This is going to be a different kind of post, but definitely relevant to what I usually write about in relations to social media.  This post will involve a story a couple of central characters as well. One person that will be featured in this story will be Jason Falls.

I first met Jason a few years ago when I went to the first Emerging Media Summit conference here in Louisville. I had been reading Jason’s blog posts on Social Media Explorer for a long time and considered him to be a leader in the field. I was truly amazed he came up to me to introduce himself to me at the conference. I remember thinking, wow! This is pretty cool!

Jason and I were both presenting this weekend at the Integrate Conference in Morgantown, which was pretty amazing all around. Great speakers, wonderful insights, and amazing collaboration and community. I will be posting a blog post on the conference shortly, but I wanted to share with you a story about what happened to me yesterday. It’s kind of fitting since one of the main themes emerging from Integrate yesterday was storytelling.

So, here’s my story.

Jason and I took a shuttle along with Joe Barnes and Joe Cohen (both great PR and social media professionals) to Pittsburgh. We were on the same flight because we were both going back to Louisville. We are on the plane, and Jason mentions to me since he was on wifi with his phone that are next flight to Louisville was cancelled. I was surprised, but surprised turned into panic for me. I don’t usually stress out with travel (been traveling all over the place recently in the US and the world), but I had a time crunch to meet.

I am heading to Barcelona today to present at the RI Conference and my flight was leaving today. I had been looking forward to this trip for months – my sister, brother-in-law, and one of my best friends were all heading to Spain and we were going to go to Paris afterwords.  So, I was very motivated to see how I could get back to Louisville. However,  we were in Philadelphia, we would be out 9 hours from Louisville. Doing the math, it wasn’t looking too good for us. :(

However, Jason was calm and said we can fix this. US Airways told us we could go all of the way out to Cincinnati for our flight, which would have really added some more issues. The wheels were turning in my brain to think – okay, I need to call a rental car company, see if I can get some coffee so I can drive back to Louisville at night, etc.

However, Jason looked and did some research and found out that there was a Southwest Airlines flight to Chicago and to Louisville that would get us back in Louisville. As I was looking for my credit card to purchase the ticket, Jason said he had enough points to get us both tickets. I was blown away. This was truly such a kind act and I basically spent the entire rest of the day thanking Jason for helping me out with this. While I had a time crunch for my conference, it was Jason’s 13th wedding anniversary, so he was trying to get back home as well.

Even though we had a 14 hour travel day, I really enjoyed spending the day with Jason. We talked about social media, sports and baseball, traveling, and even the conference over Chinese food and ice cream. I have known Jason’s work as a leading social media professional and see several of his presentations, but I got to spend time with Jason the person, who is as charismatic, energetic, and supportive as anyone I know. I knew at the time we were both pretty tired from the travel and conference, but I knew I would remember this and knew it would be a good story to share not only for the experience, but the lesson I learned by spending time with Jason.

The good news is that we were both able to get back to Louisville. I am just about to head to the airport to check in for my flight to head to Barcelona.  I am still missing my suitcase, however, it is on route, but I will remember this day for Jason’s kindness and being able to spend a day with one of the leading social media professionals. We will certainly have a story to share for years to come. It will be like “Remember when we got stuck in Philly and were traveling all day.” Good times.

A special shout out and thank you to Jason. For all of the young professionals, students, and brands out there – Jason Falls is the real deal. Not only is he a great social media professional, but he’s one awesome person and can’t say enough good things about him. Thanks so much, Jason!

Hope you all are having a great day!

Best Wishes,

Karen