Finding Balance Between Professionalism and Personality in Social Media

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By: Allison Koontz

Social networking sites undoubtedly provide a platform for entertainment loaded with humor, current trends and events. Between the latest memes and outrageous celebrity news, students are quick to retweet, comment on or like what attracts their attention, no matter the content. What we post publicly seems to be harmless to our reputation, as inappropriate content is often just viewed as a humorous post or joke to us. For college students, it often escapes our minds that more than just our close friends can view what we post.

As we transition to a stage between child and adulthood, it’s important to keep a level of professionalism when interacting on social media. As we enter the field of public relations, students need to remember professionals and potential employers can easily find our social media profiles, pretty much as easily as you can find that old Vine thread on Twitter. So be cautious the next time you see a risky tweet and consider retweeting it. Social media is an extension of your resume.

A balance between personality and professionalism can be found. You don’t have to cut out all your humor and personal interests from social media to be viewed as a professional. You can stand out from the cookie cutter professional Twitter by combining industry posts with your own personal interests to give your profile life by letting your personality shine through. So find a balance that voices who you are and what you can offer to professionals.

While we should all be conscious of what we post on social media, these platforms can be used for much more than memes and cat videos. As upcoming industry professionals, we should take advantage of the power of social networking platforms. Students can easily interact with agencies and professionals by a simple tweet, creating a way to network and be recognized. Following accounts like Ad Age and PR News will allow you to keep up with industry news and trends while scrolling through the rest of your feed. These platforms are a tool public relations and communication majors should use to stand out and stay in the loop.

The power of social media can make or break an upcoming professional. Be cautious of what you post, but take advantage of the endless possibilities found in these platforms to stand out in a positive way while keeping your personality and professionalism. Create a brand for yourself in the public relations and communication world that is worth remembering.