I have recently had the uncomfortable experience of trying to sell myself. If you think writing a CV is hard work then try putting yourself forward for an award – BYPY 2009 in case you are interested (shortlisted to the last three in the communications category).
Not only do you have to trawl through your past to come up with the experiences and talents to fit to the awards criteria, you also have to find a way of talking about it without sounding nauseating, arrogant or big-headed!
Selling yourself, or furthering your own personal brand (see Claire’s blog on the subject), is important for your own career development but also for your employer.
We are constantly re-iterating that people buy people. It is true. When there are many companies out there offering comparable services, products or experiences, people will go for the brand with which they most closely identify.
One of the best ways in which a company can help its target audience to differentiate is by promoting a strong and consistent vision, mission, values and brand.
We work with companies of all sizes on capture the brand exercises – which may range from speaking with three people to surveying 3000, conducting client audits, and asking probing questions (if your company were an animal, what animal would it be? And, more importantly, why?).
It is really important that everyone in your organisation is embodying the same set of values and understands what the business is trying to achieve. For us Kinetic-types, that means we should all be straight-talking and forthright, demonstrate energy and sustainability, and be personally committed to our clients. After all, energy plus commitment equals guaranteed results!
So, who are you? What are you trying to achieve as a business? What values should you and your colleagues be embodying? What direction are you trying to go in and how will you get there?
Do you have a clear and consistent set of values and messages which guide everything that you do?
Returning to your personal brand and selling yourself; these same questions can apply. Where are you going and how are you going to get there? Are you in the right place? Does your company share the values you hold dear? And, do you agree with the values they deem important?
Sustainable communications – public relations – is about reputation; the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you. And, all of that stems from the values you hold and how these are communicated – actions and words.