My Latest BBC Interview .. About Politicians & Image
August 19, 2014
I was recently interviewed on BBC WM about the Personal Brand of a Certain Politician .. or was the lack of a political brand in this case?
The BBC phoned me immediately after Ed Miliband had made his speech where he mentioned the negative comments over images of him eating a bacon sandwich and the Wallace and Gromit comparisons made about him. They wanted to know how he could improve his image.
Well I have to say this was quite a challenge.
The Labour leader had said that big ideas and principles were more important than his image and Labour had the right policies on dealing with “the cost of living crisis”, tackling low pay and building more homes.
Once on air I had to say I didn’t think that the big ideas and principles has anything to do with his image. That was about Labour and NOT him.
I continued by saying that personal brand is about people’s beliefs and perception of us. It isn’t about speeches .. it is about the things we do.
Of course we ALL have a personal brand. It’s what people say about us when we are not there … things like the lady that always smiles, the grumpy man etc.
It is also about the way we look and sound …. our physical appearance, clothing, accent etc
Today it also involves our online appearance, on social media, on websites, ….. even how we look and sound on TV and radio.
Some people have built careers on their personal brand ..
Donald Trump names building like Trump Towers after himself …….and Richard Branson used his personal brand to build the Virgin empire.
Back in the world of politics we have some wonderful historical examples.
Labour leader Harold Wilson was known for his Gannex mac and pipe .. beer and sandwiches at No 10
Tory leader Harold Macmillan smoked a pipe but his brand was as SuperMac. And people knew his toothy grin and Brylcreemed hair and that in a crisis he was unflappable and pragmatic.
Neil Kinnock’s image took a turn the day hewas enjoying a walk on Brighton beach with his wife Glynis. He joked with the press about stopping the waves and was then were surprised by a big wave. Falling over possibly destroyed his career and changed history.
As I explained to the BBC listeners, essentially our image is how people perceive us. It is hard to change that with a few words in front of the cameras. In this case actions speak louder than words. Mr Miliband need to demonstrate leadership rather than talk about it.
PS I’m apolitical when it comes to UK politics … and try to offer an objective view. So sorry if any of the above upsets the politically aware.
If you want help to build your brand or authority get in contact with me now.
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