Can fame be heroic?

When I used to think of fame, I would think of the faded star Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson) in the black, gothic comedy “Sunset Boulevard,” in the unforgettable scene where she’s descending the stairs, thinking the cameras are there to capture her comeback instead are there to lure her and arrest her for murder. The movie ends with the iconic line, “I am ready for my close-up.”

The word fame definitely conjures up contrasting reactions when interviewing for the book, “Fame Revolution” most would agree with my original thought of Fame that is a narcissistic desire and its riddled more with destruction than its benefits.

My fascination with fame began when I came across a quote that contracted my viewpoint a few years back by Socrates: “Fame is the perfume of heroic deeds.”
Fame heroic?

To me, that sounded like an oxymoron.

Yet, I have worked in PR, Strategic communications, and marketing and have seen that getting attention for what you do does garner benefits.

I think we all know deep inside that when you get attention, you get more possibilities.

So I blame Socrates for the rabbit hole I went down and the result of my book, Fame Revolution.
According to the dictionary Fame simply means “to become known for what you do,” which is the basic assignment for any PR or marketing professional.

So why did I write a book on fame?

What really caught my attention was how the pandemic completely reshaped our interactions—suddenly, Zoom, Teams and Google Meet became our lifeline to the outside world. We all got comfortable in front of the camera, and with that came a seismic shift. And that over 86% percent have a smartphone and can, from the comforts of their home, become Internet famous.

The old gatekeepers of influence lost their grip. We shifted from big influencers to the rise of the micro-influencers. Then, I stumbled upon a TikTok, by an exasperated and frustrated macro-influencer lambasting that everyone is an influencer.

So, if everyone holds influence, to me that was a game-changer for how society operates, both personally and professionally.

My career has been the privilege of working closely with leaders across different domains—government, entertainment and corporate, you name it—to help them shape their public personas. And now, suddenly, it feels like everyone has the potential to be an influencer.

Reflecting on history, I asked myself, “Have we ever been in a society quite like this before?”

Not really. Sure, Gutenberg’s printing press kicked off the democratization of information, but today, we’re in uncharted waters. Each of us holds unprecedented power to amplify our voices. Andy Warhol’s prediction from decades ago, “In the future, everyone will be famous for 15-minutes,” feels like it’s come true.

We’re in the midst of a revolution—a revolution that’s shaking up the status quo and forcing us to rethink everything.

It’s a revolution because it’s turning everything we thought we knew on its head.

➪ You’ve got to be agile, embrace new ways of communicating, influencing, and engaging.

➪ You’ve got to ride this wave of change and use it to drive positive, meaningful transformation.

The fame revolution is here, will you join it? Or sit on the sidelines?

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I’m Not Famous

Who am I? I almost forgot to introduce myself. My name is Torund Bryhn, and I am not famous… ..unless you know me from ➪

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