In the world of social media, even harmless comments taken out of context can spread like wildfire and damage your organization. Tips to stay out of trouble:
• Don’t talk about what you don’t know. Reporters will often start with front-line employees to gain a scoop. Tell staffers to transfer those calls to someone assigned to handle media inquiries, such as HR.
• Don’t exaggerate. Feel free to brag a little about your products and services, but always be honest.
Even a slight exaggeration can make your organization look dishonest to the public.
Plus, you could find it hard to gain coverage from reporters in the future if you fib even once.
• Don’t spin negative publicity. You’ll likely just come across as making excuses or hiding the truth. Stick to the facts, and focus conversations on how you are resolving an issue.
— Adapted from “Why You Should Always Be Honest With the Media,” Richard Lorenzen, The Huffington Post, www.huffingtonpost.com.