The Sunday Series (9): Rich Polt & Talking GOOD
It’s not enough to talk the talk, you’ve got to walk the walk.
It’s not enough to communicate, you’ve got to connect.
It’s not enough to speak, you have to listen.
It’s not enough to get through, you’ve to get up and make a difference.
How many of us in life look at a situation and think “what’s in it for me?” It’s human nature. But special people can look at the same circumstances and think, “what’s in if for them?” There are heroes among us, sometimes angels and one man is here to share their story.
Meet Rich Polt.
Rich is here to show you how it’s done. It’s his passion, his purpose, his why. But it’s all about turning the spotlight around, not to shine on him, but to shine on others who are doing great things, inspiring us all. But how do you let the world know about these “do-gooders”, these purpose-driven individuals who are lighting the way? Well, you need only their story and an internet connection… and you’ve got Talking GOOD, (www.talkinggood.com), and the PR firm Communicate GOOD, (www.communicategood.com).
A Baltimore native, Rich has been in the business of PR for 20 years. But while most of us know PR as Public Relations, Rich has managed to bring new meaning to PR — how about Public Recognition? Rich says, “everything I do professionally and philanthropically is tied in some way to this most basic of human needs (recognition). Whether I am working to create visibility for my paying clients, or helping to drive awareness for someone on Talking GOOD, the fundamental deliverable I have to offer is recognition. I fundamentally believe that GIVING recognition to others is the most powerful way to engage individual constituents and build enduring communities.”
Rich’s newest website, Talking GOOD creates a platform that lets anyone recognize people who think they are making a difference in the world. In the words of Edith Wharton, “There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it.” Rich wants Talking GOOD to be a giant mirror anyone can use when they find a candle.
There are plenty of examples of these candles burning bright: Daniel Brannon, who escaped a life of drugs and prison and now dedicates his free time to addiction counseling, (http://www.talkinggood.com/profiles/danielbrannon), or Katie Stagliano, the 14-year-old hunger activist who recently became the youngest recipient ever of the Clinton Global Citizen Award for Leadership in Civil Society, (http://www.talkinggood.com/profiles/KStagliano).
And then there’s Joe Jones.
Joe was a typical “deadbeat” dad, living the life of an $800-a-day drug addict, his only goal was his next high, it certainly wasn’t centered around being there for his family… or for his son. But things started to change for Joe the day his son looked him in the eye and said, “I hate you”. And it wasn’t some spoiled teen shouting about not getting his way, it was a gut-wrenching, emotional message from a son letting his absent father know exactly what he thought of him. These are words no parent ever wants to hear, but Joe knew he deserved to hear it… and from that point on he got to work. Joe is now a national crusader for responsible fatherhood and healthy families. He is the Founder, President & CEO of Baltimore City’s highly impactful Center for Urban Families (CFUF), Joe and his team “strengthen urban communities by helping fathers and families achieve stability and economic success.” (http://www.communicategood.com/2013/06/talking-good-with-joe-jones/)
Joe turned his life around and Rich Polt and Talking GOOD let us know.
These are the types of stories Rich wants to share, stories he wants you to know about, and wants you to tell him about. Rich is pursuing his life’s passion, which as anyone who tries it can tell you – it’s not easy, but it’s worth it. “If there was some sort of scale that could measure the emotional highs and lows connected with pursuing one’s own passion, it would probably look like an EKG”, Rich says. “I spend so much time and energy trying to shine the spotlight on inspiring people. When you put that kind of passion out into the world and you feel like no one really cares… it can sting a bit. But then all it takes is a single positive e-mail, or a comment or a re-tweet and you realize somebody cares. And if somebody cares, then I know it’s possible for a lot of people to care.”
We all need to care. It’s the very thread which binds our lives together. The thread can be thin, fragile, but words have power, stories bring our hearts closer, combine those two with hard work and passion and just maybe you can change the world, if you simply pay attention. Rich Polt and Talking GOOD are on a mission to do just that. Rich is taking his professional skill sets and using his writing and PR skills in the service of inspiring others, in the hopes of making a difference. Give him credit, even sharing one story is making a difference. Everything counts.
We can all learn a lesson here. As Rich explains, “we are each granted a finite amount of days, some more, some less, therefore doing something – anything – is a much better option than sitting in indecision or procrastination. It’s only by doing things that we learn what works and what doesn’t work, what we love and what we hate. I’ve been on this professional journey for 20 years now and I still have no idea where it’s going to take me. But I try to keep moving it forward every single day.”
That’s what matters. If you move forward, if you believe, if you look to enrich the lives of others, the universe will conspire on your behalf. The world will organize around your mission. Miracles can happen. GOOD is the goal. Talking GOOD. Communicate GOOD. Talk the talk, walk the walk. Listen. Communicate. Connect. Pay attention. Think of others who are passionate about making a difference in the lives of others. I can think of one man, but he wants you to think of others.
Do Rich a favor, do us all a favor, keep an eye out for those who are making it happen, those who are changing lives. People like to be inspired. Even better yet, do it yourself, then let us all know about your journey. Prove to everyone you are meant for more. Do that one thing and we all win.
Then let Rich know the story. He will share it with the world. Only GOOD can come from it all.
Until next time thanks for taking the time,
Want to nominate someone for Talking GOOD? Here’s how:
i. Think of somebody they know personally who is passionate about making a difference in the lives of others. Maybe it’s a co-worker or an employee or a friend; someone who started a nonprofit, or volunteers with one; or someone who in their spare time is advocating for a cause.
ii. Go to http://www.talkinggood.com/nominations and click on the Nominate GOOD button
iii. Enter the requested information (it’ll only take you 3 minutes).
iv. Feel good about the gift of recognition you are giving (it can be even more powerful than a financial gift – truly!).
And don’t forget about the Sunday Series! If you have a story of courage, hope or inspiration to share, let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark Brodinsky, Author
It Takes 2. Surviving Breast Cancer: A Spouse’s Story
#1 Amazon Best Seller