When you think of a spine surgeon, what image comes to your mind? I was thinking of this when I saw an ad from a medical practice in Florida that’s all about spines. At first, I thought the ad wouldn’t inspire people to go to the clinic, but then I went to their website and saw the two doctors leaning on each other, which made me think about what message they’re communicating. It says to me that while they lean on each other to treat people, patients can lean on them, too. I don’t know how much thought went into the ad and the website, but it’s obvious that they did do some thinking about the image that they want to share with the public.
It’s something that we can think about, too. Ask yourself about what message you’re sending to others when you post pictures offline or online. Whether it’s a headshot on your LinkedIn profile, a bio on your website, a photo sent to an organization for your upcoming speaking engagement, or photos sent to the media, you should think about your image. Even if you have the best credentials, you can negatively affect your reputation if your photos are not a good representation of who you are.
I try to mix it up: I might be serious in some photos or silly in others, but I try to think about what’s appropriate for the situation. The best rule is: what would your colleagues and potential clients think, even if it’s not directly connected to your practice?
The Wall Street Journal had an article by Rachel Emma Silverman called, “Facebook and Twitter Postings Cost CFO His Job” that is a warning to us all. Gene Morphis lost his good job because of tweets and posts on Facebook that got him in trouble. One post on Facebook, which you can still see on his wall , was “Earnings released. Conference call completed. How do you like me now Mr. Shorty?” The article also mentions an example of a damaging tweet that is no longer on his Twitter account: “Dinner w/Board tonite. Used to be fun. Now one must be on guard every second.”
He’s obviously an opinionated person, as his blog shows, but sharing work-related opinions publicly was definitely not a wise thing to do. Seeing the consequences of his actions reminds us that we all have to remember that there is a line between professional and personal expression. Sure, it’s tempting to post what we feel to our friends on Facebook, and we might feel comfortable enough in our jobs to post our opinions on Twitter, but we have to have self control when it comes to the Internet. I know people who regularly review their Facebook and Twitter accounts and delete anything that might sound unprofessional. It’s a good idea because what we think is benign can end up being damaging.
So take a good look at all your social media today: are there any photos or posts that might get you in trouble? If in doubt, delete.
Just another WordPress site