In politics I have developed messaging plans, formulated targetted advertising, conducted web campaigns, been responsible for media relations, and managed local campaigns of all kinds.  In my business I consult with companies on their branding and advertising strategies regularly.

There is one rule which should be common sense in this day and age.  It states:

“If you’d be embarassed to see what you’ve said on the front cover of the newspaper the next morning, THEN DON’T SAY IT.”

In Canada, we affectionately call this “The Globe and Mail Test.”  For years, I’ve been telling clients the same thing applies (even more so) to e-mail.

Now that social media is exploding, we must also (quickly) extend this same rule to the new medium.  In fact, this medium could prove to be most embarassing of all.  You can save a draft of your e-mail and delete it later.  But when you fire off an angry (or stupid sounding) “twitty tweet” to somebody publicly, it’s immediately part of your personal public record.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I think these new tools are fantastic, and the opportunities to use them effectively are numerous.  Just use them wisely!

For an example of how not to use social media, click on this link.