I’ve recently been making a lot of noise in PR, social media and communications circles. ‘Noise’ as in ‘getting my name out there’. I wanted to make sure that potential clients heard about my new independent status. Maybe a couple of times. Or three. Or four
And I’ve been pondering whether such shouty behaviour is tiresome?
The thing is, I’m not one for blowing my own trumpet. Well, that’s not strictly true. I was told something by my former MD at BOTTLE about five years ago which I’ve not forgotten. He said to me that I needed to PR myself better, both within and outside of the agency.
I took that on board and I learned to blow my own trumpet. And I credit that, at least partly, to where I am now.
When my work won an award, I made sure everyone knew about it. When I was given the opportunity to write an article for a magazine, or supply a quote for a blog, I took it. When I was offered a speaking slot at Internet World, I snapped it up despite at the time being ‘unaccustomed to public speaking’ and being, to be honest, completely terrified.
As all this happened, I grew in confidence and things like training a room of 30 people or sitting on a conference panel not only ceased to phase me, but actually became really enjoyable. Nowadays, I love the buzz of helping strangers with stuff they can put into practice or speaking to a room full of professionals about something I’m passionate about and can pass on to them.
This all came back to me while having a chat the other day to Ann Hawkins, who has just had a book published. She casually dropped into a conversation that she had a call with her publisher…and then admitted that she shamelessly loves plugging that line. “If you’ve got it, flaunt it “, she said.
I agree with her.
To my original point, self-promotion doesn’t have to mean being arrogant or up one’s own arse. I would certainly hope that I don’t come across that way (although you’d know better than me).
It’s Up to You
If you want to get on in your career, you’ve got to make the most of the occasions when you deserve praise and kudos. If you don’t PR yourself, no-one else is going to. From personal experience, I’d thoroughly recommend putting yourself out there, developing your voice and stepping outside of your comfort zone. Help people: what you give, you shall receive.
It’s within your own power to develop your reputation and to control what the future holds for you.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re an account executive in an agency environment, a marketing director in a corporate organisation or the owner of a business, this something you can learn to do. And if you’d like some advice, mentoring may be something that would benefit you.
The key thing is to get over that initial awkwardness that comes with talking about yourself, to stop worrying about being shouty, and to learn how to PR yourself without being a jerk.
In the words of Fun Lovin’ Criminals:
Smoke ‘em, smoke ‘em, smoke ‘em if you got ‘em;
If you ain’t got ‘em, then you hit rock bottom.