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The brand called CIO

Divina Paredes | Nov. 26, 2013
Gartner research has shown a strong CIO brand can be a very effective way to make IT influential, strategic, and deliver higher levels of business success," says Gartner analyst Marcus Darbyshire.

This is followed by identifying channels to promote their personal brand, says Darbyshire.

Social media is a good channel to promote your brand, says Darbyshire.

If there is only one social network they can pick, he advises LinkedIn. "Grow your connections, aim for 500-plus connections. Make sure you get recommendations from your bosses and colleagues over a period of time."

Make sure you have a corporate looking photograph on your LinkedIn profile, he states. "The photo should convey energy and personality."

As well as ensuring your résumé is up to date, he advises sharing articles of interest."Continually use LinkedIn every day to see what is happening in your professional network, to see who is looking at your profile."

Claudia Vidal, general manager business operations at UniServices, says the message resonates with her experience as CIO, but at the same time stresses there needs to be a reality check when working on one's personal brand.

"Building and taking care of the brand is not just having a nice LinkedIn profile," she says. For sure you have got to have a brand -- what you are good at, how do you add value to the company, and contribute where you are now and where you would like to be next.

"You need to understand your brand, and link your brand to reputation and be true to your values."


Beyond LinkedIn

Darbyshire, on the other hand, says CIOs who are not comfortable with social media might take more traditional approaches such as speaking at an event, updating their business card or writing a blog. When he was a CIO, Darbyshire also served as a reference customer for successful IT projects that the vendors wanted to release to the media. He says doing this not only highlighted his personal brand as CIO, but also that of his IT team and the organisation he worked for.

"It just depends on what they are comfortable with. That is the next step as part of their workshop -- to really set their personal brand in a statement that is unique to them."

Everybody has a personal band, he says, but only some people manage their brands well. "Continue to refine your brand sentiments and live those principles in your actions, and then align your social styles to your physical and online networks as well," he says.

He recommends CIOs to focus on "one adjacent, internal IT market" to further develop one's brand. This could be sales, marketing or product development depending on which will provide "the best opportunity for success".

The business of building and maintaining a personal brand is continuous. "A brand is not built in a day," says Darbyshire. "You need to allocate time in your calendar to demonstrate and promote your brand messages."


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