Okay. So I haven’t seen a rolodex in 15 years and you probably haven’t either. I don’t have one anymore and I don’t ever see them. They’re likely extinct.
But I did have one and when I used it effectively, it saved my ass.

In principle, I use a rolodex every day, albeit electronic.

I use my rolodex to tier my contacts. Every one I meet, work with, work for, network with and fellowship with. I know my rolodex. I keep notes of where I met the contact, what we have in common (ie: associations, church, cigar shop, school), family details, and more. The more detailed my rolodex, the more helpful it is when I access it.

Stay Connected and Check In

This is paramount to knowing your rolodex. I check in with folks that I don’t see often. My check in is usually prompted by an article about the person. I’ll send a congratulatory email, LinkedIn message or make a call. Just a quick check in to keep the relationship in tact.

I recently challenged my sales team to leverage their rolodexes and I got a bunch of blank stares. And some of these folks operated with a rolodex when they began their career 30 years ago!
I asked my team and their managers to identify their go to customers. More blank stares.

My go to customers fall into 2 categories.
Those who love me. And those who owe me.

Who loves me? Sure my friends and family love me but they don’t buy from me or my company. I’m in a 2 sided market that is very niche-niche. They’re aren’t my target audience. The customers whom I’ve scored wins for, hit home runs for, delivered more than expected and so on. That’s who loves me. That’s my target audience and that’s my hot lead.
Whom owes me? A lot of folks! And I don’t mean that arrogantly. I’ve helped a lot of folks look good in their company, in front of their clients, and in the arena that they serve. I’ve saved buyers a lot of money and I’ve made brands a ton of money. Folks who owe me are my hot leads.
While I use this tactic often, I rarely hit the same person twice before I have the opportunity to serve them again. I don’t want to abuse relationships, but rather build them.
I want to strengthen mutually beneficial working relationships. It’s an intentional, strategical component of my daily business and personal growth.
And it’s all anchored in my rolodex.

Do you know your rolodex?
Who are your go to customers?
How are you balancing the give/take with your clients, customers and contacts?

Is PR mutually exclusive? I don’t think it is. Every day I see businesses, advertisers, and manufacturers wanting to use the content of others but not wanting to pay for it. This is the wrong way to approach advancing the products and services of your business or brand. The solution to utilizing yours and the equity of others for continued long term growth begins with understanding 3 valuable principals. They are:


1. Respect the Brand Equity of Others First

This principal is a timeless one. It’s about focusing on others first and realizing the value that other companies and their content bring to the table. Often, people think only about themselves and their company and will try to acquire and use others’ reputation and content for free but fail to realize that there is a value in what others have built.

What does this look like in my world? In my experience at Wrights Media, nothing sells services and moves product like third party testimonials. Consumers receive more 35,000 messages a day. Trusted sources like magazines and vertically recognized web sites and blogs generate a significant number of traffic that leads to sales for advertisers. Leveraging the publications’ brand equity drives their traffic to your product, but this cannot be done if you don’t respect the brand equity of others first.


2. Create Consumer Facing and Commercial Driven Campaigns

You can do this by leveraging multiple channels; however, one channel that is often overlooked is magazine-branded assets that are monetized by the publisher. Utilizing your and others’ content strategically will produce measurable results. We know this because we run thousands of campaigns each year for winners of awards from magazines like Motor Trend, U.S. News & World Report, LAPTOP, Gizmodo, and more. Each of these campaigns is measured, impressions counted, and metrics reported with ROI behind every decision. For our publishers that support this model, the revenue is sententious.

The key is to strategically align your message with the right partner, thus engaging the right audience. Too many times this isn’t thought about and campaigns produce less than desired results.


3. Don’t De-value YOUR brand

The worst thing that a content or brand owner can do is give away assets without receiving something of real value in return. When speaking about this, I’m not talking about the free content you receive or give for joining a mailing list or a bonus gift on the backend of a sale. I’m speaking of your core product where the real value has to reflect revenue. Giving away your branded assets does nothing but de-value your brand. Even strategic alliances and partnerships are based on mutually exclusive rewards and revenue that are based on much more than rolling the dice together and hoping for a return.



Know your value and the value of other businesses and put together a strategic targeted campaign without de-valuing your brand. Applying these principals every day in your business will produce results time and time again. I know this because I see it everyday with the advertisers, their clients, and the publishers I work with. So if it works for them, I know it will work for you!


For more about monetizing your assets, increasing your brand’s equity and creating incremental revenue streams, you can reach out to me @Briankolb or visit