Chas­ing fame?

You’ll need per­sis­tence, en­thu­si­asm and pas­sion, says celebrity pub­li­cist Max Mark­son. Jade Kennedy re­ports

Townsville Bulletin - - Savvy -

M ax Mark­son is a tabloid jour­nal­ist’s dream con­tact, rep­re­sent­ing clients from for­mer US pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton to in­fa­mous party boy Corey Wor­thing­ton.

Mark­son started his Syd­ney-based com­pany, Mark­son Sparks, as a purely PR and pub­lic­ity firm 29 years ago this month.

‘‘ Since then we have ex­panded into celebrity man­age­ment and event man­age­ment that has given us some as­tro­nom­i­cal suc­cess,’’ Mark­son said.

‘‘ We have al­ways been in­volved with events for char­ity, which orig­i­nally started with the Va­ri­ety Club, but we ex­panded and have now done over 200 char­ity events and raised over $ 40 mil­lion.’’

His rep­u­ta­tion may be left-of­cen­tre, but Mark­son’s ad­vice is very down to earth.

‘‘ If you want to be fa­mous and want longevity, you need to do some­thing of a cred­i­ble na­ture,’’ he said.

‘‘ Build up your cred­i­bil­ity, that then be­comes a ba­sis you can work from.

‘‘ Think out­side the box, sure, stand out from the crowd and be unique.

‘‘ The key catch­phrase in mar­ket­ing is ‘ unique sell­ing point’ – work out what sets you apart from your peers and push your­self to be the best.

‘‘ My dear friend Laurie Lawrence, who in­ci­den­tally is from Townsville, I be­lieve, says ‘ per­sist’ and he’s right, per­sis­tence is ev­ery­thing.’’

Mark­son said fi­nan­cially-speak­ing, if you can play golf or ten­nis you’re onto a good thing right now.

‘‘ But that only works if you’re a sports­man,’’ he said.

‘‘ If you’re an ac­tor, be a great ac­tor, if you’re a singer, be the best singer you can be.

‘‘ Build peo­ple up around you that can help you be the best at what­ever it is you do, sup­port is ev­ery­thing.’’

For a lot of lo­cal bands, mod­els and ath­letes, self-pro­mo­tion is the key.

‘‘ It’s im­por­tant to know that self­pro­mo­tion lit­er­ally starts at home,’’ Mark­son said.

‘‘ Do you know your neigh­bours? Do you know the peo­ple down your street? Do they know you and what you do?

‘‘ Get out there, get in­volved in the lo­cal com­mu­nity, call the Townsville

Bul­letin and tell them how fan­tas­tic you are and why you’re fan­tas­tic and get ev­ery­one in town talk­ing about you around the wa­ter cooler.

‘‘ JFK made a fan­tas­tic speech when he was elected Pres­i­dent of the USA.

‘‘ He said, ‘ ask not what your coun­try can do for you, ask what you can do for your coun­try.’

‘‘ The next day, his ad­vis­ers came and told him they had re­ceived phone calls from across the coun­try from peo­ple ask­ing what they could do.

‘‘ So he did an­other broad­cast, and told them it didn’t mat­ter what they did as long as they just DID some­thing, put their fin­ger in the pond and start mak­ing waves.’’

From Nel­son Man­dela to Lara Bin­gle Mark­son has seen a lot in his ca­reer.

‘‘ I got a job in a night club earn­ing 50p a night op­er­at­ing the spot­light, and was soon earn­ing three quid as their MC,’’ he said.

‘‘ At 18, I got to­gether with a friend of mine and started hir­ing the club to put on bands and events.’’

Townsville may be a re­gional cen­tre, but Mark­son said it was still pos­si­ble to be­come in­ter­na­tion­ally fa­mous from here.

‘‘ Go on Face­book and Twit­ter – in this day and age ev­ery­one has a voice, you don’t need the me­dia to en­gage peo­ple – we’re all Ru­pert Mur­doch or Ted Turner,’’ he said.

‘‘ YouTube is a fab­u­lous tool for global recog­ni­tion – Justin Bieber is a clas­sic ex­am­ple of how YouTube can make you fa­mous.

‘‘ When Justin was dis­cov­ered on YouTube he had Usher and Justin Tim­ber­lake fight­ing over him.’’

To make it in the fame game, it all boils down to ac­tion, ac­cord­ing to Mark­son.

‘‘ If you have an idea in Townsville to­day and you don’t act on it, you can guar­an­tee some­body in San Fran­cisco or Moscow or Buenos Aires is go­ing to have the ex­act same idea to­mor­row, and if they act im­me­di­ately they’ll be the ones mak­ing squil­lions of dol­lars in­stead of you.’’

With Clare ‘ chk chk boom’ Wer­beloff

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