Guest Blog Post: Castle Lessons – The Importance of the Brand

As public relations professionals we are brand ambassadors, brand protectors and brand builders. When I started at Castle as a green account executive I had no idea what this truly meant. In fact I did not appreciate the weight of it all until I was working in my current role as the director of communications at Saint Louis University School of Law – by myself – with only the experience of my Castle years to guide me.

Brand Ambassadors. Know your brand. Know your client. Be curious. Be smart. It is no secret I am not a lawyer but you can bet I have absorbed an abundance of legal knowledge. This also means I ask questions. I am not afraid to admit when I don’t have all the answers because after all – I am not a lawyer. Curiosity garners knowledge and knowledge builds a strong brand.

Brand Protectors. Know your vulnerabilities. Prepare for the hard questions. Be transparent. You will inevitably face a crisis working in public relations. I was not a few months into my new role when I experienced my first crisis.  In fact legal education as whole was in crisis long before I took the job. There were times when I never felt more alone; times when I wondered what I had gotten myself into. But I had a plan. I played to our strengths. I marketed the heck out of them. I had our faculty on every outlet I could. I told every story I could about our great students. I protected our brand.

Brand Builders. Be a consummate learner. Be strategic. Be the reason for growth. I run my communications office with one important directive – always be looking for new ways to be creative. It is not the easiest task working at a law school, but it certainly keeps us on our toes. As our school grows and changes, we are there to meet it with equally exciting initiatives to share our story.

I would be remiss if I did not mention one of the most important brand lessons I learned at Castle, one I hold near and dear to my heart; the importance of your own brand. Be an active member in your own community. Attend networking events. Volunteer for organizations you believe in. I learned this from the best of the best during my time at Castle. It is something I continue to preach.  It not only makes me a better communications professional but a better person.