Why personal branding should matter to PR pros

If you’ve been neglecting to establish your professional credibility online, one public relations expert has a few tips to help you get started.

One of the more elusive—and essential—facets of a successful PR career is a defined personal brand.

In an industry that was built almost entirely on relationships, it’s hard to imagine any PR pro struggling to communicate his or her brand’s importance, but it’s common.

Before hiring you, an executive will probably Google your name, visit your website and scour platforms such as LinkedIn to see if others would recommend your services. Although any negative information would be a deterrent, it’s worse if potential clients, journalists and other contacts are met with nothing at all. If there’s nothing to confirm your skills or experience, prospects won’t view you as a person they can trust.

If you are a PR pro, organizations want you to manage their presence, perfect their messaging and represent them in the best light. Clients want to see you actively communicating online to gauge how you’d represent yourself and their organization.

How can they trust you to provide this if you haven’t mastered your own brand?

For starters, it’s important to conduct a critical analysis of your discoverability and establish a personal branding baseline.

Crafting a personal statement comes next. A technique called “5 in 5” can help you determine what language and tone to use.

Once you have a statement, take steps to reengineer your digital presence.

To make the process enjoyable, don’t force yourself to reinvent the wheel in a week. Accept that building your personal brand takes time. An enhanced online presence will make you credible and will improve the quality of your previous relationships.

Mel Carson is the founder of Delightful Communications , a Seattle-based marketing, social media, PR and personal branding consulting agency.

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Topics: PR


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