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The art of reading a room

January 19, 2021

The art of reading a room. It’s a craft that marketing and communications professionals have to master quickly. You’re only one wrong word or poorly timed post away from brand damage unless you can gauge the mood of your target audience. Ultimately, it comes down to empathy, moral values and sentiment alignment.

We’ve all been there. We’ve said the wrong thing to the wrong person at the wrong time, or just got so carried away with an idea that we’ve become blind to how others might interpret it. There has been a noticeable shift in recent years – amplified by the pandemic undoubtedly – that demands more compassionate forethought before posting content.

Australian Open tennis players venting their frustration at stringent quarantine measures are quickly finding out that tone deaf social posts hit the net in quite spectacular fashion. Using social channels as a ranting platform seldom leads to positive outcomes, and cries of self-entitlement are only further fuelled by comments like those made by Bernard Tomic’s girlfriend Vanessa Sierra, whose major concern was with her jaw-dropping hair care admission.

When used correctly, platforms like TikTok offer a fantastic opportunity to generate creative content, while social channels offer a chance for those quarantining to engage positively with the sport’s global fanbase. It is, understandably, a source of frustration ahead of a major sporting event, but in the context of a pandemic, a bit of compassion and sensitivity would serve them well.