If you have followed my blog for a while you will know I write and speak about personal branding and the power of personal public relations. I believe successful PR – those relationships with your public is built through every encounter and impression you make. This is certainly not a new philosophy. Reputation and how your personal or business image is perceived by your public underpins PR. According to the Public Relations Institute of Australia, public relations is the deliberate, planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain mutual understanding between an organisation (or individual) and its (or their) publics.
Building your profile and brand through personal PR takes time and effort. Here are a few quick tips on how to get started.
- Plan what you want to achieve. Develop a personal brand plan for yourself every year, and review it often. Include specific goals, strategies, action steps, and a timetable.
- Presentation. Look good. That applies to the way you dress personally and to your business images, including photos, logos,website and communication collateral. Look the part of someone going somewhere and develop a unique style suitable to your personality and work.
- Presence. Be a class act. Learn good business manners and social etiquette. Send hand-written notes, return phone calls, smile, say hello – it’s the ‘little things’ that count.
- Position yourself and what you offer to your target market. Understand exactly who your target market is. What position do you already own with your audience, what do you want to own and what do you have to offer? Do you have a point of difference? Is there a unique concept or idea you can hang your hat on? Where’s the creative element?
- Publicise. Send out interesting, newsworthy media releases on your topic or point of difference to journalists to help create word of mouth buzz. Write articles for magazines, blogs and online newsletters. Become an expert source for the media. Get known in your niche.
- Pitch. You will need to follow up with media in most instances. Learn how to summarise who you are and what you do in a few short sentences so when you talk to influencers such as media or your networks you are comfortable and well versed in being able to answer any questions they may have.
- Present. Being a proficient public speaker will help reinforce your personal brand. Get in front of audiences as much as you can. Learn to be a confident communicator. Join Toastmasters or hire a presentation coach to ensure your speaking skills are at their best.
- People. You can’t do it alone. Build your network. Make new business contacts and stay in touch with them. Choose those appropriate to you and your personal brand; those you can help and those who can help you. Help others become as successful as you would like to be.
Read last week’s blog Top Ten Wardrobe Classics