Spencer Dewald gave me suggestions for a number of blog posts. One was “instructing students on how to make their own blogs to employers (a.k.a. creating an internet brand that works on your behalf).”
Hmm, Spencer, this is something I don’t know much about. If I was smart I would let Joanne Chive, Roy Reid or Grant Heston answer this one. They are my key advisors when it comes to public relations and social media. Maybe one or more of them could provide a guest blog post on this topic or offer a rebuttal to what I’m about to write.
I don’t blog as part of a strategy to build a personal brand. As dean, I am responsible for setting a vision for the college, communicating that vision and motivating our stakeholders to do what is necessary to realize that vision. I am also responsible for ensuring that students get the most out of their UCF College of Business experience and that alumni continue to realize a return from their degrees. I use social media, including my blog, to get my message out to Knight Nation and start conversations. I can engage people I will never have the opportunity to meet in person as well as keep the dialogue going with people I haven’t seen in a while. It is a way I can help make a large college feel small and give people a chance to interact with the person who sets the priorities for the school. The blog isn’t about me, it is about the cause: creating and sustaining a unique culture and value proposition that transforms lives through education. I stop blogging the day I no longer lead such an organization.
So my advice would be to blog to further a cause you are passionate about (or to teach someone something), not as a vehicle to build a personal brand. Maybe I’m too old school, but I don’t think it is a good idea to blog as a means of landing a job. Frankly, as a potential employer I am interested in knowing how you apply your knowledge and experience to get stuff done. Unless I am hiring you to blog or develop edgy content, blogging about your talents and experiences is likely to come off as self-absorbed, shameless self-promotion. Not helpful. Or you could write something that offends the very people you are trying to impress, also not helpful. And it may distract you from doing the stuff that will land you a job, not helpful.
Roy, Joanne and Grant, your thoughts?
Paul Jarley, Ph.D., is the dean of the UCF College of Business Administration. He blogs every week at http://www.bus.ucf.edu/dean. This post appeared on October 18, 2012. Follow him on Twitter @pauljarley.