So this week I wrote for my next ExeTec networking dinner the following topic:
The world is listening and Google never forgets. These are important things to keep in mind no matter if you are an army general stuck in an airport with a Rolling Stones reporter during a volcanic eruption or a lawyer pondering if you can blog about a subject in which you represent a client.
One of my former media colleagues George Merlis wrote some good wisdom on his blog today: “In media training we teach the following: Always treat a microphone as if it is a gun. You treat a gun as if it is always loaded. Similarly, treat a microphone as if it is always on. Never say anything in proximity to a microphone that you don’t want the whole world to hear. And treat a reporter as if he is a microphone. Reporters are always working, always mentally recording, always looking for a story.”
Now I recently heard Arvind Puri VP, Data Platform at MySpace speak at an event and he asserted that one should be posting to ones blog or twitter feed once a day. As much as I agree with this wisdom for the sake of presence if nothing else, I must say I find doing so a bit of a challenge.
It is not for a lack of ideas, clever quip, or even interesting articles I could re-tweet however often professional discretion, a myriad of non-disclosure agreements and or just good common sense keep me from sharing to much.
Now for those who are intentionally promoting or marketing products, saying something is not the issue but saying to much or not finding a good balance between valuable content and promotional content can be the issue. Marketing people should beware that the best crafted marketing message can and will back fire.
Now for those of you feeling safe and secure in your disconnected executive existences don’t think message control does not apply to you as well. As a fellow executive said to me the other day, if you say it, write it or share it in anyway you loose control of your message and it might end up with distinctly the wrong person.
So how can we be the master of our messages without putting at risk communication misdirection or even collateral communication damage so much that we do not regret our messages or ongoing online presence?
Join me as we explore communicating in a flat and connected world where anything we say or do can and will be seen by anyone and everyone.
This AM I wanted to find some material for Tuesdays dinner (which anyone is welcome to join in at either this week or on any other Tuesday) and perhaps something I could use for a 140 character promotional tweet so I Googled "what to say what not to say" and found some interesting things I thought I would share.
Top listed was certainly off point and a bit to colorful but still illustrative:
I think I will let that one speak for itself but note there is also 10 Things Not To Say To A Co-Worker Crush and this chart of what to say during sex safely illustrates the point in a more positive light.
The next item titled Say not Say opened with an illustrative quote from Marshall McClune which was fascinatingly written in 1964, “We live today in the Age of Information and of Communication because electric media instantly and constantly create a total field of interacting events in which all men participate.”
The article was a bit complex for my taste but I liked the opening question very much:
"Communication has come to be regarded as a symbol of the age in which we live. Talk is frequently of "communication explosion", of "communication technology" revolution, even of "communication society". But what is communication and how can we make sense of it?"
Now if I could get that into 140 characters it would make a very evocative promotional tweet
In my search I can across several examples of what not to say during a job interview. I think this is something that plagues the minds of many. Not only because we do not often get interviewed for jobs but also because we so rarely understand how we did unless we get the job.
CareerBulider What not to say in a job interview
Of course the contrary point to that would be this oh so very 6 months ago (and lets hope it stays that way) Business Week article, Ten Things Not to Say When Firing an Employee.
Newsweek steps in with a very timely and to my original topic with What Not to Say When Your Company Is Ruining the World.
There were links I discovered of a more personal sense that they addressed what not to say to people dealing with pregnant women, new mothers, people with eating disorders and Someone With Depression. There also was this personal account of what not to say when someone has died by Lisa Takeuchi Cullen.
It seems we are very much aware of our faults and ability to mis-communicate.
Obviously communication must always overcome the ever present barriers to communication:
- Cultural or Gender differences
- Emotional Payload or issues
- Closed Receiver
- Failure to adapt message to target audience
- Preconceived notions
- Unclear purpose or message
- Inappropriate medium for message
- Lack of confirmation the message was received and understood as intended
The question is given that the microphone is always on and the messages are always loaded (even when not intended) how can we shift our focus from not saying the wrong thing and more towards saying things that are positive and effective?
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