President Bush today uttered a colorful expletive while referring to Hezbollah in what he thought was a private conversation with British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The two were attending a lunch at a G8 summit and speaking candidly about the current situation in Israel, unaware there was an open mike in front of them.
Bush said something to the effect of, "someone needs to tell Hezbollah to stop that shit". The video is available currently on CNN.com. This is not the first time Bush has gaffed with a hot mike he thought was off. Once while speaking to Cheney, he referred to a reporter as "an asshole".
While this certainly will not end his political career or send the stock market into a plunge, it points to a very important concept. What you do in public can reflect on you and your business even if you think nobody is listening.
A business owner I know was sitting in a restaurant one time badmouthing a recent issue of a magazine. As it turns out - the publisher was right next to her. He stood up and confronted her. It goes without saying she'll never get any good publicity from him.
Do you have a corporate vehicle with your business name on it? Be careful how you drive. Be careful how you park.
Did you hand out jackets with your business name to your employees? How are they behaving while wearing your logo out in public?
My attorney related the email test to me. If you ever question whether you should send out an email, just imagine it blown up poster size in front of a jury. If you're still comfortable, push send.
J D Moore - Marketing Comet