I’ve been called a lot of things in my 25-year PR career—some of them unprintable. But no one’s ever called me an “energy healer.” Recently, I reconnected with a colleague who actually answers to that title.
Today, Joanna Massey will complete her work as speechwriter for The CW’s Advertising Upfront and return to her job as a coach and psycho-educator. Joanna is also a public speaker, and the creative brainstorm behind the Core-Self Method, a method that teaches people to tap into the “core” within themselves to promote happiness, health, and well-being.
“I spent 20 years as a PR executive and I saw what fortune, fame and fear can do,” she explains. “I developed the Core-Self Method after realizing that I – like many others – was looking outside of myself for money, power, and prestige to provide the elusive happiness and security I needed to find from within."
After Joanna left the television industry in 2007, she completed a masters in clinical psychology and is now getting a Ph.D. in transpersonal psychology. When I talked to her I wanted to know: Why is Hollywood a center of fear and self-loathing? And what kind of old-school and new-school marketing was she using with her new business?
Q: You’ve said that your personal and professional experiences inspired you to pursue this new career. Why?
A: I had a life that looked good on the outside, but felt miserable on the inside. I grew up in New York living like the kids on “Gossip Girl.” I moved to L.A. and achieved a lot of success in Hollywood. But nothing was ever enough—there wasn’t enough stuff to fill the empty place inside of me.
Q: Why do you suppose Hollywood is full of insecure people?
A: There is a wonderful parable about a Native American grandfather teaching his grandson about life. The grandfather says he has two wolves that constantly battle in his head. One is a wise, loving, and kind-hearted wolf. The other is a fearful, angry, and mean wolf. The little boy eagerly asks, “Which wolf wins?” The grandfather replies, “The one I feed.”
The competition and public nature of the entertainment industry feeds on human insecurities and fear. Without the right tools, the money and power we get can become weapons of destruction, not gifts of life.
Q: You made a dramatic career change. What was that like?
A: I was terrified when UPN closed and I lost my job as the head of PR. I saw a 20-year career disappearing, along with the perks. At first, my ego didn’t want to let go of being an industry executive, because I thought that was the source of my happiness. Once I decided to go with the flow of life instead of fighting it, I became free to follow my intuition and life got easier. For example, I went to graduate school for a psychology degree, which seemed weird. I mean, shouldn’t I have gone for an MBA? But my instincts told me to pursue psychology and now I have a new career and I’m happier than I’ve ever been.
Q: What is the Core-Self Method?
A: The Core-Self Method teaches people how to tap into the loving, calm, wise, compassionate core that is within all of us so we can manifest the love, joy, health, prosperity, and abundance we want. The seminars teach invaluable techniques, including fascinating methods to help people become conscious of their inner dialogue.
Q: How do you make that a "brand"?
A: There's a hunger for this in today's world. People are eager for tools to deal with life’s stresses, so I teach a system that helps them. I’m working on a book and developing a smartphone app. I’ve also hired a manager to explore promotional opportunities with brands that share my values—such as sports brands with marketing messages about tapping into your core energy, beauty products that tout the value of inner and outer beauty, and other related sectors that focus on inner-health and well-being.
Q: Are you using television marketing techniques to launch your business?
A: The Core-Self Method is a program of attraction. The people who gravitate to it are motivated to change their lives. So guerrilla marketing – a popular network marketing tool – won’t work for me.
However, social media marketing works well. I’ve known for years I wanted to write books and do public speaking, so I’ve been amassing friends on Facebook with that in mind. I have nearly 5,000 friends whom I can market to and target based on their location and interests.
Q: Seems like your biggest marketing base would be your hometown—Hollywood.
A: Yes! I’m talking about facilitating a workshop for clients who work with Jennifer Musselman, M.A., MFTI, who was in a prestigious communications executive position at Nickelodeon and now runs a private practice as a life therapist and addiction specialist in Santa Monica.
In addition, I’m conducting a focus group that Ray Richmond, writer for “Deadline Hollywood,” is co-producing. This should help me tailor future workshops for entertainment executives.
This is your 7th year writing The CW’s Upfront speech. How has it changed?
Before it was stress. Now it’s joy. I started writing Upfront speeches in 2001 as the head of PR for UPN. Back then, if you asked me who I was I told you what I did for a living, and if you asked me how I was I told you how work was going. Today, I’m free from the illusion that my self-worth is defined by the labels I put on myself, such as "Senior VP" or "industry insider."
Now that Upfronts are over, what's next for you and the Core-Self Method?
The feedback I’m getting from people is the Method is life changing, so I’m making it as accessible as possible. I have several seminars this summer in LA and maybe NY. I’ll also do a few webinars, which allows for worldwide participation. Actually, I’m holding a summer special to drive awareness, so the price is good. The information is on my website CoreSelfMethod.com.