Advertising makes brands famous. But how do you earn attention if you don't have a huge budget to amplify your message? How do you punch above your weight and get noticed by your peers and clients?
It's a subject I know a great deal about. We build business profit by building business profile, making our ad industry sector clients - and their people - more famous. It might seem odd, but, yes, even people in the advertising business, the very people that make brands famous, need fame too. It attracts people; it attracts new business; and it attracts investment. Fame builds success - and what's more the better known you are, the more you can charge.
The CEO Approach to Fame
So how do you make a name for yourself or your company in a world of professional communicators? Here are my tips: my CEO formula. It's not named for CEOs, nor aimed at CEOs - just anyone wanting a little more fame.
It starts with Content. Do great work; stand for what you believe in, or create something that will spread. Make it useful, entertaining - or inspiring. The more engaging, distinctive or memorable you can be the better. If your content is shareable then others will help spread your message further. This stuff doesn't just appear though: in contrast to paid-for media, which needs a media budget, earned media needs a content budget. Invest in it, in yourself. Be consistent. Be your own brand.
At Advertising Week Europe this week, for which Propeller Mobile developed the conference and event app, I have been impressed so far by Radium One's explanatory video. It was a good example of industry content and went down well. Elsewhere Jon Karmen of Radical Media talked of the movement to change the acronym STEM in education (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) to STEAM to include Arts. It's a strong and simple line and provides a memorable, sharable nugget of content
Next step is to be Engaging. Not just interesting, but interested too. Listen and be inclusive - and if your narrative can tell a compelling story, chime better with people better still. We are wired from our childhood to listen, remember and repeat the stories we hear - and the best are often as much about magic as logic. Whatever your sizzle, your style, become known and reliable for that - and remember that people buy people so whatever your style, always be nice too.
Engaging communicators on show at Advertising Week Europe included Chris Maples of Spotify, Nicola Mendelsohn of the IPA and Karmarama (a client of ours), and Trevor Healy of Amobee.
Do your Outreach
The final step is doing your Outreach. It's not enough to be your own brand - you need to be your own agency too. Talk to journalists and opinion-leaders to build the bridge to your audience. Be helpful and be of the moment. Follow the news agenda and be ready to 'newsjack' by being ready and being available. Social media is also essential: there are many platforms you can use but Twitter and LinkedIn are mandatory and plug you into and connect you with a wider network. It's about getting out there - offline, and online - but being in people's eye-line matters too. So speak at conferences - and if you aren't yet on the bill then be sure to ask questions, and let people know who you are.
In summary, it's all about telling stories, shaping and sharing content that gets you noticed by the people that matter and building your reputation. You may not yet be as famous as your CEO but a little C.E.O. can get you a long way.