When it comes to powerful personal brands, Carly Fiorina is extremely interesting to watch. The first and only woman to have run a Fortune 20 company up to now, cancer survivor, mother, wife, grandmother, she is now focusing on politics and change.
What I remember most about Carly Fiorina from her time at HP is her getting a lot of press. Maybe it was only because of her business choices, maybe it was because she was the only woman in such a prominent IT&C position, regardless of the reason, the press was all over her. Take it from someone who was doing press monitoring at the time and read dozens of newspapers and magazines on a daily basis.
While she is far from being the only strong woman involved in politics, I think she is still quite able to catch the eye of the press and the public and perfectly able to hire a team that can build a strong brand for her. She has an effective website, Twitter and Facebook accounts, the same big and warm smile and a clear focus on what she wants and how to get there.
Why is Carly so appealing to so many people? First off, she’s got a story that sells big time. She went from secretary to CEO of HP, therefore she can relate with almost anyone. While her time at HP is highly debated and some think she was a disaster as the HP shares value decreased tremendously, there are enough numbers to monitor to prove she was actually good at her job (watch the video on her campaign site for some of the results she takes pride in).
Carly is good at selling herself. She has the right story and right strategy for her campaign. She can take negative comments about her time at HP and come with actual results that show progress in the company. Yes, she did mess up a little, yet people still want to hear what she has to say.
I might personally not be able to understand how the first woman to make it to the very exclusive Fortune 20 CEO lists is a Conservative, or how she can be described as pro-life if she owns and supports others owning guns… But considering her attraction when it comes to journalists, her extensive personal branding experience and ability to deal with negativity, and the great quality of knowing how to present information so that it makes her look her best, she is bound to be a great politician.