Joana Pedro

The brand you work on every day: your personal brand

Managing reputations, messages, channels, and expectations. Public relations specialists are an extension of their clients, so they must understand the brands they work with, managing and communicating them every day and in the most diverse ways.

As public relations professionals, we are in daily contact with our clients, and because we are their bridge to the media, we talk to journalists every day too. Sometimes, in between these contexts, we communicate via our personal numbers or social media, putting our job face to face with our real life, without any protection or barrier. We are still the “me” that is part of a team, integrating a variety of dynamics (imperative in The Square!). During this process, how many versions of us exist? Well… Maybe the question is, how do you reconcile all these versions of you?

This is Personal Brand. Amazon’s founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, is the author of a phrase that defines this concept very well: “your personal brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room”. Personal Branding refers to the perception that an individual generates in the minds of other people and is related to the capacity to create emotional connections and build relations. So, we ask: who are you when you are not in the room?

Thinking about how others see us can be a complicated exercise, but in an area where communication is central, it becomes essential. Managing our own brand does not mean designing and applying an egocentric strategy, but looking for the distinct characteristics of each person, within the parameters of authenticity and coherence.

The important social, economic, and cultural changes to the increasingly globalized world of communication, are not external to the field of Public Relations — on the contrary, they are indispensable to us. In fact, the new ways of consuming information and building relationships require constant effort to make us stand out. Besides this, corporate culture has also changed. We are absorbed by a new social model that gives priority to those who are part of the company, a company that is distinguished by the values it defends and the culture it promotes — when you are hired you become part of this structure, and your team expects your personal brand to fit into it.

Sounds complex? We make it simple! We believe there are many ways to work on your personal brand, to emphasize your personality and to define yourself as a professional.

Your personal brand in 3 steps:

“Tell me how you write an email, I’ll tell you who you are”

Emails and calls are the main way we communicate in the work context. How we introduce ourselves in an email or answer a phone call and let our speech flow says a lot about the PR professional we are. Readapting Bezzos’ phrase, what the client says after finishing a call with you, says a lot about your personal brand.

Pay attention to the small details and be consistent in the way you express yourself. Being too formal in an e-mail, but then too relaxed in a call, for example, contradicts your identity. Build and show your personal brand from the very first contact!

Times change, social media profiles change!

Remember that your social media are an extension of your work. When you immerse yourself in a client, probably the first thing you do is research their social media. Have you ever thought that the same can happen in reverse? Allow your social networks to complement you, and the truth is that you are also managing a brand: your personal brand. (No need to say that LinkedIn is a must, right?)

Your style, your identity

Since the early 1980s, Steve Jobs opted to wear a black sweater, jeans and sneakers. Walter Isaacson, the author of his official biography, reports that Jobs began by standardizing his clothing to create a connection between Apple and himself — his identity reflected his brand.

The way you dress can tell a lot about you, and remember: you decide that. A modern style, more professional, more or less fun, “out of the box” or more contained, very colourful or monochromatic… Various personalities fit in a closet, and you should take advantage of that!

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