When we put ourselves out there on the internet, we open ourselves to the negative feedback. This is one of the biggest impediments for leaders getting on social networks; we don’t want to potentially stir the pot.
Well, putting our heads in the sand won’t work because those negative conversations are taking place anyway.
If you’re online for your own personal branding, there are some guidelines you can follow to help stay out of trouble.
How To Avoid Your Own PR Crisis
Sarah Skerik shared some ideas for protecting and avoiding being in your own PR crisis in social media.
- Avoid profanity: There are plenty of celebrities both online and offline that use profanity all the time. Let’s assume you are the CEO or leader of a company. This sort of thing more than likely doesn’t align with your brand. If that is the case, don’t swear.
- Think twice before you post: Even though you can delete something after you post it, if someone sees it and grabs a screengrab before you do so, it doesn’t matter. They can share it away and you’ll have a hard time explaining it.
- How would your boss/family react if they saw it? We sometimes think, “Would our moms be proud?” before we hit post. Imagine it being published in the nightly news. If you’d be embarrassed, don’t publish it.
- Take the high road: Be gracious, humble, apologetic. Don’t be obnoxious and belligerent.
- Think about the ramifications of what you are saying: How will it affect others? Think it through before you hit the send button.
- Establish personal guidelines for the different networks you are on: For example, Twitter is a more open network. You’ll want to be more professional whereas, with Facebook, you can control who sees your posts with your privacy settings. You may be on with friends and family only so you can be more personal. This doesn’t give you free reign, of course, but you can open up a bit more.
Lastly, if you want to really stay away from a PR crisis, avoid the taboo conversations around religion, race, and politics. Just don’t go there.
What would you add?
Thanks to Star Group for the image.