Quit promoting yourself. Now promote yourself

Chis Brogan wrote this post yesterday about how to do SXSW right. Marjorie Clayman popped into the comments and said “Make sure you send out a press release” that started a debate of sorts.

I think Marjorie is more right, but I’m going to offer an abbreviated case study of how my company, Rivershark, helped “promote” a client on a recent speech he gave at St. Joseph’s University to a group in the retail and food industry. Short story long, he walked his own talk and stood out.

A week before David Rich of ICC/Decision Services was to speak at the annual Food Industry Summit, his company put out a press release saying he was going to be there and what he was going to talk about. It was short, direct and to the point. There were no platitudes, no grand statements.. just a standard 5W, AP-styled release. We posted it to his company’s web site, sent it over to PR Newswire and published it to trade associations like NARMS of which he is a member. (BTW, few people do this last step. Few trade associations do member news. All of them should.)

We then helped distribute through the various social media outposts like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook.

We wrote a series of blog posts on social media and retail, one of them written by David. He had been writing on the use of social media in mystery shopping, customer intercepts and experience for a couple years so this wasn’t a “shell game” we were running. In fact, ICC/Decision Services is very much walking their talk and has been for a while. You can check out their blog posts, Google David for other connections about the use of social media in retail, find out he is the past president of the MSPA and all that. He has the credentials.

And I’m sure a lot of people attending the conference did just that. Some of them did it in real time.

The day before David went on, we wrote a blog post that gave a preview of his talk, outlining his main points.

The day after his talk, he wrote a summary blog post. All of this was supported by tweeting out, posting to LinkedIn discussion groups, etc.

Does this seem like a lot of work for a 15-minute speech to a small group of folks in the food industry? Sure does, but in the 365/24/7 business world, this is probably the new minimum. Being the leader in something means you are willing and able to do just a little bit more than the pack. The reward is you stand out.

Is this what Marjorie Clayman meant when she said “make sure you send out a press release?” Probably not entirely. Hopefully we are able to take that advice and move out into the social media space with a little more deft than thumping our chest and say, “Look at me, look at me.”

Hopefully all this helps our potential clients find us and make quick decisions about how legit we are. That we walk our own talk.

*I didn’t tell you EVERYTHING my company did for David and ICC/Decision Services nor everything David did for himself. That’s the part that cost money. :-)

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