Sunday, April 6, 2008

How To Get Good Press

OK – you’re ready to enter the Socialite realm. You’re working on becoming a quality volunteer and strategically selecting the events you are attending based on your pocketbook and time.

Yet, we both know this is not enough.

The saying ‘If a tree falls in the forest, who will hear it?’ can apply to striving to achieving Socialite status if we re-phrase it like this.

‘If an aspiring Socialite doesn’t receive good press, who will know her/him?’

You and I both know that getting good press is vital as it garners more contacts, more invitations, and possible income (yes, I said income).

Let’s look at the recent examples of Genevieve Jones, Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, and Tinsley Mortimer – all of whom rose to media popularity within the past five years. We can debate until the sun sets and rises again as to whether or not all of these ladies are true Socialites. But the real ‘read’ here is that they have branded themselves as Socialites in the media. This has led to free designer wardrobes, compensated appearances at events in addition to branded clothing jewelry, perfume, and cosmetics lines.

Yes– they’re extreme examples. You may not be that ambitious.

You may just want to prance and dance on your local scene.

However, you’re not sure how to promote yourself without sounding or looking obnoxious.

And, like many of the Super Socialites on this list, you can’t afford your own publicist.

Well, here are a couple tips.

1)Make friends with local photographers and reporters that cover social events. Photographers and reporters tend to cover people that they can identify easily which is why you see the same Socialites over and over again in the media.

2) Have a polished look when you are posing for photos and be camera ready! Looking neat, classy, and well groomed will make your chances of getting your photo taken much more likely.

3)Consider starting a blog to promote yourself and your activities. Just make sure the blog is well written and managed. Don’t ramble about all of the sordid details of your personal life (it can come back to bite you later!). Just stick with the facts of the five ‘Ws’ – who, what, when, where, and why.

4)Work on becoming a leader in your professional field by doing your full time j-o-b really well. Strive to land in industry publications as someone who is well versed in your field. Ultimately, you may win awards and other accolades that can be covered in the general press. Major non-profit organizational leaders read the local awards section of newspapers like most men read the Sunday Sports section. Why? Because it’s a ready-made list of people that can be accessed for possible board appointments.

5)Buy a copy of one of my favorite books - Brag: The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It by Peggy Klaus and read it at least twice. This book is incredible at teaching you tips on how to promote yourself without sounding like a PR hungry loon.

6)Generate your own press releases. There are lots of good resources on how to write quality news alerts and full releases. Depending on the size of the publication you are targeting, you can be featured pretty prominently.

7)Don’t discount the influence of smaller niche publications. My two lil’ local neighborhood publications are highly read among the entire town’s Social Set because of our neighborhood demographics (lots of key influencers, major political and non profit organizational fundraisers, professional class, middle to upper income, racially diverse). Getting in those pubs is just as important as landing in the ‘major’ publications.

8)Brace yourself for the mean and jealous comments that may come your way as your profile rises. Focus on the positive and keep your head up to rise above any childish snippyness.

I know, I know – this is a lot to digest.

Keep in mind that becoming a Socialite is hard but valuable work if this is one of your life’s aspirations.

I'm headed out now to my family's bi-weekly Sunday dinner with Special Friend.

Enjoy today!