Gini Dietrich

Kelly Blazek Proves Communicators Have One Chance to Get it Right

By: Gini Dietrich | March 4, 2014 | 
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Kelly Blazek Proves Communicators Have One Chance to Get it RightBy Gini Dietrich

It feels like we’re in a reality show called, “PR Pros Gone Rogue.”

(That’s actually not a bad idea for a show….hmmm…)

During the 2013 holidays, we had communicator, Justine Sacco, who tweeted:

Justine Sacco Tweet

 

Of course, it didn’t stop there. She was on a plane for the good part of a day and landed to discover the social media mob had come after her and she’d been fired from her job with IAC.

How she handled herself next was astounding to me and not indicative of a communications professional: She deleted her Twitter account and went on the defensive.

In other news, just yesterday we talked about how a PR firm got client Mastercard in hot water by requiring journalists tweet and write stories about the company in exchange for attendance to the Brit Awards.

And today? Today we have another doozy.

Communicator of the Year Melts Down

The story goes, Kelly Blazek is an IABC communicator of the year. She also leads a job board for more than 7,300 marketers in Cleveland.

By all appearances, she’s good at her job, gives back to the community, and strives to match marketers and companies…for free.

Which is why what happened last week is kind of a mystery.

Diana Mekota, a 26-year-old planning to move to Cleveland this summer, contacted Blazek to network, build a relationship, and gain access to the job board.

She explained who she was, what she was looking for, and when she would be moving to town.

What came next will just make you shake your head.

Blazek responded:

Kelly Blazek Response to Diana Mekota

It’s Not a One-Time Offense

At first, I felt a little sorry for the woman.

The social media mob was out for blood (again) and it was everything she could do just to respond to all of the journalists, not to mention everyone coming at her with daggers on the social networks.

Everyone has a bad day. Perhaps she just had a lapse in judgement.

And then I learned this was the third time she’d sent an email of this fashion (that we know about).

The so-called House Mother of the Cleveland job market isn’t so motherly.

In her defense, she has since apologized personally to the three people she offended and has responded to most media requests. But she also has deleted all of her social networks, including the one she managed for the job board.

Used Against You in the Court of Public Opinion

So what would I recommend if this were a client, a friend, a family member, a colleague, or a peer?

My dad gave me my very first communications advice ever. He always told us, “Don’t ever put in writing what you don’t want used against you later.”

This is why it’s so important to practice the art of writing what we really think – to get it out of our system – and then delete it.

Because of this very blog, we get pitches all the time that are ludicrous. Sometimes they don’t have my name correct (some database somewhere has me listed as Danette). More often they pitch us stuff that makes zero sense for this blog.

And it’s frustrating. Particularly when you get out of a morning full of meetings and find 67 pitches from PR pros sitting in your inbox (not that, you know, it happened just yesterday).

Occasionally, particularly if I can tell the PR person is young, I’ll respond and explain why we’re not a good fit for their pitches and ask them to kindly remove me from their lists.

That tactic has built relationships with people I wouldn’t have otherwise taken the time to get to know.

But, as much as I sometimes want to say, “What the heck makes you think your tax day event is a good fit for Spin Sucks?”, I always refrain.

Communicators Have to Get it Right…Always

As communicators, we have a spotlight facing us.

We’re all going to make mistakes. We’re human beings, after all.

But what good is all this training if you melt down at the first sign of trouble for yourself?

Take a walk around the block. Walk away from your computer for a bit. Go for a bike ride. Even write what you really want to say, but for all things grand, don’t hit that send button!

But if you do hit that send or tweet button – and can blame a momentary blackout – let your training take over.

What would you advise you if you were your client?

If you can’t take the emotion out of it, ask your friends, colleagues, or peers to help.

Treat yourself like a crisis and you’ll manage through it.

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

  • The Sacco thing is just idiotic. The Mastercard incident is stupid.

    However, the Blazek letter reveals something else. There is a way to respond that maintains professionalism and a bit of class. There seems to be in some people a belief that rudeness equates to directness (you can be direct and stay classy and polite), and that it is OK to be ugly online.

    My friend Phill Carter, commenting on this on my Facebook page, said it best.  “A bit of pretense is excusable in the young, but smug, self-righteous abuse has no place here. Some people are old-school while some are just merely “OLD”. Noblesse oblige.”

  • carollinvieira

    ClayMorganYes! Also – “When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.”(Wonder, by R.J. Palacio)

  • allpointspr100

    The advice about not putting things in writing unless you want them used against later is some solid advice. Too bad Sacco didn’t know that before she wrote that tweet. As a http://allpointspr.com/pr-industries employee, I don’t understand how she thought that tweet was a good idea.

  • Another one of those mesmerizing train wrecks. In that first example, she had a point to make and she’s in a good position to help people navigate the etiquette of networking. It bugs me when people I don’t know want to connect on LinkedIn but they don’t write a personal note. There’s no excuse for that.
    But then, of course, she went far, far, far overboard. When something like this happens, my thought is there must be something going on with that person. Like my first grade teacher Mrs. Smith, who would regularly send us kids home crying. When our parents met with the principal, it turns out she was going through a tough divorce.
    The other point is, putting yourself in a position where you’re working with the public is very tough. People are rude, thoughtless, careless, etc., and it can be wearing. But that goes with the territory, and if you’re not prepared for that, or can’t stand it anymore, it’s a good idea to pick some other job that doesn’t put you on the front lines.

  • Hey Diana Mekota: I have 500+ connections. I’ll happily share them with you. Call me. 🙂

  • RobBiesenbach  Amen, Rob. I always (try) and remember “There’s a person in there somewhere – probably having a horrible day” and if it’s someone I know, and it becomes a pattern of new (but odd/rude) behaviour – I always think “Wow, I hope X is ok.” – I might not like the behaviour, but the act of putting yourself in someone else’s shoes is very humbling. Perhaps Ms. Blazek glided through life on a lily pad (hey, many people do), and therefor has no frame of reference for ‘young, under-employed, job seeking’ – that said, there’s NO excuse – at her age and with her experience – to respond the way she did to those people. She was downright NASTY. And very hurtful.

  • Dear Danette, here’s my super incredible post on bacon for weight loss – make sure you backlink to my off-shore site and send my check to the enclosed swiss bank account! 😉

    PS – Can I be House Mother of the Crazies?

  • belllindsay Or more than just a bad day. Think about all the things you or your family and friends have gone through—divorce, death of a loved one, illness, financial trouble, etc. 
    But you’re right, no excuse. One of my major peeves is the people in this world who rise to the level of gatekeepers and they become drunk with power and forget that the gate is not just for slamming shut—it’s supposed to open once in a while, too.

  • ClayMorgan  ginidietrichIt’s interesting to me that so many of these incidents (at least the ones recently reported) have been women.

    Stepping away from the can of worms, now….

  • allpointspr100  Oh, I can understand. I’ve done plenty of stupid things in my life—many, thankfully, before social media.
    As I understand it, and this is not an excuse, her Twitter feed didn’t have a huge following, and I think that almost invites a little recklessness. You start to think, “Nobody’s going to see it anyway. It’s just going to go down the black hole like the rest of my tweets.” It might even prompt you to say more reckless things, hoping for some attention.
    And then you get what you wished for and the rest is history …

  • Sjeanne06

    I just HAVE to comment on this article because I was on the other end of exactly what ginidietrich discusses in this article.  Being newly back to the PR agency world, I had been charged with getting some thought pieces, written by our company president, posted on prominent marketing blogs.  So, I set to Cision and blasted to every blog that listed “marketing” or “advertising” in its description. (Trust me, I’m cringing right along with you.)

    Now.  Gini Dietrich, aka Danette, could have completely ignored my completely impersonal, ill-researched, terrible attempt at a “pitch,” but she didn’t.  She did (very strongly – and I say that with all the love in the world) point out to me the mistakes I had made, encouraged me to read a blog she wrote about interacting with bloggers, including Spin Sucks, and told me that my email was spam (which, it was).  

    I took that opportunity to explain myself and apologize (while eating a GIANT piece of humble pie) and asked her if I could write about reentering the PR world and the challenges and differences I had been facing… and, wouldn’t you know it, it turned into a one of the most popular posts on Spin Sucks in the first half of 2013! http://spinsucks.com/communication/public-relations-lessons-from-marty-mcfly/

    I’m not patting myself *too hard* on the back here (well, I am a little bit), but I DO want to remind us that even when someone says “no” it doesn’t mean “never.” We should know this as PR professionals – we get told no all. the. time.  PR is about relationships and when I took a deep breath and reached out to Gini AS A PERSON, after doing more research, she whole-heartedly accepted my olive branch.  And, because SHE took the time to actually point out the “errors” in my pitch, instead of just writing me off, it inspired me to do just that. 

    In summary (apologies for the longest comment ever, of all time) – maybe the young PR pro didn’t know what she was doing, maybe she was being presumptuous and a bit naive, but I highly doubt she was feeling entitled.  

    Just imagine if we all took a step back, remembered a moment we wished we could have taken back a knee-jerk negative reaction, or that someone we offended would have taken a moment to teach, instead of reprimand, how things could have been different, how a RELATIONSHIP could have been started… that’s not even a PR thing, that’s just a human thing.

  • BillSmith3

    The Blazek story crossed my path courtesy a fellow IABC member over the weekend.  After reading three different accounts, I think this says more about Kelly Blazek the human being than just being another on line fail courtesy a bad day. To be charitable she was mean towards Ms. Mekota and other job hunters looking to move to the greater Cleveland area. Two, if I were a hiring manager and found out that Ms. Blazek was acting as gatekeeper to the greater Cleveland Advertising/Marketing/PR/Fundraising job market, my next question would be what potential talent got turned away by this self appointed mother hen?

    I have been on the receiving end of this sort of behaviour on the rare occasion during various job hunts over the years. Yes at the time I seethed at being treated like dirt by a recruiter or potential networking contact, life goes on and karma does it’s thing. 

    One thing is certain, karmic retribution courtesy social media moves fast, not only does Blazek’s professional peers in the English speaking world (the story got picked up by the BBC, CNN etc.) know about her behaviour but also her social circle, friends and family in Northern Ohio.

  • Sjeanne06

    ginidietrich  And, for the record, Gini – I still have the original email that you sent in response to that horrible pitch I sent… I save it as a reminder to take the extra time, do my research and realize there is a person of the other end of the email. Thanks for that.

  • BillSmith3

    RobBiesenbach belllindsay  Well put Rob.

  • Is it safe to say, “communicators never make the same mistake ONCE?”  Since words are not in their meanings rather in how we use them – communication is not as easy as it would appear. Before communication can take place there must be understanding. This may normally be achieved by having your directive repeated back to you as many times as necessary to satisfy yourself/communicator that the spirit and letter of your direction is clearly set forth. A LOT OF PRAYER AT THIS POINT WILL PROBABLY BE IN ORDER!!!!!!!

  • Sjeanne06 To your credit, though, Sara, you took the unsolicited advice and did something with it. Made lemonade out of lemons, if you will. Just the other day, I responded to an account coordinator who had pitched me (three times) with some crazy story idea. I never heard a peep from her. You used the opportunity to build a relationship and it worked!

  • lizreusswig  Is it just bacon or bacon wrapped food?

  • ClayMorgan  The whole “behind the computer so it’s safe” phenomenon is so interesting to me. I don’t know why people say things to one another online they would NEVER say in person.

  • allpointspr100  I’m ashamed we’re both in Chicago and I don’t know your agency! I am going to your website now.

  • RobBiesenbach allpointspr100  The thing that is interesting to me is she’s a South African native. So maybe she thought she had some leeway. Kind of like I can call my brother ugly, but you cannot?

  • RobBiesenbach  We were talking about this internally and I will say I’ve been BCC’d on a few choice emails in response to PR pros who are pitching willy nilly. But never anything to this extreme. It’s just mean. Yes, people are rude, thoughtless, and careless and sometimes it’s VERY frustrating, but it’s not a license to be rude.

  • belllindsay  Will you share them with me?

  • jdrobertson  A client and I were talking about this the other day. His point was that there is so much lost in the written communication…and he’s right. She could have very easily gotten her point across to this young woman without being rude or nasty. Perhaps a phone call to better understand how she could help would have alleviated all of this.

  • BillSmith3  The conversation you and I had about it really spurred some of the thoughts in this blog post. I thank you for that.

  • Sjeanne06

    ginidietrich Thanks, Gini! Although, I will fully admit that I was terrified to send that response at first… but, it was one of those… “she took the time to reply, so I’m going to give her that same courtesy.”  I just feel like we’re missing that basic opportunity to connect… or “make lemonade out of lemons,” as you put it…

  • Sjeanne06 And I’m very glad you did!

  • BillSmith3  Nicely said Bill – that’s what I thought, too. And maybe it’s part of the insight for brands and people that this blog has advocated for so many years: you can’t spin being a bad human (mean, vindictive, exclusionary, etc…)
    One extra thought, I don’t think I’d like to be on her list of 960+ influencers, it sounds like she values the connection more than the actual people (which reminds me of my favorite Groucho Marx quote “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member”).

  • Sjeanne06 ginidietrich  Good for you. It’s always important to start with being human and acknowledging other people for the same, when you do that mistakes become good information. I always appreciate being humbled (even if it’s an awful feeling in the stomach at first, which it often is).

  • belllindsay  Any royalty in there? I need to add a Duke or Duchess to my collection so people know I’m a big deal.

  • RobBiesenbach belllindsay  I agree in part with you Rob, it’s hard to know (as Lindsay pointed out) what someone’s life contains. But we are not defined by how gracious and thoughtful we are when everything’s going our way, either.

  • ginidietrich ClayMorgan Oh there’s a whole psychology of anonymity – was a pretty interesting article in New Yorker a while back that touched on that (http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/elements/2013/10/the-psychology-of-online-comments.html)

  • Sjeanne06 ginidietrich I love the “as a person” (or, to be specific AS A PERSON) part of this.

  • ginidietrich RobBiesenbach  I’m never rude. Though I can pen a mean PFO letter. 😉

  • JoeCardillo I can add Duchess to my name, if that helps?

  • Yikes!! I had heard rumbles about this but this is the first I actually read the nasty gram.  I think maybe the House Mother needs to remember how she got where she is today. Probably by hoping to find a small crack somewhere that she could get her own novice foot in the door.

  • Anneliz Hannan

    Yes because committing mayhem on our brethren seems to be appealing to mass audiences…sadly.

  • ginidietrich allpointspr100  Interesting. I’d forgotten that fact. I wonder how it played in Pretoria?

  • Sjeanne06 ginidietrich  Stories like yours are just further proof of how willing to help ginidietrich is.  She is without a doubt one of the few who always lead by example! Kudos!

  • ginidietrich JoeCardillo  Yes, please! I tried to endorse you for that too but it wouldn’t let me…

  • BillSmith3

    JoeCardillo BillSmith3  I’m always nice to recent PR grads when networking be it in person or Linked In.  I’m a believer in paying it forward and one day, I might asking one of those millennial PR grads for a job. it pays to be a mensch.

  • Sjeanne06

    biggreenpen Sjeanne06 ginidietrich  I have to write in ALL CAPS when I feel very strongly about something… 🙂

  • JeffLipschultz

    ginidietrich As always, don’t write down anything you aren’t willing to defend to nytimes – because they might just run it.

  • Sjeanne06 biggreenpen ginidietrich ME TOO! (it’s rare but there are times when only all caps will do!)

  • ginidietrich No.

  • KateNolan

    belllindsay ginidietrich RobBiesenbach  Hmm… Is a PFO letter like my (proposed, but never realized) NFW stamp?

  • KateNolan

    ginidietrich JoeCardillo  That would make you DGOD.

  • KateNolan

    Her response was way overboard and really unhelpful for someone who’s whole “thing” was about helping, but I am really curious to see the original request that prompted her response. Even if it was an egregious request, though it doesn’t seem like it was, there’s a much better form to use when you’re unhappy with how someone approaches you.

  • KateNolan

    Sjeanne06 ginidietrich Hey! I still have my first email from Gini, too! Actually, it was from her lawyer. Something about not peeking in her windows or blah, blah, blah.

  • KateNolan  Me too, I wonder what that was like.

  • BillSmith3

    JoeCardillo KateNolan   I’m hunting for it online, but I found another request from a job seeker in Chicago looking to move back to Cleveland that received a reply from Kelly Blazek.  
    http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/231800

  • KateNolan

    JoeCardillo And, on the flip side, what does it take to make you share a response like that? Obviously other folks have experienced the same or similar response from her and didn’t share it on social media, why did Diana go public? Did it end up serving anyone? Did anyone consider the motives of the “whistle-blower”? Again, Kelly’s response went too far and that’s the point of Gini’s post, how she could have responded, but it’s curious how quickly everyone leapt to the “she’s an awful person” dialogue and you don’t see much about Diana.
    Ok, there’s my deep thought for the day. That kinda hurt…

  • BillSmith3

    KateNolan JoeCardillo  

    Found the initial request letter from Diana Mekota: 
    http://imgur.com/bBonE3M

  • BillSmith3

    KateNolan JoeCardillo  

    Also note Mekota only wanted access to the job group. I don’t see anywhere a request to connect on Linked In.

  • dariasteigman

    I actually think in some of these cases (probably many of them), the real tragedy is that the unfiltered person is who they really are — versus the sugar & spice sanitized version some want to portray. So they get in trouble not so much because they said something horrid but because they meant the ugly things they said. 

    Agree, ginidietrich: Don’t put anything in writing you don’t want to see in the public sphere.  But sometimes knowing who someone is turns out to be useful for the rest of us (as in, glad I’m not doing business with him/her).
    I try really hard to answer emails (except perhaps a portion of the stupid, unsolicited pitches) and talk to vendors (even the ones who have no idea what my business really does). It takes almost no time to send a quick email and just a minute to politely tell someone you’re not a fit and wish them well. I just wrote a LinkedIn recommendation for someone and one of the things I said is that he understands that “sharing knowledge and being helpful is a unique selling point in its own right.”

  • KateNolan

    BillSmith3 KateNolan JoeCardillo  Nice find! Seems like a perfectly reasonable letter, even if she didn’t target correctly i.e. the group was for established professionals vs. entry-level though who decides that now-a-days? From what I’ve read it was more about joining the group/board than connecting personally. That’s one of those points that got “fuzzy” like playing telephone, huh?

  • KateNolan BillSmith3 JoeCardillo  Yeah that is really weird to see in contrast to the response – really all it would take is a redirect to a FAQ or how the job board works.

  • ginidietrich

    JeffLipschultz Exactly!

  • BillSmith3

    JoeCardillo KateNolan BillSmith3  Found an Ohio based blog, that basically covers the story, it’s what is in the comments that got me interested. Greater Cleveland is pretty much a closed shop for some professions and post recession, it’s much worse to find work.

    http://rustwire.com/2014/02/25/whats-behind-the-super-nasty-viral-email-to-a-cleveland-jobseeker/

    If there was any advice I would give to Mekota, if you can, stay in Chicago.

  • KateNolan

    BillSmith3 JoeCardillo KateNolan  I definitely think Chicago has some advantages over Cleveland… 😉

  • Glad to know I’m not the only one writing complete letters/responses and then deleting them. My rule is write it one day, then read it the next day. Sleeping on it usually allows cooler heads to prevail.
    –Tony Gnau

  • I am going to quote ginidietrich here: “Common sense is not that common”. You just CAN´T talk/write to people like that, no matter how rude, inappropriate their approach was (which is not the case here). Your common sense and self respect does not let you do it. This is not about the PR pro or the young PR, it´s about being human, which we kind of forgot lately.

  • sydcon_mktg  Someone said the door opens both ways.

  • KateNolan BillSmith3 JoeCardillo  Some? SOME??

  • corinamanea LOL! I do say that quite often. I wanted to defend her and then I discovered she’d done that to two others and now I feel sorry for her no more.

  • T60Productions  Sleeping ALWAYS makes you feel better.

  • dariasteigman OMG. You bring up one of my BIGGEST pet peeves. The people who have you meet with them, create a proposal, and then never respond to you. How hard is it to send an email that says, “We received your proposal and we’re going in another direction.”?? Sure, it doesn’t tell me much, but at least it’s SOMETHING after I’ve spent all of this time with you.

  • KateNolan

    ginidietrich KateNolan BillSmith3 JoeCardillo  Ok, there’s one main reason Chicago is better than Cleveland.

    ME!

  • ginidietrich dariasteigman  People are cowards. Grow a pair and just tell me no. It doesn’t have to be some big drama.

  • @KateNolan @belllindsay @ginidietrich PFO? NFW? I’m lost! WTF?

  • Wow, we really do think the same! I just wrote a post about this for our blog! lol. 
    I agree with you — if you don’t have anything nice to say, it’s better not to say it (or write it) at all. The moral of the story here is just because you’re an established professional doesn’t mean you’re suddenly invincible to unprofessional behavior. Proper decorum is every bit as important for an established professional as it is for a job-seeker. 
    I always tell myself that age is not synonymous with maturity. The same is so with professionalism. 
    Just because you’re fortunate enough to have a position in life doesn’t automatically mean you’re more “professional” than a twenty-something looking for a job.

  • ginidietrich T60Productions  Agreed.  🙂

  • RobBiesenbach ginidietrich dariasteigman   Ah, you guys read my mind on this issue! I really wish I could tell lots of people to grow a pair and put on their big boy/ big girl pants. 
    But apparently that’s frowned upon?  :-/

  • KateNolan   I LOVED the irony to this story. It really made me laugh lol.

  • KateNolan JoeCardillo   You need to resort to Mekota’s Imgur account. That’s where it all started. You can see it here:  
    http://imgur.com/gallery/71sQ92K

  • ginidietrich sydcon_mktg   I prefer to just kick doors in. That’s my style.  😉

  • T60Productions  I do this all the time!!! It makes me feel better to get it out!

  • JoeCardillo belllindsay  ginidietrich  All hail The Duchess of SpinSucks (or Arment Dietrich)!  😛

  • JRHalloran  Anyone can do something great, anyone can do something stupid. That’s a mantra I repeat to myself at least a couple times a day and hope I never forget.

  • JRHalloran KateNolan JoeCardillo  I dig Peter Shankman’s response there =)

  • By the way, did anyone see the top comment on CNN about this story? It simply said this:  
    “Amazing story. An employer actually sent a response to a job-seeker.” 
    It has like over 4,000 likes and counting, haha!  🙂 

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/27/tech/web/linked-in-cleveland-job-bank/

  • JRHalloran JoeCardillo belllindsay ginidietrich  I have a feeling we are going to get some mileage out of this…

  • JoeCardillo JRHalloran belllindsay ginidietrich   Haha, oh yes!

  • KateNolan

    JRHalloran KateNolan JoeCardillo  I keep falling down the rabbit hole on this and need to stop reading. It’s crazy how much content was created over this! Too bad Ms. Blazek used her “powers” for evil and not good. It seems her entire digital life was just Keyser Soze-d because of her bad judgment.

  • in the end, communications professional or not, this type of behavior just makes me sad and brings me back to one of the most problematic things that digital communications has caused to proliferate…this weird lack of empathy, of stopping to think prior to writing something hateful. Of course this isn’t true across the board, but I think in the wrong hands it provides this disconnect which is what causes some of these actions that are just totally against social concepts (even if you are a jerk). 

    That being said, part of being human is having those moments that you just want to say something you shouldn’t, and part of being a functioning adult is learning to cope. My adult coping mechanism (as many know) is to have little personal temper tantrums, where I stomp around, punch at the air, wave my arms wildly, and occasionally throw small objects at walls. I will also turn on the Fresh Prince of BelAir and DJ Jazzy Jeff and sing rather loudly to Girls Ain’t Nothing but Trouble and Parent’s Just Don’t Understand. Then I take a deep breath and move on in a polite, adult fashion. 

    The point here is, you need to stop (collaborate and listen), think, figure out what you need to do to handle your frustration, and then respond like a freaking professional.

  • LauraPetrolino  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=149jGeIlx3I

  • Here’s the comment I tried to make this morning, when I was foiled by ie9 and my work firewalls. I am not sure if this comment applies (not that that has ever stopped me!) as it’s kind of the opposite. But I (along with a gazillion people) applied to be a Fitfluential ambassador back in October. There were some delays that were explained by the founder along the way. Notifications have come out, and the founder posted on her page recently (paraphrasing here: ‘These are the steps to take if you haven’t gotten a notification yet. Sending hostile emails to me and my CMO are not effective. If you have that much hostility, buy me a year of massages to deal with all the stress this has created and then we’ll talk.’ // These hostile advances/inquiries were from people who wanted something only she and team could give …… how on earth does that say “potential ambassador”? I was trying to explain all this to hubs last night … the funky dynamics when people know you can get something for free (as in product samples to review) and the ability to claim to be an ambassador and community catalyst ….. but holy heck that’s almost certain to have the opposite effect. // I guess it’s good I didn’t send any epithet-filled emails to Gini asking the status of my Spin Sucks Ambassadorship ….. it’s probably bad enough that I make the occasional squirrel reference.

  • JRHalloran ginidietrich dariasteigman  Yeah, it’s annoying. I just want an up or down so I know whether to move on. I would say the biggest training need for people (after communication skills, of course), is conflict management. Few people like conflict, few people enjoy breaking bad news, many people have trouble saying no. That doesn’t mean it can’t be learned.
    I personally watched a LOT of the Godfather to learn how to do that, and I’m only one-tenth kidding. Watch how Don Vito turns down Sollozzo, or any number of other scenes. You take the emotion out of it, give it to them straight, and treat them with respect. (And if that doesn’t work you shoot ’em.)

  • dariasteigman

    RobBiesenbach JRHalloran ginidietrich dariasteigman  Agree: a lot of it is about conflict avoidance (though, seriously, do they really think I’m going to flip out because they don’t want to work with me?)

    The black hole is the worst. I wrote a blog post a few years ago called “The Importance of Saying No.” One of the things I said was that you can say NO. What you can’t do (or shouldn’t do) is ignore people, devalue their effort, and treat them as disposable, unworthy of common courtesy.

  • There is blunt like me…and then there is ego inflated so much you do exactly the opposite of what supposedly you would advise your clients to do.

    We tell our daughter inside voice when she gets to loud. Well there is the other inside voice and the poor woman couldn’t help but use her outside voice.

  • ginidietrich

    howielb Thanks, Howie!

  • ginidietrich

    bryankramer SpinSucks Thank you, sir!

  • Pingback: Young PR Pros: Episode #79 – Talking to Director Level Communicators, Good or Bad? | Running a PR life()

  • ginidietrich

    digett Yeesh is right!

  • digett

    ginidietrich I can’t even imagine what she was thinking. One too many “cold” connection requests? But still, inexcusable.

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