Passion For Image

Passion For Image

The myth that a bright image removes all obstacles on the way to success in life is lodged comfortably in the public consciousness.

If you want to turn your reputation into a driver of success, do not focus on external attributes. Otherwise, after some time, you will find that the artificially simulated life path has led you to a dead end.

We live in times of a multi-faceted civilizational breakdown, vague value guidelines, and the ground that is constantly slipping away from under our feet. In such a world, it is very desirable, and most importantly, it is too easy to believe in a fairy tale. Therefore, the myth that a bright image removes all obstacles on the way to success in life is lodged comfortably in the public consciousness. Like, distinguished appearance and outrageous actions are enough and the social elevator will open its doors to you. Hence the misconception that the way to a new life begins at the threshold of the image studio. At the same time, no one takes into account the instability of these surface changes and their harmful consequences in case of inconsistency with the real personal potential of a person.

People often turn to me for advice on self-promo, not fully realizing what they want, why they need it, and even more, what tools are used to achieve this or that level of change.

As a rule, when asking questions about a personal PR strategy, those who ask mean the work of a stylist and media training. That is, they immediately make understandable and logical mistakes. The conceptual apparatus of the theory of reputation management is interdisciplinary, and, therefore, complex and confusing. An express search for definitions on the Internet has driven more than one student – graduate student – novice into a dead end.

In order not to wander in such a deepness, we will take image-making functionality to the extent that professional image studios usually offer for the purposes of this column. Namely, work with the client’s appearance (hairstyle, make-up for women, posture), wardrobe, voice and manners (stage language, acting skills, rhetoric, etiquette and ceremonial, less often – communication skills with the media, work with objections, NLP, seduction techniques).

All these are very useful skills for private life and career, but they should not be confused with PR activities. Since PR involves not passively floundering on the waves of being, but:

  1. a goal;
  2. determination of the strategy for achieving the set goal;
  3. systematic work on strategy implementation.

That is, the work is not conducted at the tactical (rather superficial) level of solving everyday situations in one’s favour, but at the level of forward and upward thrusts.

Accordingly, personal PR involves the process of creating not just an attractive image of a person, counting on public recognition, but the active construction and broadcasting of such a targeted image that will ensure reaching new heights according to the principle “we will not expect favours from nature.” And the work is not with the associations of the first circle (as in the case of the image), but at the level of modelling practical actions – words, actions, behavioural patterns.

The result of this should be the formation of a coherent, minute-by-minute supported image, which would rise the trust of stakeholders and change their behaviour in relation to the object of PR promotion.

Thus, when making a request for self-promo services, try to first identify your real needs.

If you just want to shake things up and bring a fresh stream into your everyday routine, image studios will open their welcoming doors.

If, in addition to this, you want to optimize (harmonize) the relationship with your close environment, then perhaps, you need not a PR expert but a good psychologist or psychotherapist or coach will assist better.

Only if you need to make a breakthrough, think about personal PR. At the same time, first objectively (and perhaps without feeling sorry for yourself) evaluate:

  • the degree of your flexibility/conservatism i.e., readiness/unreadiness to change;
  • degree of laziness/ability to work;
  • sincerity of desire to achieve the goal;
  • willpower to win.

Because there may be a huge distance between where you are now and where you want to be. And to overcome it, it may be necessary to “demolish” the current personality (to the maximum possible extent) and replace it with a new one, designed according to the patterns of success. This is a huge work at all levels (and image-making, too, by the way), which does not stop for a minute. Are you ready for it and do you want it? An honest answer is very important not only in terms of resource costs – energy, time, and money. But first of all, it is about choosing the right path. After all, if you constantly portray yourself as not what you are, you can live someone else’s life with someone else’s people, and only on the verge of death realize that you went in the wrong direction at the bifurcation point. And nothing can be returned.

Forbes 2013