career advice, career management, Careers, personal brand management, Personal Branding

A Personal Branding Lesson from Mitt Romney

Mary Rosenbaum | December 15th, 2011

There was an article in the NYTimes on Tuesday about Ann Romney becoming more involved in her husband’s campaign. Apparently her husband has been unable to communicate a full three dimensional picture of who Mitt Romney really is. And without that ingredient, people have a hard time connecting with him or understanding his vision and what propels him to take on the challenges of being President.

Disclaimer: This is not an endorsement for Romney or any other candidate, just a great example of how to manage your personal brand.

An important missing ingredient in his campaign is that potential supporters are unable to see the human side of Romney – his values, passions, vision for the world and purpose in enacting that vision. Clearly he has been able to convey how he believes his skills and past experiences make him a viable candidate for the job of President.  But the emotional (soft skills) component was sorely lacking. And that’s where Ann comes into the picture. The title of the article is “The campaign sends a Romney to the rescue. Ann Romney.”

Well unless you have your secret Ann who can pave the way for you at work, with clients, and in life, then you have to be the one to present the full 3 dimensional picture of who you are.

Why is this so important? First, you want people to see you the way you want to be seen. Second, you want to communicate your personal brand in a way that resonates with your target audience so they can connect with you, buy into what you are doing, and become your brand ambassadors over time.

Another valuable lesson to be learned from the Romney campaign is that you can refocus the spotlight on those aspects of your personal brand that will help you reach your objectives.  You have control; you just have to make the right adjustments.

In his case, public relations efforts have tried to refocus his personal brand of being one of a wealthy (comfortable by birth and through success in business) and financially savvy businessman to a man whose values and ethics are what made him successful – hard work, his frugal ways, his devotion to his wife and family, and a solid work ethic.

All of these values may be a part of who Romney is, authentic to his brand.  However, they are not part of what the public initially focused on.  That’s what personal branding is all about – it’s not creating a brand, but rather understanding, highlighting, and leveraging those aspects of your brand that are important and relevant to your target audience.

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To learn more about Mary Rosenbaum, who she works with and some of her programs, please visit the home page. Learn more about the Personal Branding Boot Camp here and here.