Why Engage Your Critics?

Mar 15th, 2010 | By | Category: Public Relations

Aristotle said, “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” So why do so many individuals and companies shy away from engaging media critics, consumer advocates, activist bloggers and folks from other political persuasions? Are they afraid that their position will get lost in the discussion? Are they fearful that others may perceive them in a bad light because they associate with the “other guys.” Deep down, do they fear the other camp may actually have a better argument?

Every individual and company has a stake in what happens on this big rock we call home. My feeling is that you should work to make the world a better place before you leave than when you arrived. You should speak up on issues. You should have an opinion. Get engaged in your community. Really listen to what the other guy has to say.

You don’t have to agree with the other side, but you should consider what they say. Read their posts, listen to their radio shows, subscribe to their Twitter feeds, even appoint them to your advisory board.

Unless you know what the other guy stands for, how can you work together to make a better product, service, school, community, state, or country?

One of the great privileges of living in America is that you have the freedom to say what’s on your mind. Even if you don’t agree with the person across the aisle, consider their opinions and learn from them. After all, isn’t communication supposed to be equal parts listening and speaking.

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