53: Melanie Deziel on Respect & Being a Brand Storyteller

 
 

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BIO:

Melanie Deziel is the founder of StoryFuel and has been recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on native advertising. At StoryFuel, Melanie works with publishers and brands looking to create, expand or optimize their branded content teams, processes and practices. As a speaker, Melanie travels the world giving keynotes and corporate workshops that teach marketers, publishers, creators and companies how to create the best possible brand storytelling.


She serves on the board of the Native Advertising Institute. Melanie developed one of the first Master’s courses in Content Marketing for Fairleigh Dickinson University, where she now teaches as an adjunct professor.


Melanie has spoken at conferences and events around the world, with audiences ranging from 20 to 2500. Her talks have been live translated into five languages and she’s graced the stage of industry leading events including Content Marketing World, Native Ad Days, SXSW, Social Media Marketing World, Inbound, and more.
Melanie’s background is in journalism; She focused on investigative reporting at the University of Connecticut and earned her M.A. in Arts Journalism from Syracuse University. She was a founding member of HuffPost Partner Studio, helping to build out the brand storytelling team. As the first editor of branded content at The New York Times’ T Brand Studio, she wrote the sponsored content pieces that won the 2014 and 2015 Best Native Advertising Execution OMMA Award, including the acclaimed “Women Inmates” piece for Netflix. She also worked as the Director of Creative Strategy at Time Inc., building branded content programs and strategy across 35+ US media properties, including Time, People, Sports Illustrated, Entertainment Weekly and more.

 

LINKS TO MELANIE:

 

BOOKS MELANIE RECOMMENDS:

 

YOUR HOST:

Mike Domitrz is the founder of The Center for Respect where he helps educational institutions, the US Military and businesses of all sizes create a culture of respect throughout their organizations. From addressing consent to helping corporations build a workplace free from fear (reducing sexual harassment and helping employees thrive by treating them with respect every day), Domitrz engages audiences by sharing skill sets they can implement into their lives immediately. As an author, trainer, keynote speaker and coach, Mike Domitrz loves working with leaders at all levels. Learn more at http://www.CenterForRespect.com

 

READ THE FULL TRANSCRIPTION of the EPISODE HERE (or download the pdf):

 

Mike Domitrz:                   Welcome to the Respect podcast. I’m your host Mike Domitrz from Mikespeaks.com where we help organizations of all sizes, educational institutions and the US military create a culture of respect and respect is exactly what we discuss on this show. So let’s get started.

                                                And this week our guests, Melanie Deziel, we’re going to let you know about Melanie right now. She’s the founder of StoryFuel and a brand storytelling consultant and speaker who travels the world teaching marketers and publicists how to tell better brand stories. Melanie, thank you very much for joining us.

Melanie Deziel:                 Thanks for having me.

Mike Domitrz:                   So for people listening, what is a brand storyteller and how does one become one?

Melanie Deziel:                 Yeah, it’s a really good question and I think it’s especially important because we all sort of make up our own words and our job titles get nice and fancy as we go. But to me, my background is as a journalist. So really what I think that I’m doing is taking the things that I learned as a journalist, how to find sources, how to determine what stories are really worth telling, what does your audience want to hear about and teaching marketers how to put those same principles into practice for their brand.

                                                So how do I make sure that I’m telling my customers the information they want to hear? How do we make sure that when I’m creating content and sharing information with my audience, with my customers and potential customers, that it’s credible, that it’s trustworthy, that it’s actually interesting and that they actually care about the things we’re saying. It’s not just us putting out press releases. So it’s really kind of translating between those two worlds of journalism and marketing to hopefully find a happy medium where we ended up with better brand stories.

Mike Domitrz:                   How do you avoid the trap of selling what people will buy over congruency of authenticity of somebody really respecting what they really are versus what they’re trying to sell?

Melanie Deziel:                 That’s a good question. I think there’s always these ethical concerns and whether you’re doing regular marketing or content marketing or maybe even just moving through your life as a person, I think there are always these battles between what’s going to get me the results that I want and what’s going to help me sleep at night? And I think there is oftentimes kind of a happy medium.

                                                One of the things that I think is most important whenever you have one of these challenges or these debates, these questions, is to really take a step back and ask yourself what the ultimate goal is both short term and longterm. Because I find that most often when we’re making those decisions where we’re putting authenticity to the wayside or we’re forgetting to be transparent or we’re kind of giving into our base needs of what feels good in the moment. It’s because we’re thinking about a short term gain and we’ve lost sight of that longterm goal. Whether that’s to build a brand, build a company, attract new customers. Oftentimes those things we’re doing in the short term that are deceptive or just kind of icky in general are generally because you’ve really lost sight of what your overall mission is, your why, your longterm goal.

Mike Domitrz:                   How does someone get a vibe or watch out for being icky?

Melanie Deziel:                 I think it’s a really tough call, right? Like what counts as icky? I think we all have our own standards. For me, I know that one of the things I look out for is am I going to be proud of this? Is this something that I’ll be proud to admit? Oftentimes we do a lot of work that sort of neutral pride, right? Where it’s just like, I’m not particularly proud of answering emails, it’s just a thing I have to do.

                                                But there are certain moments where if I can ask myself that question, am I going to be proud when I have to share that I did this today or proud when I share that this is how I handled this situation. Would I be proud to tell my mom, my grandmother, my children that this is how I handled this and if the answer is no, it’s a pretty good indication that something’s not sitting right with you. So that that’s my gut test.

Mike Domitrz:                   And you believe that we’re all storytellers in some way. We’re all brand storytellers. Can you explain what that means for somebody listening going, “Wait, no, I’m not. I don’t sell anything. I’m living my life.” Or somebody who says, “I live by my faith, whatever. I’m not a brand storyteller.” How do you respond to that?

Melanie Deziel:                 This is one of those things that sometimes does make me feel a little icky, right? Every person I think has become a brand in some way, whether that’s good or bad. We are all now as individuals kind of in the business of representing ourselves. That could be something as obvious as the way you use photos and words on social media, sort of the image you’re putting together of your self and the digital capacity.

                                                But it could also be something as small as the way you dress when you show up to work. What’s the message that you’re sending about yourself, about how much you care or when you show up for worship, the way you carry yourself in that environment, any of those environments you are making conscious choices about the words that you use, the way you carry yourself and the way you treat others, and all of that gives an impression of who you are, of what’s important to you and of what your values are. So in many ways a marketer or a brand, the company is doing the same thing. Their decisions, their choices, their intentions, signal to people what it is that’s important to them.

Mike Domitrz:                   I could see some people thinking, but wait a second. A brand is consciously, as you said, making those choices, but I’m just being me. And I think it’s manipulative if I’m consciously choosing my words to get impact from others. How do you respond to that?

Melanie Deziel:                 This question comes up a lot and I can totally understand. I think it’s easy to see how if someone is being too intentional with these kinds of things, they could be being manipulative or malicious in some way. But I like to give the example that if you think about the way you are when you hang out with, whether it’s your children, your friends’ children, your nieces and nephews, the kind of language you use there, the way you carry yourself versus the way you show up to a job interview, right? Those are going to be very different.

                                                The language you use when you talk to your kids, your grandkids, and the way that you might carry yourself in a job interview. Very different. Now that being said, they’re both you, it’s both true to you. It’s just you recognizing that in some context this is the best way for me to show up to connect best with others, to show them that I enjoy their company and I respect their time.

                                                And that’s different when you’re on the ground playing games, drawing with chalk with your grandkids versus when you might be showing up to a job interview and meeting someone for the first time. So I think we all have those moments in our lives, whether it’s who you are at the gym and who you are at the pub with your friends, who you are when you’re catching up with old friends from high school and maybe different language and things come flying back and the memories you have, it’s all part of who we are.

                                                So long as it’s true to you, it’s okay for you to recognize that your behavior, your language and the way you dress should change sometimes depending on the context and that’s something you can be aware of, it’s something you can do to show more respect for the others that you’re engaging with. I think if your kids, your grandkids, your nieces and nephews, if you showed up in a suit with a briefcase and shook all their hands, they probably wouldn’t want to play with you anymore.

Mike Domitrz:                   Right. Unless you’re Alex from a, what was the old TV show in the ’80s? You would show up every day that way. I’m just facing it right now. Family Ties, I think it was. Alex Keaton. There we go. The person listening. Now many people get that and they realize that, “Look, I am a brand. No matter what I do. If I’m a doctor, I’m a brand. If I’m a teacher, I’m a brand.” There’s an image that those I lead, that those I serve have of me, speakers, trainers, people do what I do. You’re up in front of a room and they see an image and that therefore it’s a brand. So how do people figure out what content to create or what to create that content about that is in alignment with their brand? How do they figure that out with all so not being too consumed that they have to do right about everything, respond to everything.

Melanie Deziel:                 Yeah, of course. Yeah. If you are in a position where you have some sort of audience or you have some sort of professional task to create content to consciously help with this impression, this brand that you have, the easiest question to ask yourself is how do I want to be thought of? How do I want to be known? Right?

                                                So if we ask ourselves that and you say, “Well, for me as someone who tries to teach, my primary mission is education. So I want to be thought of as informative. I want to be thought of as helpful. And because it works for what I do, I’d like to be thought of as creative too.” Those are things, right? Helpful, informative and creative. So for me, I then ask myself, how do I create content that gives that impression to others?

                                                How do I create content that informs. How do I create content that is helpful? How can I create content that shows my creativity and teaches creativity to others? So if you can find that root, how is it that I want to be known? What’s the impression I want to give others? And then ask what content would help me do that?

                                                So for you, the word may be that you want to be known as funny. So maybe you’re a comedian or you talk about humor as a speaker or a coach. Then maybe you want to create content that’s humorous and that might be funny sketches that you put on YouTube or just clever puns like my friend [inaudible 00:08:42] does on Twitter because he talks about humor at work. So you can see what format it is that allows you to deliver the thing you want to be known for. So I think that really is that core, what are the words that I want to be known as? And then how I create content that delivers that?

Mike Domitrz:                   Or you could just be a source of content, right? Because for instance, I have a nephew and he’s adult and you, if you want to find something funny to laugh about, just go to his Facebook feed because he’s going to share things from all over of different perspectives, something’s typically going to line up with you. Now, some could be offensive because he does a lot, but he just shares humorous and insightful stuff throughout the day. So I think a lot of people know that when you think of him, when I think of Kenny, that’s the brand I think of. And that’s awesome. But he’s sourcing. He doesn’t have to create in that case.

Melanie Deziel:                 It’s true. Yeah. You can absolutely be a curator too. It doesn’t have to be just your content. There’s a lot of data actually, if you look into the psychology of social sharing, why people share things on social media to begin with. And the same thing applies with the stories we tell around the dinner table or when we catch up with friends over coffee and drinks.

                                                The reason we share information many times, it’s tied to the impression that it gives. I’m not telling a joke because it’s fun for me. I’m telling a joke because I think you’re going to enjoy it. And I want to create that experience for us together. And my hope is that if I tell this joke and you enjoy it, that you’ll think I’m funny. Right?

                                                So if you think about that same approach to the content that you share, whether it’s in person or whether it’s online and through your blog, through your social channels, you can be curating content that gives that impression to others too. Even if it’s not your own content that you created, the only caveat being of course you want to make sure you’re giving credit to where it actually comes from or linking to the original source and not claiming it as your own because I think that again, that’s where we fall into the icky territory again.

Mike Domitrz:                   Yes. I got in this conversation with someone I know and somebody I really respect him and admire and he has said once on a stage, “Look, if you’re sharing what somebody else said, you don’t need to quote it because it’s probably been said before,” and I went, “Whoa, whoa, Whoa, whoa. Hold the horses there.” Because first of all, you wouldn’t have said it if you didn’t hear it from that first source.

Melanie Deziel:                 It’s true.

Mike Domitrz:                   So you wouldn’t have it to share. Second of all, if people in that room know the original source and you’re saying it not quoting, they think you’re stealing or you’re not aware of your source and that you lack the knowledge you should have to be talking about it so you lose credibility. And worst case, they think you’re stealing, which is going to hurt everything.

Melanie Deziel:                 Yeah. And it’s one of those things that’s a particular area that I’m a stickler for because like I said, I came from journalism and we quote everyone. Everything is in quotation marks. You always repeat what others say and you have to find someone who says those things. You can’t just make it up yourself. And so I’m all about finding sources and quoting those sources so giving credit where those sources are due is absolutely important to me. And like you said, it actually makes you look informed and well connected and someone who knows what’s going on, who can refer them to other resources. So I don’t think you can ever cite too many sources.

Mike Domitrz:                   Absolutely. And you just referred to it again, this journalist approach. So what does that mean to take a journalist approach to content marketing?

Melanie Deziel:                 This is one of those things. I know that people have different schools of thought here and I always like to be clear that I don’t ever mean to play down the important work that journalists do by any stretch. I don’t think there should be any sort of mixing between the important and objective work that journalists do and then the brand work that those of us on the marketing side too.

                                                I think those things are very separate, but I do think that there’s a lot of things we could learn from one another that could help us both be better at what we do. And one of the things that I talk about in taking what works in journalism and applying it to content marketing is for many brands and marketers who are creating content, whether it’s a press release or a blog on a company website, that content is not usually very exciting.

                                                The average person, our listeners here, you don’t wake up and say, “Man, I can’t wait to read a press release from a brand today.” We don’t typically look forward to that kind of stuff because we know that it’s not going to be really relevant for us. So one of the things I think marketers can really learn from journalists is that I, how do you know what’s going to actually be interesting to my audience? Not interesting to me as the creator of that content as a journalist or a brand marketer, but what does my audience actually want to know? What do they need to hear about? What are they curious about? What value can I bring them? Because a journalist must create their content with that sort of audience centric approach. They have to ask, what’s happening in our community?

                                                What does our reader needs to know about? What does our viewer want to hear more information about? And that guides their content creation. So I think that same mindset is just one example of something that you can take from the world of journalism. And if you apply it to your work as a brand marketer, you’re going to find that this stuff you’re creating is not getting ignored as often or deleted or unsubscribed from or whatever it might be. Because if you’re focused on what your audience actually wants to hear, you’re taking that sort of journalists’ audience centric approach. Then the content you’re creating will be more relevant for your audience and hopefully be enjoyed more.

Mike Domitrz:                   Yeah. If someone’s not a speaker, I think you could, or an author, or a content share, I think a way to pause and say how this applies to you is we all know that person that when they start talking about something, it turns into a rambling and there’s not even a pause of breath and you’re stuck for 10 to 20 minutes on a conversation and we can all fall into it.

                                                So it’s not just that one person. There’s some people that just always how they communicate, but we can all fall into it. I think to pause and think, “Well, what are the things I care about that when I am talking to my kids or my friends or my colleagues that I could engage from a way they’d better listen, they’d better really jump into this conversation more easily, more comfortably. So how could I take a journalist approach to talking to other parents about what we could do better as parents, just as a fellow parent, not as somebody with an agenda.

Melanie Deziel:                 Yeah, absolutely. And I think on some level, like you said, we do this in our everyday life. Say you were to go on a vacation and when different people in your life asked you how your vacation was, you would probably highlight different parts of that trip based on what you know they love. Like you went on vacation and you know that I’m a big foodie. So when I asked you how your vacation was, you’re going to say, “We had the best dinner on the third night. You’ve got to check out this restaurant,” because you know that’s the part that’s going to most resonate with me. But when another friend of yours who happens to be more of a photographer asks how your trip was, you say, “You’ve got to see these photos we took from the second day. The sunset was beautiful.”

                                                We know in our mind that we should try to find the information. That’s how we build relationship. That’s how we grow in closeness is by acknowledging the things that are important to others and growing in that bond together. So if we can do the same thing with the stories we tell, the blogs we create, the posts we put out on social media, we’re sort of being intentional about building those relationships by acknowledging what the other party needs and not being that guy, like you said, who just only talks about themselves and rambles on.

Mike Domitrz:                   Yeah, I just had this happen and it feels so connective when somebody does this. So a good friend of mine for New Year’s Eve, we have a group get together and they made a calendar of sunsets. And the reason they’ve been friends of mine for a while is they know I post sunset pictures all the time so they not only made this calendar of sunsets. They also got from my wife some of my photos, my personal photos of sunsets to include, and you’re like, that’s a great example of knowing the person. In this case I’m a singular audience, but that could be a thousand people. That could be one person, but I thought it was a brilliant example of that.

Melanie Deziel:                 Yeah, it’s sort of like gift giving too, right? The most special gifts of the one where someone knows something about you that it’s not, “Well, I got tube socks for everyone on my list this year,” and you’re like, “Well I’m not special. I didn’t want tube socks.” But that kind of thing. That kind of giving of creating something that is mindful of your preferences and your hobbies and the things that you like, it makes you feel heard. It makes you feel appreciated and it makes you feel closer because you know that you’re being listened to and appreciated. So the same thing if the content we’re creating, if the stories we tell, you know the blogs we write, the videos we put out, if those are gifts to our audience, right? If we’re putting those things out to give to our audience, then it should be gifts that they want.

Mike Domitrz:                   Yes. What are additional lessons you’ve learned as a journalist that can help?

Melanie Deziel:                 I think one of them is something we already touched on about sources. And it’s funny you brought that up because again, the sourcing is so important. And I say that that’s one of the biggest challenges I think is most of us, we approach advertising with skepticism as we should, right? We know that the goal of a commercial or a blog from a brand or a press release is to sell us on something.

                                                So as consumers, we’re naturally skeptical. So one of the easiest ways for brands and marketers, and we can apply this in our own lives too to increase the credibility and the trustworthiness of the stories we tell is to include outside sources. And that’s something in the world of journalism, the best journalists know that the more sources you have, the more sound your story is and that you want to make sure you’re choosing reputable sources.

                                                You can’t just quote any old person that no one knows. You want to try to find experts, whether those are doctors or researchers or professors, people who have experience who can speak with authority on those topics. So I always encourage brand marketers to do the same thing instead of just telling me why your product is so great or why it’s the best choice or how much it’s going to help, show me demonstrate it and get other qualified experts to back up your case.

Mike Domitrz:                   I love that. And how do you feel … or I shouldn’t say how do you feel. You’ve shared with me previous to the show that there’s an experience or a lesson you had regards to content and you learned it the hard way and that we could benefit from that. So what was that lesson?

Melanie Deziel:                 Man, I’ve learned so many content lessons the hard way. I think one of the easiest ones that I’ve learned and many times the hard way is that I need to speak up for my gut. I think many times as a consultant, I’m in a position where I’m trying to help others with content. And sometimes you just feel something in your gut and you know that it’s either right or it’s not right and maybe you can’t cite the data. And so you might tell yourself, “I probably shouldn’t say anything. I don’t know if that’s true. I don’t know if that’s the best thing to do. It’s just I kind of have a hunch or I have a feeling, but maybe I shouldn’t say anything.” And several times I’ve not done that and I’ve seen the results that made me wish that I had had the guts to say something sooner.

                                                So just some examples of that. I worked with a brand one time and I never want to call out a brand because I think everything we’re doing in marketing is learning and there’s no harm in learning the hard way as long as you learn the lesson. But I had been working with a brand that was very, very insistent that we should use only sources that were from their company. We should only talk to their engineers and their experts and we should only use those experts in our content. And I remember thinking, this just doesn’t sit right with me. It feels like we’re sort of talking to ourselves here. I feel like this would benefit from some outside sources, but I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to offend them and I couldn’t propose a different expert.

                                                I didn’t feel like I was bringing … I felt I was surfacing a problem and not a solution. So because I couldn’t suggest an alternative expert, I decided not to say anything. And ultimately when we put that piece of content out into the world, some of the feedback we got was that, “Well, of course you say that, of course you believe that. It’s only your team is saying this thing. How do I know you’re telling the truth?” And I remember at that moment thinking, “If I had only spoken up, maybe we could have avoided this problem before it happened.”

                                                So now I’ve tried in more recent years, I think as I’ve grown in my confidence, as I’ve learned enough of those lessons the hard way to speak up, even if I can’t provide an exact solution or provide a data point to say why, to say my gut and my experience tells me that this may not be the right choice. Can we work together to find a solution that might help overcome that.

Mike Domitrz:                   Absolutely. And I love that because I think what’s important there is what you said, having the confidence because I think what we don’t realize is if we don’t say it, we lose all credibility. Well, I shouldn’t say we lose all credibility. We lose the opportunity that when the problems, let’s say they ignore, they don’t agree with us. And when the problem shows they’re like, “They did know what they were talking about.” But if we don’t say it, we’re not even in the thought process.

Melanie Deziel:                 Yeah, I always say that like, “I told you so is not a great thing.” You don’t really want to hear that because that means mistakes still happened. But it’s way worse than, “Why didn’t you tell me?” Because that feels neglectful to me. And so I do feel more so now that I have a responsibility to be the one who makes that vulnerable call, who kind of goes out on a limb and says, “I’m not sure if this is exactly right or I’ve got to give some tough love. I don’t think this is going to cut it,” because I would feel like I hadn’t done my job if I allowed it to go through and didn’t speak up.

Mike Domitrz:                   And Melanie, you’re a speaker. And so these same topics all apply to this stage. And as the speaker we share stories. What’s a story or a person you can think of in your life or a journey, a moment in your life where you recognize it could be as a young child, like I failed to show respect, I learned this consequence and I’ve taken that with me for life. Can you think of one of those moments in life?

Melanie Deziel:                 Yeah, it’s funny and embarrassing. So hopefully this will be enjoyable for everyone else, speaking of being vulnerable, right? So one of the things … as I’ve shared, I’m a writer and a storyteller at heart, one of the things I used to really love doing as a kid is I would write little, I call them books. I would write little books. So really I just folded some sheets of paper in half and I would doodle out dramatic retellings of things that had happened, my day or what happened at gym class or whatever else. And I remember … I can’t even quite remember what I had done wrong, but I had broken some rule and I felt that I had been punished unjustly as you often do when you’re a small child. And so I did a dramatic, I wrote a book about it.

                                                I wrote a whole story about how my punishment was unfair and I would say that my renderings of my parents were less than flattering. The doodles that I came up with were less than flattering. My parents were not pleased with how they were represented in this story and more punishments followed suit. So I learned that you have to be very careful when you’re speaking of others and that the way that we feel in a particular situation may not always reflect the reality of the situation. And sometimes it’s helpful to take a step back from those feelings before you say something hurtful about someone else.

Mike Domitrz:                   Absolutely. That’s a great lesson. Is there somebody in your life who was a champion for respect?

Melanie Deziel:                 Oh goodness. There’s a lot of people in my life. I think my husband, I would say is a champion for making sure that I get respect, which I think is a really wonderful gifts you can give to others. He is really good about making sure that I’m standing up for myself and that he’s equipping me and helping me stand up for myself when I might not feel I have the confidence or I have the voice to be able to do it.

                                                So I think that’s … not only is he [inaudible 00:23:35] about respect for others and respect in general, but also that he’s giving that gift to me to say, “Hey, I think you can stand more firm here. I think you have more worth here. I think you can make sure that you’re getting the respect you deserve in this situation,” and helping me have the confidence to do that is, I think that’s such a wonderful thing to be able to give to others.

Mike Domitrz:                   Absolutely. That is a gift. So thank you for sharing that. I appreciate that. And in your work, there’s a couple of books that you really like. Now, one of them is an author and a person we’ve had on the show. And so we’re going to … Phil Jones. So our listeners have heard his book, Exactly What to Say, heard all about it, brilliant, everything. The other one though you have here is Everybody Writes by Ann Handley. What about that book do you love?

Melanie Deziel:                 What I love about that book is it feels to me like the spirit of that book … First of all, I don’t know if if your listeners have the pleasure of knowing or being familiar with Ann Handley, but please go and find her, follow her. She’s a wonderful human, but she’s also a real … she’s very empowering and in the book that she writes.

                                                So as a writer, I say that writing is my first content language. It’s very easy for me to express myself in writing, but I know that that’s not true for others. And so what I love about this book is it helps you, you read this book and you really feel like I am a writer. I can be a writer there. This is not as foreign or scary or exclusive as I may have thought and that I write every day, whether it’s a text message or an email or a birthday card.

                                                And so it really makes it approachable and I think that that, again, I know I used this phrase before, but that is such a wonderful gift to give to someone, the belief that they can do something and so that’s what I really love about that book. I always recommend it for anyone who gives me any hint of like I’m not a creative type or I can’t do that. I’m like, you need Everybody Writes by Ann Handley.

Mike Domitrz:                   Awesome. Thank you for that. Now for everyone listening, you can find Melanie at storyfuel.co. there’s no M there, .co, so storyfuel.co and also in all of our show notes, we’ll have the links to all of your social media, everything. Melanie, I want to thank you so much for joining us today.

Melanie Deziel:                 Yeah, thanks for having me and letting me share my story.

Mike Domitrz:                   Absolutely. For our listeners, do you know what’s coming up next? That is the question of the week. Before I answer this week’s question of the week, I’d love to ask you a question. Would you please subscribe to this podcast, the Respect podcast with Mike Domitrz? By subscribing, you can make a huge impact. Now, you might be wondering, “Mike, how does my subscribing to your podcast make a huge impact?” Well, here’s how. For every person that subscribes, it raises the rankings of the show in the search engines.

                                                So for people who care about respect like yourself, when they’re doing a search for podcast, they’re more likely to find the show, thus providing an awesome opportunity for us to spread more respect around this world. And all you do is hit subscribe under your podcast. Plus, the second benefit is by subscribing, you automatically get every episode right into your phone or whatever device you’re listening to the podcast on. It happens automatically. So subscribing also makes your life easier.

                                                Now, let’s get into this week’s question of the week. Oh, and by the way, you can always ask your questions of the week by joining us on Facebook and our discussion group. It’s called the Respect Podcast Discussion Group. Go there on Facebook and ask whatever questions you would like me to answer and/or address in this segment of the show and then listen to each episode to find out when your question is included.

                                                And this week’s question is, “Hey Mike, what’s with the name change?” And no, I did not personally change my name. What we did change is the name of our organization, the name of our corporation. For 16 years we were The Date Safe Project and now today we are the center for respect and I am so excited about being able to share with you why we made this shift and it was very intentional.

                                                It started back in November when the name came to me that we knew that respect is what we’ve always, all of our work has always been founded in a base, a foundation of respect. So the center for respect, we knew we were going to change our name was just common sense. It was just perfect alignment, like the stars aligned. There was like woo-hoo moment and we were so excited about that.

                                                Now why the name change? That was very simply put to help more organizations, associations understand fully what we do. What we found was happening was the old name, the prior name of the Date Safe Project was limiting people’s ability to see how we could best serve and help them. They could mistakenly think, “They talk only about dating,” and since they thought it was only about dating, which is not all we talk about, they get a perception that was false that we can’t be of service or help to them.

                                                Now that we’re the center for respect, whether you’re a middle school or high school, a university, a college, a military installation around the world or a large corporation or a small organization or association, you can stop and go, “Hey, we want to be aligned with a foundation of respect. Therefore working with the center of respect to help us make us accomplish that, achieve that. Well that makes sense.”

                                                And that’s what I’m so excited about this name change. It truly fulfills and fits everything we do when we’re able to help and serve others. I hope you’ll check us out at centerforrespect.com. Do you know what I would love? I would love to hear your answer to this week’s question of the week. So would you please answer what your answer would have been if you were asked that question today on the show. All you do is go to our Facebook page. We have a special group where we have these discussions called the Respect Podcast Discussion Group, so the Respect Podcast Discussion Group and share with us what would your answer have been to this week’s question the week and if take a moment, post us a new question for future episodes.

                                                What question would you like to hear me answer on an upcoming episode? That’s all done on Facebook and our special group which is the Respect Podcast Discussion Group. Can’t wait to see you there. Thank you for joining us in this episode of the Respect podcast, exploring work, love and life. And this episode, like every episode is brought to you by our organization, the Center for Respect, which you can find it, centerforrespect.com and of course you can find me your host, Mike Domitrz at mikespeaks.com. Thank you so much for joining us.

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