The #PRStudChat Homework Assignment

I’ve heard a lot of great feedback about the #PRStudChat January session, which celebrated the PR educator.  We had @mikinzie as our special guest moderator and her preparation, passion and enthusiasm really added to the success of our Twitter discussion.  Personally, this was one of my favorite sessions for a number of reasons: the knowledge, information, insight and sheer appreciation of the educator, as demonstrated by our entire community.  @valeriesimon and I also tried something a little different at the end of our discussion…we gave everyone a  homework assignment in preparation of the next session, which is scheduled for February 17th.  And, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day (how apropos), we asked our #PRStudChat community to:

“Reach out to 1 person you met today. Connect. Introduce your new friend at the 2/17 #PRStudChat.”

After I tweeted out the homework, I Immediately I saw the community embracing the assignment with tweets including:

Mikinzie: Starting this wkend! RT @PRStudChat: Have you started your #PRStudChat Homework? Who did you meet at the chat that you want to know better?

RLBriones: @bitty_boop Would love to connect – you had a lot of great things to say in today’s #PRStudChat! Also just read the blog post – great stuff!

bitty_boop: Does anyone want to connect as part of our ‘homework?’ I’d love to meet someone new. #prstudchat

hhitchen31: who wants to get started on our #prstudchat homework?

Then within a couple of days, I received a tweet:

MogulMark @dbreakenridge I think I need to get to know you better for the #PRStudChat homework. I was confused, thought it was some1’s class assgnmnt!

This easy assignment may lead to what could be the start of a mutually beneficial relationship.  I just wrote a post on my blog about the Relationship Stairway, which closely relates to this homework assignment.  The directive to reach out to one person and to connect and introduce yourself is similar to the position you take on the bottom of the Relationship Stairway (the Casual friend).  There is the potential to move up to the next level of friendship, beyond the casual conversation, when you are invited to learn about someone new.  In this particular instance, because the assignment is amongst people within the same community (sharing common interests) the chances of raising a lever or two are far greater.

Through this exercise, you have a simple decision to make.  Do you just find someone, say “hello” and learn more to merely complete an assignment or do you truly try to engage with this person to move up the stairway to the Giver and Taker Relationship?  Every time you have an interaction, even from the simplest hello on Twitter (or maybe it’s a poke on Facebook), you can turn the interaction into something more beneficial for both parties.  Here’s where the sociology and psychology of interactions come into play.  What is it about a person we meet that makes us want to learn more, and become even more a part of their community.  Is it a sense of interest? Is it a feeling of connection and like-mindedness?  Do we feel comfortable and share similar views and behaviors?  .

We’ll be discussing types of relationships, personal and professional interactions, behavior in communities and the value they bring to our online experiences.  Get ready to share some of your favorite relationships stories from the simple interaction to the in-depth friendships and to meet some very special relationship experts!  We look forward to exploring the value of meaningful relationships in our #PRStudChat community!