Publicist Rockstars: “Why You Should Under Promise and Over Deliver” with Nancy Thompson of Vorticom
Under Promise and Over Deliver — When you start out in public relations, you want to believe that every campaign will be a magical success. The truth is sometimes a campaign is like lightning in a bottle; it’s so magical you wish you could bottle it and repeat the success for everyone. However, more times than not, each and every placement will be arduous. It will happen if you plan, plot and consistently work to your visibility goals; but it won’t happen overnight. So, save yourself the emotional and intellectual trauma of not living up to your wildest expectations, and present a more modest, achievable outcome to your client.
As a part of my series about the things you need to know to excel in the modern PR industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Nancy Thompson. She began her public relations career at Pocket Books, the paperback division of Simon & Schuster. Hired as a temporary worker, the overburdened public relations team at Pocket Books asked Nancy to pitch in and write press releases for book launches. Thompson loved the work, excitement, and camaraderie surrounding successful book launches and was later hired to be a full-time member of the team. Alas, the wages paid to young publicists in the publishing world were meager. She moved onto the global agency world, ultimately as Executive Vice President at LobsenzStevens, Ogilvy Public Relations and GCI Group before starting her own agency, Vorticom, Inc., in 2003. In addition to being an Internet correspondent for CBS Up-to-the-Minute News in 1993, she also wrote four books on cyber-culture including the first book that explored the adult revolution happening online in the early ’90s and the best-selling net.talk (1994, Ziff Davis Publishing) which explained and categorized the acronyms and emoticons of the Internet era.