Thursday March 6, 2008
Jodi Goldman on her 15 minutes of fame
learnpurple are fortunate to enjoy a great working relationship with Harvey Nichols and were recently asked to do a fun, motivational training session in partnership with their 5th floor restaurant. To ensure a good turnout, and to make the most of this partnership working, Harvey Nichols arranged for a well known journalist for the Daily Telegraph to interview me, as the person delivering the session.
I'm not going to tell you about the session, it's been and gone. What I do want to tell you about is the snowball effect this one, albeit rather large, Telegraph article had. The day it came out, I received a call from the Daily Mirror and did an interview with them which resulted in my colleague Jessica Cain being featured. I also did live interviews with BBC Radio 5 Live and a radio station in New Zealand. After that, we were approached again and Jane Sunley, our MD, ended up doing two further interviews with the BBC, in London and in Newcastle on completely different subjects.
During The Apprentice, I would often have the conversation with people about why it was that people did it, and obviously it's about "exposure". To me it's really funny because after a show like that, bar Claire and Lee I wouldn't want to work with any of them! But they will all do well from it. And then there is big brother - weeks and weeks and weeks of mindless "exposure". But the sad truth is, they will all come out of the house and make a fortune.
I realise that we can't all engineer international publicity, and most of us certainly don't want to endure some sort of reality TV show! And for some there will be a marketing or PR department looking after your company's exposure. But what anyone can, and I'd recommend should do is to take care of their own personal visibility within the workplace. Part of my 'Image and the Brand you' course is learning how individuals can stand out within an organisation, get noticed, be promoted, or just acknowledged for the great work that's being done.
That's what visibility is all about. it's not about ego, or bragging- it's about being recognised for abilities and achievements. It's up to the individual to take the initiative to make sure he or she is noticed. So here are my top tips for being noticed without having a personal press officer:
- Self assessment - know what your professional abilities are. Get yourself a mentor who will be objective and give you candid feedback. The better you are at what you do, the easier it is to be recognised.
- Show initiative - volunteer to take on new assignments and get involved in things that might not necessarily be your responsibility.
- Speak up - actively participate in discussions in the office. Have an opinion. Prepare in advance for meetings so you can provide input. Be willing to share your ideas and approaches to things. Think about how these will benefit the recipient and / or the organisation. Strive to be known for your good communication and interpersonal abilities. If you aren't a confident speaker think about attending our "Deliver A Wow Presentation" or "Voice And Speech" course (see our 2008 programme)
- Put it in writing - if speaking isn't your thing, but you have a good way with words, why not write in to your trade magazine, professional association, newsletter, etc.
- Promote the success of others - visibility isn't just about you. It should include supporting your team. Help your employees and others to excel and grow; your people doing well will reflect positively on your own leadership skills. Always thank people for their contributions and give credit where it's due.
- Get involved - attend company social events. Don't talk to the same colleagues you always do, take the time to meet people from other divisions. Show support for new projects, charity sporting events (either by participating or by watching), or start some events of your own.
It was Andy Warhol who said, everyone will get their 15 minutes of fame, he was talking about the fleetingly short attention span of the media - its true - as far as the Daily Telegraph goes I am yesterday's news. What is lasting though is the good impression my personal visibility has made on colleagues, managers and clients. So, go ahead, get noticed.