Thoughts On: “Are You an Answer or a Question?”

Through the Looking Glass (Lost)

Image via Wikipedia

by Eric Pudalov, Community Events Coordinator

William Reichard, of Marcana Internet Marketing Guides, writes in his blog on September 22, “Are You An Answer or a Question?

In this particular post, Reichard notes that a basic principle of business is that customers want solutions. Whether the problem is that they’re bored, and want to be entertained; are hungry, and want to be fed; or want to reach others, and can’t seem to communicate, they all have one thing in common: they’re saying, “Help!”

One of the difficulties we’ve had at Georgia Community Support and Solutions is reaching a wider “audience.” Whether it’s to promote one of our events, to let people know about our services, or to simply network with other organizations, we’re still experimenting with the best methods as to how to do that.

Reichard uses the hit show Lost, on ABC, as a perfect example of leaving “basic questions” open, and letting the audience decide for themselves what was going on, sparking further debate and interest.  The basic questions?

1. How did these people survive a horrific plane crash?

2. Why were there so many strange events taking place on the island?

3. What secrets did the characters have?

4. Were the characters really still alive?

5. What was the connection between their previous lives and what was happening on the island?

Were it not for these open questions (and the way they played out in the series), the show would not have lasted as long as it did.

While our name does include the word “solutions,” I believe we also recognize that even as we come up with solutions to current problems, there will always be new issues that need addressing.

For example, if we provide supports to someone with a disability at home, is there a chance they can become too dependent on the support, instead of learning independence?  Granted, some people will need more support than others, which is understandable; but if one skill is learned, then ideally, we would hope that individual can move on to learning higher skills, or at least further improving on the ones that have been taught.

Another simile I might apply is how a company is like a comedian, such as Dane Cook. Cook is extremely popular at the moment, in particular with younger viewers.  Just as with shows like Lost, his popularity is due in part to savvy self-promotion, nearly as much as his actual material.

On the one hand, I’m not suggesting we at GCSS should model ourselves after people like Cook, necessarily; on the other, I am wondering, “What is it that led to his extreme popularity?”  Perhaps nonprofits, somehow, can apply a sort of abstract model to marketing, that would use the same principles that a comedian would to market himself.

For this reason, I try to sometimes think of Georgia Community Support and Solutions in the abstract, considering what questions we are trying to address, and how we are continuing to include new programs and upgrade those that we already have in existence. In this way, we can stay current and provide the best supports possible in the state of Georgia.

Upon reflection, then, “Are we an answer or a question?”

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About gcsscommunity

My name is Eric Pudalov, and I work as Community Events Coordinator with Georgia Community Support and Solutions, whose mission is to provide creative, life-enriching solutions to people with developmental disabilities and their families. I became interested in this field, however, due to having a disability myself; namely, I had brain surgery in 1996 at age 14, to remove a benign tumor. Following this, I had many difficulties with short-term memory, loss of strength, confusion, and emotional control. Fortunately, at present, I've recovered much of what I'd lost. Despite some setbacks, I graduated high school with honors, and received an academic scholarship to Adelphi Univ., where I earned a BA in Communications. Since then, I've held a number of different jobs and internships, among them a TA position at Sylvan Learning Center, and work as a "Service Leader" with Hands on Atlanta. Since living in GA, I've also been involved with two programs (including GCSS) that serve people with disabilities. My experience has included sharing apartments with adults with autism and other disorders. Though my so-called "limitations" may differ from those of others in the program, these experiences have helped me to realize that people, overall, are capable of much more than we may at first perceive. Search Engine Submission - AddMe
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One Response to Thoughts On: “Are You an Answer or a Question?”

  1. Thanks, Eric, for this intelligent amplification! You have a great point about Dane Cook and comedy in general–it’s kind of the fact that we can’t pin it down that makes it “funny.”

    Best of luck with your promotions–definitely looks as if you’re on the right track!

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