Manifesto Review: How to Fame – At Its Best when Fame Takes a Backseat to Personal Branding


Richard Laermer, founder and CEO of RLM PR and no stranger to fame, just published a manifesto of sorts through Change This, How to Fame: Stand Out/Get Ahead/That Simple. I've enjoyed a lot of Laermer's work since reading his book Full Frontal PR years back, though I was a little hesitant to dive into something about fame, a subject that can get a little too shallow for my tastes, especially in a how-to guide.

This latest publication had two things going for it:

First, it's short. I could stomach fifteen pages on fame from him.

Second, and more importantly, it's not really about fame. Or, the definition of fame here is so different from how I tend to think of it. Instead, it's a guide to personal branding, a subject I find far more useful, universal, and meaningful than trying to be famous for fame's sake.

On to the notes:

Page 7 has the best summary, the one some people may want to print out and stick on their cubicle or office wall. Laermer calls it the 'keys to fame,' but I don't think there's much relating to fame in authenticity, proactivity, and polish.

The publication felt like two separate stories
1) There's 1-11 and 14-17 (combined). These sections seemed like they were about personal branding and authenticity. I'm not sure what the difference here is between either of those concepts (take your pick) and what was referenced here as fame. I'm not even sure why the word fame's involved.
2) There's 12-13, which is all about fame, and specifically Internet fame – "You say you want to be an internet star?" it beckons. I get how authenticity helped the people featured here, but it also seems like there's more to it for them, and for them it wasn't just about being more fulfilled in their jobs. That might make for a good story in its own right, but it's completely separate, and I could do without it here.

As for the personal branding part, Frank's story that you'll read is more grounded, and there's some useful advice and good reminders, and it's worth at least a few minutes checking it out, if not far more time should it resonate.