Watch your own social media PR: You are what you tweet

Social Media PR, Paris Brown, Youth Crime Commissioner, Social Media, Advise

In her Admiral blogging debut, social media PR specialist Anne-Marie Bailey, shares her thoughts about       Britain’s first Youth Crime Commissioner, social media pitfalls and the lessons we can all learn…

You can’t have missed it. It’s been all over the news.  Paris Brown, the UK’s first [and potentially last] Youth Crime Commissioner has made a bit of a blunder and as a result, has stepped down.

In a role where the 17 year-old was meant to advise her older counterpart about efficient and effective policing from a young person’s perspective, the teenager was found to have tweeted offensive content deemed to be racist and homophobic.

Amid calls for her resignation, Paris was thrust into the glare of the media circus and said:

“I don’t want to be judged on tweets that were written a long time ago. They are stupid tweets but they should not affect my future career.”

But is it too little too late? As I write, we are advertising a PR job and are looking to recruit a new Account Executive and Account Manager at Admiral PR & Marketing, where we work extensively in the world of social media PR. So to all out there considering sending in your CV, here’s a friendly word of advice…

You are what you tweet:

Once you’ve pressed the tweet, share, pin, post [or any other ‘send’ button you care to mention] your communication is out there for the world to see.  Always think:

  • Would I want my boss / future employer to see this?
  • Would I want my own mother to see this?

If the answer is ‘no’ to either of these questions, the chances are what you are about to launch into the social media stratosphere could come back to haunt you when hunting for a PR job, or any other for that matter.

Know your audience:

Posting on LinkedIn about your hell of a hangover from a heavy night in the pub is a major no-no; you need to know your audience.  Such comments shared with business contacts, fellow professionals and potential employers isn’t going to win you any gold stars, any time soon in your search for a PR job.  Similarly, start posting about the merits of your latest work experience placement on Facebook, and you could potentially bore your mates to death.

Different horses for different courses:

No two social media sites are the same and you need to think about what you want to get out of each site you’re signed up to.  Once you’ve done that you need to set clear boundaries . . . and stick to them.  Personally, Facebook is purely social, LinkedIn is strictly professional and Twitter is somewhere in the middle.

So what about the middle?  Well for me, that’s where Twitter [and more recently Pinterest] comes in.  I use these platforms as a happy medium between the two extremes; I network with PR people as well as friends, tweet / pin about PR related stuff as well as bits and bobs that have caught my eye and are of general interest to me.

Having said this, all the while I have the ‘would I want my boss / potential employer / Mum to see this’ question in the back of my mind.  I like to think of it as self-censoring to minimise any potential damage to my online reputation.

So there you have it.  A round up of social media considerations to help protect you, as well as promote you, in the most positive and professional light. If only someone had told Paris Brown…


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