Archive for the ‘Self Promotion’ Category

Service of Networking: Is That All There Is?

Thursday, September 7th, 2017


 Adam Grant, a New York Times opinion writer, author and Wharton School professor doesn’t think networking is all that it’s cracked up to be. Think of the numerous networking events–or how to network workshops–you may have forced yourself to attend. A cornerstone offering of industry associations to which I belong, his article “Networking is Overrated” caught my eye.


Grant wrote that when he read research about how people in one study felt about networking—dirty—it made him want to take a shower. Clearly he would rather not network at cocktail parties. This could very well be one of the reasons LinkedIn is so popular. It’s painless networking while you sleep.

I selected a few paragraphs that support his position. Grant wrote: 


“Not long ago, I watched a colleague try to climb the ladder of success solely through networking. For a few years, he managed to meet increasingly influential people and introduce them to one another. Eventually it fell apart when they realized he didn’t have a meaningful connection with any of them. Networking alone leads to empty transactions, not rich relationships.”

So what to do in place of networking? Become skilled at something Grant suggests.


“Of course, accomplishments can build your network only if other people are aware of them. You have to put your work out there. It shouldn’t be about promoting yourself, but about promoting your ideas. Evidence shows that tooting your own horn doesn’t help you get a job offer or a board seat, and when employees bend over backward to highlight their skills and accomplishments, they actually get paid less and promoted less. People find self-promotion so distasteful that they like you more when you’re praised by someone else–even if they know you’ve hired an agent to promote you.” [What a perfect example of the importance of third party endorsement, a cornerstone of the value of PR!]

Grant sagely pointed out that the “right people” will help you depending on what you have to offer. “Building a powerful network doesn’t require you to be an expert at networking. It just requires you to be an expert at something.”

“The best networking happens when people gather for a purpose other than networking, to learn from one another or help one another.” [That’s my kind of networking.]

Do you like to network? Do you agree with Adam Grant? Have you made worthwhile connections doing so? Were you surprised by Grant’s conclusion that tooting your own horn has a negative impact on job searches and promotions?



Service of A Perfect Word of the Year: Selfie

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Oxford English Dictionary

The “Oxford English Dictionary” publishers have it right. They chose “selfie”—a photo you take of yourself to post on social media–as the word of the year.

What a perfect symbol of the “I’m the only important person in the world, look at me” attitude rampant these days.

I heard about the word choice on the day I held open a bank door for a 40-something well-dressed woman who sailed by without a grunt of acknowledgement and moments later, while crossing First Avenue, a bicyclist missed hitting me by the width of a slice of paper. Along with me she also ignored the traffic light and stopped only when a car crossed in front of her.

Selfie in carSpeaking of traffic, it’s no surprise that selfie practitioners are a danger to other drivers, passengers and pedestrians. There seems to be a trend, if not a premium, to post self-portraits shot behind the wheel. What more vivid example of selfishness is there?

My fuse is increasingly short with the takers who keep on asking me for favors, show zero gratitude and don’t even fake support of any of my initiatives. The list is growing–two instances just this week. The sad thing: I love helping others; I don’t like feeling used.

How does such a mindset affect service? What will it take to turn society away from a selfie world? Am I hopelessly out of step and instead of fighting should I join the trend? What about you?

self centered table

Service of Self Promotion

Monday, June 6th, 2011


Repercussions of outrageous self-promotion are largely harmless to others. People who do whatever it takes to enhance their visibility, even if they end up embarrassing themselves, usually achieve their goal: To make money.

I had countless arguments with people in the art community who thought that Mike Bouchet’s sausage rotting in water and its smell that made people queasy and worse was legit and his work meaningful. I considered “Celebrity Hot Tub for Kofi Annan,” to be more of a political stunt than an artistic achievement. But what do I know? It was on exhibit at MoMa PS 1 in 2005 and generated publicity in The New York Times and New York Post [for starters]. If the purpose of art is to create a reaction, Bouchet succeeded if you count throwing up. I know too many artists who deserve public recognition and get little if any so I may be sour grapes. 

There is no industry that’s exempt. I knew marketers of consumer products who thought that a celebrity publicist would help them sell their stuff because she consistently popped up in the news. Her headline-generating antics reached a crescendo when she ran over 16 people in the Hamptons in a fit of pique. Note: PR people are supposed to make headlines for their clients.

birth-certificateBetween the trumped up birther brouhaha and brief run for President, The Donald gave a shot of adrenalin to his TV ratings. This was just around the period he was negotiating his contract with NBC. I wish someone at the network had had the guts to say, “You’re fired.” But I don’t own stock in Comcast or NBC Universal so I won’t complain that they overpaid.

When Rudi Giuliani wants to increase his speaking rates because people have forgotten about him, he runs for President.

signpetitionA friend sent me an email on Friday: “I just signed a petition to the news directors of every major news network. Please join me and send a message that Americans want substantive news, not more coverage of Palin’s bogus bus tour.”

Don’t think the initiative made much of a dent. Since Saturday morning I’ve been hearing about Palin’s remarks at Paul Revere’s home in Boston where she described the famous midnight ride: “He who warned, uh, the British that they weren’t gonna be takin’ away our arms, uh, by ringing those bells, and um, makin’ sure as he’s riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be sure and we were going to be free, and we were going to be armed.”

Do you worry that by some freaky mistake or miscalculation [“nobody will vote for so-and-so, therefore, I won’t bother to vote this year”], the country might elect empty suited self-promoters to positions of power? Then even if it will be too late, the media, that has enjoyed playing with the clowns, might think twice about giving them air in future?


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