Pop(timism) Goes the Weasel

mag-06Riff-t_CA0-master1050To be honest, I haven’t worked as a music journalist for quite a while and have not really kept up with that world.  But for some time I’ve heard the term “poptimism” creep up.  It initially sounded like something that was spawned from a SNL routine, so I paid it little attention.  Then a few weeks ago I came across an article in the New York Times Sunday Magazine written by Saul Austerlitz titled, “The Pernicious Rise of Poptimism.”

To quote: “The reigning style of music criticism today is called “poptimism,” or “popism,” and it comes complete with a series of trap doors through which the unsuspecting skeptic may tumble.”  The article continues: “Poptimism now not only demands devotion to pop idols; it has instigated an increasingly shrill shouting match with those who might not be equally enamored of pop music. Disliking Taylor Swift or Beyoncé is not just to proffer a musical opinion, but to reveal potential proof of bias.”

Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 11.48.02 AMTo all of this I just have one question, has everyone gone insane? 

This sounds like some kind of Orwellian mind control technique devised by the music industry to insure that Katy Perry or Lady Gaga or whomever is popular at any given time be showered with praise.  Yes, I know about the arguments about music critics being “rockists”, but seriously, let’s take a quick trip back to reality.  If a rock critic prefers the new offering by say, The Black Keys to Beyoncé is his or her role simply to keep silent, or worse yet, write reviews overflowing with feigned praise?

There is PR and there is journalism.  I’ve worked in both arenas and it’s best to keep them separate.  The two can and often do work in unison, but they should not meld to the point where it becomes impossible to distinguish one from the other.

As Austerlitz states in his New York Times piece: “In the guise of open-mindedness and inclusivity, poptimism gives critics — and by extension, fans — carte blanche to be less adventurous. If we are all talking about Miley Cyrus, then we do not need to wrestle with knottier music that might require some effort to appreciate. And so jazz and world music and regional American genres are shunted off to specialized reviewers, or entirely ignored.”

There will always be music journalists who champion the status quo.  That’s fine.  Popular artists are successful for a reason.  But, and many might not like to hear it, but it is possible for an artist to be very successful and not necessarily be all that talented.  Yes.  Shocking as that sounds, that has been known to happen.  And when that does happen, journalists need to write about it.

All journalism is subjective, but when journalism has a mandate to reflect a particular point of view, we run into problems.  Granted, we’ve been running into an avalanche of problems over the past few years, but that’s a whole other issue.  Right now my focus is extremely narrow, music journalism.  If we start from the point that all journalism is subjective, there is no more subjective form of journalism than criticism.  All journalists have tastes and biases and those might or might not coincide with those of the masses?  What if journalists use their forum to make their case about a particular band, singer, or music genre?  Are they biased?  Sure they are.  But then every reader can agree, disagree or ignore what was written.  From my perspective, the writing need not be optimistic nor pessimistic, it simply needs to be genuine.

Copyright © Anthony Mora Communications 2014

Gauld, Tom. “The Pernicious Rise of Poptimism.” Illustration. The New York Times. 04 Apr 2014. 24 Apr 2014. <http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/06/magazine/the-pernicious-rise-of-poptimism.html?_r=0&gt;

Lorde – A Star with “Royal” Branding

1827165_et_2014_coachella_photo_2000_w__LSGuest post by Devon Landman

Considering the amount of time Lorde has been famous, you would think to call her a “rising pop star.” However, within a single year, the New Zealand native won two Grammy Awards (Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance) for her album, “Pure Heroine” (2013). It seems she skipped the “rising” part and became a pop star overnight.

Perhaps it’s Lorde’s unique song lyrics and tunes that caught the attention of America. But to gain that much success in such a short amount of time, and not even be from the United States, is something to explore. There have been many foreign artists who have tried to make it big in the U.S. How did Lorde brand herself in the U.S. market so impeccably?

I have come up with a list of strategies that Lorde has used to make her a star before her journey even began:

1. She promoted her single “Royals” on the biggest talk shows early in the game. Lorde performed on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and the “2013 New Zealand Music Awards.” Although without proper PR representation, this type of media exposure is rarely something that a performer can accomplish on his or her own, by debuting her music on top tier media outlets she was able to firmly establish herself on the pop culture stage.

2. She stays true to her age. For example, the music video for “Royals” featured Lorde’s high school classmates in slow motion. Many other artists hire famous actors to perform in their music videos rather than their peers.

3. Lorde reminds her fans, “Flaws are OK.” On March 30th, she tweeted a before and after picture of her during one of her concerts. The photo had been photoshopped to hide her acne. She said she preferred the “before” photo, because it was real. She tweeted, “I find this curious — two photos from today, one edited so my skin is perfect and one real. Remember flaws are ok :)” She also Instagrammed herself another time with acne cream on, proving she is the same as everyone else and making her even more lovable to the public.

4. She keeps her focus entirely on her music. In the entertainment world, stars like Miley Cyrus often exploit bodies at the expense of their musical talent. When asked to discuss her role as a feminist with V Magazine, Lorde replied, “People like to paint me in a certain way, but I’m a hugely sex-positive person and I have nothing against anyone getting naked. For me personally, I just don’t think it really would complement my music in any way or help me tell a story any better.”

5. Lorde created a strong, universal name for herself as an artist. Her real name is Ella Yelich-O’Connor, but choosing a short and memorable stage name such as “Lorde” was a smart move when branding herself. The reason for her name choice? “I was interested in aristocracy and royalty at the time.” It has nothing to do with religion. “Lorde is like a character, something I can switch on and switch off when I’m on stage,” she said.

Whether you call her Lorde or Ella, she knows how to remain grounded despite the pressures of the entertainment industry. If I ever decide to ditch my law school plans and become a singer, I know who I’m calling for advice on making it big in no time.

About Devon Landman:

Devon Landman’s expertise includes social media management and creative writing. She gained her experience from being a member of the writing team and an editor for Platform Magazine and interning for Eastern Florida State College. She is graduating from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala. in May with her B.A. in Communication and Information Sciences. This upcoming fall, she plans to attend the College of Charleston School of Law in Charleston, SC.

Sinco, Luis/ Los Angeles Times. “Lorde performs at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio.” Photo. The Los Angeles Times. 16 April, 2014. 16 April, 2014. <http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/gossip/la-et-mg-lorde-teen-vogue-hilary-duff-lena-dunham-hair-name-20140415,0,6738572.story#ixzz2z5p0F9uG>

Want to Succeed? Reach Your Goals? Try This Counter Intuitive Approach -Allow

HiResGenerally when we hit a snag, or a problem, or just hit one of those points when we want to pick up our laptop and toss it out the window, we go into one of two modes, we decide to push harder, do more, or we resist.  We fly into reactive mode either way.

In one case we do the proverbial chicken with its head cut off dance, flying in a myriad directions in order to make ourselves at least feel like we’re accomplishing something.  Here we generally find ourselves hurriedly multitasking, giving ourselves a sense of accomplishment where in fact, that’s all it is, a sense of accomplishment.

The other mode is resistance.  It’s too much.  We’ll never get it done.  There’s no way we’ll even come close to accomplishing our goals.  The nay sayers are right.  Better yet, we move to the head of the nay sayer class.  In this case we don’t speed from task to task trying to make more calls, send more emails, do more marketing, send out more press releases, or devise more sure-fire ideas, we sit and stew and curse the world.  We’d throw the computer against the wall, but what the hell would be the point?  So we sit fuming, incensed, enraged and infuriated at the fact we were brought into this wretched life, as we contemplate the reasons why whatever we try is sure to fail.

Action is one polar reaction and resistance is the other.  But action for its own sake is generally mindless action and resistance, at least in these situations, is generally a form of denial.

There is another reaction that we could choose.  It’s not as easy nor is it as knee jerk as the first two.  It takes some discipline

The reaction is to allow.

Yep, not to force, or push, or pull, or charge forward or retreat, but simply to allow.

It can be the most difficult approach, because the other two give us the illusion of taking control of the situation.  We are either charging forward or we are heading backward.  In either case, we are doing something.  We are doing, which must mean we are controlling.

Not really.

By allowing, I don’t mean just sitting and waiting for the proverbial knight in the white steed to ride up and solve all your life problems.  Yes, you need to do your work, set up your marketing, launch your PR campaign, and cover the basics.  What I mean by allowing is doing your work and then letting go.

Allowing life to happen.

It can be scary, because you shift from doing to being.

But also by stopping the frenetic action or the all-consuming resistance, you create some space, you make some room.

By taking a step back and simply allowing, you’re now positioned to receive.

Worth a try.

Copyright © Anthony Mora Communications 2014

Colbert, Letterman and a Fuming Rush Limbaugh

rs_560x415-140410173445-1024.colbert-rush.cm.41014It looks like we won’t see the Stephen Colbert character from his current show on Comedy Central, once he takes over The Late Show on CBS, which in a way is a shame.  Being a fictional character with such a skewed point of view, gave him the freedom to say things that Stephen Colbert the person could never get away with.  Yet, according to Rush Limbaugh, by naming Colbert as Letterman’s successor, “CBS has just declared war on the heartland of America.”  As Limbaugh explained, “No longer is comedy going to be a covert assault on traditional American values and now it’s just wide out in the open.  What this hire means is a redefinition of what is funny, and a redefinition of what is comedy. They’re blowing up the 11:30 format under the guise that the world’s changing, and people don’t want the kind of comedy that Carson gave us, or even Letterman. It’s media planting a flag here, and it’s a declaration.”

So, that’s one way to see the Colbert announcement.  On the other hand, according to CBS’s Les Moonves, “Stephen Colbert is one of the most inventive and respected forces on television.  David Letterman’s legacy and accomplishments are an incredible source of pride for all of us here, and today’s announcement speaks to our commitment of upholding what he established for CBS in late night.”

rs_560x415-140410091528-1024-stephen-colbert-david-lettermanI don’t think CBS has any worries as to whether Colbert can do justice as Letterman’s replacement sans his character.  He is intrinsically funny. But whether the real Stephen Colbert will carry The Late Show is another matter.  If I were to bet, I’d bet that he will.  He can be caustic and acerbic when needed, but I feel he’s intrinsically more likeable than Letterman, which could give him broader appeal.

Even without the Limbaugh reaction, Colbert’s fictional character could never survive on network TV with the type of mainstream guests those shows need to book on a regular basis.  His Comedy Central Show has a specific market, and the character’s political edge would quickly wear thin if targeting mainstream America.

Whereas there was some speculation as to whether CBS would break the white-male late-night fraternity by choosing a woman or a person of color to replace Letterman, Colbert was apparently the favorite in the race.  According to Entertainment Weekly, an online sportsbook gave the Comedy Central host 3:1 odds at taking over the coveted gig.  So, Colbert was a good bet from the get-go.

In the larger scheme of things, does any of this matter?  Depends on whether you watch late night network TV.  Rush Limbaugh certainly seems to think so.  One thing’s for sure, when it comes to the ratings and CBS’s pocketbook it will matter big-time.

Copyright © Anthony Mora Communications 2014

He, Gary/ AP Photo, Comedy Central. “Rush Limbaugh Slams Pick of Stephen Colbert to Host Late Show After David Letterman.” Photo. E! 10 Apr 2014. 11 April 2014. <http://eonli.ne/1hyXdZr&gt;

He, Gary/ AP Photo, Comedy Central. “Stephen Colbert/ David Letterman.” Photo. E! 10 Apr 2014. 11 April 2014. <http://eonli.ne/1hyXdZr&gt;

 

Defining Your Marketing Objectives

dartsBefore you launch a PR, social media or marketing campaign, you want to make sure that you’ve outlined your objectives.

What is it you want to achieve?

Do you want to:

Sell products?

Promote your service?

Grow your company?

Establish yourself as an expert in your field?

Attract clients, customers or patients?

Establish your brand via the media?

Each one of these objectives is valid and attainable, but you want to define precisely what your objectives are before you start to develop and launch your public relations campaign.

Why?

Your objectives will define your approach.

A PR campaign is not a one-size-fits-all process.  We’ve represented clients for over two decades and although there are parts of the process that remain constant, I quickly learned that each client is different, each client has different objectives and each client needs a tailor made campaign and approach.

If you’re not working with a PR company or PR consultant, a good way to help define your marketing needs is to get others involved.  One of the best ways to do this is to set up a marketing objective brainstorming session.

Before you start, I suggest making one hard and fast rule. Keep an open mind.  You might think you know your business inside and out, where in fact, you might be too close to see exactly what your business needs in order to grow.  You’ll probably come up with a list that includes a number of marketing objectives.  That’s fine, but come up with one, or at the most two primary objectives.

When you launch a marketing or PR campaign, what are the two most important objectives that you want to achieve?  During the brainstorming session let everyone participate, and explain why he or she thinks certain objectives are more important than others.

Once you’ve come up with a list of around ten write them down.

Next define them.

Now start a process of elimination until you’ve narrowed it down. Keep at it until you end up with two primary objectives.

Once you have them defined, take some time and write out exactly what your goals are, short term and long term.

Most businesses skip this crucial step and simply start to market.  They jump in and start swimming without any clearly defined map that guides them and makes sure they 1) know where they’re going and 2) keeps them on course.

Once you’ve defined where it is you want to go and have clearly defined why you want to market, you can then move on to how to most effectively market yourself and your business.

First define your objectives, then come up with your marketing plan – and then execute it.

Copyright © Anthony Mora Communications 2014

Branding U

business man hand point to branding diagramPR and media relations can be the most powerful forms of branding.  They offer the validation, credibility and trust-factor of being featured in the news.  Truly learning the basics of public relations is like learning the tricks of the trade of a Branding University.  But before you blithely can jump from the conceptualization to the actual  marketing and branding of yourself, and your company, you have to take care of the basics and learn the art of PR.  You’re going to succeed by learning how the media thinks, not by assuming you know what they want. The following are some tips that can hopefully increase you’re your branding skills.  Think of it as a quick Cliff Notes version from Branding U.

Define your story and your career path. You can’t tell others about what you do until you fully understand it yourself. Write a short, clear and concise paragraph that defines what you do. Write it so that an eighth grader could understand it. You may be surprised.

Define your target market.

Think in terms of stories. People understand concepts best when told in terms of anecdotal stories.

Write a clear, concise one-page press release.

Study the various media outlets. Tailor your releases and your pitches to each specific media outlet.

Less is more. If you’re thinking of sending out a huge press kit filled with reams of paper, photos and brochures, think again.

Examine all of the available angles. Your first pitch may not work. Be creative.

Learn the three P’s: Patience, persistent and preparation for success.

These aren’t always easy to master.  You need to prepare for success, be persistant in your outreach and have the common sense to be patient enough to allow the process to work.  . Yes, we’ve had campaigns that have hit a home run in the first week, but that is exceptionally rare, and not always the best launch for a campaign.  The most successful ones build gradually and consistently.  They take time and require persistence. But the payoff can be great.

The real secret to Branding U is realizing that public relations is a creative, story-driven, gradual, on-going, cumulative process. If you are going to implement a P.R. campaign, make a commitment to stay with it. . Your career will be glad you did.

Copyright © Anthony Mora Communications 2014

Earthquakes, Fear, Inspiration & Career Success

bigstock-d-man-with-earthquake-crack-15393341-e1378078498794-2When you wake up in the wee hours of the morning because the house is moving, and you’re not, you’re either recuperating from a very interesting night, or you live in Los Angeles and you are being given a not so subtle reminder about how ephemeral life really is.  That small shake could turn into a huge shake in a matter of seconds.  I always wondered if people would live inside of a sealed volcano knowing that the seal could blow at any time, but then again, it might not blow for years.  In a sense, that’s what life in L.A. is about.  The impending big one is not that dissimilar to what life was like during the cold war, when everyone prepared for one side or the other to push that red button.  There were shelters, drills, preparations for impending disaster.  It was in a sense always top of mind, but people went on with their lives keeping the shadows at bay.

So, what does all of that rhapsodizing on doom and gloom have to do with PR and marketing you ask?  Good question.  Actually, it has more to do with life than marketing, but life encompasses your business which will inevitably bring you to marketing as one of the stops.

I generally would have probably gone right back to sleep, but the earthquake triggered the house alarm which then triggered a phone call because of the alarm, so I was pretty much scurrying round the house and wide-awake when it was all over.  Plus, it was time to get up.  But I crawled back in bed and stared at the celling, waiting to see if it was going to dance a bit more and thinking about motivation.  What gets us to do what we do?  What gets us to do those things that we actually need to do in order to get where we want to go?  And do the prime motivators themselves define where we end up?

My answer to the last question was a definitive yes.  Earthquakes motivate people to act through a fear response.  Self-preservation can be a pretty compelling call to action.  But that is a very specific type of motivation and it leads to specific conclusions and decisions.

Innovation_Inspiration_600_400_70_c1_center_center_0_0_1What happens if we use that type of fear base motivation when it comes to our business or career?  Where does that lead us?  It certainly can get us moving, but where will decisions based on that type of self-preservation response take us and our business, company or career?

Fear is simply one motivator, another is inspiration.  That’s when an exciting idea or a personal dream calls you into action.  This motivation is not fear driven.  The impetus in this case is excitement and passion; the motivation is the sheer joy of working towards a desired goal.  The decisions and actions might cause fear, but they will not be driven by fear, which most likely will lead to very different decisions. And those, in the long run, will most likely lead to a very different destination.

So blame the earthquake on all of this philosophical waxing, but it’s probably not a bad idea to stand back a bit and see what is motivating you.  If its fear that’s okay, we’ve all been there.  But, just for the heck of it, have the fear leave the room for a few minutes and invite inspiration in.  Now look at your dream and your goals again.  Allow inspiration to be the driving force (just for a few minutes).  Now, working from that perspective, what would you do differently?  How would you feel?  What decisions would you make?

I know, fear is at the door, banging to be let back in, but before you do so, spend a few minutes with this new perspective.

You might be surprised.

Copyright © Anthony Mora Communications 2014

Fowler, Susan. “Five Beliefs that Erode Workplace Motivation, Part 2.” Photo. Blanchard LeaderChat. 02 Sept, 2013. 18 Mar, 2013. <http://leaderchat.org/2013/09/02/five-beliefs-that-erode-workplace-motivation-part-2/&gt;

“Innovation Inspiration.” Photo. Intellectual Ventures.  08 May, 2013. 19 Mar 2014. <http://www.shenet.org/high/hs_library/citing%20an%20online%20image.htm&gt;

The 12 Must Know Secrets of Physician-Oriented PR – part 2

healthcarepr 2As stated in part one of this two part series on healthcare PR and media relations is the most impactful type of marketing that a physician can utilize.  Yes, you can by ads, commercial time and send out direct mail pieces.  Those approaches can be effective, but they present you in a different light.  Consumers and patients are savvier than ever and they know that an ad or a commercial is there because it was paid for.  PR is the only form of marketing that establishes you as an expert, offers you the validation and credibility of being featured as a news story and reaches your target market, in other words potential patients.

Over the past two decades, we’ve worked with hundreds of physicians.  We’ve also represented hospitals and medical centers.  Depending on their needs and objectives we’ve helped physicians grow their practice, build their brand, establish themselves locally and nationally, and land publishing and media opportunities.

Knowing the secrets of medical PR is an immensely valuable tool for a physician.  As I mentioned, I’ve broken this down into two separate articles.  The first article covered the first six must-know secrets.  Seven to twelve are covered here.  These are not listed in order of importance.  All of these points are paramount.  So, make a point to read both articles.  These two articles offer an overview of the 12 healthcare PR secrets every physician must now in order to launch and implement an effective and impactful media campaign.

7)     Understand that the media is in the business of edutainment

For good or ill, the media is how most of the public learns about health and medical oriented topics.  Attention spans are short and understanding that the media looks for quick interesting explanations.  Remember you are not trying to fully explain a topic during an interview but to help bring some understanding to the issue.  When you primarily want is to establish yourself as the go to physician for prospective patients who are dealing with issues that have to do with your specialty.  The interview or article is simply the door opener.  But, for a producer, or writer or editor to want to call on you for an interview, you have to make them feel comfortable that they’re going to come away with a good interview.  You don’t have to turn into a showman (or woman) but at the same time, you don’t want to deliver information in a boring monotone using medical verbiage that most of the public won’t comprehend.  Imagine you’re talking to a group of grade school kids, how would you explain the topic to them?

8)     Media Coverage is an invaluable SEO Tool

Apart from watching interviews on TV, listening to stories on the radio or reading articles in magazines and newspapers, the public generally searches the web to find information.  And, what the public generally searches for are media stories about the specific topic their researching.  So, by being featured in the media, you are positioning yourself to be found online.  It’s an amazing SEO tool

…check out the rest of these tips, from this article, on our Savvy Healthcare PR blog here!

Copyright © Anthony Mora Communications 2014

Why PR Can Be Your Greatest Inbound Marketing Tool

inbound marketing toolAlthough inbound marketing is no longer the unique approach it was a few years back, it has developed into an incredibly powerful approach.  It is increasingly becoming a more sophisticated and effective way to reach prospects and clients.

In essence inbound marketing is when clients learn about you and your company organically (through PR, social media and content distribution) and contact you directly.  Traditional public relations is probably the original organic form of inbound marketing.  Unlike TV commercials, print ads or direct marketing mailers, through PR- companies are featured in the media as news stories.  With that type of coverage comes the validation and credibility of being quoted in a major magazine or interviewed on the evening news.   That type of press coverage and exposure builds trust, and it is that trust and credibility that magnifies a call to action.  In this scenario the prospective client reads about you or sees you in the media, or finds content rich articles by you online, views you as an expert and contacts you.

This type of content-based marketing is not about the hard-sell, or being the biggest, or the flashiest, or even the coolest; it is about making a deep powerful connection with your public, about communicating on an authentic level.  Social media, blogging, and traditional public relations are the four most effective inbound marketing tools available.  Using any one of them can be effective.  Creating a marketing campaign that incorporates all of them can turbo charge your marketing efforts and grow your business.

Innovative companies and entrepreneurs are utilizing this basic methodology, understanding that this approach is one of the most powerful and effective brand building tools available.  Here is where traditional PR becomes such an important part of the mix, effective inbound marketing all comes down to creating a compelling, effective story, which is the basic tenant of any successful PR campaign.  For a story to work it must be engaging, interesting and hit a basic human core.

So, when launching an inbound marketing approach, learn from the basics of traditional PR.  It was the first form of marketing that lived or died on the power of the story. Unlike advertising, when it comes to PR, you don’t pay to have a story placed on a specific date and time.  You must craft and pitch a story compelling enough to capture the media’s attention – a story that in essence is strong enough to become the news.

Use that same approach when blogging, or article marketing or working on social media sites and it will serve you well. On the Internet, as in public relations, content is king.  If you offer your readers or target market information they can utilize, if you speak to and address their needs, you will gain a loyal following – and clients will come to you.

Copyright © Anthony Mora Communications 2014

 

 

YES: Spacing Out Is A Good Thing!

mag-19Eureka-t_CA0-master675A recent article in The Sunday New York times Magazine, titled:  Breathing In vs. Spacing Out, not only meditation and its practice that has an upside.  Yes, the article discussed how meditation is important to help keep the mind focused and how it’s now being used by the military and to achieve higher test scores.  Americans seem to like employ that competitive approach to concepts such as meditation. Consider competitive yoga.  Who would have guessed that legions of yogis would be locked in competitions before the practice traveled to the U.S.?

But, I digress, the article in question discussed the benefits of meditation, but then went on to discuss the benefits of another mental process, one that I always felt was greatly underrated.  That process being what people refer to as spacing out, mind wandering or daydreaming.  You know, those moments when you find yourself looking out of the window and you have no idea what you were thinking about.  Generally, particularly as kids, we’re castigated when caught in that mode and are brought back to reality by the teacher’s mantra, “pay attention!”

I think I probably spent a good third of my school years parked in that mental mode.  Well, according to this article, that’s not such a bad thing, because although meditation helps focus and settle the monkey mind, spacing out is when we’re most apt to experience those “Aha!” moments.  It is during that time that we’re most likely to have that brilliant idea downloaded.

According to the New York Times article:  A study showed that “physicists and writers alike came up with their most insightful ideas while spacing out.”

I’m not sure if we can make spacing out competitive, but, given time, I’m sure someone will certainly try.   But the bottom line is, give your brain a break.  We spend so much time trying to figure out how to build our business, or come up with that new social media phenomena, or that perfect PR approach, or that oh so creative marketing technique.  And it turns out the more we try, the more we focus, the less creative we become.

So, learn a lesson from that kid you left behind in grade school.  Look out the window, stare at the sky and try to achieve – absolutely nothing.

Brand, Christopher. “Breathing in vs. Spacing Out.” Illustration. The New York Times. 14 Jan 2014. 04 Mar 2014. <http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/19/magazine/breathing-in-vs-spacing-out.html?_r=1&gt;

Showing up is Half the Battle

mountain_climbingI used to work as a personal manager representing actors, writers and musicians.  One lesson that I quickly learned was that those who succeeded accomplished one task repeatedly; they showed up. Sounds simple.  Sounds mundane, but it’s true, that one step put them ahead of nearly 90% of the competition.

Showing up used to be part of my you-can-make-it speech to my new clients.  I’d explain that the competition looked fierce for actors and musicians in L.A., but when you got rid of those that just wanted to be stars and weren’t willing to do the grunt work, then removed the posers, followed by those who were in the game simply because they looked the part but had no real passion or drive, you’d find the competition wasn’t all that great.  A lot of bodies trying for a position, doesn’t necessarily equate to a lot of competition.

The ones you have to worry about are the ones who do the work, refine their craft and show up for each opportunity – repeatedly.  And from my perspective, if you’re a member of the club I just defined, you, in fact, don’t really have to worry about the competition.  You’re in a rarefied field.  There is enough for all.  All you have to worry about is doing your work.  Then you can market and promote and develop your PR strategy.

The same is true in any field.  Showing up and doing the necessary work on a daily basis is half the battle.  Once you’ve nailed down the basics, you can focus on letting your genius shine, be creative and turn the world upside down with your brilliance.  But, that is actually the icing.  Try it without sticking to the basics and the fundamentals, and you’re in trouble.

I remember a creative writing class I took in college.  Whenever I tried to pull what I thought was a brilliant James Joyce or William Burroughs approach, the professor would smile, shake his head and remind me it was my job to learn the rules before I decided to break them.  I thought he just didn’t get it.  Amazing the perspective that time gives.  Yep.  He was right.

So remember, PR and marketing are essential, but first you have to do the basics.  And the beauty is you know the basics, or can learn them.   Once you’re at that point, a public relations campaign can be the wind in your sails that helps you speed forward.   But first, you have to show up.

I used to work as a personal manager representing actors, writers and musicians.  One lesson that I quickly learned was that those who succeeded accomplished one task repeatedly; they showed up. Sounds simple.  Sounds mundane, but it’s true, that one step put them ahead of nearly 90% of the competition.

Showing up used to be part of my you-can-make-it speech to my new clients.  I’d explain that the competition looked fierce for actors and musicians in L.A., but when you got rid of those that just wanted to be stars and weren’t willing to do the grunt work, then removed the posers, followed by those who were in the game simply because they looked the part but had no real passion or drive, you’d find the competition wasn’t all that great.  A lot of bodies jocking for position, doesn’t necessarily equate to a lot of competition.

The ones you have to worry about are the ones who do the work, refine their craft and show up for each opportunity – repeatedly.  And from my perspective, if you’re a member of the club I just defined, you, in fact, don’t really have to worry about the competition.  You’re in a rarefied field.  There is enough for all.  All you have to worry about is doing your work.  Then you can market and promote and develop your PR strategy.

The same is true in any field.  Showing up and doing the necessary work on a daily basis is half the battle.  Once you’ve nailed down the basics, you can focus on letting your genius shine, be creative and turn the world upside down with your brilliance.  But, that is actually the icing.  Try it without sticking to the basics and the fundamentals, and you’re in trouble.

I remember a creative writing class I took in college.  Whenever I tried to pull what I thought was a brilliant James Joyce or William Burroughs approach, the professor would smile, shake his head and remind me it was my job to learn the rules before I decided to break them.  I thought he just didn’t get it.  Amazing the perspective that time gives.  Yep.  He was right.

So remember, PR and marketing are essential, but first you have to do the basics.  And the beauty is you know the basics, or can learn them.   Once you’re at that point, a public relations campaign can be the wind in your sails that helps you speed forward.   But first, you have to show up.

Copyright © Anthony Mora Communications 2014

“Mountain Climbing.” Photo. Mountain Climbing & Vacation Trips. 08. 27 Feb 2014. <http://www.whenwegetthere.com/tourist_attraction/land_tourist_attractions/mountain_climbing/4_108/mountain_climbing.jsp&gt;

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