Welcome to the Control the Narrative: How to Use Publicity to Boost Your Brand mini-series, where I give you my five strongest tips for taking control the stories told about your brand through the media.
You know what they say: a picture is worth a thousand words. So, what is your public image saying about you and your brand?
When your brand or name is first mentioned, your public image is what comes to your audience’s mind. It’s the overall feeling they get–the things they do or don’t remember. It’s the emotions associated with your name and work, as well as the people or outlets with whom you are affiliated. It’s the stories they’ve seen you be a part of and the people they’ve seen talk about you.
It’s the way you’ve been represented through PR, publicity, and media. Your public image can be a very intangible thing, which can make it feel daunting to control. But putting in the time and effort to build a positive public image for yourself will always be worth the effort.
Crafting Your Public Image
Your public image is about so much more than elaborate media stunts or interviews on prime-time television. You don’t need to go viral or trend on Twitter to build an image for yourself. Those things can be nice, but they are just flashes in the pan.
Instead, crafting your public image is much more intentional and deliberate and takes place over a more extended period. There are two main components you need to think about when building your image: messages and relationships.
Think of your messages as soundbites that help encapsulate who you are and what your brand offers to your audience. They should be credible, authoritative, and influential (check out another article in this series for more on that). Create a few soundbites that you can remember and deploy consistently in interviews, articles, appearances, and other engagements.
Relationships are how you disseminate your messages. It’s natural to be tempted by big names–I’ve seen many clients immediately want to build relationships with late-night hosts or national reporters. But the truth is that fostering relationships with people deeply connected to your specific niche is often more helpful than highly recognizable people.
Maintaining Your Public Image
The thing is, your public image will always take constant work. You will never stop investing in it because, fortunately, and unfortunately, people are quick to forget what’s not in their immediate view. This is why you can’t quit after one big interview, one great article, or one big endorsement. You have to keep going.
If you want proof, look at how many advertisements you see for brands you already know. Why would Apple pay for billboards? Why would celebrities take the time to do interviews? Your public image is dynamic and never stagnant, and it needs to be nurtured consistently.
Try to find different ways to reach your audience where they already are and don’t be afraid to go back to the same outlets for new coverage. Becoming a recurring voice or presence in a field will only add to your credibility and authority within that niche.
Your public image is precious, but it can also be very challenging to maintain. It requires constant attention, care, and nurturing.
Are you currently developing your own public image? Or maybe, reshaping a current public image? I can help! Complete my three-minute form, and I’ll be in touch soon to schedule a 15-minute no-obligation phone consultation!