Prince Harry has been in the news this week hitting out at what he calls “incessant” intrusions into his private life. He’s tired of reporters prying into his love life and linking him to every woman he’s snapped standing next to when he’s trying to drum up support and awareness for more important issues.
I’ve often thought that being a member of the Royal family is a lonely gig. Sure you’re wealthy and well-connected, with staff to attend to your every whim, but you can’t just pop out for a coffee with a pal, or a date with someone you fancy without the whole world knowing about it.
And yet as sympathetic as I am to Harry’s lack of privacy, it’s precisely his privileged position that enables him to do the good work he does. Did you know there are more than 195,289 registered charities in the UK, all competing like crazy for column inches? When Harry lends his voice to a cause, or shows up at a fundraiser, or cuts a ribbon, he guarantees vast amounts of free publicity, awareness and support. Which invariably leads to more funding, more donations and more people helped.
It’s a double-edged sword, isn’t it? If you’re a regular, everyday business owner, you have to fight for your publicity. If you’re a rich, eligible prince, you get handed the publicity on a plate…but you can kiss goodbye to your privacy.
If you’ve hung around this website for any length of time, you’ll know I’m a big advocate of being yourself in business. I tell you to share snippets of your life in your emails and on your blog because this helps you bond with your customers and clients. I urge you not to clam up and hide behind the same-old, overused cliches as everyone else. I suggest you sprinkle elements of your personality throughout your marketing because that’s the only way you’re going to stand out from all the other business owners.
And while this might sound terrifying to anyone who values their privacy (and that includes me) it’s actually not as hard or scary as you might imagine. Because this way, you get to control your own story. You get to choose how much – or how little – you share. Which means, you wield all the power.
And that’s what I think Harry needs to do: take control of his own publicity. He has the ability. Just like any business owner, all the the tools he needs are slap bang in front of him. He could easily set up a website and email list and social media platforms and communicate directly with the people he wants to reach. (Just imagine the size of that list).
Because by striking out on his own he gets to set the agenda. Yes, he’s going to have to open up about his life and share a few real-life experiences, but he’ll be able to do it on his own terms. Yes, he’s still going to be hassled by photographers and reporters. But when he wants to push a message or promote a cause or raise awareness for an issue he feels strongly about, he won’t have to turn to the mainstream media for help. He’ll have his own media channel right at his fingertips. And for a guy who’s been plagued by the press for his entire life, that’s going to feel very, very sweet.
P.S. Ready to take control of your own publicity but not sure what to write about? Grab a free copy of Email Kindling: 25 Things To Write About When You Haven’t A Clue What To Write About. This quick-fire guide contains 25 topic ideas I’ve used with my own list and with client’s lists to get people reading, clicking and buying. Enter your email in the box below to receive your free copy (via immediate download).