One of reasons I think PR is so interesting is that, like math, it’s everywhere. You know, numbers come into just about everything we do and I think PR is similar in the way someone perceives a person, a group, a business, a product, you name it, well, it’s everywhere. How we see the world around us impacts our behavior. The problem, of course, as far as we publicists are concerned, is that there is just so much competition. We have to learn how to take what we have and then leverage it so that we are practically forcing people to look in our direction. It’s like putting one of those wooden posts in front of our various target audiences with all arrows pointing to our clients or us.
One of the most difficult challenges for writers (and I’m speaking from first-hand experience here) is mastering the art of promotion. Too often I hear my writer friends preface remarks about their work with words like shameless promotion. No such thing, I say. There’s nothing shameless about talking up your work unless of course you don’t believe what you’re saying. One of the best books I’ve ever read on the topic is by Peggy Klaus, a Fortune 500 communication consultant. Her first book, Brag! The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It, should be required reading for all publicists (it’s wisdom, while more prescriptive, is not unlike the insights offered in Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point).
Anyway, I wanted to do a Q&A with Patricia Draznin, one of the very best humor writers/essayists I know. Her work is clever, smart, edgy, and unlike anything else I’ve read. So how does a writer like Patricia promote herself? Before I share some of her strategies (and challenges) here’s a little bit of background: Patricia is a corporate writer turned freelancer and, since the mid 1990s, she’s focused on comedy. She writes a humor column in a local weekly in Fairfield, Iowa, called the Oh Zone. She also has a blog page on The Huffington Post. Patricia has studied and performed stand-up comedy as well. The list goes on and here’s part one of my Q & A with Patricia Draznin:
Leslie: I love the name of your Web site and the design is so appealing. How did you come up with Writing to Go?
Patricia: I left my full-time job as a corporate writer/editor to try freelancing. Crazy, huh? The day I left, I posted an ad on the online company bulletin board, and suddenly I needed a name for my freelance business. What popped up was WRITING to GO. I thought I would have thought of something better by now but it stuck.
Leslie: It’s not easy to be a writer and it’s really not easy to promote yourself as a writer? What are you doing now to let people know about your work and what would you like to do in that regard in the future?