How to Boost Your Personal Brand: a Lesson from Anthony Howe

On August 5, more than 78,000 Olympic athletes and spectators from around the world filled Rio de Janeiro’s Maracanã Stadium for the opening ceremony of the Rio Olympic Games. As the ceremony concluded, those in attendance, along with billions of viewers around the globe, focused their attention on the lighting of the Olympic cauldron.

If you were one of them, you may have noticed the intricate, artistic sculpture encasing the cauldron. The 40-foot work-of-art, created by renowned American artist Anthony Howe, became a centrepiece of the Games; largely due to the PR it received in the run up to the opening ceremony.

In a press release issued two days before the ceremony, it was announced that Howe had been chosen to commission the two-ton cauldron, and that he’d designed it to replicate the sun, “using movement to mimic its pulsing energy and reflection of light.” The release went on to tell Howe’s personal story and showcase other pieces of his work.

The press release did a great job of setting the stage prior to the opening ceremony, and acting as a personal branding tool for Howe.

What can you take from Howe?

We all have a personal brand, and depending on your line of work, your personal brand may be your business. In order to build your brand, you have to seek out ways to drive new audiences to your website, store or social channels and press releases can help. A well-written press release that offers a glimpse into your personality and values can pique the interest of influencers and potential customers.

Take inspiration from Howe with these three tips for writing a strong personal branding press release that captivates audiences.

1. Draw people in with an engaging news angle

In this case, Howe had an incredibly newsworthy angle to focus on, due to the intense global interest in the Games. That’s not to say you need an Olympic-sized news angle to sell your story and build your personal brand. It’s your core audience that’s important, wherever they are. Consider what information is relevant to them. It’s not about getting recognition from around the world, but rather from those who would be potential buyers of your products and services.

2. Credibility is crucial with personal branding

As an individual or company trying to promote your brand or service, credibility goes a long way. Possibly the most effective and common way to establish your credibility with personal branding is by using quotes that speak to your strengths and values. The quote from Anthony Howe’s cauldron release touches on his vision as an artist and his intention for the piece, “I hope what people take away from the cauldron, the Opening Ceremony and the Rio Games themselves is that there are no limits to what a human being can accomplish.

3. Include multimedia

Adding multimedia to your content is no longer a question of if, but what. Whether it’s images, audio clips or videos, your press release will pack much more of a punch if it has them. But the visual asset you choose to accompany your piece should complement the content. For example, Howe’s artworks are kinetic wind sculptures. Their full potential can only be seen when they’re in motion, so a still image of his work would not showcase their magnitude. Unlike a video, which was included in the press release.

As headshots are necessary for any type of personal branding piece, this release also included an appropriately artistic one of Howe, which complemented the them.

Boost your personal brand

The Anthony Howe release is a great example of how the right combination of press release writing tactics can help you accomplish your communications goals. With coverage on the official Rio 2016 website and a plethora of high-profile media, Howe and his work garnered extensive visibility and recognition.

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