We Are All Our Own PR Specialists, or What Not to Do in Social Media

June 17 2022

We Are All Our Own PR Specialists, or What Not to Do in Social Media

How can we consciously and safely use social media to build our professional image? What to avoid in social media to make sure you don’t hurt your company and your professional standing? Poorly thought through tweets or Facebook or Instagram posts can affect your career negatively, so make sure you read what mistakes not to make. 

The old adage “never share anything you wouldn’t say/show at a family dinner” is the best social media policy. What social media content you post can severely damage your image?

Constant hate and conspiracy theories


Do you like being around people filled with negative energy? Do you value those who see conspiracies and malicious intent everywhere they look? Right – no one does. This includes employers. Do you judge others based on opinions rather than facts? Do you insult others online? Do you post threats towards other users? If so, you are asking for trouble – both in your private and professional lives. To argue your point fiercely is normal, but insults and insinuations are off limits. Remember that anonymity online is a myth, and authorities identify and find those who’d post punishable threats every other day. 

Slandering your employer

Of course, we don’t always love the company we work for, but to express our discontent in social media is definitely a poor idea. In broad terms our profile is our own, but you’d be wise to remember that whatever we post there is publicly available (unless we consciously restrict the visibility of every post we make). As far as we’re concerned, the expression of longing for the weekend has never gotten anyone in trouble, however rendering personal judgement towards your colleagues or superiors, or the company itself, can lead to a disciplinary action.

You may also be interested in: Misinformation and Fake News – How to Spot Them 

Spreading misinformation

We live in the age of fake news. They are not only the source of endless fun for numerous Internet trolls, but also a dangerous weapon in political struggles. Getting slightly over-involved in a heated political discussion will harm only you; however, sharing and spreading baseless anonymous source “revelations” can bear serious social consequences or can be used to wage information warfare by various groups of interest.

We all succumb to our emotions every now and again, and the social media consist mostly of emotion-based dialogue. If you don’t know the full context and the source of the information, you really shouldn’t pass on even the most credibly sounding sensationalist news, so that you may seem really well informed. And you should certainly refrain from sharing shocking news or controversial memes and quotes, if only not to look silly afterwards. 


Very few Internet users see it fitting to avoid or mask profanity, so the use of more colorful language is slowly becoming a norm. You should still remember that for many people, especially older ones, the casual use of profanity is a sign of the lack of manners, and a red flag warning them from hiring those who swear online, and even disqualifying them from working in certain jobs – such as customer service. 

Keep in mind that nothing posted online ever goes away. A vulgar tweet from a couple years back can be found by a person who makes a decision about hiring you, and ruin your chances. Whether you like it or not, the standard of speech is one of key elements of a professional image. Posting profanity is not all. Radical posts concerning such subjects as political views, sexual orientation or religion can also be disqualifying.

Perhaps you’ll also like: “5 Spotify Playlists Perfect for Work” 

Pictures that show just a little too much

How do you choose the pictures to publish on Facebook or Instagram? Do you want to be seen as attractive? Right. However it is best not to cross certain lines, and posting should definitely be preceded by answering a simple question: do I really want my coworkers and clients to see that? The fact you don’t have them among your Facebook friends doesn’t make a difference. The social media the world has become even smaller, and taking a screenshot and sending it to just anybody is a matter of seconds. It is important to make the right choices concerning the privacy settings and post visibility settings, so that your holiday photos don’t become an object of ridicule and crude comments. Getting a few more likes or followers will most likely not be worth it.

Tu sum up, even if your family, superiors or clients are not among your online friends, whatever inappropriate comment or controversial opinion you post may find its way to them faster than you think. Also remember that whining about your work publicly does not put you in the most favorable light and it can damage your personal image in the eyes of potential future employers. Also most of your friends’ reaction to your posts will be “if you’re so miserable, why don’t you just change your job?” They will simply avoid your content in the future, as they will probably find it boring. Make sure that what you post on social media is thought through. The person who can’t control what they do on Facebook, is likely not to be seen as trustworthy by a prospective employer.

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