Building Your Personal Communications Plan, Part 2

Start spreading your personal brand message through these three communications tools.

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Welcome back! Last week, we learned how important it is for you to have a unique, clear message to share with people who can help you reach your goals and achieve success. To build your personal communications plan, you must first articulate what you’d like to say and to whom you’ll say it.

Your message should demonstrate your unique promise of value. It should be authentic, differentiated, consistent, compelling and aspirational. Then, identify your target audience. These are the people who can help you find success. Once you’ve figured out what to say, and to whom, you can start spreading your message through these three communications tools.

Standard career marketing materials

Your standard career marketing tools are essential to your success. They include your resume (CV), cover letter, bio and professionally taken head shot. Keep them up to date, make them reflect your uniqueness and ensure that they are compelling to hiring managers and executive recruiters. The content, format and delivery must reinforce your personal brand.

Online communications

As the world becomes more virtual, your on-line identity becomes more important to your success. So face it, you’re going to be googled. 61 percent of recruiters say they google candidates and 23 percent of professionals in the workplace google their colleagues, managers, clients, etc. You need to ensure your online identity is consistent with your personal brand, compelling to hiring managers, executive recruiters and other members of your target audience and current.

The best way to ensure your online identity is congruent with your off-line identity is to build your own Web site or blog. This gives you control over the message that is being communicated about you. If you are not quite ready for your own space on the Web, you can build your online identity through existing Web sites. Posting comments to blogs that address relevant topics and posting online book reviews are great ways to build your virtual identity.

Your standard communications and online communications tools are essential. Without them, you won’t get in to see an executive recruiter and you won’t be considered a candidate for a job. But those are just the table stakes that get you into the game: you need to layer other expressions of your unique value that will separate you from the pack. These advanced communications tools are your executive brand communications.

Executive Brand Communications

As a career-minded executive, you need to make a proactive plan to build your executive brand through all forms of communications including writing articles, delivering presentations, writing white papers, authoring books, taking on board positions with organizations, etc.

The key to effective executive communications is to build your annual media plan. Just as companies and organizations of all types have annual media plans, so should you. You can then pursue all of these communications activities to ensure your message is heard and appreciated by all the members of your target audience.

Here’s an example of a media plan for one of my clients who is a senior director of marketing in a healthcare company:

  • Deliver a presentation at the healthcare marketing conference
  • Write two articles for MarketingProfs
  • Write one article for Brandchannel.com
  • Deliver a presentation to my local AMA chapter
  • Contribute comments every week to my two favorite marketing blogs
  • Write a white paper about the role of viral marketing in the field of pharmaceuticals
  • Publish an article about marketing on my favorite healthcare portal
  • Update my resume to reflect the recent project I will launch in April
  • Get updated professional head shot taken
  • Decide on the topic for my blog and initiate the blog by mid-year. Prepare at least 12 posts before launching.
  • Run for the board of the local healthcare communications society
  • Find a co-author for my book
  • Update the look and feel of my career marketing materials so they reflect my brand attributes of visionary, futurist and creative

If you haven’t built your communications plan yet, now’s the time to do it. Remember, before you put pen to paper or finger to key, think about what you want to say and who it is who needs to hear your message. Then go off communicating clearly and consistently and watch your success expand.

 

William Arruda

William Arruda Credited with turning the concept of personal branding into a global industry, William Arruda is the founder of Reach Personal Branding and author of “Career Distinction” and the upcoming book, “Ditch. Dare. Do!”