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November 13, 2009

Me and Shel Israel

So, there I was chatting away to a nice lady (Orla) next to the toilets of the the Lewis Media Centre (there is a relevance) explaining (rather loudly) why I was so excited to hear Shel Isreal talk when – *TAP* (on the shoulder) – and there was the great man himself introducing himself to me.

Well – introduce himself wasn’t exactly what he did (as he kinda expected me to recognise him – which I didn’t immediately) – it was more like “Oh my Gawd [he’s got a great Noo Yawk drawl] I’m pleased I’ve got at least ONE fan!”.

So that was it. My introduction to the great Mr. Israel. Blogger. Marketer. Writer. And Twitterer extraordinaire. The introduction, though, was pretty short lived – and was swiftly followed by a “Do you know where the men’s is?”

Shel is one of those guys who you wish was your uncle. And if he was your uncle then he’d be your favourite uncle – the one that isn’t overly enthusiastic about you (as he’s got better things to be interested in), however he’s the one that is unashamedly wise (but quite often openly wrong in a humanising way) and says off the cuff remarks that make SO MUCH SENSE.

And the things that made SO MUCH SENSE in his talk were:

– “I’m a story-teller”: I’ve heard this from other people too, but being a story-teller is what every marketer (self-marketer) and brand should be like. We all need to tell stories better. As stories engage and entertain. They give.

– “Buzz is what you hear before you get stung”: am not 100% sure what this means – though it sounds kinda profound. I guess it’s to do with hype and reality. Reality bites once the hype dust has settled.

– “Every business should have a 17 year old on their board”: I like this. Getting different perspectives in business is essential. Bring on the teenager non-execs . . . (this actually came from Peter Whitehead from the FT

Shel Israel speaking

Shel Israel speaking