Between You and Me, There's PR

Exploring, learning and using social media, public relations and marketing.

If you don’t talk, someone else will. October 7, 2010


Creator of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg.


At only 26, Mark Zuckerberg, creator of Facebook, is worth billions.

We all wish we were the genius billionaire behind this social networking site, however, there is but one. On Oct. 5, 2010, The Social Network, a dramatic portrayal of the life of Mark Zuckerberg, hit theatres. The film leaves viewers feeling either angry or sympathetic towards Zuckerberg as he is blamed for stealing the idea for Facebook.

I am not here to analyze the movie because I have not seen it, but I am going to talk about the  potential consequences this movie could have from a public relations view for both Facebook and Zuckerberg, something Zuckerberg was reportedly fearful of. If movie-goers leave the theatre feeling angry towards him, perhaps Facebook itself would see a negative response. Let’s be honest though, it is Facebook and it is addictive. Zuckerberg said this, according to an interview he gave to mashable’s co-editor, Ben Parr:

““We build products that 500 million people see… If 5 million people see a movie, it doesn’t really matter that much.”

This is great for Zuckerberg, who does not have to worry about the impact of negative publicity since his website changed the world, but what about us average folks?  Those of us who are promoting a business or building a personal brand for ourselves as we look for future careers have a little more to worry about when it comes to negative publicity.

As we begin utilizing social media for personal use and businesses, it is important to be aware of the content you post, as well as what other’s post about you. As Lon Safko writes in “The Social Media Bible,” everyone is a publisher and anyone can write positive or negative content about you.

From a business or organizational standpoint, having consistent information on each social media website is vital. This ensures that people searching for your organization find the correct website rather than a random one with fake information on it. This also sends an uniformed message to consumers to distinguish a brand.

Businesses also must be aware of what people are posting about their business or organization. Actively searching for any mention of your company allows the ability to react to problematic content and ensure that all information posted is correct.

Lastly businesses have begun monitoring their employees’ social network content to regulate its appropriateness in relation to the company’s values. We discussed in class that many companies have employees sign a social media contract when hired that holds them responsible for the content they post on their personal websites.

From a personal standpoint, it is important that the image you portray online is the same image you want employers to see. Are you tweeting informative content or about a party you attended last night? This is your image and despite all privacy settings you might use, big company’s can still find you.

How in control do you feel about what people see on your page or what they say and read about you or your business?


2 Responses to “If you don’t talk, someone else will.”

  1. Christina Says:

    it’s so interesting how something like Facebook can pretty much make you or break you when it comes to either getting a job or even getting information out there about your business….

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