Are You Protecting Your Image?

In Paparazzi, Cole Hauser, plays a rising Hollywood actor who decides to take revenge on the paparazzi who stalk him. 

Now, this article isn’t about getting revenge, it’s not about changing other people’s behavior, because you have no control over that.  It is about 3 tips to protect yourself and your image:

First, be aware of your surroundings: Notice I did not write “First, be aware of your behavior,” because we all know that a picture can tell a thousand words, but if taken out of context those words can be ALL WRONG.  Now that I think back, I remember cameras pointed in my direction by people snapping pictures of their friends who happened to be dancing with me, but video, that’s a bit much without permission.  So, next time, when I see those cameras pointing, I will either move somewhere else, or politely ask that they not take video of me.  Now that may seem pretentious to someone, but I don’t care.  These people didn’t know me or my brand, and they are not paying my bills, so let them think what they want.

Second, monitor yourself on the web.  Do regular Google searches of your name and/or your business brand.  Take it a step further and create a Google alert for your name and/or business brand.  This way you will be alerted if your name comes up in a Google search.  To do that, simply Google, how to create a Google Alert.  While getting pictures of you or statements about you off of the web is nearly impossible (especially if you’re not rich or married to a lawyer), it’s better to know what’s out there so you can manage it, in a professional way, taking the high ground.

Third, be very clear on the privacy settings you have on your various social media sites.  I highly encourage you to be on as many sites as you can manage.  I’m advising you to know the privacy policies, and be aware that they can be changed at any time, so don’t post anything you wouldn’t want made public.

The bottom line is, if you are always being yourself, the people who really matter will always know and respect the “true you.”  Still, paying attention to your image is important in this industry, so…

1.    Set up Google Alerts for you and/or your company
2.    Check yourself out in Google, start with quotes around your name and then without quotes.
3.    Re-check your privacy settings to be sure they are how you want them on your social media sites.

While Cole Hauser was portraying a famous actor, you don’t have to be famous to have people invade your privacy.  Stay positive, and be yourself.