Get Endorsed by VIPs in Your Field

A successful media, marketing, and PR campaign is a game of psychology, a matter of perception. I find that it's based on three components: media, VIPs, and venues. By leveraging one, you get the other, in a never-ending synergistic loop, all the while rising to the top. Today I'll focus on the VIP component: How do you get the support of celebrities in your field?

Start small.
Identify respected authorities in your field. Who is the most accessible? Consider outreaching an academic at your local university, a business owner in your circle of friends, or a doctor in your religious community. Speak with these individuals about your work, and see if they feel genuinely excited about it. If so, ask them for an endorsement.

Be proactive.
Once you get that endorsement, take it up a notch. For example, approach academics at different universities. To ensure your success each step of the way, stick to the smaller universities, where professors will not have as much public demand and therefore will be able to give your work more attention. Once you have rounded up numerous endorsements from these professors, take it up another notch and approach the "ooh-ah" set of colleges and universities, such as ivy league schools.

Keep upping the ante.
Public relations is no place to be humble. Flaunt your accomplishments, including your endorsements. As you work your way up the ladder of recognized authorities in your field, shout out your endorsements in your bio, on your website, and in all forthcoming requests for VIP endorsements. Doing so will create the bandwagon effect. As you climb the ranks, emphasize the VIPs with the most name recognition. Like begets like, and by showcasing the most celebrity VIPs, you'll attract more of the same.

As you generate support for your work, reach out to the individuals endorsing it, pitching the idea of a joint presentation on a shared topic of interest. Do your homework first.. What is this person's specialty? What is this individual passionate about? Where does your work intersect, and where do you approach the subject in a complementary yet distinct manner? What kind of a program would be especially compelling for your target audience? What would be the ideal venue to co-present - in particular, where might you have a built-in audience, so that you don't have to rely on independent marketing? Get clear on all these points, and spell them out in a written proposal (which will help you clarify matters yourself) before approaching the person with whom you want to co-present.

Interview your target VIPs
One surefire way of developing a relationship with VIPs is interviewing them for a media outlet. The more prestigious the media outlet, of course, the more celebrity VIPs in your field will want to be interviewed. Keep in mind that media works in the same way as VIPs: You start small and climb the ranks. So continuing with the academic example, you can start off by interviewing academics at small-town universities, for an independent, niche blog that will be more likely to accept new writers. As you climb the ranks with VIPs, so can you climb the ranks with blogs, leveraging your previous posts to secure new blogging and article-writing opportunities.

The bottom line is that as long as you have the goods, ie, as long as you do quality work, you can most certainly get from where you are now, to where you want to be. It is likely to take time and patience, of course, but keep in mind the guiding principle that you start where you are, build from there, and always, always boast your accomplishments along the way. If you follow these steps, you will master the psychological game of PR - manifesting your potential to rise to the very top.