Monday, 27 June 2011

Personal Brand - cpd23 Thing 3

I've just looked through the cpd 23 thing 3 which is about creating a personal brand. I thought I'd get some thoughts down straight away before I take refuge from difficult thinking in the stock check! This issue is very timely and will challenge me to think  through and tackle some issues about privacy, confidence, visibility, security.

In a work-based sense, I haven't really found a personal brand for my school library, so I'm hoping that I'll be able to consider that as well.

There are particular issues with that one - how to create a distinctive identity within the bounds of an institution (school). Now is an excellent time to be thinking about this: we are going through a reorganisation process, with schools in my area moving from a three tier (primary, middle, upper) to two tier (primary, secondary) in September 2012. We will technically be a new school (new name, uniform, colours, logos). We will be gaining two extra year groups - Years 7&8 (11 & 12 year olds). In addition, our 6th form is moving to another site across town. I will be setting up a completely new library for them on that site. So effectively I'll need to find a "brand" for both libraries. Then there's the online presence of the school library, which currently is hidden away in the depths of our VLE and is the clunkiest, ugliest interface it's possible to imagine.  

Did you notice how I craftily slipped away from thinking about MY personal brand to talking about my library's brand? It's easier to tackle the less personal issues, and I've already done a lot of consultation and planning for the changes ahead - practical solutions. But I do need to think about the underlying "whys" as well as the "whats" and "hows". And I think a key issue for me is about "design" - making it look good, which I'm not very confident about. That's why writing this blog is such a pleasure - it looks great, so thanks to all the techy people who run this website!

I did the Google name check. I have done this before, but not for a while, so I knew there was a high profile Australian politician who shares my name. However, I shouldn't have been surprised to find numerous sites with "speculative" links to my name, plus an irritating, inaccurate, out of date - by 10 years - and potentially embarrassing listing in a phone directory site (first listing - they obviously pay a lot for priority).

I also discovered my Twitter listing, which I signed up for on a social media training course a year ago (thanks Phil Bradley) but have never used. That uses a completely different persona which I obviously had to make up on the spot and would never have remembered. So that's a bit of personal branding I need to address for consistency.

I also noticed two new links to a role I've taken on recently as Music Librarian for a local choir. So there I don't have a personal brand, but the choir's webpages are quite stylish so I'm happy enough to be associated with that.

And then of course there are some other people who share my name (fairly unusual, so not that many). OK, so that's the groundwork. Now I'll let it brew a bit and be back later with some more.

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