For my blog post this week, I got inspiration from Timmy Garrett’s intriguing book review, ‘So you’ve been publicly shamed’ by Jon Ronson.
It brings reference to a particular case involving Justine Sacco. She decided it would be a fantastic idea to post something rather unnecessary. Robson believes Sacco should be forgiven for her actions and that ‘She didn’t do anything wrong’ I personally think that is outrageous. Whether it’s a joke or not, you cannot be stupid enough to post something so insensitive for millions of people to see.
Picture credit: realitywives.net
We see this a lot throughout social media, where people just do not think. That second of poor judgement could ruin your career and impact you for the rest of your life.
Enter Emily Thornberry. Back in 2014 during the Ed Miliband days, Thornberry was part of the Labour shadow cabinet until she was involved with some shenanigans on Twitter.
Picture credit: The Guardian.
In hindsight, I feel she was slightly hard done by considering she didn’t criticise the house in the subject of the photograph. Many users felt she intended for the image to alienate the individual from the public domain, identifying this person as patriarchal and have a working class status. This could potentially tarnish Milliband’s chances of making it into parliament.
These two examples show clear evidence of how cautious you need to be on social media channels. Do not put anything out that could effect your online profile or company reputation.
Communicating via social media has become like second nature, but at what point should you restrict the type of content you post?
From a Public Relations stance, it has always been about how a company communicates with the public. Whether it’s a press release, a campaign broadcast or an event promotion. Reputation is a massive concept in Public Relations.
The CIPR published a Slideshare presentation on social media guidelines for people working in Public Relations. The listicle below explores the what not to do on social media:
- Forget that everything you put out on social media will represent your brand image. Content posted online cannot be undone, the digital world is unforgiving so one wrong post could spoil your reputation.
- Make you audience feel uneasy. Develop a writing style that does not force your customers to do anything they don’t want to do. Creating a palaver on Twitter, such as an argument, could also scare your audience off and prevent them from following your campaign.
- Publicise client or company information. It is an absolute must to ensure this information is not revealed to the wider public. It is ethically wrong and irresponsible to share client’s private information online or with people face to face.
- Be false. It is massively unappealing to produce fake blogs and unauthorised material. These blogs are used to promote a specific product or service, the common term being known as ‘Astrosurfing’ or as the CIPR puts it “the practice of falsely creating the impression of independent, popular support by means of orchestrated and disguised public relations activity”.
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Boffrey, D & Helm, T (2014) The Guardian. Available from:[https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/nov/22/labour-war-emily-thornberry-tweet-rochester-strood].
CIPR, (2013) CIPR. Available from: [https://www.cipr.co.uk/content/policy-resources/toolkits-and-best-practice-guides/social-media].
Newman, J (2015) Rolling Stone. Available from: [http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/jon-ronson-why-we-should-forgive-infamous-tweeter-justine-sacco-20150331].
Walsh, J (2014) The Guardian. Available from: [https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/nov/21/emily-thornberry-resignation-explain-outside-britain].