The fantastic film, That Thing You Do!, describes the whirlwind story of a fledgling band coping with newfound stardom after the release of their first radio single. Hoping to avoid the pitfalls of the ‘one hit wonder,’ the movie depicts the background legwork necessary to advance and uphold a career beneath blinding spotlights. Although a work of fiction, That Thing You Do! practically parallels the daily operations necessary when cultivating a career.
In our recent blog post we touched on the benefits and detractors to one large ‘splash’ as opposed to many placements in specialty publications. Every single one of us has contemplated the day our big break comes, and how we will handle the influx of attention and the rapid shift in our lives. The media is a fickle creature; without a constant stream of publicity, there is a tendency for overexposure on a single topic and a quick career flame-out. When aligning yourself with the, ‘What have you done for me lately’ crowd, the key is to remain relevant.
A common byproduct of a solitary placement is an unfortunate pigeon-holing effect. As a professional speaker, author or expert, you should shoot for the widest audience possible to receive your message. While you may gain notoriety for ‘that editorial in the Chicago-Tribune two years ago,’ the point is moot when the message no longer matters. Unfortunately, bragging rights don’t pay mortgages.
Do not let fifteen minutes of fame eclipse the potential for a lifetime of sustained achievement. It is imperative to stay in the public’s eye and remain a viable go-to source in a variety of media. A page-long article in TIME magazine is an enormous accomplishment, but many of the publications errantly deemed ‘small-time’ have circulations that reach conference rooms and board meetings across the country, as well.
Everyone enjoys the occasional ‘one hit wonder’ shower sing-along, but no one is blasting ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ through their car stereos at major intersections with the windows down. Your ability to perpetuate your public image is your lifeblood: don’t make it THAT thing you do, make it THE thing you do.
PR/PR Public Relations