What’s GOOGLE saying about you?

With new social media channels and sharing sites popping up, it’s easy to jump from one new thing to the next.  Especially when you’re an early adopter. But what happens after your initial interest in the property wanes or you decide that the channel just isn’t for you? You stop updating information and forget about it as you move on to the next hot thing.

You may have forgotten about it, but Google hasn’t. Now think about what happens when you are applying for a new job. If someone does an online search of your name does that old information pop up? Does this older information enhance your profile or does it detract? While it’s great to have an archive of your achievements easily accessible for prospective employers and clients, some of the information that is forgotten online can detract from your brand. I’m sure your prospective employer got a kick out of your pics on your now de-funked – and very public – MySpace account.

We joke about people who Google their dates before meeting them in person, but employers do this on a regular basis too. So friends, when was the last time you Googled yourself?

As I am currently looking for a job, I regularly do searches on myself to see what content a perspective employer might come across. What usually pops up are my recent Twitter posts, my LinkedIn profile, links to this blog, Pinterest, old press releases that I sent out and such. And then there’s the other stuff….  There is the Slideshare account I signed up for to so I could access a presentation; my abandoned Classmates info; and an outdated version of my online resume courtesy of Visualze.me (which is now up to date!)

Managing your online and social brand is never ending.  So what’s a professional to do? Here are some tips to get your started:

  1. Be selective of which new social sites you participate in. Don’t jump on every new thing just because it’s new.
  2. If you jumped on the new thing and it’s not for you, shut down or deactivate your account.
  3. In case you just missed that tidbit: SHUT DOWN YOUR ACCOUNT if you are no longer using it. You can reactivate most accounts if you change your mind.
  4. If you have negative or outdated content that is not within your control to remove, start posting new content that is representative of your brand. This will help to drive the outdated stuff farther down in searches.
  5. Be mindful of what you publicly share. Be mindful of what you privately share, because once something is shared; it is really no longer private… and the Internet never forgets. (She says in booming ‘movie voice-over’ voice…)

UBC Day 25: Who gives a Tweet?

Have you ever stopped to think about the tools you use for communicating with friends and family? Chances are they are the same as what we use in our professional lives. Facebook, Twitter, email and text. Sometimes we even use the phone and see one another in person. But mostly we text or Facebook one another. Yup Facebook is a verb.

I read an article called Does Facebook Make Us Lonely, in The Atlantic that suggests people who have active outlets, rather than passive ones are happier. The article defined an active outlet as anything you physically participate in, such as a team sport or social gatherings. Television was labeled as a passive activity, which is no surprise, but so was social media.

“Social media—from Facebook to Twitter—have made us more densely networked than ever. Yet for all this connectivity, new research suggests that we have never been lonelier…”

The article suggested that the more time we spend being ‘social’ on social networks, the more dissatisfied we become. This is because while we’re scrolling through our news feeds reading all the seemingly wonderful things that our Friends are posting, we start to compare our lives to these random snippets.

What we fail to realize in these moments of trolling on our social media channels is that very few people share if they are depressed or feeling inadequate. We only see the happy or the angry vent. We don’t really see into someone’s day to day life. Trust me, their lives have dull spots too! However, the more we invest in ourselves, the happier we become. So being social in our physical lives can lead to happiness.

The article asks this fundamental question: Does the Internet make people lonely, or are lonely people more attracted to the Internet?


UBC Day 05: The Art of Procrastination

Earlier this year, I read an article in Psychology Today called Procrastination: Oops, Where Did the Day Go? and thought it would make a great blog post. The article highlighted our proclivity to put things off, why we do it and how we can overcome this behavior.

In PR, there is no time to procrastinate. When getting a message out, time is of the essence. I strive to keep ahead of things, floating many balls in the air at any given time. I do this daily – and until now hadn’t given it much thought. Yet when it comes to getting my personal sh*t together, I’m as guilty as the next person when it comes putting things off; simple silly things such as sending an email, booking an appointment or getting my homework done. (Did I mention that I’m doing a Degree in my ‘spare’ time?)

Doing homework is a huge area of procrastination for me. Most of the courses I take are online or self study – meaning that as long as I have everything done and handed in at the end of the course, I’m good. I start with the best of intentions, telling myself that this time I will get a head start and do the course work consistently over the allotted six months. I praise myself for being so proactive in my planning.

Then here’s what really happens: I f**k around for three or four months, telling myself that I have plenty of time. Then hustle during the last few to get it done. What this tells me is that I can actually do the work in half the allotted time, but rather than starting with a bang and finishing early, I leave it to the last minute.

If there is one thing that I’ve learned about myself it’s that I work better under a deadline. The tighter the deadline, the more I produce. Ever need something to get done? Give it to a person who is busy. Busy people get more done. PR pros are busy people. Information is constantly changing and it’s our job to be ‘in the know’. There’s a great quote by Will Rogers that goes “Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” But back to me procrastinating on my homework.

In the article Procrastination: Oops, Where Did the Day Go? the author suggests that we procrastinate for three main reasons:

  1. We put off things we don’t like to do or that upset us in some way.
  2. Because our intentions are anemic—vague and weak.
  3. We’re easily distracted, and some of us are highly impulsive.

Hmmm. Let’s see.

  1. I want the Degree, but I don’t like doing the homework.
  2. If I’m honest about it, my attempts to “get a jump start” are pretty weak.
  3. I have a huge case of A-DOS: Attention Deficient Ohhhhh Shiny!

To overcome procrastination, the article suggests that one of the “simplest and most effective solutions is to just get started—anywhere on a task.”  Okay, okay, I get it. Start small, but just get started. And I’m gonna do just that… tomorrow.