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Obtuse brevity

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My staff often accuses me of being obtuse and nebulous as I pontificate in briefings and written communications.  While I don’t agree with their jealous and myopic perspective of my keen skill in spouting bureaucratic hyperbole, I thought it prudent to state simply the overarching concepts inherent in effective and principled social media crisis communications. As you peruse these snippets of brevity, reflect on recent crisis SM communications.  Were these critical tenants addressed?  I strained to address each of these succinctly…


Don’t pass go, don’t collect $200.  Just Do It.  (Apologies to Nike)


Someone mentions you, contacts you, fillets you, praises you…. Acknowledge. You don’t have to agree, but at least acknowledge


You fudge, hedge, deflect, delay, lie…. G’day benefit of the doubt


If you did it, own it.  If you didn’t, state it.  If you don’t know, say so!


It’s OK to release information current at the time.  It’s not OK to let incorrect or old information linger.  If you are wrong, or info changes, get it fixed..NOW!


Ya better know what you are talking about, or make sure you get someone onboard who does (or at least appears as though they do).


Shut up and listen. (Courtesy of my Dad)


Challenging information begins with a one word question…  “Really?” Think before you RT someone else’s stuff.


Information travels at the speed of light.  Culture changes are happening at the speed of sound.  It’s still faster than we can drive.  Get with it.


Don’t diss your customers (listeners)…Period.  The customer is always right…. Unless they are a criminal.  Then,  book ‘em.


Two words –  “I’m sorry” But, you better mean it.

Have a great holiday season everyone!

About chiefb2

Retired fire chief,Type 3 AHIMT IC, PIO. Current industrial services safety professional, social media emergency management disciple (no, I'm not a "guru"). Crisis communications consultant. Dad with an open wallet.
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  • Tim Burrows

    Chief…Fantastic Post!
    I hope you don’t mind that I grabbed it and put it on my blog as well. Love it!

    • chiefb2

      Thanks Tim! Glad you enjoyed it.

  • RamblingChief

    Words of wisdom and common sense. Adding it to my list of things to remember and share with local fire service leaders.



    • chiefb2

      Thanks Ken!