PR professionals should think about building their brand.
PR professionals should think about building their brand.

Creating a personal brand through PR

In today’s competitive adjective landscape, the concept of a personal brand has increased importance. Branding involves the strategic creation of an identity through communication for individuals, companies, or organizations, offering a means to stand out amidst the crowd and establish expertise that outshines competitors. A personal brand serves as a powerful communication tool, highlighting a professional’s qualities, beliefs, and reasons why they are a competitive job applicant.

What is a Personal Brand?
A personal brand is the process of creating an identity for yourself, another person, or an organization. Building a personal brand will allow you to stand out from the crowd, position yourself as an expert, and give yourself an edge with your competitors. By creating a personal brand, you show and tell audiences an identity, what ideals and beliefs you stand for, and why you are the best choice over your competitors. Some strategies to show an audience that you are the best choice over your competitors is by projecting authenticity, consistency, and storytelling in communications.

Authenticity: Creating a unique brand is one of the best ways to highlight your ethos, also known as your credibility. Being authentic and showing your credibility shows your audience that you know who you are, what your values and morals are, and what your aspirations or goals are. This is the best way to connect with people who share similarities to you, or value the principles that you value.

But how exactly do you show others your authenticity?

Know what your beliefs, morals, and truths are, and take the time to define your goals and purpose. Focus on only sharing the things that you are truly passionate about so that your brand does not come off as forced.

An example of an organization knowing their beliefs and morals could come from some nonprofit organizations. One organization in particular, Carbondale Community Fun and Fitness Relays (CFFR), a continuous client of the Raymond D. Wiley chapter of PRSSA, does a great job with being authentic to their mission of bringing families and individuals in the Southern Illinois region together to partake in outdoor sports regardless of their backgrounds, and to raise money for other local and international nonprofit organizations that help the youth grow. CFFR creates social media posts, flyers, and other materials that is seen by the public that solely promotes their mission.

Carbondale Community Fun and Fitness Relays social media post.
Carbondale Community Fun and Fitness Relays social media post.

Consistency: The common phrase, “consistency is key,” is extremely accurate when it comes to branding. Maintaining a consistent personal brand will help you begin to build recognition with your audience.

How do I stay consistent with my brand?

Using the same profile picture and header across all your social media and having a specific style (fonts or color palette) for your brand is a wonderful way to stay consistent. By using the same profile picture and style throughout your profiles, your audience will recognize you and your brand.

Looking at the Raymond D. Wiley chapter of PRSSA’s social media accounts, a consistency can be seen in their social media posts. Each post uses the same color palette that consists of maroon, light blue, mustard yellow, and light grey. The PRSSA social media accounts use a specific font for words written within the post; league spartan and glacial indifference. Even their engagement has a consistency. PRSSA’s replies to other social media accounts typically contains the use of the heart emoji, and the paw print emoji!

SIU PRSSA social media post.
SIU PRSSA social media post.

Storytelling: Using storytelling in your brand enables you to connect personally with your audience. Your followers are going to better comprehend who you are and why you are so passionate about your message because you can tell them a narrative that resonates with them.

Check out Ashlyn Ege’s article, Storytelling in Brand PR Helps You Stand Out in the Crowd, to get a more in-depth look at how storytelling benefits your brand.

PR as a Tool for Your Personal Brand
A tool to use when promoting yourself is public relations (PR). PR is the relationship between the public and a person or organization by maintaining a positive image with the public. PR is multifaceted and can be used in a variety of ways when creating a brand. However, the five best ways to use PR to enhance your brand are media exposure, social media strategy, community engagement, reputation management, and defining key messages.

  1. Media Exposure – PR will help to secure media coverage, interviews, and features for individuals in relevant publications and outlets. This exposure helps individuals reach a wider audience and positions them as experts in their field.
  2. Social Media Strategy – Develop a comprehensive social media strategy that aligns with your or another individual’s personal brand. This will help to highlight expertise, values, and accomplishments, while also engaging with followers and building a community.
  3. Community Engagement – Building and nurturing a community around your personal brand is essential. Engage with your audience by responding to comments, participating in conversations and discussions, and creating a community. This is a means of tending to relationships, building credibility, and establishing an impact with your audience.
  4. Reputation Management – Reputation management involves actively maintaining a positive image and reputation. It includes consistently communicating key messages, engaging with stakeholders, managing online presence and social media, monitoring public perception, and navigating challenging situations.
  5. Defining Key Messages – Defining key messages in branding is essential as they clearly communicate unique values, expertise, and identity, guiding all communication efforts and ensuring a consistent and impactful brand image. These messages establish a memorable impression, enabling individuals to stand out in a crowded market and resonate with their target audience effectively.

Crafting a personal brand through PR has become essential in today’s competitive landscape. Personal branding allows individuals, companies, and organizations to shine in the middle of competition by authentically showcasing their authenticity, maintaining consistency, and utilizing storytelling. PR serves as a strong tool to amplify personal brands by media exposure, strategic social media engagement, community building, reputation management, and the establishment of key messages. By employing these tactics, individuals can establish themselves as experts, connect with their audience, and create a lasting impact in their respective fields.

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