Jackass star Ryan Dunn was killed when he crashed his Porsche 911 GT3 early Monday morning. A few hours before the 3 a.m. accident, Dunn had posted a photo on Twitter in which he is seen drinking with friends. Hours later, movie critic Roger Ebert tweeted: “Friends don’t let jackasses drink and drive.” By Tuesday, Ebert apologized on his blog, “I was probably too quick to tweet. That was unseemly.”
Unseemly?? Now that’s an understatement.
In the meantime, the tweet prompted an outpouring of criticism against Ebert on Facebook and Twitter, so much of it profane that Facebook removed Ebert’s page.
Ebert might have felt marginally contrite about his insensitive tweet, but certainly not about Facebook cutting his ties with his followers. “Facebook! My page is harmless and an asset to you,” he wrote. “Why did you remove it in response to anonymous jerks? Makes you look bad.”
Facebook promptly returned Ebert’s page with a quick statement: “The page was removed in error. We apologize for the inconvenience.”
“He lived up in Malibu on a tiny street and he was texting while driving and he accidentally went over the cliff,” the surgeon’s ex-girlfriend told People Magazine. More specifically, he was tweeting. Below a picture of his dog, he wrote, “Border collie jill (sic) surveying the view from atop the sand dune.”
And don’t even get me started about Anthony Weiner, the married US congressman who lost his seat because he was caught sexting with a Las Vegas blackjack dealer and then lied about it. Without even commenting on the banality of his texts, didn’t he know that the Internet is forever? (Obviously not, the question was rhetorical.)
Has the world gone insane? People are dying to tweet and tweeting about people dying. Politicians are posting public messages that they wouldn’t dare to whisper out loud. And then a whole online keiretsu of statements are released about the tweets and the comments.
Look, we all know texting and driving is a really bad idea. Recent studies show that it’s even more dangerous than drinking and driving. But that study wouldn’t have helped Ebert, Ryan or Weiner. They weren’t DWI (driving while intoxicated); they were TWS (texting while stupid). And as comedian Ron White says, “You can’t fix stupid.”
Common sense tells us that when you’re in a hole and you want to get out, the first thing to do is stop digging. But the better thing is not to fall in the hole in the first place.
Maybe it’s time for some marketing lines to come to the rescue. Want to know what to do when you’re on fire? “Stop, drop, and roll.” How about when you approach a busy intersection? “Stop, look, and listen.”
Those lines work. After all, how often do you read about flaming pedestrians being hit by speeding cars?
So why don’t we take a page from elementary school safety campaigns and and adopt The Seven Steps for Successful tweeting? “Think. Write. STOP. Edit. Decide. STOP. Post.”
If people would just pause for a moment to think about what they’re posting, texting, and tweeting – or where and when they’re doing it – maybe they’d think twice before endangering themselves, their brands, and all the people around them.
If you are a baby boomer like I am, you probably remember the 60s television show, Bewitched. Mrs. Kravitz was the busybody next-door neighbor of the sitcom’s main characters, Darren and Samantha Stevens. Mrs. Kravitz was extremely nosy; always peeking through the curtains to see what was going on at the Stevens’ home. If there was anything strange activity or unusual behavior, she knew about it (Samantha practiced witchcraft, so strange or unusual was an understatement.) The point is, she was extremely observant and clearly saw the goings-on where no one else did.
This speaks to the current POV that agencies who focus solely on brand building and marketing will have a hard time growing their business. Clients realize they can now do much of the marketing heavy lifting themselves — and very cheaply. Agencies who focus on providing content and building customer relationships via multiple distribution streams will be the big winners.
MINT.COM – started at home by one man, sold to Intuit for $170 Million.
Owen Frager’s compelling review of Social Media’s significance:
As Iranians defy Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s warning that there will be blood on the streets of Tehran if there are continued protests, it’s now clear that there are indeed extensive protests going on in Iran — and the latest is that two of the key social media sites on the Internet now have reports saying opposition candidate Hossein Mousavi who was earlier reported to be detained is now on the streets and has told demonstrators “I am ready for death.”
Like the author of this article, we’re often asked how companies should start using social media. When a link to this piece popped up on Twitter, we thought it was good enough to share with you.
“The biggest reason, especially for anyone looking to increase PR, is that Twitter gives you an easily broadcast, unique URL to an audience primed to receive messages of that very kind.
Which social networking site you should be a part of and why?
Tia** breaks it down and shows you how Twitter can be an effective tool to promote and sell your domain, product, business, launch, event, self for a job, book or idea.
Your blog, Twitter, Facebook, your static site, LinkedIn….they all seem to play their part in internet marketing today. It can be tempting, and can sometimes be good, to streamline and only use one or two. It’s “good time management” after all. Use these services for very long and you quickly find they all have a unique role. The most common question about Twitter I get is “why does it matter what I’m doing right now?”re: the question Twitter asks you answer).
The biggest reason, especially for anyone looking to increase PR, is that Twitter gives you an easily broadcast, unique URL to an audience primed to receive messages of that very kind.
Think of tweets as dandelion seeds on the wind. The audience, or lawn, receiving the seeds knows that you only have a few characters to say what you will. They stream through and glean the ones that catch their eye…which means, your picture, and your words in those short 140 characters matter. The Tweetiverse is spam savvy…they can tell in the quickest glance who is just spamming and who is sharing something worthwhile. A little effort goes a long way.
For those with more time today…. Here’s an excerpt from Penelope Trunk’s blog, The Brazen Careerist:
Pete Blackshaw, from Consumergeneratedmedia.com, says, “PR is not the owner of the story. There are still some PR people who are great at convincing the mainstream media to pick up their client’s story. But today, the story, if it goes anywhere, will grow through consumers, online.”
The good news is that finally, there’s a social media tool that people expect to see pitches on. No longer do PR types have to annoy bloggers to the point that bloggers create blacklists. Now publicity mavens have a spot of their own, and, big news, the bloggers love trolling Twitter for good pitches.
Here’s how it works: The online influencers are on Twitter. They send traffic to blogs and Facebook and StumbleUpon. And those people email their friends, in community-wide missives, and that’s how something becomes viral.
The only catch is that PR folks need to get good at pitching in 140 characters.
And sure you can do it without Twitter. But in this situation, Twitter is hard to beat.
“Brands will adopt Twitter for everything from media/influencer outreach to consumer service to crisis communities. But more than any push channel, Twitter will give consumers – advocates and critics —unprecedented access to corporate personnel, and vice versa,” says Scott Monty, author of the Social Media Marketing Blog.
But even the best viral campaigns are not as effective as real conversations. Companies will participate in the conversation instead of paying people to control it. “The consumers who love the company and help vet the storyline will also be keen to help the company succeed –promoting that storyline in … guided content,” according to Todd Defren, who blogs at pr-squared.com.
This is happening now. We’re in a recession. So it makes sense that instead of paying expensive PR agencies to work their magic on outdated media gatekeepers you save the money. Instead, train passionate employees and customers to have authentic conversations about the brand.
Here is a great example:
When bombs went off in Mumbai last November, American Express immediately went through their databases to find any customers who might be there. American Express called each customer to see if they needed cash, housing or help getting a way out of the city.
I didn’t find this out from the news. The gatekeepers of the media world wouldn’t print this. They’d think it was too much like PR.
I heard it from my mom, who works at AmEx. And it didn’t feel like PR at all: She was genuinely proud to work for a company that would do that so she wanted people to know.
And I’m telling you because I don’t care if something sounds like PR or not. I care if I got a chill when I heard the story. And I did.”
Your quality tweet, with link included, becomes a pointer to the meat of your message: your blog. And your blog should point to your site, where you can be hired. Social media enhances relational marketing; it won’t replace your blog or website. It’s a valuable tool for helping you get your content seen but handle it with care. Be real and be you. Respect the audience and their ability to process information with incredible speed. People are not numbers and I wouldn’t recommend setting an extreme goal of say, “5000″ friends or followers because you’ll get out of it what you put into it. If you see numbers without stories, you’ll get numbers (as in spyder hits) without hires.
Will you be the next “Alice in Twitterland” ??
on Twitter: RedGypsie