- Posted by Poston Communications
- On March 7, 2019
- career advice, career development, careers in communications, communications, Personal brand, PRSA Georgia, PRSA Georgia annual conference, social media, students
How do you want your colleagues to see you? What traits best summarize your personal and professional capabilities? These questions were raised for discussion at “Brand Me: Building and Refining Your Personal Brand,” one of several sessions offered at the PRSA Georgia 2019 Annual Conference.
More than 300 PR professionals and students came together for the integrated session on February 22. Panelists Stephen Brown of Cookerly and Katherine Morales of InFlection Point Communications led an exchange of thoughtful advice and tips for communications professionals and aspiring professionals who are aiming to tighten their personal brand.
- Build Your Brand Through Word of Mouth
Begin to think about how you interact with the people around you. It takes less than 10 seconds for someone to make an initial judgment of you based on how you approach them. Focus on what conversations you are having (or not having) and what kind of impact you leave on others. Word of mouth is still the quickest way that information travels. Your first impression should be polished before you start examining other aspects of your personal brand, such as social media.
Know Your “Frontstage” and “Backstage”
Your “frontstage” persona is who you appear to be when you are around others, while your “backstage” persona is how you act when no one is looking. The panelists emphasized that these should never be different. You should aim to be consistent in all aspects of your life and live authentically. If you find yourself constantly switching between the two, it may be time to re-evaluate what kind of message you want to send to others.
- Start with What Brings You Joy
If you are a young professional or student, you may find it difficult to nail down what you want your personal brand to be because you are still trying to figure everything out! To begin the process, think about what brings you joy. What gets you excited and moving? More often than not, your personal brand story starts there. Build on what gives you energy and serves as a source of happiness. What characteristics, attributes and personality traits do you possess that align with that specific thing that brings you joy?
- Blend Your Personal Brand with Social Media
What you decide to display on social media should be consistent with how you live your life overall, including professionally. Be conscious about how you represent yourself as an individual and as someone who is part of a company. You will find that this won’t be in conflict if you make intentional decisions about working in environments that align with the kind of person you are and what brings you happiness. There is a place for everyone. However, you also should keep in mind that your personal brand shouldn’t overshadow your workplace. Be sure to show that you can balance your personal and professional lives!
- Determine “Why You and Only You?”
How do you add your personal flair to stand out from the crowd? Think about this carefully, as it should be one of the first aspects about yourself that you highlight. You don’t necessarily have to hide your weird quirks; those could be what make people want to have you on their team one day. People, especially potential employers in communications, appreciate others who are genuine and confident.
Building a personal brand requires effort, but it will be rewarding when people recognize you for what you want them to. Take control of how others view you to push your personal and professional lives in the direction that you want them to go.
A personal brand is built over time, so don’t focus on trying to make an immediate impact. Instead, stay consistent, look inward and translate that self-awareness into steps you should take to highlight your best attributes.
Nailah Jones is an assistant account representative at Poston Communications, based in Atlanta.