Thursday, September 26, 2013

Image Is Everything

What exactly is someone’s personal brand? Nance Rosen suggests that your personal brand is your image and/or reputation. It is the image that you create for yourself to your family, friends, the internet, and the company and customers that you work with on a daily basis. Your personal brand tells the world what kind of person you are and what kind of personality traits you have. Your personal brand can also tell the public about which hobbies, travels, and projects you might be involved in; however, but they are not limited to such. Also, the public can tell whether or not you are easy-going, artistic, lethargic, egotistical, reliable, inventive, or any other trait that you might possess. (2013) So, did you know what you say and what you do online has consequences to your personal brand? Did you know if you post things that are unethical or immoral you could be putting your company and brand at risk? Nance Rosen states that anything you do on your social media website can have an impact on your brand. For example, whatever pictures, videos, and information that you put out there on the digital web such as on Facebook or Twitter reflects your brand, company you work for, and you. Therefore, if you post things like a half-nude picture of yourself or videos of you partying and drinking with a group of friends, the public and your potential clients will think that you do not take yourself and your job very seriously. People that were interested in your brand may not be so interested once they view your Facebook, Twitter, or other social networking page. However, this is a two-way street, because your Facebook or Twitter page could or might be filled with all sorts of family values and community projects. Therefore, having good morals will show potential clients and the public that you care and are passionate about your family, the community, and that you get involved. Potential customers will probably be more interested and willing to invest in you and your brand. (2013) Let us take a look back at the journalist that was fired for her confessions on her personal blog site.  Shea Allen and other journalists are supposed to uphold a certain type of image to the public so people like you and me will rely on their news coverage. Journalists have a certain code of ethics that they are supposed to uphold. Shea Allen’s blog reflects that she is a person that may not be trusted. She has obviously admitted to sleeping on the job and that she will ignore her clients if she deems them as boring. (Eck, 2013) This sort of behavior will not help her brand or the company that she represents. People that read Shea Allen’s blog will most likely, but not all, have a hard time trusting her. Another example of how someone’s personal brand can destroy their company’s image is the Jerry Sandusky sex scandal case. Criminal charges were filed against Mr. Sandusky for being accused of sexually molesting eight athlete boys from Penn State University. These charges and this case have had a huge impact on Penn State’s reputation. The school has lost donations, sponsors, and students due to the case. Jerry Sandusky’s personal brand has negatively impacted Penn State. Penn State will have to work hard in order to regain and rebuild their reputation. (Carpenter, 2011) Communication professionals need to be able to show the public and their company that they are hard-working, honest individuals that can be trusted. Also, Nance Rosen notes that it is highly important for professionals to stand out above the crowd on their social media websites. If your Facebook or Twitter page is boring, does not reflect your knowledge of your brand, or highlights you in some special way, you could be overlooked by potential employers. (2013) What is a good way to spice up your personal brand? For starters, do not post things that are inappropriate. You need to focus on your personal traits that will attract and appeal to potential customers or prospective employers. Larry Chiagouris and Brant Wansley suggest that your website must capture your viewer’s attention and build awareness of what your company and/or your brand is all about. Once you have the client’s attention, he or she will decide whether or not to do business with your company or you. Therefore, your website or social media site should appeal to the public’s desires and interest. Once a customer, client, or potential employer has become familiar with your website and you, he or she will trust you. When there is trust involved between others and you, the others will invest in your brand. You are more likely to get more job offers or your company that you already work for will increase in customers. Not to mention, if your company website does not look like a company that can be trusted, your customers will question whether or not share their most personal information with you such as their credit card number. The same is true for general brands. Companies like Yahoo and Amazon must keep their reputation shown in a positive light online. It is important for corporations to build a solid relationship with their customers. Organizations can do this by interacting with their customers on their websites and implementing strategies on their website that will continue to attract and appeal to the customer’s needs. In other words, the company must keep the customer engaged and satisfied. (2010) Branding is extremely important, and what you say or do has an impact on your brand. In conclusion, you always need to think about your actions before you do them, because a bad post or so forth can cause your company and you customers. As I have already mentioned earlier, cases like Shea Allen and Jerry Sandusky are perfect examples of personal branding that has gone wrong. In the world of marketing, it is completely true when they say image is everything.

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Penn State Scandal: Image Damaged; What Can University Do? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/20/penn-state-scandal-image-_n_1103713.html