Tips From 6 Experts on Brands, Influencers, Storytelling and More

December 2, 2015

The ExpertExpress Quick Learning sessions on Nov. 9 provided 15-minute takeaways and techniques for communications professionals. Here are some soundbites and highlights from six of the speakers:

Lee Odden, CEO, TopRank Online Marketing, on three ways to grow your personal brand online:

  • To grow your personal brand, remember to create, curate and network. Start specific, then expand, give, influence and scale.
  • If you can create and curate content, then it will help you be more influential and, in turn, build your personal brand.

Shonali Burke, ABC, president and CEO, Shonali Burke Consulting, on influencer identification, outreach and management:

  • Curate content generously without asking “What’s in it for me?”
  • Listen actively and also be a smart listener. Engage with influencers and comment; then curate the content generously. It takes time to build a network.
  • To identify your influencers, be clear on context, adjust, be relevant, have different categories and look at multiple activation points.

Michael Smart, Principal, MichaelSMARTPR, on Storytelling Secrets:

  • Give your story life with creative energy.
  • Inspire and engage with your storytelling. Be relevant and create value.
  • Engineer creativity — connect two previously unconnected concepts together.

Ann Wylie, president, Wylie Communications, on the anatomy of a press release:

  • Rethink most everything that you’ve learned. Use bait for what your audience likes, not what you like when fishing. Appeal to human interest.
  • Write for people and for search engines — remember to serve your audience.
  • The more we know, the more we win. Give concrete details. Fix your communications channels and serve your own professional growth.

Mike McDougall, APR, Fellow PRSA, president, McDougall Communications, on building and sustaining a killer team:

  • Believe in stories that matter. This makes us human and helps us engage — spend time building relationships.      
  • Grant trust, demand character, know team members personally and believe in your team. 

Deirdre Breakenridge, CEO, Pure Performance Communications, on reinventing yourself and reigniting your career:

  • Get to the root of why. Listen, watch and learn. Test and also leverage with full force.
  • Embody, embrace change and be creative.
Amy Jacques

Amy Jacques is the managing editor of publications for PRSA. A native of Greenville, S.C., she holds a master’s degree in arts journalism from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in advertising from the University of Georgia’s Grady College and a certificate in magazine and website publishing from New York University.


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