Hey Guys. I’m sorry for the lack of new content in the past week; I’ve been swamped with end-of-the-month reports, last minute press conferences, and the usual chaos indigenous to PR & Social Media. I’ve got a few posts in the works that I’ll tell you about later – a teaser, if you will, but my topic today was inspired by my new Twitter Avatar & the resulting comments I received about its ramifications.
Basically, in the picture, I’m drinking a beer. I’m over 21 (24 in fact) and I was on vacation (not at work) at the time. I use Twitter for a variety of purposes including, but not limited to, professional networking, developing relationships with journalists and media personalities, personal branding, promoting by work & blog…etc, and of course, keeping in touch with friends (mostly those I’ve met through work or twitter).
So the question remains – Can a simple beer preclude employment opportunities? Will it damage my personal brand and growing reputation as a credible authority in my field? Will it drive away followers and readers?
I posed the question to my friends and followers and received a mixed bag of responses.
This isn’t like I’m at a recent grad looking for a job with pictures of me doing half-naked kegstands littering Facebook. There is nothing blatantly unprofessional about the picture, yet, to some, it evoked a weariness and sense of hesitation. My question is why? Yes, Twitter, for me, is primarily a professional tool – but professionals enjoy a beer every now and then – does admitting that really contaminate my hiring potential or personal brand in some way?
Please share your thoughts – weigh in. Should I change my Avatar? The consensus seems to be “I don’t think it’s bad, but you should probably change it just to be safe.” The thing is…I don’t like to do things to “be safe.” I base my actions and decisions on logic and reasons – and at this point, though I can acknowledge the potential for damage, I’m not convinced that there’s a significant chance, at least not enough for me to compromise my principals. Fear & the “just in case” mentality aren’t how I operate…at least not yet.
Also, I must credit Lauren Fernandez with opening this conversation, in her post:
Thanks for listening & Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts.