

Take the time to respond to your positive feedback. After all, these are the people who could possibly be brand ambassadors for your company down the road by sharing your company’s news with their friends.

Create a community.

Kerpen shared various examples such as Stride Rite that successfully created a community using their Facebook page. The shoe company achieved this not by posting about shoes every day, all day. Rather, the company decided to shift gears and take the approach of sharing content that would be interesting and relevant to their target audience: moms – and their kids who wore the shoes.

Now, this community of moms is consistently engaging on Stride Rite’s Facebook page on tips for new moms, pictures and videos of babies and milestone moments, and general questions for raising a child. And what’s key is that Stride Rite has embraced this and responds to comments, questions and shared items. As a result, Kerpen says the company online sales increased steadily week over week since the initiative launched.

Finally, my one criticism of the book was that I was searching and hungry for additional best practices on other social media platforms, specifically Instagram and Twitter. If Kerpen decided to come out with a book on best practices for Instagram, I’d read it.

If you’ve just started your first PR job and will be handling social media for a client, I’d highly suggest this book. It will take you from the newbie in the office to the rock star rookie with stellar social media strategy in no time.

If you have any questions or want to chat more about what I found interesting from this book, find me on Twitter at @shandihuber!

Shandi HuberShandi Huber is a senior account executive at Wordsworth Communications, a public relations agency in Cincinnati, Ohio. An enthusiast for all social media platforms, you can often find her pinning her dream closet on Pinterest or posting photos of her new puppy on Instagram. Connect with Shandi on LinkedIn and Twitter(@shandihuber).

The Tools: Book Review

9780679644453_p0_v2_s260x420As the first half of the year comes a close, I began looking for inspiration to accomplish my goals for 2015. “The Tools: 5 Tools to Help You Find Courage, Creativity, and Willpower, and Inspire You to Live Life in Forward Motion” is the perfect book to help you finish what you’ve started in 2015.

There are five tools can be applied to any problem or situation you may encounter on your way to achieving your goal.

Authors Phil Stutz and Barry Michels, a psychiatrist and psychotherapist, respectively, outline five common issues we all experience – procrastination, grudge-holding, insecurity, anxiety and lack of self-control – and developed these tools to help move past mental blocks, break down resistance to change and  connect what they call the “higher forces.”

“Real happiness is the constant presence of higher forces in our lives.”

Their theory is that the higher forces are available to everyone, you’ve just got to tap into them. So what are they?

  1. Reversal of Desire connects to the force of Forward Motion.

  2. Active Love connects you to the force of Outflow.

  3. Inner Authority connects you to the force of Self-Expression.

  4. Grateful Flow connects you to the force of  the Source.

  5. Jeopardy connects you to the force of Willpower.

Each chapter provides an in-depth discussion of the tool with real life examples from Stutz and Michels, what you are fighting against and cues of when it’s time to use it.

If you are looking for to make an immediate change as we prepare for the second half of the year, “The Tools” is a great place to start.

Victoria LightfootVictoria Lightfoot graduated from Georgia State University in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism, concentrating in public relations. She is currently the PR coordinator at the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau and volunteers on PRSA Georgia’s College Relations Committee and co-chairs the Travel & Tourism Special Interest Group. Connect with Victoria on LinkedIn and Twitter (@Victoria_Lenese)

Book Review: Thrive

This post is part of The Edge monthly series of book reviews on books relevant to new PR professionals.

downloadFor those who have been considering Arianna Huffington’s book Thrive, it’s worth reading.  Huffington’s book focuses on our society’s ever pressing demands and offers advice on how to handle, these challenges.  The book begins by describing a life changing moment for Huffington personally, providing the reader with the background and inspiration for her book and then continues with four pillars or sections, of well-being, wisdom, wonder, and giving.

In Thrive Huffington’s main argument is that instead of constantly striving for money and power, success should be measured in other ways, in this the pillars of well-being, wisdom, wonder, and giving.  Some of the advice offered by Huffington may seem self-evident, but it never hurts to be reminded.  The following points on technology and information I think most young professionals can relate to, and I know I did.

Huffington focuses on meditation and mindfulness, ways in which to live more in the moment and to combat stressors in our lives.  One thing she indicates that constantly vies for out attention is technology, she mentions “technology has been very good at giving us what we want, but not always what we need.” Huffington also acknowledges that the workforce emphasizes get more done and faster, but that at some point we can’t function if we don’t make time for ourselves.  I know personally I can’t constantly have my A-game if I don’t give myself some downtime.

More words of wisdom in the book discuss how we constantly desire to have information and how we consume our information via social media.  “The quest for knowledge may be pursued at higher speeds with smarter tools today, but wisdom is found no more readily than it was three thousand years ago … In fact, ours is a generation bloated with information and starved for wisdom.” She later goes on to say, “I believe our job in the media is to use the social tools at our disposal to tell the stories that matter-as well as the stories that entertain- and to keep reminding ourselves the tools are not the story.” Being constantly bombarded with information is not really always the best for us, but in our fast paced world it sometimes feels like we need to keep up.  Sometimes I think it’s good to remember we need limits in our lives we don’t have to stay on top of everything, and there is nothing wrong with that, the only hard part is knowing when to establish your own limits.

All in all, Huffington’s advice is great not only for people who already have 9 to 5 jobs but also people starting out in the working world.  Guiding us new professionals towards discovering a career that we enjoy and in the process remembering as we advance in our careers to still take the time to enjoy the things in our lives, making sure we live life and not let it pass us by.  Coming to understand that success should not have to be living to the point of exhaustion and creating hazardous lifestyle is important, and something I know I connected with.  What we prioritize and what we value really can and does make a difference.

P1070457 croppedStephanie Raso is a graduate of Linfield College and earned her BA in Communication Arts. She is a new pro-member and volunteer with PRSA’s Portland Metro Chapter. Connect with her on Linkedin or on Twitter @StephanieRaso1