Here in Australia, an academic/lawyer and indigenous affairs adviser seems to have got off lightly after having sent a Tweet suggesting that watching bestiality with a horse wasn’t as offensive as watching an(other) indigenous representative speak on television. While at first suggesting that people were taking her derogatory remark “out of context” (as if context could excuse away such a mean-minded barb), Larissa Behrendt offered an apology one day later (no doubt after being advised by government or similar PRs) which has been rejected by the object of Behrendt’s disrespect. Why can’t allegedly ‘smart’ people understand that commenting on Twitter is the same as sending out a personal press release to any and every media outlet in the world? Twitter is the no1 PR disaster platform of the social media space, and is the medium that reveals more about an individual’s true nature and character than a polished and prepared resume ever could.
Australian athlete Stephanie Rice has copped some flak and lost a cushy sponsorship with Jaguar over her homophobic/faggot Twitter tweets. Ta Steve for the tip.
And the Washington Post has suspended an experienced sports scribe who disseminated a hoax via Twitter – just to see how fast a piece of false information could spread online. This great piece from The Big Lead dissects the whole snafu and give full backgrounders into the truth of what actually happened. Ta to my free online media monitoring for the tip.
A writer for Melbourne’s Age newspaper has suffered a PR disaster courtesy of her Twitter posts. Catherine Deveny patently failed to comprehend that Twitter posts are like PERSONAL PRESS RELEASES and, as such, can attract positive and negative attention. At an Australian TV awards function, Deveny tweeted bitchy posts including: “I do so hope Bindi Irwin gets laid” (Ed. Bindi is 12yrs old). Of Gold Logie winner Rove McManus and his wife, actress Tasma Walton, she wrote “Rove and Tasma look so cute . . . hope she doesn’t die, too”. (Rove’s first wife, Belinda Emmett, died of cancer.) To me, these posts reveal a lot about Deveny’s nature. As reported in today’s The Age, Gordon Farrer looked for insight and found that Twitter and tweets reveal a lot about the true character of the tweet publisher. According to State University of NY professor Amy Murrell Taylor: “…tweets are very close to the originating thoughts of the author. Most of our sources are written after the fact, mediated by memory…mediated by editors.”
Hence the greater chance that a thoughtless post on Social Media could perhaps ruin your reputation and adversely affect your career.
A marketer who jumped into a senior PR role 10 months ago seems to have displayed what might be described as a “lack of stakeholder awareness”. Mumbrella reports that H&K’s Fergus Kibble questioned the validity of a client-related business activity; not just once, but several times over a few weeks. Being skilled repu mgmt experts, H&K seems to have hunkered down; Fergus has blocked off his Twitter account, the CEO is not available and when chased by a Mumbrella sleuth, Dr Mumbo was told the entire PR team (for the related account) was out. Blog commentary seems divided whether Fergy did anything wrong.
Mumbo reports: “Ironically, last September Kibble gave a presentation on the best ways for brands to use Twitter in which he told delegates”: “In this space in particular we tend to go towards the negative that something terrible’s going to happen, but also really good things can happen as well.”
Alastair Mackenzie (and TechCrunch) tip me the wink on Eurostar’s unfolding PR stramash; tho they could’ve kept many passengers updated via Twitter, for eg, they only really use Twitter as an outbound marketing tool as prescribed by their Social Media “experts”, seemingly. Even Eurostar’s French PR ‘femme’ got stuck ona train and was fuming about the situ.
For my ‘deux cents’, companies and governments have to show customers/clients much more respect. I mean, when are organisations going to realise that effective Social Media engagement isn’t an option? It’s a key part of your reputation management abilities and customer service plans. Social Media isnt just a “nice-to-do-if-we-can-get-an-intern-to-handle-it” plaything. It’s no longer marginal. Neither is it a just a new marketing channel. A word to corporates and governments – you’re losing control of the media. And you might never get it back in the same way. It’s time to equip your communications with the full range of communication conduits available to all your stakeholders. And stategically plan how to deploy them when the merde frappes le fan, mes amies.
Tottenham soccer star Darren Bent has used Twitter speeded up his switch from Spurs to Sunderland by posting the following message on Twitter two days ago: “Seriously getting p1ssed off now. Why can’t anything be simple. It’s so frustrating hanging round doing jack sh1t. Do I wanna go Hull City NO. Do I wanna go stoke NO do I wanna go sunderland YES so stop fvcking around, [Daniel] levy. Sunderland are not the problem in the slightest.”
Is he embarrassed by this mini-PR disaster? No. Watch him laugh the whole thing off.
UK Tory party head David Cameron has caused a mini-PR disaster after saying (in a radio interview)…”The trouble with Twitter, the instantness of it, is I think that too many twits might make a twat.” Then, The Scotsman newspaper reports, DC was..”forced to make a grovelling apology…at a time when the party was attracting so many young female members.”
Switched-on business practice, or setter of dangerous precedent? This story explores how one Aussie bank (Commonwealth) spotted an exasperated customer complaint on Twitter then rectified the problem in under two hours. Though as a client said in Sydney yesterday – and I paraphrase – “…what about all the other poor buggers with customer service gripes who’ve been waiting weeks or months for resolution?”
PS: Consider this an unofficial Tweet from me: it’s pelting down on the Gold Coast and I’m being strongly discouraged from getting into the outdoor pool for a swim. Like you lot care!!