Brand Allegiance and Brand Bashing

If you list a brand name in any of your social media accounts, but then incessantly complain about the brand (even if it’s vague) or attack the brand, you look disloyal. Particularly if you don’t offer solutions.

If you are a student, especially one in PR or Strategic Communications and associate with a brand (club, organization, sports team, volunteer position, etc.) in your profile, bashing that brand could be a fatal career error for you.

Potential employers are going to search you and search deeper than Google. They’ll check to see if you understand privacy settings on Facebook and have Twitter open. Then a potential employer will comb through your tweets and wall posts and see if you complain about any brand you associate with and if you do how specific or damaging the complaints are. They may check cached pages to see if you’ve removed tweets or posts.

Ask yourself, if I associate with this brand in my profile, shouldn’t I try to represent it well, as I would a client? Won’t a potential employer view my bashes as detrimental?

Margot MacKay, @msbruschetta on Twitter, summed it up, “With students and PR jobs, it’s an entirely different situation. Less forgiving for iffy Twitter behavior, for sure!”
If you are going to complain about your associated brand, be constructive. @dpabowen defines constructive as “feedback that helps the company and/or its customers; destructive = everything else. A positive tone is important too.”
Jerry Gamblin, @JGamblin continues, “If you don’t have a solution to the problem its destructive. If you have a solution its constructive. Its the difference between saying ‘You suck’ and ‘You Suck, here is how you stop sucking so bad’.”
Or just don’t associate with the brand in the first place.

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