Nick Saban Would Appreciate The Preparation And ‘The Process’
When the opportunity came up to co-host the popular travel Twitter chat #JAChat (Fridays, 1 p.m., ET), I jumped at it.
After all, this would be a great way to build the brand of PubClub.com, PubClub’s Twitter audience and to connect with people on the chat as a kind of “authority” position, rather than as just a participant.
World Travel Bloggers Participate In Weekly Chat
And let me say that I loved it, more so than I anticipated, in fact. It involved mostly travel bloggers from all over the world, there were a flurry of responses to the questions, conversations within the chat among a few of us and lots of lots replies.
In total, there were 54 participants and more than 300 responses. All in a half an hour!
As I was one of four co-hosts, I had to post questions every five minutes and immediately follow up with my own answers to those questions. I was reading and typing as fast as I could (which is quite fast; I’ve been a sports reporter on deadline) while at the same time scrolling on my phone so I could keep up with the conversations.
After it was over, I spent another half an hour responding back to all the notifications people had sent me during the chat.
But what impressed me the most about the chat was the preparation that went into it. I initially thought my role would be to help come up with a few questions and then just answer them, like I do for all the many chats in which I participate on a weekly basis. But oh no, there’s a lot more to it than that, I can assure you.
As a result, I have a newfound respect for anyone who hosts Twitter chats on a weekly basis. This is not just a “show up and type” thing; it’s a time-consuming job.
The hostess, Pola Henderson – twitter.com/jettingaround – has this down to a science. She has a system of what needs to be done each and every week and at certain times leading up to the chat.
Nick Saban, Alabama’s highly successful football coach, would refer to this “the process.” And it’s definitely a process.
My role as co-host required me to help come up with six questions. Pola then sent me a Word document with images and instructions outlining specific details of the things I needed to do prior to the start of the chat.
I needed to cut-and-paste the questions and include the images (the questions with the #JAChat artwork in the background) with each question. I then needed to answer those questions myself. There was a schedule – a question asked every five minutes immediately followed by my answer.
Prior to the chat, I needed to promote it. She required me to post on the PubClub.com page on Facebook, on the JAChat Facebook page and also on @pubclub Twitter, as well as tag people who might likely join the chat. All this was to build the audience in advance of the chat.
This is an important Twitter chat strategy because you cannot assume that people – even regulars – will automatically join the chat; you have to remind them about it (hey, I forget about these chats sometimes!).
This was very much like getting ready for a PR event – having everything lined up in advance so the event goes smoothly and you are able to easily adjust to changing circumstances. Fortunately, with my PR event experience, I was easily able to grasp the concept.
And let me say, it was that preparation that enabled me to enjoy the chat so much; I not only had the questions ready but had already typed out my responses and located photos to attach so I was quickly able to post the questions, the answers and even respond to people’s responses and their notifications.
Pola and I have discussed me hosting another #JAChat – perhaps in late June – with the subject being urban daylife. This would be beach bars, sunset bars, pool party bars (Vegas!) and Happy Hours.
To conclude, here’s the conversation with the questions and my answers. Be sure to join #JAChat on a weekly basis!
#JAchat starts in 5! Join us to chat about #Urban #Nightlife with guest-host @pubclub! #citytravel
Q1: What comes to your mind when you think Urban #Nightlife (pubs, clubs, other)? #JAchat
A1.) Varied bars in different areas of the city, each with different nightlife venues (pubs, clubs, lounges, live music…). #JAChat
Q2: What are the best cities for nightlife? (Got pics?) via @pubclub #JAchat
A2.) Amsterdam; Berlin; New York City; Las Vegas; London; Austin, Texas – trust me on this last one! #JAChat
Q3: Which cities could improve their nightlife scene? via @claudiola #JAchat
A3.) Right here in Los Angeles. For one, the bars close at 1:30! #JAChat
Q4: What’s the coolest urban pub/club you’ve been to? (Got pics?) #JAchat
A4.) The Opera Bar in Sydney – the whole thing is outdoors on the water by the Opera House. #JAChat
Q5: What are your favorite venues for great cocktails? Tag them/share a pic! via #keaneiscool JAchat
A5.) Duke’s in Waikiki Beach (especially on Sundays!) and here Old Tony’s in Redondo Beach with the Fire Chief drink! #JAChat
Q6: If you had one night to party in any city, where would you go and with whom? Tag them! #JAchat
A6.) Never been to Berlin so that would be one desired destination. With my Aussie mate Casey! #JAChat
Thanks for joining #JAchat! See you next Friday to chat about Train Travel with @RailEurope.