As a brand building professional one question I get asked a lot is: "should I separate your personal brand from your business or professional brand." In every circumstance, the answer to the question is unequivocally and emphatically NO! As we know in life however there are no absolutes. There is one very important exception to this rule: POLITICS. Politics is the one topic that we love to discuss but can't ever agree upon in totality. This week, two very high profile stories topped headlines in which politics came back to bite Sgt. Gary Stein, the self proclaimed Tea Party Marine who has come under fire following his outspoken remarks criticizing his commander-In-Chief, President Obama. The other, new Florida Marlins skipper, Ozzie Guillen who with one Time Magazine article managed to piss off his entire largely Cuban American fan-base by showing support, if not love for Cuban dictator, Fidel Castro. In both cases, they're job security is in serious doubt.
While I'm sure that there are some Americans that agree with Guillen and Sgt. Stein's remarks and even support their stance, the problem, however is when you discuss politics there's always another side. When there's another side, you have controversy. While controversy is great for marketing an opinion blog or a reality show, its an easy way to slice your consumer pool in half.
When marketing your business or brand its important to express your personality. People buy from people and buy from people they know. If you hide behind a logo, that logo better have a lot of character if you want it to sell for you. The asterisk, as we have discussed of course, is politics. Supporting one candidate, lobbying or submitting campaign contributions should be done with tremendous care and in most cases is not recommended.
This is especially important to remember when using Social Media. I don't think we need to state this but anything you broadcast over the internet should be assumed is being or will be seen by everyone. Social Media is designed to be a network of on-going conversations. My advice, keep yourself a candidate for as many of those conversations as possible. Avoid politics.