Today’s my birthday, so my coworkers decided to turn the tables on me by writing a story about me. . . Click the photo below to read the entire story.
As someone who works as a communications professional and writes every single day, I can identify with this quote often attributed to Ernest Hemingway:
“There is nothing to writing. You just sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
While I may not be sitting at a typewriter, I understand the sentiment. Writing isn’t easy, at least good writing. It’s a craft, and to write well, it takes time, effort and a lot of rewriting.
But unfortunately, when you work in a creative field, especially in a corporate setting, it sometimes seems like everyone has an opinion and advice about your work. Let’s just say, sometimes that can be a little frustrating. So today, I offer to you three things you shouldn’t say to the communications/editorial/public relations professionals in your company.
I’m a sucker for any kind of quiz on social media. From finding out which Disney character I am to what old lady name best fits me—if it’s a quiz, I’ve probably taken it.
The other day, I saw a “How old do you really look?” quiz. It analyzed your Facebook profile pic and spit out an answer.
And do you know what mine was?
Yeah. 42. That’s a great number for Jackie Robinson, but it’s not for me.
Not to offend any 42-year-olds out there, but I’m 36. And, to be frank, I don’t really want to look 42 until I’m actually 42. It would be even better is I didn’t look 42 until I was 52!
Random Facebook quiz, you injured my vanity.
Thankfully, how-old.net made me feel a little better. It said I look 29
(And that was based on the same picture. . . )
I love social media. I still use Facebook and like that I can keep up with friends from high school and elsewhere, no matter where we may live now. Twitter keeps me up-to-date and is usually good for a laugh.
But there are a few things people do on social media that make me a little crazy. And I’m willing to bet some of you agree, too.
1. The Lure.
The Lure is that social media post designed to elicit a response from the reader. It takes many forms, many of which you probably know well. I’m so OVER it. Can’t take it anymore. I can’t believe he did that! Maybe those examples seem a little melodramatic, but I’ve seen similar posts many times. The lure is often passive aggressive. It’s meant to draw attention to yourself and cause readers to ask questions like: What’s wrong?, Need to talk?, or How can I help? I’m not saying every status update or tweet has to be happy; that’s not real life. But they don’t have to be passive aggressive. So, if you think you might be about to post “The Lure,” ask yourself:
2. The Sell.
I love that you have found a product you love or a company that you want to work for. I really do enjoy seeing posts about the amazingly crafty things you make and have for sale. But I don’t like it when EVERYthing you post is an attempt to sell me something. Truth be told, I don’t buy into the essential oils craze, I think losing weight involves more than drinking a specific drink, and your skin products are probably amazing, but I can’t afford them—and I don’t want to join your team. For me, social media is social and about connecting, not advancing business. If you want to sell on social media, I’m fine with that. But create a page or separate account for your product or business and use that to sell your wares, not your personal account. Questions to consider if you’re a repeat offender of “The Sell”:
3. Private Made Public.
Maybe this one is just me. Perhaps I’m just too sheltered or think some things should remain private. I truly get when you want to wish your spouse or significant other a happy anniversary or birthday, or even just honor them in some way publicly. And I think choosing to publicly honor that special someone is laudable. Who wants to be with someone who never says they love you in front of others? But you don’t have to overshare in those posts and outline every aspect of your relationship. A simple Happy Anniversary! Thanks for standing by me all these years, even though I don’t deserve it! would suffice. We don’t have to read the personal note you’d inscribe in a card or letter thanking him/her for being your best friend, lover, encourager, etc. It’s your relationship and part of what makes that special is the intimacy. Guard that intimacy; don’t slap it on social media for the world to see. Questions to ask if you think your post might be TMI:
I’m sure there are many more social media faux pas that make you crazy. Share them in the comments!