Personal Branding: Why Having An Online Presence Is Important

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There are many different types of public relations and it is quickly becoming a necessary department in many different types of businesses. Corporate PR, fashion PR and sports PR are a few of the many industries where public relations is not only important but also necessary.

But what about personal PR? There are many reasons why personal public relations is becoming increasingly important. Personal branding, as I like to call personal PR, involves creating a tangible idea of who “you” are.  Through creating an online presence you have an outlet to establish your own “brand.” It is dually important to market yourself online because it can result in job prospects as well as professional networking opportunities.

In an article by Amanda Quick on the BrandYourself blog, she talks about how creating a personal brand is important because it can promote your image.  You can easily begin creating your brand by first putting yourself online using a variety of social networks, from the basics such as Facebook, Twitter, to more business oriented sites like LinkedIn. Quick says, “You’re being Googled. By employers, by colleagues and even first dates. Building a basic online presence that can promote your image and support your personal brand is therefore essential.”

Promoting  a personal brand and reputation in the world of social media is a useful tool today because it creates visibility for potential employers.  By posting an online track record of achievements, accomplishments and skills, you can create a brand that is professionally marketable.

Major PR Blunders of 2012

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Even though we are only a few days into the third month of 2012, there have already been a healthy dosage of PR blunders.  From the rant of a popular football wife, to the poor handling of a major crisis, 2012 has already opened the gates with some major public relations mishaps.

One of the most talked about blunders was made by Gisele Bundchen, famed Victoria’s Secret model and wife of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.  After a devastating loss in the 2012 Superbowl in which the Pats had many chances to score a touchdown, Gisele was captured on video responding negatively to taunting New York Giants fans who were saying that her husband can only throw the football, but that he can’t catch it too.  She was blaming the loss on the numerous fumbles by the Patriot wide receivers.   Criticizing other players is  unacceptable  in the world of sports wives, and Gisele had the bad fortune to get caught on tape doing it.

Another major blunder of 2012 involved Susan G. Komen CEO Nancy Brinkler.  The foundation announced that they would discontinue funding for Planned Parenthood due to the abortion services that are offered.   The Susan G. Komen  Race for the Cure, is the largest breast-cancer organization in the U.S. ? and is known for providing womens’ services  such as breast cancer screenings.  After the announcement many supporters of Planned Parenthood were furious that they would stop funding an organization which offers free contraception and similar health screening services to women.  To make matters worse, CEO Nancy Brinkler appeared on MSNBC and further infuriated  her supportersby reacting  defensively and refusing to acknowledge the truth in the situation.  Instead of reassuring her supporters, she angered them by lying on national television about the influence of their vice president, who stated she was staunchly against the mission of Planned Parenthood, and also about the grants that they were supposedly continuing to give to the organization. Brinkler and the organization eventually apologized for their mishandling of the situation and retracted their announcement to discontinue funding.

These are only two examples of  many media blunders that have happened in 2012, but they demonstrate how aware the public has become.  Companies can no longer afford to ignore or manipulate the truth about a situation because the negative backlash can be profoundly influential, as both Gisele Bunchden and the Susan G. Komen foundation learned his year.

Discovering And Developing Your Brand

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Whether it is for a company, product or person, there is a myth that people must “create,” their brand, as if it is something that they must invent about themselves.  The truth is that you already are your own brand.  But in order to develop your brand are who you have to first define the things that make you who you are.

In an article for Mashable Online, Dan Schawbel talks about the steps that you must take in order to truly develop and discover what makes your brand marketable.

Schawbel says, “Brand discovery is about figuring out what you want to do for the rest of your life, setting goals, writing down a mission, vision and personal brand statement (what you do and who you serve), as well as creating a development plan.”