By Nancy Keene, The Perfect Fit
Are you an aficionado of the iconic TV series Mad Men? It’s a period drama set in a New York advertising agency during the swinging 60s. Don Draper is the dashing leading man. His mantra to clients: “If you don’t like what’s being said, change the conversation.”
I was mentored by a Madison Avenue guru during my career foundation in marketing/PR –launching exciting new companies and technologies. Then, I spent ten years in executive search, approaching every assignment as a new product rollout.
There is power in calibrating branding and talent, whether you are a company seeking leadership and market prowess – or a savvy, fabulous individual who wants the best out of work/life. It’s something I teach in my consulting business — using the Changeometer™, a simple but effective framework for strategic decisionmaking.
In an era of stress and uncertainty, there is much we can’t control. But it is still a right and a privilege to manage your own message – what you want people to know about you. This powerful tool is yours to create, update and deploy. In fact, it is a core component of your brand. The key is to make it congruent with your vision.
Our brains are being rewired, notes media impresario Tina Brown, now overseeing The Daily Beast/Newsweek. In the era of 24/7, multi-tasking and Twitter, attention spans are splintered. To break through the noise level, “…It has to be provocative…the best written…the most juice,” she told a rapt audience at SMU last year.
Be thoughtful and strategic in articulating your raison d’être. Very important to be succinct, compelling. Think headline, not elevator pitch. It has to click into someone’s brain synapse.
Once you’ve refined your message, take it out for a test drive. Helen Molloy and Jane Fergason created Working Late just for you! Consider this new network of like-minded, accomplished businesswomen who convene to “…gain perspective, build new relationships and learn from one another.”
See what resonates! See what results! If you need to re-think or revise the message, no problem. If you’re only midstream in the gestation process, don’t worry. You don’t have to be invisible while you are re-inventing. If you’re vague or generic, no one will remember anyway. When you’re ready, simply change the conversation.
Then, in the words of a swaggering airline client, the key is to “EXPLODE into the market.”
Networking expands our world. All of our relationships and encounters are receptors with the potential to carry forth what we transmit. Go for it! Build awareness, word of mouth and share of mind. Repeat, repeat, repeat. You want to be top-of-mind when someone comes upon a connection that is the Perfect Fit for you.
By making small, targeted adjustments in your activities and outputs, you can achieve a big result. It’s the essence of the Changeometer™.
This, of course, is a reciprocal process. You want to be a giver and go-to person in ways that can be helpful to others. Get active. Get involved. Join the conversation!
– Nancy Keene is founder of The Perfect Fit, a blog and corporate leadership consultancy.
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