By Lindsey Noack (@LinzCnoack)
In public relations we learn about creating a brand for a company and maintaining that brand by consistently sending the same message. But we forget that in order to land that job, we are first going to need to apply that same practice to market ourselves.
On Thursday, March 3, I went to a UW Oshkosh Public Relations Student Society of America meeting and listened to Lisa Cruz and Karen Buckoski from Red Shoes PR talk about the importance of personal branding. Cruz explained how from the beginning her agency has made it clear that it does public relations and nothing else. Focusing strictly on one role, company communication, has allowed Red Shoes PR to successfully help companies connect with their customers over the clutter and chaos of the recession. This approach of an unchanging focus needs to be applied in creating your personal brand as well.
Lisa said the first step in doing this is to determine what your focus is going to be. This is done by thinking about your passions and what you want to stand for. Write this down in a two to three sentence format which you will use as your “personal brand vision statement that serves as the platform for your online (and offline) voice”. Essentially this is going to be what defines you as an employee and a professional. Lisa gave her own vision statement as an example:
“To be the best in public relations while having fun, kicking @#$, and always pushing the envelope for myself, employees and clients. To use communications to make the world a better place.”
Remember when writing to stay truthful to who you are, but try to make it stand out to whoever will be looking at it (like in our case, future employers). This statement represents you and should match up with everything you write, tweet and say. You want to make sure that you are as transparent as possible by sending the same constant idea in person and on all your media platforms. In other words, learn who you are professionally now so when you are ready to head out into the workforce you’ll have no problem telling (and showing) other people.
Check out Lisa’s PowerPoint on personal branding below: