There are many things I am thankful for this year – family, friends and a certain real estate editor that used to work at the Baltimore Sun.
Back in 1997, I had only been working in public relations for a couple of years. I was green and eager. I worked inside PR, and was tasked with media relations.
It turned out that early that year, one of our members opened an innovative community and won an award.
So I called Robert Nusgart, then-editor of the Real Estate section of the Baltimore Sun, and started to tell him my story. I am pretty sure it was long winded.
He stopped me and asked me a question that changed my career, “Why should I care?”
I paused, caught my composure and began to tell him why, the real reasons his readership might care.
I am so grateful I didn't choke. He ended up covering both the award and had a staff writer cover the community.
He could have published my name in a list of miscreants and off-topic pitches, he could have hung up the phone, but instead he taught me how to do it right. He retooled my pitch, he asked me why.
I did some research today because I thought it might be fun to get in touch with this unintentional mentor. It turns out that he left the paper in 2000 and became a real estate broker for a company that is no longer taking loans.
I hope he landed on his feet somewhere, but I am pretty sure he did. Maybe someday he will read this post, and if if he does, I want to say thanks Robert! You taught me how to make it relevant, you taught me the power of why.
And since Rob La Gesse had the bright idea to make this a Thanksgiving meme (and a it's a good idea). I want to ask Rob, Todd, Geoff, Ike, Susan and Lauren, “Who had a big influence on you and how did that affect the direction of your life or career?”
I chose you because each of you has been influential to me in some way. Thanks.
UPDATE: The meme grows on…
- Rob La Gesse writes about Doris, sometimes the most influential is also the most scary, great story Rob!
- Geoff Livingston tells us how his boss Victor moved him away from spin
- Ike Pigott tells us about his journey from television to PR
- Lauren Vargas talks about a special fourth-grade teacher that influenced her.
- Susan Getgood gives a big a thank you to her Mom and some colleagues who helped her along the way
- Kyle Flaherty credits his wife Regan as his mentor
- Sarah Wurrey at Custom Scoop covers the meme and promises a post of her own later
tags: Robert+Nusgart, Media+Relations, Chris+Anderson