In the 2013 edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, a new word was added:
Selfie: noun (plural selfies)
Given the fact that the OED’s definition indicates some received wisdom about the selfie’s deployment on social media sites, it seems pertinent to place this epoch-making linguistic evolution into a context that lawyers and other professionals may find useful.
In the course of that process, the prevalence of selfies used by otherwise respectable professionals suggests something of a malaise which, while concerning, can be easily fixed:
- The selfie is really just a synonym for ‘bad photo’ – Over 80% of insurance brokers surveyed at the 2012 Broker Expo said they had ‘searched for an individual by name, via Google and clicked on a linkedin profile as the first result. Your linkedin profile should deliver a good first impression.
- Go outside! Bad photos are made worse by poor light and if you insist on using a smart phone to take one, at least give the lens a chance with some daylight.
- Don’t stand against a wall or a window. So often the chosen stance of the business person; we like to pose beneath our company logos or astride our palatial offices. Unless your building is truly iconic and your logo has been tattooed on your forehead, think again. Keep things simple and just do a portrait.
Like anything in life these are not hard and fast rules, but they can help you make the best of a bad job so that when one of those 80% of people finds your social profile they do one of two things:
- Recognise you
A business journalist by trade, Ralph Savage represents a series of B2B clients on media and marketing matters. He provides strategic PR advice, media training and consultancy. He also ghost writes regularly on behalf of FTSE 250 CEOs, leading counsel and senior professionals including solicitors, accountants and brokers.