There’s a great post by Todd Defren on PR Squared called “Got Some Personal Branding I Could Borrow?”
The idea is that some people have impressive personal brands and are superstars no matter who they work for and as such can move from company to company and still be as followed and impressive. Scoble and Jeremiah Owyang being prime examples. While it generally focuses on PR, marketing, blogging and so forth, it will probably refer to more and more industries as more industry segments become “socialised” and we’ll have less faceless brands and more companies with personalities. How many companies now encourage their staff to become superstars? Most have such heavy rules that it can’t happen. Most companies want homogeneity, shamefully.
I really love this quote though:
Weâ€™ve made many more hires than this handful, of course, and expect great things of all of them â€“ but, specific to these â€œwell-knownâ€ people and their personal brands? We consider them to be â€œon loanâ€ to SHIFT for the duration of their tenure. And I expect more and more of our employees (and future employees) will have their own personal brands either well-established or on the rise.
That’s progressive. Many companies know staff will move on but I doubt many say it publicly (or even to the staff) and say it with such respect for their staff. There was a slightly related conversation on Piaras’ blog post on networked PR companies. With PR people on LinkedIn and Facebook, they will still have a highly connected network no matter who they move to next. I don’t think companies can go back to the old days. Many people will bring clients with them when they move but nowadays they’ll bring their fans too and while fans are not clients, they are free evangelists, R&D teams, friends and so much more. I wonder how much weight in the future will a company give to “followers”? – “Great CV, good qualifications oh and he has 1100 blog subscribers and 540 on Twitter and have you seen his LinkedIn?”
A Chris Brogan quote was also included:
â€œThe age of half-owned brands is upon us,â€ Chris writes, citing Robert Scoble as the impetus for this trend. â€œâ€¦Is Jeremiah Owyang about Forrester, or is he a half-owned brand that Forrester can claim for the time being?”
I still haven’t fully gotten my head around this concept but to me it’s fascinating. How does a company attract these “personal brands” and how do they have them fit into their existing structure and then how do they work when these brands move on? Soccer clubs seem to manage well enough, though they get transfer fee. Todd shares the Shift manifesto here.