On this episode of Spotlight on eWomenNetwork, Master Publicity Strategist, Author and International Speaker, Jill Lublin, talks about kindness and how to become an influencer who attracts media attention. Before creating a successful PR business, Jill had a tragic accident that put her in a wheelchair and a year of rehab. The whole incident changed the way she looked at publicity and the messaging around it. You'll learn all about that and get some tips on how to create a great message as well. She wrote and co-wrote several best-selling books on the topic including her latest The Profit of Kindness.
PHYLLIS SMITH: You’ve been a wonderful part of eWomenNetwork for nearly the 18 years it's been in existence. You’ve spoken at our conference and you offer so much to our members as well. Glad to have you! First, you’ve been in the publicity business for how long at this point?
JILL LUBLIN: About 24 years.
PHYLLIS SMITH: Twenty-four years – initially what was your approach to publicity?
JILL LUBLIN: I think I was sort of the normal publicity agency. I had opened a publicity agency and it was kind of a boutique agency. I always believed in giving people a lot of value and really working with the media, but it was more traditional. I think that was all good for a while. I followed standard protocol, I’ll call it, and did what everybody else did - spending a certain amount of time for each client and dedicated time to talk to media. It was normal publicity, and I loved it and had people working with me and all that good stuff. I owned that PR agency for about 7 years.
PHYLLIS SMITH: Something changed for you. You were in an accident, and it put you in a wheelchair for 5 months and a year of rehab. Tell us about the accident first. What happened and how did that shift your thinking around publicity and messaging.
JILL LUBLIN: Well Phyllis it was related to an eWomenNetwork speaking engagement. I was in Nanaimo, Canada speaking for eWomenNetwork in Victoria and Vancouver. I was getting on the shuttle to the ferry and fell over a rain grate and fractured both my ankles at once in multiple places. Can you believe it?
PHYLLIS SMITH: Ouch!
JILL LUBLIN: Yeah, it really hurt, and it was amazing in terms of how it changed my life. And I must say the eWomen Managing Director in Vancouver thought she was picking me up to go for a drink, do a pre-meeting debrief and hang out a bit. Well, it wasn’t that, and she was fabulous and took care of me. She took me to the hospital and made sure that I was as comfortable as I could be considering the circumstances. She was amazing.
The eWomen community in Vancouver where I was stuck for days, because United Airlines wouldn’t let me on the plane due to the nature of my condition, really came and took care of me. They really rallied, and it was quite something.
That’s why I’ve always been such a major fan of eWomenNetwork - Because of the community and the friendship. You know, business is business, but I’ll tell you when you’re dealing with things like this and you have people from eWomenNetwork taking you to the hospital, wheeling you around, and bringing you meals – there’s nothing like it. I was very grateful for that and for the eWomenNetwork in Vancouver in that instance, but I’ve always found eWomen like that.
The Humanity of Messaging
PHYLLIS SMITH: You’re right. It is the community of eWomen and people do rally. There is support and caring. Our concept of Give First, Share Always, and Lift As We Climb really does hold true with those leaders, managing directors, and the very core of the company. I always say if I didn’t work at eWomenNetwork I’d be a member. How many people can say that? Right.
When that happened to you something shifted for you in terms of your approach to publicity messaging. Tell us what that was and why?
JILL LUBLIN: I was a speaker, travelling around, a best-selling author and doing all that I did in the area of publicity and became incapacitated. One thing that shifted for me was using the power of publicity for a much more positive impact.
I started my own TV show at the time called Messages of Hope that was wonderful, and I started realizing how much I was such a lone ranger. I had to do everything super woman like and I’m sure a few of you can relate to that listening. I realized I could not do it alone and for me it meant relying on my eWomen sister friends. For example, asking for more help. When you’re in a wheelchair and you literally can do nothing, you must ask for a lot of help. Learning how to ask for help for me was a huge thing.
I realized I could not do it alone, and for me it meant relying on my eWomen sister friends
What a day it was yesterday - such a big day for us!
Well guess what, in publicity I was able to shift that and realized in the messaging it had to appeal to peoples – not sense of commercialism, but sense of humanism. I had to get to people’s hearts, spirits, and souls. How could we do that in a message? That became more for me a focus and made a difference in how I approached media. I think that made a huge difference in my business and in the people I draw in as clients and customers. I always had a nice business and a nice mix of all kinds of clients and I love that. I’ve always loved the diversity. What I noticed was the message shifted and how I worked with shifted and frankly who I draw in as clients and customers shifted. I would say that’s a pretty big shift.
PHYLLIS SMITH: That’s a huge shift. I guess what I’m wondering, in being incapacitated and relying on other people was it a humbling experience? You were so moved and touched by it, I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but that’s where you felt that matters. You’ve written a compilation book called Messages that Matter. Did the book come from that? Messages that Matter: Top Experts Share Secrets of Hope and Healing, did that evolve from your experience?
JILL LUBLIN: Yes, it absolutely did. My TV show Messages of Hope evolved from that experience. My newest book Profit of Kindness evolved from that experience. My answer is all of it really to me is what shifted was how I looked at life and having to really rely on people. To realize what that’s like and frankly stop being such a super woman. I am much stricter about my self-care and not always pushing through everything. I realized I just can’t sometimes and that’s ok too.
I think that in life, especially in our Western culture to be honest, I think we push, push, push and as women, I don’t know that we’re wired to push, push, push. I think we need to allow, allow, allow more, and that we need to receive and to do our business through a more feminine way. Listen, I am a driven woman and just as ambitious as a lot. Frankly, a lot of my career has been built that way and I am grateful for that drive in me and drive gets me through a lot of days when sometimes things are a little rougher. However, I also know that we need to make time for us, for our care, for other things besides business and making sure there’s fun and balance and whatever else floats your boat. I think that’s what started moving things to the forefront. Where is my balance, where is my – and by the way I don’t think that balance is always necessary, I really don’t. Sometimes we must go, go, go and be in a state of concentration like when I’m launching a new book. It’s a total state of concentration and focus and that’s great! Then sometimes we must plan to just be. Sometimes that takes planning.
I think we push, push, push and as women, I don’t know that we’re wired to push, push, push. I think we need to allow, allow, allow more
Networking is Key to Becoming an Influencer
PHYLLIS SMITH: Yeah, absolutely. The truth is that we do have to take care of ourselves. I agree with you. There is an ebb and flow - we have an ebb and flow of life, we have an ebb and flow in our day, an ebb and flow in our week, in our month, in our year, in our career, in our business - there is an ebb and flow, and sometimes you must kick butt and that’s ok. It’s exciting but then you do need to sit back and have some balance.
One of the things I find interesting about publicity, Jill, is that networking plays a part in that. In fact, you’ve written a couple of books on it Networking Magic: How to Find Connections that Transform Your Life and Get Noticed - Get Referrals. Tell us how networking plays into the publicity equation?
JILL LUBLIN: One day I looked at all my books on publicity, on networking, and on referrals and I realized how important influence is. I shifted my branding and became a radical influence expert. Because frankly, if you don’t network how can people know who you are? Networking is key. It’s why I’ve always loved eWomenNetwork, because it provides an actual networking opportunity, in person as well as online, to really get to know people. I think there’s nothing that takes the place, as much as I love being on social media, you must get out in your community, you must get to know people nationally and internationally if you can. To me that face-to-face being able to say what you do, solve people’s problems – being in front of them makes a huge difference.
PHYLLIS SMITH: I totally agree. eWomenNetwork, as you mentioned, that’s how we started. Sandra Yancey started this to help women entrepreneurs network with each other in a more serious way. It’s about networking and learning to grow your business. She wanted serious women, and that’s how it was born. Networking, yes, is crucial. When you talk about influence, what does that mean exactly?
JILL LUBLIN: What is influence? Influence is having opportunity and ability to impact a person’s opinion. To me influence is about having people follow you and having people do what you ask them to do. That can include asking, for instance, when Profit of Kindness came out it was asking people if they would help spread the word, and because I have some influence and a tribe that follows me they would say yes. They would be willing. Influence means when you ask someone will they say yes, and that of course is what we want. Influence is also based in your actions. Leaders have influence, but that can be good or bad. We always, in my opinion, want to have positive influence and you must watch what your influence is. That’s part of that publicity and perception. Consider telling a great story that provides personality. Writing a story with personality for potential clients will assist with making a relationship connection. This shows up in small quirks like word choices or phrases. Write from your point of view, not from someone else's experience.