Worse than being talked about
Oscar Wilde famously said: ‘There is only one thing worse [in the world] than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.’
But perhaps his view might be different if he had lived today. It is not so much that people are talked or gossiped about more now than they were in the Victorian era. It is the ease with which rumours are amplified on social media and given credibility by the sites that they are published on.
Ricky Gervais’ latest standup HUMANITY explores this phenomena, drawing a distinction between fact and opinion. Pointing out that turning up the volume on opinion and having it published online does not convert it to fact. The latter part of his standup focuses on fact versus opinion. He recounts how he dangles facts on Twitter, counting the seconds before they are taken, ripped apart and spat out by loud-mouth bigots.
Opinion over fact thinking
Speaking of which, opinion over fact thinking…
‘What you know matters less, than the volume with which; what you don’t know’s expressed!’
…is wonderfully told, or rather sung by Zinnia Wormwood, mother to Matilda [the Musical] in her song Loud.
We can go back further, OK magazine invited Katie Price to write an advice column between 2007 – 2009 after she disclosed to the media that she had suffered from post natal depression. Whilst it was admirable of Katie to share her experience of post natal depression; surviving the experience does not make her a mental health expert, nor does it qualify her to council other potentially vulnerable people.
A disregard to pay for ‘expert opinion’ or read journalistic quality news is a popular topic for siteAssets. This is because:
Businesses and individuals cannot make informed decisions unless they are based on facts.
And – opinions only matter if they come from an expert, someone with experience of what you are concerned about, or need advice with. That’s all very well and good but –
What do you do about wrong facts?
What do you do about being heard?
If you are a business owner and someone has published a bad review about you, it can be very difficult to remove it from ‘the public eye’. We would advise that you respond to the bad review online, using the same platform on which the bad review was posted.
The exception to this is if the complainant is being foul-mouthes (it happens) or is expressing an ‘ism’ against you, your business or your staff. In which you should warn the individual of that – and state that you are taking the complaint offline. If you would like more advice please contact us.
If you are a business owner or you manage an organisation, such as a club or charity and you are struggling to attract customers or members. It may be because your website is not visible under the right industry categories, or that it is not visible on mobile phones or tablets. Both will bring your ranking and indexing by Google down. In addition you may lack reviews on eg TripAdvisor or on Google Maps. Again if you would like us to review your online presence and reputation please contact us.
You may have found that PR does not work for your business or organisation any more. This is because sadly, as print media has declined specialist journalists have been replaced with free-lance or more generic writers. This means that there may not be anyone at a local paper that understands why your ‘news story’ is important. And, PR consultants have struggled against the opinion trumps fact phenomena. They too cannot be heard above the din of social media. For advice on how to build a strong referral presence online please contact us.