Tonight I spoke to a group of PR students about the hardest PR to do and in my opinion, your own publicity is the most difficult. Just as your resume is painful to write as is cleaning your own house. I’d much rather do someone else’s PR than my own and I’d rather draft their resume and even help clean their home or garage. When I do it these things for myself, it’s drudgery for some reason. It’s just less fun.
But, I wanted to point out to this energetic group how important it is to do your own PR, especially when looking to start a career. This must never be overlooked. I have seen these stats lately that 97% of all jobs are found through networking. If the only way you will find your next job is through another person’s assistance, then it becomes imperative for you to be able to tell others what you are looking for in a position and what companies you are targeting in a 30-second elevator speech. You need to have a clear, concise answer as to your work desires.
And after you’ve gotten down your elevator pitch, then you need to make sure your brand is reflected in everything you are posting online. Once branded, you need to stay true to that brand in all that you do on-and-off the record for as it was so aptly put in an article in today’s Wall Street Journal written by Jeffrey Zaslow-we need to think that cameras are always watching us. Whatever appears on the web about us-is part of our brand-so it’s best to control it through blogs, comments, tweets and video.
The best comparison that I can make regarding publicity is that publicists are cheerleaders for a company. We’re standing out in front of the crowds yelling to the top of our lungs, touting the company’s accomplishments. We have their emblems on our sweaters and we are a walking sandwich board for them wherever we go.
It’s my calling and I love it. But, I do act as a publicist in all that I do. I’m constantly filtering what I’m saying, posting, shooting or visiting. Because of my profession, I also edit what I think to make sure what I say is exactly the right words.
And when I’m not doing that I’m reading and observing how people engage with each other. When I read a newspaper article, I’m looking at the responses to see how others counter attack. That’s why you’ll see me write about such events as Toyota’s crisis, or Tiger Woods or now I’m watching BP Petroleum. I look at how PR is being practiced in all areas around us.
All this leads to the fact that it’s important to have a sense of who you are so you can help others become who they want to be. And the field of public relations has a bright future, because of the harm that others are inflecting through digital abuse. There will always be some mess for publicists to clean up whether that be a giant oil spill, a high-profile divorce or tainted aspirin.
Publicists will always come to the rescue.