While studying strategic issues management in grad school, one of my professors encouraged my fellow classmates and I to ask ourselves one question each time we suggested a response: “Does this pass the Red-Face Test?”
What he meant was, if someone were to dissect your answer and press you for more information, do you have a sufficient holistic grasp of the subject to at least speak to any possible inquiry without embarrassment … without your face turning red.
Working in social media, passing the Red-Face Test (or remembering to take it) can be a challenge. To be sure, we’re tasked with being expert in a disparate variety of areas. Many social media professionals, for example, jockey as statisticians, sociologists, authors, lawyers, marketers, PR practitioners, media buyers, IT specialists, teachers and more. Juxtapose those professions with an intimate knowledge — internally and externally — of the brand(s) they represent. To get inside the mind of a community manager, in particular, Get Satisfaction shares this brain diagram.
[Image courtesy of GetSatisfaction.com]
And with this veritable hat-wearing contest, we juggle the misconceptions of what we do — a branding issue. Police officers and lawyers don’t simply call themselves, “Legal Professionals.” “Traditional” PR pros know this all too well. I digress.
The next time you see a Mashable story that triggers you to write a POV to your client, or have a new internal report you’re not completely familiar with and would like to mention it during an inter-agency call, think about the Red-Face Test first.
Do you have any stories from times you didn’t study for the Test? I know I do. Please share yours below.