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"Write about what you know, in an area where your expertise is uncontested."
~ Trish Hall, Writing to Persuade
Responding to a trending story can be satisfying, especially when the issue at hand is important to you. But it can also backfire. Those who disagree with you may push back on what you have to say or question your authority, credibility, and integrity. Others may simply stop paying attention to you because they no longer believe your values align with theirs. That can be a good thing, so long as your response to the trending story is thoughtful and deliberate. Before you respond to a trending story, ask yourself these seven questions:
Before you share your opinion, especially if you're fired up about it, make sure that how you share it doesn't damage your reputation. Reach out to a trusted friend or colleague and share your backstory, goals, and commentary. Ask them to help you identify your blind spots, and listen closely. Your reputation is your single most valuable asset — it takes time to establish but can be destroyed in a matter of seconds.