10 PR lessons from Howard Stern

The shock jock is a new a judge on ‘America’s Got Talent,’ which inspired the author to consider how Stern can help a PR pro’s career.

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When I think of what makes good content in the social sphere, I think of Howard Stern. Setting aside his pornographic, sexist, and/or colorful content, he remains a true pioneer of what we now call engagement, and he has a lot to teach us about what makes compelling content.

Recently, I flipped through his 1993 autobiography “Private Parts,” and the book shows he was way ahead of his time. Here are some lessons we can apply today from Howard Stern of 20 years ago.

1. Keep your focus, and put on a good show. Content quality over quantity. He was frustrated with management’s demand that he make special appearances at lame events all over town, where people didn’t even know him. He was right. Don’t waste time posting useless info across every channel. Be great in the one place where your audience is listening to you.

2. Give the crazies their chance. Leather Weatherlady was a crazy fan who was continually taunting Howard. He finally gave in and let her do what she wanted. Guess what happened. She backed off. When naysayers and irrational commenters try to heckle your blog, let them. All they want is to be heard. What they say will reflect worse on them than on you. You’ll be respected for giving them the air and taking it on the chin.

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