When I first read this Business Insider interview with Saatchi and Saatchi’s chairman Kevin Roberts about gender diversity, I was surprised by his statements and his admission that he doesn’t spend any time on gender issues. If these comments were made in 2006 and not 2016 I don’t believe they would have led to his ouster.
What has changed in the past 10 years? The ubiquity of social media and other digital platforms that can make you the most popular person in the world one minute and the biggest a@#$)*e the next. In the Social Media Age, any comment in either the physical or digital world has the potential to damage one’s personal and professional reputation.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Kevin Roberts was due to retire in May 2017 before his Business Insider interview was published. However, that changed quickly after social media users re-tweeted the Business Insider article and other media outlets picked up the story.
Before agreeing to an interview or appearance on any traditional or digital platform it is important to properly prepare. I regularly speak to the media and counsel clients on how to interact with journalists. Not everyone is ready for the attention that may occur after they are interviewed about an issue.
Your reputation may forever be negatively altered by one wrong statement to the media or Tweet. There may also be tremendous legal consequences involved when you speak to the media or post online so when you are unsure about what to do don’t forget this famous saying: “better to remain silent and thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt”.
Copyright 2016 by Bradley S. Shear, Esq. All rights reserved.