I’m sure you have, it’s a super famous song that goes:
“Cause we are living in a PR world
And I am not a PR girl
You know that we are living in a PR world
And I am not a PR girl”
I have a strong connection with that chorus because I find it very true to my personal PR situation. Yes, being a PR student you think I would be the Hermione Granger of social media, but I prefer myself to be recognised as the Seamus Finnigan as I just can’t seem to get the hang of it.
To the horror of most girls my age, I don’t have an Instagram account. When they find out I can almost see the clogs in their head as they ask themselves, “But how do you show off your manicured nails and your overpriced cocktail? Although it is really filled with cranberry juice but #coconutguavamartini #goals #fancystudentlife”. And in this prime age within the digital era, I still don’t know how to retweet. And my inner old lady attitude wants to know what even is a Tumblr? I thought it was a flask you give to the barista at Starbucks for discounted coffee.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not afraid of social media or having a large digital footprint; I’m just lazy and I don’t feel the need to share my opinions or heavily filtered photographs about my personal life at this moment in time. Though it will probably be something I will need to grab onto eventually or I’ll be seen as old-fashioned in this increasingly modern world.
So, perhaps I don’t have the social media expertise compared to say, Zoella, however, it is worth noting that any social media platform provides a great opportunity for personal PR. I want to illustrate how I demonstrate my personal PR on my social media accounts and highlight the reasons why I think they are useful. Also, I will also only be talking about platforms that I use and understand so I’ll not be talking about the ‘Gram or the noisy bird.
Let’s start with the biggie: Facebook. 95% of people, companies and charities have an account on Facebook. My friend’s dog even has Facebook. And for many of us, it is still the main place where people display their life on the internet: engagements, pregnancies, posting you’re single after a bad breakup-you’re really craving a bit of attention.
When I first got Facebook in 2010, I was all about writing stupid, status updates like…
But now, I never write or post anything. The height of my Facebook activity is getting tagged in a photograph after a night out. So overall my personal PR is pretty boring, not the best image to present to the world. However, among my friends, I can be seen as fairly active as I am constantly linking videos, commenting on their photographs and talking on messenger as that is my preferred way to communicate with my friends.
Onto the next one- Snapchat. I am a fan of Snapchat as it’s really easy to use, they have fun animations and the dynamics of the picture vanishing after 24 hours is cool because it keeps the material fresh. When I post on my Snapchat, it will mainly be videos of my dog, cool makeup looks I have created during the early hours when the Sandman hasn’t been or just some random rubbish I find funny that day. I am not an everyday poster but I will whenever something interesting happens in my life. And this is why Snapchat suits me so well, it is super casual- the tone is more relaxed and edges towards having an air of stupidity rather than being about bragging to the world. This is personally the biggest difference between Instagram and Snapchat, one is about perfected photos that remain until deleted, and the other has rougher edges and deletes itself after a few hours of existence.
Next, we got LinkedIn. And this is pretty cool if you want to be recognised as a professional candidate, trying to adult in the real world. I have a profile and I think it’s cool because now if I google my name, my LinkedIn picture appears.
Though all jokes aside, this is not the place for you to post your drunken photos of the night before in Limelight. To me, it is where you can display your CV but in a more casual approach. Your profile is divided up into sections such as Education, Work Experience like how you lay out your CV. However, there is an element that is more interactive, for example, there is a section about Skills and Qualities where people can endorse your traits and give you recognition for being kind, trustworthy, whatever. So now people can actually believe you when you tell them that you are a really fun person. Like super fun, I swear.
My personal PR on LinkedIn is probably not up to scratch, I must admit. I am still very new to the process and I am learning. So slowly but surely I will eventually build up more of a profile for myself by adding better information, more experience and making meaningful connections with influential names within the PR industry as it is rather small in Northern Ireland so digitally connecting with people can be the difference between getting a job or not.
To me, personal PR is just how you present yourself to the world and I would grade myself a solid C for my personal PR when currently looking at my social media accounts. My reasoning: they don’t contain anything embarrassing, they don’t anything offensive, pretty much they don’t contain much at all. I fail at presenting myself because I’m pretty sure if anyone took a look at my profile, they’d think I’m rather dull which isn’t 100% true. Check my LinkedIn, and that’ll prove it. Therefore I feel I need to do some corrections and liven up my profiles by adding a little more magic. Repeat after me:
Eye of rabbit. Harp string hum. Turn this water into rum.
Nicole Service is a third-year student on the BSc in Communication Management & Public Relations at Ulster University. She can be contacted on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicole-service-056016130.