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Everyone has a publicist

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Last month, I was LIVE on Periscope and Facebook for the first time. I don’t know that the content was all that awesome, but what is awesome is the ability to live broadcast to anyone from anywhere, all with the phone in my pocket.

When I was growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, the biggest publicity I got was my name in the local newspaper for a county 4-H judging award, that week’s track meet, or maybe an FFA event. I bet I still have all those old newspaper clippings somewhere, probably in a scrapbook in the closet of my childhood bedroom. (Sorry, Mom! I promise I’ll get that cleared out someday!) When I met someone outside my local community, that first impression in real life really was a FIRST impression – my reputation had not preceded me and there was little chance they knew who I was or anything about me, just as I likely knew very little about them.

But today? Well today, everyone has a publicist. Statements are made by your publicist, photos and videos are shared by your publicist and media interactions are arranged by your publicist. Maybe it’s a silly analogy, but your publicist is, obviously, you. In today’s online environment, you can make public statements, share personal photos and videos, and interact with public figures and the media.

And maybe the analogy is silly, but I love to use that perspective because it reminds me to consider my personal brand every time I put something out into the world. In today’s world, you see, your reputation often does precede the first interaction you have with someone in real life. But this post isn’t a warning to remind you of all the things you should think twice about sharing, although there are plenty of those, and you should probably think twice about them. Nope, this post is about the very cool opportunities you have in being your own publicist – some that didn’t exist just five years ago.

Here are a few ideas:

Photos on social media – What better way to showcase your activities and involvement? How about posting photos that represent your school activities, your livestock project, and your community service? They don’t have to brag, but why tell them when you can show them?

Periscope and Facebook Live – Add a personal, authentic touch and give a tour of one of your projects, update the world on what’s happening at your farm, or show your excitement for an upcoming show. I love video because I can hear the excitement in your voice!

Media interaction – Share real news stories that are important to you and represent your personal brand. Sometimes I read an article or see a post and think, “I couldn’t have said it better myself!” Those are the ones that are great to share.

Online profiles – Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, you have a blank canvas to paint with your personal brand on each profile. What will you choose at your profile photo? What will your description say?

Real-life interaction – Nothing beats interacting in person, though. Dress the part, offer a great handshake, and deliver your best hello and introduction. What do you wear at a show when you’re not in the ring? At a contest at junior nationals, how do you introduce yourself to the judges?

Your personal brand is communicated to the world each day – at your high school, your college classroom, your workplace, your local community, your stock show, and to your future employers and your future customers. What is your publicist going to say about you today?

 

Marlene Eick is a storyteller and coach. As co-owner of Herdmark Media, she helps businesses in agriculture tell their story. As a leadership and career coach, she helps people discover the stories within themselves.

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