In order to get a job in the public relation or marketing spaces, I’m told I need to have a strong “personal brand.” I don’t disagree, but I do wonder about the intersection of “personal” and “corporate” brands.
Where people in the communications business were once conduits for the authority that their company provided, now it seems that companies are hoping to be conduits for the authority that their communication hires can provide. (Or in the case of Best Buy, the number of twitter followers.)
In a corporate communications situation, the personal brand of the professional doing the communicating might dovetail with the needs of the corporation’s brand but if there ends up being tension between the two, it won’t really be a contest. An ever decreasing number employees identify with their employer or expect to be with them for the long haul, so while serving a corporate brand is at best a temporary assignment fostering their personal brand is a never ending job.
How does a company combat that? Perhaps through a strong company culture that nurtures and encourages employees, creating the kind of internal loyalty that’s hard to quantify. (Though I’m sure some economist has.)