No one likes a braggart. Unfortunately, in order to get ahead, you do have to toot your own horn and make your accomplishments known. And often in the entertainment industry, having a bit of an ego is necessary to launch your career. What good is an actress who doesn’t really, truly, deeply believe in herself?
That being said, anyone can sing their own praises. Of course you think your script is great and deserves to be read, or that you’re perfect for the role, or that you should get the job. The problem is, so does everyone else.
That’s why editorial content is better than advertising. Wait, how did I get to such a broad concept from talking about promoting your own creative work? It’s simple. Anyone with something to promote can purchase an ad. You can place a print ad in a magazine or newspaper. You can sponsor an online newsletter. You can pay for Google AdWords. You can promote posts on Facebook and Instagram and sponsor tweets on Twitter. Frankly, you can say whatever you want, whether or not it is true or valuable.
The reason why public relations is more powerful and more effective than advertising is because, with PR and media coverage, you get someone else to talk about and endorse you. When you hire a publicist, she starts working on your behalf to get others on your team. A publicist reaches out to journalists at the publications you want to be covered in and “sells” them on you – your brand, your product, your screenplay, your achievements. In advertising, you purchase an ad and it runs right there. Bam. In PR, no money can be exchanged. You need to convince a journalist to write about you because you are cool and because their readers would also think you are cool. Needless to say, this is an incredibly difficult and time-consuming task full of silence, dead ends and rejection.
And that’s exactly why PR is so much more effective. Because you really do need to have a great story to tell, and because media coverage is so exclusive and difficult to attain, it means so much more to have your name in a journalist’s column than it does to simply purchase a full-length advertisement. When a reader reads an interview with you, a feature on your work or a piece on your company, you now seem much more legitimate to them. Not only do you believe in your work, but now other people do too (the journalist). This causes the reader to believe in you. And so on.
So yes, keep talking. Toot that horn, promote your work on social media, get your friends to come to your screenings. But the most important thing to remember is that other people need to believe in you too – so get out there and convert some believers to your team.
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