Transparency means sometimes having to say you’re sorry.

Hurricane Sandy swept through the northeast last week, and left death and destruction in it’s wake. One of it’s secondary victims was the New York Runners Club and the New York City Marathon. By Friday evening, organizers had decided to cancel the 2012 marathon that was to take place Sunday morning.

Bright and early Sunday morning, Women’s Health posted this message on Facebook, wishing all the runners a successful marathon. There was a brief “liker” firestorm of comments:
“Someone has some explaining to do.”
“EPIC FAIL.”
“Nice scheduled post, ass.”

There were several hundred posts before Women’s Health noticed the error and removed the post.

The lesson to be learned from this is not “not to schedule posts”, and is not “watch your feed every second of every day.” But rather, the lesson we learn from this is that when you make a mistake, say you are sorry.

If you are a Social Media Analyst or Community Manager, then you probably schedule some posts. You probably don’t watch your feed every second of every day. You are probably a human being.

I have a low tolerance for mistakes in social media, especially typos. However, I have a huge tolerance for other human beings. Many will jump on the “finger-pointing” bandwagon to point out the huge mistake that Women’s Health made. But I say to Women’s Health, acknowledge your mistake and just say you are sorry.

Because we know that behind that curtain is a human being who made a mistake, and sometimes transparency means having to say you are sorry.

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