It was a with beating heart that I hit the “post” button a few months back and invited everyone to meet “the new kid on the block”; KOWERKER. But the anxiety was quickly replaced with enthusiasm. KOWERKER was noticed by people from near and far – present and past and social media proved its power.
The first months in KOWERKER can be described in two words. Network and coffee. And actually I don’t drink coffee.
A COLD LEAD – OR?
One of the persons, I reached out to within my first months was a journalist, who had previously written a good story based on a pitch from me. Now I wanted to tell him of a new and exciting story for another company. We had never met in real life and it turned out that he had also just started his own business. Thus, he was not going to write my story and on top of that, he was now a competitor.
At this point I could have terminated our dialogue. But I realized that we might have some mutual interests and we agreed to meet. Not long after our meeting I had a critical media issue. A company, which I am working for was in a large business daily in an article holding a very critical angle, which in our opinion by no means treated the company fair.
WHEN YOU NEED A SHORTCUT
It was late Sunday afternoon, the article was online and would be in the printed newspaper Monday morning. I needed to reach the editors but all my inquiries hit a dead end; a nice phone lady who encouraged me to send an email. With time against me an email wasn’t enough – I needed a shortcut. And that’s when I called the journalist whom I had just met and asked for advice. The essence of that conversation was that he provided a mobile number allowing me to get through to the newspaper. It was a tricky road but I was now inside the newsroom.
PLAYING RULES, ENGAGEMENT AND NETWORK
From there it was up to my rhetorical skills to convince the editor in chief that the article did not treat the company fair and was not living up the newspapers own moral standards. It wasn’t an easy dialogue, the newspaper had already been sent to print and the adrenaline level was high on both sides. But we succeeded – the article was edited. Because I knew the playing rules of the newspaper, because I was deeply engaged in helping the company and because I could reach out to my network. This time in shape of a person whom I luckily didn’t discharge as a competitor or a cold lead.