Pni_interviewseriesUPDATE ON APRIL 1, 2008 // My interview was chosen as one of the Top 12.  Pretty certain I am the only Presbyterian minister on the list 😉  You can help me get a free signed copy of the book or a $100 Amazon Gift certificate if you vote for my interview.  And get this, just like Chicago, you can vote twice!  Jokes people, jokes.

About six month’s ago, I posted a preview of Rohit Bhargava’s new book, Personality Not Included.  Well the time has come and it was launched this week.  Over the years Rohit has provided me some some great ideas and insights into the world of Social Media and some ways that the church and web 2.0 can meet.

And yet another very interesting idea.  Last week, Rohit put out the call to be blog "interviewed" by folks regarding the new book.  Talk about creating buzz and conversations.  Brilliant!  Me thinks I shall "liberate" this idea for my own use!

Never one to turn down some some traffic-generating and interesting interactions, here is my interview with Rohit.

What about the process of writing the book gave you the most joy?

Finishing.  No, just kidding.  Actually, it was uncovering great stories (like yours, which is in Chapter 4!) that I weaved together to tell the story of the book.  I love that the book is fully made up of stories and is an easy read as a result.  I’ve read too many long and boring marketing books and didn’t want this to be one of them.

What about the process of writing the book most caused you to swear out loud 😉 ?

That’s an interesting one … it was probably all of the running around collecting permissions for quotes.  That was a major pain in the ass – especially because I clearly cited everyone from whom I quoted and wanted to follow the online convention of "as long as you provide a link, you’re ok."  That’s not really how it works for a book, and that frequently caused me headaches and even made me take out some quotes and just talk generally about a source instead because it was too complicated to get approvals.

What surprised you the most as you researched your book?

I shared this in another interview, but the thing that surprised me most was the direct access I was able to get to just about anyone who I wanted to talk to about the book.  Sure I dealt with my share of PR agency people (not to knock them, since I work for a PR agency too) – but pretty much everyone was willing to be helpful and point me in the right direction to get what I needed.  A far cry from 10 years ago when I might have spent all my time trying to get past secretaries.

What did you learn about non-profit and religious organizations?

I learned that they are often in the best position to have a brand based on personality because they are often led by a charismatic individual who inspires those around them.  As a result, they can often offer a model on how to use personality to build passion in a brand to corporations.

What is one piece of advice out of your book that you would give to someone leading a business or organization?

Give your employees and customers the opportunity and freedom to talk about you and respond to what they have to say.

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