Given the vast sea of data on the
Internet, it’s not possible to completely
control the information presented
about you. What you can do is define
your territory in cyberspace.
First off, type your name into a
search engine and see what pops up.
If more personal items come up than
work references, you might have a
“It’s up to you to make sure that
what’s out there is what you want
people to know about,” says Joelle
Godfrey, PMP, Navteq, Chicago,
Illinois, USA. “If you have a blog, you
control it, as opposed to anything you
might have posted previously elsewhere. If you continue to post or blog
or tweet, those just might hit higher
in search results than whatever else
might be out there. I’m going to
64PM NETWORK MARCH 2010 WWW.PMI.ORG
New Jersey, USA. “But are people
uncomfortable with self-promotion
because they don’t believe in it, or are
they uncomfortable with self-promotion
because they can’t do it?”
It may not be as painful as you think.
“Do you have to dress up like a circus
promoter and sit out there and hawk your
wares? No. Do you need to plaster your
name over everything and brand your
name everywhere? No. Do you have to
gain a reputation? Sure,” he says.
The good news is that there are plenty
of options nowadays, including online, of
course. Social media is an easy path for
project managers to define and enlarge
their footprints. Sites such as Plaxo or
LinkedIn can help you connect with
others in the project management community and in the executive suite, while
blogs and Twitter can serve as forums for
BLOGGING HER WAY TO A JOB
When Joelle Godfrey, PMP, was laid off,
she was understandably upset. For a detail-oriented project manager who suddenly
had no budget to mind, no team to engage
with and no milestones to track, having
entire days of nothing but free time was
too much to handle.
So she created a blog. And like any
good marketer, she realized all that exposure could help her build a brand.
“I started a blog to try to give people an
idea as to who I was, to set myself apart,”
says Ms. Godfrey, now a software project
manager at digital map provider Navteq,
Chicago, Illinois, USA.
Once her blog was up and running,
she also started tweeting on Twitter as
a means to embed A Guide to the
Project Management Body of Knowledge
(PMBOK® Guide) in her brain.
Regularly updating her blog with
project management-related posts, Ms.
Godfrey showcased the qualities that make
her unique in the work force. By simply
being herself, she developed and disseminated her personal trademark.
It was “a way for people to get an idea
of who I am, my thinking process and
what I find interesting about project management,” she says.
And she backed up the efforts with
her own ad campaign. “I started to
include a link to my blog at the bottom
of my e-mails,” Ms. Godfrey says.
Although she’s not sure if her blog
helped her land a job, Ms. Godfrey
said she did have people remark on it
Still devoted to nurturing her brand,
she continues to tweet every day and
updates her blog once a week.
Even “old-fashioned” means can be used
to promote your brand.
“Go write an article,” Mr. Bull advises.
“Go out and volunteer for some project
Mr. Dravet recommends sharing
project management knowledge by teach-
ing or mentoring and coaching junior
project managers. Not only are you show-
ing you can run a project, he says, “you are
acknowledged as an expert if you are able
to transfer this knowledge.”
It can’t just all be hype, though. “When
you talk about branding, you need to be
able to execute,” says Mr. Bull.
But done right, branding will help you
build a network of people who will in turn
push your brand.
“The reputation you have with individuals is what gets you work,” Mr.
“You want to come to the point where
other people are speaking about you,” says
Mr. Dravet. “It can be a team member, it
can be the management of the company, it
can be customers, it can be any kind of
partners. Sometimes even when you are
teaching or when you are consulting in the
company, the next time they are aware of
a need in the company, they are calling
you to say, ‘I want you and nobody else!’”
Now that’s what they call a killer
brand identity. PM