HOW NOT TO KILL YOUR BRAND SHORT (TRUE STORY)

This post was inspired by the recent outburst on Twitter between two major banks in Nigeria, Diamond Bank and Sterling Bank, over the use of short forms.

I had to visit their Twitter handles to see for myself.

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Apparently this happens to be one of the rules in Living Your Brand community (a close Facebook group I run); which does not permit the use of short forms when communicating in the group.

We cannot ignore the fact that anything that hits social media; will be viewed and addressed from different standpoint, either professionally, personally, economically etc.

Social media, as playful and colourful as it sounds, can become viral and ‘bloody’ at the blink of an idea.

Therefore, caution and attention must be your watchword when threading this space.

That said, I will address this issue of using short forms when communicating, again.

Building your personal and business brand is no child’s play, therefore attention must be given to how you manage it and who manages it.

Back in Nigeria, I worked with a Human Resource Management and Recruitment firm as a Social media manager and then as a Recruitment consultant. One of my assignments was to help my client get the best candidate for the job.

From the initial briefing with the client to creating job profile to posting vacancies to recruitment and shortlisting then interviews, I practically worked with a lot of people during the entire process and boy, it was a lot of work.

Now, at the interview stage we introduced a system to screen candidate which we haven’t been doing before and that was “letter writing.”

We took each shortlisted candidate through the process of writing a letter of application again, this time with a pen and plain paper.

Both graduate and post-graduate, entry level and senior managerial position had to go through this process.

To my utmost surprise, quite a number of these candidates couldn’t proceed to the next stage of the interview, simply because they couldn’t write a simple professional letter.

One common mistake (problem) I observed was the use of short forms.

In other words, they lost the job right there, because of these short forms, even though they may be good at the job.

Gosh! How dare you use short forms when writing a professional letter! Com’on!

I had to do series of urgent letter-writing-crisis-management crash courses as a feedback session before letting the candidates take their leave.

It was heartbreaking.

Slowly and unconsciously their social and private interactions has cripped into their professional and public engagements.

To some, they saw nothing wrong about it (these ones I felt like giving them a hot knock on their head) and to others, they became aware of these error and made decisions to correct them.

Truth is, if you haven’t dealt with this issue privately, it will be difficult to prevent it from happening publicly.

PRIVATE VICTORY SAVES YOU FROM PUBLIC EMBARRASSMENT.

Here are simple practical tips to apply to save yourself the embarrassment;

1. From just a simple informal chat with a friend, make up your mind to write your words in full. It starts in the mind and it’s starts with you. Your personal and professional life would be better for it.

2. Also, you must stand your guard to educate those who are used to chatting with you before now using short forms.

Short forms are transmissible, they have a way of rubbing off on you, if you don’t stay away from them.

So like I will always do, politely inform the person at the other end that you don’t communicate in short forms and you will appreciate it if the person does same. And if the person doesn’t oblige, my friend, end that chat, your life would be better for it.

3. It’s not that difficult, just begin today to write your words in full. The same time it will take to write ‘bcos’, ‘dere’, ‘nd‘, ‘tnks  is the same time it will take to write, ‘because’, ‘there’, ‘and’, ‘thanks’. Try it, start today, you will not die, but live to see your life and business better for it.

This is a serious matter friends, lives, no sorry, jobs and businesses have been lost or taken for granted because of this.

Share this with a friend, let’s help save the earth, one full word at a time.

Thank you.

You’re amazingly unstoppable!

Your Personal Brand Strategist,

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