How to Boost Your PR Profile Via Social Media

social media, march 3, 2014

You may have heard the old expression that charity begins at home. The same could be said for public relations: If you are pursuing a career in PR, there’s no better “client” to start with than yourself.

A prospective employer (or client, for that matter) is much more likely to be impressed with you if you know how to present yourself and your capabilities in the best light possible. That only makes sense; after all, if you’re shooting for a PR position and can’t even make yourself look good, how are you going to make someone else look good?

Social media can be a great tool to hone your PR skills and set you on the path to a successful career in public relations. More than likely you are already active on social media on a casual basis, but that isn’t the same as using it to enhance your career. And if you’re not engaged in social media to advance your job prospects, you are overlooking a great opportunity to impress prospective employers.

When you consider that many employers are now using social media to post job openings, it’s clear that if you’re not using this tool at all, you are probably missing out on making some crucial connections. That said, social media is a tool that you have to use judiciously; the manner in which you present yourself to the world can make or break your employment prospects.

 Here are three rules to help ensure that your social media activities are PR assets rather than liabilities for you.

1. Keep your focus.

Some people insist that you need to have a presence everywhere: on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Pinterest, Youtube, Instagram, Flickr and every other social media site on the Web. That’s rarely necessary, and can actually hinder you, particularly if your time is very limited. At the very least, however, you need a Linkedin account, as Linkedin is specifically for professional networking (more on that below). A Facebook page can be helpful as well, as long as it shows you in a favorable light. A Twitter account can help you showcase your individuality, once you’ve mastered the art of being engaging and original in 140 characters or less.

Sites such as Twitter and Facebook can allow you to actually communicate directly with CEOs and hiring professionals, or other influential people. You don’t need to have a presence on every social media site on the Internet, but do try to hit the majors. Some experts suggest that you establish an online “home base.” For some people this may be a personal (or business) web site or a blog. But if you have neither, there’s no better place to establish your home base than Linkedin. Linkedin is often the first place that hiring professionals will look for information about you. Use your page to summarize your goals and aspirations, as well as your educational and job background.

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