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Regulatory Focus™ > News Articles > 2020 > 9 > How to build a professional brand in a virtual world

How to build a professional brand in a virtual world

Posted 15 September 2020 | By Mary Ellen Schneider 

How to build a professional brand in a virtual world

Elena Kyria, Elemed founder. Courtesy Elena Kyria

CEOs are not the only people who need to worry about their professional branding, attendees of RAPS Convergence 2020 heard during a plenary session. All regulatory professionals should establish a professional brand online and take the time to maintain it.
 
“How you are perceived is how you succeed,” said Elena Kyria during the 15 September plenary session.
 
What is a professional brand? It is your professional reputation and it precedes you, surrounds you, and follows you in your professional life, explained Kyria, founder and CEO of the European MedTech recruiting company Elemed. Zurich-based Kyria also serves as the volunteer marketing and communications coordinator of the Swiss chapter of the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society (RAPS).
  
“Everybody has a professional brand. The difference is, do you own it or are other people defining what your brand is for you?” she asked. For instance, as a regulatory professional, are you being defined as a partner or a policeman?
 
Kyria offered three rules for creating a professional brand in a virtual world – Define your brand, audit your brand, and be intentional.
 
When defining your brand, do not think of yourself as just an employee or a resource. Start by clearly explaining what you do and why you do it. Think about what you want people to say about you when you are not in the room.
 
Keep in mind that a brand is a multisensory experience and that includes what is happening in the background of a virtual meeting, Kyria said. Verbal style is also important.  “As regulatory professionals, can you sell the sizzle and not only the steak?” she asked.
 
It is also critical to audit your brand regularly. One of the most common mistakes people make with their online brand is a poor choice for a LinkedIn profile photo, Kyria said. Poorly cropped photos, vacation pictures, and social photos that are more appropriate on Facebook are all common mistakes. But one of the biggest no-nos is not including a photo at all or making it private to your network, she said.  
 
“Photos build trust, especially when you use them in the right way,” Kyria said. “They are incredibly powerful when it comes to professional branding virtually.”
 
Take time to review and update your LinkedIn profile summary. For regulatory professionals, Kyria suggests defining yourself as a person who solves regulatory problems to get products out to patients around the world, and ensures those products are safe and effective. “In other words, you are a business enabler,” she said.
 
The third rule is to be intentional with what you do online by being visible, vocal, and social. That means turning on your camera during a virtual meeting, picking up the phone rather than hiding behind email, and liking and commenting on LinkedIn. “Don’t be a lurker, be a liker,” she advised.
 
But she also cautioned attendees to think before they post online. When you like or comment on a LinkedIn post, it is the same as sharing it. Consider whether that is a post you want your entire network to see.
 
“You are all CEOs of your own companies,” Kyria said. “Own your professional brand.”
 
RAPS Convergence 2020
 

Tags: EU, US

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