Personal Branding Digest, April 22, 2016

5 Important Personal Branding Tips for Women in Business
(Business News Daily, 22.04.16)

If you have an online presence, you have a personal brand. Just like a corporate brand, every status update, tweet, blog post and photo you share becomes a part of your cumulative image. Anyone who views your social profiles — be it a colleague, an employer or a potential business partner — can form an opinion about you based on what’s there. That’s why so many of today’s professionals invest time in building and curating an authentic presence that highlights their best qualities.

Thought Leadership 101: The Pros and Cons of Using Your Blog for Personal Branding
(, 19.04.16)

Using a personal blog for personal branding is entirely different from branding your business using a corporate website.

Are You Building Your Personal Brand?
(, 18.04.16)

It’s understandable for business owners to focus on building their business brands. After all, everyone wants to make sure that their companies are visible, and that they are promoting an “attitude” with your business brand.

Approaching Greatness and Your Personal Brand
(Business2Community, 26.03.16)

The higher up the ladder you are in a business, the busier and more frequent the responsibilities become. All too often this will transform a once approachable individual into a terrifying force easier to ignore than to face. Employees stop calling, problems are covered up and the office culture takes a steep nose dive toward one of secrecy and deception where it once was honest, open and happy.

“Everyone is a salesman, and the product is each person. Personal branding is being conscious to the continual nature of selling yourself.” —Jarod Kintz

Corporate Branding Digest, Sept. 16, 2014

Create the Best Environment for Creative Employees with These 6 Principles
(Entrepreneur, 09.09.14)

Business owners too commonly regard creative employees as a burden on the company’s financial performance. This focus overlooks the connection between properly managed creativity and the product inventions and innovations that drive sales and ultimately business success.

Would Steve Jobs or Ted Turner Succeed in These Big Data Obsessed Times?
(Forbes, 19.08.14)

Spurred by the data analytics revolution, corporations aim to collect and analyze reams of data. This data becomes the basis for modeling the future, which in turn can define growth strategies. This is what is meant by predictive and prescriptive analytics.

The Best Leaders ‘Talk the Walk’
(Harvard Business Review, 07.08.14)

One of the most ubiquitous aphorisms in business is that the best leaders understand the need to “walk the talk”—that is, their behavior and day-to-day actions have to match the aspirations they have for their colleagues and organization. But the more time I spend with game-changing innovators and high-performing companies, the more I appreciate the need for leaders to “talk the walk”—that is, to be able to explain, in language that is unique to their field and compelling to their colleagues and customers, why what they do matters and how they expect to win. The only sustainable form of business leadership is thought leadership. And leaders that think differently about their business invariably talk about it differently as well.

7 Traits Every Great Leader Has (But Doesn’t Talk About)
(The Muse, 07.07.14)

What does it take to be a great leader? Once upon a time, birth order and socioeconomic status were considered powerful determinants in who would successfully climb the ladder. Lately, though, the focus has shifted to personal qualities.

“I believe in innovation and that the way you get innovation is you fund research and you learn the facts.” —Bill Gates

Corporate Branding Digest, Sept. 12, 2014

Five Brands Excelling at Storytelling
(Econsultancy, 03.09.14)

Love or hate the phrase, storytelling as a method of mass communication for brands is here to stay. Stories, anecdotes and metaphors that take an audience on a narrative journey to subtly reveal a branded message along the way are far more memorable and shareable than any brazen sales focused advertisement.

Seven Mistakes That Derail Thought Leaders
(Forbes, 19.08.14)

Becoming a so-called “thought leader” is all the rage; now, everybody wants to be a speaker, build an easy revenue stream, write a book and change the world. I do believe that everybody has a story worth sharing. Everyone has overcome insurmountable odds that give them the right to impact the lives of others. But I also see people step up to the plate only to make a huge mistake that lands them miles away from their intended destination.

The Rebirth of the CMO
(Harvard Business Review, 05.08.14)

The chief marketing officer role is undergoing a renaissance. Overly simplistic notions—“the people who do the advertising”—were based on stereotypes that never accurately reflected the range of responsibilities that many CMOs had. Those notions are even more outdated now.

Shy People Tend to Have This Coveted Leadership Skill
(Entrepreneur, 04.08.14)

So, you’re never first to raise your hand during meetings, and you’re uncomfortable schmoozing with strangers at networking events. Does that mean you’re doomed to fail in the business world?

“Innovation comes from the producer—not from the customer.” —W. Edwards Deming

With Everyone Back to School, Our Thoughts Turn to Education

Kids are back in school and our interns have left the building, and that gets us thinking about education. Havas PR has a burgeoning education portfolio—including Penn Foster and Lehigh University’s Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Innovation, among others—and our thought leadership encompasses a variety of education subjects. Havas PR recently helped raise awareness of the Baker Institute by securing interviews from Silicon Valley to the Lehigh Valley with professors and students who are bringing the university’s unique programs to life and reaching a vast array of audiences. We’re also working to raise awareness of Penn Foster’s high school—considered one of the largest in America at 45,000 students—and its commitment to reducing the high school dropout rate and closing the middle skills gap. Through our thought leadership program, we’ve positioned Penn Foster CEO Frank Britt as an expert on America’s dropout crisis, the gap between the unemployed and 4 million unfilled jobs, and why businesses should get involved in high school curricula. Please vote for Penn Foster’s two proposed panels for SXSWedu 2015: Online but Not Alone: Linking Students from Afar and Mobile Classrooms: At-Risk Youth Learn On-the-Go.

Corporate Branding Digest, Oct. 18, 2013

Here’s Proof Content Marketing Can Boost the Bottom Line
(, 17.10.13)

Yes, content is about reputation. It’s about positioning yourself as a thought leader in your industry. Metrics such as sharing, recurring and first-time engagement, among others, can show how well content is doing and help guide future content topics, formats, etc. But at the end of the day, marketers are all after the same thing–sales. And marketers say they know how their content is affecting their bottom lines.

How Twitter’s New DM Will Impact Brand Marketing
(Mashable, 16.10.13)

As news broke that Twitter is rolling out a new option for its direct message (DM) feature, reactions ranged from indifference to downright panic. Early analyses tend to conclude that this move is good for brands, good for spammers and bad for consumers.

5 Steps for Handling Complaints on Social Media
(, 07.10.13)

It’s essential to identify what sort of negative feedback you’re getting; then you can map out your approach to satisfying the customer—or ignoring the troll.

Four Ways Personalities Can Enhance Your Social Media Strategy
(Social Media Today, 09.09.13)

You may not know him but Tom Kuhlmann works for Articulate and his elearning blog has over 80,000 subscribers. To put Tom’s 80,000 subscribers into perspective, the largest elearning group on LinkedIn is the Elearning Guild, which has 35,000 members. In my view Tom is one of the key reasons Articulate’s community marketing and elearning software is so successful.

“There are more goods bought by the heart than by the head.” —George Henning

Corporate Branding Digest, Aug. 6, 2013

How to Join the National Conversation
(PR News, 23.07.13)

Becoming a leading voice on one of the hottest issues in the country is not easy. But, if you really want to move your brand ahead and get into the thought leadership space, one of the best ways is to become a credible source for a momentous national news story.

Transparency Is All the Rage but Authenticity Matters More
(Ad Age, 11.06.13)

Social-media transparency is terrifying. The idea that your organization should always talk openly with consumers about every subject seems like it would be a noble and beneficial practice. But transparency is fraught with questions of legality, risk and brand identity for many companies.

How to Manage Like Pope Francis
(Fast Company, 02.08.13)

If you were at the center one of the world’s largest organizations, would you lose the Prada shoes? Appearances can mean a lot if you’re retooling the vehicle of an organization. And especially if that vehicle is the popemobile, handed from Benedict to Francis.

Go Mobile SEO or Go Home
(The Drum, 25.07.13)

Google recently announced that mobile site optimisation would be a factor in search engine rankings. This was the first time that Google explicitly advised that sites with smartphone issues would not rank well in smartphone SERPs.

“Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art … and good business is the best art.” —Andy Warhol

Corporate Branding Digest, July 19, 2013

Brands Miss Opportunities for Social Advocacy
(The Holmes Report, 16.07.13)

A new study claims the vast majority of satisfied customers are not advocating for brands on social platforms.

Is Your Brand’s Reputation Safe in Millennial Hands?
(Forbes, 17.06.13)

Pop quiz: You run a company, maybe a big one with a high-profile public image, and you know that your brand needs to be represented on all the major social media outposts.

The Most Credible Brands Are the Thought Leaders … and How Google Is Going to Make Very Sure of That
(Traffick, 08.07.13)

What does it look like these days when someone Googles your brand? For years, that question has been under the purview of “online reputation management.”

Five Tips for Managing Your Brand’s Online Reputation
(HitSearch, 08.07.13)

One of the most important aspects of any online marketing strategy is managing the way that your brand is represented across the internet by your target audience; in other words, your online reputation. Here, Hit Search highlights five top tips for successful reputation management, all of which will ensure that Web users only see your brand in a positive light.

“You can’t buy a good reputation. You must earn it.” —Harvey Mackay, author of Swim with the Sharks

The 12 Days of Havas

On Dec. 12, Havas PR will launch its new publishing wing, 120M Books, with its first e-book, What’s Next? What to Expect in 2013. To celebrate, Havas PR is launching the 12 Days of Havas, an initiative for which staff will donate time to a different charitable organization every day for 12 straight days leading up to the launch. Jay Williams, vice president at Havas PR and the creative genius behind the 12 Days of Havas, sat down to talk about his inspiration for the program, what he hopes it will accomplish and the true meaning of the holiday season.

Q: What exactly is the 12 Days of Havas?
Jay Williams:
The program is a fun play on the Christmas song “The 12 Days of Christmas.” During the 12 Days of Havas, we are working with a new charitable organization each day and donating our time and industry skills to assist them with whatever they need. It’s great because it allows us to give back during the holiday season—which is all about giving—and ramps up anticipation for the launch of 120M Books, a huge step for Havas PR.

It’s also an opportunity for us as an agency to show our creative thinking and our capabilities from a corporate social responsibility perspective. It aligns well with #GivingTuesday, too, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, which the agency has really jumped behind. We even used that as our kickoff day for this initiative. Plus, we’ve recently rebranded, so it’s a great way to highlight the ingenuity and collaborative nature of our agency while doing something good for those around us.

Q: What was your inspiration?
December is a time for giving; the year is winding down and I think a lot of us reflect on how lucky we’ve been and what the year has looked like. I was thinking about how we can all give back and show the world the caliber of people we have at this agency. There is a lot of need out there, and I know I stop and think about ways in which I can ease some of that need, even just a little. So my thought process was, Why don’t we do a PR marathon that really gives back? Leading up to the launch of the e-book, I want to remind people that we are the kind of agency that cares about those around us who need a little help. We’re also the kind of agency that has creative ideas like this. And we are all part of the thought process behind 120M Books, so why not do something that truly demonstrates who we are in the lead-up to that?

So I was sitting at my desk and thinking about the time of the year, and the song “The 12 Days of Christmas” jumped into my head. Then I thought about 12/12/12, the launch date of 120M Books. After a tangent about astronomy (don’t ask), I came back to the idea of the song and realized how appropriate it is, because it is about giving. A spin on that works so well, because our creative thinking is our gift.

Q: What do you hope the 12 Days of Havas will accomplish?
I just hope that it helps. The charities we’re working with have just been so appreciative you wouldn’t even believe it. These are great organizations, but they don’t always have the Madison Avenue level of communications support. In general, most charitable groups need better media resources and strategic planning. Our role in this is to be able to help the organizations we’ve chosen with some real communications expertise and backing, and we’re ready to jump in where they need us most.

We have a track record with some of these organizations already, so we already understand some of their needs and it’s clear from our conversations with them that they really need the help. They have amazing news and amazing goals, but they don’t always have the capabilities to go about spreading the news and getting their message heard. As a New York PR agency, we sometimes take for granted everything we’re able to accomplish, whether it’s putting together a social media campaign on the fly or getting our clients on national talk shows. Working with these groups really puts it all into perspective.

Q: How will Havas PR assist these organizations?
We’ll do everything from volunteer work on the ground, like local support for Hurricane Sandy relief, to strategic programming for events, social media strategy and training, brainstorming, and campaign ideation. We’re going to help these groups secure donations, come up with long-term strategies and do media outreach for any events they are having in the near future.

Q: The mix of charities is so diverse. Why were these 12 groups selected?
The best part of the initiative is that these charities ring true to Havas PR’s value of Future First, because doing good helps create a better future. There are some that we’ve had relationships with in the past, mixed with some new ones that are near and dear to the hearts of staff members. So it’s cool, because we’re throwing a whole personal dimension into this project. The list of charities ranges from Ronald McDonald House (helping needy children) to City Harvest (working to solve hunger) to GMHC (disease education and prevention). A great thing about working with 12 charities is that we can cover a lot of different causes, and we’ve done a very good job of that.

Q: How has the 12 Days of Havas affected the agency?
Everyone has gotten really into it and is very excited about being able to use their professional talents in such an amazing way. It has also been a great opportunity for us to work with members of the agency whom we don’t always get to collaborate with. We’re seeing different sides of our colleagues that we haven’t before, and we get to see what some of their outside-of-work interests are and what causes they are passionate about. We’ve also made connections with new organizations that hopefully will blossom into strong relationships down the line.

There are so many charities out there that need us, and we can help. It’s not every day that a company volunteers its individual services. Anyone can go give a few dollars to charity, but really taking the time and donating your strengths—I think that makes the biggest difference. In the end, the 12 Days of Havas is how our agency volunteers with our hearts and our minds.

[photo: Green aka atoach]

A Brand-New Brand Award

After a 12-month research and judging process (more than 1 million nomination forms were sent to business leaders around the world), @erwwpr has been given a 2012 Corporate INTL Global Award in the category of Advisory Firm of the Year in New York for Brand Positioning. Readers of the magazine are legal and financial advisers, venture capitalists, and senior managers (CEO or FD level) for public and private firms worldwide, among other areas of business. The latest way we’re advising corporate leaders like these? Our CEO branding thought leadership. It’s aimed at helping modern C-suiters use the disciplines of personal branding to achieve great win-win-win-wins for themselves, their company, their community and the nation. To learn more, read our own CEO’s 10-part series on the topic, starting here.