Friday, June 15, 2012

The Push/Pull of Personal and Corporate Branding Requires Balance

As the use of social media increases, there is a growing need to balance your personal brand with the corporate one. 

For instance, as the leader of an economic development organization, you may be a “free agent” that needs to maintain a strong personal brand to become noticeable to future employers.  You need to demonstrate your experience, competencies and value. Your professional image and reputation are important. 

On the other hand, too much emphasis on your personal brand could get you labeled as someone who is not a team player.  Your current employer, especially, wants to know you are concerned about organizational and community results, not just your personal interests.  Too much emphasis on the corporate brand though, can leave you unprepared to take advantage of new opportunities. 

Because of these conflicting interests, striking a balance can be difficult.  It takes care and a diligent effort to make it work for you and your employer.

Social media in particular, has helped demonstrate the need for balance between personal and corporate branding.  Social is a tremendous tool for community marketing and engagement.  Those Facebook pictures from your college frat party however, can seriously impede the credibility of your organization’s efforts. 

If you're on the staff of an EDO, your first duty is to your employer.  Don’t spend their time building your personal brand.   There is value though, in the EDO finding ways to attract those with strong personal brands. They can impact the community’s reputation and results.

What do you think? How do ED pros balance career and organizational interests? What issues do you see?  Are there those who have done a particularly good job at balancing the two?  We’d love to have your comments.

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