1/18/12

Stop, drop, and roll…or get a PR agent


One of the growing problems I’ve seen over the years, whether it be a celebrity or a nobody, is that no-one thinks before they hit the “send” button. I’m guilty of it to! I sometimes tweet or post a comment without thinking, later it may require an apology or explanation.

This was the case a few weeks ago with Suze Orman. Suze launched her new debit card but when negative comments came through on twitter she responded poorly. After which she then apologized for calling people idiots. It was a sad day for Suze, too bad she didn’t have a handler or a PR agent on her Twitter account. Since many of us can’t afford a PR agent it serves as a good reminder to all of us “nobodies” using Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media outlet to do the following before any online post…STOP…DROP…and ROLL!

I know, I know…this was the lesson we all learned in fire safety 101 in 3rd grade. But to be perfectly frank, this is the same lesson we need before getting into an ugly battle for all to see. In my own life, if I thought my tweet pushed the envelope or crossed a line, I would stop what I was doing and stare at the blinking cursor on the screen wondering how this might be interpreted. This gave me some time to not get caught up in the moment or trying to be Evel Knievel.

If you continue to hit the “send” button too fast and if stopping yourself doesn’t work, then drop what you’re doing. I’ve found that saving it on the screen, or going to another web page also helps prior to posting something you may regret. It once again allows your mind to focus on something else for a few minutes, allows you to relax, and then allows you to be rational. Doing this allows you to take an offensive position rather than a defensive position. When you’re defensive you become reactionary vs. offensively seeking opportunities to either progress your opinion or debunk a negative statement.

Lastly if you can’t stop yourself from hitting “send” and you can’t drop what you’re doing…roll away. Rolling, or walking, away gives you the upper hand in a situation. If you have nothing good to say, then don’t say it! In the film industry there’s a phrase “left on the cutting room floor” which means to say that certain scenes or pieces of the film were “left on the cutting room floor” because they weren’t good enough to make the cut. Next time leave your comments at the door…or the cutting room floor and walk or roll away.

Social media isn’t just a means of connecting with one another…it is our 24 hour permanent connect with the whole world where someone is always watching. The world monitors and records every message and tweet, and even though we wish there was a delete button…there simply isn’t. So if you can’t hire a PR agent before posting something…STOP, DROP and ROLL!

What was a tweet/post/msg you wished you wouldn’t have it send on?

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