If you were a brand, what would you be?

This is a question that I’ve been working through with clients on our personal branding programme over the past few months.  The aim is to help individuals who want to get clear on who they are, what they do and what they stand for, by using the principles of commercial branding and applying them to people.  Whilst this might all sound a bit like ‘marketing speak’, the simple action of defining who you are and what you want can help you to get there a bit more easily.

It’s been a very interesting experience – hopefully for them, but also for me, as I get to grips with the many reasons that people genuinely need their own personal brand.

For some, like me, they are the face of their business.  When you’re in this position the way that you are perceived as an individual, and the way that your business is perceived, are inextricably linked.  If you project yourself in the right way, it will reflect positively on your business too.  Some others on the programme are there for more personal reasons – perhaps they are looking to redefine themselves in order to get back into the job market, maybe they’re striving to stay at the top of their game in their current work, or simply just want to build their own confidence.

One of the things I’ve learnt is just how many people are convinced that they’re not unique.  They feel that they haven’t got anything to make them different.  I’ve loved working with each person to discover that this is never true – because, funnily enough, the result for each person has been completely different.  We work together to come up with a statement that puts into a nutshell why that person is unique and why they, as well as everyone else, should believe it.  Add to that agreeing on key time-focused goals and building a practical personal action plan for reaching them, and you’re well on your way…

So, if you had to put your own personal brand into words, what would it be?

The psychology of communication

I studied psychology at university, so a question which people often ask me is how it’s related to the work which I do now. Some see an immediate link, whilst others can’t find an obvious connection. The truth is, I didn’t go into marketing because I thought it was related to psychology, but the reasons why I find it so fascinating are very similar. I’m interested in how people think and behave, and in what makes them tick.

Psychologists have long tried to understand the workings of the brain but, in fact, they understand a lot more about human behaviour than about the mechanics of the brain itself. Why is this important for communications and marketing? Well, most marketing is about behaviour change. Whether it’s trying to stop someone from smoking, or convincing them to buy your product when they walk into a shop, what we want is to influence behaviour….and we have a much better chance of doing that if we understand the root causes – why people do what they do.

Of course it’s a vast and complex area, but there are many branches of psychology which can be related very directly to marketing in practice. As just one example, we’re all affected by what psychologists call ‘social norms’. This is where we look to others for guidance on acceptable social behaviour – is it OK to drink in this particular situation? Should I be laughing at this joke? Tellingly, we behave differently in the company of different people, and differently again when we’re on our own. As marketers, understanding these sorts of interpersonal influences can help us to develop better marketing. If we’re trying to stop people from drinking alcohol, for instance, but we recognise that they’re students facing peer-group pressure, we might tackle the problem in a very different way.

That’s just one example of the links between psychology and communication, but there are many more. When you can understand more about how your audiences feel and behave, and what their trigger points are, you’ll create much more effective marketing, which starts to change behaviour.

Lara Samuels
Director, The Communications Hub

Getting your story in the media

Working with the media isn’t easy, that’s for sure – it’s a tough nut to crack. And in that nutshell, it’s all about building relationships with journalists and making yourself helpful to them. If you do this in the right way, when the time is ripe you might hit the jackpot of a news story or feature article.

We’ve had a very exciting week, as a culmination of all of this for one of our clients. It started very slowly by building up contacts, offering expert comment and making the client available for interview on various topics in which they have great expertise. We’ve been feeding through press releases, meeting with journalists, and keeping on top of who writes what, for many months. Finally, this week, we got coverage in three separate stories published by the Guardian, had a guest piece published in the Financial Times, and had one of our clients on the panel for The Guardian’s live online debate.

The client’s comment? ‘We couldn’t have asked for better coverage’ – praise indeed. For us, that’s when all of the hard work is worth it. If you’d like us to help you to raise your profile, please fill in our contact form and we’ll get in touch to see how we can help.

Transform your business with an integrated marketing strategy – join us on 2nd May

Are you struggling to get results from your current marketing?  Are you finding it difficult to think beyond what you’re already doing?  How will you reach new customers to ensure that your business grows?

Join us at The Village Hotel on Thursday 2nd May for our morning Marketing Essentials workshop, which will enable you to develop and implement an effective marketing strategy and plan.  With a mixture of coaching and discussion, we will take you through the key steps in putting together a plan which works towards your key objectives, using integrated communications channels.  You will gain the practical skills you need to transform your business, and the knowledge to put in place marketing strategies which reach new customers.

Whether you are a marketing manager, a business owner, or simply have marketing as part of your role, this workshop will increase your confidence in marketing, refresh your knowledge, and help you to get the results you need.  Click here to find out what people have said about our previous courses.

Places are just £100 + VAT per person, but are strictly limited.  Please get in touch now via our contact form or email us at  training@thecommshub.co.uk to reserve your place, or call us for more information.

 

Free advice with our ‘Marketing Surgery’

Take advantage of our free Marketing Surgery to give you some great ideas about moving forward with your marketing and communications.  We will meet with you to discuss your current marketing, your goals and the challenges you face, giving you practical advice and fresh ideas to help you reach your business objectives.  Call us now, or fill in our contact form to arrange your session.  It’s completely free and with no obligation.

Leading through words – why is communication so important for leaders?

In our latest guest blog, we’ve written a piece for leadership organisation UpRising. Click here to see the full blog

Let us know what you think. If you’d like us to help your leaders with communication – or write a blog for your own site – please get in touch.

Plan your own marketing – book now to reserve your space!

How will you reach your business goals in 2013? A great way to start is by planning your marketing properly. On Thursday 2nd May we’re running our next ‘Marketing Essentials’ morning workshop, at The Village Hotel in Elstree. With a mixture of coaching, discussion and group work, you’ll learn key skills and tips for building a basic but effective marketing plan of your own. You’ll have the chance to practice what you learn, and will come away with the practical steps you need to set your marketing in motion.

Click here to find out what people have said about our previous courses.

Book asap to confirm your place, for just £100 + VAT per person.

As a small group course, places are strictly limited – make sure you reserve your space now by emailing training@thecommshub.co.uk

Plan your own marketing – book now for just £99

How will you reach your business goals in 2013? A great way to start is by planning your marketing properly. On Thursday 2nd May we’re running our next ‘Marketing Essentials’ morning workshop, at The Village Hotel in Elstree.

With a mixture of coaching, discussion and group work, you’ll learn key skills and tips for building a basic but effective marketing plan of your own. You’ll have the chance to practice what you learn, and will come away with the practical steps you need to set your marketing in motion.

Click here to find out what people have said about our previous courses.

Book and confirm by Friday 22nd February to get the earlybird special price of just £99 including VAT (usual price £120 inc. VAT).

As a small group course, places are strictly limited – make sure you reserve your space now by emailing training@thecommshub.co.uk

Kickstart your marketing for 2013 – 20% off!

January should be a great time to plan ahead for your business. However, it can also be a time when progress is slow, as we struggle to get back into work and the reality of the ‘January blues’ hits us! You might book a holiday, buy yourself some new clothes, or get going with that diet you’ve always promised to start….but for your business, why not take the opportunity for a day of planning which will help you to reach your goals and boost your profits for 2013??

Our ‘Kickstart Marketing’ package is the ideal way to focus yourself and allow us to guide you through the key processes and questions to help you develop your marketing plans properly. At the end of the day-long session, you’ll have a basic marketing strategy and plan to walk away with and to put into action.

We’re offering 20% off the ‘Kickstart Marketing’ package, if you confirm your booking with us in January – though the day itself can be booked in for a future date. Please get in touch with us now to find out more. Terms and conditions apply*

*Usual price is £500 + VAT, January offer price is £400 + VAT
This offer is valid only for new customers of The Communications Hub
The Kickstart Marketing package includes The Communications Hub’s staff travel costs within the M25 region – we are happy to agree additional travel costs for other locations.

‘Why marketing matters’

Marketing certainly matters in the voluntary and charity sector, but many organisations aren’t equipped with the right skills to make it happen. We were chosen recently by The Marketing Trust – an independent charitable trust, supported by the Chartered Institute of Marketing – to deliver a series of marketing training sessions for charities over the next few months, in conjunction with Media Trust. Organisations entered a competition to win a place on one of our ‘why marketing matters’ courses and we ran the first full day workshop at the BBC at the end of November. The feedback we’ve received so far has been great and we’re looking forward to continuing the programme of events, which runs until April 2013. We’d love to hear from you if you have any training needs which we may be able to help with.