Photo: Flickr yushimoto_02
Most people struggle with how to promote themselves without coming across as boastful or aggressive. Representing your own business or product is tough enough to begin with, but there are another set of challenges entirely when you’re trying to build your personal brand within the confines of a bigger company. How do you put yourself out there without upstaging your boss or looking like you’re trying to land a better job elsewhere? Here are some tips for how to navigate being your own best publicist in the workplace without alienating those around you:Position yourself as an expert…for the company: If you’re interested in leveraging your expertise to do media interviews and speaking engagements, talk to your supervisor and suggest that you take some things off his or her plate and serve as an alternate spokesperson on certain topics. Your boss probably gets a ton of requests and will be happy to have the help. At the same time, you’ll be building up your reputation as a go-to expert.
Volunteer to train others: A couple of years ago, Jessica’s staff, who handles PR at Hearst Magazines, realised that social media had become an integral part of communications and decided to develop a presentation about the do’s and don’ts of social networking to share with others at the company. They presented it to all the top executives and the entire digital team. Though social media wasn’t their direct responsibility (the company actually had a VP of social media at that time), they were able to put themselves forth as a resource on the subject and raise their visibility across departments.
Be upfront about your goals: If you really want to raise your profile in the industry, sit down with your boss and share your desire to do so. Outline the reasons why (e.g. you think it will be good for the company, you want to expand your network, hone your skills) and get his or her buy-in and support so you can feel comfortable pitching yourself as an expert/spokesperson. For example, if you get booked to speak at an industry conference or write a bylined article in a trade publication, your affiliation will not only create good PR for you, but also for the company at large.
Toot your own horn…just not at top decibel: In our book, Be Your Own Best Publicist: How to Use PR Techniques to Get Noticed, Hired and Rewarded at Work, we have a chapter called “Toot Your Own Horn (but Not Too Loudly).” Meaning: There’s a way to promote yourself without being too in-your-face. If you’re constantly “all about me,” people will flee. Don’t just pat yourself on the back; spend as much time (if not more) praising others with whom you work. If you give credit to your colleagues and direct reports for a job well done, they’ll be less likely to see you as a blatant self-promoter when you are the one to present at an important meeting or do that interview about the project they helped make a success. Instead, they’ll likely be your cheerleaders.
No one wants to be seen as focused solely on himself but it is possible –and important– to develop a personal brand within a larger organisation. With the job market in a volatile state, you don’t want to be known only for the company you’re at for but also for the unique abilities and talents that would make you an asset to anywhere else you go, whether to another outfit or to build your own business. And, if you do end up staying at your company for a long time to come, think about how lucky they’ll be to have a dynamic advocate/spokesperson/brand-builder in their ranks.
NOW WATCH: Ideas videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.