As a publicist, I’m often asked, “So, what exactly do you do?”
Most publicists, if not all, experience these types of questions, and explaining ourselves has come down to a routine statement summarizing the very barriers of our day-to-day life, usually surrounding commentary about being a ‘Samantha Jones’ or ‘Olivia Pope’. Don’t get me wrong, I would do anything to be Olivia Pope, but on a typical business day I’m not helping the president win an election, unfortunately. But, I digress.
At Bohlsen Group one of the services we offer our clients is social media training, where we winnow, create, and edit work on different online platforms. We handle a variety of clients, including politicians, musical events, sports teams, and in my case, authors.
To truly understand the underworks of a publicist with many scrolls, I will expound upon how a publicist can help with the social media side of any business, product or person by sharing the story of a favorite client, Homer Page.
Homer is an author, public speaker, and political and history enthusiast with one major challenge encompassing his life: he’s blind. Though Homer has been completely blind for most of his life, he has written a new memoir, It’s My World Too. While writing a book has its own challenges for anyone, Homer wanted to expand upon his experience even more and master the social media world, one platform at a time.
Being blind since birth, it would be easy for Homer to take the back seat in life. Rather than make excuses for himself, Homer was determined to be a part of the game. After establishing Homer’s brand by creating strategic documents, understanding his background and personality, and finding current angles, our social media campaign began.
Over the phone, Homer and I had weekly trainings, where I taught him how to operate three major platforms: Twitter, Facebook, and a blog. Week by week, I would call Homer and start our training by discussing what he wanted to learn that day. After dedicating his training to a specific task, we would begin. Homer’s “smart-computer” as what I called it, would list loudly the options he may choose per site and I would listen intently to help him navigate.
I would teach Homer all the useful tactics, strategies, and quirks for each platform, as we do for all social media training at Bohlsen Group, and his patience and perseverance astonished me. Throughout the week, Homer would practice daily, memorize the tools I taught him, and then inform me on how he was doing on his own with the sites. During the next training we would go over anything he had trouble with on his own, ensuring his success. By the end of his social media campaign, Homer was able to write and publish his own blogs, access and post on his own Facebook profile and page for his book and send personal and professional tweets, all on his own.
At Bohlsen Group we experience clients from all different backgrounds and with different kinds of challenges worldwide, but teaching a client like Homer truly was a new experience that helped flourish my career and experience. Understanding the importance of clear communication and patience made not only Homer’s experience and accomplishments prodigious, but my techniques for trainings have completely changed since our work together. Everyone has something to teach us and though we, at Bohlsen Group, research and practice every day to improve our skills, Homer taught me more than any webinar, article, or innovative speaker ever could.
Since Homer, when answering the question, “So, what exactly do you do as a publicist?” My routine statement has changed, because it usually surrounds his story. Sorry, Olivia Pope.