I’ve worked for a PR company in my long and chequered career and they had a great definition posted up on the wall, wish I could remember exactly how it went, maybe someone can remind me? It was based on a first date
He tells her ‘I’m the best dancer / cook / lover / (pick one) you’ll ever meet’ – that’s advertising
He tells her ‘ask that woman over there, she’ll tell you I’m the best dancer / cook / lover you’ll ever meet’ – that’s marketing
She says to him ‘I hear you’re a wonderful dancer / cook / lover ‘ – that’s public relations.
We of course insisted PR was the best way to package anything.
It can go either way, once the word is out there it takes on a life of its own. Donald Trump, then and now, is a wonderfully topical example. Three years ago if anyone had said ‘Donald Trump’ you’d picture that bizarre hair, the hectoring thuggish image, oh yeah I heard of him, Ivana Trump’s ex? Today, whether you’re a supporter or bug-eyed that he has supporters, you know the guy better than you know your neighbours. Power of publicity.
Right now I’ve got three areas of my life that need work. Dating, looking for a new job as redundancy is happening early next year, and selling books.
Dating, the advertising part is setting up your website profile, sure, but marketing? It’s an area where you don’t really want to promote the fact you date a lot, that doesn’t imply permanence and that hand-in-hand walk into the sunset! And frankly, double standard is still double standard, is it really good PR if a man says hey, I hear you’re hot in the sack? So the trick would be to find a website with a public forum, set up a good profile without over-selling, make engaging comments on the public forum, and build up exactly the right image so that others find you fascinating and queue up to date you. What could possibly be easier?
Job-hunting isn’t something I do very often and I suspect I am both very good and very bad at it. My ad, the old faithful CV, is good. My record is good, and my verbal references are great – I rarely go for an interview without being offered the job but, here’s the crunch, I never get offered top salary. Ever. That needs salesmanship or amazing PR and I am rubbish at selling.
Take selling books, oh, I know the process. Putting link after link on social media and trying to word them exactly right to hit that elusive demographic, the reader who clicks and buys, is the learning curve.
Marketing, that even more elusive demographic, the reader who reviews, who is prepared to put on record that they (a) bought the book (b) enjoyed it and (c) will buy more – oh how we love them. That gets abused, too, especially by the professional publishers, within minutes of a book going on sale several hundred, or thousand, readers (numbers depending on budget) rush to record it is the Very Best Book they ever read ever EVER.
PR is the reader who tells friends about the book they enjoyed. The priceless word-of-mouth recommendation. Dream world, that friend tells friends, conversation starts and spreads like wildfire.
I did write a how-to book about dating as a mature single. Perfect world, it could sort out the employment and increase sales of my other books as a by-product. Any PR gurus out there – call me? And oh yes I do realize putting Donald Trump in the headline was an odd attempt at a demographic. Politics aside, though, he’s a type of older man us autumn roses would come across and seriously, picture him without the billions, would you date him? Should you?