Archive for the ‘Public Relations’ Category

When Does Self-Promotion Cross the Line? Monday, April 1st, 2013

Self-promotion is tricky.  Whether online or in-person, you want to promote your business or cause, but don’t want to appear annoying or boastful.  When does healthy self-promotion cross the line?  How can you avoid common pitfalls that make you seem big-headed or bothersome?

From a personal branding standpoint, the first thing to remember is that your personal brand is like your reputation.  You are not a bag of potato chips, so don’t market yourself like a commodity.  Be honest when you describe your accomplishments, and don’t exaggerate the details.  Often it’s best to let your work or product speak for itself: your first priority should be to deliver quality content, not to promote your personal brand.  Communicate how you can help others; people want to know what’s in it for them.  Make it about other people, not just you. Give credit to people who have helped you.  Using testimonials (written responses by others that praise you) are much more effective than tooting your own horn.  Make sure your self-promotion is relevant or helpful to the topic at hand.  Respect your target audience.  Your goal should be to make connections, not “win” supporters.

One of the worst things is to over-do it.  Be careful not to be too aggressive about self-promotion; it’s a major turn-off.  Relentless self-promotion can imply insecurity and self-doubt.   Don’t post links for your websites on forums or sites too often or when it’s irrelevant.  Be cautious about how often you “name drop” illustrious colleagues, programs, or companies you’ve worked with, since this can be seen as bragging.  Don’t be the guy who spams in-boxes with tons of self-promoting emails, especially if those emails are impersonal and of the “one size fits all” variety.  Don’t offer advice when you have limited or no expertise on a subject.  Failure to sensitively self-promote can leave people feeling irritated and manipulated.  If it sounds like a sales pitch, people are smart enough to know what you’re doing.  Don’t post anything that will come back to haunt you.

There is a fine line between appropriate self-promotion and just being obnoxious.  Gimmicks will fool some people, but not all.  You want people to respect you enough to return to your website or services in the future.  Be sensitive about how often you promote yourself, and how you go about it.

John Bradley Jackson

Top Dog

The BirdDog Group

© Copyright 2013

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John Bradley Jackson Interview Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Recently I was interviewed by Ashley Wirthlin from the Public Relations Blogger. We talked about marketing and PR in the new normal of 2010 and how things have changed.

Here is a snippet and a link to the blog.

“Niche marketing is about choosing a market that is overlooked or under-served… A marketplace that is served by the big companies, by mass marketers, typically will look over opportunities simply because they’re too small.”

John Bradley Jackson Interview – May 2010

John Bradley Jackson
Top Dog

The BirdDog Group
© Copyright 2010
All rights reserved.

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Tell the Truth Monday, October 5th, 2009

The Lakota Sioux have a saying that reads “Mitakuye Oyasin”. It means we are all related or come from the same place.  This infers that everyone deserves respect and we that we need to be truthful with each other.

Tell people the truth and you will get what you want. Exaggerate, lie, fib, or try to be something that you are not and people will see right through you and they will pass on what you are trying to sell them.

When you are wrong, admit it. Humans are tolerant and an honest man is very appreciated in our society. An example is a recall of a product problem by General Motors; when a recall announcement is made and the public learns of the defect, the consumer forgives GM for the error. What is left in the public’s mind is the image of GM trying to make things safer or better.

Unfortunately, the political spin masters and the big PR machines often head the other direction, which is ill advised in my opinion. Bill Clinton, when confronted about his indiscretions with Monica Lewinsky, repeatedly denied the claims (under oath as I recall). Later, he recanted his story and apologized. The best course of action would have been to tell the truth at the beginning and move on. Despite his lies, the nation did forgive him, more or less.

Honesty is valued highly by the customer, but the customer has learned not to trust nor believe what they are told. This particularly applies to salespeople and I believe that this distrust is warranted. Too many years of interfacing with manipulative sales reps who tell the truth only when it is expedient have soured the purchasing community.

The lesson for a business is to market your product enthusiastically, but accurately. Never take on an assignment or a commitment that you really cannot do well. This means committing to do only what is truly possible, to always tell the truth even when it means admitting a mistake or weakness, and to always follow up on your commitments.

John Bradley Jackson

The BirdDog Group

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