I just came across an article I wrote for a business magazine in 2004 about how Michelle Bridges was undertaking a PR campaign to raise her profile. At the time, Michelle was doing fitness segments for a morning television show – way before landing the fitness trainer role on The Biggest Loser. She recognised that was her opportunity to build her profile and move forward.
What is your opportunity?
Did you identify it in Part 1 of the series “Create a Brand Plan to Stand Out from the Crowd?” We covered: B for brand situation, R for research and A for audience. This article looks at N D P on your Brand Plan.
N is for niche.
Can you determine what your market niche or point of difference is? In business if you are not different or unique and don’t stand out, the only point of difference may be the price and often customers will go for the cheapest price.
A focused brand concentrates on owning one thing in the mind.
Volvo is safety. Sure there are lots of other safe cars, but Volvo owns that space. An example of a strong personal brand is Robert Kiyosaki – he is money. In your career perhaps your USP (Unique Shining Point) is that you are simply very good at what you do and are identified for your expertise such as the award winning meeting planner or have carved out a specialty niche like Bernard Salt who is a partner at KPMG but is well known as a demographer…or Sue Currie, personal branding specialist. For years stars of the entertainment world have been using made up names to stand out from the crowd. P!nk, Lady GaGa, Elton John and John Wayne way before them. There’s a trend in business for unique names to shine through – Google is the number one brand in the world. Coca-Cola set a precedent many years ago. It does take a while to really work out what your uniqueness is. A short exercise you can do is to ask someone who doesn’t know you or what you do to explain everything they can about you or your business simply by looking at your business card. What do you stand for? Is the personality of your brand coming through? Write down all your skills, talents and accomplishments plus your passions and why you like that. You’ll start to see some themes emerging which you can fine-tune to work toward your niche.
D is for Desired outcomes.
What are your communication objectives? We all know about goal setting and it’s the same with our brand communication plan. If we articulate what we’re after then we are more likely to achieve it. But we need to be smart about it.
That is – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. Write a thorough statement of what you really want to achieve with as much detail as possible.
So a personal objective might be to become regional manager by March 2015 with an increased salary of x dollars or to become CFO of xxx company by 2016: to achieve three print articles in major metro media by December 2014: to hold a factory tour or open day in November attracting 50 potential customers. These are very detailed statements and they have a timeframe around them. The more specific you can be then at the end of your communication campaign you can evaluate and see if you really did achieve what it was that you set out to do.
P is for your PR and the tools to use to reach your target.
This is the ‘how to do it’ part. Here, you detail exactly how you are going to reach your target public with your message to achieve that desired outcome you’ve already set – those smart goals. So what tools are you going to use? There are hundreds of ways of communicating with your target public. Publicity and sending out a media release is one.
Special events, sponsorships, social media strategy, community meetings, shopping centre displays, launches, letter box drops with brochures, networking or volunteering opportunities at your company are other great ways to connect with your community.
As an example, if it is an open day at your business to potentially achieve 50 new customers, what tools would you use? Perhaps an invitation hand-delivered with some sort of gimmick, perhaps some publicity in the local paper, setting up a creative media photo opportunity or sending out a newsletter to current customers. To become a CFO, perhaps your strategy would include a detailed face-to-face meeting and networking plan or social media strategy. For your desired outcome, list four or five communication tools or strategies to help reach your objective.
This article is part of a three-part series by Sue Currie. In Part 3, Sue explains specific, strategic techniques to enhance your public image. Missed Part 1? Read it here.