While in a restaurant drive-thru recently, I noticed two bumper stickers on the vehicle in front of me. I couldn’t resist photographing the bumper stickers and sharing them with you. Interesting, huh?
I was surprised to see a middle-aged woman driving the vehicle, and my PR mind started to wonder:
- Whose vehicle is this?
- Is she aware of the bumper stickers?
- Is she a teacher? If so, how would she react if a student’s parents saw the stickers?
- Is she job hunting? If so, would a legitimate employer hire her if they saw the stickers?
I wear many hats. One of the most important and influential ones is that of a PR college professor. I often ask my students “Do you know who your first PR client is?” The answer: YOU. No brand or reputation is more important than your own. An appropriate brand and good reputation can open doors for you – an inappropriate brand can get doors slammed in your face.
I am not one to judge, but it is difficult in this day and age to understand why anyone would drive around with these bumper stickers. If you are independently wealthy and do not care what others think of you, fine. However, if you need to work and your reputation is priceless – as my mother taught me – then you should not.
Would I hire a person who privately made comments similar to those on the bumper stickers? Probably, as long as he or she restricted those comments to personal settings. Would I hire someone with these bumper stickers on his or her vehicle? No way. If a person does not treasure his or her own brand or reputation, then he or she will not value mine. When you know better, you do better. Fortunately, most of us know better.
What are your thoughts? Have you encountered people who do not treasure their reputations and brands? What did they do or say?