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My parents once told me to choose my words wisely. It was an important piece of advice 20 years ago and it is even more relevant today. In this digital age, it is imperative that you think before you speak.

Publicists preach it to their clients.  But sometimes, they don’t listen and learn the hard way.  Anyone hear from some angry nurses on social media this week? 

Let’s talk about the social media firestorm against “The View.”  This week, the daytime show’s co-hosts Joy Behar and Michelle Collins made some comments after Miss. Colorado, Kelley Johnson’s performance in the Miss America Pagent.

“There was a girl who wrote her own monologue and I was like, ‘Turn the volume up. This is going to be amazing. Let’s listen,'” said co-host Michelle Collins of the moment when Miss Colorado took the stage. “And she came in in her nurses uniform and basically read her emails out loud and, shocking, did not win.”

“Why did she have a doctor’s stethoscope?” asked co-host Joy Behar.

Moments after Behar and Collins made the comments, nurses across the country launched a social media war against the show and some of its hosts, with the hashtag #NursesUnite.  Angry posts with the hashtag were everywhere.

Collins and Behar apologized, saying their comments were misconstrued and they respect nurses for the job they do.  But, the damage was done.  Just yesterday, two major sponsors, Johnson and Johnson and Eggland’s Best yanked their ads from the show. And, I don’t think they will be the last.

Off the Record?
If you are ever going to be interviewed by the press, you must be prepared and think through what you want to say. This can be extremely difficult during a crisis situation or an emotional time. Just know that when you speak to the media, you are on record. Even if it isn’t live, they can use whatever you say to them. Always keep that in mind.

Think Before you Write
All businesses are suspectable to negative reviews. You may be the best restaurant in town and have raving reviews, but you are not immune. If and when you get a negative review, do not get defensive. Take some time, not a lot of time, but a little bit of time to think about how you are going to respond. Be calm and do not let your anger take over. Again, one snarky or mean comment on your end could turn into a war that you cannot win.

Sometimes, all the damage control in the world can not recover a tarnished reputation. Therefore, think about that before you speak or comment publicly. And, listen to your publicist.

We want to hear what you think. Do you think people speak too freely and it leads them into trouble?