Before Oprah – 5 Tips for PR Professionals Who’ve Struck Gold

The following is for hard working PR professionals and those who strive to promote their own work. When that golden day comes, and a producer or journalist calls you and says, “you’re going to be on the XYZ show,” or “you’re going to be featured in XYZ,” it pays to be ready with the appropriate media materials, and followup plan… but for those initial moments of utter joy when you feel like a kid in a candy store because someone has finally recognized your hard work… well, I’ve put together the following.

A Side Note Before We Get Started:
If you listened to Oprah & Friends the morning of October 17th 2008, you heard Peter Walsh interview one of my clients, Laura Lowell, author of the new book “42 Rules for Working Moms” in a segment called “Working Moms Unite!” Hockey moms, single moms, and “cluttered” moms heated up the phone lines asking Peter and Laura questions about balancing work and family.

Within the Days Before You or Your Client Ever Goes on a Mainstream Show (that’s Oprah related or otherwise):

1. You will have “Star Goggles.” The thought of you or your client having a nice chat with a media celebrity brings you immense satisfaction and power. You have just achieved “ninjaness” in terms of public relations and you deserve a cheer. Meaning that you will feel like you’re walking on air, and your perception of absolutely everything is FABULOUS. You will remember with fondness the kids who didn’t like you in grade school, the classes you didn’t do so well in, your investments current in the stock market and still feel AMAZING!

2. You will forget the basics. Be sure there is someone else with you, like your partner, a sibling, a friend… because you will be too excited to remember to sleep, eat, and do other basic things to sustain life until well AFTER your client has appeared on said show/or in said publication.

3. You will end up in strange places while driving. Take someone who isn’t involved with you when you have to drive, because you’ll suddenly remember that amazing PR opportunity that you landed and magically find yourself in Disney Land, Portland, Alabama, Mars, or Krispy Kreme, when you were trying to get to Whole Foods to buy a Cedar plank for Salmon grilling.

4. Get a trampoline…. because the moment after a producer calls you and says, “You’re going to be on the _____________ show,” and the moment you send them all the necessary PR materials and followups, you’ll explode if you don’t have a place to scream and jump up and down.

5. Have an AWESOME playlist burned to CD/iPod/etc. There will probably be a lot of dancing involved, and if there isn’t music, “outsiders” might think you have a problem. They just don’t know you’ve hit the big time.

Jennifer L. Jacobson is the author of author of 42 Rules of Social Media for Business and the founder of Jacobson Communication, a Northern California consulting company that offers public relations, marketing, branding, and social media solutions to organizations working to impact positive social change. She has spent her working life helping organizations and individuals generate positive public awareness. She has done work for many companies including Impact Marketing Group,, MerchantCircle, Linda Hannawalt Designs, and Jennifer holds a Masters Degree in Broadcast Communication Arts from San Francisco State University, was recently Vice President of Marketing at a social media company and has ghostwritten for several blogs and social networks.

Harpo Studios photo by Zesmerelda. Used under a Creative Commons license.