What is Your First Person PR Image?

 

What’s Your Personal PR Image?

When you think about PR you might think about businesses, nonprofit organizations, celebrities or politicians.

But, how often do you think of a co-worker, friend, colleague, or your own personal PR image or brand? Even if you’re not in the communications field, you are in communications… projecting 1st person PR.

Business owner, electrician, artist or author, healthcare professional, accountant, landscaper, or fundraiser. Stay-at-home parent with full-time responsibilities. Working from a home office, on site, or via your social media platforms.

Whatever we do and wherever we do it, we are in 1st person PR, and it can make a big difference in our lives.

Who Are Your Publics?

You have publics. Don’t think of a public as the whole world out there, even if the Internet would seem to make it so.

A public is a group (sometimes as few as three individuals) with something in common. An organizational perspective might help.

A hospital, for example, would have at least a dozen publics or stakeholders: groups that have a stake in its success or share mutual goals. Patients, family and friends of patients, community residents, medical staff, employees, neighboring businesses, donors, volunteers, vendors, and quite a few others. One of the hospital’s publics could also be a few cardiologists it has targeted to lead a new cardiology wing. The hospital must identify and communicate with all of its publics.

By the way, as you may have noticed, the word communication has a common root. When we are effectively communicating, we are establishing common ground, hopefully for something constructive. Common also applies to the community in which you live or work.

Now, can you identify your 1st person publics?

Employees at the same company, prospective employers, or people in a similar profession. Other parents juggling similar responsibilities. Business networking group or professional association colleagues. Like-minded activists. Book, bowling or cycling club members. Monthly dinner group. You constantly communicate with your overlapping professional and personal publics.

While you’re connecting with them, you are engaged in personal PR and making an impression?

What’s Your Brand?

As you probably know, individuals – as well as organizations, groups, products and services – are branded (doesn’t always hurt?!). You are known (your “brand”) for skills, resources, services, and personality traits. Are you the go-to person in an emergency situation, a trusted confidant, subject expert, a cooperative (or competitive) colleague? You might be known for your look or style. Or, you could also be branded for less-than-complimentary qualities?!

Our personal and private images often merge…sometimes in interesting or telling ways. For example, if you hear of a job that seems a perfect match for a friend’s skills, would you refer him…based on his personal PR image or brand? Or, wouldn’t you?

Our publics look for brands they can trust, brands that offer value and brands that deliver on their promises. At any moment in time, each of us can be a walking testimonial (or a walking indictment?) for an organization or for ourselves. We’re always making a statement…even if we’re not talking.

What’s Your Message?

We’re accustomed to public figures conveying carefully crafted messages about themselves or their organizations. However, regular folk (that’s us) also deliver PR messages in just about everything we do or say. Some are planned, and some are spontaneous.

Our messages are broader and more ongoing than our elevator speech. They reflect – in words or actions – our character, experience, knowledge, and goals.

When we are preparing for a formal presentation or for a job interview, or we want to discuss something important and possibly sensitive with a family member or friend, we usually plan ahead with well-considered messages.

Sometimes, however, our messages are spontaneous. Say you’re talking to a customer, a fellow employee or a friend outside the organization about another employee or about a company issue. Depending on what you say or the way you say it, you may be conveying a message about yourself. Is it one you want to send?

What is Your 1st Person PR

We’re all juggling many responsibilities, so our PR image might seem a superficial consideration. “Hey, I’m giving it my best. But, I have a lot on my plate, and you want me to think about my 1st person PR?”

Yes.

First person PR reflects our ability to constructively communicate – in person, online, in groups or on-on-one – with the individuals in our lives. It’s important in our personal and professional relationships now, and it can become relevant many years later…as we progress in our lives. We and our 1st person PR are always evolving.

Do you know what your brand is or what messages you’re sending? Are they credible and an accurate reflection of who you are? “She’s got a funky fashion style as well as critical and valuable professional skills.” Or, “I know when I tell you something, it remains confidential.” “I realize some people think I’m (what?), but…”

We look forward to your feedback on this blog. Give us examples of individuals (we don’t need their names) you know who have impressed you – in way or another – with their first person PR? Or, share your thoughts on a brand who does not deliver.

Friend, co-worker, family member, a boss, neighbor, or you. The bottom line is: what are you learning from them and about yourself? Did it lead to new business, new friendship, or new, positive direction? Or, not?

Next time…what do we have in common?

 

180 Responses to “What is Your First Person PR Image?”

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