There are many ways your personal brand can be compromised online, and John David from David PR Group shared several examples during his presentation at the Gainesville Chapter Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) FPRA Monthly luncheon in November with both FPRA and Advertising Federation (AAF) members and guests. John shared several examples of individuals who had difficulty securing gainful employment after their personal brand had been compromised by other people.

He had several best practices to share including checking the level of security and controls on any social media sites you are on so that others can only tag you in a photo if you allow it. Not on social media? John advises to get on because you want to be in control and manage your brand. For example, it is a best practice to claim that Yelp listing for your business before someone else does. This way, you remain the authority on those pages and the information that is shared there. The same can be said for social media for your personal brand. You don’t have to post often, but at least claim an account in your name so that no one else can. For example, Warren Buffet has a Twitter account but rarely posts. However, his Twitter account ranks higher than his biography if you do a search for him.

John’s best advice is follow the rules and the law, know who your friends are, and don’t document everything. The famous golden rule still applies: respect yourself and respect others. Be thoughtful, genuine and authentic while posting on any social media site or online.

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