Some might say it backs up his personal image as someone who likes to take a break. Others might wonder if the UK Prime Minister is losing a bit of his credibility.
David Cameron must be so thankful to his sister-in-law. A couple of weeks ago, his wife’s sister, Emily Sheffield, shot a rather intimate picture of her brother-in-law asleep on a bed. It was her sister Alice’s wedding, and it seems the Prime Minister took the opportunity to get forty winks during the preparations. Nothing wrong with that. But sleeping is quite an intimate affair, at least for most of us, and I probably wouldn’t want pictures of myself dozing away to be thrown around the internet. Luckily for me, there’s no chance of that – I’m not the Prime Minister. Still, I wouldn’t be happy, and I bet he wasn’t either.
I think what’s interesting about this from a communication angle is that Emily Sheffield, who used to work for Cameron, posted this to Instagram. Despite having only 101 followers, she reached several million thanks to the sharing nature of Internet users. And this is the thing to remember; taking a photo is fine, because you can do with it what you want, but once you upload it onto the internet, it’s out there forever.
Emily Cameron was naïve to think that a picture of a world leader doing something he wouldn’t normally be photographed doing, would not be spread like wildfire. Even though the picture isn’t embarrassing at all, it still smacks of the private – a little like looking at people’s photos of their parents forty years ago. I’ve said it before on the Working Voices Blog and I’ll say it again; be careful what you upload to social media. This is a cautionary tale – the proper consideration probably wasn’t given to the posting, but it could have been much worse. What if the photo was taken four hours later when Cameron was staggering along to Oops Upside Your Head?
Social media can be dangerous in this regard, and we can do damage to ours and other’s personal brand, and even their businesses, by posting less than professional photos. So remember, having fun or nodding off is fine, so is snapping it, but be careful who you give it to; if its good you might just end up coming to people’s attention for all the wrong reasons.