The Importance of “You, Inc.”
We all work, or will work with brands. That is what we do in public relations. In order to understand the goals of our client, we must first understand who they are, what they represent and use these characteristics to craft a goal reflective of that brand’s identity. But as we all begin to enter the professional workplace, some of us—myself included—seem to have forgotten what may be the most important brand we will ever work with: YOU. What separates you, as a brand, from the person competing with you for your ideal, picturesque job?
Last week we had the pleasure of having Ryan May, Principal of RDM Consulting and Editor of the Minnesota Public Relations blog, join our weekly PRSSA meeting to give us invaluable insight to the world of public relations. Ryan is a seasoned veteran of the public relations industry, having served as Vice President for Risdall McKinney Public relations—now Risdall Public Relations—along with other very notable entities in public relations. On a side note, if you are on the hunt for a job in public relations you should definitely follow Ryan’s blog, MNPR for frequent updates on job openings and internship opportunities!
If you were not at the meeting last Wednesday I urge you to listen to Ryan speak. He has an air of confidence, not because he is conceited or feels that he is above students, but because he knows who he is, what is important to him and why we should listen to what he has to say. In my opinion, I feel that this poise is uncommon in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication because we are all trying so hard to prove what we have done to employers and have forgotten to include who we are, what makes us special. Ryan stressed the need to be yourself, to stand up for your beliefs and before all else, think about the traits that make your brand unique and above the rest.
One of the most interesting points Ryan discussed in his presentation is the question, “What makes you who you are?” If you were sitting on an airplane and a complete stranger asked you, how would you answer? He said to choose five traits, five things that distinguish you and practice how to present these points in a speech. What worked best for Ryan was to create an acronym highlighting what makes “Ryan Inc.” a brand different from the rest. LUCKI.
L representing leadership.
U representing unity.
C representing communication.
K representing knowledge.
I representing integrity.
So what would make up your acronym? How would you describe yourself? What I cannot emphasize enough is the need to be real. Be real to yourself, be real to others.
People recognize that.
Ryan May can be contacted through his Twitter account @MNPR.