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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Damage Control: #IWSG for the letter D

Project Damage Control (album)Project Damage Control (album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

          When involved in a marketing campaign, a major faux pas can sometimes occur that requires damage control.  Many a politician or other public figure has stepped in a big pile of doo-doo that resulted in a mess that somebody had to clean up in order to salvage reputation.

            I have tried to be careful in what I say in my blog so as not to offend readers.  I'm frequently afraid that something might slip from my keyboard that might upset someone.  In those cases it's up to me to do the damage control since I don't have a person in charge of PR.

           Primarily my dumbest moves have come in comments I've made on some blogs that later I regret.  Unfortunately I usually am not able to erase those comments and there they stay to be found someday on a Google search.  I hope not, but it's always possible.  These days I try to be more careful about what I say.

             A marketing campaign that is going well can be set back in a big way by an uncontrolled mouth.  It's a good idea to watch what you say, but as a back-up plan learning a bit of diplomacy can be helpful too.  Damage control is an art to be taken seriously, but I prefer not to have to use it if I don't have to.

           For more posts of insecure writers visit the blog of Alex J. Cavanaugh.


"D" blog of D day:

Laura Eno's blog Daily Dodo has been avoiding having to resort to any damage control as far as I know.


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52 comments:

Kay said...

Sound advice!
Years ago a client was upset by an email I had disused because it contained, in his opinion, an inappropriate ‘!’

I can recall felling dazed & confused as my Purchasing Director, told me not to worry… I try very hard to behave appropriately on the internet but even I can’t control how someone will react to something I’ve posted, but I can control how I react… hopefully carefully. But then again!
Good post Lee.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Good advice Lee. enjoyed reading about damage control.

Yvonne.

YeamieWaffles said...

I'm sorry to hear you've sometimes had to resort to damage control when it comes to comments, don't be too hard on yourself though friend, you're a good guy who always tries his hardest not to offend, you've never offended me with a post at the very least!

neeuqfonafamai said...

It is easy to forgot that what you say online will usually stay there- possibly for ever. Its so important to think carefully before you post anything!

Gregg said...

Excellent advice for us all!

Gregg Metcalf

Danielle B. said...

This is the second time someone has mentioned Daily Dodo so I had to follow!

Great advice!

NellieVaughn said...

But then there are those that intend to offend. Howard Stern and Penn Jillette are provocative and controversial. I love them for that. Not many people can get away with it.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

What we say online is there forever, so I try to think before I type.

Arlee Bird said...

If your business is to shock and offend then that's one thing, but most of us are probably not in that camp. We don't want to have to be explaining ourselves out of any messes.

Thanks for the comments so far.

Lee

Li said...

I always find it amusing when a celeb or pol tries damage control and it just makes things even worse! Sometimes the best thing to do is to just say "Sorry. I was an idiot/made a mistake. I'll try to do better." :-)

Althea said...

Great advice! I like how you post a blog for each A-Z letter too! Great work, you're doing well!x

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Good advice...thanks Arlee.

Journaling Woman said...

We've all had to apply damage control at one time or another, small to large, for ourself or others. It's exhausting.

We need to think before we do and say.

T

Linda Jackson said...

Yep. D is for damage control. ...commented on a blog the other day and didn't realize I had offended the blogger until she commented back. Ouch. I'm still trying to get over it. :(

Kelly Barnes said...

It's so easy to "say" the wrong thing online, especially if you comment like you talk. Your clever intentions can come out looking snide or conceited or just plain mean.

Yeah Damage prevention is more preferable to Damage control.

Clare said...

Excellent advice. :)

Brianna said...

Sound advice for every situation!

Michael Di Gesu said...

Thanks for the good advice, Lee.

Suze said...

This was a good post, Lee. At a time when we leave our psychic footprints all over the Internet, it does seem greater care is always a little angel on your shoulder.

Hart Johnson said...

Oh, man--I have a young friend who made a goof recently--argued with an uninformed reviewer (she'd done research and he was wrong) and it totally blew up in her face. It can be so HARD to keep our views to ourselves, though, can't it? I have an MC obsessed with Damage Control--fitting for her PR job, but it is how she gets caught investigating mysteries...

cleemckenzie said...

Definitely good not to write and post anything that you don't want repeated. Glad I'm not a politician; they're always having to do damage control.

SJerZGirl said...

I have long been known for saying thing either out of turn or that came out sounding far differently than I meant. You'd think I'd be an expert in damage control by now, but what I have improved upon is the apology and admission of guilt. ;-)

Deb Marshall said...

Thanks for sharing this...and so far so good on the damage control and not having to use it that often. What's scary is sometimes seeing attempts at damage control add fuel to fire...it's a tricky balance. Good food for thought!

Lynn Proctor said...

haha very true--hard to take things back these days--clever post

Erin M. Hartshorn said...

I've decided to stop commenting on political posts on Facebook, even to agree because invariably someone doesn't like what I've said and a time-consuming pointless argument starts where neither side can convince the other. That's my damage control -- not even bothering any more, since I can't change the points I've already made. *sigh*

Good D choice.

Erin

DonnaGalanti said...

Being a former marketer and business owner - oh boy can I relate to this! Great post. Nice to be here on the A to Z with you

Laura said...

Hi Arlee - I know that feeling of tiptoeing. I have made a couple of booboos in the past, I think we all do at some point, but then we learn from them

Thanks for the shout out by the way - that's sooo lovely of you! (my surname's Bambrey, the lovely Ms. Laura Eno blogs at http://lauraeno.com/blog/)

Happy Wednesday
Laura x

Jessica said...

I'm enjoying your marketing tips each day - a couple of them have been things I haven't considered before.

While I don't aim to shock and amaze and do watch what I say, I can't say that I'm nervous about damage control. Some things are just going to be offensive to people no matter what you say. I've learned to take each situation as it comes.

Jessica
A to Z Blogger & SF/Fantasy Writer
Visions of Other Worlds
Twitter: @jmarcarelli

Dana said...

Good advice! I think about this a lot with my blog. It's easy to get carried away when emotions are high, and I've had to stop myself a few times and try to post a more toned down version of whatever it was I wanted to say.

Warrior Princess said...

Lee - thanks for your encouragement. It's tough being in a world that requires me to sell myself, often as something that I can only hope to be someday.... Damage control is absolutely necessary whether the damage is coming at me or from me!

Becky

D.G. Hudson said...

I edit my comments. I've been glad many times that I preview first before I hit publish.

Diplomacy is a handy tool to have.

MAJK said...

I was just reading today a blog that basically gave an author a dressing down for what they called her "lack of professionalism" since I don't know the whole story I'm not saying whether they were right or wrong but it was interesting that they had posted screen captures of her tweets and posts that looked really bad.

I had not thought about damage control. I make random comments sometimes just to be silly - I have to now hope they won't be haunting me.


*~MAJK~*
Safireblade.com
A to Z Challenge

Donna said...

Comments and emails always can seem more abrupt than a face to face. You can't read a person when you can't see them, so it can be much easier to offend when words are taken at face value. I write and delete, and if it's going in an email, I try to write in a document first...just in case I press "Send" prematurely! Time to think! That seems to be the start of damage control for me.

Pam said...

Excellent advice, Lee. "Be quick to listen and slow to speak." Wish I could remember that!

Jemi Fraser said...

Great post - it's much better to avoid having to do damage control - but it's not always possible. :)

Charmaine Clancy said...

Sound advice.
Wagging Tales

Sarah Pearson said...

Indeed. Damage control is a good D, but Diplomacy is a better one!

Arlee Bird said...

Sometimes the best thing to do is to not say anything, but it can be difficult not to spout off, especially if you're "in a mood".
My approach usually is to clarify and then apologize when necessary and stand your ground when you know you're right.

In all cases I never like to leave an encounter having created an enemy. I always try to smooth things over when I can.

Great comments today.

Lee

becca said...

great advice

Debra Harris-Johnson said...

I just try to be nice to everyone even when they don't deserve it. However its hard to bite your tongue sometimes.
dreamweaver

Ann Best said...

Laura's Daily Dodo is wonderful! You are too, Lee. This is an excellent topic. The tongue can be a powerful weapon, but it can always calm and heal. I try to stay in the latter category. I think I've made progress with this, finally!!
Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror & Other Memoirs

Susanne Drazic said...

Hi Arlee! Good advice.

Joyce Lansky said...

True. The biggest boo boos come out of the mouth.

Catch My Words
http://joycelansky.blogspot.com/

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

I hear you. I do okay on my blog and on commenting on other blogs. It is when I put something on FB that, even though I mean it, I sometimes go back and erase it.

Damage control is important.

Kathy M.

Munir said...

Very Good advise indeed. I like to double check all my spellings nd wordings as well.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Great advice. I try to be careful. If I totally disagree with something a blog says, I chose not to comment at all.

Sheenah Freitas said...

You're absolutely right. I think more people should be more careful of what they say and read over their comments before they post. It would prevent a lot damage and regrets in the long run.

Alana said...

You seem to be pretty good at damage control and diplomacy yourself, Mr. Bird! I have seen you diffuse some comments very efficiently over the past year. :)

By the way, I am loving how you are including links to articles at the end of each post related to the topic. I haven't clicked through those yet, but I plan to come back and jumo around when the challenge is over.

I also love the highlights of other bloggers by the alphabet, but I think I told you that before. You have picked some of my faves these past few days!

Alana @ writercize,blogspot.com

mindthagap said...

I agree in some ways, but in others I think we're so focused on not making people upset, that we're forgetting free speech and opinions. Being vulgar and rude are never the right answer, but I'd hate to think I have to watch everything I say for fear of other's fragile egos.

MimiTabby said...

You have more blog friends than most people have ever dreamt of. Don't sweat the few you lost. Bravo to you


Mimi Torchia Boothby Watercolors

Betty Alark said...

Thanks for the reminder, Lee.

I'll try to be conscious of that thought!

sue said...

Oh my goodness yes, I've been known to go back and delete a comment that I made thoughtlessly and too hurriedly. Some of them are truly cringeworthy. Nowdays I try to remember not to rush, and pause before posting.
Sue: An A-Z of Climate Matters