With the Internet now available to almost everyone on their phone, and public records of almost every kind now being made transparently available wherever they are located, it is inevitable that we will create a footprint with everything we do publicly.
Whilst I will discuss communication, social media and media relations in pages of their own, it is important to understand fully just how far reaching any news of your public activities can be.
Whether right or wrong, good or bad; people you meet socially, prospective employers, admission committees, people you might want to date and many others besides will have easy access to any material that features your name and activities, which has found its way on to ‘the net’.
What will find its way on to ‘the net’? Well for the purposes of making a decision about whether to campaign and run for an Elected Office, it would be sensible to consider everything – YES EVERYTHING you do and say to anyone as having the potential to find its way into the public realm.
For a start, that includes:
- Anything you say in public
- Anything you say to anyone about what you are doing, or what you have planned
- E-mails (Nothing should be considered private or personal – even if you state that its content is confidential)
- Articles in Newspapers and/or on Internet News Pages
- Public Records (Nomination Papers, Interests, Voting History, Attendance, Comments etc)
- Facebook Posts
- Any other form of social media
- Other things too
- Anything political can be divisive. Politics create barriers or walls in relationships that would otherwise be perfect (Take Brexit and the Remainers vs Leavers as an example).
We have no control over this because it is possible for each and every one of us to feel so passionate about our beliefs that we can feel automatically opposed to any alternative viewpoint.
It takes a lot of thought for anyone to see the opinions of others as an outward expression of the private person that person is. It’s challenging to understand and accept such expressions are not personal and are not really levelled against us personally in any way, and that we should also treat others and their views as being of no threat to us personally.
If you can be objective in politics, you will always know it is possible that you can win. But you have very limited influence on how others will perceive you.
Politics can be a very unfriendly place. If you have any information about you which is already out there on ‘the net’, which you would potentially find embarrassing, difficult to explain or might be seen by some as a way to hurt you for their own purposes, think carefully about whether you want to expose yourself to emotional pain in that way.