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When You Mess Up, Fess Up

By now, everyone knows the big news about New York congressman Anthony Weiner: he did, indeed, send out lewd pictures, and finally admitted what he had done after a week of denials.

What took him so long?

It was probably fear of what people thought, including his wife, who is pregnant. Even though it’s an embarrassing situation and could cost him his job, he should have fessed up right away. Think about how he felt all those days and nights. The media kept asking the questions, and he kept lying and making excuses, and even showed his anger towards them.

Big mistake.

It made him look a lot worse. Now he not only looks like a pervert and cheat, but the media, the public, and his constituents, who have voted for him several times, think he’s a liar.

Liar, liar, pants on fire…or pants off, in his case. He ruined his reputation, whereas he could have just admitted it right away, said he’d work it out with his wife, get help, take some time off, and do whatever he had to do to make things right for himself and in the public eye.

Now the public has turned against him and think he’s a loser. It’s too bad for him, but a lesson for us: when we mess up, we have to fess up to prevent any more disasters to our reputation. It also lessons the pain.

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Social Media for Snails

Almost three years ago, I wrote a blog post called The New Chicago Tribune Sucks and guess what? They still do.
I still have great relationships with many fine reporters and editors at the Tribune, so I don’t want to criticize them, but wow, I just can’t believe how slow and off the mark the Tribune is with their response. I call it “social media for snails.” Here’s why: the Tribune just responded to my post this month, almost three years after I wrote it. Why didn’t they respond before? And their response has nothing to do with what I wrote. I was talking about the design of the newspaper, but their comment at my blog included, “The Client Services dept at the Tribune are more than welcome to help with any home delivery subscriptions, or store purchases of the paper.”

Nowhere in my blog did I complain about home delivery, subscriptions, or purchases. So why write that in a comment? It shows they aren’t paying attention to their online coverage or to what people actually write.

So this is something we can all learn from: remember to do frequent searches of your name, or sign up for a Google Alert to find out what people are saying so that you can respond. And read what people are actually writing so that your response makes sense.

Too bad one of the biggest newspapers doesn’t understand these simple tips.