As you may know, I’m currently pursuing my MA in public relations and advertising. In PR we talk about reputation management. This is a strategy that a brand uses to shape the way in which its public views it. This might consist of presenting a brand in a certain way on its social media networks. It could also include a certain manner in which that brand conducts itself publicly. Many major companies have an employee that works on reputation management for the brand. Obviously, reputation is incredibly important to brands, but it is also important for individuals.
Another thing we talk about in PR is your own personal brand. The idea is that we as people have our own brand. Everything we put out into the world and everything that we are as people represents our brand. Like major brands, we must also do reputation management. For me, I manage my brand by keeping my social media clean and my outward facing communication professional. I made a decision when I started my own social media profiles that my content would be clean and non-controversial. I do not post anything with negative or inflammatory language, religious/political concepts or themes, and even when I want to, I hold back from social media fights. This develops my brand as professional and inclusive. Because I don’t share opinions that would isolate anyone, I am able to keep a very neutral and positive appearance on social media.
I believe that reputation is one of the most important factors in the hiring process nowadays. Employers want to know that you can conduct yourself in a manner that is consistent with the company’s values. By managing your reputation and personal brand, you can use the same strategy brand’s use to shape people’s ideas of you as a person. This empowers us to take control of how potential employers view us. If we have the power to manage the way in which people perceive us, why wouldn’t we?