The American artist Andy Warhol was a visionary of sorts when, in 1968, he expressed his view that media coverage would allow anyone to become a celebrity: "In the future, everyone will be world famous for 15 minutes."
During the third and final presidential debate, Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, an unlicensed plumber, had his turn at fame. Better known now as “Joe the Plumber,” he got over 20 mentions as John McCain and Barack Obama used Joe’s potential business plans to debate their opposing tax plans. As a result, Joe now has a publicist, has appeared on numerous talk shows and news programs, has entered talks about a country music contract, and may even run for Congress.
Another Joe, Joe Lara, a licensed plumber since 1990, who actually calls himself “Joe the Plumber” professionally, has also had the good fortune of instant fame. On his Web site, as of this writing, he states he has received over 275,000 Web site visitors and 300 calls and has been asked for several interviews. He, too, has been offered radio and television appearances.
Are You and Your Brand Prepared for Your 15 Minutes of Fame?
Your day of fame could come in the most unexpected manner. How would you and your organization handle the opportunity?
It may be time to develop a contingency plan for instant success or fame, just as you have for emergencies. As shown by the Joe the Plumber scenarios, such opportunities are not as far-fetched as you might think.