Personal brand, company brand and PR

Excerpted from Charlie O’Donnell:

I had a great conversation with a CEO yesterday who recently realized that she had been too heads down and focused on her day to day tasks to build up her personal brand.  It was never something she made a priority until she realized that building up her own brand was part of the company’s marketing.  It would create just as many opportunities for her company as it would for herself.  A strong leader’s personal brand helps with hiring, creates inbound business development opportunities, and opens up speaking opportunities where a founder can talk about the business of her company, not just herself and her career.

It’s also key to financing…

3 thoughts on “Personal brand, company brand and PR

  1. I was asked by a VC what I thought about this, so here goes.

    Here’s my personal view: It’s a balance. Personal brand is built in most cases by the success of the company. Or to put it differently, CEOs of unsuccessful companies almost by definition don’t have personal brand. So the most important thing is to make your company successful.

    However, Charlie is right that *if your company is successful* then being out there helps with hiring. (I’m less convinced about bus dev – we get a ton of incoming bus dev at Seeking Alpha because of our usage by investors.) So you have to strike a balance: build your personal brand in a way that is entirely consistent with building a great company.

    Mark Suster has written about CEOs who err too much on the side of personal brand building, and the cost of that: http://www.bothsidesofthetable.com/2010/10/13/be-careful-not-to-become-a-conference-ho/

    One other thought. For VCs, personal brand is critical to their business. , and it’s tempting to project the dynamics of your own business and your own personality on to other people. Unlike the VC business, the success of most startups is less contingent on the personal brand of the key people.

  2. I published a CEO book last year for our start-up. It has been amazing in terms of PR/inbound lead generations/nurturing existing leads. It sets us apart as the clear technology leaders, with forward thinking vision. It also puts all of our competitive advantages at the forefront of our customers’ minds. That is a HUGE boost to the sales process, especially when we are being compared to competitors. I highly recommend it and am happy to share my experience.

  3. Pingback: Should you blog or tweet? | A Founder's Notebook

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