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Why You Should Use Self-Promotion as a Networking Technique

David Hagenbuch

You’re settling into your airplane seat as the flight attendant reviews the safety procedures—seat belts, emergency exits, then: “In the event of a loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will fall from the ceiling. Put on your own mask before helping others.”

Have you ever thought about how self-centered that instruction is? You probably haven’t because you realize that you’d be no good to anyone if you’re passed out in your seat due to lack of oxygen. Sometimes we need to help ourselves before we can help others.

As personal branding has become popular, many of us feel the need to own our image and strategically promote ourselves. At the same time, we wonder if it’s right to spend time advancing ourselves or if our time would be better spent helping others.

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David Hagenbuch

David Hagenbuch is a professor of marketing at Messiah College, the author of Honorable Influence and the founder of, which aims to encourage ethical marketing.