Friday, August 21, 2009


Guest item compiled by Ed Lee

As a public relations agency, Veritas Communications staff spend almost all of our time managing our clients’ reputations both offline and, increasingly with the com.motion practice group, online. While doing this important work, we must always be mindful of not just the corporate reputation of an organization but the reputations of the people within it. With this in mind, I am awarding a Fumble to Jane Doe (name redacted) for posting an inappropriate comment about her boss on her Facebook page … seemingly without remembering she had added said boss to her Facebook friends. Predictably, her boss also awarded her a Fumble and asked her not to report to work the next day. Sadly, this news comes on the back of a report that eight per cent of organizations have dismissed someone for inappropriate behaviour on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. The lesson here is that whatever you put into the online space is permanently archived – almost forever. As communicators, we need to be as mindful of our personal online reputations as we do those of our clients’ and employers’. Please, don’t think of networks like Facebook as comfy walled gardens where you can say whatever you like, but as large cocktail parties where everything you say could be heard by anyone else. In this case, the consequences are far worse. Should Jane Doe apply for another job and should the Human Resources manager be savvy enough to do some online digging, she has really scuppered her chances of employment.

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