Just a Moment for Marketing: Portals Everywhere

Linda suggests: Put yourself in your customers’ shoes.

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Top of Mind Thursday August 10, 2017: The Truth About Consequences

Top of Mind Thursday

On Tuesday, Google fired engineer James Damore, who wrote a manifesto distributed throughout the company on why women are biologically unfit to be in the tech industry.

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Damore’s 3300-word screed went viral throughout the web over the weekend, raising issues about how the Internet giant would respond. Google didn’t address the firing specifically, but said that with the document, Damore violated his employee code of conduct.

Was this a limitation on free speech? Not when the writing in question was created and released using corporate resources. We’ve seen individuals fired (perhaps unfairly) for sending out an inappropriate Tweet, but a 3300-word document isn’t a spur-of-the-moment emotional decision. This document required considerable thought and effort.

Who Damore was defaming is really not relevant. Imagine if the document said Blacks, Hispanics, Jews, Muslims, or LGBT people–or perhaps even white men–are unfit to be in technology.

Now imagine how your organization would handle a similar situation. Do your employees know what’s included in your code of conduct? Do you even have a code of conduct? How would you handle such a situation, both internally with employees, and with your external audiences? What kind of discussions might you have within your organization that encourage ongoing dialogues rather than one-way rants?

The truth is that what’s said and done under the umbrella of your brand has consequences–for the company as well as for the individual expressing their thoughts.

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Just a Moment for Marketing: Strength in Numbers

Linda observes: There is strength in numbers.

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Top of Mind Thursday August 3, 2017: Not Very Funny

Top of Mind Thursday

Last week, President Trump urged police officers to use additional force if necessary when arresting suspects. Two days later, a White House spokesperson said she thought the comment was made as a joke.

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Police departments across the nation didn’t see the humor. Many are already dealing with allegations of excessive force used in arrests, and some face lawsuits based on deaths of suspects while being arrested or in custody. These type of comments just make their jobs harder, as it results in less trust and cooperation between law enforcement and the people they are sworn to protect.

But the use of humor to justify an inappropriate comment is not limited to the White House. It’s not unusual to see a politician, celebrity, or even a business leader back off a controversial position by saying “I was just joking.”

The problem is that humor is based in at least a kernel of truth. The reason we laugh at a good standup comedian is because we see the truth in what they’re mocking (and it’s usually themselves, not others).

Humor is a great communication tool. I love a good pun as much as anyone. But be careful how and where you use humor in your business. The best humor is self-deprecating–it shows you don’t take yourself too seriously. Be wary of comments that attack others, even in jest. The results will likely not be very funny.

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Limited time to devote to marketing? Check out our weekly Just a Moment for Marketing videos. They only take a minute.

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linda@popky.com
(650) 281-4854
www.leverage2market.com

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