Public relations professionals are good at getting the word out about other people, brands and initiatives. But some might find it hard to give that same time, attention and energy to their own personal brands.
A steady cadence of posts that highlight your own work wins on social media can boost your career and grow your professional sphere of influence. But be careful not to venture too far into the obnoxious category with incessant posting and over-the-top bragging across social media platforms. Nobody likes that.
Terry Isner, owner of Jaffe PR, said that he is successful in his own personal brand building because he uses a simple, yet effective, formula to connect with his audience: being himself.
“Basically, the idea is that if we just bring our whole selves – and our unique selves – to people confidently, then we will attract and innovate and collaborate and do all these great things with great people. I think it’s important that we put ourselves out there and find those collaborative areas,” Isner told PR Daily.
Isner said that as people go through life and their careers, they are building upon their personal brand online and off, whether they intend to or not.
“Your actions, characteristics, personality, beliefs, values and preferred ways to communicate and collaborate, these are who you are. These are your brand,” Isner said. “Knowing that this will happen organically … should alert you that controlling, maintaining and consciously building a personal brand matters.”
Isner said that no matter what one posts, or which platform people use to communicate, it’s about bringing your whole self to each post.
“One of the things that I’ve allowed is my life at work to become one and be able to use the platforms to share that,” Isner said about intertwining his personal and professional life. “When you share that obviously through social media, you’re creating brand reputation.”
Isner posted on LinkedIn about the concept of improving one’s personal brand and how it ties to bringing one’s opinions to the forefront – whether at work or doing life.
“There is a fantastic landscape today for cultivating your personal brand through thought leadership,” Isner said in the post. “Podcasts, social media, blog writing, public speaking and participation in conferences all serve as excellent platforms … to exhibit your personality and perspectives. Remember, prospective clients aren’t merely seeking assurances of your capabilities; they’re interested in gauging your relatability and whether the potential working relationship seems like it would be mutually satisfying. … Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine, doing so will attract the clients who are right for you.”
PR experts don’t have to mix work and life if that’s not their thing. They can stick strictly to work-related topics and boost their personal brand that way.
Paisley Haddad, senior account executive at Zeno Group and host of The Queen of Comm Podcast, has built her brand around being a Gen Z industry voice Haddad uses her podcast to boost her personal brand and professional prowess on LinkedIn, Instagram and other platforms.
“As a dual PR pro and podcaster, it’s important to me to build my personal brand as a thought leader in the podcasting space to provide informed counsel to any clients or colleagues who may seek more information on the medium in earned media,” Haddad said. “Also, in my career, building my personal brand has allowed me to take part in conferences, Clubhouse chats, op-eds and (opportunities) where I’m able to learn and grow within my role as well as provide insights on behalf of Gen Z.”
Haddad said whether a PR professional is looking to build their personal brand by starting a podcast or posting more consistently across social media, it all boils down to getting the word out about oneself and making connections.
Isner said no matter how new a PR expert is to personal branding, it’s important to think about authentically crafting a personal brand now.
“You should be in charge of it. Be the person you want to be, own it and foster relationships with those that appreciate your brand,” Isner said.
Haddad mused that it’s never too late to start learning and being open to new ideas while thriving in this new territory.
“I just feel like everyone should always be curious. No matter what level you are at in the PR industry. Just continue learning and talking with others,” Haddad said.
Sherri Kolade is a writer at PR Daily. When she is not with her family, she enjoys watching old films, reading and building an authentically curated life. This includes, more than occasionally, finding something deliciously fried. Follow her on LinkedIn. Have a great PR story idea? Email her at email@example.com.