Whoops, Edelman’s done it again…

To create an online buzz about poor online PR practices once is forgiveable – this is new territory and those in public relations will make mistakes.

But it is getting to be a bit of a habit at which presents itself as a leader in this area – has now confessed to A Lesson Learned Twittering.  Was it deliberate to show he is using this “hot new” technology – or have they got a touch of the the Britney’s (ie gob engaged before brain)?

Mind you, the media shouldn’t be too quick to judge PR online – as post today shows, there’s been some pretty crass “engagement” in social media by journalists seeking to get first person accounts of the Virginia Tech tragedy in the US.

Isn’t there a simply piece of advice that applies as much offline as on?  I think it is about using your commonsense – stupidity is magnified online.

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Heather Yaxley

Heather Yaxley is passionate about PR - teaching the CIPR qualifications, lecturing part-time at Bournemouth University and running the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA). I'm undertaking a PhD looking at Career Strategies in PR. I love sharing ideas and knowledge - connecting news and views by blogging on public relations and educational developments, especially relating to accelerated and active learning. I'm also a published author, qualified trainer and experienced consultant.

7 thoughts on “Whoops, Edelman’s done it again…”

  1. I give annual presentations at my nearest college (Edinburgh’s Telford) of journalism and I will be cataloguing and arranging a lot of next year’s course material. I will discuss with my lecturer the possibility of building this into the HND in Journalism. A look at blogs, especially in this context would be very interesting for students.

  2. This is virgin territory for journalists who may not be used to sourcing quotes from blogs, yet still have to corroborate their source and verify its authenticity. On top of that, they are running up against a deadline and have to come up with the goodies to satisfy their grumpy news editor and impatient readers.

  3. Jill – I think that could be very interesting, and as Ellee points out, we are talking here not about whether to blog or not, but how media should engage with members of the public who have social media sites.

  4. With regard to authenticity, journalists take people at face value when they research case studies. How does one know that they are getting the adsolute truth from people? – even when they do check the source as well as they can.

    I guess if a fake blogger gets into print then the whole thing as Heather says is magnified, but on this occasion it could’nt be deemed to be stupidiy. Could it?

    Lack of precedence law makes the journalist all the more vulnerable when quoting bloggers.

  5. The issue here Jill isn’t about fake bloggers, more the lack of sensitivity some journalists have shown in posting on sites of those who’ve got social media sites where they’ve expressed their experiences of the shooting.

    I suppose you could argue that these sites are public and so people could expect engagement. And as you say, media need to check rather than take blogs at face value as there may well be some sick people faking it.

    The media should try to contact victims offline rather than commenting on a blog. To request an interview to someone who is suffering shock looks crass on the web, but journalists have always tried to get to those involved by phone or in person previously.

  6. It does look crass, but if journalists had approached people offline wouldn’t that have left them open to criticism too? I experienced this once. I approached someone offline about a trucking piece only to find he’d discussed our discussion on the web. I felt this made me look like I was trying to go about things in a less than transparent way.Others wondered why I hadn’t made a public plea for help.I know this is a different set of circumstances but it has the potential for the same outcome?

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