Timing Is Everything

Timing is often more
important than content.

“Wishing it could plug a leak as easily as deleting a tweet.”
~ The Economist

Last week, Twitter fell victim to its own service. Its first-quarter earnings were accidentally published half an hour early, and the result wasn’t pretty. Twitter learned firsthand how quickly news travels.

Its Q1 wasn’t as strong as Wall Street had hoped, and Twitter lowered its outlook for the year. Adding insult to injury, Twitter’s stock price fell 18%.

Twitter wasn’t the first to feel such wrath. So were Disney and Dell when premature earnings releases negatively impacted their stock price.

What do you do when something gets disclosed before it should?

Playing the blame game helps nothing. As Twitter, Disney, and Dell learned, what you need to do is figure out how it happened and take precautions to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Sometimes apologies are in order.

Or consider Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr. Two days after the jetliner owned by their Germanwings subsidiary crashed, Spohr went on the defensive. Granted he also included comments about how horrific the crash was. But this was a time for nothing but compassion and empathy, not for being defensive about pilot training and testing procedures.

The same also applies for the rest of us. Always handle sensitive situations with great care.

Ever write an email and hit the send key before you were ready? Was it exactly the way you wanted? Probably not. Most likely it had half-finished thoughts. Even worse, was it filled with a fleeting venting spree?

Perhaps it should never have been put into writing at all. Things you wish were dead have a tendency to come back and haunt you That’s why the addresses of recipients should be the final keystrokes before you send.

Timing is just as important as the content itself. Sometimes more so.


“Because Reputation Is Your Most Valuable Asset”

Gillott Communications is a Strategic PR firm. We’re Fixers. Crisis & Reputation Management. Litigation. Media Relations. Crisis Prep. More than half a century of expertise working with clients to resolve issues both in and outside the media’s glare — in their professional and personal lives.

You can reach Roger Gillott and Eden Gillott Bowe directly at 310-396-8696.

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For a deeper glimpse into our world, see our book on Amazon, “A Lawyer’s Guide to Crisis PR: Protecting Your Clients In & From the Media.”


One thought on “Timing Is Everything

  1. Pingback: Social Media During a Crisis | Gillott Communications | Protecting Your Reputation

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