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Bob & Lorie Gray
Bobsongs Creative Media

Say What You Mean And Mean What You Say

“Say what you mean… And mean what you say…” Something my dad said to us as young children, to help us focus our thoughts, when we were trying to communicate difficult or complex thoughts.

His words came flooding back to me today, as I encountered a circumstance of someone posting a picture on Facebook that had a slur in it, and, when a few of us called them on it, the reply was that it “…was okay, because I didn’t create it.”  

Similarly, I have noticed a rash of Twitter accounts, where, in the 160 character bio, they make special note that “…any retweets do not imply endorsement.”

We are in a time where Facebook is all about liking… Twitter is all about tweeting… and Pinterest is all about pinning… yet despite the multitude of images, messages and captions we process every day, there seems to be a growing sense, that each of us are somehow an arms length away from “owning” what we are saying.

If I post something on my Facebook wall, I “endorse” that item.

If I retweet something on Twitter, I do so because I found it informative, funny or helpful. I have read and understood it, and want to share the value I found in it.

If I pin something on my Pinterest boards, the same thing…  I am sharing something that I thought had value.

If I find something rude or offensive, I will not share it unless I do so to educate or draw attention to it, as in the case of my “Not Okay To Use The ‘R’ Word” blog post.

What I won’t do is slough it off, and say… “Well, I didn’t read it” or “I thought it was funny, despite the obvious flaws or slurs.”

Everything that is part of my social media… or on my websites… is an extension of me and my thoughts, and I stand behind them.

I’m not saying that I’m infallible.  I sometimes trip up on words, and have to edit myself, or tweak a post after someone points out something, about which I mis-spoke.

But I look at everything I do, and run a filter, and ask, “Am I okay with this message?”

Maybe it is because I help a number of charities and organizations with their Social Media accounts, but I just do this automatically.

Some things I tweet from one account, would be entirely inappropriate for another… but that is part of Branding.

And I am proud of my BobSongs Brand, and would never think to post content to it, that I don’t PERSONALLY endorse.

And so, tonight, it got me wondering: Why is it that SO many people don’t feel that way about THEIR brands ?

???

“Say what you mean, and mean what you say.”

Thanks, Dad !!!

Branding 101

Branding in business, is critical.

Whether “you” are your brand, or you work under a brand name, it is important to (as much as possible) retain control of the messages that come from your brand… or SEEM to come from your brand.

That may sound confusing, but for example, when I was starting, I knew I wanted to “work” under a name that I could obtain and control the .com and .ca domains, the Linked In user name, as well as the Twitter handle.  (At that time, you couldn’t reserve a Facebook URL.)

BobGray.com was (at that point) being held by someone from the “Committee to Elect Bob Gray as Governor“, so that wasn’t an option, although I DID pick up the BobGray.ca domain. (More on that, in another post.)

You can find out whether a domain is available, by doing a free WHOIS search: https://www.tucowsdomains.com/whois-search/

After much debate, deliberation, and seeing what options were available, I settled on BobSongs as my brand, and went about reserving all the domains and social media user names.

Everyone has different preferences, but I like and use Hover.com for reserving ALL domains, including the .ca (Canadian) domains... because they are Canadian too!

(I believe that everyone should, as a matter of course, “protect” themselves, by reserving the domains associated with their name, their Brand and their children’s names.  If you don’t use them right away, you can “keep” a domain reserved, (it is called parking a domain,) so it is there when you want it.)

Keyboard

Once you have reserved the names, and you are ready to have a website or blog… you can either go about finding a webhost, switching the name servers, and designing your site… or hire someone to do this for you..