Overcoming Trouble with Polarizing Topics
The subtle distinction to get people’s attention with standard content or to try and create a dialogue by sensationalizing a topic is a decision which needs to be addressed even before articles begin to be posted. This is the stuff of policy. What’s the right choice: dare to be bold with risks or stick to safe with the risk of obscurity?
It begins with stepping back and reviewing your primary objectives with your social media business page. Is the page active as a source of promotion and as a source to drive business or is it a way to brand and position your services?
As I sit in front of my computer screen and search for examples of topics, the most obvious topic which comes to mind is religion. In countless conversations with managing directors over the years, the prevailing sentiment is the risks of this topic outweigh the benefits. In order to maintain broad appeal and not offend anyone this topic is off the topic list for most funeral homes.
What if you dare to go there, to share the forbidden fruit? What are the consequences? Firstly, creating the right tone for the article is essential. What can said without being controversial? If religious funerary and burial practices were the subject matter of an article would that have risks? Would it have benefits?
If the content has an unbiased tone and the message is to provide information rather than an opinion then the audience will not be offended. The benefit is those who share the religious practices, which are discussed in the article, will appreciate the information and become aware you cater to their needs, which is definitely a favorable proposition.
The real risk is in alienating those who are not associated with this religion. They may simply ignore the article which is not risky or they may read it out of general interest. If the information is neutral, they will respect its contents.
If it is decided to create an article on one religion, it is advisable to discuss other major religions also and maintain a balanced perspective. Perhaps an expose series of articles could be developed. An intro note for each article stating it is part of a series of four or five articles is good practice.
So a most contentious topic has hopefully been defused. Remember content is king when dealing with topics which have risks. There are so many ways to deliver communicate with an audience. A message which is unassuming, unbiased and is for informational purposes only can provide interest and value to fans of a page.