Being attacked is never easy… For many public-sector professionals, it never stops either.
Some members of the public act like making negative comments and online attacks on public officials is a sport.
And as anti-government attitudes heat up, so do the hateful social media posts toward public professionals. So how are you supposed to respond? Here are a couple of tips.
(Note, for our full Consent Building eBook on the topic, click here)…
1. Leverage Negative Comments to Better Inform Your Opponents
Start by assuming the inflammatory or hateful comments have been made by an actual person, with legitimate concerns about your agency, and the projects you’re working on.
2. Resist getting emotionally sucked in — publicly or privately.
Think of an attack as a hook dangling online… Don’t bite! Expect what you say privately in response to online attacks to be made public anytime someone Googles your name, agency, or project (including texts, emails, and comments made within the confines of your office space).
Don’t wait too long, but gather your thoughts (and cool) before responding.
3. Never ignore or disregard negative comments.
See each of these as a chance to make progress on the issues being aired, the misunderstandings that linger, and your overall credibility. To the “silent majority” watching from the sidelines, if you don’t respond to attacks you look tone-deaf, and conveniently inclined to only acknowledge the positive, or more tempered comments regarding your work.
People who didn’t necessarily question your work or motives,start to wonder if you’re online presence is purely self-serving. Responding only to the to level-headed and complimentary comments actually creates cynicism where it didn’t necessarily exist before.
Even though it’s natural to want to ignore the negative and most extreme comments, doing so will actually hurt your credibility among the broader community.
For more the full list of tips, please download our free Consent-Building eBook on this topic. Click here!
In Consent-Building Clinic #70, we discussed “What to Do when Your Public is Convinced it’s Too Late to Give Input (and How this Hurts Your Credibility).”
One of the most serious facets of this issue, and related topics we’ve discussed in Clinics (Brownbags) #5, 30, 51, and 60, is the devastating accusation from the public that “You’re Not Listening!” And worse, that “You Don’t Care!”
In this short segment, we round up our discussion on this critical issue and how you’re likely proving yourself guilty of the accusation — even if you’re actually not guilty of it!
Watch the video below now.
It’ll make sense of:
How you can be both guilty and not guilty of “not listening/caring,”
Why your public is convinced you’re nothing but guilty.
What are the specific ways you and your team are working to correct this misperception?
If you, or your agency, have been guilty of not truly listening and/or caring — what made you realize you were paying more lip-service than genuinely listening and caring?
Why You Must Interact directly with People, Not only through their Representatives. June 8th 2021
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