Please welcome my friend and esteemed colleague, Jayme Soulati, to Spot On today. She has graciously offered (and mightily delivered) a guest post for me in my absence. Enjoy and comment!
This is not a “don’t eat hamburger laced with pink slime” blog post (that needs a bunch of hyphens to make it grammatically correct). I know that if Shakirah Dawud or Jenn Whinnem were reading, they’d catch me in the lazy act and chastise me with a correction, eh, Ladies?
This post, rather, is all about how this issue is presented as a blogger. I was in a squirrely mood a bit ago and decided to draft a blog post about the social media blame game and pink slime. Social media was taking the brunt of the evil doings against pink slimers, and as a result, governors decided to take control of the message (but, did they) and issue statements to reverse negative perception.
What I wrote, was what I thought was a comedic blog post about the issue (with my thoughts against pink slime obviously laced throughout the content). I didn’t research the issue to present facts; I focused on social media instead. But, my community took the facts and presented them front and center.
My Perception versus Your Reality
What was supposed to be a funnier blog post with what I expected (first mistake) would be equally humorous comments became a lesson for me in perception versus reality as a blogger. I was called to task for not looking deeper at the issue with the pros and cons of the substance being used as lean-meat filler.
I set out to write a post that wasn’t about the situation; it was about social media’s power over the situation.
What a blogger expected to happen didn’t; readers took an opposing view of the issue and said so. What a fascinating lesson in perception versus reality among bloggers and readers.
Have you ever had a blog post you intended to write with one message and it was read in a different way? That is my lesson as a blogger of two years; never assume that what you’re writing will be perceived the way you want. It’s kinda like the glass half empty or half full conundrum.
Pink PR & Blogging Lessons Learned
Now, that said, let’s do revisit pink slime from a PR crisis communications standpoint for a minute.
I know this situation is a tipping point in favor of anti-beef. Look how forcefully the topic went viral, and look, too, at how many days it took for the beef industry and manufacturers to strategize with public relations professionals on the approach, to craft the message and issue the news. Days went by; or maybe it was 36 hours?
Regardless; anything more than six hours in social media is essentially a lifetime.
As a blogger, I typically stay away from hot-bed issues like this. Because I didn’t, here are some key takeaways for bloggers everywhere:
- 1. Look at the facts of an issue before you write; pros and cons.
- 2. If you take a stance, ensure you support your opinion with factual evidence.
- 3. Never assume what you write will be positively received.
- 4. Don’t have such an ego and assume what you write should be positively received!
- 5. Receive contrary comments to your opinion as a blogger in a positive way.
- 6. Go ahead, admit your mistakes; it’s what makes bloggers human.
- 7. Use every comment as your teachable moment to grow as a writer.
- 8. Take on the hot-bed issues, but be ready for hot-bed comments.
- 9. AVOID politics! In no way, shape or form should you engage in political issues as the country is so sorely divided amongst politicians and citizens alike that you’d suffer from the backlash.
- 10. Try, try and fall down; get up and try again.
Jayme Soulati is a frequent visitor in this community who rabble rouses the comments which turns into BlogJacking. Those days may be over, but she’s always ready for blog banter. You can find her all over the interwebz and primarily blogging at Soulati-‘TUDE! via http://soulati.com.