Facebook And The Necessities Of Self Promotion
It's always difficult to find the right balance ...
POSTED BY DAVID PIBWORTH ON 11/10/2016 @ 8:00AM
I am a great user of Facebook. I've long held the view that anyone in business, or at least business where you deal directly with the public, can't survive without social media ...
If there's one thing I like to do on Facebook, it’s post things that provoke a reaction.
copyright: ninamalyna / 123rf stock photo (licensee)
I probably don't use it enough, to be honest. Every stage I put up, every gig I play, every script I'm involved in - and so much more - should be documented. However, it isn't, and there are reasons. Mostly it's because I forget, but when I do remember, I wonder if I am swamping people with too many 'selling' posts.
I watch Facebook quite carefully and see how others do it and what works for me and what doesn't. In the artistic world, it's quite difficult to get it right.
If you're publicising yourself, then it can come over as fishing for compliments. If you're telling people how good you are, people may see you as boastful. If you're telling them that you are successful, and how much money you've made, you could be seen as arrogant.
"I'm directing Spamalot at present in a local production and that's easy because there are so many people involved."
Actors, producers, set designers, musical directors, choreographers, production crew, publicity and so on; it is clearly such a team effort that no one person can take credit for the show. So when I talk about it, I push the fact that it is a combination of talent.
With the stage company, I speak of the stage being excellent and just push the fact that we come in and put it up and are very easy to get on with. The price is competitive, the staging is excellent quality and safe, and we are first in and last out. The stage sells the business, and we who put it up (usually Brian and me) are but the tools that help the end product.
Most of the areas I work in are team efforts. Representing the scripts of Steptoe and Son and Tony Hancock are fine as they were written by Galton and Simpson, and although I adapted them to the stage, it wasn't me that did the hard work. Again, they sold with Ray and Alan taking the credit, and indeed the original actors who helped put the shows on the map.
"But when I write a script or act, I have to get across that it was or is great, but without bragging about how good I am."
Most of us aren't in the position to have people do it for us. In fact, that is almost a sure way of signposting the fact that you aren't that successful. You may see Stephen Fry tweeting, but mostly it's someone else doing it for him.
So once you have enough dosh, that's what you must surely do. Sit in a room with a PR team, tell them how superb you are and they go out and do the rest, and you sit back with a sort of air of disbelief that people think that you're so brilliant.
The Americans don't go with that at all. They are happy to tell you how good they are, but then again they may be about to elect Donald Trump as President. And if they don't get him then they'll have Hillary Clinton in, so that's how clever they are.
I certainly take the view that the more people read about you and what you say, then the more likely they are to use you. I write fairly truthfully and usually with a comic bent as that's my way. I'm also not especially worried that many people don't agree with my views.
I always point out that it is only a view and I'm not expecting to change anyone else's view. I'm very happy to be friends with all political wings. I'm never rude to anyone, and it generally seems to work. However, if I were earning more, I should undoubtedly employ a PR company to push my comedy band, my comedy writing and my acting.
A good pal of mine who is involved in the PR game tells me that I have a real problem in that while I'm clearly pushing for success, I don't actually really want it. He may have a point. I've been offered a few reality TV things which I've not done purely for the fact that I don't want cameras poking around my house.
"I want the money but not the pointless stuff that comes with it."
However, as I'm getting older I might go for a bit of the pointless stuff, because I really do quite like exotic holidays and spending money on frivolities and a man has to do what a man has to do.
So if there are any PR companies out there who can get me onto Have I Got News For You, or something similar, I might have a go. But until then, I think Facebook is the place for me, and I'm happy enough with that.
Until next time ...
David is the owner of David Pibworth Productions (DPP) which provide corporate entertainment and also actors for corporate training and development.
Having worked in the Light Entertainment field for many years and produced shows for Al Murray & Joe Pasquale amongst others, David is in a position to advise on well-known comedy and musical acts. DPP also represent Ray Galton and Alan Simpson's scripts which include Hancock's Half Hour and Steptoe and Son.
He is the director of MK Theatre of Comedy who are very well known locally for their stage adaptations of classic comedy scripts such as Fawlty Towers, The Vicar of Dibley, Allo Allo and many others.
He is a long-standing member of Equity and the Directors Guild of Great Britain and has acted in, and directed, many productions over the years, mainly in Light Entertainment, but with occasional forays into Shakespeare etc. Every Christmas he is contracted as an Ugly Sister in Cinderella, currently with 'That's Entertainment' who also use him as a director.
He teaches eccentric magic for The Pauline Quirke Academy and MKTOC also run a youth drama school in Olney from the DPP offices.
David maintains his busy lifestyle is a surefire way to avoid being on any committees. He is married to Julie, and they have one daughter, Esther and live in Clifton Reynes, surrounded by dogs, cats and horses. They live so close to the church that David has instructed his daughter - when he dies and not before - to fire him over the wall from a circus cannon.