Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Ballad of Patrick FitzGerald

On the 4th of July, Patrick FitzGerald from FitzGerald Nurseries in Kilkenny, Ireland started to follow my updates on Twitter. He checked out as a real person, a plant breeder/nurseryman who was following plant and gardening related people all over the world. Cool.

Soon he commented on one of my tweets, and asked a simple question. At the same time he was similar engaging other landscape designers and green professionals, by commenting on their posts, asking questions about plants they like and use, and then simply showing pictures of some of the beautiful plants he's been developing for years.

From such simple actions Pat has caught the attention of designers and gardeners all over the country. After 20 years of breeding exceptional plants and supporting his industry in Ireland, the UK and Europe, he is finally promoting himself and his work, and it is exciting to watch.

That's all. There's no measurable ROI here yet, but just ask Pat if that's how he feels about what has happened. He is building relationships that will be firmly in place by the time his new introductions are launched. And if Pat ever comes to the states, you can bet he'll have many friends here that will want to buy him a pint.

All from a few tweets, a blog, and a quiet belief in his extremely strong product. (Sometimes I think the last is missing from the equation, but everybody is too distracted by the first two to notice.) So this is what I understand 'the conversation' to be. I know it lacks statistics or anything else empirical. And I think that's a good thing.


  1. Hi Laura,
    I too vividly remember Pat Fitgerald coming onto the scene and into our hearts. You made a great assessment of his popularity in such a short period of time. Pat's kind and inquisitive nature makes him so easy and fun to communicate with!
    He has wisely used his social media skill to become a popular Tweeter that I look forward to seeing regularly.
    Thanks for highlighting such a worthy person!

  2. I so agree with your point about quality being the unsung, but critical component of successful SM. Patrick Fitzgerald is a great example of how a combination of charm, kindness, good cheer, and extreme professional quality can find a key place in the pantheon of social media success stories. Oh, and all of the above applies to you too.

  3. I agree with the Three of you. With the use of Twitter have brought a new found connection, freedom & friendships I didn't have before. You get to learn from others & get to the point quickier at the same time. I have enjoyed the Gardening blogs & Tweets. Patrick is a really nice guy with good information & throws a bit of personal info as well which brings you into his world. This is what social media is about and he is a success story.

  4. I remember when I first started blogging back in 2005, I wanted to write a blog post about how music labels were marketing women artists. I pitched several labels, told them what I wanted to do, my blog's readership, the potential exposure, etc. Finally one of them agreed to let me interview them for the post.

    A friend called me later that day and asked 'So do you think this blogging stuff is going to go anywhere for you?'. And I told him 'I don't know, but I just got off the phone with the marketing manager of a major record label, and that phone call doesn't happen if I wasn't blogging'.

    That's something that gets overlooked in the rush to find an exact ROI for your social media efforts; the value of the connections made, and the potential of the tools as a way to connect you with other people. Congrats on Patrick's success, and congrats on the launch of this blog, Laura!

  5. A really nice article Laura, I'm sure Pat is delighted.

    Pat is a great guy, a true professional and a wizard of social media!

    Keep up the good work . . . both of you!


  6. I thought I should comment as the recipient of such high praise and such a really generous gesture from Laura. I think you are all quite generous to make such comments also. I really just started this social media dabbling out of curiosity from a newspaper but took a while to get to use it. Since June I have been using Social Media more and more. I found everyone so helpful in giving tips and especially Laura who now has surpassed all generosity with such a wonderful article. The great thing about this way of promoting what one does is the social aspect to it and it reinforces the age old ideal “People deal with People” its that simple! I am very humbled by your kind words on this blog page ant not sure anyone could not be.
    With Thanks,
    Pat FitzGErald

  7. Laura,

    I love what you have to say here. I've been struggling with the Social Media thing - I really enjoy the relationships I've developed through Facebook, Twitter and my blogs, but I don't enjoy the push to loud, insistent self-promotion. It's encouraging to see that someone like Pat, and you for that matter, can be successful by just being yourselves.

    Congratualtions on the new blog!


  8. Everyone, wow, this is rather unexpected. On Sunday I was participating in Mack Colliers #blogchat (well, I was at least trying to keep up!) and it was full of amazing information and sharing about all about the coolest cutting edge WordPress applets and cutlets.
    I got to feeling a little insecure about my modest baby blogs. But, you know, I like them. They suit me, and are the perfect way to easily share my thoughts and stories. So that's what I mean by a softer approach. I like things simple and beautiful, and smart. There's room for that!
    Thanks again.

  9. I've been following Pat on Twitter - and I only grow lettuce in my garden. And I love his photos! He is delightful kind always has some great feedback and a great generosity with his comments and RTs on Twitter. A great example of sensible use of Twitter.
    And Laura, what a lovely article! Way to go!

    Shiera O'Brien
    @SellingGenius (on Twitter)

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