Photo Credit: Reddit
Having a solid personal brand is more than a feel-good exercise, but an important aspect of my career. Maintaining strong relationships with clients and with decision-makers, putting them at ease and emoting in a trustworthy and knowledgeable way is part of the relationship building required for successful government relations interactions.
For my relatively young age, I have worked in all levels of politics and am an experienced campaigner – with more than just political experience. This sets me apart from other young GR professionals who have only ever worked in politics and have less of a background in business. I am an experienced politico – but perhaps more importantly, I am very knowledgeable when it comes to government relations, which is rare for many people under the age of 30.
I like to think I stand out from competitors by being relatively level-headed and balanced when it comes to partisan politics. Very often, it is easy for former political staffers-turned GR professionals to revert back to what they know; hyper-partisanship and talking points for your preferred political party. I have been public in both my criticism and compliments of the Conservative Party, remaining loyal while also being honest about decisions or positions I disagree with.
I have also made sure to write about what is important to me – improving the standing of conservative parties with younger Canadians. I like to think that this is also a part of my personal brand; a champion for youth engagement in the Conservative party and a reasonable progressive conservative who’s in touch with current political trends.
Last but not least, I like to give back where I can and help organizations I am inspired by. I am a community minded individual who will work to help others without necessarily being compensated to do so, which is not always the case in the line of work I am in. Often lobbyists can be written off as self-important and absorbed, so I hope that my efforts to volunteer for causes and give back help counter this impression.
Overall, if my brand were that of a skilled government relations professional who is an up-and-coming thought leader in Canadian conservative politics and always willing to help, I would be thrilled. I might even feel like the little pup in the picture above.