Every celebrity and nearly all major brands have them: a PR team of dedicated professionals to manage their image, change how they are perceived and draw attention to the good things that they do!
There is a great quote that reads ‘everything you say and do is public relations’. Hiring a PR agency or a publicist is just a way of focusing and refining the messages that you want to send out, but the truth is we are sending out messages all day long with the things we say, do and put out into the world.
The truth is, the same marketing and PR principles can be applied to your own life to take you from where you are to where you want to be, whether it’s drawing more attention to your business, playing up your good points at work for that promotion or deciding to change your image for a brand new you! Here are my top tips:
Who do you want to be?
In order to effectively change anything, you need to be clear on who and what you want to be and how you want to be seen. Take stock of where you are right now – is it working for you and what specifically do you want to change?
Before you can go about changing anything it’s really important to be clear about the direction you want to go in. What does your new image look like? If you’re going for a promotion at work, how will the new executive version of you look? Will you need to dress differently? Be really clear and gather inspiration such as photos or inspirational writing.
Once you have had an honest look at where you are right now, decide where you want to be – how does that look?
Play to your strengths
What makes you unique? Sit down and think about your story and what stands out, how and why is it special? Play up those points. What have you done that is remarkable? When taking on new clients one of the first things a publicist will try to find out is what makes that person or product special and interesting, and then go about letting as many people know about them as possible.
If you’re writing your CV, at a job interview or even on a first date, play up your good points. What makes you irresistible? Why are you the best for the job? Telling people something is one thing, showing them is another. When it comes to your personal or business life, strive to be the best you can be.
Watch your social media
To refer to my earlier point, everything you say and do is public relations. Especially when it comes to your social media. What you put on Facebook and Twitter dictates how people will see you, which can either be a very good thing, or a total disaster!
Whatever your personal opinion about how Facebook or Twitter should work or how the world should be, social media are public forums. It’s a well-known fact that employers check interviewees Facebook pages to get a better idea of the real them, and the same can be said for first dates.
Be careful with party photos. They might look fun at the time, but they can come back to haunt you and don’t give a good impression to potential employers or clients. Some companies even have a clause in their employment contracts stating that all employees’ social media must reflect the values of the business!
Look through your Facebook posts, photos and info, and your tweets. Are they in keeping with how you want to be seen? Be selective.
Look the part
Now that you’ve decided on how you want to be seen, you need to look the part. Dress for who you want to be, speaking like the best version of yourself. Model yourself on people who embody your aspirations.
In just a few short years fashion designer Marc Jacobs went from a dowdy looking wallflower to an absolute hunk! He hit the gym, changed his clothes and his style and he has never been in the press more.
Let’s take the promotion at work scenario. Are you looking like an executive? Are you as smart as you could be? Do you look successful and well-groomed and confident? Be deliberate with your image, what do you want it to say? Dress and present yourself as who you want to be.
Let people know
You can have the best offer in the world, or be as fabulously talented as you like, but unless people know about it, it’s like shouting in a noisy, crowded room. You know what you’re saying, but no one else does. Let people know, not by your words but by your actions!
You’ve decided what your new image is, you’ve played up your strengths and accentuated the good points, you’re careful with the messages you’re sending out through social media and you look the part – now you need to let people know.
If you run a business, would local media be interested in your story? If you are working for a company, show them how good you are by doing a better job, looking your best and being consistent with the messages you are sending out.
If you would like to know more about working with me please email email@example.com for a free consultation about your brand or project and how I can help.
Ryan is the founder/director of The Ryan James Consultancy, a public relations, marketing and social media consultancy specialising in the lifestyle/wellbeing sector and the editor/founder of MungBeansandChampagne.com, a lifestyle and product guide for busy, health conscious professionals.
Follow him on twitter @RyanJamesLock
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