By Roshanda Pratt
If you’ve read my guest posts here on The Publicity Hound’s Blog, you know I’m a news hound. While I was snooping around recently, I was reminded of something I need to warn you about when it comes to the media.
Nothing is really off limits.
In our digital world, it’s much easier for journalists, bloggers or anyone else to simply Google your name. Before Facebook pages and Twitter chats, the news media had to do some real digging to find out who you were.
Not the case nowadays. Today, journalists can type in your name and discover your Facebook page or any other social media handle. Social media has now become another “source” for information.
I’ve watched many local and even national news sources pull photos and information about a person from their social media profiles and credit Facebook. The days of playing detective are long gone. Now, you make it easy for them.
What Do Your Social Media Profiles Say About You?
So here’s the question. Does your social media profile portray an accurate picture of you? Does your business profile look like a business profile or do you still have the surfer dude photo as your profile picture? Or the goofy photo of you when you were deer hunting with the guys?
I’m concerned about this because too often we’ve forgotten that our digital fingerprint is equally important. This friendly reminder isn’t just about making sure you have a profile photo.
It’s also about making sure what’s posted or tweeted or shared won’t come back to haunt you. Social media and press releases go together like hand and glove.
I sent a press release to a TV station for a client who was a financial expert. I was pitching him to share tips on finances along with a plug for his new book. The station booked him to be on the 5 o’clock news.
But to my surprise, when I assured the producer that my client was comfortable in front of the camera, she told me she already knew that. She had already searched for him online and found some clips of him on YouTube. Since that experience, I make it a point to include social media handles in press releases.
How to Make Yourself Ready for the Digital World
Google: When was the last time you Googled your name and also looked through all of Google’s images? Don’t do it now. Keep reading.
Studies show people are more likely to use Google to track down others. In this case, what you don’t know can hurt you. Know what’s out there so you’re not surprised.
Clean it up: Like the “Orbitz” commercial, got a potty mouth? Clean it. In this case, if you have a crabby social media profile or digital image, clean it up! Be clear, concise and real about who you are online. If you wouldn’t say it to your mom, then don’t say it online. What you do or don’t do could hinder your TV time.
Balance: Have a good selection of posts that offer an accurate portrayal of who you are. This helps give the media an idea of what you’re like personally—a glimpse into your life.
That glimpse is what we give people every day on social media. Social media is free space. Use it to your advantage to attract and not distract.
Managing your digital fingerprint helps you keep a handle on your message. How can you improve your digital fingerprint? Do you have some suggestions? Tweet me @RoshandaPratt or share in the Comments below.