When an audience member asks, "I work in government; how do you handle people not agreeing with you? The internet and media are both so polarizing."
My response: "I try not to get caught up in the "he said / she said" but instead focus on what does the law say and how does the law support your stance? I believe I've been successful because I've been pro-law and pro-justice, and the only way you stop a pendulum from swinging to one extreme or the next is by centering the conversation on a foundation of truth."
I was asked so many thought-provoking questions about messaging around COVID-19, abortion rights, and how do I decide which comments and which trolls to engage. The reality is the internet has taken PR and comms back to the Wild Wild West. It's hard to find books to guide you because no generation before us has dealt with this digital world of bloggers and internet reporters like this before. Until the internet is cleaned up or a few more "bloggers" get sued into understanding what being defamation means, communication and PR folks will have to work a little harder to keep these conversations centered on truth and law. Professionals in the past have dealt with people who can "spin a story", but none have dealt with a world of viral moments and a 24-hour troll cycle.
Again, if your responses aren't measured and centered on a foundation of truth, you can't be successful in this time. Social media is real, and people care about what you / and your clients think and how your thoughts impact them, especially in leadership roles.
Our social media world is crazy because there's no foundation of truth, just a bunch of he said / she said. But as my brother, Gerald A. Griggs, so eloquently says a lot, "there's he said / she said, and then there's the law." And if you don't think the law still matters, ask our former President how it felt when the feds pulled up with a warrant. #truthmatters #lawmatters #fightharderwithcarter