Part Two – the Brand of “Me”
While he was on leave a few months ago, a Coastie posted a status update on Facebook that alluded to the fact that he was drunk. While he was not in any danger of being asked to stand watch in an emergency, I quietly wondered if the post had left a bad taste in anyone’s mouth besides mine. To be blunt, the post did not reflect the image I wanted the Coast Guard to publicly portray nor was it smart for this individual to be sharing this information via a searchable social media tool. What would a future employer think about this person?
Wikipedia says, “Personal branding is the process whereby people and their careers are marked as brands. Personal branding often involves the application of one’s name to various products. For example, celebrity real-estate mogul Donald Trump uses his last name extensively on his buildings and on the products he endorses.”
Essentially, a poor portrayal of one’s self may have a negative impact on you and your employer. To quote personal branding expert Dan Schwabel, he says, “Personal branding is not about you, it’s about everyone else.”
With this in mind, what does your online brand say about you? Knowing that it could reflect on the Coast Guard and its brand, would you do anything different in how you represent yourself via social media tools?
In a Web 2.0 era, where our status updates, videos, pictures and online comments are all searchable and on a stage for the world to see, it’s critical that all of us put our best face forward. Why? One of our shipmate’s actions could have an impact on the Coast Guard’s overall brand. While we’re not perfect and should not expect our online presence to be sterile, we are all in this together.
I’m interested in hearing your feedback and look forward to your good questions.