SXSW: Personal Brands for Profitable Companies

Yes it is that time of year when all of the speakers and bloggers ask for your vote for their SXSW panel. And I am no exception. For people who aren’t familiar with SXSW it is a HUGE tech & media conference held each March in Austin Texas. My panel information is below, and if you are so compelled, a vote and a comment are appreciated.

SXSW Panel Name:

Personal Brands for Profitable Companies

Description

Personal Branding, defined by wikipedia as: “the process whereby people and their careers are marked as brands,” are typically viewed as a THREAT to corporations. It has been our experience that not only tolerating, but actively helping employees build their personal brands leads to greater profit for the corporation. In this session we will cover strategic as well as tactical steps you can take as an entrepreneur to foster the growth of personal brands to increase the bottom line.

Questions Answered

  1. Is this personal branding stuff fluff, or profitable?
  2. What are the threats of strong personal brands in your company?
  3. What low cost strategies are available to facilitate the personal brand building process?
  4. What are the total costs?
  5. What happens when strong personal brands clash within your culture?

Panel Category
Entrepreneurism / Monetization

To vote you have to create an account on the panel picker. And then please vote for my personal brand profitability panel!

PRSA T3PR Presentation from NYC

I was honored to be one of the presenters at T3PR this last Friday in NYC thanks to Deirdre Breakenridge. Kind words for T3PR posted by Chris Kieff who calls it the “highlight of NYC Internet Week” on 1GoodReason

Best day spent at a conference: The surprising winner for me was T3PR, the Public Relations Society of America’s Theory, Tactics and Technology group.  Why was T3PR surprising?  I guess I was just expecting the PR group to be a bunch of flacks- but they were far from it.  The reason this show was so good for me was because I learned so much from the likes of; Justin Levy,Christine Perkett, Sarah Evans and Ed Schipul.  They are each brilliant speakers who took the time to prepare for their presentations and cared about deliveringROI to the audience.  A special thanks to Deirdre Breakenridge for inviting me to the show.  Check out the twitter stream posted here.

And a follow up article by Valerie Simon on Examiner.com. From Ms. Simon’s article:

The live event in New York City offered opportunities for participants to participate in engaging sessions and network with both speakers and other participants, however the conference’s reach extended well beyond those in the room. A pre-conference “tweet chat” served as a virtual pep rally and following the conference many sessions were posted and discussed, including:

My presentation on the Personal Brand Era is below:

You can view photos from T3PR are on Facebook here, and reuse CC licensed versions of the photos in my  T3PR Picasa Web Album. All are Creative Commons Attribution (a simple “photo by Ed Schipul” is all that is required for use in print or on the web). A few that I liked and posted to Flickr from the NYC trip are below.

Guggenheim Museum in New York
The Guggenheim

Washington Square Park at Night
Washington Square Park at Night

The sole object is to hold attention and satisfy an audience

“Those who manipulate the shadows that dominate our lives are the agents, publicists, marketing departments, promoters, script writers, television and movie producers, advertisers, video technicians, photographers, bodyguards, wardrobe consultants, fitness trainers, pollsters, public announcers, and television news personalities who create the vast stage for illusion. They are the puppet masters. No one achieves celebrity status, no cultural illusion is swallowed as reality, without these armies of cultural enablers and intermediaries. The sole object is to hold attention and satisfy an audience.”

– Chris Hedges, Empire of Illusion, Pg 15-16

Upcoming Speaking

On the road again. A few upcoming speaking gigs on my calendaraspen airport

Technology Section Conference: T3PR - Theory, Tactics & Technology for High-Tech Public Relations Conference
June 11, 2010, 10:45–11:30 a.m. New York, New York
“Personal Brands: The Opportunities and Threats”

CPE By the Sea Conference
June 16, Galveston, TX
“Social Media and Personal Branding”

PRSA Sunshine District Conferene
June 18, Jupiter, FL
“What it Takes to Become Internet Famous”

PRSA Georgia Conference Presentation: The Personal Brand Era

Last week in Atlanta I had the privilege of speaking to the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Georgia’s Annual Conference. My topic was The Personal Brand Era.

As Gary Vaynerchuk puts it, “we’re going through a gold rush of branding.  If you get talked about enough in all these social webs/blogs, you can build a brand.”  If the people working for you have a strong presence in social media, so will your company.  This means happier employees and a more profitable business.

My slide deck on the personal brand era is below:

The Pursuit of Attention – Quotes

The pursuit of attention is now emerging as one of the electric organizing principles of American life. Not only are people pursuing attention in new ways, but there is evidence that we have begun to restructure our culture – including even our politics and economy – around the idea of attention as a glittering ultimate recognition and reward. Celebrities are the icons, but the pursuit of attention is now being diffused and institutionalized, hardwired into our beings through new systems of media, business, and technology, and fueled by new, aching deprivations that prey on our psyches. The result is a spreading virus of prosaic but dehumanizing behavior that subtly alienates us from one another and turns daily interactions into a veiled competition for recognition and respect.

– Introduction to The Pursuit of Attention, second edition, by Charles Derber. 1979, 2000

All my stripper friends
All my ex-boyfriends
We all want the same thing
We all want the same thing
Parties in the bar, reaching for the stars
We all want the same thing

All My Stripper Friends, Tila Tequila

Chron Post: The Personal Brand Era Cometh

The Personal Brand Era Cometh

In August of 2007 Tom Peters wrote in an article titled The Brand Called You in FastCompany magazine:

It’s time for me — and you — to take a lesson from the big brands, a lesson that’s true for anyone who’s interested in what it takes to stand out and prosper in the new world of work.

Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.

Wikipedia defines Personal Branding as: “the process whereby people and their careers are marked as brands.” A personal brand is how others perceive you. It may or may not reflect who you really are.

I find the evolution of Personal Branding similar to the evolution of advertising, initiated by Ogilvy, written about in a series of articles on the subject of positioning by Al Ries and Jack Trout, and then distilled in the book Positioning. Advertising shifted from “product feature advertising” to “positioning” in which a product needed to occupy a position in the mind of the consumer to break through the clutter.

To put it another way, your personal brand is a managed account that has a very real effect on your earning potential, your legacy and your future employment.

So while I agree with Peters that The Brand Called You is important, I’d like to extend that thought and propose that in fact we are entering The Personal Brand Era. And it is an era that will be disruptive to the business status quo.  Yet, if managed correctly, the Personal Brand Era can be profitable for both individuals and the companies for which they work. The success of your personal brand and the success of associated corporate brands are additive; they are not a threat to each other.

finish reading The Personal Brand Era Cometh on the Chron