Last week, I got a game-changing email: a job announcement. No, I am not looking for a new job. I’ve got a pretty sweet one now, as the CEO of my own agency. The person who sent the email thought it would be “of interest.” And boy was it.
In a nutshell, it was a posting about an opening for a Director of Executive Visibility and Thought Leadership for one of the nation’s leading public relations firms. I knew this day was coming. As the CEO of a full-service personal branding and elevation agency, Brand id| Strategic Partners, I have dedicated the past eight years to equipping executives and entrepreneurs with the tools to elevate their visibility, credibility, influence and impact. I have watched the industry change — drastically. In fact, when I first launched in early 2008, it was a hard sell.
It isn’t anymore.
Technology has changed the playing field and competition is no longer just in your town. You are now competing with people 2,000, 4,000 and even 10,000 miles away. In fact, often the only thing standing between you and your competition is the Google search engine.
So when I saw this posting, here is what came to mind:
- If one of the world’s leading PR agencies is willing to design a position (at the director level) specifically to elevate executives’ thought leadership, that means the demand has increased incredibly.
- If the large agencies are now putting a specific person on thought leadership, that means they have concrete data on the importance of it.
- I wonder how many organizations out there are about to get annihilated by their competition simply because they have no idea they are competing with an organization that has a skilled and savvy company behind it, helping to strategically position and elevate their executives and SMEs.
- I bet the next trend is organizations bringing this service in-house… because I don’t foresee the demand for it going away any time soon.
- Let me take a moment to pat myself on the back because I identified this trend almost 10 years ago (eight to be exact), when I launched my agency for this very purpose.
Here is what you need to understand…
- Thought leadership
- Executive leadership branding
- Executive branding
- Personal branding
- Elevating experts
No matter how you slice it, or what you call it, is is becoming non-negotiable. And if you don’t have a strategic game plan for pulling your executives out from behind the desk and having them help your organization do the heavy lifting, you might as well write your own obituary. Why? Because your competition is blanketing your industry with their talent. They have a strategic elevation plan for everyone from the director of HR to the CIO, and they are relying on each one of them to help elevate their brand in the marketplace.
Mark my words, this is one trend you don’t want to ignore.
Jennifer Ransaw Smith is the Founder of Brand id | Strategic Partners LLC, a full-service Personal Branding + Elevation Agency that helps executives and entrepreneurs elevate their visibility, credibility, influence and impact within their organization and industry. To find out more, visit www.brandidsp.com. To book a complimentary Executive Brand Audit and to learn how you can benefit by increased visibility, please contact: Sally@BrandidSp.com with the request.