Part and parcel for any business is conflict – and sometimes public disputes are necessary and other times they aren’t.  In this excerpt from “For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations” by Ronn Torossian, a case is made for avoiding certain conversations:

“Another interesting example of avoiding the conversation was with a political advocacy organization we represent. When there was a move from various non-profit organizations to persuade advertisers to boycott a certain opinion news program, our advocacy group wanted to place ads of support for the show and its host. We knew this would just call more attention to the boycott attempt and help it along. Ultimately, our client wisely decided not to place the ads as they would most likely have galvanized many more people against the show. The boycott would have gained momentum, and the whole story would have turned into a much longer fight and a bigger, more negative story for the program’s host who we wanted to succeed. The boycott blew over and the show continued to pull in incredible ratings and many new advertisers despite the short-lived boycott.

Consider potential outcomes and repercussions before getting into any kind of public conversation. Some times getting involved in a fight is a loss: Think of two people screaming at each other in the middle of the street. If you walked by during the altercation, it would be hard to tell which one was right and which one was wrong – who was the aggressor? All you see are two people screaming at each other. Meanwhile, if you had seen the situation from the beginning, you’d know that one guy was bothering and harassing everyone who walked by, and the other had tried to stop him. One guy was clearly the good guy – but how many people are aware of that? Join the pigs in a fight and you risk getting dirty.”

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