For the past two weeks, I wrote up-to-the-minute stories on this blog and on the Karma Yoga website blog to give people back home a sense of what we were doing, and how we were enjoying, Katherine Austin‘s India Yoga Retreat.
In fact, Katherine took me on this trip as her guest for the purpose of chronicling the entire thing as a way of building business. I’ve done this for clients before, and it certainly works. People around the world can get a bird’s-eye-view of current happenings and wonderful experiences, perhaps enticing them to engage in the next trip or offering.
It’s part of my work as a public relations expert, through my company, Your People LLC, helping clients tell their unique stories toward building a thriving business or nonprofit.
As much as social media and the ever-present now-ness of the Internet makes me crazy (and it does!), this is a perfect example of the beauty of our technological world making the globe smaller and creating a true global community.
In one of my blogs, I mentioned that it had taken three days to receive my laundry back at our hotel in Rishikesh. It wasn’t a criticism; just a fact. I loved staying there and in fact raved on TripAdvisor.com and in a separate blog about the wonderful service and accommodations.
Little did I know, the lovely owner was reading my blog. He approached me in the hotel and mentioned that he’d read it, he was horrified that it took so long to receive my laundry back and he let his manager know of his dissatisfaction. Wow. The power of the written word!
Of course, I didn’t know he was reading it. He improved his business by reading a client experience. And other hotel guests will forever benefit from that.
With a trip like this, all the way around the world to India, a place people think about but are often fearful of visiting, sharing my ups and downs and ups online is the perfect way to show others, rather than tell, that it really is OK. In fact, the trip was life-changing – and they can read about it minute by minute, experience by experience, as I share my revelations and transformations. And then they can see themselves in the same place.
It’s no longer foreign. Nothing to be afraid of. We’ve changed attitude, which is one of the two goals of public relations – the other is to change behavior.
People say newspapers are dead and the written word has fallen out of favor, with all the visual offerings today. I’m going to disagree, heartily. Photos and videos are, indeed, powerful testaments.
But the written word paints a picture and good writing can bring the reader into the moment, into a foreign situation, and make it feel familiar.
I am so grateful Katherine took me to India to record her trip – selfishly, because it was a life-changing experience for me.
From a business perspective, I can see her India trip selling out next year and in years thereafter. I can see people choosing to stay at the Hotel Nirvana Palace in Rishikesh. I can see people going to India when they might have otherwise been to afraid to try.
As for me, I am so grateful that my God-given talent of writing and storytelling can be put to good use, to inspire others, to help businesses share their stories, to connect the world in ways that we’ve never been able to until now.
If you don’t blog for your business, perhaps you should. It humanizes the entity – makes a personal connection – and that goes a long way for business growth.
It’s good for your soul, too. When we share ourselves intimately with others, we all grow. When we hold back and stay in the fear, never sharing, never opening up, we risk loneliness and depression. I’m not being dramatic. There is nothing more powerful than a true soul connection – and it only happens when you keep it real and open up.