Communicating a Professional Brand U lla de Stricker

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Communicating a Professional Brand U lla de Stricker Slide 2 The Information and Knowledge Professionals Career Handbook: Define and create your success Ulla de Stricker and Jill Hurst-Wahl Slide 3 What We Will Cover Part One: Professional Fit Part Two: Brands Part Three: Telling Our Stories - the Value Message Part Four: Professional Visibility Part Five: Looking the Part Slide 4 Basic Premise No matter how we earn our living, we are each and every one of us IN BUSINESS - individually or collectively (our personal brands vs. the brand of the employing organization) "If clients aren't buying, we don't eat" We compete in a social / corporate "economy" against Perceived convenience of the Internet Never been to the public library why start now? Isn't the library where they keep the archival publications? My boss doesn't require me to demonstrate I did research Etc etc Slide 5 Slide 6 Part One: Before Thinking about Brand - Lets Think Professional Fit: What am I, as a Professional? Awareness of innate strengths, preferences, and motivations can be helpful in choosing where to focus efforts and thus polish brand throughout our working lives Slide 7 Defining our Professional Leanings through Questions Whether in school or mid-career, ask questions: What type of environment (non profit, public service, entrepreneurial, large firm, etc) appeals to me and why? Is there a subject area of particular interest (science, finance, law, public policy)? Is working with people or being alone at a computer the best fit for me? Do I crave structure/predictability or fast paced/no-two- days-alike work? What kinds of accomplishments make me proud? Slide 8 Considerations When pondering the best work match - and thus for example the courses we take and the jobs we apply for - we might consider: Our own work personality Features of various kinds of work Our attitude to work life balance Sources of satisfaction and red flags Our natural roles Slide 9 Work Personality Personality 1 Desk totally neat, files organized Likes long term schedules & plans, hates interruptions & uncertainty Prides self on perfection Prefers the control of solitary work Finds dealing with people stressful Slide 10 Slide 11 Work Personality Personality 2 Desk a mess, files NOT organized Likes busy, chaotic days interacting with people Loves trying new things Copes well with ambiguity, not with rules and policy Finds it a challenge to meet deadlines Slide 12 Slide 13 Work Personality Each would likely NOT be comfortable in the others environment! Slide 14 Work Features: A Match? Beck-and-call, client-needs-a speech-now vs. preparing a report over 6 weeks Preparing and defending a budget vs. testing latest software Pioneering e.g. social media use vs. conducting research Customer facing sales calls vs. responsive reference service Never-before project planning and execution vs. comfort zone of taxonomy expertise Slide 15 Slide 16 Slide 17 Work Life Balance & Aspiration My work is my life vs. my work is how I provide for my life Im always looking for opportunities to advance vs. Im content where I am Engagement in professional associations is vital for me vs. I want to spend my free time with family I want to make a name for myself vs. I dont want to sacrifice volunteer activities Slide 18 Satisfaction vs. Red Flags It delights me when I cant stand it when I always look forward to I dread Such self knowledge shapes our choices over time and feeds into our definition of our unique BRAND Slide 19 Our Natural Roles Am I a natural Leader/instigator/entrepreneur? Go-to person/fixer/problem solver? Trooper? Mentor? Etc Knowing our natural roles will point us in the direction of the best roles for us and help us formulate our BRAND Slide 20 Part Two: Brands With clarity about our professional fit, we are ready to think about creating and communicating a professional brand But wait: What is our definition of a brand for an information professional? Slide 21 Types of Brands: Product Mont Blanc pen Samsonite luggage Queen Mary cruise liner We have a sense what to expect Slide 22 Types of Brands: Corporate We have a sense what to expect Slide 23 Types of Brands: Association Belgian chocolate - pure & refined German engineering - ber quality Scandinavian design - sleek and spare Italian furniture - elegant Australian chardonnay - robust Fiji water - ultimate in clean Kona coffee from Hawaii - best taste We have a sense "what it is" Slide 24 Types of Brands: Occupation Interior Designer, Chef, Journalist, Accountant Though we may not know any such people, the image of what is offered is shared culturally & well understood Our profession lacks such a shared image Therefore, we must work on projecting the image we want (EXAMPLE: "I am so worth the money!") Slide 25 Individual Brands: Family & friends associate certain qualities with us Reliable friend, trusted advisor Helpful neighbor, community supporter Passionate environmentalist Avid fan of U2 Organic foods advocate Life of the party We may have different brands with different groups Slide 26 Individual Brands in Peer Groups Through professional associations: Familiar figure at the podium Always a good read Can be counted on to work in a committee Association peers have a sense and expectation of our contribution - through direct observation or general social commentary Slide 27 Slide 28 Example: Peer Brand Question: When you think of Ulla de Stricker, what comes to mind? Colleague 1: Authoritative source of advice Guru of Knowledge Management Not afraid to take on challenges Well connected in the information industry And to me personally a great friend and mentor Colleague 2: All that, and add: Whirling Dervish Slide 29 What about our "Client Brand"? Potential and new clients - even existing clients - may not be aware of the reputation we have among our own peers Client perceptions may therefore be quite different from how we perceive ourselves, based on peer input And while we can't do consumer style advertising/PR, we can pay attention to the impressions we create Slide 30 Slide 31 Part Three: Telling Our Stories As we don't have sales agents, we are each responsible for communicating about our value Every day on the job as well as when we are looking for one Question: How and what do clients and potential employers know about my qualifications and capabilities? If I were the manager would I hire me? Slide 32 The Value Message Our stories are built around a concise articulation of the difference we make: I meet the employers or clients needs because I am A problem solver and ingenious innovator A client service ambassador building strong & loyal relationships A technical wizard with a magic intranet wand A skilled marketer and advocate Much as we may cringe, we must articulate! Slide 33 Does it feel about this natural? Slide 34 Communication Channels We "hand round" our resumes but if potential employers/clients were to look us up on the internet what would they find? An up to date and comprehensive LinkedIn profile? A Facebook presence showing us in a positive light? A website and/or a professional blog? Publications and presentations made at conferences? Pictures of a professional nature? What else? Slide 35 Managing the "E-Evidence" Everything "out there" bears witness to our professional stature lets control as much of it as we can Good practice to search own name periodically to check if mentions are appropriate (e.g. staff directory) Ensure "clean" social media presence Work on the resume and profile - get help if needed Slide 36 Written Evidence Everything we "leave behind" - from emails to reports to resumes - bears witness to our professionalism Some believe it "should not matter" if we use poor formatting and casual language with errors but it does! Fortunately, it's easy to follow a set of simple tips Slide 37 Written Brand: Visual A unique professional style applied to all documents cant hurt (unless corporate style prevents it) Elements include font, colors, page setup, headers, graphic elements, etc Examples: Slide 38 Slide 39 B We have a sense and expectation of quality Slide 40 Needs Assessment, Research Information Center Submitted to Jeremy Halton Vice President, Corporate Services Collingbury Inc by Ulla de Stricker and Associates 11 January 2011 Slide 41 1. Introduction In response to an opportunity to enhance acpbki ioinr oaw v eopri eratpoti wapsd podf pdsos svgorkjg purkt oi oprtkj ero rof jwh akfj jfkjfkg opsfgouz 1.1 Study Process The project was devised as a oaw v eopri eratpotia w porkt oi oprtkj ero ri vpoir or erpoior eitoritiorit oqaritori orti-rt nnwp ogs jfkjfkg opsfgouz wbtl While text is fully justified, bullets are left justified Or else the text would be stretched too far to the right The cranberry and green colors print well in black/white: In some cases, recipients may not print in glorious color. Slide 42 Written Brand: Language Professionals cannot afford sloppiness, errors, poor writing, etc The fact that an error in English usage is common does not justify our repeating it! If grammar was never a favorite topic, there is much help to be had from usage experts 100 English Language Traps and Trip-Ups (free on my website under articles) - lighthearted inventory of common problems and associated memory aids - let me have your additions please! Slide 43 Part Four: Invest in Professional Visibility for the (Evolving) Brand Desired reaction when resume hits potential employers desk: Oh, Ive heard that name reputation for [leadership, problem solving, innovation, ] Doing a superb job may not suffice when it comes to getting the next one; building visibility is a wise investment in our careers from the get-go Example: Organizing career seminars while still a student Slide 44 Professional Visibility: Examples of Means Theme: Stick the neck ou