Curtis Jackson, also known as 50 Cent, is a bullet-wound-ridden rapper who made ballistic vests briefly fashionable and whose 2003 album, Get Rich or Die Tryin', was certified sextuple platinum. Robert Greene is a writer who Wikipedia says is "known for his books on strategy, power and seduction." Together they wrote The 50th Law, which is a combination of self-help book for tough guys and Machiavelli updated for modern urban life. Now, writing for a site called Copyblogger, Greene has written an essay on four public relations lessons he learned from working with 50 Cent.
Greene says it all comes down to "creating a radical connection," which appears to consist of blogging a bit and joining Twitter. "He had moved from the outside to the inside and the hustling game came alive once more, this time on a global scale," Greene writes. "Fifty’s approach isn’t just for pop culture icons. His insights into rebuilding connection are universal. ... At all cost, you need to continually force yourself outward." Greene relays his four tips for how to do this. Here they are with our translation.
- 'Crush all distance' Greene says you must "crush as much distance as possible between you and your audience. ... You enter their spirit and absorb it from within." By this he means you should join Twitter.
- 'Open informal channels of criticism and feedback' Greene compares 50 Cent to Eleanor Roosevelt, who "traveled all over the country" and "opened a column in The Woman’s Home Companion" in which she solicited letters form concerned citizens. "You create a back-and-forth dynamic in which their ideas, involvement and energy can be harnessed for your purposes." In other words, you should emulate Eleanor Roosevelt by joining Twitter.
- 'Reconnect with your base' Greene compares 50 Cent to Malcolm X, who "made an effort to inoculate himself from the psychic distance experienced by other successful leaders in the black community. He increased his interactions with street hustlers and agitators, the kind of people from the lower depths that most leaders would scrupulously avoid." The lesson is that you should hang out with lots of criminals. Presumably, you do not want to tweet from your iPhone while doing so.
- 'Create the social mirror' Greene argues you should listen to criticism, even seek it out, rather than avoiding it. In practice, this means that you should follow a lot of people on Twitter.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.