Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

The two-headed monster that is social media

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

“Nelson Mandela’s memorial service Tuesday was supposed to be a once-in-a-lifetime event where dozens of world leaders join thousands of South Africans in a massive stadium, all to honor the anti-apartheid icon. Instead, it turned into a media sensation…about a selfie.” CNN 


Social media has changed the whole ballgame. While it’s fun to share photos with friends in real-time on Facebook and call attention to company announcements via Twitter, marketing leaders need to think clearly about what their goals are and how social media can help achieve those goals. It makes me sad that a celebration of somebody’s life, somebody who helped change the world, can get pushed aside by the uproar of taking a picture.

Remember the old adage that any PR is good PR? Well, that’s not always the case. When our team develops a PR plan and considers the social media activities to include, we think about the negative consequences of what might happen on our blog, or on Twitter and Facebook. Obviously we consider all of the potential actions we take, but who’s to say what is or isn’t potentially harmful. I’m not offended by the photo of the three world leaders, and obviously the three of them didn’t have a problem with it, but they need to realize that the reach of social media is everywhere.

The bigger issue to me is more about the yellow journalism/tabloid infected world we live in. Why is a selfie taken by President Obama, Danish Prime Minister Thorning-Schmidt, and British Prime Minister Cameron considered newsworthy? To me it’s as interesting as headlines in tabloids about the Kardashian sisters.

So back to the original topic. When designing PR plans, how much emphasis do you put on social media? Do you consider both the positive and negative repercussions of social media activities for a campaign or do you only look at how many people you might reach? Do you incorporate ideas about how to react quickly using social media if something goes wrong during a launch?

Just remember that what you consider a safe move might come back to bite you…and it’s in your best interest to be prepared.

The Social Media Express

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Over the past few years, anyone with a broadband connection has experience social media at some level. Some see it as a way to connect with random people while others see it as a way to connect with friends. In the business world, many see it as a waste of time and drain on corporate productivity, or worse a security risk. One thing for certain, you know that if your grandmother is out there using Facebook, social media has reached a whole new level. Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and YouTube have emerged as the new media. So it only makes sense that politicians have whole heartedly embraced social media. Why not?

social media

Blogger Kyle Lacy noted “that President Obama showed the potential for success with the tying of politics and social media in the 2008 election with his millions of friends.” The recent mid-term elections showed us how savvy politicians use social media to their advantage. In fact, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger ushered in the state’s new social media standard to make sure that state employees aren’t exposing the state to lawsuits…as well as keeping them productive.

Many new kids on the political block, in this case California Republican Governor nominee Meg Whitman, showed that utilizing new technologies to reach their audiences can indeed have a dramatic impact on the election process. As noted in a blog entry in Mashable:

As it stands, the social web is ripe with opportunities for candidates and office holders alike to connect with voters, foster transparency, and even spar with opponents in the same ways they have been in the traditional media for hundreds of years. We spoke with some innovators who have been tapping into the political power of social media. If their work is any indication, expect the future of elected government to be measured in fans and followers, as well as votes.

I find it interesting to watch the growth of the use of social media. From re-connecting with friends from high school, to showing the world images of political demonstrations, to sharing ideas with constituents during the election process, social media has changed the way we work in today’s world. At the same time, the role of the gatekeeper – the tough editor or journalist who filtered the story to understandable chunks – is greatly diminishing. Is this a good thing? Are we better off with social media, or is this leading us in a direction we might regret? For better or worse, it likely can’t be stopped.

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