Would you ever visit a dentist who doesn’t brush? Or hire a financial advisor who doesn’t invest his or her own money? I hope not – so why on earth would anybody hire a public relations professional who doesn’t maintain and promote his or her personal brand? The industry is inundated with practitioners who have never spoken to the media as an expert, do not blog and have an insignificant social media presence. It’s bad for the industry, and it highlights the need for PR pros to prove they believe in the services they provide.
By the time I earned my degree, I had been interviewed in print, video and radio broadcast. Those media placements had thrust me into the PR world with experience speaking to the media as a source rather than as a publicist. I felt the same combination of fear and excitement that many experts feel when they begin speaking with the media, and I cannot image advising a client without having experienced it myself.
As the PR industry continues to latch onto social media, it is imperative to look at who is giving out the advice. How can a flack with a small Twitter following properly advise a client on how to build a successful account? Being in PR does not necessarily qualify a person to provide social media advice. Their own social media presence reveals their qualifications or lack thereof.
Blogging has also become a foundation for sharing thought leadership and boosting digital engagement, yet remarkably, many in the industry choose not to write posts at all. This is perhaps the most troubling trend because it shows a personal apathy towards sharing thought leadership. If it’s not worth your time, why is it worth your client’s time?
This critique is meant to be a call to action. PR pros need to maintain and promote their own brands by the same standards they set forth for clients. Your personal brand is one of your most valuable professional assets, and you should build and leverage it to grow your career and inspire the professionals you represent.
This post was originally published in Brian’s LinkedIn blog.
Brian Hart is the founder and president of Flackable, LLC, a national public relations agency supporting the communications needs of registered investment advisors (RIAs) and other forward-thinking financial services firms. To learn more about Flackable, please visit www.flackable.com.