You had a blast last night partying with friends, maybe you had one too many. Photos were taken and you’re about to post that hilarious one of you after you fell face first into that girl’s décolletage (look it up if you don’t know what it means).
Before you hit the post button consider this: A new study finds that 60 percent of employers are using social networking sites to research job candidates. Ten years ago, just 11 percent of hiring managers said they were using social media to screen job candidates.
CareerBuilder’s annual social media recruitment survey of 2,186 hiring managers and human resource professionals suggests that employers, and potential employers, are using Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels to “get a glimpse of candidates” beyond just their cover letter.
For years now we have been warned to be careful about what we post to our social media pages. Young adults, in particular, are told not to post photos of themselves engaging in the kind of activities they wouldn’t want potential employers, or for that matter their parents, to see.
Surprisingly, the study found that most hiring managers are not intentionally looking for negatives – in fact six in ten are just looking for information to support a candidate’s qualifications for the job. However, 21 percent did admit they were looking for reasons not to hire someone.
But should you keep your profile private? Not necessarily. Two in five of those responding to the survey said they would be less likely to interview a job candidate if they couldn’t find information about them online – that’s up six percent since last year.
Public relations is not just about getting your name, or the name of your organization, mentioned in the media. It goes far beyond that. As I explain to clients, public relations also has a lot to do with establishing yourself as a credible expert in your field.
Reporters and bloggers are always looking for experts to quote in their stories. And, while those in your field may consider you to be an expert based on your knowledge and experience, getting others outside of your field to recognize your expertise may take a little more work.
Using the following strategies can help you to build your reputation as an expert, which eventually will lead to increasing your media visibility.
Blog: Writing a regular (notice I said regular) blog is a great way to share your knowledge. Many business owners tell me they don’t have the time to write a blog, which is often why they hire me. Others love to write, but don’t necessarily have the skill. If you love to write and can, then go for it. If you can’t, you can always be interviewed and have someone else write the blog for you. Or, you can take a crack at writing it and then have someone else edit it. Whatever you choose, just make sure you blog regularly. Regular blogs are not only great for search engine optimization (SEO) but can serve as a great starting point when trying to get the media to learn more about you and your expertise. As you reach out to media contacts you can send some of the links to your blogs and tell them that if they are ever writing about such-and-such to give you a call. Blogs can be posted on your own website, or you can guest blog for others. You can also share your blogs on your other social media channels.
Garton-Miller Media is a full-service, South Florida-based public relations firm. Founder Susan R. Miller has 30 years of experience as a writer, journalist and PR professional.