We all know that positive thinking is powerful. In fact, from an early age, we’re taught to put on a happy face no matter what happens. And, when I reference something that could be perceived as negative in copy, many clients are quick to request its replacement by something with a bigger smile.

That’s not always a good idea. Sometimes, what’s negative is far more impactful and communicative. For example, if your competition has been falsely suggesting that your product has a flaw that shortens its service life, hitting the misperception head-on is going to be infinitely more powerful than tiptoeing around it.

On a website or a brochure, you could include a headline or subhead that asks something like: “Is it true that our veeblefetzers are unreliable?” Then, you counter that perception confidently with facts. You’ve left no room for doubt. But if instead you say something like “We have high-quality, long-life veeblefetzers,” prospective customers who have heard your competitor’s claims may think you’re either refusing to respond or tap-dancing around them.

Never be afraid to raise negative issues. Just be sure you respond with both evidence and confidence.