Professional Social Media Presence

For most of us, social media is a part of our lives in one way or another. For me, specifically, I have created a separation between personal social media accounts that are locked and unsearchable, and public ones. However, my social media posting rules apply to every social media account whether public or private.

An appropriate social media presence includes minimal involvement with issues on social media. In order to maintain a separation between professional and personal identity, you should separate the content that you share. On personal social media, I believe in only sharing photos and news with family and friends. It’s also important to be conscious of who you follow, what you like, and the information that you share. In addition, when developing a professional presence, scrutinize who you follow and what you like/share, because your choices represent your interests and ideals to others. Especially in my field of public health policy, being impartial and open minded is an important quality in prospective employees and/or fellow colleagues.

I believe that my ideals are in line with my professional ethical standards. For instance, I am currently working on updating the social media policy within my company in which I plan on applying the same principles to our employees as I use to govern my own social media use. I believe part of encouraging adherence to policy is modeling its key concepts. The top 3 factors I consider before posting are as follows:

  • Will this impact me in any way?
  • What does my post say about me?
  • How do I think it will impact others?

Currently, most of my official correspondence is through e-mail and/or phone. However, after the completion of my Masters of Health Studies, I would love to be an active member in public health education. Once I attain the knowledge and gain the ground in my field as a whole, I am optimistic to overcome my fear of public speaking and become a confident avid speaker discussing public health openly with my peers as well as the public.

The graphic below is an example of a visual representation of ethical guidelines in social media posting.

FreeSocialMediaEthicsTemplate

When it comes to my professional affiliations, I work for a private healthcare company that provides services funded by Alberta Healthcare. Although I am not officially part of Alberta Health Services, for our facility and staff to be accredited we must follow CPSA (College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta) policies on health related matters along with marketing, media, and code of conduct. On top of that, we have company policies, separate from our accreditation, where if not followed, it could result in serious consequences, such as being reported for misconduct and/or immediate termination. Although, my company has malpractice insurance in cases requiring legal counsel, I am not protected by a 3rd party organization, such as a union.

In addition, I am a member of the Alberta Public Health Association and Canadian Public Health Association, both of which contain a wealth of resources and professional development for many health-related professions.

Currently, I interact with several business-related (ie. human resources, accounting, administration) and marketing/media individuals. However, we employ a variety of medical professionals, including sonographers, nurses, and an array of medical technologists, in addition to being owned by a group of physicians.

Outside of my office, I interact with several public health inspectors, officers and commissioners to maintain our accreditation and address any public health or occupational health and safety matters.

I believe in being an active participant in the development of your own professional identity, whether it is professional connections, affiliations and continuing education, or simply following a personal code of conduct when posting online.


References:

  1. Quesenberry. (2016, Sep 6). Social media etiquette & ethics: a guide for personal, professional & brand use. Retrieved from https://www.postcontrolmarketing.com/social-media-etiquette-ethics-a-guide-for-personal-professional-brand-use/

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