So I have been reading the lastest fiascos about men undone by their emails. What were they thinking?
I learned the PR business from one of the great characters, David Scott-Atkinson. He was really a Canadian pioneer for the profession. David’s mantra was “If you don’t want to see it in print – don’t say it!” It’s a lesson I took to heart and it’s my first advice to any client. There are lots of ways to remain polite while refusing to talk about things that are no one’s business but your own. You just don’t talk about it. In that regard, I have enormous respect for the colourful American skater, Johnny Weir. When asked about his sexuality, he simply replies that he thinks it’s in bad taste to talk about who he is sleeping with. Isn’t that refreshing? But to come back to Tiger, Adam Giambroni and others, I am not for a minute suggesting that their actions are fine as long as no one knows about them.
There is some simple advice that we could all learn from their experience. If you don’t want to see it online – forever – don’t send it. It’s really pretty simple. For all that our world has been changed irrevocably by the internet, some fundamentals remain the same in both the online and offline worlds. It’s one reason why I am so intrigued by Facebook and so many other social networking sites. Notions of privacy do seem to be crumbling away. What it all means is anyone’s guess, but I for one am dipping my toes into it very carefully. It remains to be seen how this all plays out.