I have been a publicist for close to 20 years, and have worked on many different projects. But I have never had an experience like the one I am about to explain.
Last night my 11-year-old niece called me and said she needed help with a project she was working on for school. The topic was Mount Everest. Normally she wouldn’t call for me something like this, but her mom (my sister) told her I had worked with a renowned climber and had a great deal of knowledge on the topic. She asked for my input, and I happily spent hours telling her about Adrian Ballinger, a client at MMG who had summited Everest 8 times. I never imagined she would know who he was, but here was her reply: (and her “aha” moment)
“Wow, Aunt Jana, you know Adrian Ballinger??”
Interestingly enough, Ballinger was in all of the research she had done up to this point and she had even cited him in her essay. What’s even funnier is that the main article she sourced was one I pitched and worked on with ABC News and Adrian!)
It was then that I had my “aha” moment. I realized, she found those articles and was able to read such interesting stories on climbing and Mount Everest because our team of publicists was given the opportunity to work with Ballinger and develop his thought leadership in this space! Literally, anyone who does a search on Mount Everest will undoubtedly see Ballinger’s name cited many times.
Needless to say, I hung up the phone feeling not only proud of my niece for working on such a great project but proud to know that all of our PR efforts over the years have made a difference. For any publicist out there, who knows the time and effort that goes into building a client’s thought leadership, also knows that seeing it come full circle is the big pay-off and the reason we love what we do.
Sometimes now, we even have reporters calling us for a story because Ballinger’s thought leadership is so powerful in the space, they want to interview “the best” and the guy who comes up in search!
By Jana McDonough