Friday, January 14, 2011

Ten Steps to a Resonant Personal Brand Statement

As public relations experts we strive to successfully deliver the goods for our customers and clients. “Brand” for us is critical and a solid reputation is what is important at the end of the day. Words are the vital threads that we weave together in a cohesive statement that fully and succinctly describes the organization so that it strongly resonates with customers and other audiences. Yet who among us has taken the time to consider a statement that describes who and what we are and the value we bring to those with whom we work and interact.

Perhaps it is time to treat ourselves as clients and spend the intellectual capital required to effectively brand ourselves. So how best can you smartly craft a brand statement that will help you strongly resonate with customers, clients, friends and family? Here is a ten step approach that can help you encapsulate the essence of "you." Bear in mind this exercise may take up to two weeks to two months depending on how responsive your friends and colleagues are and the amount of brain power you dedicate.

The basic framework for a smart brand statement is typically one sentence that succinctly captures your value in a way that is memorable and intuitive. The structure might be as follows but use your best judgment based on your own style:

“I am (your name) and (an/a) (descriptive attribute) (title/role noun) (descriptive verb of value) (object of value noun).“

For example, "I am John Doe and a versatile and experienced PR brand strategist focused on surfacing and promoting the vital attributes for organizations to strongly bond with their audiences.”

Statement Guidelines: As noted, the simpler the statement, the likelihood it will be more memorable. So keep these criteria in mind as you craft your brand description.

1. Keep it simple
2. A reminder of the beneficial effects of your talents/skills
3. Intuitive
4. Understandable
5. Easy to Remember6. Paints a picture
7. Universally understood

The Process: As you go through the ten step process, be thoughtful, penetrating, honest and brief.

1. For each session that you spend on this exercise, sit down in a comfortable place with your favorite instrument of composition and beverage of choice.

2. Compose a list of your six best characteristics as you view them. Be succinct but descriptive. For example, “versatile,” “strong writer,” “insightful strategist,” “intuitive thinker,” etc.

3. Ask five of your best friends to compose a similar list of your best six characteristics as they view them.

 4. Next ask five colleagues at your place of work/business to do the same assuming you are actively employed. If not, ask five colleagues in your support group.

5. With all characteristics in hand, create a 6 by 11 matrix so that you can assess, cross check and select the characteristics that are most common among you, your friends and work colleagues. Make sure that the most common characteristics or traits personally resonate with you.

 6. With your characteristics narrowed down and in hand construct three sample statements based on the framework noted above that are authentic, fit your thinking and match your character.
7. With the three statements in hand, enlist the help of your colleagues and friends to provide to you their favorite two statements.

8. Go through the same exercise as step 5 and select the two most preferred statements. And sleep on it.

 9. With fresh eyes and brain, select the one statement that most resonates with you and commit it to memory.

 10. From here on in, use this statement religiously and consistently until you decide it is time for a new role for yourself. Feel free to use this statement for the introduction on your Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter profiles or any other social infrastructure platforms that you employ.

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