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A Blog Post

Konnectors are Made, Not Born

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So, I’m coming back to the office with Shannon after meeting with Tory Johnson and Dean Irwin at WNYC. We’re excited. She’s excited. I see her excitement. And I know once again it is not about me anymore. I cannot possibly have Konnections with the thousands of people we need to do business. But my team can.

Do I expect the team to Konnect with the same senior producers that I have known for more than a decade? Sure. I know they can’t have the same bond with those producers but it all starts somewhere. But I really want them to strive to make new and different Konnections too. I want them to know different producers from me and know the shows I don’t know.

And I want them to understand the value of those Konnections. Because they are not just an extension of our brand; they are part of it. That’s why I bring members of the team to big meetings. I expect them to be engaged. It’s my PR version of a teaching hospital only far less blood (well, maybe sometimes).

The newest team members may not know how to do the operation yet, but they can learn. From me and other team “doctors.” They can participate in meetings. They can hear how we frame stories for the media and create programs for clients and understand why these things matter.

And we must develop the trust and patience to teach them! Because Konnectors are made not born.

Our people must see how it works so they can operate the K2 way as they build their Konnections. But your people also need the ability to Konnect.

That’s why I think the best publicists started out as assistants like Tory and myself. Or they were caretakers or babysitters or waitresses. Because let’s face it: Sometimes we’re still babysitters and waitresses. Maybe we discovered how to do this by accident and then evolved. I did. But the value of these abilities cannot be understated.

We understand the “just get me this” mentality. We succeed by distinguishing ourselves with each and every task no matter how trivial. We know how to take care of people, problem solve, offer strong support, and juggle multiple demands. We take command, asking for things and getting them without alienating anyone. And we know how to hold hands and pour coffee.

Understanding this is essential to serve our customers, our clients, and the media. Anyone can make a connection – not everyone can Konnect.