Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Brian Johnson, author of The Little Red Book of PR Wisdom, tals about the thoroughly modern ailment which deserves a name. Let’s call it Twitter Twitch.

PR WisdomIt’s the nervous twitch on the face of the media boss for any major sporting team, unable to control what every careless athlete in his keep is tweeting and Facebooking to the outside world at any given moment.

Not only is it something that causes sleepless nights for the PR manager, it can also destroy sporting careers and relationships. Because if you have enough profile, you are news – and your Twitter glitch is out there in the spotlight.

Think about it. Barely a week goes by when a celebrity tweet bleat isn’t getting some sort of exposure. It can be a bit of glorified fun for the media to cash in on, like married female hockey players ogling the males on another national team. But it can be much more serious.

Your Correspondent is aware that Twitter Twitch has ended international careers before they began. A promising boxer never got to realise his potential because some of his aggressive and racist tweets were noted well ahead of the selection trials. (Of course one would not suggest that a boxing match could be fixed. But strangely enough, he never was selected to represent his country.)

Some media bosses are so concerned about the potential for damage that they monitor their charges on Twitter and the like. They do fear-driven workshops to explain just how much trouble they could land themselves in.

If you are running a social media campaign involving high stakes and high-profile people the last thing you want is a bad dose of Twitter Twitch.

Vaccinate yourself early by establishing stringent social media guidelines for all concerned.

This advice is drawn from The Little Red Book of PR Wisdom by Brian Johnson, an award-winning journalist and leading PR practitioner.

Contact Profile

Lisa Kennewell, President, WIT-SA

M: 0414 69 70 71


social media disasters, PR disasters




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