Uttercast: The Message Control Myth


During the "Journchat" Twitter conversation last night, the concept of PR as "perception management" – or not – led me to think about a slightly different topic: the notion of "no message control" in social media.

– The "no control" meme, on the surface, says to companies "no message necessary. The masses will define you."

– Yes, the masses will define you if you don’t define yourself first- or if your messaging is untruthful or ineffective.

– The notion of messaging as something evil- as companies trying to manipulate the way we think- is wrong-headed and silly. Not that some companies don’t do it, but it’s far from status quo in public relations.

– So, can we kill the notion of "no message control," and restore the never-rescinded right of companies to defend- heck, even "manage"- their perception or reputation?

(photo- "Some Hole"- fun-loving golf course or inappropriate?)

Mobile post sent by DougH using Utterlireply-count Replies.  mp3


  1. Doug – thanks for this. I think you summarized perfectly what a lot of us were thinking last night. Companies can’t and shouldn’t throw caution to the wind and let the world interpret their values for them. Messaging, perception management – whatever you want to call it – it’s part of a communication strategy, and isn’t a bad thing. If someone thinks he has no control over messaging when it comes to social media, then he clearly doesn’t understand the way social media works. Every time you interact on the Web you are shaping perception.

  2. I wasn’t even sure #Journchat went that directly into the issue- I was in and out of the chat, as usual.

    It’s just this meme always struck me as an intro to the idea of “why bother with messaging at all? which is suicidal.

    Thanks Rachel

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