Tag Archives: personal publicity

Executives and Professionals…welcome to the Engagement Economy

This month, PRWeek published the findings of the 2012 C-Factors Survey that polls leading CEOs and other senior executives to determine how and if creativity is affecting business, globalization, culture and communications. Just as I thought, the survey found that creativity was one of the most influential forces driving our current global economy. 96% of the poll respondents said that creativity is one of the key elements for driving new and continued business growth (18% increase from 2011). Other key findings include:

  • 100% see building winning experiences as vital to business success and take  holistic approach to communication (marketing, advertising and PR)
  • 85% think we have entered an “y” — 96% of the respondents said that creativity is now very critical to economic success
  • 86% view their organizations as now being more creative with 81% believing this to be a continuing trend
  • 94%t of CEOs and CIOs and 92% of CMOs said they will continue to put more emphasis on creative communications initiatives

The new engagement economy is pushing senior executives to reinvent their roles and organizational value–which can be attributed to the whole rise of creativity over leadership alone!  This engagement economy has a lot to do with my previous post: Come Out From Behind the Brand

In my opinion, the results from this year’s C-Factors Survey demonstrate this “new need” for new thinking in the communications (and public relations) area of every business. And the continued traditional marketing and technology merge also includes usage of more and more social media platforms and mobile applications. The bottom line though is that with all these new media factors coming into play, key executives and even other employees must continue to learn how to be more creative and involved in social media as the voice or ambassador of the (company) brand. People connect with people more successfully within social media channels. And while traditional communications (and media) tactics and channels are also still very necessary, the engagement economy will only continue to grow and flourish for the benefit of business growth!

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The whole personal branding concept is really more about creating better Personal PR

YES! Personal Branding is really MORE about creating relationships with an authentic expression of who you REALLY are, as personal branding expert, Sally Hogshead proclaims in her post: http://ow.ly/64ALj.

According to Hogshead:

Your “personal brand” is based on the impression you want to create. It’s about packaging yourself in a certain way to appeal to a certain audience

Your “personality brand” is based on who you actually are. It’s about identifying and expressing your unique personality strengths, so that you can express those true strengths in a way that connects and communicate.

In today’s up-close-and-personal world, a great Personal Brand is what is supposed to help “sell you” to your audience.  But if you think about it, a personal brand is static (for the most part). It’s really the creation of consistent Personal PR (depending on the reality of one’s profession/situation that can be created from online thought leadership to mainstream press/media) that will move people to engage within the reality of a current situation.

We need to move away from the  personal branding bandwagon and concentrate more so on the building of a better Personal PR (which I might add, includes PERSONAL BRANDING) to continually be able to build (new) and maintain professional business relationships and or career and professional movement.

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Social Media/Online PR for Business Promotion–Don’t Try This at Home…

…if you don’t have the time or experience to produce and manage it (best to leave it to the traditional promoters and publicists of the world).

Online/Social Media is the reality of our world these days–it truly is “new media channel” for personal and business PR, promotion, marketing and advertising. It has also become one of the best new tools for job search and recruiting.

There is absolutely no shortage of social media coaches, seminars and books on this new hot topic. However, these particular platforms can usually only provide a short-term solution or even simply overwhelm those who are new to social and online media production and management. Unfortunately the real work comes into play after the meetings and workshops are over! Social media strategy is one thing, but the implementation and management of it all is a whole other job in itself.

While many companies are slowly embracing this fact (hiring social media managers to work alongside marketing management), most business people may not think of outsourcing this new and very constant personal professional business task!  If you think about it, this type of service may not be so much of a luxury these days, but really MORE of a necessity especially for busy professionals who know they need to be more in tune with their personal online PR and reputation management and who do not have the ability or time to concentrate on it all–above and beyond their core business tasks.

I recently commented on a very good blog post by a “social media expert” who wrote about the five key success points of social media management (or something along those lines). While I agreed with most of what she wrote about, I did not agree with her in regards to the fact that since social media should be handled personally by the person or business that chooses to participate in this new media channel. I commented to her (on the blog) that this “rule” of social media production and management should not always be the case—and for the majority of people who are using online or new media to promote their personal professional brand, service or products.

Social media is no different from traditional media and if you want it to work and provide the best results (ROI), you better have a background in PR or marketing, the experience and ability to produce creative and engaging collateral, the ability to handle crisis management issues (that happens more and more now with new media being so wide open) and the time to manage it all on a consistent basis—or it will absolutely do NOTHING for your personal brand or business.

It’s a shame that there people out there getting other people to believe that a quick seminar or coaching session will help them learn how to be more in synch, and in tune with social media (for their own professional or business brand) and that just because “social media” is based in such an open type of forum (over traditional media), that they MUST produce and manage it all on their own. Even Reality T.V. programs are produced and directed by other people (kidding, but true). Just because social media is online it should not give people the license to think that they can or even should try to handle their online Personal PR initiative—and whether it’s for their own personal or business brand. If also takes a lot of time and effort and it really is a whole other job that should not be taken lightly.

With close to 25 years of PR/marketing experience, I’ve evolved my own professional/business brand into the production and management of social (new) media as it started to surge in the early 2000’s, but I also didn’t dive right into it as an expert! I slowly submerged into it. Believe it or not traditional publicists and marketers are still catching up and trying to infuse new media in with traditional practices. Then there are all the new “social media experts” who usually have limited traditional and basic PR or marketing experience—no one is an expert. Social Media or Online PR as I like to call it is NEW and things change every day–its growth is unprecedented. If anything, the expertise is really more about the ability to stay on course and change and adapt as new techniques, tools and platforms change or come into place and then continue to develop, build and manage it to ensure it creates a return on investment. The expertise falls into place from there.

Staying on top of all the learning and tasking can be overwhelming for most business people–which is why personal web/social media managers can provide a very necessary service to support business professionals in a similar manner to how most celebrity, government official and company brand personas are handled and represented on the web. I actually think that most businesses and professionals need web and social media managers even more so. Many celebrities have the down time to manage their own social media and online PR, but most do not. Being online in a professional manner is also about maintaining reputation and image—which is what a publicist or third-party should always handle as it is.

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Social Media for Executives – Dip a Toe In to learn and get used to it (the water is not as cold as you think!)

Based on what I have written below, it remains to be seen who will actually find and read this post—of course I will be sending the link directly to a lot of my “would be clients” via email.  So here goes….

I just LOVE this CEO Magazine article, July 2010 (by Karen Albritton, President, Capstrat)

Social Media: Where’s the C-Suit

Albritton speaks to the EXACT CONCERNS of most of my clients/prospective clients….right along side the “should I really pay someone to help me produce and maintain my online persona and social media” (albeit less the cost of hiring a receptionist or file clerk they will probably never  see or talk too– kidding, but kind of true). She (based on research via a couple of major business publications) states that most of the concerns about engaging in Social Media (and I am assuming for the good of a personal brand or the company brand or both) generally fall into one of three categories:

1. Productivity:   The C-suite sets the tone for productivity and social media is often seen as a time drain without much benefit. Some restrict access to common social media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube, in part due to concerns over potential distractions for employees. Executives are often tightly scheduled during the day with meetings and obligations. Finding time to engage online is a challenge.

2. Privacy: Many executives are inundated with information and requests. They have gatekeepers screen their email and phone calls to filter out unnecessary and unwanted contact. They deal with sensitive information and have to be mindful of what information they put out in the public. Social media is all about tearing down walls, putting yourself out there and engaging. This (partaking in new media) runs counter to traditional behavior for many corporate executives.

3. Profit: A recent survey of professionals conducted by Workplace Options showed that only 16% of workers felt social media helped them with their job. While many executives understand their company’s need to have a social media strategy, there’s still a fair amount of scepticism about the value that social media can provide.

My 48 year-old CFO sister falls right into all of the above–super successful, but won’t touch Twitter, Facebook or even Linked In (she thinks they are DUMB and “just a fad”).  Then there is me, I am older and I have built my business via social media over the least several years. Why? Well I am in PR/Marketing (my sis is in Insurance so that could be the difference right there!)–I saw the power of this new media a long time ago and I realized that I had to get in on the action or I’d be left behind and forced to play catchup.  So as I started to succeed with social/online media, I started to support my clients in doing the same.  Naturally some have tried and have gotten either fearful, impatient or both.  After all leaning something new takes trial and error – and a lot of execs (especially the ones that were successful pre-internet/social media) hate that! So not everyone needs my support or wants it, that’s fine, BUT…

Albritton goes on to say that she had recently attended a CEO forum in North Caroline just prior to writing her article, and one of the most profound things she heard that entire day was a comment made by Chuck Swoboda of Cree (regarding the adoption of sustainable products — but the same applies to ANY new technology right?). He said “I decided I couldn’t serve my clients or my business if I didn’t use the technology too.”

I agree– my opinion is at least “dip your toe in” to discover and learn.  You have nothing to lose and everything to gain (as an executive in business). Here are the stats:

  • In the last 7 years, Internet usage has increased 70% PER YEAR.  Spending for digital advertising this year will be more than $25 billion and surpass print advertising spending (forever)…Only 18% of traditional TV campaigns generate a positive ROI these days.
  • Naked Pizza set a one-day sales record using social media: 68% of their sales came via twitter and 85% of their new customers
  • Dell has already made over $7 million in sales via Twitter thus far.
  • 37% of Generation Y heard about the Ford Fiesta via social media BEFORE its launch. 25% of Ford’s marketing budget is spent on digital/social media.
  • 71% of companies plan to increase investments in social media by an average of 40%
  • A recentAltimeter Group study found companies that widely engage in social media surpass their peers in both revenue and profit (and I know this can also pertain to the executives that run them).

Think of TV in the 1940’s, people jumped in and some with just a “toe in” first,  but they experienced it and got used to it and well, the rest is history.  Many did “dip a toe in” at the beginning  and either helped a company grow or their own personal brand to explode and in some cases BOTH HAPPENED.  Remember Uncle Milty? (I am dating myself – I was a 1960’s baby, but I remember him… talk about a personal brand in, then, the new media).

We support our executive clients in engaging in social media producing it for them to start ( just like how it used to be when you hired an agency or in-house person to design your company brochure or advertisement collateral).  Then, yes, as Personal Publicists, we support the placement/promotion and management of the executive media channels and content (not everyone is good at writing about themselves or writing in general and this a huge part of social media, next to video and audio messaging of course).

We keep our clients on track and in action so they learn not to be fearful (of the unknown?) and to embrace our new media to their own personal advantage and or the advantage of the company brand.  My team and I are NOT experts (who is?), and while most of our clients do engage on their own (as they should), they know that they can rely on us to support them, encourage them and even help them say the right thing at the right time and place. It’s easy, as with anything new, to just throw in the towel when you aren’t seeing results at the speed of light (the internet is new and fast, but it also does not give out miracle ROIs).

As any business or executive consultant (or any successful leader) says, “success is not singular” or “it takes a village” or…you know the drill, the same applies to social media.  And while Albritton provides tips on how to start and stay involved in social media, I still say that for many busy (Baby Boomer– “I already have a business model or process in place”) executives/professional all the TIPS can be overwhelming too! Yes you need to engage and participate (it is not called social media for nothing), but sometimes it makes sense to engage with another to help you be successful.  Social media participation is not a once in a while thing (and most C-suite execs on Linked In have oh, about 10 connections), once a month or even a once a week commitment.

If it’s not in your genetic makeup (like it is mine?) to want to jump in to the social media space, then ask someone to support you to engage and make it happen!  I don’t handle the up-keep of my own front and back (h0use) yard for the very same reason, but sometimes I jump in to clip the roses, plant a plant etc.

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PERSONAL PR FOR NON-EMPLOYMENT SEEKERS: Now is NOT the time to “hunker down” and be invisible!

As any of you may or may not know, I am constantly pounding the pavement to educate professionals (all levels) on the importance of having PERSONAL PR/Web 2.0 and Personal Branding  in place now and for the entire span of one’s career!  Putting good Personal PR into place is not just for people who need to look for work, business or press. If you have not noticed, the way in which the world of business rolls these days is very different.  Just because you are WORKING does not warrant the fact that you can go underground.

I just got a wonderful note from the Editor of Execunet (this goes to a  great number of people of course) — it sets the stage and tone of my message perfectly. The issue here again, is having the time to be able to stage one’s own personal promotion when one is buried, or deeply focused, etc.  A personal publicist/promoter/producer can help create the stage and keep it in lights!

September 21, 2009

Dear Laurie:

We’re always cautioning executives not to “hunker down” at work. They also shouldn’t bend, cower, hide, kneel or crouch. But the current economic environment may make employees feel like throwing on a cloak of invisibility to avoid being noticed, believing they will escape the lay-off list.

Yet, during periods of job growth and prosperity, career planning and maintenance are often overlooked because of the perceived abundance of opportunities available.

Those who are fearful keep their head low to miss the ax; those who are busy at work have their head down in deep focus. But denial and complacency share a characteristic: inaction, which can derail a career for those who are unprepared.

Despite the recent economic instability, fewer corporate leaders feel prepared for job search than they did in years prior. According to ExecuNet’s 2009 Executive Job Market Intelligence Report, just 43 percent of executives claimed they are ready to look for a job, compared to 56 percent in 2008 and 69 percent in 2007; another 24 percent reported this year they were unsure if they are ready to look for a new position.

It could be that “prepared” seems less defined against a recessionary backdrop, and fewer executives feel confident about how to launch a job search campaign in this market. But many of the old rules still prevail, albeit with some amplification and 21st century tools:

  • Focus, define and envision what your next role looks like.
  • Create messages that communicate the problems you solve to your target audience.
  • Identify the online and offline opportunities where you can best help others.
  • Become known for your expertise so others can refer and recommend you.

Robyn Greenspan
Editor-in-Chief
ExecuNet
Robyn.Greenspan@execunet.com
295 Westport Avenue
Norwalk, CT 06851
800.637.3126

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P.S. HSM has extended a special 2-for-1 offer to Executive Insider readers for their annual World Business Forum, held October 6 and 7 at Radio City Music Hall in NYC, featuring President Bill Clinton, George Lucas, Paul Krugman, T. Boone Pickens and many other inspirational leaders. 

  

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Personal PR/Branding is what you need in today’s job market…

Had the local CBS Los Angeles evening news on yesterday (Thursday 7.30.09) in my office as I was busy creating new “social media” messages for my clients. I am usually an NBC watcher (since they are really good to me here in the LA market – I am quite loyal to my NBC Channel 4 News in the evenings (Fox11 in the a.m.s!), but it was meant to be. Amongst the tidbits about the day’s local and national news, all of a sudden the announcer starts an intro to the next report saying something like: “Personal Branding is what you need in today’s job market…” Of course I starting freaking out. I just love it when the news media talks about personal branding!

The last few pieces on the news like that revolved around my client www.RezBuzz.com and their impact on the use of video branding for job search and career movement within a social network platform. That report ran on NBC Channel 4 and in and around NBC and MSNBC over the last month! So I was 1. mad that it was not me they were talking to (LOL), but 2. I was excited to see that CBS was in fact talking to “the” personal branding guru himself (who I am honored to have following me on Twitter no less!)…Dan Schawbel, the author of “Me 2.0” which I think is one of the best reads around (THE BIBLE of personal branding if you will…) for anyone who is on the job market OR looking for new business (i.e. consultants and other solo professionals).

I have been at this personal branding thing for a long time now. I am in the throes of trying to complete my own “Got Personal PR?” book, but quite frankly I have been so busy doing the producing of personal branding and publicity for my clients — I just don’t have time (you know, the “plumber’s leaky faucet syndrome” and all). Most of the people who come to me need help not only to build a brand and personal publicity, but more so to PRODUCE IT… let’s face it you still have to be able to find the time, the desire and the ability to be able to do it. There is also a thick learning curve and time availabilty factor to truly be able to build a brand and develop a following. This is a niche that I think I have developed over the last 10 years that is much akin to the making of a movie, production of an event or even the raising of a family and sometimes it does “take a village” (more than just one’s own self) to develop a unique and highly visible personal brand. It’s also kind of cool to have a personal publicist tooting your horn and going to bat for you when you need that extra edge as well as someone to speak up for your greatness when you might not feel you should.

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You have to be able to tell a good story

The ECMG (business talent representation with personal publicity production/management) side of my business focuses on executives who are in opportunity search mode (passive or agressive).  I still find it fascinating when I meet an executive who has been having a hard time finding a job, but who still thinks that his resume is going to open doors (like it used to maybe 10 years ago?).  I know about the old saying: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”  However in this case, if  “it is not doing what it used to do (i.e. if the old way is broken), you better fix it.”  What I am trying to say here is that simply floating around (even a really good) resume in this market without a strong pitch, promotion, or even a third party rep/ pitch person to go along with it won’t do much (unless of course you have a super strong and extended network and the time and DESIRE to be your own pitch person and promoter) .  This is especially true for those individuals who have a unique and highly successful career path. You have to really push the envelope these days and get out there and TELL your story. Whether you do that via a personal publicist (who will do all the story telling and pitching for you), a blog and/or a personal website (with really strong SEO) or through on-line social networking and media, the more channels you can put you message out through the better.  Posting a resume or floating it around (marketing it) will not create personal publicity – your STORY will.  A resume is an outline of your career and while it can outline your success (quickly), in today’s COMPETITIVE  MARKET need to tell your story AND BE ON THE LEADING EDGE  to be able to get the traction that is needed now and in the future (for opportunity growth).

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Got PR?

Got PR? Well if you think you don’t need it and you are in business or looking for a job you need it.  Executive and Business Opportunities do not simply occur and when they do they happen and go away quite quickly.  To stay on top of what is going on (in any market) at all times, you  (YOURSELF) have to be READY to be in the “in the right place, at the right time” –as the old saying goes.  Getting a totally different kind of professional endorsement and representation is one of the key ways to be able to do this (right place, right time thing). DON’T DO IT by yourself if you want press, opportunity or people wanting to “know more” (about you).  You need spin and you need PR people to do that for you. There is now such a thing as “personal publicists” and business talent agents (yes, just like how it works in Hollywood) and yes, these people have contacts, but they also know how to create and make contacts –for you.  The bottom line is ARE YOU WORTHY of their time and effort (think about that for a minute!).  Of course you want to know that your personal publicist CAN DO the job for you and the right publicist will work terms with you to be able to allow the “let me prove to you” thing to happen (and if they don’t provide, you need to fire them!).  The best personal publicists will create collaterals and branding that you can take away and walk home with (something for the price/retainer you pay at the top of your campaign/project).  Yet again, you do need to make sure that they do take you from point A to point B. References are a good thing to ask for, but don’t expect the same EXACT thing to happen for you that has happened for the other guy because very campaign or project is different only because EVERY PERSON IS DIFFERENT. References should be used for character and ethical ratings only. Just have patience – PR is a PROCESS and the more consistently you can work at it (or have other people work it out for you), the more publicity you will gain. Keep it building and keep your name out in lights (or computer lights?).

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