Post or boast?

JobKeeper scheme expanded to service entities
April 27, 2020
Post Covid, the risks are skewed to the downside
May 6, 2020

You can call me old-fashioned but I can’t subscribe to the trend that says “who needs third party endorsement when I can tell everyone how wonderful I am myself.” 

Indeed, I wonder how effective (and influential) the growing trend of self-promotion really is.  Or whether it turns people off. Would love to see some research on this.

It started with Facebook – aka “Fakebook” – where far too many posts seem to be saying “look at me, look at me. Don’t I have a wonderful life. Having such fun.”

Of course, different people have different ideas and approaches, and maybe I’m being harsh.  

But it does seem a pity that such “it’s all about me” habits seem to have infected LinkedIn, with more posts that are really boasts.  Posts we saw BCV like: “I’m honoured to have been asked to speak at a conference organised by the No-one’s- ever-heard-of-them-Association.”  Or since the lockdown posts on the lines of: “It’s very gratifying that people were so interested in the podcast I organised on (insert your own subject)”. Perhaps I exaggerate.  But it does seem LinkedIn has become cluttered with boasting and self-promotion. 

If you want to draw attention to the success of a podcast you organised, saying something like “I was interested that people followed up on such-and-such an aspect of my podcast which shows it is a subject that concerns them” is more compelling than the previous podcast example.

So let’s hear it for third party endorsement, where other people comment on how much they liked your article, post or whatever.

Having other people to complement or congratulate you is much, much stronger than saying it yourself. It’s the way trust is built and reputations are made and simply more persuasive, adding to reputation.

Think how much more powerful it is to have someone of influence recommend your blog to others, publicly or privately.

I confess that we’re guilty of enthusing about client’s activities and giving links to their posts, but then, we’re in PR. And it’s not about us. It’s about our clients.

Another communication rule that the “all about me” post ignores is that messages should be developed that interest the recipient, while at the same time getting across information the originator wants to communicate, not “look at me, look at me.”

It seems to me a great shame that self-promotion and ego-boosting posts on LinkedIn are getting in the way of useful information and the opportunity to truly connect. 

As a result, its benefit as a site that brings business people together, and helps them connect, is perhaps being lost because of irrelevant information overload.