Marketing and PR: How They Can Be a Spiritual Practice and Act of Faith

The spirituality at work movement promotes the belief that all work ought to be done with integrity and purpose.  How can that apply to marketing and public relations, when so many believe that marketing and PR are all about hype, manipulation, bragging and/or lies?

How easy it is to forget that each of us is endowed each of us with many talents and the drive to use these talents purposefully.  We are called to use our talents, not bury them. We are also called to share good news, not hide our light under a bushel.

Because marketing and PR are necessary so people can see the products and services we offer, it’s time to give marketing and PR the same kind of loving attention we give our crafts and our most cherished clients.  Or as our Hindu friends might say, do all work as it were being done for our beloved.

Sharing Good News Is the Heart and Soul of Authentic Marketing and Public Relations

All practical business activities can be done with heart and soul.  If, for example, you translate the Buddhist concept of “right livelihood” to marketing and PR, you do these activities with consciousness, compassion and integrity.  The same thing happens when you apply the Muslim concept of being the same person you are in prayer before God as you are in the marketplace.

Unfortunately, too many of us have a conscious or unconscious disconnect between offering our good products or services and letting people know about them.  As Peggy Klaus, author of author of the wonderful book BRAG! The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It, notes, “For most people being a self-advocate is about as comfortable as having a root canal.”

But if we don’t let enough of the right people know our about our offerings, our workshops go unfilled, pews at our place of worship are empty, and products that could benefit others gather dust. Thus, by inhibiting marketing or PR, we deprive others of our best offerings.

Is Fear Holding You Back from Your Most Authentic and Effective Marketing and PR?

I used to be an active marketing and PR avoider. Once while working to overcome fear of promotion, I realized that PR felt to me like a constant re-experience of a humiliating experience at a family reunion, when I was about six or seven.

“Look at me!” I had announced to the large gathering as I prepared to race atop the 2 foot-high scalloped border around my grandparents’ fishpond.  Everybody looked, and for a moment there was applause. Then I fell into the pond and emerged unhurt, but covered with algae and other stuff that I can only describe as “green gunk.”

Mixed with this memory is another memory of my mother’s constant warning to stop making a spectacle of myself.  Plus, I happen to know several natural marketing geniuses who scorn the whole concept of marketing, but they can’t go to a party without bringing home a new client or two.  When I compare myself to these natural marketers, I always feel like a loser.  When I make my fear of today’s equivalent of green gunk more important than offering my work into the world, I am a loser.  So are those who could benefit from my offerings.

Sound painfully familiar?

Here are Some Great Resources to Helping You Create Effective, Spiritually Anchored Marketing and PR

With just a little research, you can find hundreds of resources to help you promote what matters most to you.  Here are three favorites:

  • Joan Stewart, aka the Publicity Hound, offers a great practical and fun newsletter, plus numerous articles on how to get the word out.
  • Susan Harrow’s book  Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul, A Woman’s Guide to Promoting Herself, Her Business, or Her Cause with Integrity & Spirit definitely lives up to its title.
  • Carol Costello’s The Soul of Selling will make selling so comfortable and satisfying that you’ll want to do more of it with grace and caring.

One of the best marketing and PR practices is to be attentive to opportunities.  When Susan Harrow invited newsletter readers to submit guest blogging ideas, I pitched “Marketing as Spiritual Practice.”  It’s filled with tips you won’t find in this post.

Some Meditations on Marketing As an Act of Faith

Marketing requires faith in our true selves, which are connected to all creation, not to our egos, which have a more limited, selfish viewpoint. Our real selves are as comfortable with potential rejection as babies are comfortable picking themselves up each time they fall; our egos would rather avoid anything potentially painful.

Marketing requires faith in our products or services.  If we can’t have faith in them, it’s either time to reshape the product or service so we deeply respect it and can stand on its value — or it’s time to offer other products and services that are more ethical, meaningful and useful.

Marketing requires faith that there is room in the market for quality and integrity.  Whatever bandwagon of hype or fear is popular today, marketing with faith calls us to stay true to what we know to be true.  If that means a smaller market share, so be it, and bless it. By being true to ourselves, we will always have enough.

As always, what are your thoughts?

Many blessings, Pat McHenry Sullivan

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