How to Be Your Own Publicist
You work hard to ensure that you put your company’s best foot forward, so why not do the same for yourself? Spend a little time this summer working to increase your visibility with these easy steps.
Craft a personal pitch. Business-development folks stress the importance of an elevator speech—a 30-second sound bite to convey a company’s message. So why not craft one for yourself? Instead of talking up your employer, mention your specific skills, interests, and achievements.
Establish a Web presence. While Facebook is great, most likely you’re not using it as a tool to advance your career. Start creating a professional online persona through sites like LinkedIn, or develop a site or blog that speaks to your area of expertise. For example, if you work as a sales rep, create a blog doling out expert advice to other sales reps. One caveat: Don’t write about your employer or co-workers on your personal blog. Ever. Many employers consider that grounds for dismissal.
Brag to your family. Most of us have a tough time bragging about our accomplishments, but if you’re not going to do it, who will? Your family, of course! At your summer picnic, mention to your aunt the huge account you just landed. Tell your uncle about the accolades you received from your boss. Your aunt, uncle, mom, sister, or cousin will all happily turn around and sing your praises to their friends. And who knows: Your Aunt Betty’s best friend from college might have the perfect position open up at her company, or your Uncle Dave’s fishing buddy could need a freelancer to create his blog.
Get quoted. Reporters seek out industry leaders as sources for articles. Get yourself quoted to raise your personal PR quotient. Subscribe to a service like Help a Reporter Out and respond to queries that could use your expertise. When you get quoted, clip the article for your portfolio and include the publication on your résumé.
Create an “I Rock!” file. Save all the “great job” e-mails you receive in an electronic file. Stockpiling positive feedback arms you for performance reviews, and good comments can pull double duty as testimonials on your personal website or résumé.