I am inspired by Catherine Mohr. Of course, you probably have not heard of Catherine Mohr. She is a self-professed “geek” who designs surgical robots by day and worries about the environment and building a green house in her spare time. I first encountered Catherine Mohr through a TED presentation, where she talked about her environmental concerns and her desire to build a green house. Like most people of my generation, I am concerned about the environment, so I watched the video and thought, “Wow! there’s some very insightful stuff here.”
Now here is where things get interesting and the Web comes into play. I decided I wanted to learn more about this medical technologist/environmentalist/geek, so I “Googled” her. What I uncovered was a rich online persona, including a LinkedIn profile, Facebook profile, and other online tidbits that would tell me more about this woman and her passions. And then I ran across a KALW-FM interview. KALW is one of my favorite Bay Area NPR affiliates, and I was intrigued to see she had been interviewed for the Crosscurrents news program. Now I had a chance to hear the professional side of Catherine Mohr, and learn more about surgical spiders and her other passion, developing surgical robots that can go where no human surgeon can.
And I knew I wanted to blog about this woman because what she is doing is interesting and important. My stepdaughter has taught me a lot about environmentalism and eco-responsibility, and Mohr’s green construction presentation was quite thought-provoking. And the geekier aspects of designing surgical robots appealed to my own inner geek. But what would make Catherine Mohr a suitable topic for a blog about public relations and online marketing?
The answer, of course, was the way that I discovered her and the effective way she has built an online brand that provides a fairly complete portrait that spans both her personal and professional personas. Whether she intended it or not, Catherine Mohr had created an integrated marketing campaign that builds awareness for her personal and professional passions, and drives awareness for Intuitive Surgical and the DaVinci Surgical System. If I hadn’t run across her TED presentation on green building practice I would never have uncovered Intuitive Surgical.
The threaded connections of the Web are diverse and deep, and the blog entry you post today could help promote your latest professional triumph, or lead to your last online embarrassment. So be proactive and be positive. Understand that every move you make online reflects not only on you, but your employer, your family, and everyone to whom you are connected. If you understand the power of the web, you can tap it to build connections and a personal brand that will follow you and promote your passions, no matter what they are.