Rachel Alexander

We have become a nation of relentless self-promoters. Every day I check my email inbox and find it full of messages like “my media availability this week is…”, “I will be on TV or radio…”, “I am available for interviews,” or “my new book is available…” The onslaught of people promoting themselves makes it extraordinarily difficult for editors, funders and media to sift through potential talent, there is simply too much. Everyone wants to be a star, and the advent of YouTube and social media has made it appear to be readily attainable. The Internet’s democratization of access to publicity makes everyone feel like they are on the level of a celebrity; able to tweet their favorite stars, put up a website about themselves, and post photos of themselves on social media.

Many of these self-promoters don’t have real jobs, but live on welfare so they can spend all day long promoting themselves. Many have no real resume or accomplishments to speak of. Even some that make it onto television, like Octomom, can’t figure out how to make money from their embarrassing fame. These self-promoters brazenly ask others to help promote themselves - apparently blissfully unaware that publicizing themselves is costly and there is an entire industry of public relations firms that charge thousands of dollars for this service. Asking others for help promoting yourself has become the new norm.

Because of this increase in self-promotion, it has become much more difficult for those who do have talent to become successful in media, Hollywood or related fields. Unless you can afford a PR firm that will relentlessly promote you to news outlets and key businesses, or are willing to do outrageous things, you probably won’t be “discovered.” This explains why many of today’s stars aren’t the standouts like stars of a generation or two ago. Talent plays less of a role and mediocrity is present everywhere. One prominent news anchor was turned down repeatedly attempting to get on television, but she kept applying until a network finally accepted her.

People used to design websites with creative names. Now? There is an increasing trend to have a website with just your name. Many of these self-titled websites allow no way to contact the supposed “star” unless it’s from the media or a request for an interview.

Rachel Alexander

Rachel Alexander is the editor of the Intellectual Conservative. She also serves as senior editor of The Stream.