Being a ‘Celebrity-Something’ doesn’t Necessarily Equate to Expertise

These days, many people seem to associate media exposure with credibility. If you have been invited to a well-known television show to talk about your business, your industry, and yourself, then  you must be an industry leader.  If you’ve been given a two and a half minute spot on a talk show, then you must be the expert. The more shows that you’ve been invited to guest, the higher your credibility is.

As a business owner, I’ve had my share of the limelight on different shows to talk about what my business is, and what I do. It was indeed such a great experience to reach out to a very big audience and let them know that an industry and a business such as ours exist.

Did I improve at my job right after the TV appearances? I don’t believe so. But I do mention those few minutes of fame in my personal and business profiles; and the results were kind of shocking.  I realized that most potential clients were quite impressed with the fact that I had personally met and chatted with well-known celebrities. I found this kind of star-struck awe a little distressing.

A few days ago, I read a commentary about the recent British royal wedding. To sum it up, the commentary was about the word ‘celebrity’ and how its use has changed the way people perceive someone. It postulates that putting the ‘celebrity’ as a prefix in terms such as ‘celebrity doctor,’ ‘celebrity chef,’ or ‘celebrity businessman’ represents an undisputed expertise in that person’s field. The addition of the word ‘celebrity’ to a job function somehow bestows a divine right to an individual to be the expert or the spokesperson for the industry.

The idea of expertise being bestowed  on to you by the media makes me uncomfortable. It might be true that you’ve got a great Public Relations person, and some knowledge to answer a few questions, but does it really equate to you or your business as being the expert in the field?

In today’s business environment, with its high regards to fans, followers, and friends, it is always a must to have unsurpassed marketing prowess. I’m also sure that everyone would agree that a well-oiled marketing machine is one of the key ingredients to a business. But there’s a caveat, indisputable credibility far exceeds tacky marketing.

If I were to consult a ‘celebrity surgeon’ for an operation, I wouldn’t be a bit impressed if the doctor said, “I guested on these shows and I know these celebrities personally.” I think I would be more interested at the doctor’s success rate regarding the procedure; but that’s just me.

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