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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.

Written by: Vickie Sullivan  |  August 02, 2012

How to Raise Cain

Look past the inspirational quotes and updates, and social media will show you who people really are.  Exhibit A:  the week-long tirade in defense of a speaking lead-generating firm on LinkedIn.  Highlights:  calling other people “whacked” and a personal email with a threatening tone.

There’s a thin line between calling out the idiots and becoming one yourself.  Here’s how to raise some Cain while looking better than the person you are marginalizing.

  1. Keep the tirade proportionate to the offense.  If someone uses a poor choice of words, call them out on that.  If they come off pompous, tell them.  Don’t call them names.  And don’t attack more than once for the same issue.  Do that, and you look worse than the original poster.
  2. Make your point and move on.  If the group discusses something else, don’t go back to your original rant.  If someone apologizes, accept it and let go.  The longer you go on, the more stupid you look.
  3. Limit your targets.  Don’t insult every single person who questions you.  This shotgun approach makes you look angry at everyone and just obnoxious in general.

One poster said it best:  “Everything can be said with a modicum of respect.”  You can make your point without hurting your personal brand.  As Will Farrell’s Ron Burgundy says in Anchorman, “stay classy”.


About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.