Podcasts 2 minute read
What do you do when you meet someone for the first time, whether through business or pleasure? Chances are you will open up Google, type in their name and wait to see what comes up.
This 'digital footprint' we all have grows bigger by the day for many of us through writing blogs, Tweeting or sharing what we are up to with our Facebook 'friends'. More information is available about all of us than ever before, particularly if you use social media. Even more so if you fail to keep up to date with the frequent changes in the privacy settings on Facebook or Instagram.
What though if you say something so extreme that it becomes a news story, the subject of a criminal investigation and a court case?
That is what happened to Emma Way when she tweeted "definitely knocked a cyclist off his bike earlier - I have right of way he doesn't even pay road tax #bloodycyclists".
Now if you undertake a Google search for "Emma Way" you find the first 10 pages of results are 95 per cent negative coverage about her court case. On the first results page of my search global media brands such as the BBC, Daily Mail, Guardian, Huffington Post were included as well as her Twitter account. That is the kind of coverage which will never go away and would take a huge investment in time and resources to try and budge.
While I would always advise any clients to be themselves on social media, I also advise not to Tweet while drunk and to think what their Mum would think about a Tweet before they send it. Basic sense checks like this cannot just save embarrassment but your reputation too.
As a keen cyclist myself Emma Way's Tweet is alarming. As a communications professional it is utterly stupid.
Emma Way's online reputation has been destroyed in one moment of senseless bragging. Every job she applies for, every online dating site she may one day use, every person she meets who may think she is nice and wants to know a bit more about her will do what I have just done and Google her name. Then the job interview won't be forthcoming; there won't be any dates and her reputation will be sullied in the mind of that person who thought she was nice.
For this I make Emma Way my Mis-Communicator of the Week.
Communicator of the Week is written by Edward Staite