Take this Facebook post which appeared on the Iowa GOP’s page this past January. The intent by social media management company 4:15 Communications was a little end-of-week humor; unfortunately the joke fell flat.
And that’s a common mistake, as jokes are easily misinterpreted in print. Even during a set at the Laugh Factory, the most experienced of comedians can find themselves in hot water with a controversial subject like racism. But at least professional comedians are representing only themselves, not a high-profile client like the Iowa GOP (even then they sometimes find themselves in trouble, but we’ll talk about that in another post).
The Grace Hopper quote about apologizing versus asking for permission may work when you’re taking the initiative to wow a boss or client with a bold move in the workplace. In social media, if you’re apologizing, it’s already too late. 4:15 Communications found that out the hard way, and you can certainly learn the lessons they did without the consequences:
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Image by Andrew Mason.