Episode 56: Rohit Bhargava, Author of "Personality Not Included" and 360 Degree Digital Influencer at Ogilvy PR
Are you faceless? Take a quiz from Rohit's new book, "Personality Not Included." You can rate the personality of your brand, determine areas of weakness and get techniques to shore it up.
According to Rohit, authenticity is only part of the story -- it's personality that is the macrotrend. Does your brand have a "backstory?" Are you leveraging your "accidental spokesperson?" Learn techniques on this episode to bring your company's personality to life, including "Useful," "Sensory," "Insider," and "Participatory" marketing strategies.
Full of analogies from Innocent Drinks in the UK to Mr Lucky's in Vegas to FlyerTalk from Starwood, you'll get specific ideas you can meld to your brand to deepen your customer's connection and experience and with which you can seduce your prospects more effectively.
Rohit, blogger, speaker and coiner of the concept "Social Media Optimization (SMO)," shares his favorite read, "The Alchemist," his top picks for most amazing people in the Web 2.0 world and a bit of his history.
Best of all, you can customize your "Masters of Personality" diploma from the "University of Authenticity" to decorate your office with some sassiness in documentation and showcase YOUR personality! Free certificate download when you listen to this episode.
Susan: Welcome to Dishy mix, I’m your host Susan Bratton, and on today’s show, you’re going to meet Rohit Bhargava. Rohit is a marketer, a blogger, a speaker, an author, and a daddy. And he’s also the SVP of Digital Strategy in a division of Ogilvy PR, called the 360° Digital Influence Group. And what we’re gonna talk to Rohit about today, is his new book called “ Personality Not Included; Why Companies Lose Their Authenticity And How Good Brands Get It Back”.
On today’s show, we’re gonna talk about every thing from alchemy to personality, to the back story, the concept on sensory marketing, and how you can embrace your accidental spokesperson.
Rohit: The interesting thing about being in the public relations side is that, the biggest difference is, you don’t have the perception that you can sort of buy you messages. I’ve tried to build in things like that, so those secret elements, the fake ending to the book which come after the, sort of, end critics, which in the book is the index. I’m really trying to live up to some of the ideas that I’m drawing out in the book.
He basically works for Starwood, and answer questions for the people in the community, even active part of community. And many of the people have indicated or directly said that the reason why they stay with Starwood, and they continue to use Starwood for their business travels is because of their relationship with him. Sensory marketing is really the idea of using sense that has little to do with your product, to market your product.
Susan: Welcome Rohit.
Rohit: Hi, thanks for having me.
Susan: It’s my pleasure. I’m really glad you’re here. You know, its funny, I loved the cover of your book. I want to give our folks, who maybe haven’t seen it, a little visual. You have a wind up chicken with, what you call it, a Rainbow Mohawk.
Rohit: Yes, rainbow Mohawk, and some sunglasses, sort of flying off from a line of average chicken.
Susan: (laughing) so this is about how not to be an average chicken, huh?
Rohit: That’s right. First of all, don’t be chicken. Second of all, don’t be average.
Susan: Ha ha ha, good. Well, I have a feeling we have a fearless group of listeners for you today, that are gonna eat up every thing you have to say about having some personality. So before we get to your book, I wanna talk a little bit about your work at Ogilvy PR. You’re the co-founding member of this group called the 360° Digital Influence Group. I’ve hear you say in the blog that you write, you’re one of the Top 50 Marketing bloggers. You have a blog called Influential Marketing Blog. You’ve talked about how this group is different, not the typical PR guy, you think of your self as more of a marketer. Tell us about this 360° Digital Influence Group, that you yourself are a part of.
Rohit: Yeah, our group is really made up of people who probably describe themselves very much as I have described myself, which is, Yes, we’re part of Ogilvy PR. So we’re part of a PR agency technically. So, we stay within the PR group, but our role is really focussed on Digital Marketing, Social Media, and Word-of-mouth Marketing. It’s an interesting discipline because it brings together a lot of different elements of marketing under the umbrella of PR. The interesting thing is that I’ve worked in a lot of Ad agencies as well, so I’ve worked on the advertising side, and now on the PR side. And I think the interesting thing about Public Relations side is that; the biggest difference is that you don’t have the perception that you can, sort of, buy your messages. Because that’s not really buying anything. You’re earning it, I mean, every body in PR calls it Earned Media. And it really forces you to think about marketing in a different perspective. Imagine if you have to earn all the messages in the places that you get, versus, buying them. It’s a very different perception.
Susan: You have a little quote, I’m scanning through it, right now. Its about something like, and you correct me, its something like ‘ if you talk to your friends like advertising talks to customers, they’ll punch you in the face’ or something like that! (laughs)
Rohit: Yeah, I wish I could take credit for that. It’s actually a cartoon from Hue McCloud , who writes, and I suppose, built the Gaping Blog.
Rohit: Which is a great blog that I think everybody checks out. He is a brilliant former advert guy, who’s now got this sort of cultural perspective about where marketing fits and how it works. And is in great lengths in what works and what doesn’t work for any marketer. So he graciously agreed to allow me to use a lot of his illustrations in the book. And throughout the book there are some very nice kinds of quirky illustrations to bring some of the ideas of the book to life. I’m sort of breaking it up a little bit.
Susan: I liked the illustrations, they were very well done, you know. You have offered the Dishymix listeners two free autographed copies. We’re gonna give away two free autographed copies of “Personality Not Included”. All you have to do is post your desire for one of them on the “Dishymix Face book Fanclub”. You just go to face book and type in the search box “Dishymix”, that’s one word, and you’ll find our Fanclub. You join, post, and it can be yours. So thank you for that, and anybody who doesn’t have their act together. I love what Rohit has created, which is actually a diploma. You can actually download a diploma from the University of Authenticity, and it will hereby confer upon you, the degree of “Master of Personality”. (laughs) So tell us about it, it’s a fun little download that you can get. And I think you go to Personality not included/MP, is that right?
Rohit: Yeah, that’s exactly right, and really what I was trying to do was, first of all, we all know that at offices where people have their diplomas on the wall.
Rohit: And usually it’s behind the desk far enough away that it looks like a diploma. Nobody really looks at where it’s from. And this diploma is meant to look like that. So, if you put it on your wall, like a little hidden joke. First of all, people would not recognize that it’s not from a real institution. I didn’t actually found a University, I should say.
( Susan laughs)
Rohit: But the other thing is that, the page that its on in the book is what I call back ending. So if you’ve been to any of those Hollywood movies, where they run the end credits and then after the end credits the guy comes back on and says, ‘what’re you still doing here? Movie’s over, go home!’, right?
Rohit: I wanted to bring a lot of what I talked about is lessons that marketers can learn from Hollywood and from screen writers, and a lot of those pieces of personality, sort of hidden gems about the things that you tell people about. The two folks who get the signed copies also get highlighted, a secret gem that I have in the book, that I always have when I sign a book, and give it to them. So, I’ve tried to build in things like that, so those secret elements, the fake ending to the book which come after the, sort of, end critics, which in the book is the index. I’m really trying to live up to some of the ideas that I’m drawing out in the book.
Susan: you know, I have to go back and find that secret rendering. I didn’t go back far. I hit the index and I stopped.
( Rohit laughs)
Susan: that’s good. That is the little blooper, I’m gonna remember that. So we recently had Episode 47 with Joe Pine, he’s one of the co-authors of “Authenticity: What Consumers Really Want.” And he was on about the Principles of Authenticity, and the Experience Economy. What you said in your book right in the beginning is that, authenticity is only the part of the story. Tell us about that.
Rohit: Yeah, a lot of my day job is a little bit focused on blogs, and more broadly focused on Social media. And there’s no shortage of books about that. One of the things I did when I started thinking about my topics was a bigger trend, a bigger idea whether or not to start a blog. And what I ultimately came to was, companies who are demonstrating their humanity and they were avoiding being faceless, through a range of tools and a range of methods. And one of them was starting a blog, another was participating in social networks. Still another was actually being part of their communities, which is an offline thing in a lot of cases. And what I wanted to try to write about was this phenomenon of companies that people connect with, and what are their common secrets that those companies know, that other companies can learn from them. And so, when I thought about this idea or personality, it was applying something which a lot of people would think is a very ‘individual’ idea, like we think about our own personality, to a group, to an organization, to a company. And for me, it was the perfect word, because it said that there was something different and unique, and that it was really reflective of a lot more than just one communication channel.
Susan: So, there’s one thing that I wanted to quote from your book, Rohit, and its about personality, and you say that “ the talkable soul of your brand about which people can get passionate, that’s personality”. I love the talkable soul. I think that was an inspired moment of writing. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?
Rohit: Yeah, I think whenever you put a word like soul into, I actually struggled a lot with soul as a word, because I loved it so much in terms of defining a brand and yet common wisdom across the publishing industry when we were coming up with our sub title, was that if you put soul in a subtitle it gave the wrong impression of the book, so we went back and forth very much because I had the same sort of reaction, that you did to that word which is the soul of the brand, that’s a really powerful way of describing what the essence of a brand is, that people actually connect with. I think that aside from putting "talkable" next to "soul", is really interesting way of describing that. because really when you're talking about soul is the essence of the brand, that is the sort of core element. When you're talking about making it talkable, it brings into focus this idea of word-of-mouth marketing. And giving somebody something that is worth talking about. and its not a, I mean, in a lot of companies, you focus on a product or a feature based message, right, here's the feature that we've got, here's what we can do. Now when you think about what’s talkable its much more than that. It’s the story behind the company, its what, you know, I’ve been thinking about a fake ending in a book, these are the sorts of things that people remember.
Susan: So I wanna do a little sort of experiment with our listeners right now, so if you're listening to this show, I want you to think about, whether your brand, your company's brand that you represent or that you own, or that you are. Whether or not you have a personality, and what would you rate that personality on a scale one to ten. just think of the number. I think the personality of my brand is 'X', on the scale of one to ten. now lets take a quiz about the number in you r mind, it could be a 3, it could be an 8, it’s good for you if it’s a 10! Lets take a quiz that you have in the book, Rohit. We'll all do this together. It’s the "are you faceless" quiz. And then lets see where we are on that, as you're listening, and you can compare those number before and after you've answered Rohit's Questions about this. So lead us through this test.
Rohit: Yes, the test is very simple, its 6 very simple questions, where you either answer yes or no. So the first question is about individuality, or whether there's a real individual, or a group of individuals that your customers associate by names, behind your organizations. So fictional character, or personas or anything like that, they don't count.
Susan: But it could be the CEO or the Spokesperson..
Rohit: Yes, yes.
Rohit: That’s a yes or no. Second question is, does your organization has a history that people can believe, though I call that a back story, that people can understand and talk about. So this is not a story about your product, this is a story about the founding of your company, is that public to people. Can people see in a lot of your customers know that story. That’s the second one. Third one is relationship. Do you have a way of recognizing your regular customers by face or by name or voice. so they're not treated like new customers every time they talk to you. So this is kind of a customer relationship sort of question. Which is odd, I know, putting into a marketing context, but a lot of time companies do is when you finish the marketing, you wash your hands, kind of give over to customer relations, and you're done. And what I’m advocating in the book is that you need to rethink that.
Susan: Got it, okay.
Rohit: Fourth is, about policies, which is, can individual employees choose to change or bend your policies on their interactions with the customers. So, how much control are you giving to your employees, if you actually trust your employees. The fifth is language, that is, if you read your marketing or sales or website descriptions for your business out loud, does it sound like a real person talking or does is sound like marketing speak. And we all kinda know what marketing speak sounds like.
Susan: Buzz word Bingo, right. (laughs)
Rohit: Buzz word Bingo, yeah. So, the last question is about spokespeople, which is our individual employees are encouraged to tell our friends, families and contacts, and talk to people what they do. you know, giving trainings on how the companies describing himself or positioning himself. Or are they told, you're not in the job where you're supposed to be our spokespeople. We already have spokespeople and you're not one of them. So you're not allowed to talk.
Susan: Nice, so I got a 5 Yes's out of 6. I didn't do well in the relationships, having to recognize my repeat customer by face, name or voice. Because I ran a pod casting network on real life media. I feel I have it with my show " the Dishymix" where I can, you know, my listeners would email me, come to face book, connect with me, things like that, but I don't think I have that across all the shows that are on my network. My host might, in some cases I feel like that but not all of the cases, so that’s the one I need to fix. So, it'll be interesting to see now, what would I have given my self just as I thought about odes my brand has a personality, and now whether or not I have a face for this company, what would I rate my self and where's the gap between what I thought I had, and maybe what I really have, based on my score on this. And I wish listeners could be here on the phone so we could do this that would be really fun. But I like the "are you faceless" quiz. So, we're gonna take a break, and when we come back, we're gonna talk a little bit more about some techniques that can bring your personality, your company's personality to life. Participation marketing, sensory marketing, insider marketing, useful marketing, some of the things that Rohit has come up with, that might be techniques that you can use to imbue your brand and your Company with personality, not just authenticity. So Stay tuned, we're gonna thank our sponsors for letting me do this, I know I love it. We'll be back in just a moment with Rohit Bhargava, the author of "Personality Not Included; Why Companies lose Their Authenticity And How Great Brands Get It Back". Stay tuned.
Susan: Alright, we're back with Rohit Bhargava, and I would ask you Rohit. I wanna more about these techniques, what you could do to get personality into your brand. A couple of them are very interesting to me. One is about participation marketing, can you give us an example of that?
Rohit: Yeah, participation marketing is, the best thing about a lot of these techniques is that they really are exactly what they sound like. So I spent a lot of time choosing a quite a descriptive title for them. So Participation marketing is what a lot of marketers would recognize very closely aligned with social media. Which is, there is a conversation going on somewhere, either online or offline, and you’re participating in it, you’re being part of it. So, one of the examples that I use in the book is, a brilliant example from Starwood Group, chain of hotels, where they have this one member of Starwood, who is part of a online group of fire community called Fire talk, has been on net since 10 years now. And he basically works for Starwood, and he answers questions from the people in the community, an even active part of the community. And many of the people have indicated or directly said that the reason why they stay with Starwood, and they continue to use Starwood for their business travels is because of their relationship with him.
Susan: so, you don’t have to create the platform yourself, you could go out into the world and participate in conversations.
Rohit: Yeah, exactly, right. I think in a lot of cases that’s a lot easier. I mean, that’s a real difference between reinventing the wheel, or taking an existing wheel and running away with it.
Susan: And what about Sensory marketing, what’s that one?
Rohit: Sensory marketing is really, this one that I tried living up to very hard actually in the cover of the book. It’sreally the idea of using sense that has little to do with your product, to market your product. So it’s easy to say that if you’re marketing some type of food, and it tastes good. Right. But for me, for example, one of the things that I knew about the book was that, the way the cover feels when you pick up the book matters to how the book get sold, to what people think.
Susan: Yeah, you have a really high gloss, embossed, with vibrant colors, and great little chicken image.
Rohit: Yeah, and it took a lot, because anybody who’s ever contemplated publishing a book know that publishers really don’t like to spend money on first-time authors in any way. And the cover that I have is relatively quite an expensive cover. It’s all colors, its matte, its got, like you said, the raised embossed chicken. And really, the way that I was able to get that done was because I had this whole section about how important Sensory marketing is. And so the cover had to live up to what I was saying in the book.
So, another example I used very quickly, which I thought was very powerful was Ford. They have someone, whose entire job is to focus on the sound the car door makes when you shut it. Because they found in their research that, that is a very important unspoken quality to people, when they buy a car, which is, when they shut the door and the strong sound gives them the impression that the car is still swell, that its sturdy, that it’ll live up to their lives. And all of these are the things, all come from the sound of the car door. And its very interesting insight, because nobody is gonna walk into the store, and say that I’m looking for a car that has a strong car door sound, right.
Susan: Yes. But you know you just like the smell of leather.
Rohit: Exactly, exactly. So these are all sensory marketing techniques, which is focusing on things that people may not associate with your product, but do have an impact.
Susan: One last one, Insider marketing techniques. What is that?
Rohit: Yeah, of all the techniques, I think this one might actually be my favorite , because it speaks to the idea that a lot of marketers want to get to ‘How so I make something viral’, right, how do I make something to be the sort of message, to be the sort of video, sort of what ever, that one person tell another person about. An insider marketing is that you have an idea that is secret and you gave it to someone, and they can pass it along to someone else. So, one example that I’ve got to talk about is, a restaurant in Las Vegas, that has a secret menu item that has never been on the menu, but if you walk into this restaurant, its called “Mr. Luggies”. It’s the 24-hour café in the Hard Rock café, in Vegas. So no shortage of places to go for 24-hour food in Vegas. But this place, they have a menu item called “The Gambler’s Special”, which is $ 7.77, for a steak and shrimp, and a baked potato. ( Susan laughs) And it’s not on the menu, and it’s never been on the menu, and the only way that you can know about it is if somebody else told you about it. So it’s all word-of-mouth, its all insider marketing. And more than one person, when it gets late at night in Vegas, and you’ve lost all your money, you probably had too much to drink, so you’re hungry. (laughs) that’s the first place you’re gonna think of to go, because it’s a good deal relatively, for what you get, and it sticks in your memory, because you know this is the place that you can get this and only if you know about it. So it’s a very powerful method for getting people to remember your brand and stand out, especially in a competitive environment, for example, like the 24-hour restaurant business in Las Vegas.
Susan: I love that story, that’s a good one. And I like these techniques, and I like having the filter and the examples to be able to potentially apply to your brand. I wanna go into ‘Embracing your accidental spokesperson’. One of the things, gosh, which show was it, oh I know, I was talking to Charlene Li of Forester Research. She’s the co-author of Groundswell on Emotional Motivations and the 5 Objectives of Social Media, which I think you’ve probably also read.
Rohit: Yeah, she’s a good friend too.
Susan: There you go, she was a lovely, lovely woman. She was talking about one of the auto motive companies realizing that their growth was mini cooper, that their customer growth, even in the down automotive market, was gonna come from their existing customer base. And it was actually leveraging those customers and the word of mouth from the passion of that brand that allowed them to grow, instead of doing, you know, big out bound new customer acquisition programs. They focused on their existing customer base and word of mouth rhythm. Brilliant move, love the idea. How do we find these passionate people? How do we find these influentials, how do we embrace our accidental spokesperson.
Rohit: that’s actually a great question, because it has so much of the idea of bringing personality to life. It’s about understanding where these accidental spokesperson are. The first thing to think about is that, they really come from two big categories. The first is customers, which you were talking about…
Rohit: And the second is employees. We don’t wanna forget about employees, because they, to a degree, have inside knowledge about that passion unlike anybody else. And a lot of what some companies do, which I think is exactly the wrong approach, they think to themselves, ‘oh well, the only way we’ll get somebody to pay attention is that if we don’t admit that we’re marketing. We have to pretend that we’re not marketing.
Susan: Hmm, but that’s not authentic.
Rohit: No, it’s not authentic and its also not true. Because if you think about it, somebody doesn’t stop paying attention because you’re marketing, they stop paying attention because you’re irrelevant, or because you’re not doing it in the right way. And if you imagine that you have an employee who has an inside knowledge on, for example, a digital camera, which digital camera to buy, they’re actually in a more knowledgeable about that than anyone else. So they’re the perfect person for somebody to ask. And the perfect person to say, of course they have a conflict and are biased, but, that doesn’t mean that they don’t have the inside knowledge. They know what they should be recommending. So I think that this idea of accidental spokespeople, they really do come from customers as well as employees. To embrace them, to answer you’re question, I think the biggest thing that you need to do is you need to find a way of letting them talk about your brand, and first of all, not shutting it down, which I think is the major mistake that most companies make. These people are already out there and human nature is, that if you really passionately like something, you’re gonna talk about it. You’re gonna want to tell people about it. That’s what word-of-mouth marketing is. It’s so powerful, because people recommend products so much all the time, and you don’t even have to ask them to do it. People want to do it. The challenge is how do you let them do it, and how do you listen it. And the beauty of social media today is that, companies today have more tools today than they ever did, to actually listen in. so, you’re question, how do you find these people, well, social media has given you so many tools to find these people. Because now you can search blogs, and you can see opinions there, you can read comments, you can read reviews. I mean, think back 5 to 10 years ago, none of these things were available. I mean, if somebody was talking about your product to somebody else over a barbeque, you’d never know about it. And today, you can listen in. it’s a powerful difference.
Susan: I like that, and I think that one of the ideas that you had in your book, I think that was really good. It was this concept of inviting some of your ambassadors to become official. Finding a way that the people who really love to talk about you, are sanctioned to do that.
Rohit: Yeah, there is a brilliant example. Its actually UK based example. Some of the folks may not be familiar with it, it’s a UK based brand called ‘Innocent Drinks’ out of the UK. And they make smoothies, that’s why it’s Innocent Drinks, because its just fruits and no preservatives, and they’re a very natural company. And what they decided to do earlier this year, was they decided to do, what they call it their AGM, which was their very adult grown up meeting. And instead of their shareholder meeting, they basically invited these exact people that you and I are talking about, their brand evangelists, and how did they invite them. They put a message out on their blog and through their advertising, that said ‘if you love Innocent Drinks, and you want to come to our HQ’, they’re not paying up any body to come, they’re just saying that if you want to come to our HQ, there’s this big meeting for a whole day. And if you’re interested in coming and helping us to test our new products, and find out what the direction of Innocent Drinks is, meet all the staff members and the team of our company, we’re opening it up, and you can come on your own time. And a couple of hundred people decided to come.
Susan: Wow, that’s brilliant.
Rohit: And sure enough, they came there, tested out all the new products, they’re a huge word-of-mouth, they connected with their most passionate brand evangelists. Because you’re not gonna travel there if you’re not passionate about the product. And they self-selected these people, and as soon as they were in this whole environment, it gave them all sorts of things and all sorts of inside knowledge. So of course what did these people do when their very grown up meeting was finished, they went back home and they talked about how great of a time they had, and about all these new flavors that were coming up that nobody else know about, but knew about it cause they were there, and they had huge, huge, huge word mouth out of that one activity, cause they connected with their brand evangelists, and they said, ‘we’re not this closed face of company, we are very open company and we’re gonna demonstrate that, and we’re gonna live up to what we promised.’ And it’s a great brand model to look at.
Susan: Yeah, that’s a really good story, I’m gonna check out that brand, I like the name. So I wanted to ask to where, you know you talked about social network and the ability for us marketers to look in to that environment and find some of our spokespeople. Where do you think social networking is going. What’s the evolution and the natural next step for that?
Rohit: I think that part of all are managing to figure out what social networking is, that its is an extension of like minded people that give us a way of bouncing ideas off one another. In my case, I used my social network very much to research the book, to find some of these stories and to really argument what I was trying to do, and I try and give back and help what other people are trying to do similar things, they have a product, they have marketing, you know, they have some ideas that they’re trying to sell. So I think that right now, your social networking is the reason that people are online, than the people that are offline. Its going to start to happen as the quality of these online relationship is gonna become so much more powerful, that you’re gonna start associating your friends, some people that you really have not met, are gonna become some of your really close friends. That you’re gonna be friends with people that you haven’t actually been in the same place with.
Susan: That’s very interesting, and I see that happening. I just did a blog post, because one of the things that I noticed is, that how I have these online virtual friends, I mean, the bulk of my time is spent online on Face book and Twitter, and Linked in, those are the 3 main social networks that I use. And I’ve realized that my closest friends, with a few exceptions, are not really involved in those things. I was thinking about how, what I asked on my blog post was if there were any people that have found a way to get their close personal best friends, their BFFs in to some kind of a circle in a social media environment, where they can stay in touch with the people that are the nearest and dearest and closest to them in their real world. Because what I see is the same forking of my online friends, my twitter buddies there.
Susan: I have 20 closet friends I my real life, you know and maybe 2 of them are involve in Twitter.
Rohit: I think the interesting thing is that we tend to look at online as too much of a different environment than it actually is. You’re example is a great one, because you’ve got these really close friends that you’ve been friends with, and yet you’re not really interacting with them through social networks.
Susan: I think that I’m missing the opportunity of connecting with them more frequently and deeply, because they’re not in a network, and I spend my time online. I’m spending my time deeply connecting with people that I actually have no deep relationships with. And that’s a frustration.
Rohit: Yeah, you know I think we need both. And the reason, when I think about my life and the people I’m interacting with, I’m exactly the same sort of situation in multiple pockets, right. You mentioned that I have two really young kids…
Susan: Yeah, you have two little boys.
Rohit: Yeah, so one pocket is of parents who have similar aged kids, then I’ve got a group that I play soccer with. So I’ve got my soccer friends, they’re a different group. Then I have my social group, my media friends who are all in different social networks. Then I’ve got my long time friends that I’ve been friends with for 15 years. That’s a different group of friends and I think the temptation is that, if I could just connect all of these people together in one big network, then every thing would be great. But we don’t live our life like that either.
I started to think about this really because especially when you launch a book, what you wanna so is to be able to connect. You tell every body on your network, your greater network, so my soccer friends and the parents, and every body you wanna be able to tell about, what’s really going on with the book. so the temptation that I had at that stage was that, cant I just bring every body into one of these things, like face book and stuff. What I realized that you really do have these separate groups of friends that you need to communicate with separately, and I started to become okay with that. Because for me, I wanted to communicate with every one differently in different situations rather than to piece them together. And I might miss a chance here and there, but for me it was about bringing everyone into the same network and optimizing it than is was how I prefer to communicate with some of these people.
Susan: I don’t know, I still want my circle on something so…
( Rohit laughs)
Susan: So I’m connected 24/7 to them. I want a closed circle of my best friends to be on Twitter or something, that’s what I want.
Rohit: Yeah, that would definitely be nice.
Susan: It would be! And there’s an opportunity there. So the next question that I have, and we’re almost out of time, so one of the things that I asked you in getting ready for this interview was, who you thought the most amazing people in advertising and Web 2.0, and the answers you gave were 2 out of 3 were people who I’ve never heard of. So I think that our audience would be interested in that, cause they’re definitely not the same old, same old. Share that with us, would you.
Rohit: Sure, so one of the people that I mentioned was Frank Warren, who runs a very popular website called Post Secret, and he was at the hit at a show that I saw, because he’s this guy, who encourages people to reveal their secrets, and thereby kind of taking off of their chests. And he takes these people’s secrets in and it really gives them this really therapeutic moment. And his website is all about posting post cards that people sent him. physical postcards, that people sent to him with their confessions. So it’s a great use of Internet and social media to really make a difference in people’s lives. And he’s very active in supporting a suicide prevention hotline, and he’s just a brilliant, brilliant guy.
Susan: Its funny that you say that because, you know there’s now a thing called Twitter Secrets, where you can anonymously twitter things that you wanna unload, (Rohit Laughs) and I just saw that people jam, he has a whole section now on confessions where people can come and make their confessions on his website, and all the horrible things they doing! It’s like a new genre all of a sudden !! It’s Funny ! Bare your soul!
Rohit: Yeah, there really is ! there’s something really powerful about getting it off your chest. And another one that I mentioned named Gary Vaynerchuk, who runs a very engaging site called ‘wine library TV’, so he owns a wine and liquor shop. The best way to describe him is, he’s a very unpretentious wine guy. And what he does is, he brings wine to life for a category of people. I sort of like to describe it as people that are too old to drink just to get drunk, but too young to feel like sometimes they are in a position to enjoy wine. And he brings them to wine and wine to them in a really powerful way, and he says that, you know what, I’m just a guy who is tasting wine and loves wine, and I’m gonna tell you about it in a very unpretentious way that you connect with wine. Because he believes that this is a great powerful drink that people should enjoy. So the way that he is a social media and this friends’ circle that he has, and just the way that he makes people feel as when they meet him, is such a powerful mix of online personality and offline personality. And I think that’s something that a lot of times we forget, that is, we can sit here in our offices and deal with people on face book, and write the most beautiful blog post and emails. But to get out there and meet people and actually shake hands, and connect with people on a one-on-one basis is, hopefully, not becoming a lost art form.
Susan: Got it, and speaking of lost art forms, the third person that you thought was one of the most amazing people, inn Web 2.0 advertising was…
Rohit: John Fine, who’s a columnist for Business Week, and I know that’s probably an odd choice for somebody like me who sort of, live their life in social media, but first and foremost, I mean I do consider myself a writer, I’ve been writing for a very long time, and that’s the basis that I come to a lot the things that I do. And I just enjoy the way that it still is a very powerful way of enjoyment that you get from reading and writing from somebody who knows what they’re doing. And who writes in a powerful and thought out way. And usually when I read his column, I have this moment where I think, okay, there is actually a difference between a professional writer, a professional journalist and what, say I’m putting out or what a lot of other people are putting out. And there’s a temptation right now to say that every body’s equal when our contents fit together, but a real professional, who is a great writer, and I’m certainly not divorcing journalists or bloggers, because I think a lot of bloggers are better writers than journalists. But in his case, I think that reading something of that quality and very well thought out, it’s a very enjoyable thing for me every week.
Susan: Nice. Well, you’re book is beautifully written, and its funny cause I asked you what book besides ‘Personality Not Included’, you’ve most recommended to your friends, and you had an interesting answer. Tell us about that. Last question, too.
Rohit: Yes, yes. My response was a really interesting, I guess you could call it a fable, which is called ‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho. And the book is really about, I mean it feels like a children’s book, but its got a very powerful adult message which is, follow your dreams and you never know where you’re going to find what you’re looking for. Sometimes it will be across the world, sometimes it’ll be around the corner, but the journey is the really important thing. So, the way I’m describing it, it sounds very much like a cliché, I understand, but it’s a very powerful book, and I read it at a point in my life when I was about to move out to a foreign country, and it was the right moment for me. It really had a big impact, me figuring out what I wanted to do.
Susan: I always like to end DishyMix with something aspirational, and that’s definitely it. A story about following your dreams is never to be taken lightly. And actually one of my sponsors is Audible. And you can get this book ‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho, if you go Audiblepodcasts.com/dishy.
Anybody who listens to my show gets a free download from Audible, if you join their Audible listeners club. You can download ‘The Alchemist’ for free at the URL Audiblepodcasts.com/dishy. Enjoy it. And if you don’t want to stay in the Audible listeners club, you can cancel it anytime and you can still keep your free book. So you can support my show and you can read Rohit’s favorite book ever, ‘The Alchemist’. And that was a nice note on end Rohit, thank you so much for that. You are an excellent writer, I’m glad you think of yourself that way. Your book was beautifully written, I enjoyed it thoroughly. And thanks for sharing so many good tidbits from your thinking, about ‘Personality Not Included’, on today’s show for our listeners.
Rohit: Thank you, and thanks for having me on the show.
Susan: Yay! It was a lot of fun. Thank you, I appreciate it. I wanted to also let you know that you can get a free autographed copy of ‘Personality Not Included’, by going to my DishyMix Fanclub on Face book. Just type in Dishymix in search box, post why you would like to have it, and I bet it could be yours. Rohit will send it to you an autographed personalized copy. Also, get your free Master Of Personality certificate for your office wall. What the heck, that’s a fun little Easter egg. Now go do it, get it! And of course, I’m trying to grow my show so if you can forward Dishymix to a friend, I would be eternally grateful to you for helping support my brand, and growing my audience. I’m your host, Susan Bratton, have a great day, and I’ll talk to you next week. Find more great shows like this on Personallifemedia.com