Blog Archives

The Four Pillars of Personal Branding

They say you can’t go “home” again; I say that’s dead wrong. On March 21, I went back to a place I called home for my college days, Temple University. Walking around the campus, which has changed by leaps and bounds since I was there, brought back lots of great memories and emotions.

The reason for being on campus was the second annual TU Invitational, hosted by the university’s outstanding PRSSA chapter. I’ve been lucky to get to know many members, both past and present, over the last few years. They make me incredibly proud to be an alum and to now call public relations my career. I spoke at this year’s Bell Tower at Temple Universityevent on being the “CEO of You.”

When I was at Temple in the mid-1990s, I had no clue about personal branding. However, I always tried to uphold the traits that I now speak about when giving talks around the country. Those traits are the pillars of my CEO of You sessions. If you want the best out of your brand, online and off, you need to embrace these four pillars.

Trust– There isn’t a brand around, personal or otherwise, that can survive without having trust. Never put your brand in a position where you sacrifice the trust you’ve built.  I would rather you be last and right, than first and wrong. Do it right the way first!

Honesty Being honest about the expectations of your brand. Never oversell something you aren’t able do, or be something you can’t. You also need to be honest with yourself. How many times have we met people who try to be someone else, or something else? That isn’t honesty. Never over inflate your abilities.

Transparency– We often ask clients to be open and transparent. That means, there is no way someone can look at you and not know who you are or what you represent. Being transparent also helps if you are in a crisis. CEO’s that hide are believed to be keeping something important a secret. Don’t hide behind secrecy.

Responsibility– You need to take responsibility for who you are and what you do in person and as a professional on social networks. Having a Twitter account, Facebook page, Instagram account, and a blog should be handled with great responsibility. You have the power to enact change as well as lead with these tools. Use them smartly and wisely.

At the end of the day, your personal brand needs to be real and have passion. If you can’t or don’t want to be real, you are wasting your time on social networks. Your brand will be fake.  It’s harder to correct your brand than it is to be real from the start.

People gravitate toward passion. They can see through your BS a mile away. If you aren’t passionate about the work you do – or if you try to fake it – those you lead will pick up on it immediately. To truly inspire others and establish yourself as an expert, you have to love what you do. The drive to be the best is fueled by passion, without it, you may tend to view your work or activities as something you have to do, rather than something you get to do.

How are you upholding these four pillars? Let me know in the comments!

Who is your PR Inspiration?

The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your bestEpictetus

We (hopefully) get inspired by many things in life. A big promotion, getting your degree, or even starting your own business. However, in many cases, it is the people in our lives who inspire us to be more and do more. Over the last few weeks, I’ve had an opportunity to think about those who have inspired me to be more as a public relations professional.

2013-06-27 17.20.57Folks like Larry Litwin, Deirdre Breakenridge, Shonali Burke, and, of course, my wife, have had an indelible impact into my PR career. Every day, I am inspired by something they have done. It is why I love what I do and why I enjoy working with future and current pros to make our industry great.

Now, I ask you. Who is your PR inspiration? Why do we need to let our networks know they are great? What have they done to inspire our industry?

Let me know on Twitter, Facebook and in the comments below. I’ll then shout them out on Twitter. Be inspired by what you have learned and pay it forward!

The JourneyCast Podcast: Jessica Lawlor

The JourneyCast Podcast is back and I’m thrilled to welcome my friend and fellow Temple University graduate, Jessica Lawlor. It’s no surprise that Jessica has become one of the more respected pros in our industry because of her drive, honesty, and work ethic.

If that’s not enough, she’s also the driving force behind the “Get Gutsy” movement. On this edition, we’ll talk about that, as well as how she’s been able to have success so early in her career. Enjoy!

To listen to the podcast, click this link.

Tuesday Tip: Valuing Yourself as a Pro

Whether you are in public relations, marketing, advertising, or social media management, it is important to understand just how valuable you are. Why? It could be the difference between a potential client understanding your worth and not being valued.

In today’s Tip, I explain the importance of value as a professional.

 

 

What are your thoughts? Weigh in by leaving a comment or sharing one on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.

Tuesday Video Tip: Planning

“Plans are nothing. Planning is everything.”- Dwight D. Eisenhower 

Planning is part of our fabric as public relations pros. We make sure that clients have planned for an event, roll out, or social media campaign. In today’s Tip, here are a few ways you can be better planners.

How do you go about planning your day, your tasks? Let me know in the comments.

JourneyCast Podcast with Jason Sprenger

Jason-Sprenger-250x300Episode Four of The JourneyCast Podcast features Game Changer Communications president Jason Sprenger.  I’ve had the pleasure of chatting with Jason in 140 characters over the last few years. His focused insight with clients and the respect he has within the public relations industry is one we can all learn from.

Talking with Jason, I found a person who truly cares about his business and clients, but most importantly, not flying off the handle with opinions. He takes the time to really look into a topic, like his recent blog on social media managers. Without spoiling the post, it’s not what you normally expect. It’s one I really enjoyed and I think you will as well.

The JourneyCast Podcast, Ep. 4- Jason Sprenger

What did you think of this episode? Let me know in the comments below!

On your phone or tablet? Download the podcast on iTunes!

Guest Post: A Mentor That’s a “Grand Slam”

[Jas’ note: I first met Corinthea Harris via Twitter and noticed she was at Rowan University. We then chatted at last October’s PRSSA National Conference in Philadelphia, Pa. It turned out we had something in common (aside from being from South Jersey): A great mentor.]

After a whirlwind year – having three internships, trying my hand at being an RA, resigning from the RA position to take a career opportunity, realizing I graduate in May and so much more – and when I say what I’ve accomplished out loud, I sometimes ask myself how someone so tiny could handle such a large work load? How did I possibly handle everything on my plate at one time?

The answer: my grand-slam mentor.

mentorEnter Larry Litwin, APR, Fellow PRSA. Litwin acted as a teacher and mentor, won various public relations (PR) counselor and broadcast journalist awards, owned and operated Hello, Sports Fans!, umpired numerous baseball games and – most importantly – acted as a life coach to me and many other students and professionals.

I say grand-slam mentor and life coach because Litwin constantly went above and beyond. To prove it, I developed the following list of ways he helped me and others:

1. Available 24-7, like a true PR pro. No matter the task, Litwin had an ever-revolving door and inbox. He made time for his students in his office and answered emails even when he really didn’t have two seconds to spare.

2. Listened. Until Litwin, I hadn’t met a person who actually actively listened. He didn’t drop the conversation after you said what you had to say. Instead, he asked questions to figure out the next appropriate step. (And he had this ability to make you feel as though you were a top priority.)

3. Researched. Once he figured out what you wanted or needed, he would take you through a force-field analysis to ensure you made the best possible decision.

5. Stayed on top, if not ahead, of the industrySpeaking of research, Litwin kept up with the latest trends and best practices in the ever-changing strategic communication industry.

6. Taught real-world lessons. Litwin’s career accomplishments helped him teach real-world lessons in the class room and in advisement sessions. And he shared any new industry information he learned instantly. (Also, he wrote a book that acts as a go-to resource for many strategic communication professionals.)

7. Advanced students’ careersLitwin cared more about others than he did about himself. He constantly put others first and did whatever he had to do. With this mentality, you could put money on the fact that he had plenty of connections to various public relations professionals – which he selflessly shared with students to advance their careers.

Seven may not seem like enough reasons to proclaim someone’s record-breaking personality, but I can’t simply put into words the countless things Litwin did for me and other students – leaving a lasting impression.

And since Litwin advocated for baseball and sports, I figured my “grand-slam mentor” metaphor remained appropriate.

He definitely helped me navigate the bases of my college career, pre-professional career and sometimes my personal life. He truly umpired my life and helped me build my personal brand, so that I would have the confidence in myself to one day hit a home run on my own.

I will never have enough at-bat opportunities (words) to possibly hit enough home runs (thank yous) to repay him for everything he taught me. I can only hope other people have a chance to score a mentor like Litwin.

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Corinthea Harris is senior at Rowan University. She will graduate in May with bachelor’s degrees in public relations and advertising. Currently, she is the Global Communications Intern at Campbell Soup Company. 

Improving Yourself as a PR/Social Media Pro

When it comes down to it, we don’t know everything (Captain Obvious statement). From time to time, we are challenged with strategies, tactics, and platforms that are new to us. So what do you do? While this may sound like an easy enough answer, finding trusted pros and avenues to get educated (or re-educated), can be tough.

improving who you areWhen I first started out in public relations, most of what I learned had to be self-taught. Even as I ventured into social media, much of the knowledge came from a little trial-and-error. As PR, marketing, and social media continue to evolve, we must do the same. I always quote friend and colleague Stephanie Florence and her “Student Always” mantra.  We can never stop learning; it is the only way to improve. I compare it to a baseball player taking extra batting practice or looking at game film.

Here are a few ways to continue to grow, whether you are a new or experienced pro.

  • Find pros that are learners, not Jedis– I’ve always appreciated pros that share what they’ve learned. They don’t tell you what you should know, they tell you what they continue to learn. People like Amber Naslund, Deirdre Breakenridge, Kirk Hazlett, and Chuck Hemann. They are always sharing what they’ve learned over the years, but they also soak up new ideas every day. It’s something to emulate.
  • Personal audit/SWOT analysis– This is something I started to do with students earlier this month. A personal audit can be valuable in getting yourself to take a critical look at your career. I do them every quarter to see if I’ve slipped, gotten better, or plateaued. The SWOT analysis is something I love to do. It forces you to pick out your weaknesses. But, it also shows where you may be missing the boat on something. Try it!
  • Twitter Chats- If you are on Twitter, it’s a good bet you’ve taken part in one or more since you’ve first signed on. What you may not realize is that these aren’t just chats, but virtual classrooms of learning. Whether it’s #PRStudChat, #CMGRChat, #NPPRSA, or #BrandChat, these gatherings of students and pros can be an invaluable tool to you. I’ve participated in all of these chats above and each time I do, I come away with something I can apply to my business and/or clients.
  • Lean on organizations like PRSA/PRSSA- Both have incredibly valuable opportunities to grow as a professional. If you can’t make it to a national conference, make sure to go through the websites and see what is being offered. PRSA national has a solid slate of webinars/events and PRSSA’s Progressions blog is a perfect mix of student and professional advice.  Your local PRSA chapter is also a great tool. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Social Media Club. They have many outstanding roundtable events that help to push the learning envelope.

If you don’t learn something new from the above, let me know where you are learning and how you are becoming a better pro.

The JourneyCast Podcast

iTunes podcast logo

In our careers, it is integral that we try new things to stay fresh. Last year, I did an episode of  what I called, “The JourneyCast.” I was thrilled Matthew Cerrone from Metsblog.com was kind enough to chat. Unfortunately, due to client work, scheduling, and life, the podcast didn’t take off like I wanted. Today, I’ve stepping back into the batter’s box and officially launching (or re-launching), “The JourneyCast Podcast.”

You can expect to hear folks in public relations, social media, marketing, blogging, and much more on my podcast. I don’t want this to be the typical question/answer interview. I love to just chat with people about why they love to do what they do, what they think about their industry, etc.

I’m glad my friend and colleague, Deirdre Breakenridge, agreed to be interviewed. She’s an inspiring person and someone many in our industry are well-aware of. However, Deirdre also continues to be a person we can depend on to hear what is really happening in the world of PR 2.0. Click the link below to listen.

The JourneyCast with Jason Mollica

You can also subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment on Twitter, Facebook, or below. And thanks for listening!

Let me be your CEO of You coach!

I want to make your personal brand great!

I want to make your personal brand great!

Over the last four months, the CEO of You series has taken off even more than I expected. The apex was appearing at the PRSSA National Conference in Philadelphia last October. The response from the students in attendance and on social media was frankly overwhelming and flattering.

In the weeks following, I had time to think about how CEO of You would move forward. I’ve talked with a number of students since October, whether it be over social networks, Skype, or email. The one thing that kept echoing in my mind was: “I need to do more.” But what would that “more” be? I have the answer.

Starting today, I’m happy to announce that I am offering one-hour personal branding sessions for students and new professionals, on an individual basis, for FREE. During these sessions , I will do everything I discuss in my talks: Do a personal SWOT analysis and personal audit on you and your brand, as it appears right now.  We’ll then discuss your understanding what your brand is. And, yes, when I say this is free, I mean it is FREE.

So why am I doing this? It’s simple… I love what I do as a professional and I’m passionate about personal branding. And I want to help you have a passionate, energetic, and professional brand.

Let’s work together and make you the CEO of YOU! Reach out to me at Jason.R.Mollica-at-gmail-dot-com.