Companies must take control of their own brand message and use their own media to do so when possible. LeBron James’ control of ESPN’s own show, to announce his jump from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Miami Heat NBA Franchise, was as strong of an in-your-face illustration of the point as you can make.
James told ESPN who would interview him, when they could pop
the question on his choice of teams, which sponsors would fill the hour long
show, and perhaps more importantly, where the money paid for the sponsorships
would go. Like it or not, and many
journalists don’t, this is just the beginning of high
profile sources taking control of a news event. The bigger the story, the more
control the newsmaker will have–and that means content control, revenue control
and residual spinoffs. Whether you
like the way it went down or not, take a look at the opportunity it presents
and think about how you could leverage this kind of coup using your personal
brand like LeBron did on a local, regional, national, or industry level.
In a world where athletes and celebrities now have their
own direct relationship with fans through social media channels, they can not
only deliver the news, they can bring the eyeballs to watch the announcement.
When the fans have fun and the media and the celebrity make money, who is to
complain except the purist–and that cat is out of the bag.
Even though you may not have superstar status in your own
market, don’t miss the point that this same formula can also be used in other
ways. Local announcements of sports events or celebrity appearances can be used
to create your own media appearances where you act as host, agent, deal maker,
or sponsor depending on the role that best helps to elevate
your personal brand. Use of news to expand
your brand is not a new idea, but it’s taking on a new form that offers lots of
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