Public relations is defined as: Positive communications and interactions between a person, organization, or company and the public on whom its success or failure depends.

Like it or not, we are always engaged in public relations. From the time you step out of your house and greet your neighbor, until the time you say good night to the parking attendant when you leave work, public relations are inevitable.

Who you are as a person, and how you are as a professional is delicately intertwined. There is seldom a total disconnect.

Simultaneously (and subconsciously) we communicate messages about ourselves in the way that we dress (visually), how we talk (verbally), and the things you do and don't do (actions). In fact, communication is involuntary and we are always conveying something about how we feel, what we value, and who we are - without even trying.

The key to making personal PR work for you is to become adept at managing your own, and reading the personal PR messages of others.

As a professional, you have a public that you are accountable to. By public I mean group or community of people whose approval, support, assistance, or patronage you rely upon for success.

This is the group who you need to put your best foot forward with; however, be cognizant of the fact that anyone you meet could potentially migrate into this group so it behooves you to engage in positive public relations with everyone at all times.

Yes, it's tiring, but it can also be fun, and it's definitely worth it.

The following are some examples of visual, verbal and action communication messages that can instantly improve your personal PR efforts whether you are an independent contractor, employee, or business owner.

-Under promise and over deliver
-Inquire about satisfaction with a sold product or service
-Give random gifts
-Give compliments
-Offer a discount
-Make a referral
-Don't take calls while with a client
-Arrive early
-Stay late
-Say 'thank you'
-Greet people enthusiastically
-Become a better listener
-Take someone to lunch
-Sponsor an event or charity
-Verbally express appreciation
-Overhaul your appearance
-Upgrade your wardrobe
-Write a thank you note
-Send Christmas cards

Once you begin to consciously conduct yourself and your business affairs with mindfulness of the impressions that you leave, and the involuntary communications in which you engage your public, it changes your behavior - for the better.

This is not about pretending to be something or someone you are not; it's about becoming the professional that people want as a business associate, and the person that people want to maintain a relationship with. Every encounter and every interaction you have with someone gives you this opportunity.

Making personal PR work for you is all about awareness and practice, and it can be practiced everyday until it is mastered.

Author's Bio: 

Gian Fiero is a speaker and author who lectures throughout the country.