This is a guest post from Ferg Devins, Chief Public Affairs Officer at Molson Coors in Canada.
Have you ever been sitting on the subway and heard two people talking about something you have knowledge about and just know that they have the facts wrong?
Or perhaps it’s at the dinner table with family and relatives waxing on about their opinion on a matter and you just know there is a different story? On your way to the bathroom at work you hear two colleagues chatting at the water cooler about something that “management” is up to — and you know they’re so far off reality?
Or a conversation that you’re watching and monitoring in a social network is taking a life of its own and a direction that is just so misguided?
Get your word of mouth into action! In any of these situations, there is probably a polite way for you to put your voice into play. Alter the conversation by politely putting your hand up and putting your voice and opinion in.
I liken social network chatter today as chatter that was going on already in our society — on subways, at dinner tables, around water coolers and, most recently, on social networks.
Conversations can take any given direction, and we can have an impact on the stream and outcome of any given conversation. I’m not saying you can just drop your opinion in on top of what might be perceived or a position that has been stated. But, I guarantee that if you don’t speak up, you will not have an impact on the outcome.
I experienced it this week when a reporter was waxing on about calories and beer. I asked my team to engage with the on-air personality to provide the facts around beer vs. wine and spirits, as well as to offer some Molson Canadian 67 (that actually has greatly reduced caloric counts as compared to a glass of wine or shot of spirits).
We were able to alter their opinion — but more importantly, we added more knowledge and facts to the conversation. Without taking the action, that misinformation could have just ballooned.
Engage in the conversation with humility, facts, and honest opinions and I promise you will be pleasantly surprised with the impact that you can have.