NYREJ - My gateway drug to publishing and publicity

March 09, 2015 - Front Section

Deena Baikowitz, Fireball Network

In 2003, the New York Real Estate Journal offered me my first publishing opportunity in New York. I wrote a 750-word article about networking. I didn't even have a job in the industry yet. But I did have subject matter expertise, writing talent, and an eagerness to see my name on a byline! This article kicked off my addiction to publicity. It also marked the beginning of a valuable relationship and friendship with Kristine Wolf, NYREJ's publishing director.
In 2009, I launched Fireball Network with my business partners. Kristine called to congratulate us, and asked, "Would you like to write a column for NYREJ?" "Of course!" This was an opportunity to market our firm's networking and business development expertise, and to market myself as a writer. My objective was to deliver substance, humor and inspiration. The commitment to a regular column kept my skills sharp. There were publishing deadlines to meet, and no room for writer's block. Every article I wrote for NYREJ was also posted on the Fireball Network blog, with acknowledgments and hyperlinks to NYREJ. We included them in email blasts and promoted on social media. This affiliation with a leading publication delivered a wider audience and more credibility than self-publishing could provide.
At a conference in 2012, I planted myself in front of the NYREJ booth, and grabbed each person walking by: "Take advantage of the power of the press! Share your expertise with a massive readership of CRE professionals!" I spoke with each professional about their services and identified relevant topics for them to write about. The publicity addict had become a pusher. I also push my clients to step onto the stage - in print and in person. NYREJ's Spotlight on Women in Real Estate is one favorite feature that helps women shine.
One sunny spring day I had the chance to help Kristine shine too, when she emailed me to reschedule a call. "I'm on a train to Long Island to receive an award tonight." She only mentioned it to explain why she wasn't available. I had to pry her for details. The irony was obvious. Someone so dedicated to promoting others was reluctant to talk about herself. "Kristine, what's your speech about? What's your goal? What message do you want to deliver? Do you have any funny stories to tell?" Her answer: "I was planning to figure it out on the train." We held an emergency presentation prep session. Kristine developed a beautiful speech celebrating the power of relationships. She told her own career story, with inspiring details. She thanked all the women who helped her achieve her success, and acknowledged specific people and organizations. Kristine elegantly articulated and demonstrated how we must all promote ourselves, and each other, with pride.
In 2014, Kristine attended a workshop I delivered at a real estate conference. This was an opportunity to market herself, and NYREJ, to a room packed with CRE professionals - potential advertisers, subscribers and columnists. And this time, she was eager to speak!
I will always be grateful to NYREJ for my first taste of publishing and publicity. More recently, my articles and networking tips have been featured in Hotel News Now, The Wall Street Journal, Real Estate Weekly, and SELF Magazine. I am proud to call myself a writer, a publicity addict, and a passionate pusher of the drug of self-promotion.
Deena Baikowitz is the chief networking officer at Fireball Network, New York, N.Y.


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