The very first session I went to at PRSSA National Conference was a special leadership workshop for Chapter presidents – and boy, was I in for a treat!
The workshop was led by Cassandra Bailey, the principal at Slice Communications in Philadelphia, who started the session with a story about her grandmother. In the end, no matter how ridiculous the situation, her grandmother would look at her and say, “at least it was different.”
Which was the whole concept behind Cass’ presentation – different is better than better.
“You need to be able to learn by not accepting the norm,” she told us. “Being better is hard to prove – it takes a lot of energy to do so, but it’s easy to prove you’re different.”
So, how can you do this? Well, Cass gave us some advice that can stand the test of time.
Stand out! Build your personal branding while thinking “what do I want them to remember about me?”
You are your brand, and while you may admire someone else’s personal brand, you should never make it exactly like anyone else’s – it needs to be as unique as a fingerprint. You need to be extraordinary and be constantly evolving. Know what is coming next and be ahead of it and definitely don’t be stagnant.
Cass also talked to as about agency life and how to stand out and be different in an agency setting as well. One of the things Cass told us about owning an agency is that you basically need to “blow it up and reinvent” your brand and “slay the golden calf.”
What she meant by this is that all those previous things that we covet – media kits, press releases, etc. – we need to be OK with giving them up and taking a different approach to them. Doing this energizes the future of the agency and your career as well as makes you stand out.
Something relatable that Cass gave us from her own agency was the “Slice Values” which can be used in your own personal brand as well. Their values are:
- Creativity: Being able to generate something new and interesting
- Diversity: Not just diversity amongst people, but having a diverse group of people who can bring a different point of view, background and interests as well as bring something new to the table
- Generosity: Being creative and intellectually generous means giving away your time and ideas
- Integrity: Doing what you say you will do!
“Be something different than what people thing you will be,” says Cass. “Show your passion, love and true belief in yourself. Be interested and interesting.”