PR isn't just for businesses, everyone has a story to tell!
When we think of public relations (PR), we naturally think of the public image businesses, celebrities or politicians have, whether we have a favorable view of them or not. But shouldn't the state of relations with the public be something that everyone be concerned with?
Public relations, in its simplest form, is all about one's reputation. What is said about you when you are not in the room? With this in mind, EVERYONE GETS PR!
A key aspect of everyone owning their image involves everyone proactively controlling what is said about them when they are not in the room. Think of your reputation as a book. You are adding pages to your story every day. You don't want to leave it up to someone else to write the pages of your story. You want to control the narrative by consciously personifying what you want your image to be. Of course, one can never fully control what others think. But you don't want to totally give others the pen so they can freely write your story.
The process of owning your brand includes:
Taking care of your appearance. First impressions make lasting impressions, the way you dress speaks volumes about you. As the saying goes, dress to impress!
Talking in a manner that reflects warmth, poise and intelligence. Whether in person or on the phone, always be sure to communicate in a way that gives respect to the person you are talking to.
Making sure all of your online activity reflects upon you in a positive way. Even though you may not be connected to certain people, they may see your posts via a mutual connection. Keep in mind, a simple Google search can reveal a lot of things about you as well.
Being a person of integrity. Do you keep your word? If not, you can be destroying professional/business opportunities because others view you as someone they cann't depend on.
Punctuality, be on time! Are you known for being on time or as someone who is frequently late? If the latter is true for you, make it a habit to be early for appoints so you can change your pattern of being late.
Preparedness. Do you just show up, or do you take time to prepare in advance for meetings and other activities? You provide greater value to conversations when you enter a room with a well thought out strategy. This includes having whatever resources (i.e. paper, pen, technology, etc.) that you may need.
Follow-up! When you physically leave a room or end a conversation, do you automatically mentally disengage? If so, you will lose momentum from opportunities to advance the conversations to next steps. Follow-up to seize opportunities and/or to create opportunities.
Each of these aforementioned points can help own your brand so you are the author of your story.