SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Small Business — tracks feedback from small-business owners. We run the poll question each Thursday in our e-newsletter.
Last week, we asked: USA TODAY published an article about the popularity of profanity in book titles. Would you purchase a business book with profanity in the title?
- No, business and profanity should never mix: 45.08%
- Maybe, it would depend: 31.09%
- Sure, if the content is good, why not?: 23.83%
While “no” was the majority reply, the number of “maybe” responses makes this a toss-up. I can certainly see how semantics might drive the decision. Maybe there are words considered profane by some and not by others. In addition, a business’ culture must be taken into consideration. If you have an employee handbook that forbids the use of profanity; how do you tell your leadership team to read the latest business book with profanity in the title — or in the content?
Ultimately, this isn’t about being for or against profanity. It’s about staying true to your beliefs and sending a consistent message.
Sharlyn Lauby is the HR Bartender and president of ITM Group.