Pick Your Words Honestly

I have a client that needed to cancel an event this week. But that’s not how they’re phrasing it. Instead of canceled the event was withdrawn.

What does that even mean?

I understand what they’re up against. They don’t want the negative connotation that goes along with an event being canceled. Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do about that. The next best thing you can do is to reschedule an event. But if you have to cancel an event, just say that. The clarity and straight-forward approach will mean something to people. They’ll see you’re an organization that can admit its mistakes.

But if you have to withdraw an event, well, that’s another story. First people will pause and try to figure out what that means. Who withdraws an event? They’ll sort it out, eventually, and then they’ll wonder why you phrased it so oddly. They’ll quickly see that you’re trying to put a positive spin on the cancellation, and they’ll realize you’re trying to be a PR huckster. You just lost a notch of respect.

If you have potentially negative news to break, don’t be a spin artist. Play it straight. You’ll communicate more clearly and your audience will respect you for it.

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