Posted in Conferences & Conventions, Education, journalism, Social Media

Brand You: Creating Your Online Identity

By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF co-chair, Online Managing Editor-Business Aviation, Aviation Week Group

Creating your own journalist brand can help differentiate you from the news/blogger crowd as the industry continues to evolve. Having your own brand can also boost your profile at your current job, lead you to your next job or even help you create your own entrepreneurial website or blog. Bring your laptops, because by the end of this interactive workshop, you will be well on your way to creating

The place: Philadelphia. The time: 11:30 to 1:00 pm. In a packed room, I had the pleasure of moderating this branding panel with three journalists who are branding giants: Natalie McNeal of, Jesse Washington, the race and ethnicity writer for the Associated Press and Mario Armstrong of, a technology show host, Digital Lifestyle Expert. Social Entrepreneur and Public Speaker. Each panelist shared their story, then we opened the floor to questions.  Here’s what happened.

The Frugalista

Stop the press! At the recent Teen Choice Awards, Ashton Kutcher lectured the crowd about using credit cards and going into debt when accepting an award. Whoa! Who knew that Ashton was down with the Frugalisto lifestyle? Hurrah!!! Here’s what he more… Hello, my Frugalistas! I’m checking in from the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia!
Mario Armstrong – Tech Expert, Tech show Host, Commentator, Digital Lifestyle Expert, Small Biz Tech Advocate, Youth Tech Motivator!

Mario Armstrong is an Emmy Award winning media personality. He is a Digital Lifestyle Expert, talk show host, media personality, social entrepreneur, public speaker and co-founder of an educational youth initiative:! He translates technology for non-tech audiences. He is the on-air tech contributor for NPR’s Morning Edition program reaching 17 million households.
#Blackunemployment raises tension btw CBC and Obama; they embark on dueling “job tours”:
August 8, 2011

One of the personal highlights for me was the question-and-answer part of the panel.  Hezzie McCaleb, a co-founder of the Barbershop Sports blog and BlogTalkRadio show.  We all know about the talk and wisdom created in barbershops, and he takes the sports angle.  He asked Mario Armstrong about making the move from BlogTalkRadio to AM radio.  And Mario turned the question around: why not try for FM? Mario spoke with Hezzie, then promised to get him in touch with folks at Sirrus XM Radio, where he hosts a tech show.  And check out the logo below – is that cool or what??

Our goal was to tell NABJ attendees how we created our brands and make journalists comfortable with creating their own.  I leave you with this quote:“Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.”

–Management Guru Tom Peters



Home of the National Association of Black Journalists's (NABJ's) Digital Journalism Task Force

3 thoughts on “Brand You: Creating Your Online Identity

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