At its most basic level, PR is the art of helping people and products become famous. Doing this successfully involves skill and hard work, but the work is not nearly as complicated as some PR firms like to make it sound. We have had great success promoting our client Jo Emerson in the UK and international media (her appearances include Prima, Good Housekeeping, US News & World Report, the Guardian, the Metro, Woman, ASOS Likes, and more) – you can achieve the same by following these three easy steps.
While she may not yet be a household name, Jo’s reputation in the media is growing steadily. Journalists are starting to approach her directly asking for quotes and ideas. On her current trajectory, it’s just a matter of time before she is the most famous confidence coach in the UK. Using Jo as a case study, here is our guide to how to become famous in three easy steps!
BECOME FAMOUS STEP 1: Get your personal branding right.
‘Personal branding’ can be a tricky concept to define, but just because it is a slippery concept do not underestimate its importance. When it comes to marketing yourself in the media, personal branding is what makes you the right person for the right situation.
Jo’s personal branding is spot on. When we present her to journalists looking for a life coach to quote she fits their expectations. This is important because it gives them confidence their readers will accept Jo as an expert in her subject. Jo’s appearance is confident but approachable. Her website, images, and messaging are all open and inviting, but thoroughly professional.
Jo’s personal branding is natural and authentic (journalists and readers will spot a fake a million miles away), but her genuinely appealing personality shines through because of the effort she has put into it. Jo has invested carefully in good design and professional photography. When it comes to making a good first impression (via a website or in person), attention to detail is essential.
Besides the standard life coach qualifications, Jo also has an online confidence course and an upcoming book (Flying for Beginners – we love this title). These are important elements in her personal branding as well, as they underscore her status as an expert. Nothing convinces a journalist or producer that someone is an expert like a book!
BECOME FAMOUS STEP 2 Make Journalists Happy
Journalists love to provide gripping content for their readers, viewers, and listeners, but do not forget they are also normal human beings managing busy lives. They like to knock off work early on a Friday afternoon just as much as everyone else. The pressure to produce great content quickly is growing every year, so doing anything you can to make the lives of journalists easier will win you a lot of fans in the media. If you want to become famous, figuring out how to make life easy for journalists is half the battle.
Being ultra-responsive to journalist enquiries is one of Jo’s strengths. Her recent appearance in the Guardian is a great example. We spotted a request on Twitter from Kirstie Brewer asking for expert opinion on confidence, and were able to deliver finished copy to Kirstie from Jo within 26 minutes of her tweet. No joke.
@impcom_ thanks Ned, talk about pronto!
— Kirstie Brewer (@KirstieJBrewer) 16 May 2016
Having quality copy in her inbox minutes after making the request made Kirstie’s job easier, and Jo’s quote and a link to her website appeared in the Guardian a few days later. Speed was not the only factor (Jo did actually provide some great content) but it certainly helped.
Whatever your market or area of expertise, there will be dozens of others equally as keen as you are to become famous. Journalists can pick and choose so make sure you give them a reason to pick you. Be responsive. Be accommodating. Be willing to appear or produce copy on short notice. These traits will get you noticed and remembered and are a great step forward if you want to become famous.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Jo impressed the Guardian so much last week that she was invited to join an live online panel on confidence as well. Make the life of one journalist easy, and the word will spread!
BECOME FAMOUS STEP 3 – HIRE US (or someone, at least)
PR is not rocket science, but that does not mean it is a good idea to ‘do it yourself.’ Here are the main advantages for having someone else help you become famous:
- Perspective – It can be hard to see your own best qualities. Misunderstanding what your most media-friendly attributes are, or failing to spot strengths altogether, are surprisingly common. If you want to become famous it is much easer to get outside help from someone who can evaluate your potential objectively.
- Credibility – Journalists and producers expect the media personalities to be represented by someone. In a way, having a PR company helping you become famous is part of your personal branding (step 1).
- Experience – If you want to become famous it is unlikely you have ever done this before (or else you would already be famous). A good PR firm is interacting with the media on a daily (even hourly) basis. They will know what topics journalists are regularly asking for expertise on, and what steps you can take to make journalists happy (step 2).
Please note, ‘having contacts’ is not in our list. Media contacts are useful, but not the end-all-be-all many PR practitioners often want you to believe. Sure, knowing a journalist can help, but long gone are the days when media heavyweights will run duff stories as a favour to a childhood friend. If you want to become famous you need to have something the media will take interest in, and if you have sometime the media will take interest in, long-standing relationships in the media are not needed to generate interest.
Hoping to become famous? Do not expect it to just happen spontaneously. Too many people are vying for the media’s attention for you to be sit back and wait for it to happen. Look through our three step process, think about what you would like to become famous for, and then give us a call. We would be delighted to hear from you!