For many, many years I've been the #1 authority on how anyone can get publicity for their product, service, business, cause or issue. Over the years I've made some major predictions about the marketplace, the future of publicity and advertising, etc. I've got another one right now.
I predict - no I'm certain - that you will soon have no alternative but to use publicity to promote your business, product, service, etc. There are several reasons for this. I'll go into one of them now. I'll cover the others over the next few articles.
Like it or not, the US marketplace - and probably the entire global marketplace - is no longer driven by quality, experience, training, etc. It's driven by celebrity status. Here's what I mean by that. For centuries, the marketplace was driven by qualifications. People would choose a professional or a vendor based on the training that person had, the number of years in business, prestigious awards they may have won, etc. So, if you were choosing a physician, a Harvard educated doctor would be at or near the top of the list. The person who had been in the plumbing business for 26 years got the nod over someone who only had 2 years in business. That has all but disappeared. Now, the economy is driven by celebrity status. Sad...but true. Want a clear example of this?
What if the most recent winner of the Nobel prize in physics was to appear at a local market to sign autographs. How many people would show up? Right, his mother, his sister and his dog. Now, what if some second rate, has-been, blast-from-the-past TV actor showed up to sign autographs. How many people would show up? Right, be sure to have crowd control on hand. The lines of adoring people are going to be long. Want another example?
Suzanne Sommers is out spewing forth advice on health, medicine and nutrition. She played a large-breasted, dizzy blonde on a TV show 25 years ago. What the heck makes her an authority on health, medicine and nutrition?
Right... zip! But nevertheless, her books fly off the shelves while the books written by respected, Harvard educated physicians and their peers are relegated to the remainder sale pile. Some of you may say that Suzanne's books get better marketing, are written better, etc. I say nay, nay. I say they only have the celebrity status of Suzanne. This is driving highly qualified people crazy. People with celebrity status are given more respect, credibility and money than they are. But there is a solution, Publicity. As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, I predict that soon you will have no choice but to use publicity to market whatever it is you have to market.
The good news is that it can be pretty darned simple to put the power of publicity to work for you. In my talks around the country, in my ezine, in my hardcopy newsletter I've been harping for years about the power the media has to make you an "instant celebrity". Just the fact that you were on radio, TV or in the newspaper or magazines, makes you an instant mini-celebrity. Do you doubt me? Well, think about this... Let's say you're on TV on Friday night. On Saturday morning, you're out mowing your lawn. Your neighbor opens his door to get his morning newspaper. He sees you and says: "I saw you on TV last night. I didn't know I was living next door to a.... celebrity!" Hmmm, so being in the media does make you a celebrity, doesn't it?
I've also spent years chastising people for not using publicity and struggling to make their businesses work. Why aren't you using the media to make yourself the local celebrity chiropractor. Or real estate agent. Or tax preparer. Or mortgage consultant. Or carpenter. Or whatever field you're in. I don't know why you're not using publicity. I've shown you the power it has dozens and dozens of times. Are you uncomfortable with the term "celebrity"? That discomfort can cost you a bundle - and maybe even your business or profession. But forget what I say. Look at the marketplace. Look at how much of the marketplace - maybe even your marketplace - is driven by celebrity power.
To heck with qualifications, training, education, experience. Anyone with celebrity power can bump you off in a New Jersey minute. (I know the saying is really New York minute, but New York gets enough attention.) So, it's your choice. Watch your market being dominated by people with lesser credentials and qualifications than you, but more celebrity recognition than you. Or use publicity to get your own celebrity status.
Keep in mind what I said earlier about celebrity status. You don't have to be known around the world, stopped everywhere you go for autographs and have screaming fans to be considered a celebrity. You just have to been seen in your local media to become a local celebrity.
Why do you think charities ask the weather man or the traffic girl from the tiny local radio station to host their fundraising event? It's because the media has made them local celebrities. Would they even be recognized in the local market? Heck no. But simply say: "Jeff Jones, the weather man from WCEL is going to emcee our charity auction" and you've got people's interest. A few of you may be whimpering that this just isn't fair. When did anyone guarantee you fairness, Scooter? It is what it is. You can resist it or you can use it to your benefit. The clock is ticking. The power of celebrity status is growing in the marketplace. Are you in or are you out?
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