Dos and Don`ts of Publishing Controversial Content

Apr 08, 2019
by Agam Chaudhary

Let’s be honest. Nothing good ever happened in the safe zone. Other than the boring, of course! Hey, we are not here to throw dirt on the whole `playing it safe` exercise, but truth be told, you are not going to get anywhere significant if you don't ruffle a few feathers on the way! The world seems to have a lot to say. Everybody has an opinion, and there is too much content available online. However, most of them tip-toe around the topic, are politically correct and as sterile as an operation theatre. They `imply` and `suggest`, and `politely point out`. However, when something raw and unabashed and true-to-the-gut unapologetic pie hits the internet, it gets applauded for its bravado. So, why do we hide behind the perfect veil, and do what and do just what we are meant to do? Write. Tell that Story. And not bother with the niceties and `what ifs`. If you find yourself toying with controversial content on a daily basis, take notes! We have just the right list to tread that tricky line.

Know your audience

Make sure you already have a healthy following, and you know the type of audience inside out. Take a long hard look at the audience behavior. Will they get your point or completely miss it? Do they have an open mind which does not mind a healthy challenge without getting defensive? These questions will answer how you should approach the content. Of course, sometimes there is a strong chance of an audience oversight, despite your good intentions, and there is not much you can control about this.

Be credible, even when offensive

Poking and jostling with few brands is okay if only it is done in a tasteful manner. However, it couldn't be your only USP. Do you want to that bully in the playground who picks on everyone? Thought so! Hence, keep your actions clean and your content credible. Be a voice of reason throughout so when you do put out controversial content, it is easily digestible by your audience, thanks to your credibility!

Be quick on your toes and updated

Posting controversial content is not something that is a one time wonder. You can`t just drop the bomb and disappear for the face of the earth. You are required to be on your toes and be updated about any responses that you receive regarding the same. Each angry comment, brand retaliation, and competitor digs should be accounted for. So be ready with your comeback for some to and fros.

You don't have to sensationalize!

Over sensationalized topic makes you look flaky and shout `fake news` in capitals and takes away from your credibility. Outrageous headlines and titles which are `looking for a fight` reeks of distrust and puts you in a category which is very hard to recover from. There is a difference between loud and noisy, so maintain your decorum while you shell out controversial content. We can all be gentlemen here!

Develop a thick skin

Okay, you can`t expect to ruffle some feathers and be left alone. People are going to come for you, so it is better you develop thicker skin and take it sportingly. It comes with the territory, and there is little that you can do about you. If you are the type to get offended at the drop of a hat, bad news, this is not the job for you!

Content should speak its own story and speak of the issues nobody is talking about. If we avoid the difficult topics forever, the chances are that there will be a build up and eventually an explosion of a mess. Controversial content is like a ticking time bomb which takes delicate handling. Knowing when to go with subtlety and when to push the limits is something that brings special talent and expertise.


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