Symbol of excellence, genuineness, authenticity*

The past few weeks have resulted in interesting dialogue with colleagues, peers and clients. Everything from establishing budgets for business to who is actually in business?

Not only have the lines of friendship been blurred thanks to Facebook, so have the lines of professionalism. (Note: Can you honestly say that your Facebook friends are your “friends”?) No wonder the consumer gets confused sometimes!

Have yet to see anyone claim to be a doctor or lawyer (thank goodness!) but apparently, for some in today’s world: having a camera makes one a photographer; starting a blog makes one a journalist; sewing a button makes one a fashion designer; dressing one’s self in a semi-coordinated outfit makes one a stylist; hosting a party makes one an event planner; cooking a meal makes one a chef; babysitting makes one a parenting expert; and knowing some html coding means you may be a graphic or web designer. Seriously?

Rational people who have worked extensively in the aforementioned industries know that these statements are not true. Just as social media is so new and evolving, is it really safe to claim expertise because we have a Twitter account?

Whether it’s business or personal life, the goal should always be to keep learning, growing and becoming better. In personal life, you benefit (as do those around you) from taking care of yourself, eating better, staying active, etc. For business life, innovation, creativity and staying current (preferably two steps or more ahead) are necessary to establish sustainability. There are so many ways to “throw ourselves out there” nowadays, but let’s not forget what really makes for perfect…nothing! You’re not going to reach perfection, but you should be striving for best practice efforts in business. Knowing when to defer to the experts or more experienced or seasoned professionals in an industry, and remembering to practice, practice, practice and then launch. Also, knowing when to experiment and be adventurous.

When working with customers (and businesses), you want to take special care with the information, services and products you are providing. Again, whether business or personal: if you don’t know something, ask. If you need help, speak up. There are too many people on the planet to do and learn everything yourself. Fake it until you make it is overrated. Being authentic is the latest trend (and it’s always in style), so it’s time to get real!

What does this have to do with public relations, marketing and advertising? Relevance. When you are authentic in business and sharing your message – while always learning, growing and getting better – you will remain relevant and newsworthy. Our goal is to educate, inspire and motivate our clients and their customers (the public) while reaching a broader market with their message. We focus on providing information and in return, our clients and the public benefits.

It’s not about simply promoting your business or brand you and slapping a label on what you do (and you know we enjoy labels as it relates to fashion!), but remaining true to your craft and sharing that expertise with others. This involves constantly honing your skills, working with people not only in your industry but outside of your industry, consulting with your mentors and peers, and giving back.

How are you keeping your business relevant and real?

“When you know better you do better.” ~Maya Angelou

*The symbol is known as nsaa (a type of handwoven fabric). According to “The Adinkra Dictionary” by W. Bruce Willis, the nsaa symbols reflects a saying: “nea onnim nsaa oto n’ago”, which translates as: “He who does not know authentic Nsaa will buy the fakes.” The quality of Nsaa has come to represent quality of workmanship in general.

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