Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Something to say

kw: personal experiences, marketing

Today I was in marketing mode, a rarity for me because it isn't my favorite activity. I attended a company conference, a combination of technical learning and "intramural" marketing, where I put up a poster. Its subject is not cleared for the "outside world"; suffice it to say it has to do with helping researchers find articles and reports they need among the company repository of technical documents. Curiously, it is not well known, so my poster is an early foray into improving our visibility.

I've had posters up before, a few times in the past couple of decades. This one seems to strike a chord. During the open poster session, I had a pretty constant stream of people taking the handout, asking questions, or taking my card. It wasn't the drudgery that many "marketing exercises" typically become. I am actually looking forward to tomorrow.

I recalled a story about someone who was stranded among people whose language he didn't know. What he did know was some technical stuff that happened to be helpful to the people. When rescuers came for him, he was doing pretty well for himself, in spite of the fact that he hadn't learned the language. He'd been passing on his knowledge by showing, not telling. As the story ends, he explains his good fortune by saying, "I had something to say." It is good to have something to say that is worth saying!

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