Watch What You Say


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When it comes to communicating, people generally fall into one of two categories: Those who have a hard time doing it, and those for whom it comes almost naturally. But in today’s world, it doesn’t make much difference which category you fit into because you truly do have to watch what you say.

There was a time when all you had to be concerned about what was you put in writing. Unless, of course you were talking to a reporter. He or she could immortalize spoken words in print for all eternity – whether you said them or not, whether “on the record" or off. Now they capture your words forever on tape or film.

Today, what you write should still be a concern – particularly given how written words can be emailed around the world at the click of a mouse. Beyond email, there are other ways by which people can capture and broadcast your words – often along with your actions – including audio and video recording devices too small to be noticed, or at times even seen.

Cell phones are already a known concern, but for many the full extent of their danger is not fully appreciated. Not only can most cell phones now capture you in pictures – still and in motion – they also have the ability to record what you say without you ever knowing it.

Want to write a letter to your local newspaper expressing an opinion about some current event? What you write is likely to show up – forever – in a Google search of your name. The same can be true if you email a signed comment to a radio or TV station. Or write a byline article for a newsletter or magazine. And all that online information – every word you wrote – is also available to potential employers using simple Web search tools.

Remember the old saying, “Look before you leap"? Well today’s version goes something like this: “Watch what you say, where you say it, when and to whom. " Your words can easily come back to bite you in the nose.

© 2007 Philip A. Grisolia, CBC

A communications consultant, Phil Grisolia is an accredited Certified Business Communicator (CBC), author and adjunct professor, as well as an award-winning copywriter. To learn more about Phil and the types of services he provides for his clients, visit him at . While there, sign up for a free subscription to his best-in-class newsletter - Making Sense of Marketing™.


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