A few weeks ago, CRD Associates Senior Vice President Emily Holubowich and I attended a Women in Government Relations session entitled “Brand U.” While we weren’t sure what to expect from the event, both of us were interested in learning how to create our own personal brand and find out how we can help our clients with their branding efforts.
We were pleasantly surprised by the exercises presented at the meeting—exercises that are translatable to our work with clients. Here at CRD we often see organizations rebranding, updating and trying to get the word out about their areas of expertise. We work with them to ensure that they are seen as the preeminent authorities on a given subject—the go-to people for any number of issues that an organization may care about. (By the way, has anyone noticed the number of times Emily is quoted by thought leaders on issues related to public health and appropriations? She and the rest of the Coalition for Health Funding team have worked hard to ensure that as this crazy appropriations process plays out reporters and thought leaders know who they should be speaking to. And it’s working!)
But what does it mean to “brand” yourself? For an individual, it means being the known expert in a particular area. It could be health funding, defense, education policy, etc. For an organization, the process is not so different. We have found that this is a service that our clients are more and more interested in learning about. We call it “Brand Positioning.” Whether it’s with Congress, federal agencies or other likeminded organizations, we can get you to the right people and open doors to important collaborations.
As the world of advocacy evolves, these types of activities take on greater importance for organizations that want to be relevant to a dialogue on national issues. We at CRD can help with this, and have many ideas on the best way to go about the process on a case-by-case basis, using both traditional and non-traditional methods to achieve our clients’ goals.
So what’s MY brand? Personally, my experiences as a woman, mother and health policy nerd lend themselves to issues that relate to women and children – whether it’s from a medical professional society standpoint or a patient advocate perspective. My hobbies include running, yoga and knitting, so melding those together, I could throw prevention and wellness into the mix. It’s something I’m still working on, but the exercises we used in the WGR workshop as well as those that are familiar here at CRD will certainly help with that.