Cause-related personal branding – it’s your turn
Many charitable and non-profit organisations align themselves with the pulling power of celebrity. By persuading a famous person to support their cause, these groups can increase their exposure by feeding into that celebrity’s fan base and hopefully influence those people to follow their idol’s example.
This can be a great way to reinforce the company’s image and it’s great for the star’s profile as well. Miley Cyrus may have introduced us to the horror of twerking, but she has also supported over 40 noteworthy charities which means ‘she can’t be all bad, right?’
You may not be a celebrity (right now) but you can use the basic principle of mutual support to improve your own image. There are so many worthwhile organisations that you can donate your time and money to.
And while you’re doing it, don’t forget to post across your social media channels those pics and articles of you at the SPCA Fundraising Drive, collecting money for ‘Save The Children’, or joining in the Variety Santa Fun Run. It increases the charity’s profile as well as your own, and you’re doing something good for your community too – a win-win-win situation. (Don’t forget to include it on your resume!)
One of the biggest challenges non-profit organisations face is to keep their existing supporters engaged while at the same time attracting new ones. This challenge will be faced in your own quest for image improvement.
You may find yourself reaching out for a new business mentor and gaining new skills, meanwhile leaving your colleagues feeling as though they’re being left behind. Or perhaps you’re going to have less free time to socialise with your best mate because you’ve taken up a new fitness regime. Or perhaps you’ve met a new group of people to hang out with because they’re in the industry you want to pursue.
“It increases the charity’s profile as well as your own, and you’re doing something good for your community too – a win-win-win situation.”
Maybe the stalwarts in your life – friends, family, colleagues – will feel excluded or threatened by your quest to improve your image and make changes to your lifestyle. This is often faced by those embarking on weight loss programmes. One study showed that the average dieter loses two friends for every stone of weight lost, due to jealousy!
The solution is communication. If you don’t want to lose those friendships, make an effort to keep them. Offer to share your mentor’s advice with your colleagues. Schedule a weekly time slot with your mates to help keep your bond strong. But if people can’t accept the changes you’re trying to make in your lifestyle, it may better just to let them go… life is too short to hang around with losers.
Many charities have dropped celebrities as sponsors because their lifestyles haven’t gelled with the company’s ethics and beliefs. For example, after a sensational doping scandal, cyclist Lance Armstrong was forced to step down as chairman of the cancer fighting charity that he actually founded.
We can all learn from non-profit organisations. Start by focusing our time and energy in those causes we want to help and who can also help us get to where we want to be.
Jon Michail is Group CEO of Image Group International, an award winning author and recognised as Australasia’s No 1 image coach. Image Group International supports executives, entrepreneurs and their organisations to become iconic and monetised leadership brands.
He is a regular commentator in international media organsations ABC, CNN, NBC, Harvard Business Review, Entrepreneur, Success, The Financial Review and Vogue.