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Owning Your Personal Brand

Published on November 29, 2017, at 10:06 a.m.
by Kirby Tifverman.

In the public relations industry, everything (and everyone) is a brand — our favorite sports teams, musicians and even ourselves.

If you’re a communications professional or hoping to get there one day, you’ve probably heard the term personal brand. You also probably know that you should be marketing yourself at work and online.

But, how do you toe the line between positioning yourself as a dream candidate and plain old bragging? Between confidence and arrogance?

Put your best face forward
Building a personal brand requires a conscious effort. Think primarily about how you want to be perceived by colleagues and potential employers.

We all know companies check out Facebook profiles and Twitter accounts. Before you post, imagine an interviewer pulling up your cover photo on their work desktop. Are you proud of what they see?

With that being said, you should still show your personal style on social media.

It’s likely your full-time public relations position will involve social media in some capacity. Showcase your digital prowess on your personal accounts. Be yourself, and highlight your interests, but be the best version of you possible.

Photo from Pexels

Consistency across platforms
Companies have brand identities, so why can’t you?

Develop a personal logo, and choose a few colors and fonts to use in everything you create. Consistency across platforms presents a visual identity that is distinctly your own.

Use your brand’s “look” universally: on your blog, website or online portfolio, business cards, résumés, and cover letters. Employers and individuals in the industry will notice your unique professional flair and attention to detail.

Similarly, use the same voice in everything you publish. Your Facebook self should be the same as your blogger self and your cover letter self. Be genuine in your speech, who you are and what you’re interested in across the board.

Practice what you preach
Whether you’re a foodie, a world traveler or a podcast junkie,  you’ve probably posted about your interests online. What you’re passionate about is essential to your personal brand.

Channel those passions into professional outlets and projects. Platform Magazine writer and editor Hope Runyan does a great job of this.

Hope is passionate about environmental conservation and CSR initiatives. From her internship with Black Warrior Riverkeeper to her blog posts, Hope transforms personal pursuits into professional development opportunities.

Personal branding can seem tricky, but it boils down to being true to who you are, as cheesy as it sounds. Be proud of your accomplishments and consistent in how you convey them. You’re a PR person, and you know how to build relationships and communicate brand identities. Treat your personal brand like a top client.


  1. Post comment

    Kirby, I really enjoyed this article! I have been working on my personal brand a lot recently and found this article to help out with the process. I would also add that in a field like Public Relations, it is extremely important to network and reaching out to people on social media networks, Facebook or Linkedin, can be very beneficial. I totally agree that we should “practice what [we] preach” and post about things we care about. Nowadays, things we post on the internet stay there forever, which can either be a hindrance or advantage depending on how we use it. Social media accounts provide the most intimate
    forms of personal branding, so we should be using this opportunity!

  2. Post comment

    I enjoyed the bit about showcase your personal brand on social media. So often you are told that you should keep your social media private from employers. I never thought about how showcasing your style and interests there could actually help in the job search. I also found it interesting to see a reference to Black Warrior Riverkeeper, a project that I follow on social media. This has inspired me to put more thought into my personal brand and how I portray myself online.

  3. Post comment

    I never thought about these aspects when building my brand before! I know it’s important to keep everything consistent across all platforms. However, the fact that the same voice needs to be used is very important. The brand also includes the person’s voice and how people perceive them. Social media is definitely a huge part of a person’s brand


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