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Pr 101 Three Can Keep A Secret If Two Are Dead

Pr 101 Three Can Keep A Secret If Two Are Dead

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Published by Jeff Cole
The headline on this piece is one of the most basic marketing communication rules on the books. Benjamin Franklin coined the phrase more than 250 years ago in his Poor Richard’s Almanack. Like much else of what Franklin had to say,“ three can keep a secret if two are dead” is still very applicable today.

Yet, it still amazes me that in this digital age of electronic sharing of everything people have not internalized that rule. It hey did, it would keep them of trouble of their own making. Not following that rule will always lead to public relations problems and a lot of collateral damage.
The headline on this piece is one of the most basic marketing communication rules on the books. Benjamin Franklin coined the phrase more than 250 years ago in his Poor Richard’s Almanack. Like much else of what Franklin had to say,“ three can keep a secret if two are dead” is still very applicable today.

Yet, it still amazes me that in this digital age of electronic sharing of everything people have not internalized that rule. It hey did, it would keep them of trouble of their own making. Not following that rule will always lead to public relations problems and a lot of collateral damage.

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Published by: Jeff Cole on Jan 07, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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10/04/2013

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PR 101 Weekly Rant #43Three Can Keep A Secret If Two Are Dead
 The headline on this piece is one of the most basic marketingcommunications rules on the books. Benjamin Franklin coined thephrase more than 250 years ago in his
Poor Richard’s Almanack 
. Likemuch else of what Franklin had to say,“ three can keep a secret if twoare dead” is still very applicable today. Yet, it still amazes me that in this digital age of electronic sharingof everything people have not internalized that rule. It hey did, it wouldkeep them of trouble of their own making. Not following that rule willalways lead to public relations problems and a lot of collateral damage. The latest person to fall victim to a failure to pay attention toFranklin’s aphorism is U.S. Navy Capt. Owen Honors. Honors’ careerwas derailed because of a series of videos he made when he was theexecutive officer of the U.S.S. Enterprise. According to the NorfolkVirginian-Pilot newspaper, “The videos were a series of profanity-lacedcomedy sketches that were broadcast on the USS Enterprise viaclosed-circuit television.” Some were described as homophobic.Did Honors think no one was ever going to talk about this to anoutsider? But as Ben said, secrets just cannot be kept. In Honors’ case,almost 6,000 men and women who crew the aircraft carrier saw thesevideos. The odds were better than even that someone was going totalk.I not am going to talk about the content of the videos or Honorsintent in producing them. I am not seen the videos. From everything Ihave read, Honors was a rising star in the Navy. He apparently was anexcellent leader slated to become an admiral. Perhaps he one daywould have become Chief of Naval Operations – the overall Navycommander. Not anymore. This entire situation is about how the videos were perceived and

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