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Get a second opinion

May 30, 2017

billboard PSA stubbornness

We often trust people we hire implicitly: mechanics, contractors, babysitters, lawyers, bookkeepers, tutors and so on. That trust means when they recommend something, we act on it.

It’s interesting that when it comes to critical decisions about our medical care, our doctors will sometimes punt:

“Get a second opinion.”

That is important advice, especially when it comes to communication efforts. Get a second opinion, and a third one and a fourth one. Make an educated decision about plans, professionals, costs and timelines.

I don’t care if it’s me handing out the suggestions — get a second opinion.

Is your ad agency doing right by you? Get a second opinion.

(Would you dare question your CMO? Your social media manager? Your web developer?)

What’s the best way forward for public relations on a limited budget? Get a second opinion.

Hiring an influencer? Get a second opinion.

Creating an app? Get a second opinion.

A healthy dose of skepticism shouldn’t paralyze efforts but allow for the possibilities of failure, indifference, cost overruns and unnecessary detours. But just because someone recommends a course of action doesn’t mean it’s a good option or that it’s coming from a learned expert.

Even if a second opinion doesn’t yield all the answers, it teaches us how to ask the right questions. That can be the difference between expensive boondoggle and successful effort.

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