Before embarking on a professional PR career, I spent the better part of a decade traveling around the country in a circus sideshow. Turns out everything I needed to know about PR I learned in the circus.
Let me clarify. This was not a three-ring kind of show. This was a do-it-yourself, homemade, low-tech operation. My friends and I took all our theatrical and musical skills, threw in some fire, nails, juggling, puppets, shenanigans, general romp-n-revelry and—voila! A fun-filled show for folks of all ages.
This DIY approach presented at least two problems:
Problem No. 1: Selling it. Our goal was to make enough money to get from point A to point B (in barely operational, gas-guzzling vehicles, of course), so we could continuously perform for several months at a time.
Problem No. 2: The magnitude. At certain points along the tour we’d have eight large vehicles and 40 people to feed. I was at the helm of this mess, because no one else wanted the job.
Somebody had to be in charge if we were going to succeed, so I applied some of my left-brain skills to this cacophony and transformed it into an unforgettable, must-see experience.
So, here are the key lessons from my guerrilla-style PR training: