(part 2 of 3)
My dream came true…well, sort of. My last post about personal branding led me to one of my favorite things about blogging – interacting and connecting with another young PR I’ve never met face-to-face. Abbey Lape - an Ohio girl studying PR & Journalism at Robert Morris University. She shared her own journey about personal branding, and I loved the similarities between our paths!
While we have a strong connection in why we want to brand ourselves and our strong personalities, we disagree on if our values will change over time. Who knows what we will believe in five, 10 or 15 years or how the choices we make now will grow and develop down the road? That’s the best part about blogging and making connections through Twitter – you learn so much.
Here is Abbey’s brand development story:
How did I start establishing myself as a brand? It’s a tricky question but I would say I first really started thinking about it at the beginning of this past fall semester. I was at the PRSSA National Conference in Orlando for the first time and boy was it overwhelming! It was where I first decided that I needed to step up my game to set myself apart from other recent grads vying for the same job as me.
More and more I’ve been thinking about what sets me apart from others and I’ve tried to put it in two or three words. What makes me qualified to do what I do? What makes me better than everyone else I’m up against for a job or internship? Those words change all the time because I’m always changing and adapting to my surroundings.
The one thing that forced me to sit down and develop a brand for myself was an internship and scholarship application with Fahlgren Mortine at Easton. Part of the application was to compare yourself to an already established brand. I compared myself to Southwest Airlines. I was limited to three paragraphs on explaining why I am like Southwest. After researching the company and some of their more notable stories, this is what I cam up with:
“Southwest Airlines. We know them through their visual presence in the sky with the bold blue and yellow airplanes. We know them for their no frills, low cost flights. We know them for their friendly and welcoming employees and we know them for allowing free baggage. And of course, we know Southwest Airlines for arguably one of the top travel stories of 2011 when the pilot held the plane for a grandfather who had just lost his grandson and was en route to his funeral.
Abbey Lape. She is known for her bold personality. She is known for being hardworking and quick on her feet in stressful situations. She isn’t afraid to take a chance and is always hungry to learn more. She’s detail oriented and is known for being kind hearted and often putting others needs before hers.
Like Southwest, Abbey Lape has old school tendencies but also isn’t afraid to be bold and try something new. She likes to make the experiences of others something they won’t get at a different place, something Southwest prides themselves in. Both Southwest and Abbey Lape are brands people can trust. The most common theme between the two brands though is thinking outside the box, something that is evident within their both their reputation and work.”
Overall, I think my brand will change and evolve over time, just like almost everything in this world does. My brand will stick to my core values, which I’m sure as my life takes different paths, my core values will change.
Thanks for reading. My next blog post will finish my small three part series on personal branding – stay tuned!