What is personal brand PR? Given a choice, people tend to do business with people they like and people they trust. So, how a person responds to you, and your reputation, can have a major impact on the outcome.
No surprise then that the role of the celebrity CEO within your business is a critical part of business communications strategy. For those that get it right, high visibility can pay dividends.
Not every business has a Richard Branson or Bill Gates at it helm but personal brand equity (otherwise know as your professional or career brand) is still an essential part of the PR communications mix for CEOs, executives, entrepreneurs and any business professional from lawyers to designers.
As a business leader, a strong personal brand can help you better communicate and connect with staff, investors, customers, stakeholder communities and the media. The ability to check out the reputation of a business and its management team at the swish of a finger means personal brand PR is not really an option in a digital economy. Your digital trail is there for all to see.
But personal brand isn’t all about managing your digital footprint. It’s about appreciating that your personal reputation is just as important as your business reputation – online, offline and everything in-between. It’s about taking steps to effectively manage your reputation so that you’re shaping what’s important to you, not other people doing it, and ultimately communicating why the things that you say and do should matter to others.
AMBITIOUS is experienced at raising personal profiles, and that of the business, by supporting senior level communications strategies. And, it is very much about having a strategy. No different to branding a business.
Asking yourself the same questions that you’d be asking of your business: what do you want to achieve, what sets you apart, why are you different from your competitors, what’s your passion, what’s your niche and what’s your story?
It’s important to stay true to yourself of course: your skills, your expertise and your outlook, but by defining your own ‘value proposition’ you can cultivate a personal brand that best represents you and ultimately helps you increase opportunities for yourself and your business interests.
At AMBITIOUS we help business founders and CEOs with all aspects of PR communications, from corporate communications strategy and thought leadership to speech writing. We also develop speaker engagements, research and draft by-lined articles, facilitate business introductions, advise on social CEO strategies and manage many other C-level communications requirements.
So, if personal brand PR is something that you’ve been neglecting … then you may want to think about the following steps to get you started:
- As yourself: why? Why am I doing this and what do I hope you achieve as a result? Do I want to generate more media opportunities, raise my profile in a new sector to drive new sales, secure a new role? This will help you develop your plan and keep focus
- Word on the street – what’s being said about you at the moment? Is it right and relevant? Is it consistent across digital channels and my networks? How much do I need to change perceptions – tweaking what’s there already or getting things going from a standing start? Getting access to this information online is quite straightforward and you can start with a name search. Don’t forget to check images too
- Your story – what’s unique about you, your passions, strengths, skills and personal values? What are the messages you want to get across and why should these matter to anyone? Be authentic in what you create and try to reflect this in both words and images. Pull this together in a short bio or personal backgrounder and think about the imagery you use to support this
- What you say and what you do – words are one thing, but you also need to give thought to what you do. Are your values represented in what you say and what you do? This particularly applies to personal interests. Is there a mismatch in the messages you’re trying to communicate?
- Channel your inner brand – this is an essential part of PR, but think about the best channels for you (not all will be relevant) and of course the audiences you are trying to reach. Plan out what’s important them and why you think you can be of help and where do they go so you can reach them
- Create your brand voice – with your story prepared and your social channels updated (don’t forget that images are important too), you can get to work building your personal brand with purposeful actions – from speaking at industry events, creating thought leadership articles to blogging and social media activity
We like a good quote of the day, so to share this with you … Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, said: “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
It’s our view that if you can influence what people say about you in anyway, and that a good reputation can help you and your business, why would you leave that to chance?