Reich Communications, Inc.

  • Reich Communications, Inc. is a boutique public relations agency in New York City offering full service in a variety of areas, with specializations in business-to-business; advertising, marketing and media firms; transportation safety; non-profits, and select consumer products and services. For more info, call us at (212) 573-6000, email to david@reichcommunications or text to 914-325-9997. We are located at 228 East 45th Street, Suite 11-South, New York City 10017

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    « New Times | Main | I must be in the wrong business »

    January 20, 2009

    Comments

    Shelly P

    Loose lips sink ships, even online. :)

    Jeanne Byington

    I heard about this from a friend who lives in Memphis.

    He read about it in the Commercial Appeal. Knowing only the details he shared with me, my reaction, as a PR person whose clients have been all over the country and abroad, in towns and cities I may or may not care to live in, was "Fire the man." Was what he did that bad? No. But it showed that he had no judgment. And that is one of the crucial elements that a public relations agency sells. Jeanne

    David Reich

    Cam Beck adds to the discussion with his post today at MarketingProfs Daily Fix. http://www.mpdailyfix.com/2009/02/how_to_avoid_the_perils_of_ble.html#comments

    John Riggins

    A VP for a large company I worked for long ago wrote a memo (the old school hard copy kind) saying that he had members of a very important federal agency "in his pocket." The memo got to that agency and during a public hearing, the head of the agency brought that memo out and read it back to the VP. Not surprisingly, the next day the VP had left the company to "pursue other interests."

    Moral: Never write what you can say and never say what you can gesture.

    Kevin Dervin

    Yep, just happened to me (on the receiving end) last on Friday.

    Person hit the "Reply" button instead of "Forward" in their email program.

    The thing is, the questions and feedback he was seeking from his third party confidant should have just been addressed directly to me. Now, unfortunately there's a bit of a chasm between the two parties and I know he's hoping it doesn't cost him some work.

    Mistakes happen, but your post is an extremely important reminder because things like Twitter and Facebook are so public.

    David Reich

    Sometimes, these lessons can be costly. Thanks for your comments Kevin and John. Please don't hesitate to stop by again and add your 2 cents.

    Tom Collins

    Your examples demonstrate a point that is too often missed: it's not the tool that got the exec in trouble. As you point out so well, similar errors in judgment can be communicated by other channels (email, telephone), or even face-to-face, with similar consequences.

    As I recall the flap, the PR exec posted his Tweet at the Memphis airport. He could just as easily have made the same statement out loud to a travel companion and been overheard by a Memphis resident who knew someone at FedEx. From there, a phone call, email, or text message to headquarters and the same unpleasant incident could have been broadcast everywhere.

    I like to say that nobody ever got fired for blogging (or Tweeting), which always gets an objection. My point: A few have been fired for doing something dumb on their blog. But the same behavior done on the front steps at corporate headquarters, or published in a letter to the editor in one of the remaining newspapers, would have gotten those folks fired just as quickly.

    Microsoft's Rule # 1 for blogging should serve well for other social media (and life in general): Don't be stupid.

    David Reich

    Tom, I think you got it right when you quote Microsoft's blogging rule -- "Don't be stupid." I am constantly amazed at how many people lack common sense.

    Tim Smith

    I will always try to respect 'off the record' but you must say it FIRST, not after the comment.
    And it still surprises me how people fail to realise that the web is completely public.
    Having said that I'm a little uneasy sometimes about the blurring of professional and personal opinions, especially when using a single login to services like Twitter.
    Tim

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