Is it because you’re a bot? No.
Is it because you’re hiding something? Nope.
Is it because you’re not proud of your work? Absolutely not.
I am flesh and blood, just like anyone reading this. I am proud of each word I write and each idea I present on this blog (I wouldn’t post it if I wasn’t proud of it!). And I’m not hiding anything from my readers or anyone else.
So why don’t I share photos of myself on this blog? The answer is quite simple – I’m scared.
I have Generalised Anxiety Disorder and Social Anxiety meaning that I really struggle with putting myself out into the world. I hate having my photo taken – selfies are the stuff of nightmares for me – and the thought of posting any kind of picture of myself online terrifies me.
I know that this defies all logic, but I’m afraid that there’s nothing I can do about it.
If I’m completely honest, I feel safer hiding behind a logo and a brand, and that’s why I decided to create Red Panda Public Relations. Here, I feel as though I can be myself without having to show my face.
There are positives and negatives to this decision, for example:
Positive – my anxiety is reduced if I don’t have to show my face
Negative – people are less likely to trust a faceless blog / social media account
Positive – I feel as though my blog and social media channels look professional and sleek
Negative – I lose the personal touch that other blogs have
Positive – this blog and connected social media accounts are entirely dedicated to public relations
Negative – the blog and social medias don’t have much personality outside of public relations
All of these negative aspects of mental illness in public relations do make life very difficult – but sometimes we have to do what is best for ourselves. For instance, I know for a fact that if I had created a blog from my personal Twitter and own photos, I would have given up long ago. But safe behind my Red Panda shield, I’m feeling more and more confident each week I post.
But what does this have to do with PR? Well, I feel as though my personal journey in PR (and the journeys of others in my situation) should not be hindered by the fact that we cannot sell ourselves in the way that “normal” people can.
Public Relations is an ever-changing sector and the way that different people function and present themselves should be the driving force behind change for the better in PR. Public Relations starts with individuals and no-one should be forced to present themselves in a way that makes them uncomfortable.