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Follow the 5-90-5 rule: it’s a recipe for better social media relations!

See the Footnote concerning Zingerman’s below

In a previous issue of my Blog (published 7th December  2017) and in the January issue of Newslink I wrote about how a short appearance on TV provoked a somewhat fierce response on social media.

Thanks to all those who got in touch, most to say I was not that bad. Dave Vicary, from Liverpool, got in touch and said ‘I have just received my magazine. I have only read the first few pages but I want to say that I disagree with everything derogatory that people on social media have written about John Lepine.

‘He is one of the nicest men you could ever meet. I agree people are entitled to their opinion but what they have said is utter rubbish.’

I also had an email from Tom Rolph of Biggin Hill in Kent, who wrote.

‘Dear John; I have just finished reading your article in the January Newslink. My commiserations over the flak you have been receiving. I didn’t see your TV interview but can imagine the situation – them wanting soundbites, you needing time to expand and debate.

‘I was in the Met Police for 30 years and was given PR courses galore but once in front of the camera, the result never pleased everyone.

‘I think the MSA does a good job and the people like yourself who run it are genuine and committed – that doesn’t mean it’s perfect or that I agree with every policy or statement, but as you say, who else is willing to step up to the job?’

He added: ‘Clearly, lack of youth and diversity in the upper echelons is an issue which can give the impression that the organisation is out of touch – but I’m sure that will change as younger blood comes through. ‘In my opinion promoting that diversity should be one of the association’s main targets with a proactive plan to ensure it is met.

‘In the meantime thanks for representing the ADIs who are your members and for what it’s worth, my advice is to stay off social media. ‘There should be a car sticker – Don’t follow me Twit- Face ‘

Thanks for your support, Dave and Tom, and yes, Tom the ‘higher echelons’ are aware of the need to tackle the points you raise, and a plan is coming together.

I recently attended the Driving Instructors Business Summit in Mansfield. It was a different kind of ADI gathering, with some different speakers invited along rather than the usual crop of driver training experts.

Talking about the way people react to postings on the internet, one speaker said that as with all individuals they followed the 5-90-5 rule. Five per cent of your audience absolutely love you, love themselves and love everyone. Another five per cent hate you, hate everybody and probably hate themselves … and the other 90 per cent are the rest of us.

Wise advice; I think I’ll try and ensure that my social media remarks are less contentious in the future.



I have done some careful research (I’ve been on Google) and one mention of the 5-90-5 rule that I found is the Zingermans version, not exactly the same interpretation but a very similar idea you can read all about here.

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