6 ways to avoid a personal PR crisis on social media

Your personal Twitter account might say, ‘My tweets are my own,’ but that doesn’t mean you can’t get yourself—and your company or client—into trouble. Here’s how to avoid a mess.

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So here are guidelines that anyone who associates themselves with a brand in social networks should consider following when engaging in conversation online:

Keep it clean. Even though TV networks now regularly use language formerly considered vulgar in prime time, anyone associated with a brand should steer clear of doing the same in social media. And DEFCON-5 level vulgarities—for example, the F-bomb, its derivatives, and other phrases of its ilk—should be dligently avoided.

Make sure you want to see it again; it will come back to you.
Sure, you can delete a tweet or a status update, but you can’t delete impressions, and if someone else grabs a screenshot of your message, your bad judgment may live on in perpetuity.

Consider whether your boss/CEO/child/parents would be horrified. If the message you’re planning to issue would cause people you care about—or people you want to respect you—to recoil if they saw your statement in The New York Times or on Mashable‘s home page, don’t post it. The same rule applies for petty insults and snarky commentary. Don’t give in to temptation.

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