No Comment has been the protective blanket that companies and individuals have used as shields whenever bad news or public scrutiny arises. In the old world where media took press releases as gospel and where companies were able to control the message No Comment worked to buy the company some time.
Today, No Comment doesn’t work. Ask Tiger Woods. Online social media tools allow everyone to comment. It means that if you or your business is not meeting potentially damaging news head on, people on Twitter, blogs, 24-Hour “news” shows are creating the comments for you. They are dictating the message and usually making things more difficult to manage and wrangle back in.
The problem with No Comment is that you usually end up doing a public Mea Culpa anyway, that is usually overshadowed by the speculation, rumor and innuendo, created by people without all the facts.
So as a business think about this next time you are faced with a crisis management situation, you can No Comment but remember, other people will be commenting…and you may lose any ability to get the real story out when you are ready.