Saturday, February 27th, 2021

Columns rss

  • Ask Joy: I’m afraid to publicize myself. What do I do?

    Joy Donnell answers PR questions for small businesses.

    Ms. Joy,

    How do you overcome the fear and anxiety that comes with being out there and being seen? I desperately need publicity and without it nothing happens for me. The problem is that I always have these doubts that keep me from doing what I need to do. I’ll take new publicity photos and then get scared to show them to anyone because of what they might criticize. I hate my bio because it’s just awful. I never want to give it to reporters when they ask for it.

    I get sweaty and tongue-tied when I interview. I also don’t network well. I’m never really sure how to introduce myself to people and what I should be trying to accomplish when I meet someone new.

    The icing on the cake is how foreign this all feels to me. Publicizing myself feels like bragging and some kind of “hey, look at me” thing. That’s not how I was raised. My childhood was the be “seen not heard” type and I still get reminded of that by my family. They really criticize the things I do and honestly, it deflates me when they judge me. I try to not let it affect me but I never shake it. All these doubts are holding me back. I just do nothing.

    I’m very driven and I want to be successful on my own terms. You might read this and think I need a psychotherapist. I know this isn’t what you normally give tips about but I really need your help.

    – Holding On


    Dear Holding On,

    I can give you a laundry list of tips, yet it won’t mean anything until you’re ready to take the reins. I won’t suggest a psychotherapist but we all need a confidant. So, I do suggest you get someone you can trust and talk to regularly.

    A lot of our views about ourselves get burdened by bunk we carry around from our past. We know our baggage can affect our self-worth and self-esteem but it also affects our self-publicity. If, deep down, you don’t feel fantastic about yourself, you probably can’t encourage other people to feel fantastic about you, your career or your products. That is, after all, what you’re really asking people to do when you self-promote.

    When I came to Hollywood and started working with talent, I assumed my biggest challenge would be yanking folks off the red carpet, as if everyone would be glory hogs. Reality showed me the opposite: many people are shy, terrified of doing press, and bogged down by doubts placed upon them by others as well as themselves.

    Most of the fear comes from not knowing. Whether it’s not knowing how you’ll be judged or how the interview will go or what message you need to get across, the fear pauses you. This fear confuses you and makes you so scared of wrong moves that you make no moves. That’s how you end up spending time and good money on new publicity photos just so you can show them to no one.

    Anxiety’s a natural part of every publicity campaign. Every pro has that nail-biting moment because of all the known unknowns and unknown unknowns involved. My suggestion to overcome it from a publicity standpoint is to get real, get support, and get bold.

    You will never open up your mouth to promote yourself with confidence if you don’t have clarity first. You need to get real about the core of your message and what you’re all about. Getting real about this will help you also get real about what you want versus what you never want, what you can give and what you want to get. You’ll be acutely aware of what your publicity campaign really needs to do for you.

    If you clarify your message to yourself, you’ll know what your message needs to be to others. You will introduce yourself with power because you know what you want to say. You’ll put together a better bio because you know what message it needs to convey. Plus, you’ll convey your message with consistency because you know how to stay on point. Consistency inspires trust and trust inspires love for your brand.

    Once you get real about your message, you need to get real about your support base. We all need a support system. If the one you have isn’t working, you must organize a new one. Perhaps a college friend is a better source of encouragement than your family. Maybe you should reach out to someone you admire to be your mentor. Either way, you need to seek out and nurture the people who will really support you. Their words of encouragement and constructive criticism can slowly replace the doubt-inducing words you’ve been building off of until now. Your support team will also help you spread the word. Good word of mouth is the best buzz there is.

    With clarity and proper support in your arsenal, you will notice a change in your swagger. You’ll talk differently because you know what to say and you’ll walk differently since you’re no longer weighed down by boo boo. Now, you can get bold. The best way to be irreplaceable is to always be different. Keeping things new and fresh not only excites consumers, it also invigorates you. It’s tough to be scared when you’re invigorated.

    Look for fun, exciting ways to convey your message. Shake things up with a cool Youtube video. Collaborate with someone unexpected that can strengthen your brand (think Queen Latifah and Cover Girl). Turn one of your competitors into a partner.

    The point is to free your campaign from false impediments. Publicity is supposed to provide possibilities. We put things out there because you never know what can happen, who might find it, and what elevation may result from it. It’s like life- anything can happen for those who are brave.

    Keep rising!

    [ Read More ] • [ 3 Comments ] • [ Filed under Ask an Expert ] • [ 4/01/11 ]
  • Get the Most out of a Seminar by Doing These 3 things

    In this straight-to-the-point post, Cathy Kuzel tells you how to get the most out of the educational seminars and lectures you attend. All it takes is the right attitude and doing three key things.

    [ Read More ] • [ 2 Comments ] • [ Filed under The Connected Woman ] • [ 3/28/11 ]
  • Make it Easy for Customers to Do Business With You!

    How easy is it for your potential customers to do business with you? Have you considered all the possible obstacles that might deter them from doing business with YOU? Carolyn West-Price Touhey gives three examples of common business practices that could deter a customer, and what you can do to remove the roadblocks.

    [ Read More ] • [ 3 Comments ] • [ Filed under Customer Service Secrets ] • [ 3/21/11 ]
  • In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb – Fashionably, of course!

    Is your closet full of clothes you don’t wear or that no longer fit either your body or lifestyle? Your closet may be a lion that devours and hoards clothes! Take charge and, with a few simple steps from fashion and image expert Katherine Lazaruk, you can turn your lion into a lamb.

    [ Read More ] • [ No Comments ] • [ Filed under Image Intensive ] • [ 3/21/11 ]
  • How-to: Craft the Perfect Apology

    Sometimes we make mistakes. People’s feelings get hurt. Saying “I’m sorry” can go a long way to make things right, yet, it can also be the hardest thing to say. Narges Nirumvala, The Power Communicator, gives six tips to help you craft your best apology.

    [ Read More ] • [ No Comments ] • [ Filed under The Power Communicator ] • [ 3/07/11 ]
  • Ask Joy: Help! My Press Releases aren’t working

    Joy Donnell, PR specialist and syndicated columnist, is the “Dear Abby” of the business world, answering your toughest PR questions. In her first article for us, Joy reveals whether traditional Press Releases still work in a social-media world. And, how CAN you best promote your business?

    [ Read More ] • [ 2 Comments ] • [ Filed under Ask an Expert ] • [ 3/03/11 ]
  • Get Your Message Heard!

    Whatever your message is, you want to make sure people remember it. And people listen best when they are engaged in what you say and feel it’s relevant to them. Cathy Kuzel gives eight key tips to help you increase your chances of getting your message heard!

    [ Read More ] • [ 2 Comments ] • [ Filed under The Connected Woman ] • [ 2/28/11 ]
  • Keep your Customers: Let them know you Love them!

    February is a month of love, and remembering to tell your customers (and employees, too!) how much you love and appreciate them is a great way of strengthening relationships. Carolyn West-Price Touhey gives valuable ideas on how tell your customers, “I love you.”

    [ Read More ] • [ 3 Comments ] • [ Filed under Customer Service Secrets ] • [ 2/21/11 ]
  • Is Your Image Keeping You Lonely?

    Could you be playing the part of the ‘ugly duckling’ without even knowing it? Your overall image can help or hinder when you’re looking for love. Katherine Lazaruk helps you identify some warning signs, and gives you the tools you need to fix a faulty image.

    [ Read More ] • [ 1 Comment ] • [ Filed under Image Intensive ] • [ 2/14/11 ]
  • Body Language Secrets of Confident Business Women

    Narges Nirumvala, The Power Communicator, helps you examine the non-verbal cues you’re giving off when you walk into a room. Do people see you as a confident business woman, or a bundle of nerves? In 5 easy steps, you can increase the power of your presence.

    [ Read More ] • [ 25 Comments ] • [ Filed under The Power Communicator ] • [ 2/13/11 ]
  • Connect! – Simple Steps to Better Networking

    It’s a brand new year and time to put your new networking plan into action! Don’t have a networking plan? Then review these savvy tips by networking expert Cathy Kuzel for researching, planning, and participating in networking that is relevant to YOU.

    [ Read More ] • [ 1 Comment ] • [ Filed under The Connected Woman ] • [ 1/31/11 ]
  • Part 2: Shop In Your Own Closet and Save!

    In part 2 of “Shop in Your Closet and Save,” image consultant Katherine Lazaruk takes Linda Watters, actress, on a field trip to the local thrift store where they find “new” pieces to add to the “wardrobe module” they put together in Part 1.

    [ Read More ] • [ 2 Comments ] • [ Filed under Image Intensive ] • [ 1/18/11 ]
  • 5 Ways to Communicate Effectively With Your Customers

    Communicate more effectively with your clients in five easy steps. Narges Nirumvala, corporate communications specialist, trainer and executive speech coach, tells you how to reach out and let your customers know you care.

    [ Read More ] • [ 3 Comments ] • [ Filed under The Power Communicator ] • [ 1/04/11 ]
  • 7 Telephone Secrets for Effective Client Connections

    Cathy Kuzel gives seven tips for using the telephone effectively as a tool for making positive connections with potential clients. If you want to make the best impression on the phone, brush up on these tips!

    [ Read More ] • [ 1 Comment ] • [ Filed under The Connected Woman ] • [ 12/26/10 ]
  • Part 1: Shop In Your Own Closet and Save!

    Want something new to wear? You’d be surprised what you can accomplish just by shopping in your own closet! Katherine Lazaruk, Image Consultant, helps Vancouver actor Linda Watters to create new outfits with clothes she already owns.

    [ Read More ] • [ 2 Comments ] • [ Filed under Image Intensive ] • [ 12/13/10 ]