Dave Grohl Did It - You Have The Right To Do It Too!
August 2, 2011
JIM FOX (Station Manager for ENTERCOM’s KRXQ/98ROCK and KKDO/RADIO 94.7 /Sacramento) said something last week that really resonated. We were talking about how to manage dialogue in this social and digital space; specifically, how to manage combative, abusive people.
Jim changed my thinking for good when he said:
“If Dave Grohl can kick someone out of his concert, I think you have the right to do it too.”
What Dave Grohl did last month is what many people and brands are starting to wish they could do with “online swipers” - people who come to your digital and social properties and pick fights. Dave Grohl showed the world that you don’t always have to just take it.
While the essence of “2.0” is to not censor and/or delete what people say, it’s as if that “rule” has become a gateway for an increased lack of decency and civility. People will spend time away from what really matters just to leave their combative digital debris all over the Internet.
There’s no disputing the importance and the power of free speech. There’s also no arguing the notion that people can lose the right to play in anyone’s social sandbox when they display combative and/or inappropriate behavior.
What happened to “taking it outside?” Calling the people/brands you don’t agree with and having an honest dialogue with them - one on one. We can learn from each other when we listen to the differences in our opinions. But personal attacks and angry, hurtful posts accomplish nothing.
“It’s almost impossible to imagine that social media can be censored and controlled. Everyone has the right to say and post whatever they wish. But with freedom comes responsibility and it should come as no surprise if you are judged by others or lose opportunities because of your digital debris.
[For some] the Internet has been viewed in this country as an ‘unrestricted playground.’ People say what they want regardless of the impact. It’s as if the subsequent apology to those hurt by ill words seems to excuse their cybernated slop.”
It’s time you exercised your right as a person and/or a brand.
While a real brand offers mutual help and nurtures relationships through all channels, you do not have to accept unwarranted swipes at you personally or your brand. Managing brand equity is a team effort and it’s important to get everyone on the same page.
Here are three basic rules for managing dialogue in this open digital and social space:
- Listen carefully and don’t react immediately.
- Comments are only as valid as the person behind them.
- Respond to every comment as the voice of reason.*
*Communicate to combative or inappropriate “posters” that you uphold the same standards online that you do on the air. If they ignore you and continue exhibit bad behavior, remove and/or ban them and move on.
Social and digital channels give us the privilege to create worthwhile conversations with a solid portion of our audience that can make a difference for our stations. So don’t let modern conveniences become inconveniences. Acknowledge your audience when they reach out to you.
Participate in the dialogue. But when you encounter the abusive jerk who wants to fight “at your concert” - or on your blog or Facebook page - kick them out. You have the right!
Reach out to me anytime on Twitter @lorilewis.
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