A couple of weeks ago, I made a blogging mistake.

I didn’t do all of my research before I posted something and it came back to bite me in the butt.

You see, I’ve been traveling. A ton. And I was getting ready to go on stage for the fourth time in as many days, in another country, and I was tired and missing home and trying to manage the office and do my work and manage clients and, and, and.

That week, a handful of people sent me the Chick-fil-A Mashable story about fake Facebook accounts and, because I needed a blog topic, I was in a hurry, and it seemed like an open and closed case, I blogged about it.

But I missed the part that the company denied any part in the fake Facebook accounts and my blog post, while it had an update on it, created a PR lesson for something that didn’t really exist.

But the bigger issue, I found, was not that I missed that part of the news (shame on me), but that I got caught up in the political controversy the company had created…and I wasn’t around that day to read the comments and to be sure everyone stayed within our policy (be nice, be professional, disagree, but do so in a kind and understanding way, no swearing, etc.).

There were 211 comments that day and they were not about the PR lessons or whether or not it was okay to create fake Facebook accounts. They were a debate among readers about political- and religious-charged events.

I know some of you would be grateful to have 211 comments on anything you wrote, but I think it’s important to remember it’s not about the comments, it’s about the vision of the blog. I’m pretty adamant about keeping politics and religion out of Spin Sucks, even in the comments, because I believe everyone has a right to their own opinions and it’s not the vision of this blog to try to change anyone’s mind.

The vision of Spin Sucks is to change the perception of the PR and marketing industries through education, case studies, and best practices.

Clearly I thought I was doing that when I wrote about Chick-fil-A…thinking they had created fake Facebook accounts.

But, because they hadn’t done it, it became a moot point for this blog.

Even though blogging is opinion-based, it’s just as important to make sure the facts are correct, do your research, and apply critical thinking before publishing.

I learned a hard lesson a couple of years ago about attacking an idea, not a person. Now I’ve learned the “do your research and make sure your blog post is fully baked” lesson.

What blogging mistakes have you made? And what lessons can you apply to them?

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

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