David B. Grinberg
Many good comments on this timely post.
What is publishing?
In today’s digital/mobile information age, publishing is anything your agency officially posts online, regardless of whether one’s name is attached as a spokesperson, official or other attribution, etc. Thus, don’t “shoot first and ask questions later” — get it right the first time, every time if possible. Be contrite and self-deprecating if and when an error occurs. Throw out the bureaucratic, robotic jargon and provide a human touch. Show some humility and humor, as appropriate.
How seriously should we take it?
Very seriously. An agency’s public image and brand are at stake, not to mention that of government generally. Don’t assume you know everything. As Dannielle notes, ask questions. Then, if still in doubt, just leave it out!
Before you “press the send button” make sure to carefully read and re-read your content — then have a colleague proof it and your supervisor bless it (time permitting). Then read it again before issuance.
Remember that first impressions last. Moreover, it’s painstaking — if not impossible — to put the proverbial toothpaste back in the tube, especially in cyberspace. Thus, be concise, accurate and accountable. Enough said.