There are two reasons today stands out for me:

1. It’s Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, birth anniversary, which is being commemorated as the MLK Day of Service all around the U.S.

2. It’s my birthday.

Now admittedly, my birthday is of far less consequence than MLK’s. But it is pretty cool to share a birthday with one of the most inspiring leaders of our time.

For one, my birthday is always a national holiday. 😉

More importantly, when our national leadership seems bent on imposing some dystopian protectionist version of life on us despite the world being smaller than ever, it feels even more essential to ponder, and answer, the question MLK posed.

quote: Martin Luther King Jr. quote: what are you doing for others?

“What are you doing for others?”

Now, I don’t believe you have to be MLK, or Gandhi, or a great world leader to have a valid answer to that question.

Perhaps you volunteer once or twice a month at a soup kitchen.

Perhaps you don’t have a lot of money to give, but provide your professional expertise to mentees who could use it.

Perhaps you simply listen to others when they need you to (being able to do that in and of itself is an art form).

“Doing for others” doesn’t have to be grandiose, or dramatic, or earth-shattering.

It just needs to be the most honest manifestation of what you can afford to give, at any given point in time, without feeling put upon, or drained.

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What does all this have to do with social media, or marketing, or Social PR?

Everything.

In the best Social PR scenarios, we always initiate strategy sessions keeping the end in mind, i.e. what it is we’re trying to achieve for our business/organization.

Yet ironically if, in the manifestation and implementation of those strategies we’re not actually keeping the focus on our audience, they will not work.

Because if your marketing efforts are self-serving, your audiences will know. Maybe not immediately, but they will know. And get turned off. And there goes your campaign.

So on this day of service, as you go about helping your community in whatever way you can (thank you), do remember that service isn’t just something we do on one particular day a year.

It’s an attitude. 

It’s a philosophy. 

It’s a lifestyle.

And when we live that attitude, that philosophy, that lifestyle, it is then that we are able to manifest our greatest works.

Here’s to being of service.

Shonali Burke
Founder and publisher of Waxing UnLyrical, Shonali Burke helps smart businesses make bank by taking their communications from corporate codswallop to community cool™. She is also the founder of The Social PR Virtuoso®, which provides online, on-demand training that helps you unleash your inner Social PR superhero. Shonali is mad about ABBA, bacon, cooking, dogs, and Elvis, though not necessarily in that order. Wouldn't you like to be in her kitchen?
Shonali Burke