One of the most important things to keep in mind as a PR professional is your own personal brand. We expect organizations to trust us in representing their brand. Yet, how can we expect them to trust us with this responsibility if we can’t even promote our own personal brand?
Social media plays a huge part in our lives both as millennials and young professionals. We grew up using social media which is both a blessing and a curse. It is blessing because we have experience with social media which will come in handy when dealing with social media for our future clients. It is a curse, also, because some of us may have had social media accounts since we were as young as thirteen, and let’s be honest, that’s a lot of embarrassing material to get rid of.
Here are the do’s and don’ts when it comes to the professional use of your personal social media accounts.
Avoid posting photos with alcohol or paraphernalia present in the photo, especially if you are underage. This goes for obvious reasons. Avoid posting anything illegal. It will most likely not land you the job, and you may even get yourself into deeper trouble.
If you are of age, it is okay to post photos with alcohol in the photo as long as it is not the main subject of the photo, i.e. alcohol at a restaurant, wedding, formal event, etc.
Avoid swearing on the internet. You want your online presence to be a representation of the best version of yourself. Think before you post. Don’t post when you’re angry, intoxicated, or thinking irrationally. Once you hit the “post” button it is on the internet forever.
It is okay to keep your Instagram and Facebook private, but personally I believe Twitter accounts should remain public for the most part. Especially for PR professionals, Twitter is a great way for employers to get a sense of your writing style and personality. Feel free to express yourself as you wish using Twitter, not every post has to be strictly professional.
Clean It Up
Go through your social media pages and clean them up. Delete any photos off of Instagram and Facebook that you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see. If your grandmother doesn’t want to see it, then there is a good chance your future employer won’t want to either. Delete your current Twitter account and start a new one if you have to. There is nothing wrong with a fresh start.
When it boils down to it, present yourself the way you want to be perceived. You never know who will see your posts, even if your accounts are private. Finstagrams? Probably not a good idea. People have a way of finding these things and they WILL use it against you.
Always remember to think before you post.
This blog post was written by PRowl Account Executive Marlie Derstine.