By: Travis Ramsdell
“It’s not the product, it’s the service.” While that statement may have multiple interpretations, those who attended PRSSA SoCal Coalition this past Wednesday understood how powerful this statement was in a panel that was centered around the theme of personal branding.
Hosted generously by CSUF, those in attendance had the amazing opportunity to listen to 2 guest speakers who share their experiences and their insights in the PR industry. Bill Orr, the general manager at DKC which is one of the top ten independent PR agencies in the U.S., and Laura Rodriguez who is the Senior Manager of Marketing at The Recording Academy spoke about a variety of topics centered around developing our skills as well as increasing our exposure for future employers. Students who attended this panel had the opportunity to learn about effective strategies that each member could apply to their own personal branding styles.
From abilities that can be established in our college education to sharing personal stories explaining how they ended up where they are in their career, everyone had the chance to walk away with something valuable. One such topic that resonated greatly throughout the meeting and left everyone both excited and motivated to get started in developing their personal brand was the idea on how to step out of our comfort zone and show off our passions.
From personal experience, one of the struggles that I have with my personal brand is the feeling that it has to be structured a certain way or had to be about specific topics or that no one would care. While it seemed that multiple people in the audience shared that same apprehensiveness, Orr and Rodriguez were eager to suppress those concerns with Orr starting off by stating, “If you’re not framing the debate, then you’re being framed. Get over the barrier: Do people really wanna hear about me? Ignore them, because the employers want to.” Rodriguez also chimed in her advice to “Get rid of the idea that our posts need to be perfect. There is no such thing as right or wrong. Be authentic.”
With those powerful words, the sudden mood shift in the meeting transitioned from one of uneasiness to one of inspiration with those in attendance discussing plans of sharing their passions and becoming their authentic self. Those days of feeling the need to present ourselves with specific passions were gone, as everyone felt invigorated as the meeting came to a close with Rodriguez’ final words, “Your career is long but your job is short. Keep evolving, build trust and be your authentic self.”
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