All You Have to do is Ask

In my line of public relations work, I’ve learned that if you are persistent, and if you ask the question, and if you pick up the phone, you’ll get somewhere.

It’s that easy. And I do think this can extrapolate to other careers. To all careers.

All you have to do is ask. Make the ask. If you don’t, you have no chance of a positive response.

The other day, a PR colleague suggested that every press release should have 4-5 calls to action. Hmmm…That got me thinking. Do I do that? And where would I place them?

I write my press releases like journalistic stories. The arc and weave of narrative is my strength and it’s how I form my media pitches. I always include an ask, point-blank noting that I’d like the journalist to consider doing a story about the topic at hand. But 4 or 5?

The truth is, in any storytelling, the listener wants to be involved. Wants to be asked. Wants to have a role, be a character in the unfolding.

I am as guilty as the next person of liking my own stories a bit too much. I relish the telling – and then this happened, and can you believe this happened next?

I am sure the listener gets tired of merely listening. It’s why I encourage my clients and the people I mentor to make whatever they do interactive. Call the listener to action. Get them involved.

And be creative. Ask and ye shall receive.

The legendary hockey player Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” You have to try. You have to put yourself out there. The worst thing that happens is you don’t make the shot, you get a “No,” the door closes in your face. It’s ok. It’s not that cold outside, and the sun is shining bright.

I’ve heard it said, and I’ve seen it in practice, that the more one gives, the more one has. When we hold onto things in a clingy, fearful way, we end up with less. We see loss. We run into mysterious predicaments that require an outpouring of our reserves.

“No one has ever become poor by giving,” said Anne Frank, and she was a teenager locked in an attic, hiding from the Nazis. Imagine how generous we could be in this era of freedom if we dug deep within to find the immense reserves stored up and awaiting release.

Take the risk. Make the ask. And wait for the good to pour in.

He who allows his day to pass by without practicing generosity & enjoying life’s pleasures…breathes but does not live. ~ Sanskrit proverb

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