Blowing Your Own Horn!

Blowing Your Own Horn!

When I go out and do speaking engagements, one of the popular talks that I give ends with me asking the audience the rhetorical question, “If not you then who?” To use a term that I like to employ regularly, I’m challenging them to do a self-audit.

It’s rather ironic that I’m a publicist and yet the point I’m making to the attendees of these various events is that if they don’t promote what they’re doing, who is going to do it for them? Yes, of course, they can hire someone like me, but you get the point.

To help illustrate this, I have a slideshow to complement my talk and have included (among other images and data) a photo of a huge sign on a highly trafficked street corner. It’s for a law firm that I’ve never done business with, don’t know anyone employed there, and thus have no connection to whatsoever. But, back when my weekly “Now Hear This Entertainment” podcast hit one of its milestone episodes, I wandered in there, asked how messages get chosen to be put on the sign, told them of my accomplishment (and my being a longtime nearby resident) (and that I wasn’t selling anything!) and boom, success. They put up a congratulatory message that even included my podcast’s website address. Even as a PR guy I couldn’t have written it better myself.

The point is that had I not walked in there and at least asked, no one would’ve done that for me.

So, when YOU have something you want to be shouted from the rooftops, guess who has to start that ball rolling? Yup, you need to turn to the trio of me, myself, and I so that the three of you can get the word out.

Blowing Your Own Horn

Don’t Wait For Coverage To Come To You

I previously did a blog for Stage 32 wherein I wrote of being asked to speak last year for the Writing for Hollywood Summit as part of the San Francisco Writers Conference, all thanks to having made a connection with someone here on the platform. The organizers asked me back this year and in addition to a masterclass that I gave on promoting yourself and your written works, I gave a session on how to work with a publicist. I included mention of the fact that even under that scenario, however, you still have to be your own biggest cheerleader. You don’t hire someone to champion those efforts for you and then just kick back and put your feet up on the desk.

Many years ago, when Steve Martin was known solely for his standup comedy, he had a joke where he’d say, “You can be a millionaire and never pay taxes. You say, ‘Steve, how can I be a millionaire and never pay taxes?’ First, get a million dollars.”

Similarly, when I tell you what to do after you get the attention you want, you’re going to say, “Wait, you didn’t tell me how to get the coverage.” That’s a blog, a consultation, a masterclass, a lesson for another time. Rest assured, there are lots and lots of avenues to pursue and quite frankly some of you are, in fact, already leveraging them.

I’m here in this post to stress the importance of leveraging what you are getting.

Blowing Your Own Horn

Where To Start Sharing

I always encourage creators to have an In The Media section on their website. And then I always tack on – “My gosh, you DO have a website, don’t you? We shouldn’t even have to be talking about that. By all means, PLEASE have a website!” But then I continue on to say that as much as we all covet getting media attention for our projects, don’t let it just be a one-and-done. In other words, when you get radio, TV, newspaper, magazine, podcast, and/or online coverage, don’t just celebrate, pat yourself on the back, and move on. This is not a case of “This is some good coverage for this newest project. Please drive ahead to the next window.”

I will repeat my call to action that you leverage that, albeit with a caveat.

Let’s state the obvious, which is yes, absolutely post about it on social media. Of course. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings, but if all you’re going to do is (just) post about it on Stage 32, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, you’ve really missed out.

Pro tip: When you DO post on those platforms, however, the media outlet will love that you did [because you’ll tag them] and maybe they’ll do something on you another time, as a result!

But, be sure to add it to the aforementioned In The Media section of your website. That will provide evidence of all the attention you’re getting and thus create demand, not to mention show that you have experience being a guest on radio, TV, and/or podcasts. However, my caution to you is, if you get on the local network affiliate in your market, do NOT add the network logo to your website. You got on the NBC affiliate. You didn’t get on NBC nationally. Add the logo for the TV station itself that you were on. Don’t mislead people!

As someone who has done well over 700 podcast interviews from the host chair, I’m here to tell you that you will be found out when you stretch the truth and yes, it will get awkward. If you’re going to write, “As seen on,” a host better be able to authenticate that.

The good news, though, is that you will be honest, and you will accurately represent all the coverage you’re getting, and now you start utilizing those plaudits to get more opportunities!

Blowing Your Own Horn

More Channels To Activate

Remember that email marketing is still a highly successful tactic to employ and isn’t subject to an algorithm that could possibly limit who does (or doesn’t) get shown your post about a recent profile that was done about you. Be sure to highlight to those on your email list whatever coverage you get, no matter how big or small. Your readers are subscribed to your list because they want to know what you’re up to. So, why wouldn’t you share with them about the latest coverage you got?

As radical as this sounds, I recently suggested to a colleague that a strategically targeted mailing be done (as in, sent out to carefully chosen recipients via U.S. Mail) because of the impact it makes, especially if in a catalog size envelope, compared to the countless emails that fill our inboxes “on the regular.” This was part of a discussion around a collateral piece that had been developed for a client I was promoting. Thus, yet another way to highlight “here’s some notable coverage she has been getting.” There’s no reason you can’t have a slick leave-behind for the people you’re meeting and trying to get opportunities with. And again, the mention you make in there of coverage you’ve gotten just could be what convinces them that you’re the one for the job.

Earlier I made references to speaking engagements that I do. Those too are places where you can start adding in the coverage that you’ve been getting. As part of the introduction when they’re bringing you up to give your talk, have the host include, “(name) was featured in (media outlet) and…” Plus, of course, the printed program should have a short bio about you, as the speaker, that, yup, you guessed it, includes, “(name) was recently profiled by (media outlet).” And just like I mentioned about leaving a favorable impression on a media outlet and them asking you back, there just might be audience members who hear you speak, and that presentation coupled with your now enhanced credentials could lead to them approaching you afterward to say, “I’d love to have you come speak at my event!”

I often tell my clients that the more we show people what they’re doing, the more it creates an image of, “Well (name) must be good/doing something right – look at all that they seem to have going on.” And that, my friends, is a combination of, sure, the work they see you doing, but also all the attention they see you getting. And how are they seeing that you’re getting lots of attention? Because you’re blowing your own horn!

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About the Author

Bruce Wawrzyniak

Bruce Wawrzyniak

PR / Public Relations Professional

I run Now Hear This, Inc., which has clients across the country, from Hollywood to Tampa and points in between (Las Vegas, Chicago, etc.). Clients run the gamut from dancer to actor to author to singer/songwriter to filmmaker and more. Services fall under the management and promotions umbrella inc...

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