Written by Hayley Fisher • Published 05th February 2018
Why personal brand equity counts
Some of the world’s most iconic businesses are known not just for their products or services, but for the brand’s personality and principles. That personality often stems from driven leaders and founders and carries real financial weight.
In the words of Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos, “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room”. Ultimately, we do business with people we like and respect and that’s where personal PR has a power to deliver business results beyond fame for fame’s sake. Take Steve Jobs, whose vision intrinsically linked to Apple’s success: when Jobs stepped down as Apple CEO roughly $10bn of the company value was wiped from the company’s stock.
Someone’s personal reputation can affect their business’ investment prospects, talent acquisition, product sales, customer loyalty and more.
Why personal versus brand PR?
It’s sometimes easier for stakeholders to visualise what a business stands for when there is a human embodiment of its principles, rather than a faceless corporate standpoint. A successful personal PR strategy will leverage this and help dovetail a business’ aims into the current media agenda.
Take James Reed as an example – whose bee keeping hobby helped us have a down to earth conversation with media about workplace positivity and reed.co.uk, and Angela Middleton – whose fitness regime helped her channel more energy into her apprenticeship business MiddletonMurray – and provided a platform to talk about motivation and careers more broadly.
After drawing on business leaders’ unique perspectives, the focus turns on crafting these into positive media messages and ultimately leveraging a personal brand to grow their businesses.
But what’s the right channel?
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to personal PR but the strategy must be targeted to deliver the best value for your business, whether that’s through a presence on national broadcast shows or in influential trade media that reach a niche customer target.
Every publicity opportunity should have a rationale; if you share views through blogging on LinkedIn, are you engaging with the right LinkedIn groups? If you want to establish your expertise as a mainstream media commentator, are your customers or target audience consuming information from that media outlet? If you’re speaking at an event, are your buyers there?
Today’s media landscape is characterised by multiple channels, ‘fake news’, self-publishing as the norm and an increasingly blurred line between editorial and native advertising. So it’s more important than ever before to truly understand what media your key stakeholders rely on for information – and essentially, which forms of content they trust.
Using a charismatic individual as a platform for building brand awareness can help lift a brand from this noise and boost a whole organisation or movement’s credibility, in two key ways;
Trust & authenticity
Sharing personal views with people establishes an authentic ‘voice’ that is increasingly elusive now that every brand can communicate directly with consumers online. It goes without saying that people are easier to relate to engage with than a corporation.
Personality as a platform
When you combine strong personal views with a well-managed media strategy, personality can start to transcend the usual circles of business talk and influence wider society. Any person is essentially a platform for marketing a business; it starts with word of mouth and can then extend out to blogging, online, print and broadcast media.
Every public figure started somewhere – and that ‘somewhere’ is defined by a passion and focus to change a market, industry, people or perspective for the better.
We work with businesses who are ready to make their mark on the media landscape, and behind businesses are real people full of unique stories and experiences. The bravery to stand up, stand out and make a mark is at the core of propelling someone’s personal, professional, public profile and can have tangible impact on a business’ bottom line.
Personal PR is far from just a vanity project.