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  • http://twitter.com/TomOKeefe1 Tom O'Keefe

    Jess,

    Good question. I can see both sides to the issue like you. Change and you risk sacrificing the personal brand that you've established. Don't change and risk looking unprofessional.

    To be honest, I think I would change it, but when you do, make sure that you let your followers know. Be open about it and why you're doing it. Tweet about it and maybe even blog about it. People will catch on. I think, over time, your personal brand will actually be stronger than before because it will be your whole name associated with it.

    I'm interested to hear what others have to say about this!

    Thanks,
    Tom
    @TomOKeefe1

    PS. I've thought about trying to shorten my own Twitter handle, but ultimately decided not to because it has my name and sets me apart from the many other Tom O'Keefe's!

  • missmotorcade

    Jess, great post/question. I'm struggling with a similar dilemma – my Twitter name is @missmotorcade. Memorable for sure, and though not unprofessional, certainly not totally professional, either (since I don't orchestrate motorcades or do anything to do with cars). I do have a separate account for my small biz (@WY20, a topic for comment on Marie's post). But now, I'm in the midst of a job search – and some of the things I'm considering would benefit from my social media presence – though perhaps not if I'm known as @missmotorcade. I say keep it – at least for now. It totally suits you, it's not unprofessional or inappropriate – and in fact, it adds to your personal brand. There may come a time when you just know it'd be more appropriate to go by @jessgreco – but that time can wait. For now, it says a lot about you in an accessible way and makes people remember you and want to follow you.

  • http://www.sheemasiddiqi.com Sheema Siddiqi

    Jess,

    I dealt with the same issue. When I first got Twitter, my handle was something silly and personal, but once I realized Twitter's potential, I changed it to @sheesidd. I agree with Tom that it's probably best to change it to your name, but be open with your followers as to why you're doing it!

  • http://amymengel.com amymengel

    This reminds me of a similar caution that professors always used to give us about email addresses – make sure it's professional and not cutesy. You don't want to submit a resume and then have your email address be babealicious523@aol — it doesn't project the image you want to give potential employers.

    I think Twitter makes it relatively easy to change your user name without losing your followers or tweets. If you keep your avatar the same for a while, people may not even notice right away (especially if you retain part of the name, like Jess). Several people I follow have changed Twitter handles recently, either to shift their identity, snag their real name when it became available, or just make it shorter. For the most part I didn't even notice. Since I use a third-party app, I am rarely ever typing out or needing to remember someone's handle. So as long as the avatar stays the same, I still recognize people!

    Ultimately, it's up to you, but I think the mere fact that you're questioning whether or not the name is appropriate is probably an indication that you might be more comfortable changing it. I'm sure you can still be fun and “juicy” as @jessgreco!

  • jeffespo

    Jess – this is a great question. I think the suggestion can be found in someone that you already follow – David Teicher AKA Aerocles. If you want to migrate over to something more professional sounding like @jessgreco, you could create the account and co-tweet off of both accounts while interacting with the same folks.

    Once you've established the identity, you could create your professional identity on one of them and the other could be form some of the other interests that you have like *ahem Juicy Couture* and maybe you could explain why my 15 year old sister is so obsessed with it.

    I would also look at the switch as an evolution of your personal brand from aspiring flack to one on her way.

  • Kristen

    LOVE this post Jess! It's a dilemma I am sure many “professionals” face and hits home about my thoughts on my own user name.

    In my opinion there are what 6 million Jessica's or Jess's in the world and maybe a million (ok maybe I am exaggerating!) on Twitter. The fact that your Twitter user name is memorable and incorporates your personality sets you apart in the digital world … and in real life when you use Twitter to interact with colleagues, PR Pros or reporters.

    I personally love that you can incorporate a little of your own personality in your Twitter name while working in this buttoned up professional world we sometimes live in. As a girl who has – and will stick with @KreeBeau (which people often say Creepo – I mean REALLY?!) – I would support you standing behind @Jessisjuicy!

  • http://twitter.com/tjdietderich TJ Dietderich

    I think our generation especially, which adopted a lot of usernames at, shall we say, an impressionable time of our lives, is going to have to make this decision. I know I had to make the switch from my teenaged username.

  • http://lynettecornell.com/ Lynette Cornell

    I think it can work in your favor, similar to how @mistressmia uses her “naughty marketer” appeal to set her apart from all the other marketing folk out there. But then again, @ChrisBrogan used his own name and still manages to stand out amidst the crowd.

    Mine (@bestieverdid) isn't necessary professional, but it's certainly not something I'm ashamed to say in a professional networking event. For many people, it prompts them to ask the meaning behind it, and when I tell them it's from a Godsmack song and how I want to be able to say I truly am doing the best I ever did, they will often give me positive feedback (especially rock fans).

    So, can you be fun and still professional? Yes. Although, as a word of caution, the word juicy does sound like the high school or college style of Twitter names.

  • allenkristina

    Jess,

    I first joined Twitter as a personal adventure to see what it was all about in college, and originally had the handle @kristinaishere. When I decided I wanted to start working on my professional-personal brand, I changed my handle to @allenkristina to reflect my name (Kristina Allen). I didn't lose any followers, and as suggested this was due to Twitter's ease of switch and probably also because I kept the same avatar.

    I also like this comment from Jeff: “I would also look at the switch as an evolution of your personal brand from aspiring flack to one on her way.”

    I say, go for it!

    -Kristina

  • http://twitter.com/CatherineEllen Catherine Patterson

    Nice post Jess! Or should I say nice post Jessisjuicy? :) This is an important read for students everywhere! If I were you, Jess, I'd probably change it. It sounds like your instincts are telling you you ought to change it… and I agree with your instincts. Add a note in your bio that you used to be @JessisJuicy so it's easier for people to remember who you are. And it doesn't hurt to tweet about it periodically, even after you've changed your name. It will just be your way of reminding your followers that you're the same Jess, but version 2.0. And since we just kicked off 2010, now is the perfect time.

    Hope that helps!

    -Catherine

  • elizabethsosnow

    Jess, follow your gut. As the leader of a PR firm, when I interview someone, I always take the time to check their social profile. Don't distract people like me with a user name that fails to communicate your full scope as a professional. Just my 2 cents…I think you are great no matter what name you pick!

  • keithtrivitt

    Jess – There isn't much I can add here that the great comments from many smart minds have already shared. My advice would be to think of your Twitter name as more than just your name on this one social network, but an extension of you throughout the social media and online space.

    Twitter may not be around (or as heavily used) in 5 years, but you will be, and your career will hopefully be flourishing by then. Assuming you will eventually be in a position of respect and some power/major responsibility, perhaps a change that better reflects you as a professional, might be more appropriate.

    It reminds me of the old adage about always dressing and acting a step ahead of where you are right now in your career. I think the same would apply to your Twitter handle or any other aspect of your online/social media presence. At a certain point, we all have to think about who we want to be later on down the line, and what steps we are taking to get there.

  • britt624

    My Twitter name is bitty_boop. It's a name my friend calls me all the time and I liked it better than what it was originally. Jess I think Twitter names like ours stand out from the typical ones but it does run in the back of my mind whether I should change it to something else.

  • http://twitter.com/brenleigh Brenda Drake

    Am i the only one wondering what TJ's teenaged username was?!?!? :)

  • http://twitter.com/brenleigh Brenda Drake

    Jess – Thanks for such a great post! This is something I grapple with too. My handle (@brenleigh) is my name – but it's a combination of my first and middle names. When I created it I thought that one day I would open my own communications company (BrenLeigh Communications…has a ring to it, right?!?!) and then the @brenleigh and the brenleigh email would make sense. But, for now, I can't help but wonder how people interpret the handle.

    As far as jessisjuicy – I'm on the fence. I agree with the previous posts that say it's unique, original and a reflection of your personality. I can also see the point about professionalism. But, in argument to that, would you want to work for someone who wouldn't understand that your personal twitter handle reflects your personal interests? Anyone who interacts with you at all knows your level of professionalism and your commitment to the field. And, hey, your ideas are often juicy (I mean that in a very positive way).

    Can't wait to hear what you decide! Either way, I'll be following! :)

  • http://twitter.com/jessisjuicy Jess Greco

    Thanks for the feedback Tom. I think you're right- Twitter makes it easy to change your name, so I probably wouldn't have a problem. Now that I wrote this blog post, I think honesty won't be too hard to accomplish :)

  • http://twitter.com/jessisjuicy Jess Greco

    It's nice to hear the other side of the coin. I do agree that this username is very “me” and sets me apart. I just worry that people I don't know won't understand me like fabulous friends such as yourself do!

  • http://twitter.com/jessisjuicy Jess Greco

    Thanks for the feedback Sheema!

  • http://twitter.com/jessisjuicy Jess Greco

    You're right- Twitter makes it INCREDIBLY easy for you to change your username. Like you said, I have many friends who have changed their handle and I never noticed thanks to their avatar. I appreciate your feedback and nice words Amy :)

  • http://twitter.com/jessisjuicy Jess Greco

    Hmmm. David registered DavidTeicher on the same day as I registered JessicaGreco- we both realized that we needed to reserve these for the future. However, I'm not sure that I would go about co-tweeting like he does. I'd love to retain my loyal followers and don't want to confused them. I think Twitter makes it easy enough for you to switch your name where I won't have to do that.

    And I would be SO happy to give you a rundown on why Juicy is totally fabulous :) Even at 22 <cringe>

  • http://twitter.com/jessisjuicy Jess Greco

    Thanks Kristen! I love your support :) And Creepo? Yeah, I definitely don't see it haha.

  • http://twitter.com/jessisjuicy Jess Greco

    Nope, definitely not alone. But I would also be incredibly embarrassed to share some of my old AIM screen names!

  • http://twitter.com/jessisjuicy Jess Greco

    Lynette, I think your last point is key. It's not that it isn't my real name, or that it doesn't represent me, it's how juvenile it tends to sound. That's what will ultimately affect my decision. Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/jessisjuicy Jess Greco

    Thanks for the feedback Kristina, I really appreciate it!

  • http://twitter.com/jessisjuicy Jess Greco

    Thanks Catherine! You're right- it's definitely my gut that's telling me to go for the change. Now I'm just trying to figure it out with my mind!

  • http://twitter.com/jessisjuicy Jess Greco

    So happy to get the advice of an agency head! It's great to know that companies such as Bliss are doing their homework when it comes to potential candidates.

    And your 2 cents definitely matter, as well as your kind words :)

  • jeffespo

    22 Seriously? You think that's old? I would like the rundown though maybe in a slew of DMs.

    You could use a service like HootSuite to seamlessly post to multiple accounts – I don't think it would confuse and then you could respond to nly certain folks like journos or bosses from the Jessica account. Up to you, but I am sure you will figure it out.

  • http://twitter.com/AlexisDias Alexis

    Great post, Jess. I think you raise some valid points. I recently got married, and am struggling with whether or not to change my handle to reflect my new “identity.” But then again, is it worth losing any traction I've gained as @alexisdias? My situation is a bit different though. (I can imagine what I would have picked in my early 20s – PrincezzLex – same as my AIM back then. Gag! Not professional AT ALL, and not at all who I consider myself to be now that I'm *thisclose* to 30!) In your case, I think you should go for it and make the switch. I agree with Tom — with this blog post initiating the discussion, it would be interesting to hear more about how the transition goes for you in further posts.

    Either way, best of luck in making a decision! Keep us posted. ;)

    -The Retired “Princezz”