Year-End Planning Part 1: A Three-Step Plan to Assess Your Personal Brand


Year-End Planning Part 1: A Three-Step Plan to Assess Your Personal BrandBy Neil Foote, President & Founder, Foote Communications

As we countdown to the end of the year, it’s time for you to take a few minutes to reflect on the past year, and assess your personal brand.  Too often, we get so caught up in the daily grind that we get caught up in a rut.  We get stuck in a pattern of behavior that doesn’t help us grow personally or help our businesses grow.  Over the next few weeks, take time out of your schedule to take an inventory of your brand. Here are three questions you should ask yourself:

  1. What did you do well this year?

Celebrate your successes. Don’t wallow in would-have-could-have-should-have. Think about what you did to help your clients succeed. Be specific. Type or write out all the tasks that you performed – as menial or incremental as they may be. Don’t be shy. Don’t edit yourself. You have to realize the value of your expertise. That’s why you were hired. That’s why you should be hired. The purpose of this exercise is to let you recognize this value so that you don’t take if for granted.

  1. What could you have done better?

Review the projects on which you worked. Where could you have improved your efforts? What strategies or tactics could you have employed to get more media coverage? Product sales? Speaking engagements? Sponsorship deals? Do you need to assess your pricing model? Do you need to hire new staff or replace ones that aren’t living up to their potential? Be your toughest critic.  If excellence is the standard, then you need to understand what it takes to achieve the best for your clients.  You have talent, expertise and skills. What you need to do now is to define your competitive advantage.

  1. What skills do you need to improve?

You need to be a lifelong learner. As you look at what you could have done better, you will get some clues on what you need to improve. Could you be a stronger writer? Do you know need to better understand how to analyze research data? Do you need to develop better relationships with reporters? Producers? Editors? What do you need to learn about SEO? SEM? Do you need to learn more about social media? What do you need to know about analytical tools? What software do I or my team need to learn to become more efficient? More productive? How can I become a stronger leader? Do I need to license project management software? Have I reached a point where I need better payroll and benefits management systems? Now’s the time to step back, take a look at yourself as a third party, and figure out what you can learn. There are countless free whitepapers, webinars, local seminars and even some useful YouTube videos that might help you expand your skillset and knowledge base to become more successful.

Click here to read Part 2.

About the Author:  Neil Foote, a veteran journalist and media executive, is a media and political junky, keeping abreast of the latest trends impacting the business of journalism, media, politics and public relations. He draws from his experience at the Miami Herald, Washington Post, Belo Corporation and Tom Joyner’s Reach Media. He also teaches media convergence, media management and public affairs at the University of North Texas’ Frank W. & Sue Mayborn School of Journalism and runs Foote Communications, a media consulting firm. The native of Brooklyn, NY also is a member of the board for the National Black Public Relations Society and founder of

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