Your reputation is calling. Will you answer?

“You better think, think, think! Think about what you are trying to do to me!” Your reputation is calling. Will you answer?

At one of my recent TEC Canada meetings, we had a presentation by Grant Ainsley on “Bullet Proofing Your Organization”. His presentation on branding, public relations and the impact of social media was fascinating. As a former investigative television reporter, he quickly demonstrated how media preparation is critical to avoid being the star of a sound bite on the 6 o’clock news that could have a significant negative impact on your career\organization\life!

One area in his talk was about how social media was an incredible enabler for us to quickly create that 5 second sound bite that could live forever.

He posted a slide with a very relevant guideline that everyone should follow in their social media journey. BEFORE you post ANYTHING in ANY social media platform you should think:

T = is it true?
H = is it helpful?
I = is it inspiring?
N = is it necessary?
K = is it kind?

As the content reverberated in my head, Aretha Franklin started singing! (Yes, I know that is odd.) For those of you that can remember, Aretha had a song in 1968 called “Think”. Granted, the song itself was about another topic, but its first line was very relevant to today’s use of social media and the impact on our reputation. Close your eyes, now imagine you can see her on stage performing with her backup singers (alternatively in could also be in a diner in the Blues Brother movie):

You better think (think) think about what you’re trying to do to me!

Your reputation is built upon how we act, behave, speak, look and listen. We can significantly influence our own reputation by being that positive influence on the world our mothers wanted us to be. Here are a few examples I’ve personally seen.

Posting your opinion on the homeless in downtown, is it true?

Tweeting (or sub-tweeting) about someone, is it helpful?

Instagram’ing that picture of you holding a big wad of cash in Las Vegas, is it inspiring?

Another video of a cat following a laser pointer dot, is it necessary?

Snapchat’ing an unflattering picture of someone, is it kind?

Social media posts say a lot about you, and help form your reputation. Every day of your life is now an interview. If someone wants to know more about you, your social media posts will provide much of the information they will want. Do you want your spouse’s family to learn about you this way? Do your children (and their friends) need to see those pictures? Would you want your co-workers to know all of your opinions? How would you feel if those opinions had a negative impact on your spouse’s career? What if those comments impacted your company’s ability to grow?

Your reputation is calling, Are you listening?

You better think (think) think about what you’re trying to do to me!

Remember what our mothers (and Thumper!!) told us, “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothin’ at all”.

Your reputation is waiting to be influenced every day of your life, will you think before you post?