You know, in my 16 years in PR, I have seen a lot of so called “experts” come and go. And please, don’t think that this piece is a proverbial “blow-job” to use a PR term, but there is one guy who “gets it” better than almost anyone else I know. His name: Peter Shankman, the founder of HARO.
So, why do I say that Peter is an expert? Well, there are a few reasons:
1. Peter is not afraid to share. I know it’s one of the cardinal rules of social media. But many, (if not most) social media gurus are afraid to share their knowledge, contacts or experiences. On the other hand, Peter shares a lot. He often bares all, even down to his vigorous travel schedule
2. Many social media types I have met have a fear of giving “props”. For those of you who don’t know what “props” are – a “prop” is a compliment. Many times, in his 3 daily HAROs, Peter will pay someone or so-and-so a compliment. What this really means is that Peter acknowledges that other people know their stuff too.
3. Peter has some interesting hobbies. Like come on – who in their right mind would run Iron Men and jump out of planes – for thrills. No-one that I know of, except Shankman – and he makes no pretences about his hobbies.
4. Peter knows social media very well – and like all all pros, he knows when to hold’em and knows when to fold ‘em. What do I mean by this? For good reason, he has his rules – and he enforces them, even at the expense of being possibly politically incorrect.
a. This is what he sent to his HARO readership yesterday … “Hey guys - It might be a good time to review the rules of HARO again. We only have five, and they're incredibly easy to follow. Here's the thing - When you signed up for HARO, you promised you'd follow them. So the fact that I had to ban someone yesterday for not only pitching BLATANTLY off topic, but then posting about it on a blog, makes me think that it might be a good time for EVERYONE to reread the rules again. It's a quick easy read. I really, really encourage it. OK? Let's keep playing well in this fun sandbox. Read the rules here: http://shankman.com/the-five-rules-of-haro/.
5. Finally, Peter does seem like an all-round good guy. Now, I have traded emails with Peter. He follows me on Twitter (@sackman66) and I follow him too. I have spoken to Peter about a year ago on the phone, and although we have never met – I do get the idea he’s a good guy.
To be sure, there’s nothing I want from Peter, and this is not intended to be a “blow-job”, but it’s just nice to acknowledge the good someone else does.