Friday, February 29, 2008

Emotional Rip on Fast Company

I got ripped on Fast Company's Web site. My blog post on how Westland/Hallmark could employ public relations and social media to manage a crisis situation was published on the magazine's new user content driven site (

A reader threw me in the same category as the fired employees who tortured sick animals. How dare I provide counsel to a company that had committed such an atrocity, she asked in a comment.

At first, this irritated me. Fast Company attracts an exceptional set of educated and informed business readers. How could someone let their emotional response color their judgment? Plus, this comment now lives online forever, attached to my name and the Strategic Communications Group (Strategic) brand.

I gave it a few days before responding. In that time, I came to realize that when you put yourself out there this type of harsh criticism is going to happen. And that's OK as it illustrates the dialogue driven nature of social media that makes it such a powerful channel to communicate with key audiences.

I often tell clients that to be a thought leader you have to have thoughts. And a thick skin.

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