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You Will Become Your Own Brand


Dorie Clark Management Consultant and Branding Expert › dorieclark.com › @dorieclark


What every professional should know There are two pieces that will become really important over the next few years. The first is ensuring that every professional has a basic familiarity with social media and some of the technology that is coming out. It’s become so easy for literally anyone to make a video or to record podcasts or things like that; it’s become the equivalent of using Microsoft Word. The other piece, on a broader scale, is that professionals will need to develop a sense of their personal brand. And what I mean by that is that, increasingly, we’re reaching a place where jobs are scarce, competition is fierce. And you need to be able to articulate what the unique value is that only you can bring.


Observes and inter- prets attendee be- havior — and applies findings to improve meeting design.


Developing your brand It’s knowing what your skills are and what’s different about you, whether it’s a skill set you’re really good at or experiences that you’ve had. Maybe you worked in a different industry and bring that knowledge to bear. Maybe you had specialized training in some way. Or it could even just be a question of temperament — that you’re extremely even-keeled in times of crisis. But if you’re aware of what you can do that other people may not be able to do as well as you can, that’s your competitive advantage.


PCMA 2013 Education Conference


Dorie Clark is a featured speaker at the PCMA 2013 Education Confer- ence in Denver on June 24–27. For more information, visit pcma.org/educon.


Communicating your brand You need to ensure that the people who need to know — your employer or, if you’re job hunting, your prospec- tive employers — know what it is that you’re capa- ble of. And you can do that in a couple of ways. One is by building a robust social-media presence, so maybe you have an industry blog that shows that you’re up on what’s going on in the field and have a lot of good ideas about it. It could be taking leader- ship roles in the profession. Maybe you’re chairing committees or organizing specific events, or things like that. And yet another is to build a fan base in some ways. You can reach out to like-minded friends and colleagues and essentially turn them into wingmen for you. You can make an agreement that you will talk each other up and try informally to promote each other where possible.


PCMA.ORG


The meeting planner of the future In many ways, the skill set of the future is actually about broad- ening yourself. Every meeting planner, of course, needs to have a basic understanding of the trends in their industry; that goes without saying. But the real value-add is for professionals who have a great breadth of knowledge and expertise. It’s not just about grasping your industry, but broader trends in society, because the future is about making connections across industries. It’s about innovating and discovering what is useful in one context that may become useful in a new context. And if you can bring people together and if you can highlight those ideas, then that’s something that people will clamor for. In a lot of ways, creating this successful, diverse event that really sparks the kind of connections that people are hungry for these days is analogous to being a really smart dinner-party host.


— Christopher Durso


××××××× JUNE 2013 PCMA CONVENE


‘If you’re aware of what you can do that other people may not be able to do as well as you can, that’s your competitive advantage.’


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