Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Whirlwind Week of Green Connections

My apartment is a total mess now after a whirlwind of back-to-back networking events that were all within 1 week of each other. I have 40 more amazing facebook friends today than yesterday and I met most of them in person. Rather than clean, which I hate, I will write, which I love. I want to share some of the things I've learned while I was CraterCom at large last week, and I want to do it in time for Melrose Place...hope someone can glean something useful because I'm not just doing this entry to avoid dishes!

Tuesday, Nov 2:
PR Newswire Social Media Panel at the LA Times building
Caught the second half of a PR Newswire panel presentation on social media strategies after getting dreadfully lost in downtown Los Angeles. I was too disoriented to take notes but listened from the back row to all kinds of terms that make me think I have a lot still to learn about social media: TweetSheep, crowdsourcing, pre-tweeting...it was too early to get much out of this and without coffee all those new words gave me a headache. I'm not a morning person and made a mental to note to avoid early morning downtown meetings when I live 40 miles away. Sat next to a cool woman though who had the same phone as me but in a different color and with a picture of a dog instead of a cat. She runs a PR business and I posted about her on my CraterCom facebook page.
Meeting with Los Angeles Times business editors
10:30am Had the most amazing meeting ever and felt like a superstar when I got to go upstairs in the LA Times building and meet with John Corrigan, Nancy Rivera-Brooks, Marla Dickerson and Sharon Bernstein. I was just expecting to say hello to John, who thanks to PRSA and facebook I had been chatting with over the past two months, but to my pleasant (and nervewracking!) surprise, he took me into his office and had the other three editors join us for a conversation about green story angles and happenings in Los Angeles. I rattled off tons of talking points I had been preparing my clients with over the past couple of months and was so excited to be there talking to them. Got to pitch the Opportunity Green conference in person and hear that green stories are the ones with the most hits on their website. I hope I made a good impression and didn't sound like a babbling idiot ;) I'm pretty sure I didn't though, as they did send a reporter to cover the conference and came out with this piece on Monday: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-ucla-green9-2009nov09,0,5234850.story I'm thrilled because this is my first really big media placement for a client. The other major placement was the Houston Business Journal article back in August: http://houston.bizjournals.com/houston/stories/2009/08/24/story12.html

Wednesday, Nov 3:
8:30am-4pm, Manhattan Beach
Escape From Cubicle Nation Workshop with Pamela Slim and Colleen Wainwright

I loved the book "Escape from Cubicle Nation" by Pamela Slim and starting cyberstalking her a couple of months ago, which was how I heard about her workshop in LA. She did an amazing job inspiring and connecting a group of entrepreneurs in various phases of their businesses (including yours truly). The starting point for her workshop was defining the kind of life you want and then modelling your business around it. I loved how we began by visualizing our ideal day and then thinking about the ideal kinds of people we want to work with. She had a really useful framework of being in business; a circular process usually sprung from a catalytic event such as a layoff or health scare:

Square 1: Death & Rebirth - shedding your old identity as an employee/wandering in the desert. MANTRA: "I don't know what the hell's going on, and that's ok"

Square 2: Dreaming & Scheming - all possibilities are open. I felt I was in this one today when I started visualizing this dance production I intend to make happen for an event next year. MANTRA: "There are no rules, and that's ok"

Square 3: Hero Sage - a journey in which you become different through all that you go through. There are many challenges and mistakes; it's best to have a mindset of curiousity and observe yourself as if observing a bug. MANTRA: "Nothing is working, and that's ok."

Square 4: The Promise Land - you get it, you're doing it. You maybe start thinking of something else to do. MANTRA: "Everything is changing, and that's ok."

She is really funny and real and I'm glad she posed in this picture with me:

Also presenting during the day-long event at the Belamar Hotel in Manhattan Beach was a really funny and extremely bright woman, Colleen Wainwright, known in the cyberworld as the Communicatrix. She personifies the witty, hilarious advertising type of woman I always wanted to be friends with and have like me, which is why I was super high-maintenance and made her be in this picture with me:

Colleen shared these thoughts about branding:
-Brand is an emotional aftertaste

-Always be awesome :)

-Follow the 95/5 rule when posting on social media - it's 95% about others, 5% about you. In other words be them-centric, not you-centric. (This is what "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie is about)
-Frame your elevator pitch as "are you this person with this problem? I can help, here's how."

P.S. On the way to the workshop I got pulled over by a cop for just touching my blackberry at a red light! I thought that was ok, but apparently you should go to jail just for having a telephonic device within 10 feet of your vehicle. Beware ;)

SMARTY OC Foundation Class (still Wednesday..)
7:00-9:00pm Costa Mesa
Despite being pretty workshopped out, I still made my SMARTY class and I'm glad I did. We worked on our elevator pitches and shared our strengths and weaknesses.
Thursday, Nov 5 - what, you thought this blog post would be done by now? The week is just getting warmed up ;)

Ok, so, Thursday...

3pm-6pm, Santa Monica
RedBull Reception for Tour de OG Riders
It was really cool to greet the 12 cyclists who rode from San Francisco to Los Angeles to come attend the Opportunity Green conference. I must have been vicariously hungry through their efforts because I gorged myself on the delicious hors d'heuvres and met amazing people who I would continue to run into all weekend. I wrote my first blog post for Greenopolis on this ride: http://greenopolis.com/goblog/amanda-crater/beyond-walking-biking-talk-tour-de-og-2009

Friday, November 6
EcoStiletto's Green Blogger Convention
Great event, great speeches, got my nails painted and hair done, met amazing women, learned about Project Green Search:

Saturday-Sunday, Nov 7-8
Opportunity Green conference, UCLA
This was amazing! Met tons of incredible people, gushed to Helen Walters, editor of BusinessWeek, that in my world she is a celebrity and I would be putting her card on my wall. Such a nerd! Felt important running around with my walkie-talkie and hooking up the press interviews. I saw Daphne Zuniga (Jo from Melrose Place!!) in the EcoFabulous Lounge and acted like a total goon, telling her I loved her comeback as a photographer on the new Melrose Place. Speaking of which, it's almost time for my show so this post is officially over!

(see my face there in the background?)