PUBLISHED AUGUST 2017
by Georgia McBride, Owner, Georgia McBride Media Group –
You’ve seen it a thousand times: an employee whose social media followers follow them because of the job they have adding a disclaimer to their social media profile that says something like, “Views are my own, not affiliated with my company.” It’s a weak way of letting the company off the hook for any illegal, offhanded, or offensive thing their employee might say on social media.
But what happens when you own the company and have a point of view you wish to share on social media? How does sharing your opinion in public impact your company, staff, customers, and partners?
In many cases, small presses and independent authors have only themselves to rely on when it comes to their success. Bad publicity can destroy a small company or unknown author before they have even had a chance to be known.
In today’s political climate, just about everyone is taking a stand for their beliefs, fans and followers be damned. And when you own the company, separating the company and its products from your personal point of view can be impossible. Remember when shoppers, in an act of political protest, boycotted Ivanka Trump’s clothing line? What about when cops boycotted Quentin Tarantino’s Hateful 8 film for statements he made about police?
Sure, that publicity probably made little more than a dent in their bottom lines, but it could well sink a promising upstart. And, as someone who runs an eponymous imprint, it is impossible to separate my personal views from that of my company. So, when I made a conscious choice to speak out against and in favor of topics that mean something to me, I did so knowing full well the economic risks to my business.
I prepared myself for backlash from my business partners, authors, etc. who may have an opposing point of view. I offered authors who disagreed with me and whom felt differently a chance to cancel their contracts with no ill will. I prepared myself to lose money because some adamant readers would refuse to purchase books I publish. In other words, I prepared for the worst.
But by making a point to post my views in a respectful and nonthreatening manner, I found the worst part of it all to be the fear I had to begin with.
Georgia McBride is the owner of Georgia McBride Media Group, home to Month9Books, Swoon Romance, and Tantrum Books.