PR Campaigns – The blog

April 6, 2009

A picture is worth a thousand clients

Filed under: The Fifth Firm — tmpace @ 7:24 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

I was reading through a few PR blogs when I ran across Seth Godin’s ( a marketing expert and author) blog entitled The Power of a Tiny Picture. In this blog he discusses how you picture can either make or break  your first impression you leave on people.  He says after browsing through many photos he developed suggestions for how to make you photograph into a great first impression. He has a few suggestions for what your picture should look like.

Here are a few:

  • Use a professional looking photo
  • Have normal background
  • Don’t wear a hat (and if you do make it a good hat)
  • Avoid having significant others in the photo. People are looking for you and not for them.
  • Look Happy
  • Don’t have a weird picture that is not of you (like a cartoon or object)
  • Cropping makes a photo look professional

Since this class I have been really focusing on my social media knowledge because the importance of the knowledge is growing. I was interviewing for internships last week, and all the potential employers wanted to hear about my social media skills.

This whole facebook picture idea shocked me. My first reaction was, “who cares.” But then I thought about how some of the pretty weird facebook profile pictures I  have seen.  I laugh at some of them because they are clever, but others I am confused or shocked. Imagine you are a potential client. You are thinking about hiring a new PR agent and you google their name and their facebook picture shows up. What if their picture is weird, unprofessional or risque? Would you second guess your decision of hiring them? I think I might.

I must be honest my profile picture on both facebook and twitter do not fit some Seth’s points. (I don’t think I will change it any time soon.)

I posted this blog to see what you guys think. How important do you think a facebook picture is? Would your opinion change if you owned your own PR firm, or knew your potential employers and clients were checking out your page?

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10 Comments »

  1. I completely agree that there is a lot of power in a tiny picture. Even when scrolling through potential new members of my organization or people who want to be hired at my work place, a small picture does make a difference in my decision. No, it is not because I am shallow and an attractive picture is better than an unattractive picture.. It is because the picture you chose says a lot about the person that you are. I believe that can be the same for a business. You need to capture attention quickly and a well thought out picture is the best way to do this. His suggestions are useful 🙂

    Comment by sekane — April 6, 2009 @ 8:52 pm | Reply

  2. Your first impression when you meet someone is always the most important – at least that was the way it went before the Internet. Nowadays, I think that one of the most important impressions a person gives is his or her impression online. As society becomes more and more obsessed with the Internet, the first thing many employers do when they encounter a new client is to scope out that person’s online presence. And with good reason, too. The Internet is arguably becoming the most-used communication medium in business, so we must learn how to convey a sense of professionalism and respectability online.

    If I were an employer, I would definitely run a background check on any candidate online. If his or her profile picture presented a negative impression, which could very well pursue me to end talks with the candidate. But we have to remember that this is a two-way street. Just as employers have every right to check on candidate profile pictures, we have every right to scope out theirs, too. If they don’t look serious online, than maybe their company isn’t serious either. The fact of the matter is, online presence is everything, and everyone has a duty to adhere to certain standards of professionalism if they want to succeed online. I, as everyone else should, constantly monitor how I may appear online. If it is true that something as tiny as a little picture can make or break a job offer, than I think it’s worth it to put in that extra time to ensure that it looks professional.

    Comment by plepkows — April 6, 2009 @ 10:09 pm | Reply

  3. Even though posting a picture online may seem trivial, I do believe that a profile picture is often times the first impression that an employer will have of a candidate. I am sure that most employers will Google an applicant’s name and if a picture appears as their profile picture of them doing a keg stand or scantily dressed, they are going to form a negative opinion of them. It would be hard for them not to. Just as people groom themselves in person to “manage” their self image, they too must do it online. Just because it is on a computer and not in real life does not mean that it cannot have a lasting impact. A picture is worth a thousand words…

    Comment by jejepson — April 6, 2009 @ 10:44 pm | Reply

  4. I think is a great topic. A friend of mine applied to Law School last year. He was very smart and went through his Facebook page and made sure he wasn’t tagged in any pictures involving alcohol. He also checked his groups and made sure they were all appropriate should the Harvard Law School review committee decide to peruse his profile. The issue can be avoided, however, if you adjust your privacy settings to prevent your profile or pictures from showing up on a Google search.

    Comment by mgjersvi — April 6, 2009 @ 11:18 pm | Reply

  5. I also had a friend who was applying for jobs and had cleaned up her Facebook account before applying. One of the jobs that she applied for said that they google potential employees and she had never felt so relieved. I think with all of your social media sites you need to be careful about what you post and who can see it. It is a good thing that sites like Facebook have privacy settings.

    Comment by allund — April 7, 2009 @ 5:37 am | Reply

  6. I defintiely think a first impression is very important, but I have mixed feelings about the whole facebook thing. I know so many people who have deleted pictures because they didn’t want their potential employers to see them doing “inappropriate things” and I feel I kind of do understand that because it says something about what type of person you are, but at the same time it almost seems to be a bit of an invasion of privacy. I think that it’s smart to untag pictures of yourself and maybe make your page private, because regardless of what the ethical issues may be, it’s a well known fact that companies have purposely not hired someone based on their online information. Good topic!

    Comment by cconeder — April 7, 2009 @ 12:05 pm | Reply

  7. Attention is everything

    Comment by tmpace — April 9, 2009 @ 4:18 pm | Reply

  8. Most companies do look for you online and hopefully they will like their picture.

    Comment by tmpace — April 9, 2009 @ 4:20 pm | Reply

  9. This is very true. When I look for people on LinkedIn, I want to see what their picture looks like. I make sure that my Facebook picture is appropriate and that my privacy settings are adjusted so not everyone can check out my profile. People should always make sure their Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn pictures are appropriate. I have said it before, but I will say it again, I personally think it’s stupid that if an employer finds a picture of me in a bar (I’m 21 it’s legal), that shouldn’t be a reason for them not to hire me. I guess we just need to make sure our profile pictures are professional.

    Comment by kparma — April 12, 2009 @ 9:13 pm | Reply

  10. The whole facebook picture topic is extremely controversial. I find it quite simple. Do not put something up that you wouldn’t want an employer to see. Because we have control of our own accounts, we have the ability to decide how we want to project ourselves. It can be seen as an invasion of privacy, but thats somewhat of an opinion and when you put it out there in public its kind of like putting your privacy out in the public for others to judge. I don’t feel bad for people who dont want to monitor heir facebook pictures/ profiles and wonder why they did not get hired.

    Comment by elwhite2 — April 13, 2009 @ 5:40 pm | Reply


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