It’s time to reset your day with a nice Prowly #PRChat break, where we drop in on PR pros from all over our industry and get to know a little bit about them through their answers to our questions.
This time, we’re talking with Sherika Powell, Communications Manager at UPS Canada and all-round communications expert. From writing and speaking on communications-related topics to helping clients with personal branding and career transformation, Sherika has a lot to say. Here are her thoughts on those topics and much more.
Could you tell us a bit more about your work at UPS?
I create, develop, and support company-wide internal and external communications strategies and initiatives. There is never a dull moment at UPS, and for someone like me that likes to work on a variety of projects, this role allows me the opportunity to do just that.
Overall, my job is not only to protect the brand but to move the UPS brand forward and drive brand relevance. Through this work, I have multiple opportunities to deliver best-in-class PR and digital strategies while having some fun while I’m at it!
What do you think is the most challenging part of building a personal brand?
One of the challenges I find with most folks is figuring out who their target audience is. Getting clear on who you want to reach and why will help you identify your audience and improve your overall messaging approach.
Here are a few questions I find helpful to get started:
- What do you want to be known for?
- What makes you stand out?
- What is your goal?
- What are you an expert in?
These questions may sound simple, but they can often lead to uncovering your personal brand and your greater purpose.
What’s one successful PR tactic you are using at the moment?
Traditional press releases are a dime a dozen and studies show that we are more likely to engage with content that has video components. Adding a splash of video content to your press release is just one tactic that can help you stand out from the crowd.
What skills do you think PRs need to be successful long-term?
As in most industries, data is everything and PR pros need to be able to bring in the data to show their efforts in driving brand relevance. Utilizing the R.I.M. methodology — Results, Impact, and Measurement — can help to analyze strategies more efficiently, improving PR results over time.
I am also a fan of using the PESO model that promotes using an integrated PR approach to drive measurable outcomes. Getting more strategic with the use of data in our work will only strengthen the important role that PR plays to build and protect brands.
What trends are you seeing in PR & comms that you’re excited about?
Although I wouldn’t want to classify this as a trend, I am seeing a large uptick in DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) PR and Communications initiatives. More and more companies are “getting it” and understanding that employees want to be in a work environment where they feel safe, seen, and heard. Promoting DEI initiatives can no longer be an afterthought for companies; it is now essential.
PR and Communication professionals need to be aware of this fact and know that incorporating DEI into the brands they represent is vital to the company’s growth and success. More consumers and potential employees are raising their expectations of brands to incorporate DEI into the fabric of their core values. I hope to see the DEI function become more permanent and sustain longevity rather than simply be on-trend.