Public relations students and young professionals have long been engaged in social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter. We’ve grown to understand the value of connecting with companies and professionals on LinkedIn, and we’re often early adopters on location-based sites like Foursquare and SCVNGR.
While we use social media for professional networking and engagement, it’s very much a part of our personal lives. With the mix of business and pleasure unavoidable, how do you manage your face in the social space?
I’ve heard many professionals lecture students on the fact that there’s no such thing as keeping the two separate. I agree to an extent and recognize that a balance is necessary. Ialso believe it’s possible to keep part of one’s social “face” professional while the other part personal. For students and young professionals looking for a job, it’s all about who you let into your network.
When you engage on social media sites, do not link your accounts so that one update reaches all outlets. Since high school, many students have used Facebook as a personal networking tool: keep it that way. It’s not appropriate or necessary to “friend” a boss from an internship on Facebook. However, it is appropriate and probably essential to connect with them on LinkedIn. Knowing the functions of each outlet will help make this distinction easier.
For me, Twitter has been the most challenging. I want to maintain my face as a PR professional, but also have fun with friends that have become fellow tweeps. The result: I keep tweets professional, but don’t stray from personal, fun tweets as long as they’re appropriate.
How challenging has this been for you? Leave your thoughts below!
About the Author
Stephanie Takach is a junior at Drexel University majoring in communication with a minor in marketing. She is also president of Drexel’s PRSSA chapter and an aspiring PR professional. Feel free to contact Stephanie on Twitter.
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