No business is an island. In order to succeed, most companies need a deep bench of trusted partners to assist them. Along with a lawyer to help your business manage its legal risks, and an accountant to help your business manage its money, that bench generally should include a publicist to help your company manage its reputation.
But what if you can't afford one? You can -- and should -- be your own publicist, Dr. Adam Harris, a Colorado physician, tells author Scott Richter in an article for Entrepreneur.com.
"You must think of yourself as your own publicist and be visible within your community," Harris advises. "A publicist must generate and manage publicity for a public figure (especially a celebrity), a business, a book, a film or an album. Most top-level publicists work in private practice, handling multiple clients; your only client is you. If you are truly happy with what you are selling, you won't have any problem shouting about it from the rooftops."
According to Harris, being your own publicist is all about one thing: making yourself visible.
One idea is sponsoring a local team or a pro athlete. "In the past, a great way to get your face in front of a lot of people who need your service is to donate your time to high school sports, clubs and more," Harris says. "I teamed up with a local [physical therapist] and together we pick times to come to the school and help the kids. Also, I became active in the pro world and sponsored one pro athlete. We were able to cross-promote each other as well as generate a ton of referrals within that athlete's circle of friends and competitors."
Likewise, you can establish philanthropic partnerships. "On a quarterly basis, partner up with a local charity and do different types of campaigns and drives for their cause," Harris recommends. "Often the charity will publish what you are doing within their network, which is a great way to expand your own reach. At the end of the drive, hold an 'after hours' to present what you have collected and celebrate."
Whether you hire a publicist or do it yourself, the job boils down to this: Give in order to receive.
"The notion of hanging a sign on a door and achieving success is a myth," Richter concludes. "You must market, promote and network every day. You must give to get."
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