Have chance to become rich, successful, and famous, need publicist and other help!
August 22, 2007 6:01 AM   Subscribe

Have chance to become rich, successful, and famous, need publicist and other help!

I need help not blowing this exciting opportunity, please. i do not know how to amass the team of people I need to make the most of my fame potential. (yes, I know this sounds ridiculous).

An upcoming event in my life is going to be splashed across the news nation and perhaps world wide.

Basically, two years ago I was given over six figures to create something fabulously useful but extraordinarily controversial and I successfully did.

Now, everything is about to come to fruition and the media is going to latch onto it for a moment at least, and I am terrified that this opportunity is going to slip by without me taking full advantage of it.

Twice before, the same thing happened: step 1) great thing happens or I do great thing; step 2) national media buzz for a week or two; step 3) i don't know what really to do and it all simmers down to nothing.

I would like step 3) to turn into a long-standing career and standing in the media nationwide. I recognize that I need a team (publicist, marketer, etc.) to do this. Have you brilliant askmefites any idea who or how to amass this?

Pluses - I have a few thousand to throw into this endeavor, and a great resume and wonderful, respected supporters both in business and as respected media individuals.

Minuses - twice before my spotlight has darkened, because I was too young, or too self-absorbed, or because I just didn't understand that my earning power in this field is fifteen times it is if I go back to my "normal" world.

Basically, I'm willing to put it all on the line to make this work. I doubt I'll get another chance like this. If it works, I can bank on making a bunch of money, being in the spotlight, doing what I love. If it doesn't, back to the grind for me!

Any help? Do you know specific companies, branding people, or publicists? Of course, I'm asking my cohorts and the people I work for/with, but I can't let them completely know that I'm the inner mediawhore that I really am, or I risk losing their support, you know?

Any help or ideas welcome - I'll check back here but you can privately message me at metafilterfan@gmail.com ! TIA!
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (12 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
I can understand why you'd want to be less than specific, but some sort of similar example to what you're about to go through would be helpful in finding the right answers to your questions.

"Something fabulously useful but extraordinarily controversial" is so vague as to be pointlessly stated. I know loads of publicists, marketing agents and so on, but you've got to provide some sort of detail here . . . if you want a meaningful response.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 6:16 AM on August 22, 2007

You have to find somebody who knows you, your product, your market and your longtime goals. I think that you need an agent more than a publicist. It's your agent's job to take care of branding, marketing and PR.
posted by bru at 6:21 AM on August 22, 2007

Don't blow it all on the website.

Also, this happened twice before and you blew it? How the heck did you get six figures again?!?

Basically, two years ago I was given over six figures to create something fabulously useful but extraordinarily controversial and I successfully did....Twice before, the same thing happened: step 1) great thing happens or I do great thing; step 2) national media buzz for a week or two; step 3) i don't know what really to do and it all simmers down to nothing.

You invented the Segway, didn't you.
posted by Deathalicious at 6:41 AM on August 22, 2007 [1 favorite]

Oh, and once the media finally opens this thing, you WILL come back here and post an update so we know what this is all about, right?
posted by Deathalicious at 6:42 AM on August 22, 2007 [4 favorites]

If it's "back to the grind" for you if it doesn't work, couldn't you at least write a book about the whole experience, and use that to return to the spotlight? There are always speaking engagements, book tours, and being interviewed by Larry King for those who've tried valiantly but didn't quite pull it off.

I'd start taking detailed notes for that book now; who did you get to meet? What happened when the press came knocking at your door? What's it like being recognized on the street? A thoughtful retelling of even a near-fame experience could be a good read.
posted by TochterAusElysium at 7:28 AM on August 22, 2007 [1 favorite]

An upcoming event in my life is going to be splashed across the news nation and perhaps world wide

In order to identify "specific companies, branding people, or publicists" it would help to know what nation.
posted by Robert Angelo at 7:42 AM on August 22, 2007

I received an email from the OP asking me to post the following additional info for her:
More details! Thanks for asking:

1) I am a woman in her early 30s from the US (Los Angeles).

2) I can't divulge much but it is a gender-specific product that has quite the opposing viewpoints regarding its importance in the world. People like to argue about whether or not it is important for young women to acknowledge this issue at all. The argument has stayed relatively static over the past fifty years, but my product might change this.

3) How did I get 6 figures again? LOL, I don't know...a streak of luck mixed with a spirit of competition. Opps I've previously had to "make it" include:
Opp 1- When I was 20, I won an American contest with worldwide appeal and a $400,000 paycheck. That got me news for about a month, and I was so into the money and finishing college that I just let it die.
Opp 2 - When I was 28, I won another, less monetarily tasty, but very media-oriented competition that was only for women. I was featured worldwide for about three months this time as a unique and interesting person because of my odd background and having won this second contest. The first opp played into getting this second opp, but again, I let it all die because I was wrapped up into getting married, and being "too cool" for all the drama that being a public person involves, etc.
Opp 3 - this one, which I stumbled upon in an "aha" moment, gathered the appropriate team (I'm good at the "before" part), and got the funding, and did my task. Now it is about to launch. My eyes are wide open and I am willing to put in the effort to not let this attention die like the two previous times. Opp1 and especially Opp2 totally played into them trusting me with this goal, and thank goodness I was able to do it. I've played my cards right, but I fear that if I don't make the most of this last opp, then I'm drastically reducing the quality of my potential hand. Since I'm getting older and am losing that "young, fresh" emotional appeal, I'd like to solidify my place in my societal arena, and I know I don't have the skills or the emotional space from my self/abilities to make this happen/know how to market myself the best.

I don't really kick myself for screwing up the other opps, 'cause I didn't "screw them up," I just didn't hype them out of control because I thought I had a world of time, which I did. Then. Now, I have a new perspective that I didn't have before because A) as a getting-older creative type, I'm realizing that I'm just not going to be able to go into the office for a 9-5 and make near the salary I can this way - average salaries in my field are only about $60,000 for super hard work and long hours. I'm a hard worker, but I prefer most of this to be either in the public spotlight or in my pajamas, and of course, preferably for $200K+ a year, an interesting lifestyle, and a financial security blanket for my babies. LOL.

Dream situation: I am afforded the ability to continue to create via absurdly well-paying, short time commitment media opportunities, such as hosting a television show or being packaged as some sort of relevant guru in this field, ensuring many more "deals" like this one, only for even more money and support. And of course, changing lives and helping women along the way (a given).

I want a publicist and a manager who specializes in making a somebody out of nobody with something to offer - in terms of personal branding, think Lauren Conrad from "The Hills" meets Ann Coulter meets Suze Orman. (yes, I know this is odd...but the meshing is spot on in my case, but in a completely different field from any of them) With the right team, and with the right pitch, to the right people this is totally doable. The problem is getting the team/pitch/people together, and I cannot do that alone.

I feel somewhat like I've got the cart (great moneymaking and helpful opps and products) before the horse (solid, household name recognition and belief in brand, the brand being me) and I'd like to equal out the two.

I have an agent, and will keep him because he is awesome AWESOME at the deal negotiations, but he is only good for the deal negs and a bit of pumping me up to the relevant people, not at broadening my appeal.

Thanks for all the questions! And of course I'll keep everyone posted on the progress! I am always in awe of how smart/connected everyone is on here and look forward to receiving your responses! metafilterfan@gmail.com
posted by Robert Angelo at 8:51 AM on August 22, 2007

Are you just looking for a good PR firm in LA? There are several larger ones, but they do not create "something from nothing", despite popular opinion. Ann Coulter and Suze Orman both had respectable resumes in their professional careers.

I've known people who've worked for agencies, and it is not a black box where anonymous people (no pun intended) go in and celebrities come out. Any reputable PR firm should be able to manage your media relations, I would recommend going through your agent or business manager to find a firm for you.
posted by geoff. at 9:18 AM on August 22, 2007

First, recognize that fame, by nature, is fleeting. So if you're trying to bottle lightning here, good luck with that. Your going to get press precisely because you're product is controversial and makes a tidy article for some newspapers. Why would you expect that media attention to go on and on forever?

More importantly, what do you want out of it? It's all a bit vague. Who are you trying to emulate? Are you trying to land a new job, or make friends with powerful people, or be on magazine covers or what?

Since you're going to be in the spotlight, think of how you can package something else in there - you could announce your project then say "we set up a website for people to discuss their concerns here..." and get that linked up. You could start a blog, if you're interesting and committed enough to it. You could use the media attention to make acquaintances with the press, and say you have another big announcement coming and you'll let them know about it when it's ready... basically, always "launch" one thing and prep another thing, so you can keep cycling forward.

"Brand" yourself alongside the product - make sure everyone knows what you're all about, what your strengths are and what you can do besides what you've already done. Stand for something that people can latch onto.
posted by lubujackson at 9:32 AM on August 22, 2007

How much is a "few thousand"?

In your shoes, I would ask my manager to suggest a few PR types (I don't think you're going to have much luck with big PR shops-- they bill up the wazoo, and for what it sounds like you need as a campaign, you'd more likely be looking at tens and tens of thousands) for you to sit down with. Set up meetings with those people. Explain what you want. I would suggest focusing more on personal-publicity types rather than corporate-PR types. You'll get more out of someone who's used to getting her C-level client in US Weekly than someone who's used to pitching stories about breakfast cereal.

But do bear in mind that these services aren't cheap: you're asking for someone to do a ton of work on your behalf as you launch, and it might be a little pricier than you're anticipating.

I do think finding a great publicist is a good place to start, though. And if you like and trust your agent, I would listen to his recommendations.
posted by thehmsbeagle at 10:26 AM on August 22, 2007

I am a publicist in Los Angeles, primarily working my own projects with a few low-impact clients on the side. Your agent is not awesome if he's not able to leverage what you see coming. Loyalty to the people who have helped you is admirable, but there comes a time when you do have to move up to a different level of support staff if you wish to advance.

What you seem to be looking for is a team comprised of an agent with heavy broadcast media connections, a branding expert, a publicist and someone to work on your hair/make-up/clothing/carriage. Everything but the agent will cost money up front, and they'll all need time to seriously consider all the possibilities before you, to line you up for the best possible media and career-boosting opportunities, then to spin your story in multiple ways to a range of media over the course of months/years. So if you know anyone with an agent at one of the big firms, or with a high-powered business manager with mainly TV clients, now is the time to ask for an introduction.

You must understand that none of this may happen. It's contingent on many factors, luck and skill among them, but most importantly, you need to find that connected agent who believes in your earning potential and sets all the rest of the action in play.

Alternately (and this is much more work, and might not be a good fit for your expertise), you can brand yourself as a consultant/expert/lecturer in your field and pitch yourself to institutions and corporate clients. Good luck!
posted by Scram at 10:40 AM on August 22, 2007 [2 favorites]

Depending on what your big product is, would it dovetail with you hosting a daytime TV show? I'm thinking of Greg Behrendt, who turned a (as far as I can tell, small-time) standup career into a really popular book into a daytime TV show (that made it all of one season, but hey, once you get on national TV, it's up to you to keep it...). And now, according to Wikipedia, he's working on a show for ABC. He's maybe not quite a household name yet, but he's a franchise with a steady stream of jobs. Do that.
posted by SuperNova at 11:13 PM on August 24, 2007

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