The Time Manager with an Acute Attention to Detail and Flourishing Communication Skills

dr.suessI have been struggling for the past year to determine my personal brand. I am somewhat of a perfectionist and I wanted something that was clever and would define me at the same time. This is ironic because I consider myself pretty witty, but I have a hard time talking about myself.  I cannot stand someone who is an over-the-top self promoter so I often down play myself to avoid being perceived as one of those types. But as I began looking for internships and started thinking about interviewing for my first “big girl” job I knew I would have to stand out.

I have read countless articles on personal branding to aid me through this process. I have found some to be very helpful and they offer some very clever ideas, but a lot of them say the same thing: pick 4-5 traits or qualities you have, are proud of and want to be known for. I was reading an article on Mashable by Dan Schawbel,  author of  Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success. The article  was written in 2009, but it was still relevant. Schawbel says that your self impression is how people perceive you. This is something we all know, but need to be reminded of at times. If you think of yourself as a optimistic, others will see that in you, but you must be honest with yourself.  

So as I attempted to brand myself I became discouraged because I felt that it should be natural, but that is not the case. I started by doing as suggested and picked 4-5 of my best traits: time manager, organized, perfectionist, professional and expert in communication. Then I was stumped. I didn’t want to just say I had all of these qualities, I wanted to be these qualities. This is where my wit comes in.

I knew I had to narrow down the 5 traits I picked. I started with process of elimination. Perfectionist and organized are one in the same so I condensed that into “attention to detail.”

Next I wanted to focus on my role in communication. I’m proud of my professional communication skills and knowledge. I have learned a lot in my time as an undergrad, but I had yet to land a job so I also did not want to lie. I tossed around words like “developing” and “maturing.” In my search for the perfect word, I stumbled upon the word “flourishing.” When I asked my friends how they felt about the word, they said it made them feel like something was promising and developing in a healthy way. That lead me to decide on “flourishing communication skills.”

I had it narrowed down, but it did not feel good enough. I was missing something. I asked myself what I am most proud of and right now  and the answer is the fact that I am graduating in three and a half years after I spent three and a half years working and attending school, both full-time. This is where my time management skills come in.

I jumbled my power qualities up in various different forms and I researched other ideas. I finally formed the beginning, “The Time Manager.” Since I was most proud of this quality, it made sense to start my self branding with it. So I was a “time manager with an acute attention to detail with flourishing communication skills.” Although that sounds great, I knew it just didn’t sound right. By simply adding a “the” to the front of my branding slogan, I was displaying confidence without having to come right out and say that I am proud and certain of my skills. “The Time Manager with an acute attention to detail and flourishing communication skills” is strong and bold, yet not too flashing or arrogant. It was just what I was looking for.

I’m sure that as I enter the professional world and gain more experience my personal branding will change, but I am glad that I took the time to figure out who I am. I know that  I am a hard worker and will be a great asset to any team, but before I begin applying for jobs and going on interviews I needed to determine what angle I would use to make myself stand out from other candidates. Now as I move forward in my search, I will use my personal brand as a guidelines for my job searching strategies.

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Find Your Peeps. These are Your New Influencers

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When you ask someone who is the greatest influence in their life, he or she often names family members, friends, celebrities or athletes, just to name a few. But what companies and public relations professionals must realize is that anyone can be of influence to them. According to an article on the Mashable Business website, the internet and digital media make it possible for people to showcase themselves, their abilities, beliefs and passions. Yes, companies, advertisements and mainstream media still have an effect on society, but one person can make a difference also.

Many organizations and PR personnel are worried about gaining follower and likes, but did they ever think about following or liking other people’s pages or posts? Social and digital media is a two way relationship.  What PR professionals should do is find digital media users who are talking about things that are relevant to their client or organization. Public relations professionals do not have to create the trends, they just have to find them and then use those to reach out to the people in the digital media world.

I know that this has been said over and over, but social media is nothing but an ongoing conversation.  The organizations that realize that will be the most successful. A company’s social media outlets cannot be an ongoing advertisement or consumers will ignore it, like they do T.V. commercial and internet ads. Organizations need to do their research; see what people in the industry are talking about. What do consumers want to know? What is trending right now and how can it be incorporated into our personal brand? These are just a few questions that an organization should ask itself before publishing on social media. Then use the information they find to start up a conversation on sites like Twitter or Facebook. Ask a question in status update or a tweet, instead of just sharing information or ask for feedback.

Another tactic to consider is to give consumers a reason to talk about your organization or client. For example, social media users are more likely to say something about a product if they are given free samples. An organization may have a great product, but the idea of the product must be accepted first. Victoria Secret realized this and used Pinterest to reach out to fans. The company is running a contest that calls for anyone to pin pictures of themselves in PINK summer apparel. The lady with the best photo gets a $500 shopping spree. This has two advantages; one, it is free modeling. Victoria’s Secret does not have to pay these girls to model their clothes and two; the interactivity between Victoria’s secret and their customers is always a solid foundation for customer service.

In today’s society anyone can be an influence. We just have to be open-minded and use our imagination. An organization should use what their “peeps” are talking about to reach out to consumers. By doing this they will create a more personal an interactive relationship with consumers.

Source: 5 key trends supercharging today’s digital PR