…and I’m publicly not taking sides on Donald Trump.
In fact, that’s one of the lessons, here. (read on)
Uttering polarizing and intentionally pointed controversial statements (e.g. The Donald) will result in your being vilified by the opposition, and encouraged by supporters…so it’s a wash.
The sum total, though, in this crazy, celebrity-driven, politically-charged atmosphere is that it will raise your public persona. That’s what’s wrong with media today. Donald Trump went from a “joke” candidate…way back in the pack of 14 (or is it 15?) GOP candidates to #2 (behind Jeb Bush), in about ONE DAY. Whether you agree with him or not, he’s a master at getting attention. I’m just not sure it’s the kind of attention you’d want. But it’s the kind of attention the media wants. So we ALL get “Trumped” in our newsfeed.
Lesson? Is it worth the downside to get the upside of the attention (PR)? Would that work (at some more manageable level) to pull some sort of VO stunt benefit from the notoriety?
Blatantly and visibly agreeing or disagreeing with your favorite candidate, cause, or kook online can have consequences.
Now mind you… it may be worth it for your peace-of-mind. The issue could be so compelling that you don’t care who notices.
On the other hand, taking a position on ANY hot-button issue might just leave prospective VO clients with the take-away that you are a contentious person and they miss the point of where your conscience lies. Some may not want to hire the contentious person. Can you afford to limit the universe of prospective clients?
Oh, and don’t think you can get away being outrageous on your PERSONAL social media pages, and no one will connect it to your BUSINESS pages. You ARE your business. There’s really no valid way to separate the two, even though you may go to great lengths to do so online.
Honestly, being online is more and more of a minefield these days. NO ONE wins online flame wars. Don’t engage…unless…again it satisfies something in you that supersedes any concern over losing potential clients. What goes online NEVER can be erased. Never…even if you THINK you have deleted it.
Don’t hide behind the perceived veil of anonymity that the internet provides. If you are not willing to say it to someone’s face… eye-to-eye… then better left unsaid online.
As a journalist who officially has no opinion about anything…and who has lived that neutrality for years…all this is easy to say. Some days I want SO BAD to shoot from the hip and let someone have it.
Fine. In private. With trusted friends. In person.
Not on the internet. Too risky.
Sheesh…it’s just politics…crummy politics…anyway.