Posts Tagged ‘OR’

I had a lot of fun this past week working with reporter Lee van der Voo from the local Lake Oswego Review (just outside Portland, OR) for an article about social media, public affairs and eduction. Here’s the link: http://www.lakeoswegoreview.com/news/story.php?story_id=123621175674053800

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I’ve just moved from Missoula, Montana, where I lived for 24 years, back to Oregon, where I lived for 10 years another lifetime ago.  I’m now located about half an hour east of Portland.  The move has gone well; my new neighbors are wonderful; and I’m getting out and enjoying this area for the things which drew me to back to Oregon and which I’d long missed (proximity to the ocean being right at the top of that list).

But one thing has followed me here – and indeed, has started up again here  all on its own – that I increasingly question.  It will sound to others like I’m a little slow on the uptake, I suppose; but I’m wondering why, after I’ve donated money or my public relations services to a non-profit worthy charity, they never come back and ask what they can do for me.  Sometimes they don’t even say thank-you.  I’m not talking about the one or two organizations I’m involved with where I have close friends in the group who do make a point of expressing their gratitutde and trying to return the favor.  I’m wondering about those many worthy organizations that engage in cold-calling, direct mailing, and nagging and who, once you’ve given them something like $50 to help with the cause, forget from then on out who you are – except as a paycheck.  Too often, the thank-yous aren’t there; and never have I had anyone call me or write me and say, “Your donation and time are so appreciated.  Is there some way we do something for you?”

I’m into this public relations mutual relationship thing, see — just to gear this down a notch.  I sort of expect something mutual to happen.  But too often, there is nothing mutual unless you count a brief, 10-second phone call after which I hang up. 

And it gets worse.  This past year, I had someone from a veterans’ organization actually get quite angry and sarcastic on the phone when I said I was preparing to move to Oregon, expenses would be tight, and I couldn’t donate this year.  I called and complained, and will not donate to that organization again.  The saddest part is that I will donate to our veterans before I donate to almost anyone else.

I am more and more adverse to making any kind of donation to anyone given this ongoing behavior.  Don’t even get me started on how many times my name has been sold as part of a mailing list.  Yes, I know there’s the option to put a stop to such calls, but that’s only for individuals: the calls and behavior I’m complaining about come to me under my business name, AdScripts.

If any non-profits are listening out there, I have just one last thing to say:  It’s about relationships, folks.  I will give to an organization whose cause I believe in, and with whom I have a two-way, mutually supportive relationship.

Speaking of relationships — and this is Part II of this small rant — e-mail and electronic communication seem to have replaced our delight in getting to know and see each other face-to-face.  When we have no facial expressions, no body language, and no tone of voice to give us clues, do we really know each other?  Or do we not care one way or the other?  The definition of “relationship” seems to be like the shifting sands in the Sahara lately, and I’m wondering if it won’t bite us in the you-know-what one of these days.  It’s so easy to say things electronically that we’d never say over the telephone, left alone face-to-face.  But relationships are all about give-and-take, and I’m wondering these days if we’re letting debates and  monologues and busy-ness with e-mail convince us we’re actually having relationships.  Related to that, I’m wondering if we think all the online communication is productive: are we producing results for our companies and our clients, or does all the busy-ness simply masquerade as results?

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