All Things Social

Mike Pascucci

Transparency 100% of the Time?

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*cross-posted from http://mikepascucci.com

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With this post, I would like to focus on transparency. It seems to be a pretty hot topic that comes up when some one, or some company is not open and up front with their membership or following, and I can understand that. At the same time, I believe that there are times and places where transparency can have a very negative reaction.

In one of my last jobs, we let the community know that we would be as up front and honest about most anything that they would ask us, but there was 1 topic that was off limits. If we discussed this topic in an open fashion with the community members, they would not understand, more questions would be had than answers given, and it would have created a mad-house.

There are always times and places where transparency is the key to success, but you need to remember the potential downfalls of being so open and honest. There are times in all of our lives where we have taken the liberty to "hide the truth" or to not be 100% honest with one another. The key thing to remember is to make sure that you choose those opportunities wisely, and to know your audience.

I can think of something that I asked my parents (most kids do), and my kids have asked me that I would rather have not known the answer to. At the time, they (as I) had not been 100% clear and concise with me. There was no lying going on, but there was also no distinct answer given. It is probably one of the hardest things to tell a child, because you are well aware of the reaction that it will bring.

There are so many other situations and instances where being transparent is good/bad. I am just trying to point out that there is a time and a place, and if you are following a 100% of the time policy, you need to be careful.

2 Comments

The problem is not that being transparent can cause you troubles, the problem is with the people...they're actually unwilling to know the truth in a manner which is peaceful.

In politics, I believe most of the stuff should be transparent however, some things should be kept a secret because you don't want politicians life at risk..just like sometimes manager protects a worker under him..from his boss and will try to hide his problems.

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John,

Your last sentence sums it up perfectly. Also, as you know, you can never please everyone all of the time, so no matter what happens, you have to be ready for some backlash. Thanks for your comment.

Mike P

Mike Pascucci provides insight on all things associated with social media and online community management. Based on his experiences, he'll share past, current and potential future best practices concerning implementations and strategies.

Mike Pascucci

Mike Pascucci's current position at Ektron - a flexible, scalable, WCM solution provider - provides him the opportunity to discuss and develop Social strategies for corporations that either have failed in the past, or are afraid of failing in their new initiatives. Whether it includes an Enterprise Social Strategy or one that is External, leveraging the likes of Twitter and/or Facebook, Mike can help you navigate the waters. He has been part of the "Social Software" revolution for over 10 years, including 5+ years at eBay where he held numerous Community roles - Manager, Product Manager, and International Consultant.

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