Posted on January 13, 2012, by JD Kathuria, under Featured Interview.
Last month Eileen Cassidy Rivera, former Vice President of Communications and Investor Relations at Vangent, wrote an article in Washington Technology that encompassed my two niches…personal branding and government contracting.
Eileen talked about how valuable company branding is in the world of government contracting…weak-branded companies can get lost in the competition.
Listing the top five ways to guarantee a strong company presence, Eileen believes that simple, straightforward language is one way to win contracts. “A much more compelling way to communicate what a company does differently is to promote the outcomes or results it accomplishes for its customers – in plain English,” said Eileen.
A great idea that Vangent developed was the “brand playbook.” The “brand playbook” was spurred out of a lack of standards for how employees describe their company to potential buyers. I agree with Eileen, making sure the employee understands your company’s offerings matters just as much as how that employee describes what their company represents. Without an understanding of the core mission of the company, your employee is just another person vying for a contract.
Eileen’s third point was that people make business, not companies. Executives should not shy away from bringing a personal or emotional connection to their offerings…how else will potential buyers remember your company?
“The first question asked by any new employee is about the company’s culture, not about the company’s strategy,” said Eileen. She is right, companies spend large amounts of time developing strategy and reading over the “employee handbook” when really, it is the company culture that maintains and retains employees.
Eileen’s fifth and final point is by far the most important message to take away. Government contracting will be going through major transitions within the next couple years…when developing strategies to make a leaner company, cutting out platforms and tools that help promote your company’s brand is just about the worst thing an executive can do.
*Vangent was acquired by General Dynamics September of 2011.