You know those people who seem to show up, out of nowhere, everywhere you look? There they are, quoted in that feature about the latest marketing trend, then smiling out at you from their gorgeous new office space in your favorite design blog, later checking in at the airport on the way to keynote a conference (while dropping major hints on that they are not being paid in exposure. Ahem.).
Working in communication, we understand that perception is often reality; and that the real story is often anything but the shiny headshot, the glossy pull-quote. It’s hard work, hits and misses, late nights, moving mountains for a media opportunity, and the occasional burnout easily hidden by the right Instagram filter.
And yet, when everything starts moving, the parts aligned just so to set it all in motion, there’s nothing quite like riding the interest wave (something you no doubt understand from making it happen for your brands place).
If you’re interested in getting to that next level in your own career, there are definitely a few things you can do right now to fast-track the process.
1. Start by sharing your story
My guess is that if you chose a career in public relations or marketing, you consider yourself a pretty good writer. This is great news, because one of the easiest ways to start to build industry interest is by submitting articles to relevant publications, and filling out career profiles.
Sites like Ideamensch, Career Contessa, and PR Couture all make it super easy to submit your information for a feature. This is a great way to start building your own arsenal of press hits which will help you with #2.
2. Land speaking opportunities
Armed with a few industry press hits, a speaker sheet (similar to a one-sheet or fact-sheet) with a few topic ideas you’d be happy to present to a crowd, you can easily begin reaching out to local PR and marketing organizations, as well as regional and national conferences, to explore opportunities for you to be a featured speaker, moderator or panelist.
3. Invest in a support system
We all know that success doesn’t happen in a vacuum. The more people you have rooting for you, helping you and connecting you to their networks, the more possibilities open up. Whether you sign up for a workshop, join a business mastermind group online, or commit to monthly strategy sessions with a handful of other industry experts you trust, make sure you that operation YOU isn’t a solo operation.
Call me biased, but for entry-level women seeking help landing their first job, the PRISM course + alum community cannot be beat. Jeneration PR has a wonderful Facebook group for brands and business owners seeking DIY publicity. Breakfast lecture series Creative Mornings is a monthly happening in cities across the world and a wonderful chance to be inspired before 9 am. For those lucky enough to be in NYC – the programming available at The Wing deserves your attention.
4. Become an Award-Winner
The distinction of winning an award instantly sets you apart. From PRSSA Awards I won during graduate school to Blogger of the Year in 2010, and being named a local San Diego”40 under 40,” I’ve enjoyed the curiosity that builds from being listed as one to watch. I still get asked about these accolades, years later, and where appropriate, they still merit a mention on my resume and bio. We’d certainly love to honor you through our Individual Award category as part of the Bespoke Communication Awards this year – Top Communicator of the Year has a pretty nice ring to it!
5. Meet major players through volunteering
Did you catch all our SXSW coverage through Instagram Stories? Our on-site correspondent Amanda Nelson has volunteered for several years on the Press Team – giving her access to all conference events and a ton of key folks working behind the scenes. She’s actually built her career on connections made while volunteering. Whether you choose an event, or to join the board of a non-profit that aligns with your own values, the more you expand your network, the more extensive your options.
6. Identify out of the box media opportunities
You’re no stranger to what would make for a great client media opportunity – and now it’s time to turn the tables back on yourself. The quickest way to a potential client or recruiting opportunity may have very little to do with a traditional PR or marketing story – and everything to do with a personal hobby, big life changes (having a baby, remodeling a new home, carrying around a cardboard cut-out of Barak Obama). From signing up for HARO to joining Media Leads and exploring podcasts, keep your eyes and ears peeled for new publications and quotable opportunities outside your regular area of expertise.
Implementing just a few of these strategies will help you begin the task of capturing media and prospective clients and company attention.