Visibility for Professionals


In our society, which makes many determinations about a person’s character from his or her actions, high visibility is important to position oneself to success.

Philip Kotler and Kevin Keller, authors of Marketing Management, argue the importance of branding for individuals as well as for products to help them stand out among the crowd: “For branding strategies to be successful and brand value to be created, consumers must be convinced there are meaningful differences among branding in the product or service category.”[1]  Therefore, professionals need to distinguish themselves from their competitors.

Sadly, most workers are invisible to their management.  Some employees believe that if they work hard and are loyal to their organizations, they will be promoted and rewarded accordingly.  However, these individuals often see less qualified and less talented people get promoted ahead of them.

Renowned Pastor Richard S. Brown Jr. underlines this misunderstanding of this current culture:  “Everyone wants to be outstanding but no one wants to stand out.”  Today’s organizations promote individuals who know how to shine.  From a marketing perspective, these individuals understand how to use visibility to promote their personal brand.

In the book, High Visibility: The Making and Marketing of Professionals into Celebrities,  Irvin Rein, Philip Kotler, and Martin Stoller examined the  role that celebrities play in society and the fact the everyone is involved in either producing or consuming celebrities.[2]  Yet, when you discuss this reality openly to others, most managers and executives would argue that it is the individual technical performance or merit of their work that gets them ahead.

However, most folks will not take advice from a ‘no named’ or unfamiliar expert, given the choices between an unrecognized and a celebrity expert.  Therefore, high visibility can open doors to opportunity.

Rein, Kotler, and Stoller note:  “Today for the visibility-conscious professional, fame is the ultimate accomplishment.  Well-knownness has evolved into celebrity, and in today’s society, that means power and money – not just to its possessor, but also to businesses, institutions, political parties, causes, entrepreneurs, and charities.” [3]

For the savvy professional, gaining visibility goes to understanding what’s important to his or her organization or targeted institution.  This task requires doing the necessary research to determine the organization’s priorities and goals.  Furthermore, this matter requires understanding the personal characteristics of the key decision makers and looking for opportunities for high visibility.  The rewards of high visibility can be great.

Rein, Kotler, and Stoller further explain: “Our society is generally quite willing to pay this ‘celebrity premium,’ to reward those who take the risks to become the highly visible people we so love to revere or revile.” Of course, high visibility normally requires a great amount of sacrifice on an individual’s part.  Often, it can mean taking a job that no one wants because odds of success are slim.

As in many stories highlighted in the magazine tabloids about celebrities, relationships can also be a casualty of high visibility.  As society searches for more heroes and fulfilled fantasies, celebrities and fame will forever be a part of our society.  Consequently, high visibility will afford opportunists with more fortune than the Average Joe.  Therefore, working professionals need to understand how high visibility can be used in order to provide them with advantages that are more competitive.   

Please discuss the visibility for professionals based on your own work experience.

© 2013 by Daryl D. Green


[1] Marketing Management by Philip Kotler and Kevin Keller

[2] High Visibility: The Making and Marketing of Professionals into Celebrities by Irvin Rein, Philip Kotler, and Martin Stoller

[3] High Visibility: The Making and Marketing of Professionals into Celebrities by Irvin Rein, Philip Kotler, and Martin Stoller

3 thoughts on “Visibility for Professionals

  1. Dr. Green,
    You are spot on in assessment of visibility to brand recognition. I have seen this exact behavior happen in my workplace. People who are hardworking, Intelligent and soft spoken are not considered for managerial promotion. Even though they are the most qualified for the position. When you talk about visibility to management you speak of work ethic competence. But what about the actual definition of the word in a literal sense. Visibility is the ability to see or be seen. You have talked about several ways to be seen. But I think a very important is the actual appearance of the individual. Perception is the key to being seen. If you look at a man in suit or nice clothing you see a professional. However if someone is in tattered or unprofessional clothing they are seen as sloppy. The one in the sloppy clothes could be the best worker and most qualified but his perception to management is that he is sloppy. When looking at brands appearance is big. It helps the employee and his work more visible to the management team. This can be seen in how companies sell their image. An example is restaurant advertising the food always looks immaculate however the picture you see in the commercial is not what you will really get when you order.
    Kiisel, T. (2013, March 20). You are judged by your appearance. Retrieved from

  2. From my job experience, pure and visible competition has always produced high individual or team visibilty.When I worked in a university’s atheltic department selling athletic tickets, there were individual sales numbers posted all over the office by office managers. There were always a couple of people who really exceled over the rest of the office, and the superior staff noticed this as well. As competing employees, we wanted to gain visibility too and the only thing we knew to do was to watch the people who were succeding. It turned out he had been listening to successful calls at night to refine his craft. [1] “I also recommend motivated employees to take initiative and learn extra skills that they do not have in order to expand his or her knowledge as well as contribution at work” (Heathfield, 2012).

    [1] Heathfield, S. (2012, June 09). How do you create high visibility at work?. Retrieved from

  3. So, I guess the question here is how do we make ourselves more visible? And I say “we” because I consider myself a business professional even this early in the game.

    I do know some business professionals who have created their own fan page-basically adopting the “fake it till you make it: strategy. He made himself appear important, gave himself a lot of credit and always had a voice until soon people were talking about him and liking his fan page- people “think” he is important.

    According to one source some ways to gain visibility include the following:

    “Show up: Go to events that attract the people you want to meet. Take on a leadership role so others can get to know you better.
    Don’t forget online networks: Establish your presence on LinkedIn or Twitter.
    Be on a panel: Speak at a conference or workshop.
    Write a blog or a book: Share your ideas in more depth.
    Get in the media: Think about crafting press releases or track down media outlets that are looking for experts to offer their insights.”

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