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Managing Director @ The Tag Experience | New York Times Best-Selling Author | Former Editor in Chief of Ocean Drive Magazine | Dad
We’re not all comfortable sashaying on the red carpet, twirling for the cameras, twerking on TikTok or posting our entire day — from morning coffee to late-night escapades — on Instagram. Most of us leave that to celebrities. But that doesn’t mean that you, as a business owner or publicist, can’t get that spotlight turned on when needed. Think about George Clooney. He lives in Italy. You never see him — until he wants you to. He pops into America for his movie premieres, interviews, photo opps, then he’s gone.
We all know people who are absolutely exploding with exposure (disclaimer: that’s not always a positive thing). But you never know what is going on behind the scenes — like that a person has a seven-person team following them everywhere they go or that they spend their entire lives connected to their phone. And it’s true: With exposure, sometimes the more effort you put into it, the more you are going to get out of it. I don’t want to change my clients’ lifestyles. But I can give them strategies and tactics and even convince them to step out of their comfort zones.
No one places more value on press and exposure than I do. Whereas I wake up each day and come into the office thinking about it, our clients have 15 other verticals to think about, so it’s not their fault when they can’t hold up their end of the bargain. But you know who’s really good at selling themselves, getting press and self-promotion? Celebrities. And here’s how they pull it off.
Content is king.
So many celebrities call the paparazzi themselves, share selfies all day and arrange for photo shoots weekly. These days, with the great iPhone cameras and social media, there’s no excuse for your creativity to be flat.
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You don’t have to be Kim Kardashian with a gang of paparazzi chasing you, and you don’t have to be J.LO, changing outfits six times a day, but you’ve got to put some kind of effort into it. Think of all the meetings, handshakes, contract signings, happy hours and moments during the course of your week. It’s not all bagged lunches and Zoom meetings. Take a photo.
Don’t miss an opportunity.
Most executives and/or companies with a certain level of credibility have some form of marketing plan in place. Maybe you’ve got someone in-house or are working with a partner who’s managing it all. Something’s going to come your way sooner or later. Don’t miss out. Be ready.
For example, if you are taking a meeting with a famous billionaire, business person, celebrity or athlete, get a photo. If a journalist reaches out for an interview, and that journalist can only speak with you at 4 p.m. on Thursday, cancel whatever you have on your calendar and make it happen. Journalists don’t always go with the best source, they go with the available source. If they need to schedule in three hours for a photoshoot, give it to them.
You can’t hide. Believe it or not, some of the biggest billionaires, CEOs and celebrities on the planet are super shy and hate going out. But they do it. A lot of people think celebrities are being divas when they walk into an event an hour late and leave 15 minutes after they arrive. Or they idle in the car for an hour or the VIP room until they are ready. That’s not always them being a diva; sometimes they just don’t like to be around a lot of people. But they do show up. They make an entrance, they let themselves be seen and they leave a little bit late — but never before taking a photo and documenting it.
Don’t hand over the whole set of keys.
Behind the scenes, the biggest personalities getting all of the press have a massive team around them executing on a plan. You don’t always need all of that. Regardless of the size of the team, it’s the quality of the attention. Are you taking time out of your weekly schedule to think about PR and marketing? Or are you just looking at what everyone else is doing and wishing that was you?
It’s great if you have a hierarchy set up where you have a head of communications or director of marketing handling everything. But I assure you that the companies and people absolutely killing it out there are taking a special interest in the messaging. They aren’t handing over the entire brain trust to just the head of marketing. There’s an effort and coordination there from the top. In fact, as someone who’s worked below, alongside and above the head of marketing, I can tell you that you should never leave it up to just one person.
We had a client on a national TV news show a few weeks ago. The show itself garnered around 275,000 viewers live. It was a great hit. But there are so many other ways to expand that exposure. The LinkedIn post where the client shared it garnered 11,000 views of the post. Instagram? 4,000 views. Twitter got the post an additional 1,000 views. By sharing on social media, our client not only increased viewership and awareness but also ensured that his entire network — who may or may not have been watching live on TV — saw it or can go back and see it whenever they want.
We can’t all be Jennifer Aniston and attract attention with every photo or tweet we make. But we can, over the long term, portray creative communication and visual stimulation and drive interest in our brand, whether personal or corporate — with or without the paparazzi.
Forbes Agency Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?
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Author: Jared Shapiro, Forbes Councils Member