The Importance of Building A Personal Brand in PR

When it comes to communicating in the business world, there’s nothing more important than strong, authentic branding. When done properly, a brand tells a story, builds a customer base and captures attention. As PR professionals, we are often so focused on building our clients’ brands that we forget about the importance of our own personal brands.

In my previous blog post, I discussed the growing importance of visuals in the 21st century. Well, coinciding with this hot topic, it has become increasingly more imperative for PR professionals to build and maintain a strong image – or personal brand – to further the success of their company.

Personal branding is the practice of individuals marketing themselves and their careers as brands. It signifies who you are as a professional, and as we know, image speaks volumes in today’s world. Personal branding is not simply boasting your successes, but instead, an opportunity to promote your company, skill sets and accomplishments in a way that rings true to who you are and what you’re working to achieve in the industry.

In this article, I’ll highlight three ways #PRpros can leverage their own personal brand – whether it be via social media or social networking – to further promote their company and ensure long-term success. 

Establishing credibility
Your personal brand can add tremendous value to your company in a way that offers a realistic glimpse into who is behind the success. People like to know people. In particular, potential clients want to know the team members they will be working with. They want to know they can trust them, and that they’ll conduct business in a way that rings true to the company’s vision and values. The first places they’ll go to retrieve this information is either LinkedIn, Google or quite possibly, Instagram.

If your presence is nonexistent, then uh-oh, you may raise some red flags.

Is this person real?
Do they care about their job?
Who exactly am I working with?

That’s probably what colleagues asked when I left my Instagram blank for months. However, now, I’ve learned the value in my personal brand. Whether its tagging your company in your bio, sharing client coverage on your feed, or capturing the most recent team building event, your personal brand serves as an excellent platform to advocate for your company. If employees and high-level executives maintain trustworthy, authentic personal brands, then in turn, the company will be perceived as the same.

Enhancing storytelling
At the core of every PR professional is their passion for storytelling. It’s what drives our efforts and essentially lands us clients. Well, a personal brand in itself tells a story – your story. Between your hobbies, how you conduct yourself over the phone, the articles you read and share online, and the clothes you wear, your brand tells the story of your life, and if leveraged appropriately, your career. It has the power to transform your company from a faceless brand to a group of passionate professionals.

Furthermore, your approach towards storytelling can prove much more impactful than the typical cut and dry corporate approach. Taking a client story or company win, adding a personal touch or authentic tone to it and re-sharing it with your audience can prove much more impactful. In fact, when brand messages are shared by employees on social media, the estimated reach of a post increases by 561%when compared to the same messages shared by the brand’s social media channels. See, people like people, and your personal brand – comical, glamourous, sophisticated or whatever it may be – can capture the story in a greater way that leaves a lasting impression and sparks interest in your company.

Strengthening recruitment
As a millennial, social media is my channel of choice to help build my personal brand. And pretty frequently, my friends, family and industry peers react to the numerous posts I share involving any company events or my career success:

Your job looks so fun!
What an incredible story!
OMG that’s amazing!


They don’t realize it, but I am leveraging my attempt at a “witty yet refined” personal brand to advocate for my company. By integrating my personal values and company culture into my personal brand, I’ve attracted like-minded folks and cultivated a desire to work at Dittoe PR. Therefore, personal branding serves as a key player in talent acquisition, which can lead to 33% higher revenue for your company. While it’s easy to focus entirely on building the company brand, it’s the people behind the brand that potential clients, colleagues and consumers connect with most and evoke behavior – whether it be clicking the story link, signing the contract or applying for the position.

If your personal brand is already well-established, but you’d like some assistance with your company’s brand – we’re just a click away from helping you craft the professional image your business desires.

If We Pitched Characters from “The Office”

Just like every other Millennial, the employees of Dittoe PR are concerningly obsessed with “The Office” and everything that it perfectly articulates – always managing to generate laughter no matter how many times you’ve seen the episode. It is just that good. And after reading a brilliantly creative blog by a Sigstr employee [and fellow ButlerBulldog], I was inspired to merge my love for Dunder Mifflin with the most significant aspect of public relations: pitching.

While drafting personalized pitches for each reporter can seem time consuming, the lasting relationships formed with media members and top-notch coverage secured for our clients is more than worth the effort.

To show you what we mean by “personalized,” I crafted and tailored media pitches to five Dunder Mifflin employees leveraging current clients of Dittoe PR:

MICHAEL: Why All the Coolest Bosses are Texting for Talent
Hey, Michael!

As a leading branch manager for a thriving paper company, we thought you’d be interested in learning how to bring more hardworking, cool employees, like Ryan, to your office.

Text-based interviewing platforms, like startup Canvas, are helping businesses communicate with the already mobile-obsessed talent generation. With Canvas, employers are able to screen more candidates daily, allowing prospective employees to respond to interview questions at any time from any location—bathroom, crowded concert or even the club.

Not only does this recruiting method resonate with Millennials – like Ryan – but texting is now a prevalent form of communication across all generations. According to Mobile Marketer, 60% of individuals over age 45 say they are just as likely to use texting as voice calling.

This is why you need to hang up on your phone interviews and start more conversations with job candidates via text message interviews instead. Any interest in having a Canvas representative come to your office to learn more?

STANLEY: Relieve Boss-Induced Stress with Holistic Approaches
Hello, Stanley –

Research has linked having a lousy boss to an increased risk of heart attack due to high-stress environments. Thankfully, research also found that massage therapy is effective in lowering stress and blood pressure.

Just like Pretzel Day, a massage is capable of diminishing any woes of the workplace and providing the relief and relaxation you desperately need now more than ever. Enter Massage Heights retreat in Indiana, where therapists limit conversation and focus on administering the perfect pressure tailored to your preferences. From essential oils to massage therapy, Massage Heights will ensure your monitor is on silent.

A Massage Heights representative would be more than happy to visit for an in-office interview and demonstration of a chair massage to show what the benefits of massage therapy are. Any interest?

DWIGHT: How Paper Straws Can Help Recyclops Defeat Polluticorn
Dwight,

We are reaching out because we desperately need your exemplary skills in an effort to alter human attitude and behavior about plastics and catalyze a significant reduction in plastic pollution.  

In the U.S. alone, we use 500 million plastic straws every day, many of which end up in our oceans, Shrute Farms and harming our sea life while conquering Recyclops’ planet. If we don’t act now, Polluticorn will rule the world.

How can you help? With your remarkable persuasive leadership, you can get your followers to #StopSucking on single-use plastic straws. USA-made Aardvark flexible paper straws are the strongest, longest lasting on the market. They’re safe, FDA-approved and friendly to our environment. Aardvark paper straws come in 200+ customizable designs, including these that match your demeanor.

If willing to help, we’ll send you samples of Aardvark Straws that will help destroy Polluticorn and his army of pollutants. Any interest?

TOBY: Leveraging Corporate Relocation when Moving to Paradise
Hi Toby,

I recently heard you were relocating to Costa Rica, so I thought you’d find interest in reading a newly released industry study from leading mover, Atlas Van Lines, detailing companies’ current corporate relocation policies and practices.

This year’s Corporate Relocation Survey surveyed 444 corporate relocation professionals, with 91% of respondents working in HR like yourself. Companies like Dunder Mifflin and Prince Family Paper estimated that only a third of relocations were fully reimbursed – meaning employers are once again letting you down.

While the impact of housing/mortgage concerns has lessened notably over the past six years, not everyone can rely on branch closings and severance to pay for their moves.

More findings and data pertaining to the comprehensive study can be found here. Any interest in sharing this study with fellow HR representatives?

KEVIN: Making the Malone Family Mainstay Dundie-Worthy
Hello Kevin!

We’ve heard about Kevin’s Famous Chili, and we’re here to introduce you to an ingredient – available at Carmel Market District – capable of taking your dish from good, to award-winning.

This summer forget the Ancho Chiles and indulge in the addictive flavor of New Mexico’s famous pepper, the Hatch Chile pepper. These bold, spicy peppers will pair perfectly with the under-cooked onions, pressed garlic and diced tomatoes that will surely have folks chatting.

This famous pepper combined with your famous chili will ensure you a coveted Dundie while leaving everyone else saying “Don’t Go in There After Me!”

We’d love to host you in-store for a segment showcasing your chili! Happy to help transport the dish after as well!

Think your business or organization could benefit from our creative minds and tailored pitching? Contact Lauryn Gray at lauryn@dittoepr.com today!




How Graphic Design Fits into the PR Puzzle

Graphic design and public relations are often considered two mutually exclusive professions. So, when I tell folks that I handle graphic design at our agency, they look a bit puzzled. In fact, graphic design tends to be considered more of a marketing responsibility, and this is just one example of why there are a lot of blurred lines when it comes to public relations and marketing. However, while marketers utilize graphic design to help sell a product, PR professionals incorporate graphic design to help tell a story.

Our world is rapidly evolving due to the advancement of technology, and as a result, the public relations landscape is continuously changing to accommodate new media channels and content types. Storytelling in the 21st century is becoming heavily influenced by the demand for visually appealing images, graphics and overall appearance. In order to stay relevant in this highly-saturated content world, it’s important for companies to understand how graphic design and public relations are intertwined, and how joining the two can greatly increase the impact of your strategic efforts.

Storytelling
The art of storytelling is constantly taking on new, innovative forms and in today’s world, digital storytelling is all the rage. The average human processes images 60,000 times faster than text, and with over 3 billion people using social media, stunning visual elements are more crucial than ever. Design has become its own medium for storytelling and visuals have become a staple of PR.

When telling a story, you want to create an experience for the reader in order to pull them in and engage on a deeper level, which by the way, is a PR professional’s main goal. Whether it be in a story, a pitch, or a social media post – visual components serve as an excellent form of communication. Visuals can capture a piece of the story that words sometimes cannot or tremendously enhance the message of the story when combining the two.

Take infographics as an example. Alone, you have a dozen bulleted statistics and informative messages that serve as key components to a story. But in today’s world, that’s not enough – it’s boring. Instead, incorporate that information into a beautifully crafted infographic, and boom! Audience engaged.

Don’t say it
Don’t say it.
Don’t say it.
A picture is worth a thousand words.

Credibility
The look of a company plays a significant role in the decision-making process amongst consumers, investors and talent. Graphic design serves as a remarkable tool for communicating clients’ credibility and professionalism. Companies that have aesthetically pleasing visuals and a more “professional” look are typically perceived to be more trustworthy and innovative.

In addition, maintaining cohesive visual elements throughout all aspects of the corporate identity – social media posts, annual reports, case studies, internal presentations and more – increases your client’s ability to build brand recognition among key decision makers. Successful visuals will be personalized, thought provoking and mirror company values. By integrating this puzzle piece, PR professionals can better position a client as an expert in their industry while influencing behavior and invoking change.

Convenience
Ultimately, PR pros want to help make our clients’ jobs a bit easier. At Dittoe PR, we consider ourselves an extension of each of our clients’ internal teams. Therefore, merging graphic design with already existing media relations efforts saves clients from the hassle of having to outsource for visual elements.

By manning the design elements from the start, PR teams can properly integrate visual or digital components in the initial ideation process, which will improve the execution of the strategy and maximize results. And this may be a no-brainer, but it also gives your PR agency a very nice competitive edge by optimizing your service offerings that will meet client objectives and even exceed expectations.

If your company is in dire need of eye-catching graphics, we’re just a click away from creating professionally-crafted visuals tailored to your company’s unique needs.