Great post today from Gini Dietrich on the Spin Sucks blog.
I’ve been a subscriber to SS for a long time, and admire Gini’s ability to file a post each day of the week, plus a “greatest hits” post every Saturday. Where does she find the time?
In today’s post, entitled, “Your Mom Tells You What You Want to Hear,” Dietrich observes how frequently we gravitate toward those who think and act as we do, and how important it is to both listen to and engage our critics, particularly online.
I am conveniently ignoring her advice by agreeing with her, but believe there’s a larger issue at work here.
Marketing types expend a lot of energy talking about “authenticity” and “transparency,” especially when communicating online, but the truth is that when we are presenting ourselves online, there’s little authentic or transparent about it.
When’s the last time you posted a photo, a link or a comment that wasn’t carefully designed to position you in the best possible light? We’re all trying our best to leverage social media (e.g., Facebook) to present an image of ourselves that shows us as we’d like to be perceived, rather than how we truly are.
And we’re trying desperately to attract like-minded individuals to either tell us how great we are or to buy more stuff.
(When’s the last time you “liked” something you didn’t actually like? Or go out of your way to visit an “enemy’s” Facebook page or blog to mess with them?)
Generally speaking, your enemies are not going to come to you…you must go to them and be prepared for a less-than-fair fight.
In these encounters, you don’t get to control the message and any bulls**t you try to spew can and will be used against you in the court of public opinion.
It’s like the bad old days of PR when working with the mass media—don’t pick a fight with those who buy ink by the barrel or videotape by the crate.
Dell Computer was only able to rehabilitate its image after sending one of its own to engage the “Dell Hell” blog. Eventually, the company was able to improve customer relations and shift much of the discussion to its own blog.
It’s when we walk through the fire that we discover who we truly are.