Meet Ariel Radow - a talented publicity and branding expert who understands how we can hone our message to become thought leaders in our field.
You work in PR and brand communications. What is the most important recommendation you give to companies about honing their brand image and expressing it appropriately?
The most important thing a brand can do is really commit to finding and defining who they are. Consider your own personal values. What do you stand for? Do your brand values align? Is your brand portraying these values? Your brand should reflect your genuine self, and understanding your unique voice and identity is the first step in propelling your brand to success. An image that exudes authenticity and honesty is one that will distinguish itself from others.
Tell us about some of your extracurricular activities, and how they've contributed to your career.
Growing up, my extracurriculars were always in music — piano and violin specifically. While my career doesn’t really involve music, I do believe that studying music for over a decade really defined my work ethic. I attribute my discipline, attention to detail and ambitious attitude to my musical upbringing.
My career itself is more influenced by some of the activities I participated in throughout my college career. I spent my three and a half years at Penn State in Ed2010, a networking and mentoring organization helping young writers break into the media industry. I discovered a lot about the magazine industry, touring the offices of Harper’s Bazaar, Oprah Magazine and Elle Magazine, learning about the day-to-day of magazine editors and connecting with other young aspiring writers. It was this experience that had me thinking about the other side of the industry — who was behind the brands, people and products that these editors were covering? I then landed a few different internships in PR and realized that placing these brands in the media was something I preferred over writing about them.
Now as a young professional, I’m always looking for opportunities to help me hone my skills as a publicist while bringing a brand to life. I currently oversee brand strategy and media relations for the new personal development book Getting COMFY: Your Morning Guide to Daily Happiness, and its author Jordan Gross, in an attempt to keep my extracurriculars focused on my career and professional development. I love learning about the ventures of my peers and figuring out ways to get involved and lend my skillset and expertise.
What is your best advice to an author or entrepreneur hoping to secure speaking events?
The best thing to do is really own your topic. Work toward becoming an authoritative voice in a specific space, and develop a strategy that will build you up in the press as a leader on this topic. Though it takes time to truly be recognized as a thought leader, honing in on that topic of expertise through defined messaging and publicity is an important start in getting recognized as a desired speaker.
However, be sure that your expertise is adaptable to different audiences. It’s great to have one or two specific topics you know best, but without some flexibility within those themes, your opportunities might be limited.