Tuesday, August 16, 2022

The Intersection of Public Relations and Personal Branding

Today is an important day for music fans all around the world because it's Elvis Presley Commemoration Day. Without a doubt, Elvis made his mark on rock and roll music, pop music, and films - and also on publicity, public relations, marketing, and personal branding. So, as Elvis Week is celebrated in Memphis marking the 45th anniversary of the King of Rock and Roll's death, let's take a look at the intersection of public relations and personal branding.

To quote Matthew Kobach (@mkobach), "Twitter is a key that unlocks thousands of doors, some of which you never even knew existed." As a member of the Twitterverse for almost 13 years, I always enjoy meeting new people and learning from them. I recently connected with Anu Bhatnagar and invited her to appear here on my Blog in a Q&A format. Highlights of our conversation follow a brief introduction.

Anu Bhatnagar is based in the United Arab Emirates. She has over 20 years of experience as a strategy expert, publicity and communications consultant, content creator, author, contributing writer, ghostwriter for CEO's and thought leaders, entrepreneur, and NGO mentor. Connect on Twitter @AnuMeera2024.

QUESTION: What's your favorite aspect of public relations?
ANU BHATNAGAR: One thing that I truly love about my work as a publicity advisor is to discover the potential value in a person, a concept or a service. Then, using my ability to articulate this through written words, in different ways, and in different styles that resonate with different set of larger communities. I see this as my contribution to society, especially when I work with exceptionally-gifted individuals, who have so much to give to the world and I become a channel through which they are able to reach others and share their value.

QUESTION: What's the most successful PR campaign you've created, and why?
ANU BHATNAGAR: One of the largest and first public health awareness campaigns in the United Arab Emirates was known as Diabetes Knowledge Action. I led public outreach, creating powerful messages for a range of audiences; news pieces on workplace health for CEO’s to interactive stories on how to choose healthier breakfasts for children in schools. I penned a book of healthier recipes and managed to get the campaign featured in over 1,000 publications.

I rate this as my most successful campaign because of the huge impact we were able to create, including normalizing the conversation about diabetes and obesity in the community and setting families on a path toward a healthier lifestyle.

This also became a turning point in my life, personally and professionally. Public health, community health, and healthcare are one of my core expertises today. I am very active in public health advocacy and am a menstrual health campaigner. I designed my very unique lifestyle coaching program to integrate well-being and food and nutrition as essential components.

QUESTION: What is the secret to successful personal branding?
ANU BHATNAGAR: Here are three secrets:
(1) Know your ‘self’ truly and then envision how you want to show this unique and powerful ‘self’ to the world and why. Let your authentic essence be the foundation of your personal branding from the start.
(2) Make your evolution a part of your personal branding strategy and don’t hide your growth, your growth lessons and your evolution to create an ideal larger than life image. Let your community see these changes and grow with you.
(3) Cultivate a mindset of “being happy and comfortable with showing your authentic self” and rise above your resistance, fears, and imposter syndrome, known and unknown, to you. This unconditional acceptance of ‘self success’ will make the journey more effortless, enjoyable, and real for you.

TWEET THIS: Let your authentic essence be the foundation of your personal branding from the start. ~@AnuMeera2024 #PersonalBranding #DebbieLaskeysBlog

QUESTION: What three famous individuals have memorable personal brands, and why?
ANU BHATNAGAR: Here are three:
(1) Richard Branson for his ability to stay candid and authentic – no matter where he is.
(2) Ayushmann Khurrana, an Indian actor, a maverick, multi-talented person, a singer, and poet. He weaves his personal style, fashion, his “feminist man” personality, social causes, and creativity all very beautifully into his brand. (https://www.instagram.com/ayushmannk/)
(3) Matthew McConaughey is a classic and an example of what I explained earlier: make evolution a part of your personal branding. He has evolved and is not afraid to take his followers and community with him as he grows.

QUESTION: In your Twitter profile, you list several hashtags including these two: #WomenInPolitics and #GenderEquality. This leads me to ask, what is your favorite quote from former Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and why?
ANU BHATNAGAR: This quote was published in The New York Times in 2009:
“I always thought that there was nothing an anti-feminist would want more than to have women only in women’s organizations, in their own little corner empathizing with each other and not touching a man’s world. If you’re going to change things, you have to be with the people who hold the levers.”

This was so meaningful and futuristic at that time, but the sad reality is that it is still true and wanting in 2022.

I love this quote for three reasons:
(1) It calls out the “token women” syndrome.
(2) It calls for inclusion of women in ‘power and decision making roles’ because that is what it will take this world to become an equal world.
(3) Women must be at every table where policies, decisions, and such conversations are discussed. Mechanism and systems can either include or exclude women, and we need systems that make it possible for more women to enter, rise, and lead places where decisions are made.

QUESTION: Janet Yellen, the current and first female Secretary of the United States Treasury, has been described as, "A proven leader who knows how to build consensus, the kind of person who makes everybody around her better." What three characteristics are necessary to create a consensus-builder?
ANU BHATNAGAR: Here are my three:
(1) Ability to create a collective vision, something that will inspire community.
(2) Empathy that makes every person feel seen and heard.
(3) Self motivation that makes you wake up every day and go on doing what it takes to realize your vision.

My thanks to Anu for sharing her PR, personal branding, and gender equality insights and for appearing here on my Blog.

Image Credit: Redd via Unsplash.

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