Monday, August 10, 2009

Your Personal Brand vs. Your Agency Brand

Ok, we all have read countless stories on the importance of building a brand via social media channels if you are on your own – consultant, sole practitioner, entrepreneur, or the like. You know most of the popular tools. One of the most effective tools in personal brand building is your own blog.

Yet, I'm puzzled by the conflict that some agency owners have about creating a personal blog vs. creating a corporate blog under the agency name. Why the conflict? Take a look at Richard Edelman’s popular 6 A.M. blog. or Peppercom’s Steve Cody’s

Clearly these blogs contain Richard’s and Steve’s viewpoints, interviews, comments, etc. on topics of interest to business people. What they also contain are links and references to their agencies.

Agency heads complain about how difficult it is to distinguish their firm from competitors. In truth many agencies look and sound alike. So, with the possibility of a well-promoted and distributed blog as a key part of an agency’s visibility program – what’s the problem?

Here’s what I often hear: “I’m not sure what I could (should) write about.” I have rarely met a PR person who didn’t have something to say about just about everything. I think it is more about “risk.”

Putting yourself “out there” in a way that calls attention to who you are and what you have to say is uncomfortable to many who are used to being behind the scenes and letting their clients shine.
In today’s highly competitive agency environment, it’s time to get over your “fear.” You have much to say – start saying it.

Thought leadership is one of the best, yet least practiced ways of creating agency reputation, recognition, and referrals – the three “R’s” that all businesses crave.

So start planning your thought leadership program now and follow that with your own blog that carries your message to the prospects you want to reach.