During the Q&A section of Natalie’s recent presentation at the Small Business Festival, Simon McEwen (who we’ve enjoyed working with quite a bit this year) asked a really interesting question: as an employee, how do you balance your personality or professional reputation with your business’ brand?
This blog post – credited with my by-line – or my activity on LinkedIn are good examples of this kind of professional messaging. They’re my thoughts and opinions, but they’re ultimately used for the good of Avion.
Since Simon’s question, I’ve been giving some more thought to this idea – and now I (Alexandra) would like to share my key ideas (on behalf of Avion).
First: what’s the benefit to employers for you to maintain your personal brand?
There are a number of reasons your employer might appreciate your autonomy when contributing content to the world:
- It demonstrates the experts and thought leaders who make up their team.
- It makes the team personable and relatable – and can put a face to the name, so to speak.
- Depending on the topic, it may make them appeal to a niche of potential clients (e.g. Engaging with an industry report shows an interest and level of knowledge to members of that industry.)
But how do you strike the balance between on-brand and individual personality? Where do you draw the line?
As long as your name is published with your content, you’re entitled to be represented accurately. This means you should be able to share your opinions in the tone of voice that portrays you personally.
But this is just as true for the name of the business. If the platform is for professional use (such as industry journals, blogs – both your employer’s and guest blogging opportunities – and LinkedIn) and your link to your company is made clear, ensure your content aligns with your organisation’s values and mission. Absolutely steer clear of publically contradicting your company’s ideals and principles, as well as its professional advice. The good news is: when the values of the business and the staff are aligned, this is rarely an issue at all.
Ultimately, it comes down to preserving reputations – that of the organisation, as well as that of individual staff members. Each party is invested in maintaining its character, and rightly so.
Want to know more about maintaining brand integrity through content? Get in touch.